A Guide To Uranus In Astrology
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A Guide To Uranus In Astrology

How to deal with Uranus, planet of change, in your birth chart.

Welcome to NYLON’s planetary explainer series, in which astrologer David Odyssey helps you get to know your chart and its key players, one planet at a time.

Think you’ve got your life together, and your chart mapped out? Then you’re really asking for it. Sure, astrology can help you track the basics of your life, but what about the shocks you didn’t see coming? For the out-of-left-field life-changers, lightning flash awakenings and season finale twists that rock you to your core, there’s one dark master waiting to teach you a lesson. Enter Uranus, the planet of upheaval and liberation, meant to launch you to your highest potential — even if it means pushing you out the window.

For most of human history, Saturn was the last known planet in our solar system, the accepted limit of human consciousness. But the discovery of Uranus in 1781 would blast open our understanding of the cosmos, and herald the coming event horizon of technological hyper-evolution. If Saturn defines limits, Uranus must then break them. Uranus is named after the sky deity and father of the first gods, but is often likened to Prometheus, the titan who delivered fire to humanity. According to astrologer Ruby McCollister, the discovery of Uranus led to “the flourishing of science, technology, philosophy, literature, music, social opportunities and, in virtually every aspect of human life, exploded Western civilization toward liberation, freedom, and choice.”

As a planetary archetype, Uranus is the avatar of change. It rules Aquarius, the sign of progress and human collectivity, and acts to kick you out of your personal melodrama and launch you into the larger human story. Uranus strikes without subtlety, like the big bad wolf blowing your house down. Often, Uranus will kick off latent genius, firing off synapses of inspiration which must be answered immediately, no matter what duties you previously had. In all circumstances, Uranus will never tolerate complacency or stagnation. It will force change, either by lighting up your nervous system like a Christmas tree, initiating bizarre accidents which jolt you to alertness, or forcing catastrophes which break up the inertia of life as you knew it.

Uranus is the elevated form of Mercury, and both tricksters have a way of wreaking havoc until you pay attention. But it’s rarely chaos at your expense. These planets are trying to wake you up, and lead you to your higher potential. If your life isn’t working, count on Uranus to f*ck with it until you make some changes.

Uranus spends about seven years in each sign, making its influence less personal and more generational. Uranus was in its home sign, Aquarius, between 1995–2003, making the children of that era the true initiates of a new Age of Aquarius. Have fun. Those born with Uranus in Capricorn (1988-1996) likely arrived during the Uranus-Neptune-Saturn conjunction, a fall-of-the-Berlin-Wall karmic assignment which forces a reckoning with capitalism, authority, and our fear of becoming our parents. Because Uranus takes 84 years to make a full revolution through the zodiac, only those who live through their eighties will experience a Uranus Return; however, look to your forties for the oft-revolutionary Uranus Opposition era. Will it be a revolution, a mid-life crisis, or both?


The placement of Uranus in your chart will reveal your relationship with chaos. Perhaps, with Uranus conjunct your natal Venus in your tenth house of career, you are prone to intense surges of creative inspiration — the type which could earn you millions, but will likely not be rewarded by a 9 to 5. Squaring your natal Mars, Uranus could trigger inflammatory or nervous system meltdowns, which must be answered through physical and emotional expression. For more into how your personal planets connect or confront your natal Uranus, check out our guides to the sun, moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars and Jupiter. For insight into where Uranus shows up in your life, and what form it takes, look to its house position. Though it’s critical to note the sign and element of the dark master, its location in your chart will spell out your big awakening.


One way or another, you embody Uranus: You act as the rebel, provocateur, mad genius or revolutionary in all your relationships. You may never feel a traditionally linear sense of identity, but who needs stability when you could become the avatar, master all four elements? Your biggest challenge will be facing down a lifelong outsider-imposter syndrome, which constantly casts you as the twee loner the world doesn’t understand. Yawn. Embrace the originality, ditch the loser self-indulgence, and you’ll be a true original.


The second house deals with possessions, be they earnings, materials, or values. Uranus will throw lightning bolts into your financial narrative until you can fight back. By saving and facing any blind spots of financial insobriety, you’ll be able to withstand Uranus’s tests, and prove you can go the distance.


This is the domain of everyday life: those routines, interactions and communications which build up the world you know. What seeds of magic, inspiration, and possibility await you here? As the third house also speaks to our childhood conditioning, Uranus may represent a break from the dominant culture you grew up with, which helped you to discover your own influences and interests. Trust Uranus in the third house to help you find your own original point of view, even if it comes at a price.


What is the trickster god doing in the house of home, roots, and stability? Perhaps you were an army brat, moving around throughout childhood, or your parents were in and out of the picture. It’s also possible that you grew up in a perfectly stable, and entirely stultifying home, which awakened your desire to strike out and go your own way. It’s likely you’ll have to confront your own compulsions to “pull a geographic,” and avoid staying in one place for long. But for those who receive the Diane Lane calling to build a home of their own, outside of stale suburban mediocrity, Uranus will help you find your place.


The fifth is the generator of creative expression, ruling everything that goes through us: babies, art, experiences, pleasures, and romances. The placement of Uranus here will inform you of any nontraditional creative, romantic, or social interests which stimulate you (and warrant exploration without moralism!). You’ll have to embrace new and often bizarre avenues of self-expression. As the fifth is the house of motherhood, Uranus may provide information on your own biological complexities in the realm of childrearing.


Welcome to the domain of the body and boundaries, where Uranus’s effects on our somatic system are most literally felt. Pay attention to any contact Uranus has with this house, or its ruling planets, to understand how immunological havoc is related to something deeper. It’s not to say that every illness must signify some emotional blockage, but that explosives rarely detonate without pressing a button. By working with Uranus and your sixth house, you’ll understand what your body is trying to tell you, and develop the tools to initiate a healthy dialogue.


With the master of chance in your house of others, we know that relationships for you are the door to a new life. Look to lovers, teachers, and collaborators to introduce you to worlds you never imagined. Of course, Uranus is not one for long-term stability; its placement here will signal relationships that come suddenly, shift your reality, and are gone in a flash. You’ll also need to confront your own peripatetic nature in the realm of intimacy, and accept your needs for something non-traditional, loose, and capable of evolution. Prometheus doesn’t care to be bound.


Traditionally, the eighth deals with familial inheritances, and Uranus’s influence can signal sudden windfalls — or losses. One way or another, Uranus seeks to liberate you from the family narrative: the role you were assigned, the money you’re entitled to, the hierarchy you were taught. You may be destined to shatter the biological legacy and create something new, as this is the house of metamorphosis. The eighth house also deals with sexuality, and the presence of Uranus invites you to explore new and exotic forms of carnal exchange. Stop judging and start experimenting: It’s your birthright to be a freak.


This should be fun! The ninth house is the gate to higher exposure, ruling colleges, guilds, temples, and any passages to career glory. With Uranus here, you go your own way. Perhaps you skipped traditional academia and mastered your craft through private study and experience; or you proved the gatekeepers in your industry wrong by bucking every convention. If Uranus can arm you with the courage to blast forward, take it — but double check that you’re not burning bridges to prove you’re still a maverick. Of course, the ninth house deals with travel, which indicates transformative, intense, jagged experiences when you leave the world you know. Pack smart: You’re not destined for leisure cruises.


The tenth house belongs to the sturdy executive, the businessman who cleans up on sound investments. With Uranus here, you’re more of a mad genius, whose risks may change the world — or leave you destitute. Uranus’s presence here, and its relationship to the rulers of the tenth, will give insight into the industry you’re meant to reinvent. Naturally, the tenth is opposite the fourth house of home and family, meaning that our career ambitions are often in response to the expectations of our parents. Watch Uranus closely here, and make sure you’re not staging a perpetual rebellion, keeping yourself benighted to teach your parents a lesson. If your revolution is whole-hearted, and not an adolescent tantrum, Uranus will take you into the future.


Welcome to the natural domain of the chaos-bringer, the house of community and audience, where we’re meant to find those people who connect with our highest ideals. Uranus will repeatedly f*ck with your social surroundings until you’re ready to embrace your real tribe, and not the ditchwater bridesmaids you got left with in college. You may feel like a perpetual seeker, never quite finding your crowd, but if you can identify your core values, Uranus will lead you to your community. Ditch the loner narrative and let yourself be a part of something bigger. It’s only then that the real work can finally begin.


Oof. Look, the twelfth is the home of blind spots, hidden saboteurs, and revelations we didn’t see coming. With Uranus here, you’re in for some surprises. Though you may not have seen these mental health blowouts coming, they’re not just here to make you suffer. Consider what was keeping you blind, and what’s coming through now, to understand the impact of Uranus on your mental health. Besides, it’s not all terror and devastation in the twelfth house. This is the realm of buried treasure and unknown gifts. Let Uranus awaken you to potentials you’d never once considered, through new creative and spiritual means. Who knows…maybe you’ve been a genius all along.


Uranus is known as the queer planet, a techno-futurist, agendered, mutant messiah that should be invoked when you’re with the children of tomorrow. When teaching, raving, or protesting, call on Uranus for inspiration. As Uranus takes seven years to move through a sign, you should look to its current placement for insight into the great innovations — and backlashes — rocking the world at present. Look to our Uranus in Taurus explainer to understand this current once-in-a-century banger.

In terms of cultural avatars, Uranus takes the form of great revolutionaries, like the mutant supremacist Magneto and The Legend of Korra’s airbender anarchist Zahir. It always arms the next generation with the weaponry to break the status quo — think Spider-Man Miles Morales and Batgirl Barbara Gordon shutting down the city — and adores prodigal geniuses like Beth Harmon. Of course, any cyborg, post-humanoid, or techno-organic arrival is a must. As with Mercury, look to great trickster gods, including Eris, Loki, and Anansi, to enjoy Uranus’s sense of humor.

Uranus is the key to the future, and it acts through change. Until you can view the crises and cataclysms of your life as gates to progress, you’ll be stuck in a wrestling bout you can’t win. The Tower is one of Tarot’s most menacing cards, warning of change that will decimate everything you know. But what’s the alternative? Stay locked away in the darkest cell of the tallest tower? Shock is inevitable, as are bumpy landings. But there’s no divine calling to stay home and stagnate. If you’re ready to jump, we’ll see you on the ground, and hit the floor running together.