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the Mythology of Uranus

From the dawn of time was Varuna, whose name comes to us through the Sanskrit language. As the Creator and Guardian of Cosmic Law he created all things through his "Maya" or Creative Will. Once he creates, he maintains, because he also is Judge and Guardian of "Rta", the Law, the Moral Order, which governs the world. His creation is a continual process. In the sixth to seventh centuries B.C.E., the Persian prophet Zarathustra (Zoroaster) transformed Varuna into Ahura Mazda, the Lord of Light, who also is the Guardian of the Cosmic Law.

In Greece, he became Father Sky, who was the first offspring of Gaia, Mother Earth, when she emerged from Primordial Chaos. He poured down his love for his mother in the form of rain, so she would be nourished. Later, he was called Ouranos and with Gaia he produced offspring of monstrous, gigantic size with 50 heads and 100 hands. They also parented the Cyclops and eventually the Titans and Titanesses who were destined to rule over mankind.

Ouranos, fearful of being displaced, imprisoned the monstrous beings within the Earth. Gaia, outraged at the treatment her offspring were being given by their father, implored her other children to help free them. Finally Saturn (Cronus) agreed to help. He ambushed Ouranos and castrated him with his sickle. Ouranos's sperm fell onto the ground and into the water below. From the sperm that fell to the ground sprang The Furies, the Goddesses of Vengeance. From the sperm that fell onto the water, sprang Venus, the Goddess of Love and Beauty.

Uranus, as the Romans called Ouranos, is the essential Force of Creation. He created foliage and vegetation and he also created concepts like love and vengeance.

Sir William Herschel, peering through a telescope on March 13, 1781 in Bath, England, ended a year of studying what he originally thought was a comet, and declared that he had found a new planet in the Solar System. Originally the planet was named Georgium Sidas, after King George III, then later it was called Herschel, but neither name caught on. Uranus stuck, but the letter "H"in honor of Herschel is still part of the symbol for Uranus.

Uranus is the 7th planet from the Sun and it takes 7 years to travel through each sign. Uranus is 4 times the size of the Earth with a diameter of 32,000 miles. Uranus orbits the Sun at a 90 degree angle away from how the other planets orbit and in reverse direction from all the other planets, which lends to its differentness from the other planets and enhances its confusing and eccentric nature. Its orbit is nearly a perfect circle around the Sun and takes 84 years and 7 days to complete one orbit. A day on Uranus is 10 hours and 49 minutes long which means there are 68,000 days in a Uranian year. Uranus tilts on its axis at a 98 degree angle, laying almost on its side, which means the Sun rises on its pole, leaving the opposite pole in absolute darkness which lasts for about 21 Earth days. In 1986, Voyager 2 sent back evidence of 9 dark rings around Uranus and a cork screw magnetic field that stretches for millions of miles.

Uranus was discovered during the years between the American and French revolutions, and consequently, is connected to the qualities of freedom, independence and rebellion. Uranus has been associated with the pioneer spirit and consciousness which often manifests in sacrifice of a personal or earthly life as exampled by Freud, Jung, Gandhi, and Schweitzer to name a few. These people tend to contribute greatly to humanity at the cost of personal life. Uranus is the Divine Rebel, the Creative Power of human will. Uranus's discovery also coincided with the birth of the Industrial Revolution. It is therefore the planet associated with modern science, electricity, humanitarianism, revolution and invention. It is also the planet of sudden, unexplained change.

Uranian creativity is different from what is recognized as Sky Father's type of creativity, but more in line with the the type of creativity associated with Prometheus, which is very important to our society. Prometheus, the Titan, is a son of Eurymedon, the Titan associated with Jupiter. His name means "foresight" and his twin brother is Epimetheus, "hindsight". Prometheus befriended mankind and always defended them. Some myths actually credit Prometheus with creating man from clay and breathing his spirit into them, giving them life. Along with Hephaestus, Prometheus helped to bring forth the goddess Pallas Athene from Zeus's forehead. It was Pallas Athene who taught Prometheus the arts and sciences which he in turn passed on to mankind.

It was his love for mankind which caused Prometheus to rebel. The gods were used to taking the best of the sacrificial bull for themselves, but Prometheus tricked Zeus into choosing what amounted to fat and bones, leaving the good meat for mankind. In anger, Zeus decreed that mankind would eat meat raw, purposely withholding fire. With Athene's help, Prometheus climbed to the top of Olympus and using a fennel stalk he caught a spark from the the divine sparks given off from Helio's chariot as it passed across the sky. He then gave it to mankind and they became "enlightened". Zeus punished Prometheus by putting him on a mountaintop in the Caucasus where he was bound in chains and sentenced to live out eternity by having an eagle tear out his liver, then the liver rejuvenated daily. But Prometheus did not suffer forever. Chiron, the centaur king, sacrificed himself so that Prometheus could be released. On a side note, the Viking god Loki suffered the same fate by rebelling against the gods.

Regardless of the chart you use for the United States, Uranus either rises, sets or culminates.America is most identified with the Uranian archetype, characterized by freedom, independence, superiority, pride, the breaking of social, economic and racial barriers and technology.

Uranus is the most confusing of the planetary archetypes. It has rulership over Aquarius, the sign associated with the "waters of life". The creative "waters" tend to be electricity or cosmic energy, but the basic essential meaning of creative will has not changed. Uranian creativity manifests as turbulence in the psyches of individuals, which then expresses itself as rebellion against the past, which is one reason why astrologers refer to Uranus as the Divine Rebel. The Promethean Spirit is one of inventiveness which now has evolved into technology. In the birth chart, Uranus is associated with an individual's social rebelliousness. Uranus may also be expressed on an internal level. On the rebellious level it manifests as the "wild man" or "wild woman" spirit that lives according to one's own rules. It is the planet of change and originality, symbolizing the element of surprise. It is important for you to know which sign Uranus is in, because this is where your own originality and self expression can best be utilized. Uranus represents the deep energy within the personality that is revealed over the lifetime. An example would be a person who may be handicapped in some physical way (afflicted Mars) but have a strong or powerful presence.

The Uranian archetype, possessing the Promethean inventiveness also carries with it a tyrannical side of Ouranos, which should keep us consciously aware of our need to serve humanity through our inventions. If we lose sight of that, they become tyrannical or restrictive forces. It is important to remember that Prometheus paid a great price for enlightening mankind. He was rewarded with isolation, shackles and pain. He is the embodiment of the proverb: No good deed goes unpunished.

The loneliness the Uranean archetype experiences is similar to that of the Saturnian archetype. Saturn (Cronus) experienced similar isolation when he was deposed by his son Jupiter (Zeus) and imprisoned in Tartarus. It is these feelings of banishment and Promethean exhilaration which the Uranian archetype experiences. A prominent Uranus inclines one to be independent and resourceful, unusual, possibly a visionary or psychic. It can also make one difficult to get along with, rebellious, reckless and undisciplined. Uranus also has a generational influence, along with Neptune and Pluto.

There are four Uranian stages in life:

1. Teens/early 20's......we embody the "Bohemian" or wild man/woman qualities

2. 40...............................Mid-life Crisis

3. 63...............................New discoveries are made in life

4. 84...............................When we enter "Tartarus"

Sources:

The Only Astrology Book You Will Ever Need: Joanna Martine Woolfolk

Mythology: Edith Hamilton

Mythic Astrology: Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope: Airel Guttman and Kenneth Johnson


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