Transiting Uranus Through the Twelve Houses
by Steven Forrest
reprinted with permission from The Mountain Astrologer, February 2003
Uranus Transiting the First House
Get ready for a tremendous burst of individuation. Who we really are is in conflict with our biographical reality. The psyche demands resolution of this schism, and the resolution is typically quite dramatic. It involves conflict with figures of authority, major restructuring of relationships, and a lot of existential chaos. There is resentment regarding other people’s expectations and a desire to avoid being defined by them. Goodbye to custom, duty, or standard definitions of “propriety.” The scary crux of it is that if we choose to be true to ourselves, we paint ourselves into a corner.
The universe is asking us exactly what price we’ll pay for honesty, integrity and freedom. How much is authenticity really worth to us? Financial or social security? Our friends—or our mate? Do we still value integrity enough to claim it? If we choose a weaker path, we go forward spiritually compromised—tired, like zombies going through the motions of life. But if we choose the courageous higher ground, then magic happens: against all the odds, the universe opens up long-shot possibilities that no sane person would have ever predicted. Spirit opens these outer doors for us—but only if we have first been brave enough to pass through the inner doors of honesty and authenticity.
Uranus in the 12 Signs
Since 1927, Uranus has swept through the ecliptic seeding the human population with geniuses, rebels, paradigm-shifters, and merry trouble-makers, who have kept the cultural pot stirred. Let’s celebrate them all, from the elders down to the newborns, as we explore Uranus through all 12 signs of the zodiac.
Uranus Transiting the Second House
Money is popular stuff and it’s not hard to understand why. At the most primal level, it buys us food and shelter, comfort, toys, interesting experiences, and social standing. With money in the bank, we feel we can handle a lot of what life throws at us. Without it, our natural fear of life’s uncertainties is exaggerated. It’s no wonder people are willing to pay such an exorbitant price for money!
When Uranus transits the Second House, the time has come for us to consider how much power over our lives we have given those reassurances. Are we paying too high a price in terms of our honesty, authenticity, and integrity just to feel a little safer? Typically, the universe jogs us now by creating financial instability. Our “monetary system” is shaken up. Very simply, our attention is called to the question of money. This instability may come in the form of unexpected expenses—the roof springs a leak, the car dies, we lose a job. Or, equally, it may come as a windfall—we win a contest, receive an inheritance, get a raise or a better-paying job. In every case, we are invited to reconsider our relationship with physical, practical security.
Uranus Transiting the Third House
Like one of those “figure-and-ground” optical illusions where two faces turn into a vase then back into two faces again, reality itself is shifting before our eyes. As Uranus transits the Third House, the very essence of our perceptions is changing. We’ve all been taught to view the world in certain ways, with certain assumptions and prejudices. Now, for the first time in our lives, we are beginning to look at it all for ourselves—and it’s a very different world then the one we’ve been trained to see.
A kind of genius is arising in us now—which is to say, a radical individuality in the way we are looking at things. This genius surprises us, and we feel threatened by it—if we trust our senses now, they’ll get us into a lot of trouble! What we are invited to perceive isn’t an acceptable part of “official reality.” Often we “lead with our mouths,” blurting out shocking statements. So-called “Freudian slips” abound, as if our words are ahead of our minds. We are saying things we “didn’t know we knew”—or wouldn’t dare to think! It’s a great time for writing and journaling—that way we can at least “preview” the ideas that will be pouring out of our mouths!
Uranus Transiting the Fourth House
We are all partly defined by our “roots.” Maybe we’re white or black or Hispanic. Maybe we come from a family of upwardly-mobile lawyers—or a family of downwardly mobile alcoholics! In any case, those mythic familial realities cast long shadows over our identities. In many ways, that “clan energy” enriches our individualities. But it can also exist in tension with our true identities. When Uranus transits the Fourth House, resolving that tension is the key. We need to leave home. That process may be literal—we may find ourselves needing to move away from our families or communities of origin.
Even if the move is not so physical, there is still a need to sort out our true selves from the introjected mythologies of our parents and our cultures. Nowadays, many of us live far from our “roots.” We’ve established new “families” and communities. And even those can be stultifying! As Uranus transits the Fourth House, a “New Age person living in Sedona, Arizona” may really need to “get a grip” and move to New York City—or a stock market wizard in New York might need to get away from that “family” and move to Sedona! In any case, the realignment of our inward essence with our outward life depends upon changing our relationship with our communal and familial roots. In some sense, it’s time to move.
Uranus Transiting the Fifth House
Pleasure is essential to our sanity and well-being. People who never experience “release” tend toward anger and depression. They are prone to illness. Many times they are controlling and hurtful toward others. Yet every culture places many strictures on pleasure: taboos about sex, taboos about drinking and sex, taboos about blowing off our responsibilities in favor of having a good time. Those taboos are at least partly necessary, for obvious reasons. But with Uranus transiting through the Fifth House, we’re feeling rebellious against them. Something deep down inside us really needs to let it rip. We’re tired of constraints. We don’t want to obey the rules anymore.
This is a delicate transit, because we can get ourselves into a lot of difficulty with it—we can, for example, truly misbehave, hurting ourselves by hurting others, or maybe hurting our own bodies through incautious revelry. Yet, underlying everything is one basic fact: we’ve allowed our basic need for Dionysian release to become dangerously starved. The reason is that we’ve internalized “moral” rules that have no true spiritual relevance to us. One key is to recognize that it is not only our “inner monkeys” that need to have fun—so does our inner genius. And that usually means that we need some creative outlets now, as well as more “biological” pleasure.
Uranus Transiting the Sixth House
Obligations and responsibilities are part of adult life. Unless we are living in absolute isolation or are childishly self-centered, we must honor our “contracts” with others. Furthermore, we have duties toward ourselves: we must take care of our bodies, make a living—and occasionally clean the “science projects” out of the backs of our refrigerators before we die of botulism! By their natures, these responsibilities are routine—and routines tend toward becoming deadeningly robotic.
When Uranus transits the Sixth House, the time has come to reframe those routines. We’re feeling resentful of them, with good reason. Deep in our psyches, a new vision of how to handle them is arising. Our responsibilities are changing. Our bodies are changing too, requiring different forms of maintenance: new forms of exercise, different foods. All our existing contracts have simply expired and need re-negotiation. Probably, some rather zany mentors show up, embodying the new paths we need to take. Follow in their footsteps, however peculiar, and we’ll renew ourselves.
Uranus Transiting the Seventh House
Love and freedom may not be true opposites, but they’re not exactly natural bedmates either. If we love, we make compromises. In a spirit of gentleness and generosity toward those we love, we relinquish certain aspects of our natures. We forgive and we forebear. On top of that, intimacy itself breeds familiarity—and familiarity breeds blindness, numbness, and scripted behavior.
When Uranus shakes up the Seventh House, all those issues press—and not only in our sexual relationships; they press in our friendships and professional associations as well. In the name of love, we’ve sacrificed too much of the actual present reality of who we are. That’s the main reason we don’t feel “seen” That’s why we are behaving in rebellious and difficult ways, feeling ready to throw the baby out with the bath water. We must recognize that, while we may be looking at partnerships that have run their courses and are no longer viable, there’s a good chance that all we need to do is to “punch Reset”—put our cards on the table, demanding that our “deal” be re-designed to reflect the person we have actually become. Typically, that involves more “space” for each of us, less homogeneity in the partnership, and a lot more room for honest differences.
Uranus Transiting the Eighth House
Our egos’ pointy little ears may stand jauntily above the waves, but the rest of the Self’s iceberg lies low, down in the deep waters of the unconscious mind. When Uranus transits through the Eighth House, those psychic depths are ready to emerge. In fact, there is no stopping them. Suddenly, our greatest fears, our frustrated desires, our unowned hungers—all the unintegrated dimensions of our psyches—begin to press upward. The wild woman and the wild man inside us all gather force. They come crashing out of the primordial wilderness and bash against the garden walls of Ego City. We’re “officially” very happy—but our secret grief leaps out. Maybe there’s a joy we crave—but which our civilized ego has forbidden. That joy starts making choices for us, grabbing the steering wheel. Right on schedule, people who represent or facilitate these drives appear.
We are invited to do some deep Shadow work, to integrate parts of ourselves which have been shamed by our societies or families, making our own moral judgements—and living, for the honest good or the destructive ill of it, with the consequences. For most of us, this transit represents a “coming of age”—even if we are ninety!
Uranus Transiting the Ninth House
Every culture tries to explain life to itself. Long ago, those explanations were always religious. Each society was defined by its theology. (In our present multicultural age, we must stretch the word “religion” to include all the ways people make sense of their lives, including Materialism, Cynicism and Science.) Nowadays, we’re all part of some culture or sub-culture, which means we’ve all been trained to look at life in certain ways. With Uranus transiting through the Ninth House, it’s time to question those assumptions. We’ve reached a point in the unfolding of our souls where, in order to go forward, we must “leave the land of our birth.” That may mean physically moving to a different part of the country, or perhaps it indicates a pivotal, life-changing experience in a foreign culture. The “journey” may not be so literal—it can be triggered by mind-stretching educational experiences or encounters with alien philosophies. In any case, the core issue is not Frequent Flyer miles. It’s a change in the core belief-systems that underlie our sense of reality. Our thought-prison has grown too narrow for our souls.
Uranus Transiting the Tenth House
“Surprising changes in the career” is the standard interpretation of this transit. The prediction often scores a bull’s eye. But the Tenth House isn’t just about how we earn a living. Broader by far, it’s the “hat we wear” in the world. The work we do is part of it—but so is the rest of our lifestyle: our marital status, whether we have kids, even the message our clothing sends to the world. It’s really about everything that defines us in the eyes of people who don’t know us very well. Those “superficial issues” actually delineate a lot of how spend our years—and with earthquake-prone Uranus transiting through this sector of the chart, we can expect a major change of scenery in our public lives.
There’s an evolutionary purpose for that prediction: a gap has widened between our lifestyle and who we really are. Our worldly role is fitting us like a pair of shoes—one size too small. We’re cramped by those expectations, behaviors, and human associations. Simultaneously, both our souls and the circumstances of our outward lives are sending us the same message: Embrace the Unknown. Dare to change. Be willing to blow it up and start all over again. And don’t worry about what anyone else thinks about those decisions. It’s your life, not theirs!
Uranus Transiting the Eleventh House
Sometimes on the journey of a thousand miles, we think we’re heading north. Then we get to a mountaintop, take in the view. Suddenly, northwest seems like a better decision. That’s what it feels like when Uranus transits our Eleventh House. Our priorities in life have evolved. What we thought we wanted, even if we haven’t yet fully attained it, is losing its appeal.
All along, we believed that “getting there” was the point. But it was really more the journey than the arrival that mattered. Our challenge lies in recognizing and admitting that Soul-Truth. Sometimes our stubborn egos find that acceptance very difficult. Perhaps we’re dropping out of medical school halfway to becoming a doctor. Maybe we leave the farm it took us ten years to buy. Maybe we forsake the corporation to become an astrologer. In any case, we’re surely surrounded by people who think we’ve lost it! They’re criticizing us, as if they knew us. But they don’t know us: all they really know is a version of ourselves we’ve sold them—one we don’t believe ourselves anymore! The sea of faces around us needs to change, as do the priorities by which we are living.
Uranus Transiting the Twelfth House
From the cradle to the grave, we’re under pressure to conform, to think like our neighbors think, to believe the reality we see on television. It’s relentless, and many of us are swept into the collective herd. We live the weirdly dissociated lives of people whose souls don’t have much say in the shape of their everyday experience. Against that, we have our precious, hard-won honesty and integrity: our right to be who we truly are. Inevitably, we grow attached to the results of that victory. Who among us isn’t a little proud of our uniqueness? Who isn’t proud of what distinguishes us from the common herd?
Well, when Uranus transits into the Twelfth House, we are invited to face the evolutionary limitations created by that attachment to our individuality. Our quirks are getting in the way of our soul-growth! We’ve grown too enamored of our eccentricities. We’ve paid too much for our freedom. Messages begin to arise from inside us, helping us let go: we start to “get the joke” about who we are. And if we need it, maybe our outward lives offer us a little prompting too—circumstances that support our independence, our “specialness,” and our sense of sovereignty begin to fall away. We’ve won, so now it’s time to surrender.
©2006. Steven Forrest. Seven Paws Press.