“Be yourself and you can be anything.” -tagline for Katy Perry movie

“Love your weirdness.” The Daily Love, on the Katy Perry movie

We often think of Uranus as the planet of mavericks and geniuses, the Bill Gates of the planetary pantheon. Or maybe as the planet of weirdos and freaks, the rainbow wearing Wavy Gravy guy or someone with a “progressive” style. But those who have paid attention to how Uranus works in real life will notice something paradoxical about the way Uranus, the Teacher, teaches us to fly our freak flag high and proud, be weird or brilliant. Because for as many Katy Perry’s who have successfully claimed their genius (and weirdness), for as many people who appear to have become immune to social acceptance and belonging, many more know that identifying, then resisting the pressures of cultural programming, then finding a whole new way of life that feels authentic and true…is a lifelong journey.

Where Uranus touches a planet in a natal chart, that planet’s natural instincts have been changed or damaged by cultural, social and familial conditioning. For instance, if we have Uranus square Venus, we are sensitive to the cultural messages about beauty, being a woman, and relationship: ie, being married by age 28 and have a baby by 35 may not be our true life path. The power to belong, be accepted, be apart of the crowd has overpowered the true nature of our planet. The crazy thing is, we have no idea how crazy this is! How many times have I heard, “I should be married by now…” from clients? A lot.  Wherever natal Uranus falls in our birth chart, we have to drop the baggage of cultural programming, over and over. The Promethean journey involves stealing back our fire – our individuality, our soul. To steal it back we must stubbornly insist on our right to discover the True Nature of our Self (our planetary archetype), and not what other people want for us or tell us we should want. To do this we must develop a thick skin and aversion toward cultural pressure (hint: in practice, this looks a lot like rebellion). But Uranus isn’t entirely about acceptance and belonging; it encompasses any culturally distorting message that derails us.

I have Uranus on my Ascendant oppose an Aries Moon-Chiron conjunction on the 6th/7th house cusp.  I never entirely understood my Moon-Uranus opposition until recently (I recall one astrologer once told me you need emotional shocks: try a hot tub, then a cold plunge – creative, but it didn’t encapsulate the full story). As I’ve been exploring my ongoing issues with self-care, I have realized my own natural instinct to take care of my body – to rest when tired, eat when healthy, let myself recover when sick – has been overridden by the cultural message: don’t get sick, don’t slow down, be productive and ambitious. After a brief visit to Texas, I recognized too that to a large degree we are all products, and prisoners, of our environment: after all, we can’t eat what isn’t on the menu, and our menu is very much defined by what our friends, community and family is eating. We all culturally reinforce each other’s behavior, for good or ill. My experience of self-care, nurture and mother has been very Moon/Chiron-Uranus. My mother had an erratic menu, and never really “fit in” with the rest of the moms. She didn’t find her calling as an individual and even though she was very loving toward me, I often experienced her as emotionally dissociated and rebellious. With weight and emotional issues, she neglected self-care even while “caring for others” (if that’s truly possible). She dissociated from her own body. When I look at my own patterns surrounding self-care, some days I truly think I have altogether lost my natural instinct for self-care, as I’ve had to work hard to care for my body, and understand my natural rythym (Moon). Uranus divorces us from our natural instinct, in order to discover it again. How can what I never learned ever come naturally to me– and how to unlearn all the crazy? It’s a harrowing realization to see that, like a robot, I have been programmed by the forces around me. However, consciousness is a game changer, and I’m game to steal my fire back.

How about you? Where is Uranus in your birth chart? Uranus’ placement shows where trying to fit in will hurt you more than help you; it also points to a dissociation from more true to you, natural instincts. Where is Uranus transiting your birth chart? Here’s another opportunity to de-program your self, to steal the fire back from the Gods. Uranus’ retrograde motion suggests the time is right for examining, taking off, the unhelpful cultural programming you’ve received.

Uranus rules all social pressures. The social pressure to: be thin, married by 28, work all the time, conform to a standard ideal. The True Self is underneath all that, waiting, for you to take off the masks, for you to embrace your True Nature.