Uranus was visible to the naked eye this weekend, and might still be depending on where you are. I try to avoid mixing astronomy and astrology topics when talking about the latter; I've noticed over the years it just irks the scientific community -- astronomers, physicists (in particular Brian Greene who once snarked against it on Twitter). However there is a notable reason to bring it up nonetheless.
In most of the reporting for this event you'll notice that articles mention it being in Aries. That's true from an astronomical perspective where the observable sky is mapped in part by taking advantage of the placement of constellations. "Uranus is in Aries" because looking at the sky it's currently located in the constellation of Aries.
But astrologically, it's in Taurus.
Again it's the whole Sidereal versus Tropical thing. You can read the Wiki for the details on how they differ as systems, but it's a good time to clarify for sake of the astrology discussed at this blog and indeed most of Westernized astrological practice, that it's Tropical that counts.
The positioning of planets in the constellations used to match up while the earliest astrological concepts were being sorted out. But due to centuries of drift -- the movement of constellations from our Earthly perspective -- they don't now. For purposes of influence, this backdrop of the literal stars is unimportant. While the stars have moved on, the working dynamics have not.
To use an analogy, say that a person learns to become a plumber in a building called "The Plumber Building". So everyone agrees to call the guy a "plumber" -- and we of course need to pretend that the title did not previously exist.
Later, the "Plumber Building" burns down or is razed (or magically drifts 20-some-odd degrees to the empty lot next door) and a new building goes up in its place called the "Florist Building".
The plumber does not magically become a florist in the process. The plumber learned the tradecraft necessary to be a plumber so that's what he does and that's what he is. The building he happened to learn and apprentice in just happened to be an address at the place and time that he did.
You'll see this topic come up from time to time. Especially during the approximate two-or-so-year pop news cycle where the headlines like "You Have Your Birth Sign Wrong" crop up.
Uranus in Taurus
I didn't mean to bleed into an analytical point in raising this issue, but as long as we're discussing the placement of Uranus, I thought it worth mentioning how said placement fits in today's world of polarized cultures and politics.
Uranus is the up-ender, sometimes criminal (in the name of freedom and independence -- not like in the name of impulsive murder like Mars or maybe Pluto).
In Taurus, where it's been lingering now for quite some time, and which it squares as ruler of Aquarius by rights, suggests one reason we as an international species are feeling the extremes between conservatism and liberal ideals.
Uranus is a slow-mover so it is near generational in its scope. People all over the world are feeling the vibe of ideological upset. People with a Moon or rising sign in aspect to this conjunction might even become notable personalities in the struggle.
It's as if the "revolution" moved into the house of long standing values to turn that house as much on its side as Uranus itself rotates (yeah, Uranus physically rotates side to side).
The combination of this planet with that sign, in this astrologer's view, does not force a take of sides. It's not about "liberals" owning the virtue to knock out the evil status quo, or about the "conservatives" virtuously exterminating the radicalism that undercuts their comfortable patch. It isn't hippies versus gun nuts although these are perhaps the most convenient expressory conduits (at least among us Americans) people may find to argue through.
Rather, this era is forcing an examination of something far more fundamental, which would be the spiritual prioritization of the indidvidual over longstanding material values that have been comfortably adopted for a period just shy of a century or so.
In my view, two of the most underrated extremes in astrology come from the accented relationship between Aquarius and Taurus because one insists on its shaking of the Earth (Aquarius/Uranus), while the other is Earth (Taurus/Venus). Between them, dogma doth tend to find a perverse home.
By Dave for for Earl Pin Astrology.