This is the natural order. Literal, metaphorical, however you wanna slice it. These are the natural laws of our planet, implicit or not, that have governed all life. Carbon to oxygen. Sunlight to energy. We humans have given these processes and components words and qualities, but it’s true with or without our categorical language: we die, become compost, food for worms…
(Well, unless our bodies are placed in boxes after being filled with formaldehyde. Nothing wants to eat that.)
But I digress.
On May 15, 2018, change-maker Uranus shifted into the sign of Taurus, an energy that prefers its change on the long, drawn out side (if it wants change at all). The lord of lightning bolts meets the bull. That which is solid, stubborn and potentially furious staring down that which is unpredictable and unexpected. Well hello, tension.
We cannot know what exactly will happen at the material level during this seven-year transit. Changes to the Taurean realms of existence, sure — money, values, bodies, the earth herself — but we cannot predict the concrete forms those changes will take, only that they will likely come on suddenly, from out of nowhere. Or so it will seem.
This is why context is important. Few things come from out of nowhere. We can understand at least one layer of our current world situation by thinking about where Uranus has been for the past seven years. What the energy has been up to during its time in Aries, and what astrology reveals about what is being asked of us now.
On March 11, 2011, Uranus shifted from Pisces into Aries kicking off the era of the Uranus-Pluto square. The earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear meltdowns that hit Japan that day are the perfect metaphors for the energies of this dynamic alignment which was technically in direct effect through 2015. We are still dealing with the aftermath now.
You can reflect on the changes that have occurred in your own life since 2011 to get a feel for the shifts I’m talking about. You are, after all, the microcosm existing in the macrocosm. As above, so below.
On the collective level, Uranus in Aries sparked revolution, collective movements, attempts at breaking down the powers and structures that be. The occupy movement and Arab spring were the kickstarters. Black Lives Matter, Me Too…
We also had technological innovations that have been hard to track because they’ve moved so quickly. I didn’t even have an inkling of wanting to own a smartphone in 2011. Now, I can’t imagine living my life without one (although I oftentimes want to).
In short, the lord of lightning bolts had an extended period of facing off with the lord of the underworld, and the scorch marks and crevasses that resulted felt like traumatic shock to many. Opportunities to move forward with innovations in our society — particularly those that have attempted to stop and reverse the incredible destruction we’ve brought to the earth — have been largely foiled by the Pluto in Capricorn powers that be. They have not only clung to and gained power, but they’ve stepped out into the light as if to say, “yes the evil empire has arrived, and there is no longer any need to hide that fact.”
What is the most potent antidote to the evil empire? Communities of creatively self-actualizing humans who are moving out of trauma and dissociation and into their hearts to roar forth like lions, claiming their individual callings for the sake of the tribe. Humans living from the solid ground of the heart. That’s what the Leo-Aquarius nodal axis has been trying to evoke since May 2017. Healing collective trauma and karma.
But we’re still working on that solid foundation thing. The internal, true power of the individual. That’s where Taurus comes in.
More About Taurus
As the second sign of the Zodiac, Taurus represents self-worth, values and resources. Through Taurus we internalize a sense of being held after flailing out of the womb as a young spark of life (that’s Aries), all impulsive and fiery.
Through our senses, we begin to perceive our surroundings and create a basic imprint of the world around us: is it safe? Am I held? Am I getting what I need to survive? How does it feel to be here?
Ideally speaking, we internalize a sense of safety. Of having our survival needs met. Through this process, as we mature, this translates into self-worth. Values. An understanding of resources, both internal and external. When we know what we have and love what we are and align the two through a sense of values, creative self actualization is a natural part of our evolution. The Leonian heart can expand and give warmth and light, to others, to tribe. That’s the ideal.
Sometimes tribe is a problematic thing, however. Sometimes the Other does not respond well to our individual spark of genius, especially in a society that has to create constructs that are put in place to keep natural urges down. A culture where we have been taught that the body is sinful, that life is only worthwhile when it has laid claim to property and green paper.
All the more important, then, that that sense of self-worth and self-reliance is bold and strong within us.
Uranus: Liberation, Individuation & Trauma
The archetype of Uranus (which goes hand in hand with Aquarius and therefore has similar qualities) is associated with tribe, yes. Our existence within and membership to tribes, sure. But also the archetypes of the exile, the outsider, the humanitarian, the [mad] scientist. Uranus is the force that pushes us into processes of deconditioning. It strives to help us strip away what we’ve accepted as truth without pitting it against our experience, and old structures and forms that are not serving our paths.
Uranus is the force of individuation. It is the process where we hear the call of our own individual genius, that which would bring us into creative self actualization in order to serve the betterment of humanity. Through this process, the Leo-Aquarius axis gets its fuel.
Hearing the call of one’s own soul is a potent and powerful thing, for sure. In fact, we romanticize the heck out of it in our culture. And for good reason — this planet needs more folks who are listening to and actualizing what it is they’re here to do on the earth. It also gets confused with individualism, which is not the same. Individualism inflates narcissistic bubbles and robs us each of our opportunity to step out of our wounds. Instead we, and all others around us, become distorted objects of another person’s obsessive self-reflection.
Individuation is, again, tuning into an inner knowing of who we are supposed to be in the world, and following that path. Because we understand the importance of fulfilling that goal for the sake of bettering the community.
But here’s the thing: stepping into one’s own process of individuation also involves embracing difference. And in the past 10,000 years or so, difference has not been such a great thing. It’s what gets you killed. Burned at the stake, chased out of your home, ridiculed, exiled. Tortured.
We need connection. We do not like being cast out. And so, we strive to belong, oftentimes to the detriment of our soul path. Trading in one discomfort for another.
Therefore Uranus is also associated with trauma.
What is Trauma?
A basic definition of trauma tells us that it refers to an overwhelming experience that the psyche can’t integrate fully. It’s a physical, emotional, mental or spiritual experience that makes it so that a person isn’t able to continue on as they were.
Symptoms or indications of trauma usually include some combination of dissociation (often chronic), anxiety, phobias, paranoia, avoidance, enhanced or suppressed emotional responses, or numbness. The most common expression of traumatic response in the moment is what we refer to as fight, flight or freeze.
Uranus is considered a marker of a trauma signature in an individual’s chart. This doesn’t mean that a Uranian passage will bring great trauma. The symbolism is to vast for that kind of narrow interpretation. It does usually, however, indicate at least the potential for moving through and healing karma related to whatever it’s impacting.
And that’s not just trauma from this lifetime. Uranus is also related to deep memory and the subtle energies that travel with us from many lifetimes. Unresolved traumas from our soul’s journey. Uranus is long-term memory and as such oftentimes points the way towards unconscious contents.
Blending Taurus and Uranus
So how do we bring this all together to help us understand, yes, what themes to potentially expect from Uranus’ transit through Taurus, but more importantly how we can grab onto this edge for growth and do the required work with more awareness? Let’s take a look at what Taurus represents in its more shadowy manifestations. Then we’ll bring the positive back in, cuz Taurean medicine is good, good stuff and can help us keep perspective here.
We’ve talked a bit about stubbornness, and really all of the fixed signs have that quality. But Taurus…well, Taurus can be the epitome of stubbornness. It can be stuck and it doesn’t like change and oftentimes with Taurus everything is black and white.
Taurus is associated with our survival needs, as we’ve discussed. Because of this link, Taurus is how we do (or do not) feel safe in our bodies, on this earth. Taurean karmic complexes involve survival fears, isolation, self-worth and value, the ways we collapse in on ourselves and suppress our emotions, the ways we shut down (often, at least in the karmic past, to survive), possessiveness, stuckness…
…and body memory.
As I’ve leaned into Uranus in Taurus, body memory is what has come to the forefront a lot. The body’s memories of trauma. The ways it holds those imprints in the first, thin layer of energy directly around our physical beings. This, the etheric body, is where imprints from past life and early current life traumas live.
Trauma of the body. There’s one selection of keywords for Uranus in Taurus for ya.
A few weeks ago, as I was bouncing around ideas for a webinar I was gonna do for this subject, I found myself walking down the road listening to music. It was an April day, just after a moody mid-afternoon storm, and the sky was half dark clouds and half blue with white billows.
I looked at a meadow on my right, grass surrounded by tall trees, daisies, and everything looked so…happy. Stable. Solid. Ecstatic.
The Earth is reclaiming herself, a voice said in my head. Strong. Clear. It’s so rare I hear things in that way. But there it was. Taurean earth communicating through Uranian flash of insight.
I didn’t feel fear. I felt strength. Stability. Ecstacy. Solid, grounded truth. And relief.
I also tuned into the song that had been playing for about a minute*:
A man of solid oak and his fine new bride
Found themselves a farm by the river side
Everything has changed yeah it’s all come undone
All they have now are their hand and the light from the sun
The wind it came for days and days
And the earth did try to shake away our kind
But they held on tight and a few survived
And they light their fires on the cold, cold, cold, cold night
But the earth is still tryin’ to shake em down
Earthquakes are a great metaphor for Uranus in Taurus. And in fact, in the days preceeding the shift I saw an article entitled: Volcanoes. Geysers. Earthquakes. Mother Earth is doing all kinds of scary stuff in the US right now.
I don’t know whether it’s helpful to view the earth as a being or entity that is out to get us, just as I don’t know whether it’s helpful to view the earth as a benevolent or nurturing energy. The fact of the matter is that in my personal worldview, it’s all connected and earth is indeed a mama to me — she’s nurtured life for quite some time, although not without help from others. In my bones, I feel a deep resonance with the idea that the wisdom of the earth — and the universe that houses her — just might in fact respond when human values exclude the protection of the ultimate human home — which IS the earth. The universe. And within both of those, our bodies.
If I take the personification out of it, I can just put it in different terms: When we disregard the fact that humans require abundant clean, fresh water, food that does not contain chemicals, shelter from the elements and touch… well, our systems will collapse. The big ones and the little ones. Or evolve into something that reflects values of rape, aggression and domination. When we poison our bodies — any of them — we will get sick. Of mind, body and emotions. Because we cannot separate them. This is simple cause and effect, even if the effects occur too slowly for anyone living day-to-day and not tracking cycles to observe.
When we apply values of love, sharing, giving, receiving, reverence and life, we ultimately create new systems and laws and structures and ways of being that reflect those values. We create methods of exchange that work within those values as law.
But that shift might be difficult. Because of tension. Because of grief and anger that have been locked away — suppressed or stuck in the Taurean sense out of survival fears or fears of overwhelm. Taurean shut down makes it so that energy gets stuck within. Uranus in Taurus provides the opportunity for that energy to move again and be freed up for use in innovating new ideas based in tribal values.
It’s also just a huge, fucking stretch to imagine how we’re going to get ourselves out of the mess we’re in. But what better challenge to confront.
That’s where the positive potentials for this transit come in.
Here’s a whole gaggle of key words for you to use for your imagining-the-best (and then bringing it down to earth) purposes:
Stable Revolution. Genius made practical. Stable shifting. Rooted Revolution. Liberating Self-reliance. Agrarian Tribes. Body Freedom. Inventive Earth-Systems. Being/Embodying the Change. Earth Technology. Abundant Currency. Innovative Agriculture. Values-Based Currency. Embodying the Change. Vision of a Sustainable Life. Grounding the Vision. Deconditioning from Outdated Values. Breaking through Avoidance & Discomfort. Freedom through Inner Resources. Progressive Self-Worth. Embodied Individuation. Patient Individuation. Wise embodiment. Innovations in Food & agriculture.
OH the possibilities! What if, through community-based values of giving, sharing and inclusion we created systems where all basic needs were just covered? Where the fact that you were born guarantees you unlimited access to everything you need to live, just by the very virtue of your existing? Food, water, shelter… What if we lived in a world where touch was seen as vital to life, and where consent was taught from an early age and boundaries were gleefully respected?
Because, you know, touch is a vital part of human development.
What if we took the shake ups and awakenings of the past several years and used the insights provoked to create earth systems that respected rather than raped the earth and individual human bodies, as well as our place in a larger cosmological framework?
What if the heart was a safe space to dwell?
So how do we work with all of this? Well, the specifics will vary from person to person. But generally speaking, I recommend a daily grounding practice. Daily gratitude. Grounding and gratitude for the abundances we have (that’s Taurus) create containers for transformation (that’s the Taurean polarity — Scorpio). When we cultivate these practices while out of crisis, they hold even better. As opposed to, say, waiting for the crisis and then grounding.
But there are other more tangible, practical preparations as well. As fears related to survival surface, it can be nice to know we have savings. Or a 3 month plan. Or an emergency backpack.
Or a network of friends.
Or a reminder that life does not end at death. And that the compost metaphor is great here: we can use the destroyed and decaying material of the society we’ve built to build a new one. One that values regeneration and creativity.
It might also be helpful, in the coming years, to spend some time getting to know your own triggers. To be able to name what they are, but also to be able to recognize what they feel like, how they ripple, and what we need when they’re occurring. The emphasis here is self-reliance, which does not mean you have to go through it alone, but that you are responsible for knowing what you need and advocating for yourself while having the maturity to accept other people’s limits and wishes.
Having humans around you who know your worth and who value you is a vital step in having a reliable support system. But you have to uncover and recognize it first.
The goal is internalizing power, not externalizing it. Because solid foundations arise amidst inner work supported by the outer world. And if there is some cataclysmic change upon us (it seems it’s been happening for a while, friends), best to face it with strength AND agility AND a commitment to returning to the heart.
Oh, and you know what’ll be real helpful? Astrology. Astrology is a Uranian discipline when used in it’s best ways (which, in my humble opinion, is in the pursuit of self-actualizing while relating to the greater picture) — and its “best ways” are through embodied, experiential practice.
There’s so much more to be said about these archetypes. The times we’re living in as framed by these energies and shifts. I’m sure it’ll come as the transit unfolds. For now, I leave you with some key dates and key questions to ponder. And even a few more suggestions.
Key Dates (a few!):
Uranus Moves into Taurus May 15, 2018
Uranus stations retrograde August 7, 2018
Uranus moves back into Aries for a final tour through the 27-30th degrees of the sign November 6, 2018
Uranus moves back into Taurus on March 6, 2019 and stays there until July 7, 2025
Uranus final (for 84 years) tour through Taurus is November 8, 2025 – April 26, 2026
*Shook Twins “Shake” video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ybbIZgUl0-c
“Little Earthquakes” by Tori Amos: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LC_3I34I8CA
Books: The Fifth Sacred Thing by Starhawk; The Broken Earth Trilogy by N.K. Jemisin (this is my favorite trilogy ever)
Scents: Sandalwood, Lemon, Geranium, Rose
Stones: Anything grounding
(Pro tip: when you’re all woo-tastic (or just, you know, a reasonable human who believes in working with ALL their tools) and wanting to work with things like essential oils or stones in conjunction with planetary or zodiacal archetypes, it’s not just a matter of googling “essential oils for Uranus” (ha!).
I mean, if you’re building an altar and wanna give offerings to Uranus (ha!), sure! Look into oils/stones that other people say are aligned with…it. Then you’re working towards creating resonance. That’s grand.
But if you’re trying to work with an energy or concept or deity or whatever, and want an oil or stone that will help with whatever affect you’re experiencing, don’t just google “Uranus” (ha!). Identify the affect. Anxious? Jittery? Sluggish? Then see what oils or stones help to remedy THAT. Get something grounding. Or energizing.
And as always, your intuition or what you drawn to is usually far more on point than anything a google search will tell you. Why? Cuz this shit’s FLUID and dependent on a whole host of intersecting factors. Kinda like life.)