In unmasking Uranus the numinous power of Fire is released, once more. It is a central motif in a drama that is already unfolding in our time, the duel process of the unbinding of Prometheus and the consequent holding to account of his first profound act of endowing humanity with fire – in following ‘due course’ we too will be and are being held to account. It is also an act that invokes the revelation of the subtle strategies at work in the cosmos, that correspond to the coersive impulse of the archetypal, the realm of the ‘gods’, as well as the hidden agendas of the human realm. It also reveals our understanding of who we are and what we have become. We are ‘in’ the revelation zone. Yet, in Uranus as archetype the impulse is a force which follows, or at least appears to follow, the course of an unfound logic, an elemental power, like lightning, that is unexpected, instantaneous and has equally unanticipated consequences, or at least we might like to excuse ourselves in thinking so. While these qualities are in themselves anathematic to the ‘seemingly’ monumental conservatism that binds the archetypes to their motives and motivating influence there is a growing and predominant feeling in the world that we have reached the zenith of our own culpability, the nadir of our responsibility, as a reflection of our misuse of the archetypal fire. And this itself lays open Uranus workings on and in the archetypal realms. We do well to heed Hermetic wisdom. The revolution in the heavens is upon us.
And so it was with the birth into consciousness of the planet Uranus, the first to be ‘discovered’ (in 1781 by the astronomer Herschel) beyond the orbit of Saturn, and thus the upsetter of the hitherto self contained vision of a planetary cosmos, the ‘solar’ system, circumscribed by Saturn’s orbit. Beyond this was the unknown, or as yet unapprehended, and Uranus advent was an augery, a signal of that doorway into the unconscious being opened, a pathological warning that went largely unheeded, at least until the planet Neptune came into the frame. This oversight is significant in what came after, for, even though the existance of both the planets Neptune (1846) and Pluto (1930) was unknown to us at the time of Uranus naming, the unconscious influence of their archetypes had a deep bearing on how we reacted to possession of the Promethian fire that Uranus discovery delivered into our hands. This factor is also key in unfolding an understanding, from an astrological perspective, of the unconscious element in Uranus presence amongst us. But, at this point, the prologue is incomplete – the drama cannot be entered into without bringing more props and scenery onto the stage.
Uranus opened the way between the inner and the outer planets, and between the solar system and the starry cosmos, the celestial fundament of stellar space. That realm is symbolised in Uranus association with the Greek god Ouranos, representing the heavens. But, this is where the symbological association ends….Ouranus was an arch conservative within the pantheon of Greek creation myths, and Uranus, in astrological practice and experience, is the antithesis of that archetypal characteristic. So, how is it that the archetype persists in name but not in function and effect? It is time to unmask Uranus and in doing so once more ignite the Promethian Fire……as a torch and illuminator of our way ahead, an act of redemption. But will it be Uranus or ourselves who will be redeemed? We shall see…..
….ahh, Prometheus! The stealer of divine power in the form of Fire. Promethian cunning is kin to astrological Uranus, and with it he thwarted the gods, and we all know the consequences he suffered…..how much does this reflect the error of our own ways, their consequences in our times, at least those belonging to the western paradigm. In unmasking Uranus we also unmask those errors, and, in all their destructive elements, the stigma attached to playing with fire, the impact upon our world of a zealous and unbounded desire to wield the power of the gods, in the world. We expose our own naivety, our childish lack of fore-thought and understanding. Uranus, and Prometheus both, invited us to step beyond the Saturnian threshold, and we did so blindly, inflated with the incendiary power of the archetype, and through this, so, in standing trial, we too become unmasked, are held to account and, in the process, expose the innate dangers of assuming archetypal forces to be our own to play with. In light of this notion, it is perhaps no coincidence that Uranus discovery came amidst the rise of the ‘science paradigm’, of scientific materialism and heralded the advent of its adjunct, the industrial revolution. There are many obvious reasons why we should seek to expose ourselves to what lies behind that mask at this time, and, not least of all as Uranus is so prominently figured in the current astrology.
We are in the midst of the Uranus Pluto square, the aspect that almost certainly carries the signature of our times. Uranus in initiatic Aries and Pluto in power-house Capricorn. Seven times the square is formed and, over a period of…..years, presents us with the opportunity to experience first hand the archetypes at work through these two planets and their presence, both as influences upon and mirrors of what lies behind our own subtle, and not so subtle, strategems in the world. No two planets could be more suited to the task of upsetting the paradigmatic applecart than Uranus and Pluto, especially when in the square aspect where their combination is one of provocation and striving for relationship, rather than the harmonious co-operation we might expect of the softer aspects, the trine and sextile. So, the stage is set for the first part of the hearing, and while it may be the gods that are called to account, it is hubris that is the charge and crime – in this it is humanity that is the culpable and, possibly, only prime suspect. But, are we really culpable, or have we been duped to the highest degree? In unmasking Uranus, we will find, we must enter the realms of the arch-trickster, King Jester…..Look Out!
If there is a powerful current of revolutionary energy at work with electrifying impact in the world in our times it is, in one aspect, manifest in the exposure of Rulers, tyrants, power mongers and dictators, hidden and overt. We are seeing mass protest manifest against the usury and manipulation that they have visited and are visiting upon us, and this is building – we instinctively know that this is the case, but, the evidence is becoming rife. The material fabric of western culture is shot through with the symptoms of this usury and the world is being destroyed. Science has become infiltrated to an immense degree by the machinations of the power crazy and the self-serving. And yet, as individuals we are held to be accountable, through our lifestyles, our mindless consumerism and apparent powerlessness in the face of that great god of the scientific materialists, Progress. ‘Apparent’ though – the cracks in the armour of scientific ‘necessity’ and its saturating permeation of our lives are letting in the light of realisation and this too is motivating the uprising. This is the Uranian fire at work and Pluto, also allied in this, is breaking down the barriers, the structures that support and conceal the powers within. This too is reflected in our current scientific revolution, its fierce pace no less a threat to our world than its benefits are an astonishingly mesmerising gift. We can detect the veiled but pervasive work of Neptune’s dark side in that hypnotic influence. Yet, many are calling it an awakening, and rightly so – Uranus is also the awakener – but, many are also becoming increasingly aware of the dangers of Promethius gift to humanity.
In that awakening, in the light of the fire that was handed to us on Uranus discovery, is reflected our ability to change the world, radically. Following the Promethian hand-over, this has taken on monumental proportions. Archetypes inflate when they are taken in, when we attempt to hold them in our grasp. They carry the twin charge of inescapable necessity and compulsive force, Ananke and Bia in the divine cosmology. They grow in our psyche through their active presence and, as a result, we begin to lose sight of ourselves under such powerful numinous influences. Our pathological reaction is instinctive and motivates correspondingly innate and primarily archetypal valencies within ourselves. We act out and in the process unleash the archetypal power through ourselves into the world, or….we act-in, and become narcissistically involved with their in-dwelling and psychic charge. Much that we enact as a result is infused with unconscious qualities – the archetype, where it is confined to the instinctive, remains unintegrated, its function and effect undisclosed, its influence neurotic. This could be a description of the effects of the Uranian explosion that accompanied its discovery, that set scientific innovation on fire. We knew not what we did.
As a brief aside that was both shocking and illuminating to hear, I remember an indigenous elder describing how his grandparents world was ripped assunder by the influx of iron goods and electricity, of how these were both seen to be what they are, the products of a power base, and basis, alien to the indigenous world, and yet, it promised benefits, was also desirable! They wanted the electric light and iron cooking pot, he confessed. More recently a comment was made to me that if the ancestors had had Dremels (electrically powered crafting tools) they too would have used them to craft their talismans and everyday utensils. But, and this is a big ‘but’ and key point at this stage in the trial, they did not have the power to drive the Dremel. Although there is growing evidence to show that the ancients were well conversant with the power of the electric universe, in this court it must be noted that it is western scientific industrialism that sought to harness that power, that is carrying the burden of responsibility. And our reaction was no different to those indigenous great grandparents……but, how much of a choice did we have? Was it the hubris of the common woman and man that was at work in harnessing that power? Were we innocently led, like lambs to the slaughter, into the abattoir of technological progress?
Much power is a dangerous thing….in the wrong hands. Another indigenous elder recounted how, on being shown photographs of sky-scrapers (think about that word), his elders instant reaction was that whoever was responsible for them had a serious problem with ‘power’. Too true….as the elders revealed the indigenous world is not naive in the face of power, especially those powers that are what we in the West call ‘super-natural’. Such powers, if accessible to the individual, are integrated into the indigenous world while remaining hidden, and that hiddeness is the responsibility of the person who has access to them to maintain. There is deep wisdom in this. We have done the opposite in the West. And the Promethian fire is not simply an incendiary, it too is supernatural, originates with the gods.
Yet science will not have it. The ‘supernatural’ is fantasy. This is changing – innovative scientists, such as Rupert Sheldrake for example, are challenging the ‘scienctific paradigm of the establishment’, revealing the fantasies upon which it has built its fortress….and, there are many others hard at work on this deconstruction process while embracing the, in fact, through embracing the ‘paranormal’, supernatural and spiritual weave of the scientific fabric. Our understanding of the world we live in is changing with it. Monsanto has fulfilled Mary Shelly’s prophetic vision of Frankestein’s monster – but, this is where we are beginning to differentiate between those responsible and the rest. Pluto’s alchemy cuts both ways…..and it too has archetypal relentlessness.
But, Pluto’s is the archetype that takes us to the very depths and changes everything from the bottom up – Uranus does the opposite, bringing divine interventions and revolutionary inspiration to bear from the top down. Where they meet is in their revolutionary impact. We are caught in their midst, polarised and struggling to maintain balance – we have no choice. Yet, we have some…..
If there be a preliminary summing up to be had at this stage in the courts proceedings we need to weigh our choices. Our souls may very well be in that balance.
In doing so, lets remind ourselves of that indigenous wisdom, that brings consciousness and resposibility to the ‘possession’ of power, both in being possessed by such and having access to it. If Pluto is the alchemist, Uranus is the magician. If Pluto has the earthly power structures in the crucible, Uranus is throwing light upon the process. They both wield fire. And, we are compelled, in our current circumstances, to use this power wisely. Uranian insights are essential. We are culpable now to the extent that we make use of them, or, more correctly, in how we make use of them, for the former will, if the latter is heeded, become balanced – this much instinct tells us. We have a wise animal knowing within each of us that is not only our ally in this, but, is a primal gift of the ancestors. That knowing connects us to our roots, passing through both Uranus and Pluto’s realms to meet us, and offering us a root of knowledge that has been all but erased from our human world, but persists. That we have such within reach is crucial – this isn’t to say that instinct will save the day – we need far more conscious articulation of our knowledge and wisdom. And we can find it.
In Uranus we also find the higher levels of consciousness, you could say, which to us in a sense, are also the instincts of the divine, of the gods. And it is this that is the missing element, the unapprehended attribute of the sacred fire that we bypassed on our way to the fire-pit and furnace. It is also Pluto’s gift that we are able to put this higher knowing to use now, not only in bringing down Frankenstein’s castle, and this can be a metaphor for all the hiding places of monstrous misuse of power, but, coming to understand the cthonic powers and what they are in relation to us. Pluto is also the dark aspect of the Great Mother, her crone wisdom, an unusually compelling image when we consider the changes that are at work now in the world. In their combination Pluto and Uranus bring the volcanic and the electric together, Magma and Lightning….the scalar union of power in the plasmic universe. On the ground we are standing on the rim of the culdera, the firey precipice. We do not need to get any closer to read the signs.
We must awaken from our reveries and realise that we are in the court of the Jester King. The hearing is underway and if, while daydreaming in the fire, we have missed the vital evidence….well, we will surely subvert the choices we have in the process of a just verdict being reached…..but, for this to happen we must ask ‘how did we get here’,and, who is this Jester King? The answer to both is in unmasking ourselves, for it is we who have been wearing Uranus mask. We have invoked the spirit uninitiated. If we can do so we may well find that the mask changes, that this is our initiation, and that it becomes the shamans mask, that helps us in dancing with the spirits, that is their gift, and that connects us with the power to heal, the powers that heal. What in us unites the lower worlds and the upper is the question……and here the elders, the indigenous people of wisdom and the shamans are our best guides – our very nature is at stake in finding the answer.
Next up in the dock at Owlmirror, in the second part of this ‘Trial in the Court of the Jester King’, will be Neptune…….!
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