Uranus is Afoot

“ A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its [mask] on.” 

– Jonathan Swift/ Mark Twain/ Winston Churchill/ Yours Truly   

My grandmother, to cajole me to drink my milk as a young boy, used to say that all the strength is in the last drop. A perverse analogy comes to mind with respect to the events on January 6, 2021: It is striking that the violent insurrection at our Capitol coincided with the day that Mars, god of war and aggressive action, culminated its turbocharged transit through Aries, the quick-tempered sign it rules. As astrologer Ray Merriman reminds us, planetary cycles represent correlations, not causations, with cycles of human activity. Astrological forecasting is a fallible art, not only because humans do the forecasting, but because the human actors creating the drama on this cosmic stage always have the ability to make a range of choices –– to manifest free will –– at any point along the way. Tragically, astrology’s forecast resonated all too well with the actions carried out on this day of infamy.

The dominant transit for 2021 is a waning square between Saturn in Aquarius and Uranus in Taurus. Uranus is most definitely afoot. This challenging alignment makes three exact passages in 2021: February 17, June 14 and December 24. But don’t be fooled. We’ll feel its seismic strength throughout the year, particularly in the weeks leading up to and away from these dates. The one thing that you can count on is that things won’t go as expected.

In 2020, amidst all the political and Covidical stress, we had a window into the Saturn square Uranus dynamic. That happened when Saturn entered the sign of Aquarius between March 21 and June 30. During that time, we experienced the first wave of the pandemic, the associated economic contraction and the social unrest following the slaying of George Floyd. To be sure, Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter and Mars all conspired then to set the stage for a great deal of the pain. But the cycle of protests, degenerating into violence, foreshadowed the rebellion which emerged early this year in Washington, as well as the mass arrests in Moscow by Russian police against pro-Navalny demonstrators. This dynamic is very much a part of the shadow side when Saturn (law and order) and Uranus (rebellion) square off.

Brutality doesn’t have to be the only way that these two planetary neighbors interact. Yes, it’s a classic confrontation, but let’s step outside the shadow for a moment and frame it in a more sporting light. Think of Tom Brady as Saturn, symbolizing age, wisdom, and experience. Think of Patrick Mahomes as Uranus, symbolizing youthful risk-taking and thinking outside the pocket. In a nutshell, that’s the sunnier side of the Saturn square Uranus dynamic: past versus future, tradition versus nonconformity, taskmaster versus awakener.

How else might this drama play out, once Sunday’s Super Bowl is in the rear view mirror? A big theme, not only in this country but worldwide, has already been set in motion: Government versus Technology. Saturn represents the government’s desire and duty to regulate and restrict behavior, in order to promote safety and security for society. Uranus represents technology’s urge to create freedom of expression for the collective, to innovate and to break with tradition. The contrast here is that tension between control and autonomy, between responsibility and independence.

Another arena in which this conflict will manifest is that of Vaccine v. Virus. The sign of Aquarius correlates strongly with scientific invention. The breakthrough vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are remarkably effective tools to prevent COVID-19. But this virus, symbolizing the Uranian traits of sudden change and chaos, is a clever beast. It mutates to confound the now established vaccines, symbolizing Saturn. And so the deadly cat and mouse game evolves, with vaccine chasing virus chasing vaccine. [Note: in vitro research from Moderna at the time of this writing suggests that its vaccine retains potency against the UK variant, and its strength against the South African and Brazilian variants, though diminished, is still effective, particularly against severe disease.]

This is not a financial astrology column. But it’s far too tempting for your friendly neighborhood astromancer not to comment on the recent Wall Street chaos known as the “Reddit Revolution.” It’s a perfect illustration of the Saturn square Uranus mechanics. We’re talking about a trading war between established Wall Street hedge funds (Saturn), and upstart populist retail traders (Uranus) with respect to stocks like Gamestop Corp. The action here is that of exuberant, irrational trading (hello Uranus) pressuring large conventional players (hello Saturn) with what’s called a short squeeze. The result is market chaos (Uranus) and urgent calls for government regulation (Saturn). The irony is that the situation has even created a bizarre temporary alliance between AOC (Uranus) and Ted Cruz (Saturn). Maybe there is hope for this nation after all.

There is another piece of irony in this planetary alignment that may offer a path toward eventual conciliation. It turns out that both Saturn and Uranus are said to co-rule the sign of Aquarius. It’s an odd pairing, as we have seen. The presence of Saturn transiting in Aquarius may mitigate some of the rebellious Aquarian/Uranian energy. At the same time, the planet Uranus is transiting through the sign of Taurus (through 2025). This pairing also makes for odd bedfellows. Taurus energy is conservative and practical. The hope is that this combination of influences will buy the time to effect needed social/political/economic reforms with a nonviolent approach and a more measured pace. As early as 2014, astrologer Ray Merriman wrote: “I believe the aspects of 2020 portend a new leader who will be a unifier. The divisions within the USA will give way to the more common sense of a shared struggle…The nation will heal.”

That said, our nation is about to undergo its first Pluto return, lasting three years, from 2021 through 2023. [Pluto’s orbit around the sun takes 248 years, and our nation’s birth was 245 years ago.] Pluto symbolizes death and rebirth. While the USA natal chart is built to last, our country is under attack from within, and its survival is at risk. Albert Einstein’s words have never been more relevant: “It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity. It is harder to crack a prejudice than an atom.” What America urgently needs is the social equivalent of the Manhattan Project –– in reverse. We need to find a way to unite our fissioned society with a powerful fusion of tolerance, common decency and sensible social reform. Only then can we integrate Pluto’s powerful positive energy to become successfully transformed for the better.

P.S. – As if the doo weren’t already deep enough, Mercury is now retrograde (January 30 – February 20). That means communications are unreliable and travel delays are frequent. It likely means that our “Me The People” ex-President dodges yet another bullet in the Senate trial.  After this retrograde, the cosmic storm subsides a bit. By the Spring equinox (March 20), Jupiter will be rising in Aquarius (in D.C.), an optimistic sign. And perhaps by May-June, we’ll finally have Mr. Covid on the run…

Jack Copeland is a retired radiologist/busboy and Judd Foundation tour guide. Sources for this column include: (1) Forecast 2021 Book and Weekly Forecast Columns 2/1/21, 1/25/21, and 1/18/21 by Ray Merriman, www.mmacycles.com (2) Learn Astrology Volume One by Marion March and Joan McEvers. (3) Notes by astrologer Tom Brady. (4) Cartoonist Bill Bramhall – Tribune/NY Daily News. (5) kathrynhocking.com.