Posted by: Donna Cunningham | March 31, 2011

Understanding Uranus Transits—Bits from my Books

©2011 by Donna Cunningham, MSW

With Uranus newly in Aries as part of a stellium, people are wondering what to expect from Uranus transits.   Coming next is a Question and Answer session. Below, to give you some background on Uranus transits, are excerpts from two of my books. 

1. “Uranus and Crisis”

Shock is a Uranian word. Electricity shocks us if we are not properly grounded—and we also behave in shocking ways when we are not grounded, i.e., centered. Sometimes we need a great shock in our lives in order to jolt us out of inertia. Uranus is the planet of progress through shock, startling us out of complacency.

Some people seem to need to create crisis. Not only is it exciting (Uranus’ energies are electric), but often a crisis is the only way we know to get moving. This all-too-human trait is partly due to inertia and resistance to change–sometimes we need that heightened emotion and awareness to motivate us.

Uranian types, however, can sometimes be addicted to excitement and crisis for the sheer adrenaline rush. They bore easily and may act provocatively in order to get a rise out of those around them.

When carried to an extreme—often the case when natal Uranus is strong and makes many difficult aspects—the more volatile Uranians might even be called loose cannons.

Creating a crisis can also be a response to social pressure against change—people around us usually don’t like the status quo disturbed and will pressure us not to rock the boat. As a result, we often unconsciously create a crisis that will be deemed sufficient cause for the desired change.

For instance, married people who have a good home and family but just don’t love their spouse any more will have a hard time breaking away unless some dramatic event occurs (e.g., by getting caught cheating, or by an explosive arguement).

Or you may have a secure, lucra­tive job that bores you to tears. If you quit for something insecure and less lucrative but more exciting, others demand an explanation—”Why did you do that? You had a perfectly good job.” Getting fired solves the problem—it appears not to be your own choice.

Because there are powerful pressures on all of us to conform and to repress our self-expression and individuality, we may feel that we have to have a reason or excuse to break away from situations that keep us from being ourselves. A Uranus transit often accompanies the kind of crisis that gives us permission to make the change we’ve been wanting but didn’t have the courage to make.

The drawback is, change and crisis imposed from the outside can be painful and destructive. Why break a leg—why not just break away? Or take a break, now and then?

The courage to be who you are can arise from expressing Uranus well. Finding constructive ways of expressing your uniqueness regularly will make more destructive eruptions unlikely.

The corporate executive who is a weekend biker is one example, as is the middle class wife and mother who flies away to an astrology conference a couple of times a year to be with people who share her symbolic language.

Analyzing Uranus’s sign, house, and aspects in your birth chart can teach you much about how to express your uniqueness in exciting, creative, and constructive ways. If you aren’t that far along in your studies, a session with an astrologer can put you in touch with this facet of yourself.

(Note: This was an excerpt from An Astrological Guide to Self-Awareness, 2004 Edition, updated and in ebook format, at

2. “The more things change, the more they remain the same.”

The French have a saying, “Le plus ce change…, le plus c’est la meme chose.” Translated, it means, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” This is frequently true of the drastic changes people go through under Uranus transits. It’s a series of changes, in fact, as the same transit usually happens three times by direct and retrograde motion.

With the first aspect transiting Uranus forms, we do something that to outward appearances looks radically different. We quit our insurance job and go to work in a nightclub, we bleach our hair, we move to California, we stop going out with bankers and start going out with bikers…or vice versa.


And yet, the biker somehow constricts our freedom the same way the banker did.  The boss is just as tough on us in the nightclub as the son of a gun in the insurance office was.  We don’t feel any more attractive just because we’re blonder or thinner.  And we have as many lonely nights in California as we did back home.

Everything is different but nothing has changed. So the next time Uranus hits the same place, we once more try something ENTIRELY different, and in the end, it winds up being entirely the same. And with the third pass of the Uranus transit, we go through it all over again…

If so few changes are real, why do we make them?  What impels us to pack up and move cross country or to leave behind a job that gave us security for 20 years? What a lot of energy—and what a lot of courage—major moves like these take!

Uranus transits are a time of experimentation—not foolishness, not flightiness, but the Higher Self at work. We need precisely to understand that it is not THEM but US that holds us back. We need to see that WE are the cause of our difficulties, not our circumstances.

This series of events is really puzzling to people watching it, and equally puzzling to the person doing the moving around.  They think (and you may agree) that you’re really crazy, mixed up, and floundering around.

Yet there is a purpose to it. You do these things to get where you need to be, because YOU CAN’T GET THERE FROM HERE. 

You may have been so fixed in the old environment, conforming to
other people’s expectations, that it was difficult to change and to express the self you were becoming.  In order to be even a little bit different, you had to move far from home, to a place where no one had any particular expectations of you, so you’d be free to cut loose and experiment.

 You’ll find links to 15 past articles on the planet Uranus and on the houses of the horoscope hereRead up on Uranus Transits.

And see what readers asked in our Q&A session about Uranus transits here: Uranus Transits—A Question and Answer Session. 

More Excerpts from Donna’s Books:  

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