The Discovery Charts ｜發現行星的事件盤
Uranus (discovered 1781) ｜天王星（發現於西元一七八一年）
Early References ｜早期參考資料
直到西元一七九四年，曆書編撰者才首度承認天王星的存在，但僅以名稱與符號表示59，有時會出現在曆書裡的星盤，但無法用來回溯過去。因此，以本命星盤為例，如果出生於天王星被發現之前，那麼本命星盤就不會標示天王星。此外，天王星到西元一八二七年才被列入相位列表（lists of mutual aspects）。
The Discovery Chart｜行星發現盤
天王星最顯著的相位結構是從火星而來的緊密對分相，以及從土星而來、較為寬鬆的對分相；兩顆凶星。占星家確實將火星與土星的性質歸屬於天王星，且行星的發現盤也提供了該象徵意義的關鍵。拉斐爾 （R.C. Smith 1795-1832）是早期提出這種詮釋的代表人物，他解釋「古人」如何詮釋新出現的「星象」（根據所在的天空象限、星座和任何靠近的恆星），但之後，他似乎對這不予理會，而建議用首次觀測到新行星的星盤，「對學生來說，用這種方式來顯示新行星出現的特定原因，會比其他方式更為明顯」。
「當然，天王星的發現盤已經清楚表明天王星會帶來不幸的影響 —占星家們曾經證實這一點— 因此很容易得出，凡觀察到天空中出現任何新的或不尋常的星象時，都必須遵循相同的規則 。」65
Political Events ｜政治事件
占星家將天王星的發現與美國獨立革命相連結，後者以西元一七七三年的波士頓茶黨事件（Boston Tea Party）為前奏，始於西元一七七六年的獨立宣言（Declaration of Independence）。西元一七八一年，英國人在約克鎮（Yorktown）遭到擊潰後，確定了美國的獨立，同年也發現了天王星。西元一七八九年的法國大革命導致法國君主被處決，隨後建立了共和國，這也與天王星有關。這些都是震驚世人的事件，卻從未與英國內戰（British Civil Wars，西元一六四二至一六五一年）進行比較，後者對國家也造成同等的創傷及長遠的影響；查理一世（Charles I）在西元一六四九年遭到處決，這被認為是可怕的行為，即使是保皇黨（Royalist party）的反對者也如此認為。
Scientific Advances ｜科學的進展
啟蒙運動從西元一六五○年持續到一八○○年代，幾乎是發現天王星時期的尾聲。隨著工業革命的展開（西元一七○○至一九五○年），穩固地確立了人們對理性主義（rationalism）的追求。蒸氣幫浦（托馬斯．薩維里Thomas Savary, c.的專利，西元一六五○至一七一五年）是工業革命最重要的發明，確立了工業革命的開始，沒有它就不會發生工業革命，然而，占星家並未提及這項發明。同時期占星家出版的著作裡，只提及看似與天王星相關的發明或進步，卻從未提到蒸汽動力才是引領工業發展的起因；他們將這兩者分開來考量。
電力是個很好的例子，能說明占星家對於自己所處的時代進步，其膚淺的理解如何讓他們誤入歧途。他們認為天王星掌管電力，因為兩者皆在同一時期被發現，然而威廉．吉伯特（William Gilbert，西元一五四四至一六○三年）在他西元一六○○年關於磁性的《論磁石》（De Magnete）著作中，便已首度描述了電力，電磁科學的研究也正是由他開始，到了十九世紀才證實磁力與電力間的關聯，進而引領電流的發展。在發現天王星的五十年後，法拉第（Faraday）才發表了電磁感應定律，爾後他繼續將此發現應用於發電機和變壓器，這也是大規模發電與供電的兩項必備發明。
也許是因為西元一七八三年首次進行了熱氣球（孟格菲兄弟Montgolfier）的載人飛行，航空及太空旅行的奇蹟也歸功於天王星，然而，在西元一三二五年的佛蘭德手稿（Flemish manuscript）中便已能找到第一個拉繩直升機（string-pull helicopter）的插圖68。熱與氫氣能為氣球提供飛行的升力，但熱與氫氣並非是新奇的東西，算是自然的存在，它們也是由蒸汽、氧氣和甲烷，或是由蒸汽與焦炭所生成；而甲烷或沼氣則是由有機物在無氧情況下分解而成，是天然氣的主要成分，自西元二世紀以來便一直被應用於照明。這也有助於對太空飛行的理解，即過去實現太空飛行的最大障礙，是缺乏能夠產生足夠推力來舉起大型火箭的燃料，而這都透過液化燃料克服了，尤其是氧氣與氫氣。
The Ouranos (Uranus) Myth ｜烏拉諾斯（Ouranos）（天王星）的神話
Theosophical Doctrine ｜神智學的教導
Misunderstanding of the Astrological System ｜對占星系統的誤解
大規模的實驗，無論如何，都為推運星盤（of the Progressive Horoscope）帶來了得以證明其永久價值所必要的經驗和事實……92
因此，五顆古老行星必須留在與它們元素相同的星座。古老行星的部分特性將轉讓給新行星……即對應到因發現這些行星（譯註：指新行星）所轉讓的星座部分。因此，天王星取得了土星的水瓶座特質（the Aquarian qualities of Saturn），……沒理由假設古老行星完全脫離它們所讓出的星座，它們仍應保留作為共同主星。在得知全部十二顆行星時當然會分配個別的星座……95
從這段文字中可以清楚得知，新的行星正在汲取星座的象徵意義，即使這本身就是錯誤的。據先前的引文，土星具有水瓶座的特質，但事實正好相反。如稍早所示，水瓶座具有某些描述性特質，其中之一是由土星所主管：水瓶座是類土星的（Aquarius is Saturnian），但這位作者說的是土星是類水瓶座的（Saturn is Aquarian）。
審註：本文原刊載於美國NCGR占星研究協會 地心宇宙年鑑 2021年春季號（GEOCOSMIC JOURNAL SPRING 2021）第183-214頁，經作者授權翻譯刊登於本學院官網。經查證，該年鑑第202頁湯頓火車事故（Tauton Train Carsh）的星盤為誤植。該事故發生於1890年、而非1891年，故本文逕行修正星盤，另附相關佐證資訊如下：
2.Google Books-‘The Astrologer’s Magazine’ , 請見 p.135 ‘Notes’
Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto:
An Investigation into the Sources of their Symbolism Part 04
Sue Ward (Written 2002)
The Discovery Charts
It is common practice to erect an astrological chart for an event, that is, something that has occurred and is deemed important in one way or another. Particular in this regard are the charts of the beginnings of things, for example, the beginning of a business (perhaps its incorporation), the beginning of a marriage (the wedding) and so on. In this we can include the most well known of all astrological applications, the birth chart, the beginning of life. From these charts is extracted information relating to those events and predictions made about the development of that business, marriage or life.
Such charts are set for important moments signalling the beginning of something. There are, of course, many other important moments within the lifetime of each situation or birth, but the moment nominated as the ‘birth’ moment holds the key to all that follows.
By calculating charts for the moment of discovery of each of the trans-Saturnian planets, astrologers have information regarding the ‘life’ of the act of discovery, not the object of discovery. We might find descriptions of the nature of the discovery, in this case, astronomical or heavenly, but such an event cannot be treated as a birth and so cannot provide information about the nature of the object discovered. These event charts do not provide information about the natures and qualities of the planets. Yet, it is clear that these charts were used to obtain just that kind of information.
In the following discussions of each planet, the discovery charts are provided with some of their key points and, in respect of Uranus, a demonstration given of what is being described. The logic of this practice was apparently called into question, and little interest shown in it by the time of Pluto’s discovery.
Uranus (discovered 1781)
The sources of the symbolism of Uranus are varied and comprise the chart of its discovery below, its astronomical characteristics, contemporary political events, and scientific advances, the Ouranos (Uranus) myth, Theosophical doctrine, and a misunderstanding of the astrological system. We shall look at each of these in turn, but first, it is necessary to observe the wariness of the almanac compilers in dealing with Uranus.
An investigation of the almanacs from the period subsequent to Uranus’s discovery could be expected to show the development of the acceptance of Uranus into the astrological scheme. The frequency and regularity of these publications provide a good potential source of information, especially given the dearth of other works published at that time. As has been explained, the astrological content of the almanacs generally was of a low standard when compared to that of the almanacs of earlier centuries. However, the compilers and their publishers could be expected to keep abreast of the new discoveries if only to enhance their profits by attracting more readers through novelty. Assuming that profit was a motivating factor, it could be expected that the consideration of astrological accuracy was a low priority.
It was not until 1794 that the almanac compilers first began to acknowledge the existence of Uranus, however, it is mentioned only by name or glyph.59 Sometimes it is noted on the chart included in the almanac, but not retrospectively. So, with an example nativity, Uranus is not noted on the chart if the birth predates its discovery. Additionally, by 1827, Uranus was being included in the lists of mutual aspects.
In Seed’s almanac of 1847, it is included in the ephemeris and its glyph is shown in the sections pertaining to lunar and mutual aspects.60 Referring to it as Herschel, Seed includes its aspects when dealing with the weather. He also gives Uranus a gender, that of masculine, by using the pronoun ‘he’. This compiler provides the Right Ascension and Declinations of Uranus, Vesta, Juno, Pallas and Ceres.61 The inclusion of these asteroids provides an indication of a fashion being followed, rather than an astrological precedent being set. For all that these asteroids were included in the almanacs, there is no evidence in those almanacs of their being applied or interpreted.
There is little to be found in the almanacs in terms of the meaning of Uranus, although by 1865 (84 years after its discovery), there are some cautious interpretations regarding weather predictions when Uranus was in aspect with another planet. Even a cursory perusal of the almanacs reveals that little was being said about Uranus. It suddenly appears as ‘Georgium Sidus’, then as a glyph, and its introduction into the weather forecasts gives little assistance concerning its interpretation. This reticence is in sharp contrast to the more confident approach taken by some astrologers when Pluto was discovered.
There is some evidence to suggest that the astrological symbolism of Uranus was controversial:
There has been much contention among many who pretend to calculate Nativities, concerning the power of the Georgian Planet, and the other four, which have been recently discovered [Juno, Ceres, Vesta and Pallas], I have omitted them in all my computations, being convinced that we have not had any Examples sufficient to prove the existence of their power, for plain and manifest reasons. The true and correct places and Revolutions, &c. of these Planets, are unknown to us at present; so that if we were to notice them in our Calculations and Judgment, we should soon be convinced of our Errors. I know some will say they have discovered many of their Effects in Nativities, but those who entertain an opinion of that nature, ought to produce substantial proofs of their discoveries, which I am certain they are unable to explain, tho’ if such persons are inclined to discountenance what I have here stated, I entreat them not stand any longer at a distance but come forward and publish to the world, the result of their observations, founded on legal examples and experience.62
Apparently, few astrologers were willing or able to publish such challenges. This author is not simply refuting the symbolism attributed to Uranus, he is also questioning its having any place at all within the astrological system. By ‘legal examples’ he is referring to those that conform to established rules, or to the theological sense of exemplifying by work, rather than by faith.
The Discovery Chart
The chart of the discovery shows the generally accepted time that William Herschel (1738-1822), at his home in Bath, discovered Uranus.63 Since this discovery was momentous for more than just astrological reasons, an astrologer would have expected to find Uranus in an angle and here we find nothing of the kind. Uranus is in the 8th house, which is an uninspiring beginning for this planet.64 Little in the way of symbolism appears to have been taken from its position in this chart: the 8th is an unfortunate house, often referred to as ‘dark’, and it rules death. Uranus has never absorbed this symbolism, leaving that for Pluto.
The description offered by the chart is clear, Herschel would want the best chance of observing the planet and we can see that the Moon has yet to rise, and thus he had a dark night sky. We see Mars, the ruler of the Ascendant, representing Herschel, observing Uranus in the southern quadrant of heaven, with the Moon applying to the trine of the Sun symbolically revealing this planet to Herschel. The luminaries traditionally rule the eyes, and in this context, we see the symbolism of the telescope, and clarity of vision by the Sun’s trine with Jupiter.
The most notable configuration involving Uranus, is the close opposition it receives from Mars and, although wider, from Saturn, the two malefics. Astrologers did attribute the natures of Saturn and Mars to Uranus, and the discovery chart offers the key to that symbolism. Raphael (R.C. Smith 1795-1832) was an early exponent of this interpretation. After explaining how the ‘ancients’ applied themselves to the appearance of new ‘celestial phenomena’ (by the quarter of heaven in which they were placed, by the sign, and by any nearby fixed stars), he seems to dismiss that and advises use of a chart set for the first sight of the new planet, ‘and from which the certain cause of their appearance is more likely to become manifest to the student, than in any other manner.’
The chart he uses is timed at 10 p.m. on the 13 March 1781, since a sign of long ascension rises (Scorpio), a half-hour difference does not change the resulting chart very much. However, he notes that Uranus appears in the 9th house, where it can only be in the 8th by most house systems. He also notes that Saturn is in the 2nd house of wealth, but draws no conclusion from that.
“The horoscope of his appearance of course most plainly indicated, that the influence to be evil – and such, Astrologers have ever found it to prove. – Therefore it readily follows, that the same rules must be observed in every case, where a new celestial appearance or unusual phenomena is observed in the heavens.” 65
Without offering evidence of the proof of which he speaks, and without attempting to apply the ancient rules (the source of which is not provided), the recommended course of action is at the least incautious, and at worst, reckless. This reservation, however, was not persuasive since we find that the procedure was accepted as a practical course of action and was being applied nearly sixty years later:
“it is conceived by the best modern Astrologers that Herschell is of the nature of Saturn and Mars,… ” 66
Later still, the symbolism is reversed – the conjunction of Mars and Saturn is likened to the nature of Uranus – emphasizing the growing importance of Uranus:
when Mars is in conjunction with Saturn the result should, theoretically, be a harmonious unity, but really is not so, for the combination is in effect not unlike the influence of the planet Uranus in some respects.67
It should be emphasized at this point that the chart is timed and located for the event of the discovery of Uranus, thus it describes that event, not the planet. A chart is simply a mathematical framework in which the planets are placed, and its purpose is to facilitate delineation. The chart cannot describe its descriptors.
The orbit of Uranus is eccentric, it rotates on its side when compared to the other planets in the solar system. From this is drawn its symbolism of personal eccentricity, unusual occurrences and behaviour.
Similarly, Uranus’s position in the solar system, as the first planet after Saturn, has been accepted to mean the breaking of old boundaries, these boundaries formerly represented the outermost limits of the solar system. So, when connected to a misunderstanding of the Ouranos myth (explained below), Uranus was associated with rebellion, independence, revolution, upheaval, and the overturning of established positions. Uranus represented the new and progressive, while Saturn represented all that was old, conservative, and out-dated.
It is notable that Saturn was thus associated with boundaries and limitation, a symbolism it maintains currently.
Astrologers associated the discovery of Uranus with the American Revolution of Independence, heralded by the Boston Tea Party of 1773 and begun with the Declaration of Independence of 1776. The British were defeated at Yorktown in 1781, the year of Uranus’s discovery, ensuring American independence. The French Revolution of 1789, which led to the execution of the French monarch and the establishment of a republic, is also linked to Uranus. These were shocking events, but were never compared to the British Civil Wars (1642–1651), which had an equally traumatic and far-reaching effect on the nation. The execution of Charles I in 1649 was held to be a terrible act, even by the opponents of the Royalist party.
Mars is the planet of war, even civil war, and it is the planet of murder and mayhem. The cause of the war is not relevant, neither is the source of the enemy. Both the French and the American Revolutions were fought on the grounds of royal and government tyranny; precisely the same cause as that of the British Civil Wars, a revolution in most respects.
From the events of the modern period is drawn Uranus’s association with revolution, upheaval, independence, and freedom; these conditions being conceived as modern and thus not belonging to Mars.
The Enlightenment lasted from 1650 to 1800 and so was almost at an end when Uranus was discovered. The demand for rationalism was firmly established as the Industrial Revolution began (1700–1950). The single most important invention of the Industrial Revolution, indeed marking its beginning, and without which it could not have been, was the steam operated pump (patented by Thomas Savary, c.1650–1715), and yet, astrologers do not mention it. At no time in the published works of astrologers contemporary with the event is steam power alluded to. Only those inventions or advances that appear to tie in with the discovery of Uranus are mentioned; without reference to the preceding work that had led up to them, they were considered in isolation.
It was the application of the science of the so-called Scientific Revolution of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to industry which enabled the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century, and is, in fact, how it is defined. Astrologers lauded Uranus as the planet of science, genius, originality, and logic, which were in fact qualities and motivations belonging to the period before its discovery.
Electricity provides a good example of how this very superficial understanding of the advances of their own period led astrologers astray. Uranus, they said, rules electricity because both were discovered around the same time. Yet, William Gilbert (1544–1603) first described electricity in his work on magnetism De Magnete of 1600, it was he who established the scientific study of magnetism. The nineteenth century saw the realization of the connection between magnetism and electricity, which led to the development of electrical current. It was fifty years after Uranus’s discovery that Faraday published his laws of electromagnetic induction. He then went on to apply them to the dynamo and transformer. These were the two inventions necessary for the large-scale generation and supply of electricity.
It is not clear to what they refer when astrologers connected electricity with Uranus. However, this ‘new’ electricity (as opposed to that occurring naturally) was deemed to require a new planet to rule it. The published material does not provide any evidence of discussions about the nature of this ‘new’ form of energy, so it is not possible to judge if they had ever countenanced the fact that electricity was generated entirely from fossil fuels: ‘old’ matters that would naturally fall under the domain of ‘old’ planets (coal, for example, being ruled by Saturn). Electricity, regardless of its date of invention, is a product of a previously existing fuel used to power steam generators. The end-result, electrical current, is the manufacturing of a naturally occurring type of energy. Since that energy is hot and dry, it should be attributed to the Sun or Mars. Both offer reasonable symbolism since the Sun is the source of all heat and light, whereas the lesser malefic, Mars, rules lightning and fire.
The wonders of air and space travel, too, have been attributed to this planet. Perhaps because the first manned flight took place in 1783 in a balloon (Montgolfier). However, in a Flemish manuscript of 1325, the first known illustration was found of a string-pull helicopter.68 Heat and hydrogen produce the lift necessary for balloon flight. There is nothing new about heat and hydrogen, although found naturally, it is manufactured from steam and oxygen, and methane, or from steam and coke. Methane, or Marsh Gas, is created by the decomposition of organic matter in the absence of oxygen and is the main component of natural gas. The latter has been in use for lighting, among other things, since the second century AD. This aids understanding of space flight, too, since the greatest obstacle to achieving it was the lack of a fuel capable of producing enough thrust to lift large rockets. This was overcome with the use of liquid fuels, particularly oxygen and hydrogen.
So, all that remains of the symbolism of Uranus is the application of existing science resulting in the new technology to which Uranus has been linked. However, modern science has applied electricity in many ways: heating, lighting, and the energy necessary to drive modern appliances. Electricity keeps us warm, it gives us light, it powers tools; but fire also keeps us warm, lights our homes, and wind and water can power tools. We should not assume that electric central heating, for example, is fundamentally different from the under-floor heating systems of the Romans, or that the nature of light has been changed. An oven roasts meat or bakes cakes whether it is fuelled by electricity or solid fuel. There might be differences in efficiency, but there is no difference in essence; electricity is energy and that is well within the scope of the traditional planets.
Travel, too, is an activity that can be symbolized through the actions of the traditional planets, Mercury and the Moon. How one undertakes that travel is not of the essence, it is merely the vehicle, although its driving force might describe the vehicle. So, the old sailing ships relied on wind power, or air. The rockets that lift the spacecraft above the Earth’s gravitational pull are powered by, what is in essence, air and heat. The enormity and danger of a space flight is exactly mirrored in the journeys of exploration of earlier centuries. Was not the footprint of the first European on American soil as momentous as the footprint of the first human on the Moon’s surface?
Computers perform mathematical functions and they do it by the means of electronics and electricity. Mathematical calculations fall under the aegis of Mercury; whether of abacus or computer it remains a mercurial activity. Science is mercurial because it is of the intellect, its essence, it is of no importance to what subject that science or intellect is applied. Technology is applied science and it is not new. The printing press was once modern, cutting-edge technology. Astrology is a science, in the broader sense of the word, and is partly of the intellect, it is thus ruled by Mercury.
The Uranian symbolism of genius and originality appears, in part, to have been extrapolated from such scientific advances and inventions. The period in which the Theosophist astrologers were writing in such confident terms about Uranus, was marked by the same confidence in the scientists. Contemporary science was seen as the apex of intellectual achievement.
“We are on the threshold (we hope – necessarily so if our civilization is to survive) of a New Age … This is a democratic age, but it is also a scientific age.”69
As will be explained, originality became the watchword for astrologers, becoming the driving force in the search for astrological (in their terms, Uranian) excellence.
The push for originality and the desire for scientific acceptance go some way to explaining the often-repeated instruction to judge astrological symbolism and method through personal experience and practice. At first sight, this appears to be a sensible instruction and entirely in keeping with the tradition. However, on closer inspection, it is apparent that personal opinion is to be accepted as the rule without reference to established authority or principles. The scientific principle of experimentation was only superficially understood and they merely latched on to the principle of proving a theory through experiment and experience. Consequently, the results were insubstantial and inconclusive.
The Ouranos (Uranus) Myth
The most well known of the myths associated with Uranus is that of the god of the heavens, whose wife was Gaia, the Earth. Cronos (later associated with Saturn), was their youngest son and the only one to agree to protect his mother against Uranus. He did this by castrating his father and supplanting him in heaven.70 This is often explained by astrologers as showing the (Uranian) impulse to rebel.71But it seems to have been overlooked that Saturn has taken action against the ‘established authority’ in Uranus, and he has done that in response to his mother’s request for help, not in rebellion against his father. Cronos, or Saturn, thus becomes king of heaven and earth until overcome by his own son, Zeus (Jupiter).
The evidence points towards a later adoption by astrologers of this myth. Its having been applied erroneously, exemplifies the power of the printed word. This error has continued because few have challenged its veracity, trusting what they have read to be reliable.
Education, dissemination of knowledge, ideas, and logic, plus science and technology (as explained earlier) are of Mercury. It is clear that the Theosophist astrologers were aware of the traditional symbolism and that they accepted it:
The special influence coming through each planet has been described by ancient astrologers who were evidently taught by those who knew, for as we have just hinted, modern students have found by study and practice that in the main, all that has been stated by their predecessors is true, with regard to the nature of each planet.72
However, that did not prevent them from attributing Mercury’s symbolism to Uranus. This, of course, would present problems in astrological interpretation because it would be impossible to separate the actions of the two planets; it is mentioned, if somewhat coyly, in the following quote. While the author is cautious about the natures of Uranus and Neptune in this instance, that caution is contradicted immediately afterwards, and elsewhere, by long explanations of their influences.
It may be safely stated that astrologers are quite familiar with all the temperaments coming under the various planets, save those which belong to the Uranian and Neptunian group. Of these two much more is known of the former than the latter, by so far as experience goes up to the present, Uranus and Neptune appear to represent the two extremes of a certain temperament which may be termed, for want of a better word, the spiritual.73
It is becoming clear how Mercury and Uranus were to be delineated: the seven traditional planets formed the basis of ‘exoteric’ or ‘materialistic’ astrology, whereas the new planets were part of the ‘esoteric’ or ‘spiritual’ system upon which the Theosophist astrologers placed heavy emphasis.
This emphasis is seen explicitly throughout the works of Alan Leo, and is implicit within the published work of those who came after him.
The Greeks held to the tradition [of the Chaldeans] for a time, but the study gradually became more an art than a science with them, and had so far degenerated in its teachings that little trace of the original truths can be found in the Greek authors known to us, while it was left to the Romans to finally destroy the little life that was left in Astrology as an esoteric study. Nevertheless, … it flourished in the early days of the Roman Empire, in its exoteric form, though … it became corrupted and sank into what was known as judicial Astrology, finally becoming nothing more than a form of divination by which horoscopes were cast for the hour [horary astrology].… With all due respect to modern exponents of the science, who have laboured hard in its defence, we are bound to admit that their study has been too much mixed up with considerations appertaining to ‘horary’ Astrology, a system which will not compare with the methods of astrological practice taught by the wise men of the East.74
The ‘esoteric’ astrology of Theosophist doctrine is clearly given precedence, indeed superiority, over, what they term, ‘exoteric’. It is at this point that, in the confusion of their symbolic applications, it becomes difficult to separate doctrinal motivations from those of inadequate, or biased, astrological knowledge and understanding.
So, to separate the significations of Mercury from those of Uranus, it is necessary first to accept Uranus as a planet of ‘spiritual’ or ‘esoteric’ significance. Once done, the Theosophists’ readers then need to accept the notion of ‘octave expressions’. In this case, Uranus is taken as the ‘higher octave’ of Mercury: so, for example, where Mercury rules the intellect, Uranus rules genius; where Mercury rules communications, Uranus rules communication of ‘higher’ principles.
Of course, by ‘octave expression’ is meant a more subtle and penetrating, a more refined and delicate species of emanation, of what in the main may be considered a similar constitutional quality in the lower manifestation. The essence, and perhaps even the quintessence, is implied, just as the musical tone has its octave not radically different from the lower generator, but composed of a greater number of vibrations, which in successive octaves may become so rapid and so numerous that only the most acute and finely developed ear can distinguish any sound at all,…75
Thus, Uranus’s functions operate on (or, its influence is ‘responded to’ by) those of a more advanced level of spiritual evolution.
It has been suggested that both Uranus and Neptune are the spiritual correspondents, or counterparts, of Mercury and Venus – i.e. so far as their influence in human affairs is concerned. This is quite in accord with astrological experience, and may be the reason that Uranus produces eccentrics in the intellectual worlds, and Neptune eccentrics in the artistic world. They probably are in touch with elements of thought and feeling that are wholly inconceivable to the more mundane types of Venus and Mercury.76
Eccentricity, originality, and independence are seen as new qualities, not belonging to the ‘septenary scheme’ of the traditional planets.77 These qualities belonging to their own age, (later, though, these ‘Uranian’ qualities were applied to people of previous ages in terms of genius) apparently only a new planet could express them adequately.
The problem remained, however, of how to identify those who responded to the influences of the new planets correctly and those who did not.
The chief difficulty of astrology probably lies in the fact that we cannot, in the light of our present knowledge, know which side of any particular influence will manifest; and this especially applies to the more remote bodies, which lie beyond our present norm of development. Uranus dominant may mean genius – mechanical, scientific or inspirational; or, to a lower level, independence of outlook expressed broadly in intellectual or practical directions, as in business initiative… or it may indicate lack of control or eccentricity, especially when rising, or otherwise prominent in a weak map.78
No clear answer to these problems was ever given, they held to the aspiration that astrologers of the future, through experience, would provide the solution. We see again the instruction that experience can be the only teacher.79 It was obvious to them that mistakes were being and would be made and they dealt with those through the symbolism they had given to Uranus:
“Sudden and unexpected events will occur, and act in an almost unknowable manner, which makes it impossible to judge accurately exactly what will happen under his vibrations.“80
There is never any question about the validity of Uranus’s symbolism, or of its inclusion in the astrological system at all. In this case, the planet itself is responsible for the astrologer’s inability to predict its action. The flawed logic is simply subsumed in a pretence of mysticism. He continues:
It is now certain that the ancients knew of the planet Uranus, but only those who were as far removed from the ordinary humanity as the poles came under its influence, and that for an occult and esoteric reason that cannot be explained at present.
The cause of such certainty is not forthcoming, but that does nothing to deter either Leo or the other Theosophical authors on astrology, who continue to produce similar arguments in support of their astrological system. The problem was explained through the fact that Uranus generally had little influence at that time; it was the planet of a race of men yet to come.
There is, however, one limiting condition or modifying factor, which imposes some restraint in the general practice: that is to say, as the two planets are only in evidence in comparatively few persons among those now existing, – or rather, as their true nature is only exerted and can only function when the Ego has grown up to it, as it were, – it follows that in the great majority through ignorance and abuse a ‘permutation’ occurs, because the divine and human nature are at enmity. In such cases it is to be expected that sign and planet will not agree, and the real rulership (Aquarius Uranus, Pisces Neptune) is nonplussed and held in abeyance.81
It is quite clear that they were unable to delineate Uranus satisfactorily, in that the symbolism they have attributed to it does not operate in practice, but this is never admitted, only explained away.
The next step was to insert Uranus into the scheme of planetary rulerships of the zodiacal signs. Some hesitation is in evidence, although it does not appear to have lasted for very long:
“The dominion of Uranus is indefinite, for he has no house [sign] of his own, though he is most successfully placed when in the airy triplicity.“82
The problems were multiplied once sign rulership was attributed to Uranus. Not only was it necessary to distinguish between the ‘higher’ and ‘lower’ types subject to Mercury and Uranus, but also between those Aquarians who were ruled by Saturn, the traditional ruler, and those who were ruled by Uranus, the new ruler. Having dealt with the problem of ‘higher and lower octaves’, it was a small step to manage Saturn’s unwelcome complication:
In the advanced egos found among the ranks of astrologers, theosophists, esoterics, occultists, and generators of spiritual or revealers of concealed thought in any direction, the two far-away denizens of our solar system, Uranus and Neptune, will, I feel assured, be found to dominate the respective zodiacal signs of Aquarius and Pisces.83
It is unsurprising that they should include themselves as possessors of ‘advanced egos’, and they had no qualms about extending the rulership of the new discoveries, changing the system when needed in order to accommodate them. Leo had been instructing his readers, in earlier works, that whilst no signs of rulership had been decided upon for Uranus and Neptune, they should be accepted as substitutes for the Sun and the Moon.84 Speaking of himself, he says:
He has for some time held that Uranus and Neptune rule Aquarius and Pisces respectively, and intuitively has never been able to get beyond this idea.85
Again, intuition is held in higher regard than straightforward study and reflection. No doubts or questions are raised about that since those statements are made within the context of Theosophical astrology which held that intuition was a suitable method of investigation into these matters.
Uranus was given Aquarius to rule because it was said to be the ‘higher octave’ of Mercury. In their system, Mercury was exalted in Aquarius, thus Uranus was placed into Mercury’s exaltation.86 Saturn as the old sign ruler was allowed to retain some rulership, but only over those of the lower orders:
while in some Aquarians the limiting influence of Saturn is still present, in others the higher side of Uranus’ influence is pronounced. … and those who are least prepared to respond to the higher side of Uranus will fall most under the limiting influence of Saturn. Even in the higher type of Aquarian, however, some facets of Saturn’s influence will be prominent, … where the Saturnian element is still dominant, the motive may be wholly material and selfish – while at its best it will be practical and Saturnian even when inspired by Uranian ideals. … Many widely different types will be found in this sign: unconventional (Uranus) and conventional (Saturn).87
A native born when the Sun was in Aquarius could be either Uranian or Saturnian, depending on his or her evolutionary level. Or, they could be both at once, leaving little room for any errors needing to be acknowledged as such. Since no-one really knew how to define the higher and lower types associated with the new planets, the astrologer need not feel responsibility for describing the native incorrectly.
“These rulerships [of the signs] are not only founded on tradition, but have been established by observation;“88
The ‘tradition’ in question is never revealed, but it is not of the western predictive tradition. In fact, given the low regard in which the astrology of previous ages was held (apart, that is, from what they call the Chaldean period), it would be surprising if any antecedent procedure had been used at all. The repeated mention of ‘observation’ and ‘experience’ is intended to provide scientific basis to their activities. However, they seem oblivious to the fact that their own ‘observation’ and ‘experience’ has failed to provide a reliable system in general, or a symbology for Uranus that can be consistently applied in practice.
A light examination of some historical events will provide evidence for these comments. Space exploration and travel is most firmly attributed to Uranus, so its prominence in charts relating to those matters would be expected. The first in importance is the chart for the launch of the first artificial satellite – Sputnik 1 – marking the beginning of the Space Age.89
Uranus is not at all prominently placed; it is, however, receiving sextile aspects from the planets in Libra and a trine from Saturn in Sagittarius. More important is the Moon’s position in the 7th in the airy sign of Aquarius, this is descriptive of travel (the Moon rules travel) by air (Aquarius). Venus and Saturn, too, are angular, but this chart refers to the launch of the satellite, so we should enquire after that which is above the horizon. As the ruler of the rising sign, the Sun should also be investigated as the significator of the satellite. It is disposited by Venus, the ruler of airy Libra, which is placed on the ground, in the 4th. Venus, then, represents the controllers of the satellite.
The involvement of Mars and Jupiter by conjunction with the Sun describes the propulsion system (Sun and Mars) which launched the rocket and freed (Jupiter) it from the Earth’s gravitational pull. The Moon itself is void of course and so the satellite will not complete its journey: it was not intended to return to Earth.90 Uranus is not providing the same kind of description vital to this delineation.
As the chart for the beginning of the Space Age, Uranus has even less to say, placed as it is in a cadent and unfortunate house. Finding the Moon in late degrees and void of course, we might doubt the predictions of the scientists and politicians, and the utility of space exploration. Having landed astronauts on the Moon, it might be questioned how much further space travel can proceed. The chart shows Mercury in Virgo in the 2nd house and Mars, Sun, and Jupiter in the 3rd in an Air sign. It is clear that the greatest benefit (if it can be described as such) to humanity derives from space technology, which has brought us great advances in communications, amongst other things.
Although the data for this chart are not certain since the Russians did not announce the launch until the next day, Uranus, if it is the significator of all things to do with space exploration, should be providing more information than it is.
Space exploration is deemed to have begun in 1903 when Russian physicist Tsiolkovsky advocated the use of liquid-fuelled rockets for space exploration. In the same year the Wright brothers successfully made the first powered and manned flight lasting twelve seconds.
The chart this time shows Uranus in the 11th house and, although this is better than the previous chart, it is still uninspiring in terms of this momentous occasion.91 We see the Moon’s prominence repeated, this time in the 10th house. If Uranus was the ruler of air travel one would expect it to be placed as the Moon is. Saturn rules the Ascendant, and so is also representative of the aircraft and its passenger. It is in the Air sign of Aquarius. Saturn is only a little above the horizon, describing the lack of height that was achieved. The fixed sign placing is not good for travel because it slows momentum, but is apt for a flight of only twelve seconds’ duration.
Misunderstanding of the Astrological System
Consideration needs to be given to the prime motivation of constructing a ‘new’ and ‘scientific’ astrology. The methods used to achieve that were subtractive. In the search for a scientific basis for astrology, all that might have been construed as superstition, or as not ‘rational’, was rejected. Science provided them with the licence they needed to proceed: the adoption of the scientific philosophy of proving by experiment and experience, and the questioning of all that had gone before. As discussed previously, this is explicit within the published work of the Theosophist astrologers:
Experiments on a large scale, however, brought the experience and the facts necessary to prove the permanent value of the Progressive Horoscope…92
Leo is discussing his new method of directing the horoscope, but as elsewhere, whilst using the language of scientific rigour, fails to offer any evidence of scientific basis.
A declared aim of change when added to a lack of astrological comprehension (these authors made it clear that they did not understand many of the techniques and constructs of the astrology they had inherited) cleared the way for the breaking down of the western predictive tradition. It was now possible to investigate certain astrological techniques and reject them based simply on personal experience of them as ineffective. Little seems to have been done to confirm the validity of that experience, or to minimize subjective influence. All objections were demolished in the name of ‘personal experience’, its power maintaining to this day.
The pivotal misunderstanding was that of sect (explained in ‘Astrological Fundamentals’ above). Although the following example is extracted from an early book about Pluto, its author explains how the planets have been given dominion of the signs:
SATURN is an earthy planet, previously having rule over an earth and an air sign. It retained rulership over the earthy sign of Capricorn, corresponding to its basic nature, while it had to yield the airy sign of Aquarius to the airy planet, Uranus. (Most modern writers speak of Uranus as an airy planet, but in the strict sense, it is an earthy-airy planet, acting on a material-spiritual plane. As the first of the outer planets it has the task of spiritualising the material, to unfetter and set free the earth-bound qualities of the sign Aquarius. This is why Saturn is fighting for rulership whenever it is found in the sign Aquarius…).93
He is matching the elementary nature of the planet to the element of the sign, which contradicts the system. Saturn does have an earthy nature, but, as explained previously, that is not the reason for its being the ruler of Capricorn. He continues with Jupiter, which he says is a fiery planet, previously having had rule over Sagittarius, a fiery sign, and Pisces, a watery sign. In the new scheme Jupiter maintains rulership of Sagittarius because it accords with its nature, while Pisces is given to watery Neptune. In fact, Jupiter is an airy planet and thus accords elementally with neither Sagittarius nor Pisces.
It is unnecessary to proceed with all of the other planets and signs, except Mercury (a planet having exercised these astrologers for some time because of its rulership of and exaltation in Virgo):
Lastly, the earthy planet, MERCURY, retains the earth sign, Virgo, yielding the sign Gemini to the still undiscovered twelfth planet, in the event such a planet should be discovered, which I consider certain.94
Mercury is a watery planet and, as with the others, is given rulership of Gemini and Virgo in accordance with the solar and lunar sects. Being unable to comprehend the structure of planetary dominion, and determined to accommodate Uranus, the construction of sect was overruled. It was simply a question of time to them; eventually there would be ten planets belonging to this solar system, and each sign would then have one ruler each. In this, we see the beginnings of addition, the system could not hold together by subtraction alone.
Further addition, and confusion, is evidenced in the same author’s summary:
Therefore, the five ancient planets must retain the signs having the same elements as they have themselves. A portion of the characteristics of the ancient planets will be ceded to the new planets … namely that part which corresponds to the signs yielded with their discovery. Thus, Uranus assumes the Aquarian qualities of Saturn, … There is no reason to assume that the old planets are fully divorced from the signs which they have relinquished, for they should still be retained as co-rulers. An individual sign will be definitely assigned when all twelve planets shall become known…95
It is clear from this passage that the new planets were absorbing symbolism from the signs, even though this in itself was erroneous. In the preceding quote, Saturn is said to have Aquarian qualities, when in fact, the reverse is true. Aquarius, as shown earlier, has certain descriptive qualities, one of those is its rulership by Saturn: Aquarius is Saturnian, this author is saying that Saturn is Aquarian.
When this is added to the misunderstanding of the consignification of the houses and signs, the disharmony is complete. The method was that since Aquarius ruled the 11th house (because it is the 11th sign), then Uranus as the ruler, or co-ruler, of Aquarius also ruled the 11th house. Uranus thus took on the significations of friendship; on the other hand, Aquarius took on the Uranian symbolism of humanitarianism, reform, humanism, and so on. This was extended, through the 11th house signification of friendship to the rulership of groups and group activities. Drawing again from Saturn, Uranus became the ruler of divorce and separation.
So, Aquarius, the 11th house, Saturn, and Uranus all become symbolic of the same matters. When this is put into practice, where the 11th house has a sign other than Aquarius on its cusp the confusion deepens. For example, should Aries be found on the 11th house, friends might be signified or described by Aries, its ruler Mars, a planet in the 11th house, Aquarius, any planet in that sign, Uranus, the sign it is in, possibly Saturn and its sign, although the latter is less likely these days since Uranus is usually accepted as the sole ruler of Aquarius.
The following chart, and the astrological note accompanying its data, demonstrates how all of this was put into practice.96 We have seen how certain astrological principles were rejected, and how Uranus was inserted into the system, the chart indicates the result of such changes.
These data were provided alongside mention of a similar crash in Edinburgh, the only astrological comments made was to note that Uranus was in the 3rd house and that Saturn was rising. Several house systems were used but Uranus was not found to be in the 3rd house or within 5° of that cusp (a planet within 5° of a house cusp is taken as being in that next house). Yet, the most obvious placement is that of Saturn in the 1st house. The 1st house is significant of the train and its occupants, Virgo is on that cusp, so Mercury rules the 1st. It is combust of the Sun in the 3rd house of journeys. The two most obvious arguments in the context of this event are excluded in favour of Uranus. No comment was made regarding the Edinburgh crash.
It is clear that the astrologers, particularly those members of the Theosophical Society, of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries were intent on creating a new astrological system, paradoxically, based on that allegedly belonging to the Chaldeans of old. In the rush to show the scientific community that astrology was also a science, the astrological authors did not recognize their own lack of scholarly rigour. As they pushed aside all considerations of astrological propriety, they lost ground apace with academia. No consideration seems to be have been given to the events leading up to the political events, and scientific and technological advances. They are treated as isolated incidents requiring the astrological effect of Uranus. The overarching reason for Uranus being the ruler of those matters, it is said, is that they are new; the seven traditional planets could not be used to explain these matters. Such an outlook betrays a fundamental misconception about astrology.
Once the symbolism of Uranus was established, the way was clear for the introduction of Neptune and Pluto into the system. The precedent had been set and more would be subtracted as the astronomers discovered more. The popular astrological authors were convinced that Uranus had a rightful place in the ancient wisdom of astrology. Moreover, they were convincing their readership, borne out by the very close similarities of the symbolism proposed in those early books to that now in general use.
59 John Partridge, Merlinus Liberatus (London, 1794).
60 William Seed, An Almanack (London 1847). Notice that this is a year after the discovery of Neptune.
61 Asteroids lying between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter.
62 Worsdale, Celestial Philosophy, p. 56.
63 A time of between 10am and 11am is probably more correct, but the time mentioned in the chart here is that which is most frequently mentioned during the early twentieth century.
64 This chart is erected using the Regiomontanus house system. Most other popular house systems were checked using Janus software and Uranus remains in the 8th house.
65 Raphael, A Manual of Astrology, p. 216.
66 William C. Eldon Serjeant, ed., The Astrologer’s Guide: Anima Astrologiae.’ (London, 1886 reprint of 1676 original), note p. 74. Eldon Serjeant was a Fellow of the Theosophical Society. This book comprises the 146 Considerations of Guido Bonatti and the Seven Segments of Jerome Cardan. It was first published as an English translation in 1676, translated by Henry Coley and edited by William Lilly.
67 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 41.
68 One source is https://www.newscientist.com/lastword/mg15821348-500-the-last-word/.
69 Harrison, The Measure of Life, p. xiii.
70 Pierre Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, trans. A.R. Maxwell-Hyslop (Oxford, 1987).
71 Charles and Suzy Harvey, Principles of Astrology (London, 1999), p. 87.
72 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 28.
73 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. ix.
74 Leo, Astrology For All: Part I, p. vii.
75 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. 117.
76 Sepharial, The Manual of Astrology, p. 16.
77 Harrison, The Measure of Life, p. 21.
78 Harrison, The Measure of Life, p. 268.
79 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 47.
80 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 36.
81 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. 113.
82 Sepharial, The Manual of Astrology, p. 16.
83 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. 117.
84 Leo, How to Judge a Nativity, p. 27.
85 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. 117.
86 Leo, The Art of Synthesis, p. 117.
87 Harrison, The Measure of Life, p. 52.
88 Harrison, The Measure of Life, p. 26.
89 Nicholas Campion, The Book of World Horoscopes (Wellingborough, 1988), pp. 361-362. The chart is calculated by Janus using Regiomontanus cusps, and results in a difference of almost ½° on the Ascendant when compared with the chart provided by Campion.
90 It is not applying to major aspect with any planet.
91 Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, p. 361. Calculated with Janus software using Regiomontanus house system.
92 Leo, The Progressed Horoscope, p. 13.
93 Fritz Brunhubner, Pluto (Germany, 1934, revised 1971).
94 Brunhubner, Pluto
95 Brunhubner, Pluto,
96 ‘Notes’, The Astrologer’s Magazine, London, January 1891, vol. 1 no. 6, p. 135. Chart is calculated using Janus software, with Regiomontanus cusps
翻譯：Hueimin Lin/Julie Ho｜編審：Maki S. Zhai
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