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URANUS - Master of Transformations

Saturn forms; Uranus transforms. The equation of destiny set by Saturn is invalidated by the new vistas opened by Uranus. The tribal law, dating from the Golden Age and proclaimed by the great Ancestor, breaks down under the restless quest for God and the relentless search for gold, stirred by the divine or devilish discontents that are Uranus' progeny. The traditional and soil-born culture, which is the very emanation of blood and climate, crumbles under the blows inflicted by men of genius, then by virtuosi, finally by phonographs and radios — all servants of the Uranian will that transforms all set things, by pain, by violence, by madness or god-intoxication.

The great keyword of Uranus is: through. He it is that pierces through every Saturnian wall; that pierces through the inertia, the peace, the comfort, the rigidity, the austerity, the morality, the practicability and common sense of every manifested and concrete thing there is. He it is that flashes — through every opaque veil, through every protective "complex", through every darkened sanctuary — the light of the realm just beyond. He is the revealer of the next truth to those he has made weary with old unquestioned postulates. He is the rouser of doubt, the breaker of static faith, the iconoclast and challenger. Before every known truth and every accepted fact he stands, menacingly — or in flashing inspiration throwing at the mind and soul of daring men in whom his fire burns, the eternal challenge: What if . . . ?

What if there were something beyond? What if men had believed in a gigantic fraud, because of their childish craving for security? What if supposed facts were not facts? What if we were fools and slaves to things taken for granted—slaves or puppets of deified masters? What if gods were man-made? What if our very souls were mere complexes or compensations? What if there were life before birth and life after death? What if there were nothing but ever-fluid, ever-unstable, ever-creative, ever-renewed Life?

Men have turned insane under the weight of such pitiless questions; others became as gods. Uranus forced upon them the confrontations. They either pierced through the ancient shells and emerged conquistadores of the beyond, masters of the threshold, or else they shrank under the light. They saw that their gods were man-made, and became mad as the gods faded into psychological "complexes". They saw through the walls, but returned blind. The Transformer indeed is pitiless toward those who cannot let go of past idols. Once the process of transformation is begun, there is no going back. The form must be renewed — or break. It can never become again what it was before. Uranus does not remember. He has no use for memory. He only moves on from that which is to that which must be next. If the "next" is unreachable, then there is nothing but death: death, the transformation of that which cannot be transformed and therefore must be destroyed.

He who conquers death is he who has become transformed. The form is renewed; its wholeness, however, is not sundered. The wholeness—the Self—remains; but with a new delineation, a new formula of operation, an expanded viewpoint, a virgin universe to interpret and to organize. This is metamorphosis. Death is the failure to perform a metamorphosis. It is the failure to recognize Uranus as one's Master, when he knocks at one's door disguised as a beggar or perhaps as a fool. It is withdrawal into the Saturnian limits, withdrawal into the reign of fear. But for Uranus' devotees and friends, there is no death. There is no death for the consciousness that never refuses change, that never shrinks from the most inclusive, the all-challenging transformation. There is no death for him who not only drinks the water within the glass, but the glass itself; not only the contents, but also the container.

It is easy to drink the waters of the glass of self; to change the contents of one's own egoism. This is modification — not "transformation". To pass from one mode of action to another mode requires only flexibility of outlook and a good sense of adaptation to circumstances. All planets within the orbit of Saturn are able to modify the character of the Saturnian ego. But the real Uranian "transformation" is a process of actual reconstruction of the form of one's own selfhood. Not only the contents of the form, but the form itself must be "seen through" and "gone through".

In another sense, the process may also be described as "jumping beyond one's shadow" — to use Nietzsche's illustration. It is relatively easy to investigate the contents of one's own nature; but how much more difficult to investigate the investigator! In order to do so it is as if "nothing" were to discuss "something" and pull it to pieces — then rebuild it anew around a new center of light. A fundamentally irrational process leading to a super-rational rebirth of self, from a new "seed" the existence of which could not be realized — because it was hidden by the very shadow of the rational self. Thus the need for jumping beyond the shadow.

Many writers speak of the Uranian process, using the term "regeneration" to define it. Loosely used, this term is adequate; however, Uranus controls only one phase of the total process, of which, in strict accuracy, the word "regeneration" describes only the last phase, symbolized by Pluto. Uranus transforms; Neptune dissolves and at the same time feeds the new prenatal growth; Pluto is the hierophant of the mysteries of actual birth into the "New World". Whoever fails to withstand the transforming power of Uranus must become disintegrated by Neptune. For such a one Pluto is the awesome lord of death. But he who passes the Uranian tests and enters into the Neptunian Sea of Light need not fear Pluto, even through the final ordeal of the Temptation; for Pluto will guide him to the gates of rebirth and of immortality. Immortality: the state of being always different while the same.

Often it is said of Jupiter that he is the polar opposite of Saturn. This however is true only insofar as Jupiter represents a trend of development that leads in the opposite direction from that of the Saturn process. But Jupiter operates always in terms of Saturn's prior determination of the form of the being. Saturn contracts, while Jupiter expands. But what Jupiter expands is that to which Saturn gave form. A small sphere may expand into a large sphere; yet it remains always a sphere. A man's ego may expand in Jupiterian optimism, self-confidence and personal authority. Yet what reaches out is still the same ego. The basic form thereof is not changed by the Jupiterian action, even though its outer shape may be distorted or distended as it expands. Jupiter cannot change radically the structure set by Saturn. It can only "modify" its outer appearance and the quality and balance of the organic forces which operate within that structure.

Uranus, on the contrary, deliberately and directly challenges Saturn's power: its exclusivism, its particularity, its rigidity. It "pierces through" Saturn and throws upon the inside walls of the conscious ego images of the more universal and freer world which extends outside of these walls. Thus a two-fold operation: the piercing through — then the projection of images. The first phase may manifest in many ways; perhaps through slow stages of progressive thinning out of the Saturnian shells — so that these become finally like translucent window-panes through which the consciousness centered within the shells may behold vistas of the beyond. In other cases, the Uranian action is sharp and explosive. It bores, through the walls of the ego, holes, telescopes, microscopes, channels through which the "flashes of intuition", the "inspiration of genius", may suddenly reveal themselves to the Saturn-bound consciousness. Then there is also the most general process, to which the most vivid and convincing of our dreams bear witness.

In the first case, the Uranian action stimulates and utilizes the power which the mind has to modify, the quality and substance of our individual selfhood. A sort of cooperation is established between Mercury and Uranus which draws upon the Solar Force for the work of transformation. New mental concepts play upon the static traditions which Saturn originated or crystallized. The action of truth after truth, system after system — each a little more inclusive and more dynamic than the preceding one — thins out the Saturnian walls. It is as if layer after layer of opaque substance were removed. Our concepts, our realizations of the nature of "self" — the basic factor of all consciousness — come, at every removal, closer to a state of perfect translucence. The light of the Universals shines with increasing strength and purity through the structure of the particular. Each layer removed makes that light less colored — by biases, by particular viewpoints, by earth-conditions —and more white.

In other and rarer cases we have men of genius, in whatever field it may be; or real seers; men and women in whom the Uranian power of "image-projection" is very strong, in whom a definite inner linkage between Uranus and the Sun is actually established. A mysteriously creative current plays between the Sun and Uranus, and, whenever other planetary factors permit, a flash of lightning pierces through the Saturnian walls. Then images, symbols, visions, prophetic utterances, messianic impulses are released.

With those, we are entering a realm the nature of which is exceedingly complex and which baffles analysis. This complexity may be better understood if we realize that Uranus can become linked, directly or indirectly, with every planet, and that therefore his action may become adjusted to the tone and characteristic of every one of the basic faculties, the totality of which constitutes organic living. The action of Uranus is therefore protean. It has no definite form, because it adjusts itself to every psychological or social function, to every mode of activity or consciousness.

This ubiquitous and multiformed activity of Uranus is perhaps best evidenced in dreams. Dreams constitute probably the most puzzling phase of man's life, especially because they can be of such varied character, importance and significance. Dreams are, inherently connected with the equally mysterious process which we call "sleep". Sleep is a particular aspect of the relation between the Sun-factor and the Saturn-factor in every living organism, the waking state being the opposite aspect of that basic relation conditioning all consciousness, and actually the very foundation of individual existence.

During the waking conscious state Saturn overpowers the Sun; the individual factor of consciousness—the ego—dominates and utilizes for its own end the life-force of which the Sun is the source or symbol. During sleep, the ego withdraws from activity. It is no longer able or willing to control and utilize the life-force for its purposes. It abdicates and retires into a condition of non-manifestation or abstraction. It becomes "pure form" divorced from life-contents and energy; and by so doing it restores itself to its own formal integrity which has been disturbed by earthly activity. As this withdrawal of the ego occurs, the solar forces begin to flow more freely, bringing to every organ and every cell new vitality, clearing away the residua or waste-products of individual and conscious (Saturnian) activity.

Sleep is a time of organic recuperation and organic growth; while the waking state is a time for the individual development and the conscious focalized growth of Personality. Organic recuperation applies to the brain and all its centers of sensation, feeling and ideation, as well as to any other part of the organism. These brain-centers, during the waking hours, are controlled by the Saturn-ego and its conscious will. But as this conscious will becomes un-operative in the personality-whole, they are released, as it were, from its grip; and they begin to function in various ways during what then is "sleep".

They can function autonomously. Like children after school, they can romp wildly and exuberantly around, happy to be free from the rigid discipline of the school-master (the conscious ego); or else they may go to absorb physical food—and, if more mature, cultural impressions: reading books, seeing movies, listening to lectures and concerts. They may also, symbolically speaking, make love, enter into new relationships, create.

All such types of activity performed during sleep by our brain-centers—and also by our other centers of sensation, nerve plexus—become the substance of our dreams. Whenever the dreams are the results of the purely automatic activity of brain-centers and nerve-centers, these dreams do not carry any more significance than the play of children stretching their muscles after hours of concentration. Moreover, in most cases these automatic activities are not even recorded as dreams by the consciousness, in the morning. It is only when the conscious activity of the ego has imposed some violent discomfort upon the organic centers of the body — and, we should add, of the psyche — that these centers' expressions of protest are registered by the somewhat aroused consciousness as dreams or nightmares.

How are these expressions of protest registered? As symbolic images. There is no other way. And these images are usually very confused and chaotic, because Saturn's formative power is withdrawn, and only the organic memory of conscious formative moulds and of thought-coherency (through the linking of brain-tracts, nerve cells . . . ) remains; which is usually not sufficient to make very coherent and sequential series of pictures.

Such dreams are thus to be considered as symbolic images of organic processes, or of organic conditions affecting the brain-centers. They are only "symbolic images". They are not to be considered as concrete representations of what is taking place or will take place in the personality-life. Waking consciousness and its objective and coherent (Saturnian) system of perception are needed to produce "concrete representations". Dreams are symbols, which have no value save they be interpreted by the ego-consciousness. Then, the physiological or psychological processes and conditions which they symbolize may be of many types. They may be processes tending toward organic disintegration — of either body or psyche — and the dreams may be a desperate warning which the organic centers of body or psyche manage dimly to convey in symbols to the ruthless or careless conscious will of the ego. They may also be processes of growth and of assimilation of collective, racial or universal psychological contents; that is, processes by means of which the lesser whole (man as we know him) expands into a state of direct, conscious participation in the life of the Greater Whole of which he increasingly experiences being a part.

Such processes, whether constructive or destructive, insofar as they deal with "transformations" of the Saturnian structure of body or personality, can be referred to Uranus — and some of them to Neptune. But, more specifically, Uranus is to be connected with the attempts made by Life in general, or various kinds of universal agencies, to bring to the particular personality tidings of a higher and larger state of being. These attempts are the substance of our most significant dreams; dreams which are either symbols of processes of assimilation and integration actually taking place within the psyche, but not noticed by the conscious ego bound by its own intellectual — objective outlook — or else images deliberately aroused in our brain-centers by Spiritual Beings or Intelligences attempting to convey to us vital information or suggestions and to guide and stimulate our growth.

Whether or not our brain is in a condition to receive this information is another matter. It may receive it, yet the very moment the power of the Saturn-ego is reasserted, this power may either obliterate the unwelcome images or distort and confuse them according to its preconceptions and prejudices; according to its "complexes", which are all mechanisms of resistance. Then, even if the consciousness registers the images projected by Uranus as clear and relatively coherent dreams, it may be that the ego will not interpret them rightly, because of subconscious resistances to the information conveyed, or else because of racial biases and intellectual prejudices, or lack of development.

It is the task of the modern type of psychological analysis to enable us to interpret correctly the dreams which reach our conscious state with relatively definite outlines. The psychologist helps us to remove our mechanisms of resistance, just as a surgeon removes a cataract from the blinded eye. He is Mercury, the Healer and Interpreter, working then hand in hand with Uranus, the Transformer and Revealer.

In considering all these manifestations of Uranian activity — whether they be dreams, inspirations of genius, visions, or the like — it is important however to realize that, fundamentally speaking, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto deal with a process of re-orientation and regeneration of Personality, rather than with definite factors in Personality itself. Whenever the individual man is the field of astrological interpretation, all trans-Saturnian planets represent essentially the process by means of which this individual personality is being extended, transformed, regenerated. Beyond such a normal human state one may contemplate the possibility of more cosmic developments. These however belong to a larger picture of the universe and of the solar system. When man is seen from a truly heliocentric point of view, that is as a cell in the Body of that Great Entity which we link symbolically with the entire solar system, or even with the galaxy, then new valuations arise. Then we are no longer centering our interpretation around man on earth — around the ideal of Personality — but we consider man only as a part of a cosmic Whole; and our perspective necessarily becomes shifted.

However, from the point of view of human Personality, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto constitute the triune "Path" which links this individual Personality to the vaster cosmic Being whose physical center is the Sun. A path, a process. Humankind at large may be said to have entered upon that path since the breakdown of European feudalism in the eighteenth century. But the process of the "Living Civilization" is a long and arduous one, and setbacks are many indeed. And constantly, relentlessly, a struggle must go on between this ideal of a living World-Civilization, and its intellectualistic and greed-infested shadow: the pseudo-civilization of our war-torn generations herded in chaotic cities.

These are the two aspects of Uranus: one that is born of the craving for gold — the other that blossoms out of a vital quest for God; that is, for "more wholeness" and "greater horizons". "Civilization" comes etymologically from "city" (civitas in Latin); and the word "civitas" brings us back to the old roots of Shiva and Siv. Shiva is in India the Lord of the Burning Ground, Lord of Death and of Transformation. He is the great Ascetic, the Destroyer of earthly things, the Master of all thresholds. "Pass through me into the beyond" is his motto.

But Shiva is also, as Rudra, the Lord of lightning and electric power. He fecundates the soil, releases from the air nitrogen which will serve the purpose of life through the intermediary of nitrogen-fixing bacteria. His progeny is countless. Likewise, immense is the spiritual progeny of the great civilizers who gave men fire, wheels and all the mental tools which have made man both god and devil. But the devil is only a contrast to the god. The Transformer needs also be Destroyer. And there is no death, and there is no hell, save for him who refuses to become transformed. Even he will arise again; for the "cycle of transformations" is ever recurring. At the level of the human individual it is the 84-year cycle of Uranus. At a larger planetary level it is the 10,000-year cycle of the Karma of civilization — the "cycle of overshadowing of the Buddha" mentioned in occult literature.

Uranus circles on. His is the pattern of the Sky. His is the power of electric Fire. Across all things that bow before the rule of Saturn he flashes his periodical signals to the "Heart of the Sun". Men who interpret them, as they flood their consciousness with symbolic images, become indeed children of Uranus. The burden of civilization becomes theirs. Though they suffer Promethean agonies for the sake of lesser men, they are the Seed of spiritual manhood.

This edition copyright © 2008 Michael R. Meyer
All Rights Reserved.

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