“Innocence in a person is the ability to let the world come and find you, the ability to be found by the world. Because when the world actually comes to finds us, I feel, it always finds someone much larger than the person who began the journey in the first place. And it frightens us to death.” – David Whyte, Making A Friend of the Unknown

UranusUranus the Great Awakener — planet of revolution and liberation — moves into Aries today (4:50pm PST, to be exact). We had a preview of this placement last year, from May 27th to August 13th (see Pioneering A New World), and the themes that were surfacing then are ready to burst.

A slow-moving planet changing signs is a big deal — there’s a shift in awareness, a change in thematic emphasis, a new realm of experience that’s ready to evolve.

Uranus’s style is speedy, sudden, unpredictable, liberating and chaotic. Uranus shakes up the status quo, breaking you free from perceived limits and catapulting you into unfamiliar worlds.  “Expect the unexpected” and “Out of chaos comes creativity” are two Uranian mottos.

Aries the Ram, the first sign of the zodiac, is the fiery spark of vitality that sets the whole cycle into motion. Aries rules the self, asking the fundamental question, “Who am I?” Aries also rules desire and passion — who you are is defined by what you want.

Over the next eight years, Uranus in Aries wants to free you from the illusion of a fixed sense of self, break you out of self-definitions that imprison you in an identity so much smaller than the life you were born to live. One of his methods is to wake up desires and passions that have been ignored, repressed or denied.

Ideally, Uranus in Aries awakens, or reawakens, the quality of innocence, which is absolutely essential at the start of any new cycle. Innocence is the ability to look at ourselves and our world from a fresh, untainted perspective, to see infinite possibilities rather than being held back by past failures and old limitations.

Innocence dies when we suppress our desires, passions and instincts — when we feel that surge of vitality calling us in a new direction, and then squelch that feeling out of fear. Depression, cynicism, apathy — all widely available in our fear-based culture — are the result of suppressing vital life energy. Many of us learned early on that in order to survive, in order to be “safe,” we have to sacrifice our passions.

Poet Mary Oliver, channeling Uranus in Aries, asks: “Are you breathing just a little and calling it a life?”

ariesAt the opposite extreme, unconscious Aries energy looks like aggression, violence, rape and war — also, needless to say, widely available. Uranus in Aries is a potentially volatile combination — in Robert Phoenix’s words “the expression of will on anabolic steroids” (see The Techno Gap of Spiritual Evolution).

Every sign needs to be balanced and integrated with its polarity, in this case Libra the Scales — the sign of peace, beauty, collaboration and justice. The ideal blending of Aries and Libra is the Peaceful Warrior (see Responding to Crisis).

To get more insight into how Uranus in Aries will shake up your personal world, find the Aries portion of your birth chart — the house in which 0 degrees Aries resides. The areas of life represented by that house are where you are being called to free yourself from outgrown versions of self, wake up your instincts, and take a courageous risk toward living your passion.

In the bigger picture, Uranus rules humanity, and Uranus in Aries starts a new 84-year cycle in terms of our collective understanding of who we are. Are we micro-chipped cyber-drones in zombie-land, brains plugged into computers, televisions, iPhones, taking orders from the hive mind? Or are we spiritually awakened, liberated beings, pulsing with vitality and channeling our creative life force into birthing a sane new world?

– Emily Trinkaus