How to find balance as Uranus enters Taurus for the first time in 84 years
In May 2018, Uranus entered Taurus for the first time in 84 years. Uranus is linked to the sky while Taurus is a fixed Earth sign, so as Uranus enters Taurus, the electricity of the heavens reaches deeply into the Earth element. Earth resists; Uranus shocks. The pulse of the unfamiliar sets stones dancing — it can bring the inert back to life or send cracks jolting through your foundations. Taurus is a sign of rooting and grounding; it helps you feel at home in your body and in your life. With Uranus in this sign, wellbeing may come to mean something different than it did in the past.
The mythology of Gaia
Uranus brings the energy of the new and the unexpected. Earth is steady, reliable, sensible and practical. It’s like there is an inherent misfit between the sign of Taurus and the planet Uranus. In mythology, Uranus, god of the sky, was filled with overwhelming desire for Gaia, the Earth. He came to her over and over; their love stretched for eons. And yet they did not understand each other. What came from their lovemaking were cyclops, hundred-handed giants, and the race of Titans.
Uranus found them unworthy and refused to let them emerge from Gaia’s womb. This became unbearable for her. Eventually her desire turned to resentment and Gaia asked one of her children to act and rise up against tyranny. Saturn (Chronus) did, castrating his father as he came to mate with her. This cycle creates stand-offs between opposing desires and often enough brings clashes on the larger world stage.
Uranus in Taurus 1683-1690: what’s yours is mine
Uranus takes 84 years to move through the 12 signs of the zodiac, spending seven years in each sign. During a previous cycle of Uranus in Taurus, from 1683 to 1690, the British Crown tried to impose control over its new North American colonies to shape them to their own vision and will.
Uranus brings the genius of invention to the world of matter.
King James II replaced the original charters with acts of dominion, rescinding liberties, taking away common lands and imposing taxes on all imports. Local legislators were disbanded and all law came from the king or his governor. The colonists responded with resentment, refusal and rebellion. Land titles were rebuked and returned to the Crown to be redistributed to allies and cronies. The governor went so far as to demand the keys to the Puritan church and hold Church of England services there. When the Glorious Revolution occurred in Britain in 1688, the colonists seized the moment and chased the governor from their territories.
Taurus is the most territorial of signs and highlights issues of ownership, land and self-governance. Interestingly, the end of this Uranus in Taurus cycle brought the drafting of the Bill of Rights in England, limiting the power of the monarch and guaranteeing certain individual liberties. These rights were not granted to the colonies, however, and this was to become paramount in the next cycle.
Uranus in Taurus 1767-1775: rising up against tyranny
After a long period of benign neglect, England again tried to raise heavy taxes on the colonies. Colonists were not granted the right to representation while the Crown insisted they pay for numerous troops stationed on their soil. The British military was often forceful and unjust. While some duties were withdrawn, tensions would continue to build over taxes, particularly on tea, and break out into a fully fledged revolution once Uranus entered Gemini.
Taurus defends its right to property, happiness and self-determination. Just as in the story of Gaia and Uranus, too much control led to a permanent cut with the powers above. As Benjamin Franklin wrote in a Bill of Rights for colonists prior to the war, “The supreme power cannot justly take from any man any part of his property, without his consent in person or by his representative.”
Uranus in Taurus 1850-1858: the fruitful marriage
There is fascination, attraction, resistance and upheaval when Uranus comes to Taurus. When this cycle works well, something of wonder emerges from the earth; it brings a quickening in the material world.
In the Victorian period, Uranus in Taurus harnessed matter and productivity through the power of the machine. It helped bring the modern world into being. Population flowed from the land to the cities and the cities rose and grew powerful.
In this cycle, Uranus in Taurus found expression through architecture and engineering to shape and master the earth element. A rare triple conjunction of Uranus, Saturn and Pluto in Taurus points to this era as a foundational time. The conjunction in Taurus came with a mythic sense of progress and accomplishment. It was a time of building, of laying foundations, particularly in the UK.
Taurus is the most territorial of signs and highlights issues of ownership, land and self-governance.
The genius of Uranus flowered, the marriage between heaven and earth was fruitful, and large swathes of population left the land to move to the cities. This was a rare triple conjunction of three slow-moving planets — Saturn, Pluto and Uranus — with all three arriving in Taurus between April and June of 1851.
That year, 1851, was when the gold diggers came to Australia, attracted by the lure of wealth. They were seized with a feverish desire for the treasures of the earth, the desire to find their fortune. Australia and its land became valuable, desirable. In Taurus, one person’s value comes up against those of another and the hunger for gold must have had less happy consequences for the original inhabitants of the land.
Uranus is often indifferent to the concerns of others, caught up in its own truth, and neither the planet nor the sign finds it easy to be nuanced. It can lead to unyielding conflict over what it means to be human. When it does, conflict tends to build, with neither side backing down. The themes of ownership, mineral wealth and territory are all central to Taurus.
Uranus in Taurus 2018-2026: earth cries out
Taurus is about connection to place. During the seven years Uranus spends in Taurus, familiar places begin to look and feel different. You may review how you accept change and consider how quickly you can accommodate the new in areas that had seemed permanent.
Uranus in Taurus calls for creative and new solutions to our relationship with the earth. It’s easy to imagine the instability of the earth itself under mounting pressure from climate change.
Our collective imagination has been creating disaster scenarios for a long time, from Mad Max to On the Beach. We will be called to find solutions to the environmental instability that is sure to increase during this next Uranus in Taurus cycle.
The new American government has opened federal lands to corporate exploitation and hobbled environmental protections. The resulting upheaval could fragment people even more, and battle lines are being drawn long before Uranus even enters Taurus.
In the Victorian period, Uranus in Taurus harnessed matter and productivity through the power of the machine.
Australia will be affected by similar issues. It will have its moment of heightened awareness as Uranus returns to the same zodiac position it held at the time of the country’s greatest expansion. The same three planets that were together in 1851 will form a tense, problematic relationship in 2020. Crises around population, construction and land use will need to be met with enlightened creativity.
Taurus is a sensual sign connected to the body and takes great delight in the natural world. It likes to own what it loves, to make the connection permanent. The love of the world, linked to the pleasures of taste, touch and smell, can turn to greed, to money, to dominance, to a longing for things and a need for acquisition. People can also be treated as if they are possessions, as if they exist only for personal pleasure and gratification. Children and lovers, employers and customers can lose their independent existence in a Taurean world.
Uranus encourages individual freedom and will try to break any pattern of dominance in individual relationships as well as in the world at large. This may also be true in your personal life. Although it is rare, the original myth shows that Uranus can be the signature of a tyrant, often in the form of a principle or ideology that lacks sensitivity to others. During this time, Uranus can increase the tyrannical impulse where one person imposes their desires on another. This can lead to resistance and overthrow.
Uranus in Taurus 1934-1942: heaven at war with earth
Uranus was last in Taurus from 1934 to 1942, a period which covers the rise of Hitler and the first half of World War II. Hitler’s Taurus Sun was energised by Uranus soon after he came to power in Germany.
In the original Gaia myth, Uranus finds the children of the earth abhorrent, and we can see the Reich’s rejection of otherness in light of this myth. In this extreme version, Nazi Germany held the view that Jews and Slavs, homosexuals and the handicapped and other “aberrations of nature” needed to be eliminated in order to bring back racial purity. The same was true for deviant art and ideas. An inhuman vision seized the world, and the result was massive loss of life, destruction and war.
Many countries in Europe were occupied, controlled by the enemy who seized their food and essential goods. In occupied France, men were sent to labour camps, separated from their families for many years.
Jewish people in Europe were first confined to ghettoes, forbidden to practice their professions, then had their belongings confiscated by the state. They were decimated in the camps and even the gold in their teeth was extracted for Hitler’s war machine, in a macabre echo of the gold rush in the preceding cycle. At its worst, Taurus takes what it wants with no consideration of others.
As the war went on, the action of Uranus in Taurus was increasingly against nature, against Gaia. Food was rationed throughout war-torn countries, with massive starvation in the Soviet Union, in Poland and in China. There was great deprivation in occupied Poland, where the Nazis were slowly starving the population to death. While German settlers were given rations of 2613 calories per day, Poles received 699 and Jews in the ghetto 184. The Jewish ration fulfilled just 7.5 per cent of their daily needs; Polish rations only 26 per cent.
This attack on sustenance, on the ability to sustain life, was an extreme, intentionally engineered policy that led to the deaths of millions. All over the war-torn or occupied territories, individuals lacked gas, heat, water and light, as well as food.
The war also drove people to seek refuge under the earth. In England, they sheltered in underground stations during the Blitz, and Churchill built a secret War Room to shelter the government from Hitler’s bombs. The French resistance used an elaborate underground system of catacombs and Hitler sheltered in bunkers. Uranus symbols manifested when it appeared that the sky had turned against the earth, with bombing destroying centuries-old churches, buildings, entire cities and ports. Human ingenuity turned destructive, as it always does in war.
Uranus in Taurus World War II: the mother of invention
Many lives were saved during the war — especially for troops fighting in the Pacific — by the discovery of the synthetic insecticide DDT, which defended against insect-borne diseases such as typhus and malaria. Its discovery ushered in a “golden age” of chemical invention and control of nature. Chemical fertilisers and herbicides all came into being during the last passage of Uranus through Taurus.
The ingenuity of war was also channeled into new ways of preserving food. Nescafé was first produced in 1938. Frozen orange juice and vegetables were developed by the US military. For a time, these were seen as improvements on nature — until we began to realise the consequences.
Uranus in Taurus: rethinking the material world
Uranus in Taurus doesn’t always work in the same way. Remember, the essence of Uranus is opening, change and reversal. The presence of both Saturn and Pluto with Uranus helped to materialise the conjunction in the 19th century.
What will happen in this cycle? We can see elements of many of the preceding cycles as we prepare to enter the next. Tyrannical rulership has increased in a number of countries and the distribution of wealth and resources has become increasingly uneven, with the wealth of one per cent of the population equal to that of the other 99 per cent.
Taurus can be about taking, about making sure we have what serves our pleasure without regard for others. The raw materials and resources taken from faraway lands, the sovereignty seized and lives used up on cheap labour or servitude, stoked the British Empire in the 19th century.
In past cycles, Uranus in Taurus has been both constructive and disruptive.
The economic model of taking for profit, of using and discarding, is still dominant in much of the world. Corporations have increased their power over individuals. If these forces prevail in the coming cycle, we may be looking at a new serfdom.
China is one nation confronted with a shift in values. After sacrificing the land to fuel economic consumption, it is dealing with poisoned air and immense, polluted cities. Can China develop a new model in harmony with the land? For China, the previous two passages of Uranus in Taurus were wildly disruptive, a time of tearing asunder. In 1850, a major 14-year rebellion arose, cities were seized and wide swathes of territory affected. Wars disrupted the lives of millions and led to waves of displacement and death.
In the next cycle, leading up to World War II, Japan invaded China and stayed until the end of the war. The occupation was particularly harsh, with Japanese forces deploying chemical and bacteriological weapons. Women were taken from Korea and Japan to be kept as “comfort women”, the euphemism for sex slaves, during the war. These comfort women bring us to the question of Aphrodite, a part of the original myth we haven’t encountered yet.
Uranus in Taurus: what’s love got to do with it?
When Saturn castrated Uranus, his severed genitals fell down into the ocean. His daughter Aphrodite (Venus) rose up from the drops of semen and emerged naked from the sea. The entire world fell deeply in love with her presence. Venus has an irresistible power over all living things, including the power of sex, desire and her transcendent beauty. Can Uranus in Taurus reawaken our love for the earth?
Uranus in Taurus has also liberated women from repetitive tasks. For millennia, women spun fibre into yarn then wove yarn into cloth, marking the rhythm of days and nights. All this changed with the invention of a new spinning machine in 1767, the year Uranus entered Taurus. Inventions during this period freed time, uprooted habits and led to profound changes in society as they marked the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.
Yet now, there is a movement to change our relationship to the earth. Philosophers and alternative thinkers are trying to imagine this transition time for humanity, inspiring hundreds of small urban projects across the planet, from those reclaiming the wastelands of Detroit for urban farming to the marginal gardens grown in unused strips of land in UK cities. There is a movement to preserve seed, to pass it on as has been done for thousands of years, to protect it from the “ownership” of corporations. For these visionaries, the future is a neotribal, ecotopian, animist world.
But there are different visions for the future, too. Others imagine an age of robotics, a time when most work is done by machines, accompanied by an ascent of humanity into electronic, Uranian conscious. The development of virtual reality, the weaving in of biology and the electronic world, reflect a Uranian vision of the future in which machine and nature are wedded out of the gross embodiment of the earth. Some say that money will disappear, that everything will become virtual. The administration in France now requires electronic payment for taxes. The word for it is décorporalisé — disembodied.
These are wildly different visions of the future. Is it Gaia or Uranus who will prevail?
Uranus can work through reversals, especially if there is resistance to change. Cities have become sprawls thronged with people and the planet carries triple the numbers of humanity than at any other time in history. We are half waiting for the earth to change, to heat, to buckle and roar, for cities to be swallowed or abandoned.
Uranus in Taurus: singing the body electric
Remember, the earth is more than what you see; matter is alive. When earth receives, Uranus awakens. Where are the resistances and awakenings that will come to you in these next seven years? One place to look is in the rhythms of the earth and the sound of matter. Listen for the vibrant hum of Gaia’s voice remembered in the millions of aums chanted in yoga classes all over the world. There may be discoveries around sound, about the almost invisible motion of matter or the force of gravity and its transformation to energy.
Uranus brings changes in rhythm and habit, reverses established practice and sends shivers through the typical Taurus desires for stability. Uranus also brings the genius of invention to the world of matter and what has seemed stuck can be released or revealed during this time. It may be revealed through innovation, through finding new life in the soil or through a heightened relationship to your body. It can also shatter what you have built. In past cycles, Uranus in Taurus has been both constructive and disruptive.
Taurus represents the earth bringing life in abundance from dark matter. Uranus is the energy of the heavens filled with desire, come down to fecundate our mother, our home. May this cycle bring new understanding between heaven and earth, and may we embrace the incoming genius of a new world to come. May this new world be a good place to live.
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