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Slow Global Warming


by Gary Brand - written April 10, 2008,
published in the May 2008 edition of Echo* newspaper

Uranus as a crescent - we will never see it this way from Earth! Uranus as a crescent, taken by the Voyager 2 spacecraft on January 24, 1986.  We will never see it this way from Earth because it is so distant from us and Earth is so close to the Sun (from the distance of Uranus' orbit) that we always see the hemisphere illuminated by the Sun.  Only Mercury and Venus, with orbits inside Earth's, can appear as a crescent like this from our perspective on Earth.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
his article is one of a series about the metaphysical and esoteric meanings of the planets that focuses on the metaphysics of Uranus, the first planet “discovered” in modern times and the seventh planet from the Sun.  According to Greek myth (F.G., p. 88 (1968)), Father Sky (Uranus), symbolizing the starry night sky, stuffed each of his children back into Mother Earth (Gaea) as soon as they were born because he was horrified by them and probably also because he wanted Gaea’s undivided attention.  Metaphysically, this myth warns us against suppressing or squelching our creations (including our children) out of fear that they may overwhelm us.  Gaea, who was Uranus’ mother as well as his mate (one of the many examples of incest in Greek mythology), appealed to her repressed children to conspire with her against their Father Sky.  They all cowered at the thought except for her lastborn son, Saturn.  Mother Earth fashioned a metal scythe (Saturn’s subsequent scepter and symbol of his power to sever or cut away) and Saturn lay in wait for his father to reunite with Gaea at the end of the day.  When Uranus descended upon Mother Earth, Saturn castrated his father.  This emasculation of Uranus fits his present status as a neuter (neither masculine nor feminine), or sexless, androgynous influence in a birth chart.  However, out of this horrific act (especially horrifying to men) was born the very feminine goddess of love, Aphrodite (Venus), from Uranus’ discarded genitals and sperm, which Saturn threw into the sea.

After Saturn liberated his sibling Titans from Mother Earth, Uranus played a minor role in Greek mythology.  However, his role and that of Gaea as progenitors of all of the gods, goddesses and, ultimately, of mankind cannot be overemphasized.  They represent differentiation in all of its myriad forms as the process of creation unfolded.  This is borne out by the Greek myth because, in addition to the 12 Titans (a balance of six males and six females reflecting the various balances in nature) Uranus fathered the triad Cyclopes (storm genii):  Brontes (thunder), Steropes (lightning), and Arges (thunderbolt) and, even after the most violent storm, calmness and clear sky return.  Uranus was also progenitor of another triad, the Centimanes (or Hecatoncheires), each with 50 heads and 100 arms:  Cottus (the Furious), Briareus (the Vigorous), and Gyges (the Big-limbed).  No wonder he was horrified at the sight of his offspring!  All of his progeny, including the Titans, represented the primal forces of nature.  So his progeny numbered two sets of three (a Divine number) plus the 12 Titans - the first pantheon, symbolizing the 12-fold manifestation of God we call the zodiac (E.H., p. 244 (1974)).  Uranus brought radical, creative change (a Uranus concept) in the world and the heavens through his offspring and their progeny (including the human race).

Leave it to science to confirm what astrologers already deduced about the nature of this enigmatic (a Uranus keyword) planet.  After the Voyager 2 spacecraft flew by Uranus in January 1986, the May 1986 edition of Science included an article entitled, "Voyager to the Seventh Planet" (M.G., pp. 32-38 (1986)).  Here are some of the words and phrases used in this article to describe this planet and its moons that astrologers have used for more than two centuries:  weird force field, exotic moons, surprising and unexpected discoveries, weather opposite of norm, magnetic field skewed wildly, moons have the most bizarre terrain in the solar system, it is unique because it orbits the Sun on its side, an unconventional system, a misfit, "in many ways Voyager 2 revealed the Uranian system to be the oddball of our sun’s planetary family" (Id., p. 32).  Another odd thing about Uranus – most of its moons are named after characters in Shakespearean plays, unlike the moons of other planets that are named after mythological entities.  Uranus is unique among the planets in that it is the only planet discovered by an amateur astronomer and by accident or chance (Uranus keywords).  The naming of the planet followed the cosmogony of Greek myth:  Mars (inside Jupiter’s orbit) was son of Jupiter (inside Saturn’s orbit) who was son of Saturn (inside Uranus’ orbit) who was son of Uranus.

The glyph or pictograph of Uranus most commonly used in this country is two crescents or semicircles joined by a cross, symbolizing the pronounced receptivity of this planet (the two crescents) but joined by the cross of matter and time, so Uranus is not just disruption and upheaval but the adjustments necessary to re-establish order (the cross) after chaos occurs.  The open crescents face away from each other, symbolizing the universal openness of this planet.  Finally, the cross in the glyph of Uranus surmounts a small circle, another symbol of universality that also represents spirit.  Elisabeth Haich describes the 5th level of consciousness (five of seven levels of vibration) as that of genius, because humans who identify with this intuitive level lift their consciousness “... out of the world of effects into the plane of causes” (E.H., p. 215 (1974)) and such people share what they experience on this higher plane, inspiring others in the process.  This is an apt description of the nature of Uranus, which is the planetary representative of this 5th level of consciousness.

Most modern astrologers assign rulership of Aquarius to Uranus and disregard the traditional ruler, Saturn.  But Saturn rejoices in Aquarius (which is his principle domicile) so this doesn’t make sense to traditional astrologers like me.  Uranus’ orbital period is 84 years and only a very small percentage of humans live past their Uranus return, which occurs sometime from age 82 to 85, and what greater change (Uranus) is there than the out-of-body transition at death?  However, the Uranus return is only one reason that most people do not survive their eighties.  The other reasons that this decade is so stressful:  (1) transiting Neptune opposes its position in our birth chart, (2) the third Saturn return occurs, and (3) everyone born since the mid-1920s will experience transiting Pluto opposing its position in their birth chart during their eighties.

Reference Citations.

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, spiritual and other realities that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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