Posted by: Donna Cunningham | April 11, 2009

Piracy on the High Seas and the Pirates among Us: The Transiting Mars-Uranus Conjunction

©2009 by Donna Cunningham, MSW 

 As transiting Mars in Pisces builds up to a conjunction with Uranus, we are riveted by a drama involving modern-day pirates, and in the past couple of years, piracy has been on the rise on our seas.  The conjunction–exact on April 15–will continue to be within an 8° range until early May, so the issue isn’t going away.  What is it about Mars and Uranus in combination that reverberates to pirates and outlaws? 

 Many of the people born with this conjunction have an air of the swashbuckling pirate, with a little half-smile that says, “I dare you to stop me.” In the movies, at least, who doesn’t love a pirate? Johnny Depp, who has a Mars-Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo, played a convincing pirate captain in his Pirates of the Caribbean movies. When the first of this series of four Mars-Uranus conjunctions in Pisces occurred in 2003, he was named People Magazine‘s Sexiest Man Alive. The transiting conjunction of that year opposed his natal Mars-Uranus conjunction, so he possessed daring qualities that tickled our own Inner Outlaw. His fans will soon be treated to another movie in which he plays notorious bank robber John Dillinger. (Depp, whose chart is shown below, was born June 9, 1963, at 8:44 AM in Owensboro, KY, according to his birth certificate.) 


Naturally, we’re not going to get the birth information of the Somali pirates, but I’d bet anything that many of them have aspects between Mars and Uranus.  pirate-wikimMars-Uranus types can be adventuresome, with the rash courage of those who don’t know enough to be afraid or who don’t believe they’ll suffer the same consequences as ordinary people for flying in the face of convention. Their numbers include many champions who are forever pushing the window of achievement in their fields. However, the adventures are not always physical ones. People with this gutsy aspect may engage instead in political, social, or intellectual trailblazing, but they’re often pioneers on the far side of whatever field fascinates them.  

 Blending keywords for Mars and for Uranus, we come up with evocative combinations that give a sense of the aspects’ range of possibilities: 

 Visionary pioneer      inventive adventurer   rash innovator     daring eccentric    brilliant leader     unconventional competitor   bold outlaw    angry iconoclast     explosive athlete    exciting challenger    brainy warrior       aggressive nonconformist      Feisty rebel masculine icon     fearless feminist 

 As you can see, these are not likely to be everyday people, but extraordinary, and are bound to be noticed, whether for their deeds or misdeeds. Many Uranians carry a sort of electric charge that makes them high-strung and excitable, and the Mars variety of Uranian can have an excess of physical and sexual tension that begs to be channeled into constructive outlets. When the tension has no outlet or when hide-bound Mars-Uranus individuals encounter resistance to their drives or desires, they may express anger explosively. Whether they’re prone to do so verbally or physically depends on the total astrological picture: Mars in an air sign, for instance, is more inclined to verbal outbursts of a caustic nature, while Mars in a fire sign might need a more physical or sexual outlet. 

 For Uranian types like bikers, outlaws, or radicals, the “enemy” is often seen as the authorities or society as a whole. Mars adds a distinct flavor of feistiness, or even downright combativeness. The reckless provocateurs among them can challenge authority or the norm aggressively. There’s much in today’s world that needs challenging, and yet their way of going about it often raises hackles, for they can be provocative and arrogant, trying to bring about change through conquest rather than accord. 

The more positive Mars-Uranus types can be still adventuresome, with the rash courage of those who don’t know enough to be afraid or who don’t believe they’ll suffer the same consequences as ordinary people for flying in the face of convention. Their numbers include many athletic champions who are forever pushing the window of achievement in their fields. However, the adventures are not always physical ones. People with this gutsy aspect may engage instead in political, social, or intellectual trailblazing, but they’re often pioneers on the far side of whatever field fascinates them. 

Note:  This material is drawn from a longer chapter about Mars-Uranus aspects in my ebook, Outer Planet Aspects to Venus and Mars: The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume 2, available at 


See more about the Mars-Uranus conjunction here:  

The Mars-Uranus Conjunction in Pisces and Children Born with it 

And an important article about piracy closer to home and what it can mean for those of us who love astrology: Pirated Astrology Books and What They Can Cost our Field 

And, for fellow fans of Johnny Depp, here’s another article about his horoscope: Depp’s Darker Roles—Where Do They Show in his Chart? 

More Posts about Mars on this Blog: 

More Posts about Uranus on this Blog:  

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  1. […] Mars-Uranus conjunction earlier this year, I wrote a detailed piece about this aspect at: “Piracy on the High Seas and the Pirates among Us.”  Hopefully Dillinger will be lighter than recent films, but I’m not fooling myself […]

  2. Loved the bit about Johnny Depp. I quoted a bit and linked to the article from Thanks

    • You’re welcome, Pat. I’m always surprised. That piece was written several months ago, the Mars-Uranus conjunction is long since past, and still it gets lots of drop-in readers. Donna

  3. Ha ha ha yep this is a fun aspect to have….Mars conjunct Parallel Uranus in Gemini 9th , plus parallel Pluto in Leo 10th and the Venus/ Saturn exact conjunction parallel…5 planets parallel each other and them selves plus the MC.
    Early childhood warrior protector from 1st through 4th grade, the nuns could not kill me though they wished to…beside this I loved fighting as a sport for the cellular explosion in every part of my body. Loved sneaking missions and dangerous situations that would exercise my every resource.
    When Uranus crossed my ascendant several very enlightening and unusual things happened to me which are a clue to the awesome potential of a grounded Uranus in full force.
    I got a sneak peek.
    Suddenly I could see in every direction at once as if looking directly in detail. My first reaction is that I was cracking up and that I would be considered a freak. But then realized no one would know how I could see. It would be perfect in a fight with a group…I would see every move they each made in detail. I had not studied the occult then or met a cousin who told me a G Grandmother saw like this all the time nor had I been on the Spiritual quest. But I could see it would work for addressing audiences as I could see every face in detail. It would work for thought projection. It explained the paintings of Cezanne.I was in Art college at the time.
    Another strange happening was I was skipping home at midnight through a city park when I began going higher and higher with longer and longer strides. I knew I could go great distances in short order , but I became cautious because I intuitively knew that if anyone saw me and freaked it would break my spell and I could crash. Then there were the dam telephone poles and electric wires to be navigated. The city was NOT the place for this. Years later I read Tibetan Monks ran like this and Native Am. Indians did too.
    Another experience when Uranus crossed my ascendant, was in slowing time down so anything sent hurtling at you would be in very slow motion and could be bounced back to the sender by ones energy field. I was younger then and like the FOOL on the precipice of Spiritual adventure.
    Alice Baily s talk of the Uranus initiation is the rising of the Kundilini to the top head chakra. I know every thought and every sheath must be purified or you would crash and burn and end up back tracking too far backward for my taste. Its something to be totally prepared for and I am not. Got the lay of the terrain down though.

  4. PS/ Uranus went retrograde by progression after a few more intense looks into its other gifts. So its all on the back burner for my contemplation and times of purification.

  5. I have Mars/Uranus conjunct, in Sag, in the third. I’m so unconventional and I feel like the Aquarian energy in my chart is sort of hidden, but very present! I feel it is a very strong influence in my chart, a force bigger than I am sometimes!

  6. Yes, born in the 60’s with Mars conjunct Pluto and Uranus all within 5 degrees, in the first house. Not fun! It is like a manic rollercoaster into hell and back into a high of a million insights and rushing headlong into another spur of the moment “must be all that and more” energy frenzy. ( clearly first house).
    Mars/ Pluto intensity is a force within that has to be transmuted and channelled or it will self combust in my experience. It’s just hard on the human organism. It draws intensity magnetically to itself and life feels so karmic and deep.
    Mars/ Uranus is just an attitude of ” Dare me” .
    Has anyone done a life expectancy of individuals with this placement natally yet? Kidding… However, I can’t say it’s been easy.

    • Thank you, Rose, for that description–Johnny Depp could not have said it better. (He has that same conjunction on the cusp of the first and second.) It just occurred to me why I love his pirate self so much–I have Mars conjunct Pluto on the Ascendant, quintile Uranus. Manic, intense, dare me, all that. I always say my role in astrology is that of a trailblazer/troublemaker. Donna Cunningham

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