With the chaos in the world right now, it can feel like we are the frogs being boiled slowly in the cauldron. So I want to pick just one theme and zero in on that. Uranus (in Taurus) and Saturn (in Aquarius) have been prominent in 2021 and don’t we know it? The messy battle is being shoved in our faces. Uranus helps to blast away the clutter of ideas that were clogging the collective mind, all the tired old beliefs- social, institutional, political or cultural – where the rot has set in, where the mass psychosis the ‘wetiko’ as the American Indians call it, operates subliminally looping us back forever and dooming us to repeat the mistakes of history. Saturn tends to bolster the old guard, the conventions, the institutions, the devil you know to portray itself as the ‘safe’ option but traps you in chains and invites you nicely to abandon all your hard-earned liberties.
In 2021 Uranus challenges us to install new and futuristic software in the mental DNA – and kick out all the detritus that has been piling up for decades. Those ideas can be gone in a nano-second. In fact it probably already has zapped some mangy old belief set and now you need time to catch your breath and figure out what just happened. That’s where we can take stock a bit when Uranus goes retrograde on August 19th. Uranus is much misunderstood as the breakthrough, break up planet- the ‘Destroyer’ archetype, punk rebel, anarchist and revolutionary thinker. But clearly he’s much more than that- Uranus is freeing energy, bringing instant clear-sighted vision that makes way for all that’s fresh and creative- it does not always have the human touch unless softened by Venus, Jupiter or the Moon. But it is the higher octave of Mercury so brings the ‘genius’ edge to the trickster, and cannot be ignored. Many will already be familiar with Uranian energy, all the kooks, eccentrics, the utopians, the activists, justice warriors, geeks, wayward types, those who are electrically charged up, or those who choose to identify with maverick who is scapegoated– as Chiron also does. And let’s not forget the astrologers who also thrive under a Uranian flag- I add here muse asteroid Urania as a sister spirit to Uranus.
We are living through one of the most Uranian periods of recent years- so we are getting his downloads maybe even while we sleep. But all that sudden insight can reflect back from 19th August Uranus stations retrograde at 14° of Taurus. It is time to slow down as we’ve come a long way fast this year, especially if you have resisted the onslaught of media hyperbole and if you’ve had the discernment to pick your way through the quagmire of information, misinformation and disinformation. If so, you are doing your Joseph Campbell adventure calls, and you responded but you now are asked to absorb what superpower have you gained to take back to the tribe. Find in which house Uranus resides in your chart: is it for you operating in your body, your communications, you money area, your creativity, relationships, beliefs, career and so on? That’s where the story will land, and you’ll feel the call of the wild like never before. And where your Saturn is will locate the place of your biggest fear and where you want the authorities to take tough action on your behalf.
Being aware of the edginess of is not necessarily those who are born with the sun in Aquarius ( ruled by Uranus) but anyone who has an outer planet edginess whether it be Uranus, Neptune or Pluto because these planets are prominent on the angles. If it is Uranus, you’ll know who they are by never fitting in with groups or conforming to the herd mentality. You might have unusual ideas or quite simply never be understood by anyone. So if Uranus conjuncts the Sun or Moon or a personal planet or be on one of the angles, it causes direct havoc with the primary areas of life. You may never quite get used to being jolted out of the habitual by its disruptive blast as it can derail and discombobulate all your plans.
If Saturn has marked you on the other hand you may side vigorously with traditional, the government norms, the conventional attitudes that do not rock the boat, that align with peer pressure, censorship, segregation and wish everyone was fully compliant as the idea of freedom frightens you somehow so you think coercion is a good thing. At the core of that might be not just the fear of death, real or imagined, but the fear of life itself, what Freud called the ‘death wish’ which is fundamentally anti-life.
But on top of that but there is skullduggery going on- which people especially empaths can feel acutely at the psychic level. Pluto is still at 24 ° Capricorn chipping away at the remaining monolithic institutions revealing new layers of corruption, and there is deception on a colossal scale with Neptune bending reality into multiple forms through the so called variants following the Greek alphabet up to Omega. Neptune is fond of smoke and mirrors news/propaganda and mass deceptions. Nothing is as true as it appears to be even when we peel off all the layers. Notice how great a role the internet has played in controlling the perceptions of people by selective accessibility of information. This is aided by Eris in the mix. She is the rebel rouser in Aries for decades. She is squaring off to Pluto throughout this year adding pressure and tension. She speaks the disenfranchised and is incapable of being kept down. She will get her revenge at whatever cost.
Uranus Stationing Retrograde
Uranus moves very little during this time so we can take stock of which part of the vanguard we occupy. It might revisit an experience from a few weeks back that needs unravelling. It was not just Richard Tarnas that noted that Uranus was more aligned with the energy of Prometheus than the old titan Ourania whose juices from castration did at least foment the goddess Venus in Greek Mythology; and modern life has born this out. The name Uranus has remained however. Bringing fire from the gods to give to the people is the image of Prometheus – even if that fire is advanced technologies- but for that he was severely punished, chained by Vulcan and doomed to have his liver eaten out daily by a vulture. Zeus stood for tyranny in this story (taking the role of Saturn) and Prometheus was heralded by Byron and Shelley as a symbol of the rebellious spirit in their poems. But it was Mary Shelley who highlighted the shadowy aspects of Prometheus as an aberration of the natural order in Frankenstein:; the Modern Prometheus. This is now called Transhumanism. Prometheus had the gift of ‘forethought’ unlike his brother Epimetheus whose gift was hindsight. This is perfect as during the Uranus retrograde Prometheus (aka Uranus) can become more like his brother Epimetheus just for a while.
Retreating to your interior space is always beneficial to find that minimal place of grounding whether it be meditation, walking , doing yoga, eating quality food, tending our plants or gardens or just sitting still and taking a moment to breathe. A lot of the major players Saturn Neptune, Pluto are already doing so. We will need to gear up ready for October when first Pluto on the 7th October, then Saturn on the 12th October, then Mercury and Jupiter on 18th October. That’s a landslide of forward movement, a pressure cooker of tension is building towards the unplugging of any idea we could be held back. But it could go either way: towards freedom or more oppression.
So a Uranus retrograde is time to gather all the insights and new knowledge, not in the sense of backtracking but just absorbing the deeper meaning of all the rapid movement made of protests around the world that have escalated to crisis point. Push has come to Shove with this square of these two giants which goes exact three times this year. Those who argue on the side of safety (Saturn) whether real or not want to impose rules on individuals and their human rights for the sake of the whole. But the question is do the ends justify the means? In Orwell’s Animal Farm they did and it created a dysfunctional scenario that “some are more equal than others.” There are hundreds of protestors around the world making their statement and pushing back against rules that make no sense. It is even splitting the fabric of society, polarizing people against each other. But while it is wiser to not get sucked in to that drama, it may serve a purpose to sharpen up our intuition, heighten our responses and make us more intensely alive and awake to what is going on.
Who are you Number 6?
When I think of the archetype of the Uranian embodied in a human then Patrick McGoohan comes to mind. He said that the idea for ‘The Prisoner’ started out of boredom of doing ‘The Danger Man’ series. He was tired of all the stereotyping in film and TV and refused the role of James Bond. He said people were ‘prisoners of conditioning’. The village – based on Portmeirion in North Wales – is this prison. In this village, there are forces (Saturn) trying destroy the Individual to break his spirit (Uranus). McGoohan himself played the character of No 6 – the one rebel that they can’t break’. He is forever mystified by where he his, and attempts to escape the village- which represents the matrix in which we are all enmeshed.
Portmeirion is an architectural conceit, where nothing is what it seems. Much like in ‘The Truman Show‘ everything looks real on the surface; so it is the perfect backdrop exactly because it is all artificially constructed. The Prisoner has achieved cult status and for good reason as it is multivalent and even conflicting- people endlessly see in it what they are able to see – but I think it expresses the plight of Uranus (Prometheus) trapped in the world always wanting to break free – having your liver eaten out everyday by staying here. Uranus kicks his way out of the box that Saturn constructs for us all to feel ‘safe’. That little village is around us everywhere but is being directed towards ‘smart’ city into which we may all be herded and corralled in a not too distant future. This is why holding on to best of the archetype of Uranus is important as to lose that facet of yourself might be to lose your spark, your ultimate spirit.
McGoohan was a Pisces (born March 19, 1928) but with a prominent Uranus conjunct his Sun though in the adjacent sign at 3° Aries. He has Moon in Aquarius and Aquarius is his Ascendant so both these areas are ruled by Uranus. That he was an inventive and inspirational writer is guaranteed with Mercury and Venus at the first degree of Pisces. He was also who was vocal about it -Mars in Aquarius- and who refused to dumb down and who enjoyed the controversy as that was his intention. People said ‘The Prisoner’ was ‘ahead of its time’ and is can still puncture a hole in people’s boxed view of the world half a century later. This matches Prometheus as the god of foresight. He was able to see around the corner into the future. When McGoohan was asked what he thought the problem in the world really is, and he said that we are advancing with technology way too fast. He knew we would need time to absorb the advances made. The retrograde asks us to rethink- allow emotions to catch up and integrate new knowledge into a ‘whole’ approach or it could go off balance. Uranus even trines McGoohan’s MC which is like from fire to firebrand from its position in Aries to his MC in Sagittarius and he embodies this spirit so well.
McGoohan was a man of principle who had even considered becoming a Catholic priest. He tended to stick to his guns and get his way with TV producers. He was even called a ‘moral secret agent’ which is a living paradox. He played John Drake and No 6 with such intensity and charm that people noticed his compelling screen presence. Pluto in his 5th house would channel that magnetism into his creative work and that comes across on screen and in his transformative ideas. information can also be pronounced ‘in’ formation- the development of the self. He later on would write some of the series of the dishevelled detective Colombo played by Peter Falk and play King Edward I in Braveheart. But in The Prisoner he excelled as it was basically the Patrick McGoohan show.
Saturn as Supreme Oppressor
On the other side of freedom is the wish to conform to society, or to use a cause to force people to conform and to stamp out any individuality or dissent. Saturn loves to keep you firmly in place as just another brick in the wall or to become a ‘man of steel’ like Joseph Stalin. He is a living archetype of Saturn- its worst side. He was a Sagittarian born in 1878, and widely regarded as one of the most formidable tyrants of the 20th century because the death toll at his door is much larger than anything Hitler achieved. Yet he was a small man- only 5 feet 4inches which may account for the over compensation. He has Saturn conjunct his Ascendant in Pisces- it is square to the Sun. His portrait reveals a Saturnian look as it was basically Russian style lionising him as propaganda. His Pluto in Taurus is opposite Mars in Scorpio so the tension of that opposition is palpable in the way he ruthlessly eliminated enemies, often setting them up, tricking them into confessions. It is not a T square with Saturn but still locked in a triangle configuration. He saw violence and terror as tools for progress.
There was no doubt he was a monster and one report states he was: “An amoral psychopath and paranoid with a gangster’s mentality, Stalin eliminated anyone and everyone who was a threat to his power – including (and especially) former allies. He had absolutely no regard for the sanctity of human life.” Estimates of the deaths he was responsible for amount to around 40 million. He did this through executions, wars, controlled famines, gulags, forced slavery, extortion, prostitution rackets and mass displacements all driven by an intense paranoia and fear of being snubbed by those of greater intellect. This is not all that Saturn is about – and it is not to malign Saturn which can be constructive, solid, resourceful and stoical and gives us the best results we need to feel we have really achieved something of worth.
But these are qualities that just do not have much appeal at first but turn out to be beneficial in the end. only after a lot of hard graft. Saturn is the master builder if you work well with him. But, in Stalin we get the dysfunctional mode of Saturn conjunct the Ascendant. Churchill saw wolverine features in him and Stalin was haunted by prowling wolves from an early experience. There is an off-tone here with Saturn in Pisces and it went badly off the scales till he became a psychopathic despot, drunk on power.
Stalin once said that “The death of one man is a tragedy; the death of a million deaths is a statistic.” And this is telling as it appears to be an adage that underscores our current addiction to seeing the Deathometer on news media – but in 2021 with a splattering of Neptunian deception. Neptune in Pisces is mid voyage and still corroding any certainties, adding murkiness to the muddle. To this type aligned to a malignant Saturn (and Pluto in Capricorn) who wants to impose power, the end – total power- justifies the means. Mao Ze Dong (Capricorn) and Hitler (Taurus) both had Saturn conjunct their MCs, so that’s interesting. Communists and Fascists both believed in doing whatever is necessary, regardless of the consequences- that usually involved mass murder. Stalinism is alive wherever this philosophy is in the hidden playbook.
One wonders what would happen if Stalin and Patrick McGoohan were put in a room together. Sparks would fly- the execution squad would be ordered. Agent No 6 may realise who is the Number One- and that might surprises us if it is not Stalin. In the final episode of ‘The Prisoner’ when the layers are peeled back on who is Number One,, it first shows a monkey’s face, and that is then peels back to reveal the face of Agent 6 himself.
So our world is a mirror- and it points to the shadow inside that we fail to integrate. But as co rulers of Aquarius, it is well known that Uranus is in danger of becoming Saturn. As Blake said “The iron hand crush’d the tyrant’s and became the tyrant in his stead.” The young rebel becomes the old despot. Revolutionaries have a tendency to become even more despotic than the authoritarians they claimed to replace as there is something inhuman in the imposition of an ideology. This is my concern that the warrior fervour- the anger needed to sweep away corrupt systems can trigger a similar blood lust. Yet there is still a great need to clear out the old corruption before it festers and kills us all. There is a collective trauma still to deal with and it may take more full spectrum consciousness than the current ‘great’ awakening can provide.
Uranus versus Saturn Ongoing
These two titanic archetypes are bound to amplify tension. Watching what is happening is like being a spectator at a wrestling match performed on the world stage. But to return to Uranus, he operates on a voltage much higher than Saturn and today’s revolution is about more subtle frequencies, breaking away from old modes of being and with an eye of inalienable rights. He comes to blast away the ideas that encrust encrustation of cretinous ideas, so Saturn may assert power through coercion but eventually will crumble and collapse. Uranus wins as it shines a light on the corruption that people did not see so clearly before so there is a cleansing , a wholly necessary purging of the rot.
The battle is not over: we have had a whole year of this standoff in which there could be good and evil on both sides. The first square of 2021 was January 17th when both Uranus and Saturn were direct; the second was on June 14th when only Uranus was direct. During August this square is hovering within a few degrees and Uranus barely moves one degree from 14-13 ° for nearly two months. Saturn goes direct on October 11th. The final square of Uranus and Saturn is exact in December 24th so all these issues will come to a head again in time for Christmas. We have to wait till the new year before Uranus goes direct January 19th, 2022
Many other influences are part of the kaleidoscope. Better to see it as an unfolding drama that even goes beyond old style astrology of mundane events into a more quantum 5D multilayered experience. People talk of ‘instant’ manifestation of thoughts which is Uranian-Saturnian from 5D to 3D just massively speeded up. But maybe we no longer need what we thought we needed in the 3D world and that is the change that’s upon us? This cycle which started in 1988 culminating with the fall of the Berlin Wall in November of 1989 when Neptune and Venus also conjuncted all in Capricorn. Uranus and Saturn were not exact but still within ten degrees. Saturn was having a Saturn return at that time as the wall was about 29 years old. The wall coming down is an apt image and metaphor for the final moments of the deconstruction process. The cycle rolls on rolls until 2021 in its last quarter square, and then these big league planets will conjunct in 2032 when a new Uranus-Saturn cycle begins.
I’m amazed we got this far without even mentioning Cryptocurrencies which are bringing in a new monetary system which started to break up all the old methods and now is proceeding rapidly. A recent Venus trine Uranus triggered one of the most electrifying conversations I’ve had in a long time about crypto-currencies. So this is the time to find out about Bitcoin, Ethereum, Doge, Pirate chain, Munero and other currencies. Uranus is working hard in Taurus to crack open the earth and restructure banks, banking methods, money transfer systems and innovative ways of ‘DeFi’ decentralised peer to peer finance, not just with understanding blockchain but with new community projects where funding is all from independent sources without the interference of governments.
Some say Uranus tops Saturn here because it is further out-but also that it seems to be digging in its heels here stationary in a fixed sign- making it extra stubborn, but others might say Saturn is stronger, as it’s the traditional ruler of Aquarius, particularly in Hellenistic astrology and it could clamp down further into the consensus reality. We will have to wait and see. But notice that Uranus is right in the middle of a very fixed sign, digging in its heels for innovation on the earth plane- not moving for nearly two months. So Saturn had better watch out who is going to kick most ass. But Uranus can also represent science and technology, which is full of magician’s tricks, and we are all caught in this interconnected web of connections. So we can’t break free even if we want to unless we jump into Quantum mode. 2021 is the year where Uranus triumphs and the people across the world actually do get off their sofas and become street rebels.
To know we are in this challenging process – this inexorable cycle- which is ongoing can sometimes help to extinguish false hopes and make more informed choices about what really matters in life. Do we want safety alone or can be embrace risk in life? Can we have health without freedom to discuss what health means? This series of squares can open as many doors as it closes. So we should hang on a while longer let it all sink in, regroup, rethink, form new networks, aligning with those whom we have more in common and if this splits up society then perhaps the glue that we imagined was there just was not there in the first place? That’s something to ponder.
We create our own new unities and parallel societies if the main one becomes oppressive. We go underground as Vaclav Havel ( Libra) did in Czechoslovakia. He said it was the counter cultures that evolved that eventually in parallel to the main one that really killed off the old Soviet Union. Hence the name ‘Velvet Revolution’; so change does not have to go on full attack or read from a monolithic rulebook called ‘Reset’. Just that we can be encouraged to seek equilibrium between opposing forces and start doing things differently with eyes open as to which archetype is ruling our thinking. Maybe it’s time to shift from one viewpoint to the other like an on/off or dimmer switch allowing for modular control .
This could encompass mutually opposed ideas in one single flash of vision that holds it together. Whatever happens we need to be ready with multiple plans and strategies as to what we might do just as the old chaos magician Uranus is hinting that we do the Thoth card, juggling all possibilities and playing chaos at its own game.
© Kieron Devlin, Proteus Astrology, August 17th, 2021.
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