A Uranian Anthem: Navigating Bolts from the Blue
Having just had a thunderbolt knock me out of my routine and off my comfortable perch, I’ve been thinking about Uranus, the Lord of Earthquakes and Lightning Bolts. Uranus is the process of individuation, by which we let go of the cultural/familial expectations that inhibit our authenticity. As the modern ruler of Aquarius, Uranus is associated with Genius, that exceptional natural capacity of the intellect. But genius can also refer to the ancient Roman idea of a guardian deity or attendant spirit who helps you discover your natural or inborn (not culturally created) gift. It can be helpful to to think of Uranus that way, too, as the planet nudging us toward authenticity, or - more fiercely - sending bolts from the blue that catapult us out of an inauthentic life.
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s essay “Self-Reliance” is a Uranian anthem or battle cry:
“I shun father and mother and wife and brother when my genius calls me. I would write on the lintels of the door-post, Whim.”
“Trust thyself: every heart vibrates to that iron string.”
“Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members… The virtue in most request is conformity.”
“What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think.”
“... nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. We come to wear one cut of face and figure, and acquire by degrees the gentlest asinine expression.”
When you read that essay, you can feel your own Uranian rebel being called up, asking, “How do I open to genius?” and “Where does nonconformity serve me?” Your natal Uranus’ sign, house and aspects point the way. As do out of bounds planets and any planets in Aquarius and the 11th house.
After my recent bolt from the blue, I stumbled onto a David Whyte poem, in which he says,
You must learn one thing.
The world was made to be free in.
Give up all the other worlds
except the one to which you belong.
Sometimes it take darkness and the sweet
confinement of your aloneness to learn
anything or anyone that does not bring you alive
is too small for you.
It’s a reminder of Uranus' other power, to point the way to what energizes you. When you’re in the midst of a Uranian experience ask yourself, what is the freest, most energizing thing you can imagine for yourself? Write about it, daydream about it, use Robert Maurer’s Mind Sculpture technique to envision yourself successfully living it. It may put you outside the norm, but if it’s authentic it will also energize you. Choosing it, you’ll find yourself supported by surprising events, but first your faith will probably be tested and you'll have to take the risk of being seen as weird, even by people who love you.
In "New England Reformers," Emerson offers encouragement: "Only by obedience to his genius, only by the freest activity in the way constitutional to him, does an angel seem to arise before a man and lead him by the hand out of all the wards of the prison."