There are many differences between Indian and Hellenistic Astrology, yet the significant difference I wish to cover presently is Uranus. Indian focusses on the Lights, the Inner Personal Planets, and the Social Planets, Saturn and Jupiter. Contemporary Hellenistic extends to include the Impersonal Planets of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. I also make use of the placement of Chiron, which forms a unique significator in my approach to Astrology, but more on that another time.
For me, the Indian focus on the Lights, Personal and Social is reflected in the focus Indians have on the personal and social lives, evidenced in the importance of familial ties, legacy and tradition, and caste. I perceive these as strengths which imbue the peoples of India. The core of family and connection seems much weaker in Australia.
With Hellenistic, there is an extra focus included, which may or may not be relevant or useful to most people. Definitely in this age of rampant superficial consumerism and clutching at fame, the concept of Impersonal, as delineated in an Hellenistic chart, seems more a barrier than something of value.
The important point for any student of Astrology is this: each system – and there are many systems of Astrology – is not to compare systems, but to confirm the veracity of any one system. The style of tool must be effective in terms of its intended use. Having grown up with the Hellenistic, 1970’s ‘New Age’ flavour of Astrology, naturally my perceptions are based within this context.
For reference, key authors which shaped my understanding are Mann, Schulman, Hand and of course Rudhyar. And my aunt Nancy was my mentor.
And so! Onto the topic at hand!
Uranus is the first Impersonal Planet, after which is Neptune and then Pluto: Uranus represents sudden and unexpected changes; Neptune those changes which take place before we consciously recognise them; and Pluto which requires directed attention to bring the change to fruition once it has begun.
These three represent those forces which are outside of any one individual’s personal choice or will, and therefore, reflect the changes which we adapt to or are changed by. Usually both. Interestingly, these types of experiences reveal how our personal egos change and adapt and respond or react, and these experiences provide the clarity by which we may identify who and what we actually are.
In the grand cycle of time, no thing lasts forever, and the Outer Planets are indicators by which we can identify these energies as they transpire through our personal experiences: unexpected and sudden; diffuse and unclear; and determinedly destructive. The most efficient way to learn to identify these energies in one’s life is to simply plot the position of any of these three planets when in opposition or conjunction to the natal Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Ruling Planet. That will give you an immediate impression. With practice and comparing others’ experiences, these energies become obvious.
Presently, I have had Uranus transit my Ascendant, and it is now a few degrees into my First House. I experienced no particular or sudden stroke of destruction, yet perhaps that is because Neptune is simultaneously transiting the midpoint of my Moon and Chart Ruler. Yet, as Uranus was transiting my 12th, I engaged in an extended period of changing my attitudes and values based on the Japanese tradition called ‘dan-shya-ri’ 断捨離, a Buddhist method for clearing unwanted belongings and thoughts.
What I began discovering as Uranus passed my Asc was that I had finished focussing on what I do not need or want in those terms, and onto what I do need and want. Rather than the sudden destruction of something, I began experiencing clarity – another Uranian quality – which in turn destroyed my previous attitude to how I lived, how I thought about how I lived, and about myself, and how I envision my existence and its consequence.
I engage a lot more in what I want to focus my life on, and much less on thoughts which result in no actual productive consequence. Importantly, I focus much more on what I am and can achieve, rather than hoping or wishing I could achieve. Through this process I certainly have fewer friends and almost no tie to family, and I value my independence and self-sufficiency even more than previously.
Which brings me to the context of Uranus – its transit of my First House.
The First in Hellenistic is the initial pair of twelve houses, and the 1st-7th represents the I-us axis. Where the Asc is the moment of the first breath after birth, the 1st is our first experience of life in a human body in this incarnation. The 7th our first steps into interpersonal relationships – our first experiences of dealing intimately with another person.
Uranus indicates rare talents and unusual, independent behaviour in the natal chart, and in transit, indicates how we may demonstrate sudden changes, breakthroughs and unexpected leaps; the First is our own personal identity as separate from all others; our first few months of life on this planet in this incarnation, and what its is, who we are, that we show to the world: our identity.
For me, all I can say is that some of my very long-nursed ideas are somehow coalescing in ways that astound me. Having cleared thought patterns and attitudes which resulted in no appreciable benefit to myself, and expectations which were either implausible or unobtainable, I find my self moving in ways that were not previously possible.
This is my experience of Uranus transiting the First House, an these experiences both correlate and confirm the Hellenistic system. How have you attempted to verify your system? I definitely also believe in a hands-on, do-it-yourself approach to life, so naturally I recommend you do it, too.
I hope you enjoyed my Uranus trans 1st story!