Astrology will surprise you ...

Recently I was at a gathering at which a young astrologer wailed, "Uranus is opposing my Moon during my prime child-bearing years!"  Now I don't want to shame her, there's reason to be concerned here.  The implication of her lament was, "Uranus, god of accidents and sudden change, will prevent me from getting pregnant (symbolized by the Moon) or from bringing a child to term."  Or worse, heaven forbid. But should that Uranian transit prevent her from trying, if she's feeling the call of motherhood?  The evolutionary answer is - no!  Don't let the projection of the transit's worst manifestation stop you from actualizing your heart's desire.

Here's why: astrological transits rarely conform to our expectations of worst-case scenarios.  If they did, we'd all be dead.  Many people have lost their mothers, suddenly, under this transit's influence, and others have lost children to accidents so bizarre they seem "fated."  This is sensitive territory.  But I would guess that just as many people fell in love during this transit to their natal chart - for the first time with someone of the same gender!  Or finally managed to swing a job at a not-for-profit company.  In the first case, Uranian (progressive, surprising) sexuality is opposing (coming from the outside, often symbolized by the impact of another person) one's emotional life and sense of home.  I realize this is somewhat of a non-standard interpretation - in the astrological literature.  But in practice, astrology is truly a Uranian art in that it will surprise you with the myriad and endless ways energetic symbolism can come to life on the material plane.  In the second example, political consciousness (Uranus) has welled up to the point in the individual that he feels pressure (the opposition) to feed his soul and sense of home (the Moon) by switching to a career whose basis is an ethic of care.  A transition at work - with a Uranus/Moon transit, the by-the-book astrologer asks?  Sure!  Many natal Moons feel at home at work (Virgo, Capricorn, Aries) and airy Moons (Gemini, Libra, Aquarius) could be stimulated by this transit to become more authentic (Uranian) to their inherently egalitarian natures.  Confused yet?  That's part of the point. 

I've found, increasingly, that transits manifest in individual lives as uniquely as dream symbolism is to the individual psyche.  Though the transits always carry a piece of the inherent symbolism (in this example, Uranus opposing the Moon), the transit's specific manifestation might be unrecognizable from one individual to the next.  The energies we are working with here are vast and cosmic and pure; manifestation on the material plane, conversely, is small and narrow and, for that reason, infinitely variable. 

Let's play a game. What are all the bad things that could happen to you when Uranus transits your Moon by opposition?  Lightning strikes your house and burns it down (Uranian shock to the lunar nest).  Your husband leaves you (someone else's Uranian independence whacks your sense of security).  In the case of my friend who's concerned about getting pregnant, let's really ramp up the negative imagery.  Expensive, intrusive technology will be required to facilitate the pregnancy (Uranus is associated with cutting-edge lab work).  The mother will suffer an accident while pregnant.  The fetus will be diagnosed with a debilitating illness and she'll be forced to terminate while it's in the womb.  The baby will be born with two heads. And a tail.

Writing that bit of sorcery felt absolutely awful.  But isn't it better to state our worst fears than to let them fester because a nay-saying astrological tradition waved its finger and said, "don't get pregnant right now"?  Shame on us astrologers, I say, for not having more creative and constructive interpretations for this transit. Let's think of five WONDERFUL things a Uranian transit could mean in the context of pregnancy. 1) The baby is born premature, but healthy, and the parents are continually shocked and surprised by all the odd and capricious ways the little bundle finds to express itself. 2) The mother develops psychic communication with the child after getting pregnant, and talks to its spirit.  The onset of this skill is sudden (Uranian) and permanently alters the mother's emotional mood (Moon). Uranus is weird, after all, and symbolizes New Agey phenomena that the Muggles can barely get their heads around. 3) The mother can't conceive, but by a strange chain of events she is good friends with her husband's ex-girlfriend, and the ex-girlfriend is willing to be a surrogate, and even though just - nobody - understands this arrangement, all the major parties involved are happy and pleased with the outcome (Uranus = strange and progressive social relationships). 4) The poor way the mother is treated at work after getting pregnant inspires her to become a legal advocate for the rights of pregnant women in the workplace (the politicization of motherhood). 5) And, finally, the least exotic and therefore one of the most likely outcomes of pregnancy under a Uranus transit: The woman in question gets pregnant and suddenly feels free. What - you cry!  Free!  When saddling herself with twenty years of work and more?  Yes, free.  She's always done it everyone else's way, and now she's got her own kid and is the ultimate authority over that child's life.  She's free to express her beliefs and understanding of the world, free to try her own educational methods on the child, free to open up the nurturing side of herself that had been dormant up till now.  Paradoxically, pregnancy and motherhood prompt a radically authentic expression of her emotional nature.

I think it is the ethical astrologer's job to let astrology surprise us.  Every day.  You'd be shocked at how often astrologers discard perfectly rich and legitimate information from the client because it doesn't fit a textbook description.

Engage that part of your mind you would open up at an art gallery, or a Mahler concert, or a dream group, and let the symbols speak.