"We are constantly invited to be who we are." H. D. Thoreau
"If you think you’re about to fall, point your hands in the direction you are going,and dive gracefully. At the very least you’ll inspire someone watching you." E. Spring
'When I'm sixty-three'…or twenty-one, forty-one, sixty-three or eighty-four years old, something rather magical happens---or can happen. Uranus transits happen to everyone at approximately these ages and we play them out 'well' when we savor the epiphanies and opportunities rather than trying to maintain the status quo. It may feel like we're falling or coming apart, but Uranus aspects are truly opportunities to 'soar' rather than dive. These are the years of radical new beginnings that give us the chance to become more of who we really are. Henry David Thoreau once noted: "We are constantly invited to be who we are." Uranus transits are the constant invitation.
Whether you're falling down, waking up or dancing to your own drumbeat, there are times when you may wonder—isn't there a different way to do this? 'Diving gracefully' is always a good option if you are falling, but there are times when if you want to soar you're going to have to break the rules. These periods of Uranian liberation call for you to challenge the status quo---but how do you know when you should 'color outside the lines' and when you should respect 'the lines' that others have made?
Although it's a bit simplistic, we could say that we respect the limits during Saturn transits and break the limits during Uranus transits. Look to see what area of your life—what house-- Uranus falls in on your natal chart. This is where you have divine dispensation to break the rules! One might even say that you are not only given permission to do things differently in this area of your life, but that you must do things differently and authentically here—you are called-- in this area of your life-- to be radically honest and a little more daring than ordinary.
For example, if you have Uranus in the Fourth house there is a subtle divine imperative that you rebel against your family of origin in some way. You don't have to do it dis-respectively and you don't have to stop loving and communicating with them. However, you are called to break the rules of the family myth here—as the family myth may sound like this: 'Isn't it funny how all the men on this side of the family are bi-polar?' Or 'Isn't it funny how all the women of this family marry abusive men?’ With Uranus in the fourth house you probably have heard some variation of a 'not-so-funny’ theme like this handed down the family line and you're going to need to make a conscious effort to break this family legacy.
For you to survive spiritually there are times when you need to learn to stand up to authorities and separate yourself from what has been culturally ingrained in you. You may think you are already aware of these influences and that you did the work of rebelling against these cultural imperatives when you were 21 ---or before. Yet it may have taken you to the Uranus opposition at the age of 42 to realize how deeply you were programmed to be a certain way. Maybe it took that long for you to divorce the wrong person you married, and to reclaim your Soul. Uranian times call for you to challenge yourself and rebel against your own assumptions about what’s right for you.
Radical acts of reclaiming ourselves and daring to break the rules can happen at any age and are specific to you alone. However, it's almost as if the Universe gives you a chance for enlightenment or liberation at those ages when Uranus metaphorically 'turns the lights on and off' in your life. What was going on for you at the Uranus waxing square at 21? The opposition at 42? What could happen at the waning square at 63 and the return at 84?
At 21 years our culture says we are now an adult, but in fact, most of us have been in school or in less-than-empowering positions for most of this time. Our parents and the culture have exerted pressure, overtly and covertly, to mold us into something. Now we have the first chance to say---"but this is now my time and I want to find out who I really am." So we summon our courage—often with the help of our peers and abundant sources of alcohol—to dare to move out on our own into whatever may await us. But it's usually not till we're close to thirty, and have the first responsibilities of true adulthood—at the first Saturn Return, that we commit to a deeper level of our truth and make major and usually sobering ‘Saturnian’ life-style changes. But that's only part of the story.
In the process of living our adult lives, parts of us never get a chance to be expressed. In order to raise the family and/or pursue the career, we live our lives with parts of our essential nature sacrificed. We tell ourselves that some day we will take up singing/painting/writing again, but at the moment we have to handle 2 kids or 2 jobs and we have to make enough money to pay for the cell phones as well. But when we approach 40, the awareness comes to us that we're at mid-life and we're closer to our death than our birth---and by 42-ish the lights have been blinking on and off just enough to remind us that if we're going to do 'it' we better start now or we may never do it at all. So we have the first classic mid-life epiphany of waking up to the preciousness of time. Many people will marry, divorce, move across country, or take up ‘guitar playing’ at this time.
We may be shocked by how liberated we finally feel when we act on what appears to be impulse at the Uranus opposition. But that impulse has had years of pressure building up behind it. And yet if we should miss this chance, we get another chance for living our deepest truth at the waning square of Uranus at age 63. We may have thought that the time for new beginnings has ended. Not so!
It's worth taking a moment to think of what makes 'an elder' an interesting and vital person. What gives charisma to an older man or woman? Could it be that they don't care so much about what other people think about them any more? This Uranian attitude is one part simple acceptance of themselves and others, and one part 'detached wildness.' This quality of wildness looks more like a wide smile and a quick laugh than a purple hat with a red feather.
At each of these Uranus cycles—at 21 and 42 and 63 and 84 we get a new chance to answer the voice within us that calls for more unique individuality. Even at 84 when Uranus returns to its birth position, there’s a part of us that opens up to ways of seeing things differently. Personal epiphanies abound at age 84 and people often notice a renewed sense of well-being and a feeling like a ‘breath of fresh air has come into their lives’. Some people, such as Carl Jung and Joseph Campbell ‘completed’ their lives at this time.
The closeness of death itself stimulates us to recover our core individuality. You are being called at these Uranian ages to allow a radical honesty to arise within you---and to take up the 'yoga of doubt and questioning' and turn questioning into 'questing'. Being true to yourself requires courage, but life helps us as we approach these 'Uranian times.' You don't have to know all the answers and figure it all out yourself. These are the times when you can expect help from the Universe by the occurrence of unexpected events--- unusual feelings, new opportunities, and paradoxical situations. Not all will be pleasant, but the effect will be to move you to the next stage of your life journey.
Uranian transits are times to answer inner restlessness with a 'Yes'! Try something liberating and freeing---make a little noise; cause a little havoc, give up trying to be too self-sacrificing. (If a child is always 'too good' don't you become suspicious? What is being repressed? Why are they saying they're bored?) At these ages you have a ‘divine dispensation’ to break the rules-- so ask yourself: how have I allowed life to dampen my energy? What's inhibited me? What still resonates and stimulates me when I think of it?
Einstein once said: 'God doesn't play dice with the universe.' I don't think God plays dice with us either, and no event is without the potential for using it for creative liberation. The writer George Eliot wrote: 'It is never too late to be what you might have been.' Experiment with that idea, and let your mantra be: ‘Let's do something different.’ And if you should fall or fail…well, as I said earlier: 'point your hands in the direction you are going, and dive gracefully. At the very least, you may inspire someone watching you.' But chances are, you'll soar.
*** The Uranus Opposition is an extremely transformative, exciting, and unnerving time that people begin to feel in their late thirties through their early forties. It's a great time for a reading because this is the time when you truly get a chance to re-invent yourself and to pick up the threads of dreams you've tucked away till now.
Elizabeth Spring MA is an astrologer and psychotherapist working in Wickford and Newport, RI. She has a degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis in the work of Carl Jung, and teaches astrology workshops at the Boston Jung Institute. She has written many articles for newspapers and magazines which can be read on-line on her website at www.elizabethspring.com Elizabeth’s bio, teaching, and speaking schedule can be found on her website as well. This article originally appeared in the ezine: Star-IQ in April, 2007.