URANUS has shifted sign from fire Aries to earth Taurus. Astrologers are excited, for Uranus is the planet of inspiration, awakening, revolution and liberation. Beginning a new traversal of the zodiac from the first sign Aries since 2010, Uranus has spent 7 years subtly changing our very understanding of who we are. This shift can be observed in the rise of social media to a central place in modern life, with every generation getting on board. We are busy defining ourselves through our online presence – the self has taken the centre of our attention, but is often appearing in very superficial ways – looks, likes, selfies, followers etc. During Uranus’ time in Taurus we can expect that things will get more meaningful. Taurus energy is interested in what we are worth, which can relate to money and status but which has much deeper levels going on too.
Astrologer Sarah Coughlin (on Refinery29) says “Aries compels us to define who we are, Taurus nudges us to consider what we’re worth”. She says Uranus moving into the sign of the Bull for a “nice, long, script-flipping stay.”
Brianne Hogan writes (on Hellogiggles) “Uranus may mean freedom, but Taurus keeps us grounded…… We will experience many changes and shifts in the aforementioned areas for the next eight years, but these changes will also stem from a place of authenticity and practicality. We’re getting honest with ourselves and our future, while also being smart and informed about the choices and changes we make. We can expect the unexpected for the next few years, but we can also count on our ability to handle it.”
Kate Rose (on Yourtango) says “Uranus is nicknamed the great awakener; a force of sudden change and innovation… During the Aries era, we saw ourselves change how we viewed ourselves, our relationships and love in general … now is the time to ground ourselves, our plans and our dreams so that we can grow them with a stable foundation.” Perhaps we might add that due to the surprises that Uranian energy can deliver, those plans and dreams may be in for some radical changes and unanticipated developments.
Yasmin Boland in the Daily Mail says the Uranus move is “triggering a period of worldwide upheaval…. The key here is to work with the energies of change, and not against them. Uranus is the planet that causes us to evolve and pushes us to our limits…. harness the Uranian energy to write an exciting new chapter of your life . . . Be yourself! Uranus is very much the planet of individuality, so if you want to embrace the changes Uranus is offering, then you need to be true to your highest self — the best part of you…. This is a wonderful time to override any fear you have about change. So tune in to what you really want — the Uranian energy will push you along. There will be disruption, but harness the energy and enjoy the ride.”
Colin Bedell (on QueerCosmos) says this energy shift will “revolutionise our lives….This. Is. Huge. Whether we like it or not, the Universe will make sure we set ourselves free a la Uranus from values that prevent from accessing the deepest, most meaningful experiences of our life. Where and with whom we place our value will forever change. Especially on the personal, relational, political, and international arenas. This Uranus in Taurus transit has the potential to change the entire foundation of our lives.”
URANUS IS THE QUEER PLANET OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM
Corina (Satellite of Love: Queer Horoscopes for May 2018) says:
“There is no planet of being gay, just like there’s no planet linked to heterosexuality, but there is a planet of queerness! Uranus, also the planet of revolutions and inventions, correlates to the part of each of us that needs to go against the grain of social norms. Uranus helps us live more defiantly, more bravely — and with an awareness of how we’re intertwined with everyone else, and how getting more free personally is linked to collective freedom. Strongly Uranian people are at the forefront of all liberation movements and utopian social experiments.”
URANUS IS THE RULER OF AQUARIUS
This planet and sign represent the queer energies of the cosmos we inhabit:
Uranus is unique as the only planet in our solar system that rotates on its horizontal axis. He literally rolls through the universe, and at an amazing speed – for while the planet is 47 times the size of the earth, a day lasts only 10 earth hours. Mythologically, Uranus was the original male principle, the Sky God, who was castrated by his son Chronos (Saturn), after which his sexual energies were channelled into the creation of art and beauty. The first Uranian moons that were discovered were named after the faeries of Midsummer Nights Dream – Titania, Oberon, Umbriel, Miranda, and Puck.
The mythology of Aquarius is the story of Zeus, king of the gods, falling for shepherd boy Ganymede, transforming himself into an eagle to swoop down and whisk the boy to the heavens where he became cup-bearer to the gods. When the goddess Hera became jealous Ganymede was forced to move on, but Zeus placed him in the sky forever as the water bearer constellation Aquarius. Planet Earth is currently on the zodiacal cusp transitioning from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. The rise of human rights, gender equality, gay liberation, digital technology are all signs of this shift occurring. By tracing the passage of Uranus, the ruling planet of Aquarius, through the zodiac over the last century we can detect how the r-evolutionary Uranian energy is influencing the progress of lgbtq rights.
Some astrologers have been pointing out, usually with a frown, that the last time Uranus was traversing Taurus was 1934-1942, which saw the outbreak of horrific worldwide war. But as the energy of Uranus is anti-authoritarian I like to observe that this period saw the rise of resistance to fascism, leading to its downfall a few years later.
The first group campaigning for gay rights, the Mattachine Society, was formed in the USA in1950. Uranus had just began its journey through the sign of the Divine Mother energy, Cancer. This was the moment, I suggest, when some significant number of the gay people of the world started to listen to her call to us to come home to ourselves, to reclaim our place on the planet after so many centuries of it being denied us.
The practical work of legislation relating to gay rights happened in the UK in the 1960s, leading to the Sexual Offences Act of 1967, while Uranus was in Virgo.
The spark moment for gay rights, however, came with the Stonewall Riots, June 28- July 1st, 1969. Uranus had just completed its journey through Virgo four days earlier and was settling into its long stay in Libra, the sign of balance and justice. The rise of gay rights is part of the drive towards balancing the overbearing patriarchal energies of the modern world. The revolutionary Uranian energy burst forth, anger manifesting. The conciliatory, assimilationist, approach of the Mattachine Society was not producing results, but from 1969 onwards gay visibility, activism and pride spread through the western world.
During the incubation years of the HIV virus spreading quietly among gay men, the late 70s, Uranus was in Scorpio, with the first case later recognised as AIDS coming in 1980. While Uranus was in Sagittarius (1981-88) the search for ways to treat HIV was underway, as was the rise of a politicised and self-conscious queer community. Those of us coming out in the 1980s entered a gay scene in which a sense of community, of the need to work together for our very survival, was strong. This community sense was catalysed through adversity – AIDS deaths and political apathy or outright hostility. The Conservative government’s introduction of Clause 28 in 1988, outlawing the ‘promotion’ of homosexuality in education, galvanised us in the UK further. Gay Pride events swelled in numbers and determination. While Uranus was traversing Capricorn (1988-1996) many efforts were made to raise our game, and once our queer planet settled for the long haul through its home sign Aquarius in 1996, things really began to speed up for lgbtq visibility, rights and acceptance.
Croatian astrologer Branko Zivotin says: “The entry of Uranus in the sign of Aquarius led to an increase in the same sex love and bisexuality among young people. Uranus impact gave full force with a strong radical changes because Uranus is the ruling planet of Aquarius. In 1996 Uranus entered Aquarius and than started an active story about gay population, as something completely normal. Uranus cycle of seven years brought turnarounds among young people to find sexual partners more freely and easily through electronics, the Internet, at parties, to organize gay parties.”
Zivotin also points out that Neptune’s presence in Aquarius from 1998-2011 brought a powerful escapist energy into the picture, indicating a vast expansion of alcohol and drug use, which certainly happened for the gay scene at that time. In fact for gay men, during that period sex became more thoroughly associated with heavy drug use, with associated casualties lost to addiction or overdose. Neptune moved into its home sign Pisces in 2011, which energy is related to both intoxication and spirituality, and is traversing there until 1925. Drug use among gay men is not abating, despite the horror stories of dependency, delirium and death we’ve been hearing for some years now. The message of Neptune in Pisces for gay men is that spirituality is the solution to addiction, and that in fact spirituality can lead us to all the heights and blissful experiences we seek through drug use. Spirituality is about opening the doors to bliss, and keeping them open – while drugs just give us a temporary, ultimately destructive, experience.
In the UK, an equal age of consent was finally enacted in 2001, while Uranus was still in Aquarius. Wikipedia reports that in the USA, “In four landmark rulings between the years 1996 and 2015, the Supreme Court invalidated a state law banning protected class recognition based upon homosexuality, struck down sodomy laws nationwide, struck down Section of the Defense of Marriage Act, and made same-sex marriage legal nationwide.” The moves to recognise same sex relationships, through civil partnerships and marriage, spread around the world while Uranus was in the emotional, universal, compassionate energy of Pisces 2003-2010.
During the period of Uranus in Aries 2010 – 2018 we saw the Arab Spring, Occupy, and the growth of the women’s movement and blacklivesmatter, and also the huge disparity in rights and conditions for LGBTQ people around the world has come very much into focus, forcing some of us queers to think more deeply about who we are and what is really going on. The answers are still emerging. In the UK these years have seen a rapid expansion of Radical Faerie activity – it might be said, in response to those who lament the loss of community spirit on the commercial gay scene, that it is amongst the Rad Fae that the possibilities of queer community are currently being explored, and from a positive angle of discovering the magic of who we are, not the defensive energy that catalysed queer community in the 1980s. Radical Faeries remove the capitalist element from the community equation, offering the potential to create real, lasting bonds built on connections made in the heart, made in nature, and made in relationship to a still largely unknown spiritual history of queer people as the magical folk, the shamans, priestesses and healers of the ancient pagan religions. Uranus in Aries also saw the birth of QUEER SPIRIT FESTIVAL, a 5 day event bringing together a few hundred spiritually inclined queers from the whole LGBTQ spectrum, in a space where we dared to declare not only our love for each other but also our deep love for the planet, for nature, for humanity, and prepare ourselves to emerge as the Healing Tribe within the human race.
As Uranus moves now into the second sign of this new traversal of the zodiac, the energy is coming to bring the mystical awareness of who we are home to the body, home to the planet: Queers as planetary healers, soul doctors, channels of spirit (and also midwives to those leaving the body).
The Uranian revelation waiting to hit the world is that the religious hatred of homo- and trans-sexuality has its roots in the time when first Judaism, then later Christianity, were putting their efforts into eradicating the sex-positive, ecstatic earth-loving, goddess honouring religions of the ancient world. The Old Testament tells of the presence, and destruction, of the Qedesha – the male prostitutes who worked in the goddess temples: the name means ‘The Anointed’ or ‘The Holy Ones’ but was translated in the St James Bible into English as simply ‘sodomites’. A principal rival to Christianity in its first centuries was the worship of Cybele, known in Rome as the Magna Mater (Great Mother), but whose worship goes back at least 1000 years BC in Turkey. She was served by female and trans priests, who were known as the Gallae. They travelled the land conducting ecstatic rituals, and were a prime target of Christian vitriol. After the Roman Empire officially adopted Christianity as its religion, huge efforts were made to wipe out all traces and memory of Cybele worship.
In ancient texts, sodomy is often listed alongside other taboo practices such as divination and astrology because same sex activity was associated with magical practices of the goddess religions that the new domineering energies of patriarchy sought to suppress. Those practices included communal danced rituals where people ‘lost their minds’, became filled with the ecstatic spirit of the gods and so had direct experience of themselves as part of an interconnected multiverse of many layers. The suppression of the feminine impulse, of the homo-erotic impulse and of ecstatic, communal celebration all went hand in hand. It took until the rise of Protestantism in the 1500s and the Calvinist/Puritan fundamentalism of the 1600s for these powerful forces to be brought fully under patriarchal control. Instead of engaging in direct ecstatic connection with the spirit world, people were now supposed to simply ‘have faith’ and bow to the wisdom of the priestly class. From that time on, European explorers, finding sodomy, cross-dressing, unrestricted gender roles, communal ecstatic rituals and same sex-loving magical workers on every other continent of the world, set out to spread their anti-joy, anti-love, anti-freedom views far and wide.
The planet Uranus was discovered in 1781, a time of revolution and upheaval. Although we think of this as the peak of the period known as the Western Enlightenment, when rational thought became dominant, this was the time of the birth of the Romantic period in culture, when celebration of nature, art, beauty and imagination came forward in a reaction against the rational drive. Romanticism included a mistrust of organised religions, and a longing for the Arcadian days when Pan the Horned God ran free in the forests and the Great Mother was honoured, so we might claim it as a Uranian manifestation.
Certainly the discovery of Uranus must have been in the mind of 19th century homosexual pioneers Edward Carpenter of the UK and Karl Ulrichs of Germany. They both inclined to use the word URANIAN to describe same sex-attracted individuals, relating the name to the goddess Aphrodite Urania, the patron of spiritual, same-sex love. These early pioneers saw great possibilities in the emancipation of the homosexual and transsexual spirit. Carpenter’s works include 1908’s ‘The Intermediate Sex’ in which he says, “The Uranian people may be destined to form the advance guard of that great movement which will one day transform the common life by substituting the bond of personal affection and compassion for the monetary, legal and other external ties which now control and confine society”. In ‘Intermediate Types Among Primitive Folk’, 1911, he identifies roles that many cultures reserve for homo- or transsexual people: ‘the priest, medicine-man or shaman, the prophet and the diviner, the artist and craftsperson and the true scientist, successor to the tribal observer of the stars and seasons, medicine and the herbs’.
The only African tribe to have kept its ancient wisdom about the role of gay and trans people is the Dagara Tribe of Burkino Faso. Malidoma and Sobonfu Some were two teachers that the tribe sent to the west – and both shared the message that gay men are gatekeepers (and lesbians witches), with a specific role that involves energy points on the physical planet. By cutting gay people off from this knowledge and defining us merely by our sexual expression, the patriarchal culture has effectively castrated us from our power, and our purpose, which is to serve the Great Mother, manifest as the planet and as the animals, plants and people on it.
Astrologer Sarah Varcas points out that Uranus’ arrival in the first earth sign of the zodiac will remind us that the earth is a living goddess, our Great Mother, who is likely to push back like never before as humans continue to abuse and destroy her. To attempt to fix our mistakes is not enough, it is the very way that we think as a species that needs to evolve. She says that “By honoring an enduring commitment to caring for Our Mother and all her children of every form we dismantle, piece by piece, the patriarchal mind-set that equates aggression and domination with power, and love, compassion and generosity with weakness.”
Queers are the children of Uranus, here to wake up to our power, remember our hidden history and claim our r-evolutionary part in human destiny. While Uranus is in Taurus, the sign of the Goddess Venus, we are going to get much more in touch with what we are capable of, what we are here to do, and who we really are.