On Doubt and Freedom
Uranus turns retrograde at 6:29 am GMT on 26th July. Its journey through Aries, which began in 2011, awakens us to the need for profound change that unleashes the creative power rooted deep within the fabric of our lives. An unpredictable planet, Uranus in a fire sign is even more full of surprises than usual, suddenly incinerating our well made plans and efforts to allow for new growth from scorched ground. Its action is electrifying, at times traumatic. It burns up in the blink of an eye anything that hinders progress, regardless of its apparent significance. If Uranus wants it gone it’s gone and any attendant pride we had along with it! Uranus humbles and empowers us. Whilst it shows us who’s ‘boss’, it also reveals our sovereign and sacred power to align ourselves with its might. Thus we become the very flame which burns through the detritus of our inner and outer lives, allowing them to be born anew, phoenix-like from the flames.
When moving forward Uranus turns its attentions to the circumstances of our lives, shaking them up here then there then back here again as we run to and fro to keep up. When retrograde it surveys our inner world, challenging the limitations, restrictions and boundaries we place around ourselves. Uranus is never one for ‘safe’. Not in the way we often mean. ‘Safe’ to Uranus is the willingness to embrace absolutely anything at any moment – living the full catastrophe and unreserved ecstasy of our lives with unbounded passion and unwavering dedication to its fulfilment no matter what. If our definition of safe is a predictable, tameable life Uranus has us in its crosshairs and the coming months provide a precious opportunity to attend to our fears, penetrate their depths and free ourselves from the foreboding that shapes our lives.
It’s frequently easier to spot outer constrictions than inner ones. We can be so very close to the beliefs underpinning our self-image that we have zero objectivity towards them, making it impossible to see ourselves as anything other than who we think we are. This blind spot is the source of our greatest limitation, for if we cannot perceive where we limit ourselves we become our own jailer. We can defy the restricting expectations of the outside world all we want, but if we cannot do the same within we are forever bound. Uranus tells us it’s time to stand back from ourselves, take an objective view and question the most fundamental assumptions underpinning our identity. Why is it so important that we see ourselves a certain way, secure acknowledgement of particular qualities or define ourselves as we do? What’s it all about? What do we gain and what do we lose? And most importantly, what would happen if we dared to let even our most treasured identity be blown to smithereens by Uranus’s mighty power to create us anew?
If we all follow the lead of Uranus in the coming months there’ll be a lot of profoundly changed people around come the beginning of next year! Fear of change will have dissipated, terror of non-acceptance swept aside, the oppression of ‘what will they think?’ cast into the past. All to make way for more vibrant, inspired and liberated individuals who can flow with the ups and downs of life, the unexpected twists and turns of fate that will forever keep us on our toes. However, as Uranus turns retrograde a square to Mars in Cancer highlights the significant emotional charge underpinning such change. Unleashing its power in our lives will entail facing the very pain that much of our self-restriction is designed to avoid! If the prospect of rejection feels like death itself, the notion of speaking our challenging truth may seem too much to bear. If an aspect of our identity defines so much of who we are that letting it go threatens the very fabric of our life, facing the void that follows its demise may threaten to push us beyond our emotional limits. There’s no shame in this. Such deep-rooted change unsettles us at a fundamental level, challenging all we have relied upon to face the world each day. It takes profound courage to do this inner work, and it takes time. Whilst Uranus assists us with its own special brand of awakening, we begin to do our part by simply opening to the possibility that we’re not who we have perceived ourselves to be.
Oftentimes doubt is the first step. Allowing ourselves to soften around our self-beliefs, to allow for the nuance of ‘maybe I’m not as clear cut as I thought’ creates space for new perspectives. Self-doubt is often perceived as negative, to be discarded along with self-criticism. But in fact doubt can be a profoundly fertile state which opens the way for otherwise impossible change. The better able we are to tolerate, embrace and even celebrate doubt the better, for in doing so we signal to Uranus we’re on board with its programme of inner reform!
Uranus will turn retrograde in Aries again. This isn’t our final opportunity and we’re not in the last chance saloon. However, the greater our readiness to allow our very selves to drop away, revealing what lies behind the many masks we wear, the greater will be our freedom when Uranus turns direct once more at the end of this year, rearranging our lives to reflect our inner liberation. If the contraction of past trauma and unhealed pain lives on in the present to clip our wings and prevent our flight, the coming months allow us to tend to these wounds. It may hurt at first, but the freedom of healing will more than eclipse the numbing entropy of a life spent avoiding the pain.