Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are the outer planets.
Although Pluto has been recently relegated to the status of a dwarf planet, as far as astrology is concerned nothing has changed. We work with the metaphorical symbolism of the luminaries and planets, and draw a synchronistic connection between these symbols and our lives. Pluto is still orbiting the Sun in our solar system, and its symbolism is the same as it has always been.
Up until the late seventeen hundreds when Uranus was discovered, Saturn was the most distant known planet, and was the boundary of the solar system. After Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were discovered in rapid succession, and we now had three known planets that orbited outside of the traditional boundary imposed by Saturn. Hence, the term outer planets.
Contemporary Western astrologers use all the outer planets in horoscope interpretation. But many astrologers who practice the traditional Vedic or Indian astrology don’t use the outer planets–their practice stays true to the ancient methods that were developed well before the outer planets were discovered.
Saturn’s orbital period is 29 and a half years, which is more than twice that of Jupiter’s 12 years. The orbital periods of the outer planets are much greater than even Saturn’s, and as a consequence, the outer planets stay in the same for years at a time.
An entire generation could have the same sign placement of an outer planet, so its significance for any single individual is minimal. However, the connections or aspects of the outer planets to the other planets in the horoscope, especially to the luminaries and the inner planets, is of profound importance.
Uranus is the first of the outer planets whose orbit is beyond Saturn’s. Uranus takes a good 84 years for one complete orbit around the Sun. So, on the average it spends about seven years in a sign.
A distinctively oddball property of Uranus is the extreme tilt of its axis of rotation, which means it essentially spins on its side, unlike any other planet. And this particular characteristic is embodied in Uranian people, who tend to be noticeably different from others, and stand out from the crowd, either in physical appearance or in the way they run their life.
Because a Uranian does not want to be just one of a group, he or she may live a highly individual existence. They may be asocial, or awkward in social settings, because they don’t relate to whatever is the norm.
Consequently, Uranians can appear to be zany, or eccentric. They don’t adhere to social rules of behavior, and can be highly unconventional, rebellious or even disruptive. The Uranian energy can confer unpredictability, usually as a way to break the monotony of routine life.
Uranians see things differently, and are averse to group-think. They are drawn to science, invention, and technology–domains in which free inquiry, out-of-the-box thinking, and progressive methods are encouraged. As you might imagine, significant advances in scientific and technology depend on the emergence of strongly contrarian views that are typical of Uranian expression.
The Uranus habit of boldly questioning the status quo makes for natural iconoclasts and revolutionaries. They are good at shaking up things so as to usher in new ideas and perspectives.
Often, the Uranian energy is abrupt, shocking, even electric, like a bolt of lightning. Sometimes, when we are caught in a funk, or grinding through the same old same old, a sudden jolt of Uranian disruption and excitement is exactly what we need to feel alive again. The “bolt out of the blue” nature of Uranus can also suggest accidents, as in something that comes out of nowhere and is highly disruptive.
A strong manifestation of Uranus can make a person follow their own path, whatever the consequence. They march to a different beat, and live life entirely on their own terms.
Keywords: Different, Unusual, Individualistic, Zany/Eccentric, Unconventional, Rebellious, Disruptive, Unpredictable, Progressive, Scientific, Technological, Iconoclast, Revolutionary, Abrupt, Shocking, Electric, Accidental