Déjà-vu this month, as Uranus heads back into Aries on April 8th. The planet of revolution brushed into the sign of the Ram on June 28th last year in the wake of the Brexit vote, and departed on September 1st leaving the UK like the Tarot’s The Tower(Struck by Lightning). In England’s 1066 chart, of course, Aries rises, and one of half the country woke up bereft while the other as though it was victory day at Agincourt. Since then, the push to an Independent Britain has stalled over the terms of its EU exit; an inertia that Uranus in Aries will surely challenge and push through.
Much of existing Outer Planet lore is based in the tropical zodiac, but depending on your choice of ayanamsha, Uranus’s 2016 Aries ingress happened on the day of the EU referendum. I expect the Hard Brexit bandwagon to gather speed, cheered on by vested media interests and emboldened by the sky not immediately falling in on our economy (we won’t actually leave Europe for another two years). Hooray. Uranus is the planet of modernity, freedom and rebellion, and while it represents the airy and rational scientist, when cornered, Uranus freaks: “I don’t need this, get me out of here”, which is precisely the Brexit mentality.
Uranus was last in Aries 1933-41, another time of austerity and rearmament. While the rise of the Third Reich is usually pinned to the discovery of Pluto in 1930, Hitler was elected German Chancellor in March 1933, just one month ahead of the Uranus ingress. The Nazis strode across Europe with a new military tactic, Blitzkrieg, or ‘Lightning War’, and could there be a better keyword summary of this placement? Conditions favoured Hitler, the archetypal Aries, and for a while he was invincible, with his first reverse coming at the Battle of Britain, the UK’s modern national myth, fought July-October 1940 while Uranus passed temporarily into Taurus. The Nazis regrouped as Uranus retro-d back into Aries in early 1941, only to be dragged down to defeat at last in the USSR once Uranus changed signs again.
In literature, the last Uranus in Aries also saw the Golden Age of Science Fiction, with classics like Lost Horizon and The Shape of Things to Come, while Brave New World appeared in 1932. These were dystopian fantasies depicting technology and state control bearing down on the individual. Lost Horizon, from 1938, incidentally, was the world’s first mass-market paperback bestseller, which may be a good omen for the beleaguered book industry today. Elsewhere, sales of Sinclair Lewis’s 1935 novel It Can’t Happen Here, about a right-wing populist President turning America into a fascist dictatorship, swelled as Donald Trump took office.
The previous Uranus in Aries again, April 1849-55, encompassed the California Gold Rush and the High Victorian peak at the Great Exhibition of 1851. Prior to that, Uranus entered Aries in April 1765, the year of the Treaty of Allahabad, the beginning of British rule in India. These were all celebrations of cutthroat capitalism, which still forms a collective memory for some in UK politics who dream of a return to the buccaneering days of Empire. Significantly, it is India who now enjoys a renaissance, with increasing influence through soft power and the world’s fastest-growing economy.
The fears of the last Uranus in Aries era still haunt us today and the very real threat is robots taking over, Isaac Asimov, are you listening? Marginalized workers in the UK blame foreigners for their plight, but the real issue is automation and what will become of us when there is no actual work left to do. Not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur, but Uranus in Aries will push the gig economy into high gear and those who do not have a business will be left behind. The rise of the Alt-Right - celebrating nativism, anti-immigration and the free-market - is a reaction to multi-cultural globalism, represented in part by boundless Neptune in Aquarius. Uranian notions are often better in theory than practice, however, and in Aries especially, the rush to cut ties without realising or caring about the consequences may boomerang when it is too late.