The headline at Buzzfeed reads Rose McGowan is Starting a Revolution.
Indeed. And right on time.
After tweeting a photo of casting notes, which instructed her to wear form-fitting and revealing clothing for an audition, actor Rose McGowan woke to find that her tweet had gone viral. (1) That, and another tweet a week later admonishing her agency for dropping her because of the controversy, had her drawing support and encouragement to “fight on” when it comes to misogyny and Hollywood. (2)
This may only be one of many culminating points in an ongoing awakening for Rose, which began, according to her, in the late 2000s when a series of traumatic events had her “dismantling,” as she puts it. The illness and death of her father and a car accident were just two of the intense happenings that kicked off this growth period (right around the time Pluto squared her own Pluto — but that’s another story).
In a YouTube interview, Rose said: “In the last seven years, without being totally aware of what I was doing, I was completely disengaging and separating.” (3)
Uranus represents the part of us to which we must stay true, when the external environment presses us to conform not to our own standards, but to an accepted norm. Whether it’s a well-meaning parent’s advice, a cultural paradigm, or an authority figure’s judgment, we are always under subtle (and not so subtle) pressures to fit in.
This cannot be reduced to the simple desire to want others to like us; it is more primal, more subconscious, and the stakes are higher than they seem on the surface. To truly be an outcast can threaten our very survival, and if we don’t play by the rules of the powers that be, we can perish by them — sometimes not just metaphorically; there may be good reasons why we ignore Uranus’s whispers, or translate them into safer, less-threatening ways to display our individuality.
Uranus represents the urge to live and express ourselves authentically, whether the stakes are large or small. The struggle for authenticity, and the stress we experience when sacrificing or embracing it, is real, whether we mask our true nature to avoid bullying at school or boldly become whistle-blowers afraid for our very lives. Uranus in our natal chart represents where and in what ways we not only think outside the box, but often refuse, sometimes vehemently, to be boxed in.
Why do we dare to break the mold or risk being shunned as an outcast? Freedom. The burden of a secret, of a false life on any level, can build up like a toxin. The safe but false feeling of acceptance may be of too little comfort, having us live constantly vigilant that our secret not be exposed, or simply suffering the exhaustion of keeping up a façade. When we are accepted for that which we are not, we may still feel just as alone as we fear we might be for revealing who we truly are. Pluto is often involved whenever dismantling, as Rose put it, is required, but Uranus is Pluto’s bedfellow when an old skin needs to be shed; it is The Liberator.
The Uranus Opposition: A Celestial Monkey Wrench
Into everyone’s life a little Uranus must fall, but not always at the same times in our lives or with the same intensity or sequence of events. A natal chart is essentially a map of the sky at the time of a birth, revealing the location of the planets and a few other heavenly favorites at that moment. Although the planets in our natal map are frozen in time, the movement of the planets from then on is not. Uranus’s orbit may be predictable (a word which Uranus would scowl about being associated with) but, depending on the orientation of the planets in your natal chart, you may experience Uranus crossing over the position of your Sun, for example, at age two while your neighbor may not experience it until age 62. It all depends on the starting line: your birth moment.
This variability applies to all the planets, except for one very predictable exception: a planet’s orientation to itself. Any planet will eventually return to its original location, for example. So while Uranus may cross your Sun’s position at age two, but your neighbor’s Sun position at age 62, you and everyone who lives to be the ripe old age of 84 will experience Uranus’s return around that age. Halfway through that cycle, at about age 42, everyone experiences the Uranus opposition, the period of time when Uranus is opposite its original position in everyone’s natal chart. (4)
During this period of time, which can last a number of months, we are called to wake up. We might experience sudden events, epiphanies, breakups, or breakdowns. Because Uranus represents things that happen suddenly and without warning, personal changes can take us by surprise just as much as they do to those around us. Uranus represents liberation via separation; the ability to see something or someone objectively is dependent on our distance from it. We may find that the idea, belief, relationship, job, or religion just does not have the same meaning or relevance in our lives that it had just months before, maybe for no discernible reason.
It’s likely no accident that many of the obvious disruptive events that take place during a classic mid-life crisis happen around this age. We may feel rebellious, full of angst, or frustrated, often in response to a feeling of being trapped. These trappings may have been our own doing and even served us well once, but at the Uranus opposition, it’s time to re-authenticate, and that may mean breaking up not just with a job or a partner, but with our former selves.
The Uranus opposition can bring about the awareness of a need to break away from something that we may have been previously in league with, even if only by default, in an effort to reveal and express something essential about our true self. “Be Yourself” is Uranus’s call to action, but it’s not as easy as it sounds. Sometimes that which we were, thought we were, or thought we would always be, turns out to be that which inhibits us from becoming who we are. Uranus’s opposition is the cosmic monkey wrench that stops the autopilot engine so we can really think about where we’re going and whether or not it’s a dead-end.
Rose’s Revolution Evolution
Rose’s own Uranus lies in a close conjunction with Venus in her natal chart, in the sign of Libra in her 5th house.
Inner wheel: Natal chart: Rose McGowan (Placidus houses, true node)
September 5, 1973
Certaldo, Italy 43n33 11e02 AA data
Outer wheel: transits for June 17, 2015
Rose’s Uranian individuality is expressed not only in her relationship needs and style, but also her creative and artistic inclinations, which can be especially revealing in a profession that revolves heavily around creativity, art, self-expression, and/or performance, such as an actor and director like Rose. The expression of beauty and its manifestation through modeled gender roles is also a way Rose’s unique perspective will come through — bucking beauty standards and assumptions about women and relationships are just a few examples of something she’s born to do. To her, expression of one’s beauty may be simply about being who you are, not your gender identity. She has spoken several times about being raised in what she sees as a “gender-neutral” environment. “I don’t remember ever seeing any mirrors,” she said in the interview on Buzzfeed. “I grew up without actually registering that I was a girl or a boy.” (5)
Astrology is always understood and expressed through the lens of the current era. Traditionally, Venus has represented the feminine and this has been expressed in a certain way in astrological literature and practice in the past — Venus in a woman’s chart represents the way she expresses her femininity, and in a man’s chart, it describes what he wants in a woman, often with the assumption that any femininity a man might want to express must be projected onto a female, and that all men are heterosexual. In the current age, modern thought begins to offer us more complexity and nuance in how gender, sexuality, and femininity are expressed and understood. Indeed, this is a significant part of what has been incubating since the birth of the Uranus-in-Libra generation (roughly, those born between late 1968 and late 1975), and it blossoms as they hit the middle decades of life.
Although just shy of exact, transiting Uranus has been opposing Rose’s natal Uranus (and Venus) since mid-to-late spring. Although Rose’s tweet was self-initiated, the unanticipated reactions that resulted are right up Uranus’s alley. It’s no surprise that within the context of her life and her chart, the wake-up call comes in the form of authenticity (Uranus) and equality (Libra) in feminine and creative expression (Venus, 5th house).
Many probably hope she’s not just having a momentary rebellion, but that she’s really going to spearhead change, or at least join the cause in an active, visible way. Uranus sounds the alarm but there’s no guarantee that we won’t push the snooze button. The stamina and commitment to walk the unbeaten path is not easy, and while we may nod absently at the platitude, the magnitude of that truth isn’t always fully realized when we’re still running hot on a dose of reactionary indignation. It feels good to push back against what we feel has been oppressing us, even if (and sometimes especially if) it’s been we, ourselves, in the form of internalized beliefs, judgmental voices, and so on. But the consequences — sometimes surprising, far-reaching, and painful — of breaking with that “norm” can be a hard burden to bear. So we won’t judge Rose too harshly if she doesn’t single-handedly change the world, or even Hollywood, will we?
Uranus breaks stuff so we can have a breakthrough. It’s up to us what we do with it from there, but our viewpoint can be forever changed, providing that “before and after” perspective that is hard to forget or ignore. Even after the temporary upheaval of a Uranus opposition is over, the ripples go out to the edges.
This is the first of four passes Uranus will make to oppose Rose’s Venus-Uranus conjunction. In 2016 and early 2017, Uranus will oppose this conjunction again, sending the ripple out further each time. For now, it looks like she’s taking it and running with it.
Again, from the interview: “For me, in my life, I’m just done ‘being allowed’ to be anything. I’m just no longer interested in people that will allow me to be anything because who are you to allow me to be anything? How dare you.” (6)
Have you experienced a Uranian revolution? Please comment and share your story!
(4) There is a small variability in the length and age of exactness of a planet’s return to its natal position and its contacts to its natal position along the way. This is largely due to the apparent retrograde phenomenon, when a planet temporarily appears to travel backward across the backdrop of the sky. But the variability window caused by retrograde motion is a matter of months, not years. No one experiences Uranus opposing itself at age 34, for example; it will be around age 42, sometimes slightly earlier, sometimes slightly later.
Bio: Amy Herring is a graduate of Steven Forrest’s Evolutionary Astrology program, Amy has been a professional astrologer for 20 years. She has written two books on astrology: Astrology of the Moon and the forthcoming Essential Astrology. She especially enjoys teaching and writing about astrology. Visit HeavenlyTruth.com for readings, classes, and educational videos.