Like some strange, reclusive movie star emerging from the paranoid shadows of Mulholland Drive to buy milk at midnight, quirky Uranus has been spotted more than usual out and about Astrollywood this August. It formed a big, aggressive triple conjunction with battle-axe Mars and the North Node to start the month, and now, on August 24, 2022 Uranus goes retrograde until January 22, 2023. Watch out.
Before getting into what this Uranus retrograde means for us, let’s first familiarise ourselves with this odd bird planet a bit more.
When it comes to Astrology, we are most aware of the seven visible planets: communicative Mercury, diamond-studded Venus, caffeinated Mars, generous Jupiter, and strict Saturn (technically, the Sun and Moon are luminaries, though, for the sake of ease, we tend to call them planets, as well). While this clique represents a kind of cool crowd, Uranus (whose vast distance from us makes it impossible to see with the naked eye) is too unconventional to be popular. Even its planetary rotation is odd: all the other planets have their axes tilted in the same way as the Sun, but Uranus’s axis lists almost 98 degrees relative to the plane of the solar system. It basically spins on its side.
This quirkiness is reflected in its planetary influence. When activated in a chart, Uranus keeps things off balance, betokening “surprises,” and generating wildcard energy. It is the upender, the disrupter. Depending on where this planet transits, it can shake things up for the good (getting rid of outmoded, boomer ways of being) or it can become erratic and destabilising (like Heath Ledger’s disturbing Joker in “Dark Knight”).
Because Uranus moves so slowly (it takes 84 years to orbit the Sun), it only shows up on the astrological radar when it changes signs, which is rare (roughly every 7 years), forms big conjunctions, or goes retrograde, such as it does on August 24th.
So, what will this Uranus retrograde look like?
Retrogrades, in general, are wonky transits that cause problems. During them, a planet appears to be moving backward relative to us on Earth. When Venus goes retro, for instance, romance can get weird (break-ups). A Mercury reversal leads to delays and misunderstandings with communication. Basically, planets are debilitated, weakened, or perverted during these backspins.
With this in mind, our upcoming Urnaus retrograde augurs doubly erratic energy in our lives, especially from 16th August to 5th September. That’s a week before and after Planet Space Oddity “stations” (or starts going backward) in fixed-earth Taurus. The advice around this retro: we should start preparing for disruptions specifically related to Taurean themes of food, money, and home. This will not be a smooth retrograde.
Of course, we are already experiencing heightened global anxieties around these Taurus matters and they will only intensify toward month’s end. Russia, for example, has been blockading all of Ukraine’s immense grain supply to the rest of the world, exacerbating the already vexed problem of food insecurity. Likewise, problems with food distribution have led to bizarre images of empty shelves in G7 supermarkets. This unexpected crisis around food and field will continue throughout this retrograde. Make sure your cupboard is stocked with canned tuna and other non-perishables.
We are seeing the same heightened anxieties around Taurean themes of home and money, as well, with rising rent prices, inflation, and chaotic market behaviour. Again, this Uranus retrograde will inflame already existing concerns pertaining to rising rents and the increasingly deranged cost of living. So, one type of manifestation of this transit: Home insecurity (suddenly moving out of an apartment, hikes in rent, etc.).
Then there is the matter of confronting the totally unexpected–recall that Uranus is a wildcard energy. As we move toward this destabilising retrograde, then, get ready for left-field occurrences. The recent monkeypox outbreak has the World Health Organisation on edge, as this virus spreads through America, the UK, and other atypical places. Such strange outcroppings are the kind of thing we are talking about for this transit.
Key dates to look out for this Uranus retrograde
In terms of “hotspot” days to be especially aware of, the first two weeks of the Uranus reversal (as mentioned already) and the last two weeks of it are the most potent. This is when we usually see events happening on a global scale - or important dates in history. But this retrograde also has an annoying middle zone. On the 23rd of September, Uranus gets very close to a contentious “square” (or difficult aspect) with grim Saturn (also retrograde). This tension moves toward its peak (or rather nadir) between October 3 to 6. Here we have a very choppy few weeks, with Joker/Uranus amok in Gotham.
In the end, Taurus is a stability-loving sign. But we must remember that the Bull can rage, especially if it gets too harried by gadflies like Urnaus retrograde. When this happens, as it surely will, the image to keep in mind should be the Bull in the china shop, shattering all the fine Haviland porcelain of modern life. That’s not a happy thought. Make sure you got some cash (or gold) stocked with your canned tuna, just in case.