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Uranus Transits of Taurus and Gemini in American History

Uranus takes roughly 84 years to complete a full cycle of the zodiac. For individuals we only get one Uranus return to its natal position – if we make it that far. But for longer-lived entities such as the United States, multiple Uranus returns are possible.

A lot of commentary around Uranus abets two misleading ideas. One idea is that change is always progressive; the second is that the change is somehow more immediate and less painful than it actually is.

With respect to change always being progressive - that is true – but only in the long view, very long. Mostly it’s two steps forward, one step back - an oscillation in a steady, albeit lurching forward movement.

Change, actual change, is rarely immediate. Even after disasters things do not change quickly. Even when the wholesale destruction of war or natural cataclysm is involved, the awareness of actual change does not necessarily come right away.

Tear Down, Rebuild, Repeat

For the United States the passage of Uranus through Taurus and Gemini has particular significance. In the United States natal chart Uranus is in Gemini. This makes Gemini the beginning of the 84-year Uranus cycle and Taurus the end. We are in that passage now.

Because 2020 was such a wretched year and the politics of the nation have been such a disaster, the impulse of most people is to look to the next several years as a markedly better time. But with Uranus in Taurus heading toward Gemini, history suggests that for the United States challenging times have only begun.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does often rhyme.”

- Mark Twain (allegedly)

Uranus in Taurus/Gemini so far shows a pattern for the United States. While Uranus transits Taurus, dissatisfaction against the current political, social and economic structures grows in power as those structures no longer serve. Those who support current structures intensely resist reformation. The country ends up divided along lines of those who want change and those who don’t. By the time Uranus reaches Gemini, neither communication nor compromise between the two sides is possible and violence breaks out. Once the violence is over, the conflict has been resolved in favor of change, resulting in the nation having a new sense of itself.

The seeds for this cycle were set at the very beginning. Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America was founded the day before Uranus went into Gemini (May 15, 1607). But the full cycle does not blossom until the Taurus/Gemini transits surrounding the American Revolution.

The Revolution

Uranus in Taurus

Uranus in Gemini

May 2 – Nov 28 1767

Jun 19 – Dec 1 1774

Feb 15 1768 – Jun 19 1774

Apr 8 1775 - Jul 12 1781

Dec 1 1774 – Apr 8 1775

Jan 11 – Apr 28 1782

Colonial dissatisfaction with British rule grew in intensity after Uranus entered Taurus. As the Colonies pressed for change, the British reacted by exerting tighter control. That, in turn, caused Colonists to protest even more loudly, to which the British responded with even more authoritarian actions. Inevitably, this action/reaction loop led to ever more violent clashes between patriot groups and the British, as well as between patriot groups and people who remained loyal to the Crown. The situation finally devolved into open warfare with the Battle of Lexington (Apr 19, 1775) eleven days after Uranus went into Gemini.

The war occupied the entirety of the Gemini transit. The end result was that the thirteen colonies transformed into a single independent confederated nation – the United States.

The Civil War

Uranus in Taurus

Uranus in Gemini

Jul 8 – Sep 2 1850

Jun 1 1858 - Jan 1 1859

Apr 15 1851 – Jun 1 1858

Mar 13 1859 - Jun 26 1865

Jan 1 – Mar 13 1859

Feb 16 - Mar 27 1866

Slavery was the all-encompassing issue of this Taurus transit.

When the United States adopted its constitution, it failed to definitively address the issue of slavery, kicking that can down the road. Subsequent congresses continued to kick the can until the admission of California as a free state in 1850, tipped the balance of power away from the slave states. The “can” had run out of road.

Sensing the end was nearing, the slave states grew increasingly agitated and desperate. With the abolition movement swelling in numbers and political power, maintaining slavery became an existential issue to the South. The South had great wealth but that wealth was almost totally tied up in slavery. To the South abolition of slavery amounted to the theft of their wealth, their social and political power, and their way of life.

To those who favored abolition, slavery had become an unspeakable stain on the soul of the nation and had to be purged at all cost. War broke out in Kansas over slavery, the Whig Party died because of it, and a new pro-abolition party, the Republican Party, rapidly rose to prominence in its stead.

By the time Uranus moved into Gemini for good, any possibility of compromise was gone and the South threatened secession if the Republican Party won the presidency in the 1860 election. The Republicans won, Southern states seceded and war broke out five months after the election.

The Civil War lasted through the rest of the Gemini transit. At the end the United States was transformed. Before the war it had been largely rural. The war made it a manufacturing powerhouse triggering a slow, steady migration of people from rural to urban settings. The second change was to definitively subordinate the states to the federal government both in power and in the minds of citizens. Where “United States” had been a plural noun before, it was now a singular collective one.

World War Two

Uranus in Taurus

Uranus in Gemini

Jun 6 – Oct 9 1934

Aug 7 - Oct 4 1941

Mar 27 1935 – Aug 7 1941

May 15 1942 - Aug 30 1948

Oct 4 1941 – May 15 1942

Nov 12 1948 - Jun 10 1949

The World War Two passage was the similar to but quite different from the two previous passages. Movements were rising against the existing structures. It was the Great Depression and the economic structures, in particular, had failed the country. The clamor for reform pitted the working class that was suffering from the depression against the owner class that was using it to maximize profit. Workers unionized and used the power of the strike to gain better wages and working conditions. Corporations reacted by hiring scabs and strike breakers. The conflict was escalating.

What made this cycle different was that the antagonists never had a chance to come to open violence. Japan interceded by attacking Pearl Harbor. War arrived but not the war anticipated. The United States did not actively prosecute the war until the Battle of Midway (June 1942) a couple weeks after Uranus settled into Gemini, ending well before Uranus left Gemini.

Ironically the war effectively resolved the conflict between workers and owners without either side ever coming into open conflict themselves. The United States emerged once again with a new image of itself - this time as the preeminent military, political, economic, and cultural power in the world.

The Current Passage

Uranus in Taurus

Uranus in Gemini

May 15 - Nov 6 2018

Jul 7 2025 - Nov 7 2025

Mar 6 2019 - Jul 7 2025

Apr 25 2026 - Aug 3 2032

Nov 7 2025 - Apr 25 2026

Dec 12 2032 - May 22 2033

The Taurus themes are playing out yet again. There is growing discontent with the existing social, economic, and political structures. The Covid pandemic, social media, and the ubiquity of cell phone cameras have put a harsh light on the faults in those structures. People on both the right and left want change but strongly disagree on what to change and how.

Taking advantage of that disagreement, the powerful interests who profit or gain advantage from current structures do not want change and have used money, politics and social media to even more sharply divide the nation, to the point where change seems remote, if not unlikely.

Of course, planets other than Uranus have been key players in the prior passages, but the focus of this discussion is the current one. The planetary players of this period have been Pluto and Saturn – driving the politics and delivering the Covid crisis; and Neptune, which has been responsible for the rise and misuse of social media.

The “Age of Aquarius”

The recent Jupiter/Saturn conjunction/parallel has had a number of people talking enthusiastically about Aquarius and how Aquarius is going to make everything better – especially now that Trump is out and Covid vaccines are available. It’s true that both those things are good – very good. It does not mean that things will be better – just less bad.

Behind this optimistic idea is the assignment of Uranus as a ruler of Aquarius and, by association, the idea that Aquarius is revolutionary. This ignores the fact that Aquarius is a fixed sign and fixed signs do not do change.

Jupiter in Aquarius is the home of big ideas. The Green New Deal is a big idea. Medicare for All is a big idea. Jupiter will transit Aquarius for the entirety of 2021, so I expect that a good number of big ideas will be pitched this year. But Aquarius as a sign is square to Taurus. These big ideas will not be implemented – at least not as conceived, certainly not as desired.

Saturn implements what Jupiter conceives. Saturn rules Aquarius and is strong in that sign. Saturn will get done what it can. But, again, there is that square relationship to Taurus offering strong resistance to change. The changes Saturn can make will be incremental and occasionally more symbolic than functional. Saturn stays in Aquarius until 2023 so this limited success pattern will persist through that time.

Most of 2022 may be a hard time in this country due to two transits to the U.S. natal chart: the Pluto return and Saturn conjoining the natal Moon.

We talk about Uranus as the planet of change. In truth, Uranus presents the opportunity to change, but it is Pluto that actually effects change. In a mundane chart like the U.S. chart, Pluto is about power and how that power is exercised. A Pluto return, then, indicates that a cycle of power used in a particular way (sign) is ending and a new use of power is beginning.

Although the exact return takes place on three days in 2022 (Feb 20, Jul 11, Dec 28) we want to look at the entire sign when we talk about the return.

From its inception until 2008, the story of America has been the real-world exercise of power. First the nation spread itself from coast to coast using genocide, conquest, and deceit. Then it expanded its power over the hemisphere through economic dominance and military intimidation. Finally, after two world wars, it attained military, technological, economic, and cultural dominance over the globe. All of this was done with efficiency, cool ruthlessness, and effectiveness (Capricorn traits).

It is not unreasonable to consider the Capricorn period as the rise of the American Empire – and now the Pluto return is chronicling the fall of that empire. The people feel this and it makes many of them vaguely uncomfortable. This discomfort is why those who are uncomfortable with change to begin with, respond to slogans like “Make America Great Again”.

More troubling in the short term will be the passage of Saturn over the U.S. natal Moon. This transit will be in play roughly from Feb 2022 – Mar 2023. That passage suggests a general sobering of the people’s mood around some crucial event or series of events. Saturn will leave Aquarius for good (Mar 7 2023) and Pluto will make its first incursion into Aquarius (Mar 23 2023). Maybe then, just maybe, we’ll get a hint at the shape of things to come.

So . . . What Are You Telling Me?

“It ain’t over till it’s over.”

- Yogi Berra

Many feel that the 2016 election was an aberration. It wasn’t – not really, given the phase we’re in. Its most positive outcome has been to rip the veneer off America’s self-image. The hope during these past miserable four years has been that the 2020 election would make things all better. It won’t. Neither will the 2024 election.

This country is in the throes of a 25 year crisis. Pluto sets the theme. Neptune sets the environment, Uranus sets the storyline. Saturn and Jupiter define the plot points. This crisis began in 2008 with Pluto’s entry into Capricorn and will not end until Uranus exits Gemini in 2033.

The theme is the transformation of the United States from its empire phase into an “influencer” phase where ideas and information are power. The Uranus storyline is unyielding conflict between the old and the new – that conflict resolved through violence with the “new” side emerging successful. Neptune imbues this crisis first with the feeling that things are simply not making sense followed by a false sense of certainty that things are going in the right direction (identity of direction optional). Saturn and Jupiter will provide the incidents and events that will swing the national mood back and forth from positive to negative and back again.

I can’t say what the Gemini violence will be. I can’t picture another civil war on the scale of either the Revolution or the Civil War. Another global war is a possibility but that prospect is beyond horrifying given the destructive capabilities stockpiled throughout the world. It seems more likely a combination of domestic militia groups making a sorry last stand against the Plutonian changes and a cyber-war fought on multiple sides.

I also can’t say how all this will end up. The Pluto in Scorpio generation will be in charge in 2033. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Zuckerberg, Mohammed bin Salman, and Steven Miller are all members of this generation. Zuckerberg and bin Salman have shown us what they will do with power and we can only guess what Ocasio-Cortez and Miller would do if they actually held the reins.

At the end of it all, the United States will not be the United States we know now. What that United States will actually be is pure speculation. It could be good, it could be not so good. Even after the crisis things will still be in flux. Change comes slowly.

Lastly, the United States progressed Pluto will finally enter Aquarius in 2050. That silent event may truly signal that the promise of the Declaration of Independence that all men are created equal and imbued with inalienable rights will finally be fulfilled. I hope that is so.

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