The meaning of the dream symbol: Uranus

This planet was discovered by William Herschel on 13 March 1781 and in astrology stands for the cosmic power which causes sudden, abrupt and unexpected upheavals, interference, fresh creations and progress. Its especial domain is electricity, flight and the cinema. In the view of astrology, the breath of fresh air which for the last two centuries has been blowing upon mankind comes mainly from this planet. Astrologers regard it as the true creator of the modern world, based, on the social plane, upon the principles of the French Revolution and, in the industrial sphere, upon industrialization and mechanization.

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Its House is Aquarius, which it shares with Saturn. When Uranus was first sighted it was in Gemini, the sign of the Zodiac which rules the USA. For good or ill, American civilization is today the most perfect illustration of the influence of Uranus. Immense dynamism, sexual equality, youthful, pioneering attitudes of mind and democratic principles co-exist with a presidential regime, the greatest industrial structure on Earth, racism, brutality and organized crime; everything, including Hollywood and the electric chair, bears the distinctive mark of Uranus. The planet rules the muscles of the human body and the illnesses caused by its influence are muscular, spasms, cramps and heart attacks.

The Uranian process began with something like a sudden burst of anger on the part of Chaos - primordial fire, as it were, catching fight. The god of the oceans was confronted by the sky-god. Uranus is patron of whatever raises mankind from the ground and lifts him skywards to his mythological domain in the upward surge of effort to attain to the absolute. This would include such mundane things as skyscrapers and go via aircraft and space-satellites to interplanetary rockets. The Uranian encompasses the men of Prometheus’ breed, true thieves of the celestial fire, instinctively motivated to deeds of daring.

There is always a record to be broken, further or faster to go than anyone else before. Intoxicated by the thirst for unlimited power, the Uranian is the progressive individual on the track of a new age and prone to suffer the fate of the sorcerer’s apprentice. At the heart of this process emerges the archetype of hyper-individuation, which provides the specification for a superpersonalized and original human being, generally in the throes of egomania, with the most explosive of unities for a goal and bent upon the absolute.

The sky-god in Hesiod’s Theogony, he is the symbol of boundless, undifferentiated creative abundance, which smothers what it begets through its very proliferation. It characterizes the initial phase of any activity with its alternations of elation and depression, the ebb and flow, life and death of the project. Thus Uranos comes to symbolize the cycle of evolution. The bull is the emblem of this sky-god of Indo-Mediterranean religion who is one of many fertility symbols.

But with Uranus, this fecundity is dangerous. As Mazon notes in his commentary on Hesiod’s Theogony, the mutilation of Ouranos puts an end to his hateful and unproductive fecundity, and introduces into the world through the appearance of Aphrodite (born of the foam bloodied by Ouranos’ genital organs) an order, a fixedness of species which was to prevent all disordered and dangerous procreation in the future.

On the basis of Greek mythology, Andre Virel perfectly characterizes the three essential phases of creative development. Uranos (for whom there is no Roman equivalent) stands as the first phase - chaotic and undifferentiated effervescence, which he calls cosmogenesis. In the second phase of schizogenesis Cronos (Saturn) steps in to cut and slice. With his scythe he cuts off his father’s sexual organs and brings his ceaseless seminal ejaculations to an end. He represents a stationary period of time. He is the controller who ‘brings the entire creation of the universe to a halt... with life at a standstill, ever the same and without progressive evolution.’ The rule of Zeus (Jupiter) is characterized by fresh advances, no longer anarchic and disorderly, but organized and controlled, and this Virel calls autogenesis. After the discontinuity of the previous phase, during which the pause and the imposition of strict limits had allowed the first series of classifications to be made, progressive development began afresh. This was the moment at which ‘individuals became clearly self-aware and simultaneously aware of the connections of causality, of the definition of beings and of objects perceived in their similarities and differences... . The mythological history of the gods [then] began to become the history of mankind.’ Mythology is thus presented as a ‘psychology projected upon the external world’, not merely as a psychology of the individual, as Freud understood it, but also as a collective psychology as Jung conceived it.