Next -- Part 3 -- Neptunian: The Best of All Possible Worlds (and The Magic of Dis-Illusionment)
We’ll be taking a short break from the OPP articles for some other posts, including our Moonwalk: Scorpio. The OPP series will be back in mid-November.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People Part 2 of 5
Uranians Spread Stolen Fire with Their Fingers
© 1992 – 2010 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved
The reality is that “the Gods” no longer control the sacred fire—we control it, now, as shown by Prometheus. It is simply power, and what we do with it will determine our fate. 
—Barbara Hand Clow
Astrology is Prometheus’ fire.  We carry the torch now. So now what?
In Part 1, we explored the unique role of evolutionary pioneers—people who have the outer planets prominent. (That means one or more—and especially all of the outer planets—in close aspect to personal planets and/or placed near the angles.)  We started with Chiron, the “bridge” between the inner and outer planets; now we’ll stop to explore Uranus. Of all the outer-to-inner planetary contacts that make a person astrologically unusual, those to Uranus often keep an individual the most committed to the process of inner growth and spreading their enlightenment outward to the world. (If the end result were not freedom and heaven on earth—two of the choicest gifts of Uranus—why bother?)
Uranian: The Paradox of Group Needs and Individual Freedom
What on earth it does it mean to carry a torch for the collective? For starters, just what that expression implies—to be in love people in general—to look to group needs, and paradoxically, individual freedom.
It’s not really such a convoluted concept. Uranus rules Aquarius, by modern rulership—but Saturn is its traditional ruler. Before Chiron was on hand to bridge the gap between the two planets, positioned between them, there was already a dual flame heating up the Promethean torch. (Prometheus was bound to be free.) Puns aside, there is no freedom (Uranus) without restriction (Saturn), or what is there to be free from? These two energies are forever intertwined. They do an endless dance, like light and dark. Each is meaningless without the other.
Freedom within society—or any quality, for that matter—exists only to the degree that it exists “for the least of our brethren.” Police, ruled by Saturn, must uphold the law, the foundation for all freedom. When basic rights and equal treatment are legislated, then society is free, at least in theory, if not always in practice. This is a simple demonstration of the relationship between microcosm and macrocosm and the fact that we live in ecosystems, where the actions or restrictions of one individual affect everyone else.
The Age of Aquarius and Chiron‘s Perihelion: The Uranian’s Time Has Come
The Age of Pisces is giving way to the Age of Aquarius. The controversy is still raging about just when this earth-shaking change will take place, if it hasn’t already. Because astrology is ruled by Uranus, we need to know, love, and use Uranian energy with great reverence, for as Barbara Clow states so well, it is power; and how we handle it will determine our future. As astrologers, we are in a position to access that power on behalf of others. We must do it with the highest code of ethics or reap the karmic consequences.
This was no accident: As Uranus finally moved forward into its home sign of Aquarius after a six month retrograde on January 12, 1996, the Internet was catching fire at breakneck speed, doubling annually, showing signs of growing faster than the system could handle.  Now a couple of Saturn cycles later, can any outerplanetary person or “proper” PUNC  imagine how they lived without it?
What could be more Uranian than an electronic forum where people can network with the whole world without a formal hierarchy? This is the Promethean fire at our fingertips. The Information Revolution promises to have more impact than the last major paradigm shift, the Industrial Revolution. In today’s world, information is power, and the power is in our fingers. The Uranian’s time has come, and s/he touches the power to change the world every time s/he strokes the keyboard.
Here’s where Chiron comes in. As the go-between Saturn and the outer planets, Uranus being the first, the one it figuratively “touches” on one side of the bridge, there is a close relationship between Chiron and Uranus. Before Chiron, the extremes of Saturn/Uranus were without an archetype to blend or mitigate them. Since Chiron, we have a hot pad to handle the Uranian fire—to absorb its intensity, so it’s not too hot to handle. It is also no accident that less than a month after Uranus went forward into Aquarius came Chiron’s perihelion on Valentine’s Day 1996. The events were not only momentous in the cycle of each planet, but their proximity tells us of an important relationship between these energies at this turning point in history.
While we have long held Uranus as the ruler of astrology, I believe Chiron rules the astrologer, just as it does the Tarot reader.  The astrologer is the Chironic bridge, the go-between the Uranian wisdom, insight, and brilliance and the Saturn (Earth)-bound being in the counseling room. Chiron is the lead planet, the synthesizer, of the intense energies lived daily by all outerplanetary people. In one way or another, these extraordinary people channel change.
The close proximity of the Uranus ingress into Aquarius and Chiron’s perihelion has incredible implications on how we do astrology from now on. Chiron rules channeling and those who channel information through their physical vehicle, particularly through their hands. The root of Cheiron (ancient spelling), cheir, means hand. Astrologers have always “worked with their hands.”
Before computers, we drew charts by hand and interacted with them in a very tactile way before meeting the client behind the chart. We still do, but now, the primary tool is very Uranian—our computers. (I do charts with a program called Solar Fire. If the Uranian information is the fire and the power, think of the metaphor for personal empowerment at the heart of this well-named software!  I believe rather than requiring hand-drawn charts in their testing procedures (at least the skill comes in handy during power outages!), schools and organizations that certify astrologers should assess computer literacy. To refuse to recognize the composite strength of our hands (Chiron) and electronics (Uranus) is to remain in the Astrological Dark Ages. It’s to relinquish our power and potential—worse yet; it’s to refuse being a conduit to the cosmic energy and information flow. Fortunately, the role of electronics in astrology has been more fully embraced now, compared to when I wrote the original version of this article. Still, there’s still room for growth. I’d vote for increased educational opportunities for the everyday astrologer to make the best choices and use of the astrology software that fits his or her needs for touching and transmitting the Uranian fire.
Mythical Keys: The Chiron/Uranus Relationship (Prometheus Unbound)
Prometheus is the mythical representative of Uranus or the collective. Chiron caused the dramatic resolution of the story—Prometheus Unbound. It was Chiron who traded places with Prometheus, who was chained to a rock for stealing fire from the gods. Chiron put poor Prometheus out of his misery, whose liver was pecked out nightly by an eagle and grew back daily for an indeterminate sentence of suffering. As a reward for his act, Chiron was released from his immortality, died, and was raised to the heavens in a constellation.  This was a win-win solution. Chiron and Prometheus were both miserable, and Chiron’s trade released them both from pain and suffering.
Chiron, then, is the key—the shape of its glyph, actually a skeleton key, the kind of key that opens all doors. Prometheus Unbound—the best of Uranus—is personal freedom, collective progress, and win-win solutions. This is what’s “behind Door #1,” the amazing door we have opened in these Years before and after the Millennial Shift.
If Chiron represents the astrologer, how do we figuratively “trade places with Prometheus” and get to Heaven? (You are an astrologer whenever you use the fire, either personally or professionally.) The secret is in the Potholder Principle—tempering the Uranian fire with Chiron’s mentoring skills. Chiron was a composite being and he suggests compound solutions. The following discussion of the extremes of Uranian expression pivots on tempering Uranus with Chiron and focuses on Uranus in today’s world where information is power.
Negative Uranus—Cold Science, Head Without Heart
Some astrologers say Uranus is the “higher octave of Mercury.” Yet, there is a low-down way of conveying Uranian information. The delivery is Fire with Ice. The style is bolts of so-called wisdom given without the context of the person’s life experience—or delivered without personal warmth and openness to the full range of possibility.
There are thousands, maybe millions of ways any astrological metaphor can play out in a person’s life. Although the meanings are related, there is no way short of becoming God to know which one belongs to a given individual at a specific time. If we did—if life were 100% predictable— we’d not only be stealing people’s fire, but taking away the magic in their lives. Astrology is both a science and an art, and when we err on the side of science, we steal their fire and people’s most precious gift—freedom to choose—what we Uranians are supposed to be all about. Oddly, this is one of those areas where the other extreme— Saturn—can slip in. It’s authoritarian astrology.
Astrologers are linguists who translate celestial metaphors. Not only can sky poems lose in the translation; they are also highly archetypal with multilayered meanings like dreams. We must check ourselves constantly for the Sin of Pronouncement—presuming to have the ultimate interpretation of the image. The exaggerated scenario: A cloud hangs over the client, darkening, and with a bolt of Uranian lightning, the astrologer declares, “Saturn is in your 1st house. You might start to feel your age or lack self-confidence.” These are possibilities, but some others are a time when the client restructures an ailing self-image; a period she lays new foundations for the way she interfaces with the world; or becomes her own authority for the first time in her life.
I don’t believe we should give overly Neptunian, upbeat and glossy readings with no regard for the possible hurdles in any given transit or natal configuration. But it is unconscionable to wield such power without showing the client at least some representative examples of the universe of possibilities. Talking in ranges of meanings helps, then asking, “Which of these seems to be happening—or has happened most for you?” Put the client in the driver’s seat. (Whose life is it, anyway?) Let him or her tell you his or her experience with this Pluto Square or that Venus conjunction. You are together to dialogue about action and archetypes in the Play of Life. You are not a critic. (Critics talk about how they interpret a play—what they get out of it. What’s more important here is what the client gets out of it or could get out of it with a broader perspective the astrologer can hopefully offer.)
Granted, this approach makes you less of a guru and more of a guide. Back to Outerplanetary (Extraordinary) People, Part 1: You are Chiron mentoring this hero and freeing the Uranian fire to be expressed in its full potential. The penalty for ignoring this most basic tenet of conscious practice for keepers of the Uranian fire is the self-fulfilling prophecy. You put the idea in your client’s mind that he or she is doomed in some way, and s/he lives to tell you about it. This is scary stuff—mind rape at its worst. The power we yield is the life force itself, and we must treat it with extreme respect. Prepare people to deal with challenges, but better to err on the side of the potential positive outcomes than the other way around. Then your worse self-fulfilling prophecy will be a happy ending. The first rule of mentoring people toward all they can be is to cheer them on toward making a home run or a touchdown—or finishing the race first, choose your favorite sports metaphor.
The hardest part of avoiding negative Uranus is constant self-vigilance. After all, channeling lightning bolts of information from the sky, we sound omniscient—sometimes even to ourselves. For many people, all this goes without saying, but knowing the ideal and living it are often two different things. When you see eight out of ten Saturn transits to the 1st House expressing in a variety of difficult ways, it is easy to emphasize the trend and not the tremendous variables, including the positive possibilities. (Besides, it’s shorter and easier, and you only have an hour or so.)
If we are truly to mentor clients to fulfill themselves, they need a lot more than the negative implications of an astrological energy. They need to know the most positive expression they are aiming for. This also goes for ourselves as when we’re acting as astrologers to ourselves.
Positive Uranus—Humanistic Astrology
The positive expression of Uranus is the flip side of the previous discussion, where an individual’s freedom and potential are at the heart of applying astrological information. It is astrology reached via Chiron, the bridge between Saturn and Uranus. Chiron was discovered at a time when we were ready to shift to a more humanistic astrology, championed by Dane Rudhyar and others.
Chiron’s naming for the mythical, wise centaur suggests a composite approach where the parts of the centaur merge: head (the human half) and instincts (the horse half). The practical application of this merger is an intuitive astrology. We sense how astrological metaphors work for people and share data from both heart and head, admitting we don’t always get our signals right, even if openness and humility combine to make us on target more often than not. We rely on the client’s experience as the ultimate authority. This is astrology from a fallible mentor, one who is not yet completely healed him- or herself, like Chiron.
It is the astrologer’s humanity combined with wisdom (having been there) that makes him or her so believable and helpful. If one expression of Uranus involves erratic blasts of enlightenment, we also need Chiron’s earthiness to ground the charge. As already hinted, this astrology is, above all, practical. It uses the Uranian talent for networking to refer people to all sorts of resources—acupuncturists, psychologists, past life regressionists—and so on. The astrologer who expresses Uranus positively isn’t into competition, but rather lives by cooperation. S/he knows there’s more than enough work to go around, and s/he knows that each actualized individual increases the quality of his or her community. S/he supports other astrologers and practitioners of the helping arts and is willing to contribute to the collective by writing, speaking, referring, and generally making a good impression for astrology in the world.
Uranians, the Internet, and Astrology’s New Image
The Internet is distributed by nature . . . no single entity is in control, and its pieces run themselves, cooperating to form the network of networks that is the Internet. 
The Internet is the most Uranian thing on Earth. All you need is a computer and an e-mail address, and you can write directly to anyone, anywhere in the world, from the powers-that-be to unknown new friends who share a common interest who find you on a bulletin board or social networking site. The Internet has expanded my world beyond description. It would be easier to say where The Radical Virgo blog does not have readers (Greenland, China and much of Africa, but just about everywhere else!). I have cyber friends all over the globe and often wake up with a message from Australia, where it’s already tomorrow. How leading edge is that?
Astrology magazines and organizations have joined the Information Revolution communicating with their readers and members online in the form of web sites, blogs, and e-mail marketing. There are hundreds of astrology bloggers, and we “talk amongst ourselves” constantly on Facebook and Twitter. The day I was updating this article, I was invited to an astrology bloggers group on Facebook.
This is our opportunity to spread the freedom fire all over the world and personal empowerment we have gained through astrology. There is no time like the present for putting our best foot (fingers?) forward and hot-wiring our knowledge and integrity to the global communications highway. How we do astrology is no longer strictly private. Word has never gotten around faster!
Our time has come, and the tool is here to make astrology so accessible, in a few years, the Astrological Report could be on CNN with planetary positions cited just like atmospheric conditions in the Weather Report. (Can you envision it on the scrolling text at the bottom of the screen? Glyphs and positions?) As much as we complain about Sun sign columns not being “real astrology,” thanks to them, nearly everyone on Earth knows his or her Sun sign and some basic key words about it. Imagine something a million times more powerful than the old newspaper horoscope column, accessible by the touch of a finger all over the world and growing rapidly. My latest vision is a cable network that runs astrology classes, talk shows, astro-drama and astro-comedy 24/7. If you’re a Jeff Dunham fan, imagine a ventriloquist with 12 puppets representing the signs and their interactions. The Sesame Street puppets did so much to teach kids; why not use them to teach astrology to the inner kid in newcomers to the subject?
In this series, I emphasize that outerplanetary types have been groomed to lead global change. It is up to each one of us to join the Revolution, tempered by Chiron to be Rapid Evolution (slightly less scary). We need to jump in whatever way we can, and to make sure that someday soon, astrology magazines, websites and TV shows will be read and understood by the general public. Imagine this material as faithfully watched and read as your neighbor checks his horoscope in the paper.
And by the way, we’d better hurry up. Newspapers are going the way of the dinosaur, as are paper books. Amazon sold more e-books than hardbacks for the first time this year! It’s predicted that e-books will outsell paperbacks, too, by year’s end. Start putting those program proposals together for TZN, The Zodiac Network.
It’s closer than you think.
Photo Credit: Candle in Hand © Oriontrail Dreamstime
 Barbara Hand Clow, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge Between the Inner and Outer Planets, Llewellyn (1989), p. 218.
 Richard T. Tarnas, “Uranus and Prometheus,” Spring 1984, p. 84. This groundbreaking essay has appeared in a number of places, most recently in the book, Prometheus the Awakener (Spring Publications: 1995, 2008). In it Rick Tarnas clearly establishes the link between Uranus and the myth of Prometheus, rather than Ouranos for which the planet was named. This is unusual, as the other planets we know so far have mirrored the characteristics of their mythological namesakes. Just like Uranus to rebel!
 I would also consider outerplanetary anyone with four or more planets in the signs the outer planets rule: Aquarius, Pisces, and Scorpio. If you resonate to my theory that Chiron is associated with the transitional signs from Self to Others (Virgo through Sagittarius), that would also include an emphasis of the signs Virgo, Libra, and Sag. (See Wholeness and the Inner Marriage.) That’s the entire second half of the zodiac! Why? Because outerplanetary people are more focused how they relate to others and society. The first five signs primarily focus on self-development. Virgo is the transitional sign of self-to-other with its focus on service.
 Robert Orenstein, “Internet Statistic Generator at Anamorph,” Internet © 1995.
 If you’re just joining this series in progress, PUNC stands for Plutonian, Uranian, Neptunian and Chironic.
 Clow, p. 10.
 Solar Fire is produced by Esoteric Technologies and sold by most astrological software vendors.
 There are two versions of this part of the myth: one places Chiron in the constellation Centaurus, the other in Sagittarius. I believe the variance on these points allows different people to identify with the story. The Centaurus version is for people with strong Virgo resonance, the other for people who relate more to Sagittarius.
 See Note #4.