lightning stormy sky

Playing with Fire

Under Uranus' influence, especially in Aries, it can feel like you're in the middle of a cyclone with the world spinning around you! The trick is to stay grounded and centered, and let it spin around you - easier said than done!

Mother used to say that if you play with fire you'll get burned. And yet, the children of both Uranus and Aries take joy in playing with fire!

I'm talking more about elemental Fire than actual fire here. And yet, the acrobats and magicians who perform tricks with flaming objects certainly hold a special membership in Uranus' and Aries' clubs of people who live life on the edge.

However, to someone who has played it safe, the prospect of wielding fire can feel daunting, intimidating, frightening and nerve wracking. And yet Uranus has a way of pushing you to give it a try and discover more about your hidden abilities – your latent genius.

While you're under Uranus' influence, it can feel like you're in the middle of a cyclone with the world spinning around you! The first impulse is usually to find the nearest rock to crawl under. When you realize that even rocks can get tossed around by the Uranian tornado, the next urge is often to reach out and try to stop it all or at least slow it down, but that's about the worst thing you can do. The best way to handle this energy is to become centered and grounded, and allow it to spin around you, while you move with it and stay (relatively) safe inside the eye of the hurricane. Easier said than done—but it can be done!

Uranus in Aries ~ Personal Revolution

Uranus in Aries can bring up urges, feelings, ambitions, drives and desires that you didn't even know you had! These may have been lurking in your unconscious, or you might have thought you'd already dealt with the issues that are coming up. Or maybe you knew they were there, but hoped you could keep them under wraps indefinitely. Or, you might welcome the resurrection of long buried energy that has eluded you for some time and now finally emerges to add new excitement and inspiration to your life.

Aries is all about unselfconscious energy that knows only that it wants. It doesn't analyze, it doesn't calculate, it doesn't consider alternatives, it doesn't think about "what if." It feels the urge and just goes for it! At least, that's how the archetype works. Most of us have other qualities in our chart that modify that archetypal energy, but the pure impulse is still there somewhere.

Uranus is the planet of revolution, explosions, radical change and the unexpected. It stays in volatile Aries from 2010 until 2018 (with a brief return to Pisces in 2010-11). Don't worry, that doesn't necessarily mean those 8 years will be nonstop upheaval. ;-) However, during that time, you are likely to make several significant changes in your life. This is especially true if Uranus makes major transits to your natal chart, and especially if your natal chart has any personal planets or points (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Ascendant or Midheaven) in the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn). To find out more about how Uranus in Aries is interacting with your chart and what kinds of changes you might expect as a result, it's always best to get a personal reading so that we can explore exactly how Uranus is influencing your life.

Uranus in Aries ~ Fire in the Hole!

Uranus in Aries is likely to stir up a lot of Fire energy in your life! Fire is all about enthusiasm, excitement, passion, action and initiatory energy. Fire can also be about anger and assertiveness — putting yourself "out there" and becoming visible, or mobilizing your energy and becoming more active and involved in life.

On the other hand, we each handle Fire energy a little differently. As much as Fire is usually described in a positive way, some people are afraid of their Fire. Fire isn't quiet, calm or easily controlled — it's noisy and loud, erratic and unpredictable! It's not like a nice slow dance that rocks and sways to the music — it's more like boisterously shaking your body, complete with cheering and hollering and blowing off steam. "Fire in the Hole" is a phrase used as a warning that an explosive device is about to be detonated within a confined space. And with all that lively energy coming up inside you, Uranus in Aries might feel as if something is indeed being detonated inside you!

If you lack Fire in your natal chart, or if your natal Mars is overwhelmed by heavy energy (for example, hard aspects from Saturn, Neptune or Pluto), this kind of raucous energy can be a bit overwhelming. If you grew up being told that children should be seen and not heard, and if some part of you has never completely shaken that off, you might find Uranus in Aries a bit challenging. It won't be easy to be the "good boy" or "good girl" you were told you're supposed to be.

If you can't bring yourself to embrace this Fire energy, it usually finds you through external events and other people that are erratic, loud, unpredictable, unexpected or chaotic. If this happens, take some time out and meditate on the part of you that might secretly wish you could throw off all that control, fear, caution or detachment. What are you afraid might happen if you did that? Each one of us has all 4 elements in our nature, regardless how they are emphasized in our natal charts. You have Fire in you somewhere. Maybe it's time to let it come out an play a little.

Fire can also be about anger. Anger can appear in many forms: frustration, discontent, recklessness, resentment, hurt, outrage, protest, disgust, irritation, judgment, condemnation, and so on. Although we tend to associate anger with aggression and hostility, anger can also be a form of protection. For instance, it can be an emotional reaction to hurt feelings, vulnerability, sadness, grieving or fear. If you are afraid of your anger or what you're angry about, you might suppress it or sublimate it. In that case, it can masquerade as something that seems more like the opposite of anger: depression, fear, sadness, boredom, lethargy or cynicism.

Uranus is nothing if not the planet of surprises. Therefore, Uranus in Aries could emerge in surprising or unexpected ways that might actually be a mask for some other feeling or reaction. Both the planet and the sign are about impulse, so these distorted or masked hidden emotions could jump out suddenly, triggered by something that seems to have nothing to do with your reaction. It might not even occur to you that there's more to your response then meets the eye. If you find yourself reacting in unexpected, disproportionate or over-the-top ways, it can be helpful to dig a little deeper and find out if your reaction is protecting or secretly expressing something else from deeper inside of yourself.

Uranus in Aries ~ Group-Think

Uranus is the planet of the Collective — the greater community or group that moves together and is greater than the sum of its parts. Groups are an awful lot like individual people. A person has dynamic thoughts, needs, motives and desires that motivates his or her behaviour. In much the same way, groups have a life of their own, with dynamic energy, needs, goals and reasoning that move within the whole and result in actions and behaviour. Think of it as "group-think." Although the members of the group may not be aware of it, each member plays a part in that "group-think."

However, what the group wants and what the individual wants may or may not be the same thing. Although every group is made up of individuals, the group can tolerate only so much independent action by its individuals. When too many people move in conflicting directions, the glue that holds the group together can start to break apart. That's when the group can exert strong pressure on its individuals to align themselves more closely with the central purpose, direction and motives of the group's collective intentions.

Aries is the sign of individuality, independence and autonomy. In many ways it is rather incompatible with the needs of the group, which requires a certain amount of consistency, conformity and compliance in order to maintain the wholeness of the group. So Uranus in Aries could bring a certain amount of disruption to groups, as members may be more prone to asserting their individuality and want to experiment with new ideas. On the other hand, Aries is also the sign of the pioneer—the leader who's not afraid to strike out on a new path that others can follow. So Uranus in Aries could see the emergence of new leaders who could inspire others to follow them into new directions.

Either way, Uranus in Aries could easily bring a lot of change to established groups that are challenged to move themselves forward and adjust to changing times. However, established groups, especially those that pride themselves on being built on a strong foundation of enduring tradition, are not likely to go willingly into new directions. Aries, ruled by Mars, the planet of war, could bring intense conflict and struggle between those who are determined to stick with the old at all costs versus those who believe that change is both necessary and inevitable.

So, where will you be in this turmoil?

Think of the groups you belong to or are involved with. It could be a church or a school; a group of volunteers or your local astrology group; a support group or your bowling group; your company or department at work or a political organization; the local book club or an Internet forum; your circle of friends or the PTA. Watch and observe any changing energy in the groups you are involved with. And pay attention to that "group-think" energy.

Group-think can lead you to do things or try new things that you might not consider or be able to accomplish on your own. This could be liberating and invigorating; for instance, you might join a weight loss group and find that the supportive environment helps you stay on track. Or you might get involved with a social activist group that gives you the opportunity to make a difference in the world, which you couldn't do on your own.

Group-think can also sometimes be potentially destructive or lead you away from a path you might otherwise avoid as an individual. An ugly and extreme example of destructive group dynamics is a lynch mob, where the hostility and intensity of collective emotions can compel the individuals to make choices and take actions that are normally out of sync with their individual principles or beliefs. A seemingly innocent example might be if your group of friends start joking about someone in a disparaging way, and rather than voice your disagreement of objection, you just go along with it.

It may or may not be wise or helpful to voice disagreement every time something like that happens, but each time we go along with the group rather than challenge it, we are making a choice to comply with that group-think. There can be a fine line between taking a stand for what you believe in versus being seen as a nit-picking whiner who's no fun to be around. The point is: we each must make a choice about what to do in that kind of situation. When the needs or values of the group conflict with those of the individual, there's a choice to be made. And sometimes it's not always a clear choice.

Being swept along by group-think can happen especially if the group has a strong leader or focal person who appears confident, certain and powerful in areas where the individual feels confused, ambivalent or afraid. In addition, the natural human urge to belong and be part of the group is an extremely powerful one. It takes enormous courage to stand up and say no when others around you are saying yes. And often it just seems easier to go along with the crowd rather than "make waves." What's worse, it all can happen so fast that we may not even realize we've been pulled away from our personal values until it's already happened. Group-think is a very powerful force to be reckoned with.

Uranus in Aries ~ The Group and I

Uranus in Aries could easily generate a challenge to the principles, desires or priorities of each of us as individuals, as we feel the gravity of the group pulling us in a different direction. Uranus (the group) combines with Aries (the individual), and the result can go in any number of directions. If you've tended to avoid groups, you might find yourself drawn to getting involved with one during this time. The lesson: make sure the intentions, purpose and methods of the group are well aligned with your own.

If you've been involved in groups but usually tend to go along with the crowd, you might begin to feel like you're at odds with the group or feeling disconnected from it and not know why. It can help to define more clearly what YOU want, regardless of what the group is doing, and to become clearer about what your own principles, priorities, urges and desires are. You might also be starting to see the group in a different way, perhaps becoming more aware of something that you had missed before. Or maybe the group is starting to change and you're not changing with it. If you find that your purpose, values, intentions or needs point in a different direction from the group's, you could face a difficult choice. You might find you must make your own decision, possibly even going against the flow of the group. You may need to muster the courage to express your concerns within the group, or find the courage to separate yourself from the group to some extent.

Alternatively, if you've been involved with a group, but sitting on the sidelines or just blending in with the rest of the members, you might have an opportunity to take on a leadership role within the group. For example, this could happen gradually through new opportunities, or you might be thrust into the role if the current leader suddenly needs to step down. Feel free to shout from the rooftops with excitement and anticipation, celebrating your big break!

On the other hand, you might feel like you're in one of those dream where you're on stage and you suddenly realize you forgot to get dressed. If that happens, remember that there is a natural genius inside you that already has a sense about what to do and how to do it. You don't have to do it perfectly. You don't even have to do it like your predecessor did. You only have to find the way that YOU can do it. You may need some help (a wise leader knows it's not up to her or him to do everything) and you might benefit by learning more about what you need to do (read some books or take a course), but don't fall into the trap of believing you know nothing about what to do. Let your inner genius guide you.

Uranus in Aries is likely to challenge you to take a second look at how your individual vision, purpose, wants and impulses are aligned with that of the group or the Collective in general. And if it turns out that you and the Collective are "out of sync" then it's up to you to decide how you can be true to your own self and/or how you can help the Collective see things differently. Is it time for you to add your voice to the Collective in a clearer, stronger way? Maybe it's time to write that blog?

Alternatively, perhaps it's time for you to stop yelling along with the rest of the crowd and give yourself the space to go away and find your own voice? Maybe your message has become so reactive to what everyone else is saying that you're not even sure what your own true message is anymore. Try following your own path away from the crowd, park yourself under a tree somewhere and write a personal journal about what's really going on inside yourself.

Or consider that maybe you've been going along with the crowd for too long and it's time you became a bit more reactive — not in the sense of arguing for the sake of arguing, but in the sense of questioning, challenging and reconsidering the opinions, beliefs, ideas and decisions that you've been going along with.

Only you can decide what direction is right for you. And you don't have to decide right away — your inherent intuition can guide you. You can gauge it by the events that are happening to you and around you, and what they stir up inside you. Just don't be surprised if Uranus suddenly decides to drop a fiery ball of lightning in your lap, designed to get you up off the couch and doing something different.

Feedback and insight can definitely help, especially when they're from someone who can resist the urge to simply "give you answers." Uranus' challenge is to discover your own answers and your own individuality. However, it helps to have a guide who knows the territory and can help you read the map. Don't hesitate to seek out the support of someone who can work with your individual journey — someone who can guide you in connecting to the inner core of your being where you know what you need to do.

The adventure awaits!

Don't miss the other article in the Uranus in Aries series: The Transpersonal Side of Uranus in Aries : The Chaos of Being Born.

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