Uranus takes us beyond the bounds of the known. It was the first planet discovered by telescope and doubled the size of the solar system in one night. It came into consciousness between the American and French Revolutions, breaking down the rule of royalty and giving birth to democracy. The late 18th century was also a time of invention as the dawn of the steam age began the process of replacing humans and animal labor with machines. Today Uranus still represents breakthroughs that produce freedom but which also shock us with surprises and uncertainty.
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It's natural to react to stressful times by pulling back into a protective mode. Being cautious is a logical response to the uncertainty that seems to be so prevalent these days. Yet the economic, environmental and social problems we face collectively cannot be resolved by returning to the past. The same is true on an individual level as challenges in work, at home and in relationships are rarely overcome by defensiveness and retreat. Creating the future with Uranus, now in pioneering Aries, represents invention and the willingness to break with the past that can help us to change our world for the better.
However, when we face the need for individual or collective change, we sometimes believe that we must go to extremes. And when extreme measures seem necessary, like quitting a terrible job or confronting a crisis in a rocky relationship, it's difficult to make radical changes without risk. The lesson of Uranus is to first practice breaking patterns in areas of life that aren't critical. It's like getting training for being an emergency worker. You don't start learning to be a fire fighter by jumping into a burning building.
If you want to turn your life in a significantly different direction, whether it's changing your career, losing a lot of weight or becoming more assertive in dealing with people, do some change training first. Altering small but habitual patterns begins to loosen rigidity and develops the flexibility needed to manage revolutionary Uranus. Shift the order of your morning routine, part your hair on the other side, alter a bit of your schedule. Do and say different things in risk free situations as practice for making bigger changes in your life. If you have difficulty expressing your needs with others, don't begin with your spouse in the middle of an argument. Return an item you purchased or kindly ask to have your undercooked meal sent back to the kitchen in a restaurant first. These are the gentle alterations in behavior that build confidence toward making more dramatic ones later. Freedom and breakthroughs sometimes come in an instant, like lightning. Yet failure to prepare ourselves for change is more likely to lead explosions than to liberation. As much as we want others to alter their behavior, the place of greatest potency is in altering our own. This process of rehearsing in safe situations builds a foundation of experience and confidence that allows us to lead successful revolutions that not only improve our lives but serve as models for innovation and making constructive changes in the world.