Besides, the still active Uranus/Pluto square, still busy ploughing the ground to release the old and prepare for the new, this Chinese “Year of the Fire Monkey” also features an extremely rare conjunction between an outer planet, Uranus, and a far off planetoid, Eris, both in aggressive, warlike, impulsive, courageous, initiatory, individualistic ARIES!
Here’s what they will look like during their June conjunction. I happened to set up a chart for June 1, when — voila! another synchronicity! — the Moon exactly conjuncts their first conjunction (they occupy the 23° together until June 23, and the second and third conjunctions will be in September 2016 and March of 2017). Eris is the one that looks like an upside-down Mars. And perhaps that’s its meaning!
What to expect?
Well, of course, the first thing to notice is that with Uranus, expect the unexpected, because that IS what we will get. No sense trying to predict, because since all the old models of reality are fracturing (thank Uranus and Pluto), so all predictions will be “off.” Ye gods and goddesses! And when Eris, newly discovered (in 2005), named after the Goddess of Discord, unites with Uranus? Geez!
BTW: their last conjunction, also in Aries since Eris moves so slowly, occurred in the late 1920s. Here’s evolutionary astrologer Daniel Fiverson’s research and perspective on what might be relevant historical context.
In 2016 Uranus and dwarf planet Eris will conjunct 3 times. Every 500 years or so, the planet Uranus and the dwarf planet Eris come together in the sign of Aries, which is where Eris has been since 1927.
Mars rules Aries, which is the first sign of the zodiac. Mars and Aries correlate to the expression of pure instinctual energy, the primal life force whose necessity is simply to experience self. Aries is the theater of self-actualization, the world of Self, which holds the potential to see all others as simply the background to their own universe.
The image of the primordial Sky God, castrated by his own son, Saturn, does not truly reflect, the archetypal nature of Uranus. It has been well argued by Richard Tarnas that Uranus more accurately expresses through the mythos of Prometheus, as the advocate of mankind, authentic, and generous in spirit. Prometheus challenged the authority of Zeus, by liberating mankind with the gift of wisdom and the technology of fire. Only “recently” discovered at the time of the American and French Revolutions5, Uranus is associated with rebellion and the individuating force that potentiates the unique creative originality inherent within each of us.
The story of Prometheus also correlates astrologically to the experience of trauma. Prometheus chose to steal fire from Zeus, and suffered the severe consequences.
Eris was only discovered in 2005. Orbiting beyond Neptune, it is the largest of the dwarf planets, taking 560 years to circle the Sun. Mythically, Eris is the daughter of Zeus and Hera, brother of Ares, and she is known as Discordia, the Goddess of Strife, Discord and Chaos.
The most familiar story about Eris is about her culpability for instigating the Trojan War. The story goes that Zeus held a banquet in celebration of the marriage of the future parents of Achilles, but Eris had been snubbed because of her nastiness. She crashed the event anyway, and tossed into the wedding party a golden apple inscribed, “To the Fairest One” – which ignited a quarrel between Hera, Pallas Athena, and Aphrodite, that eventually “launch’d a thousand ships, and burnt the topless towers of Ilium.” 6, pitting sister against sister, and city-state against city-state.
The last Uranus-Eris conjunctions in Aries occurred between 1426 and 1516. During these years, across Europe “civil wars were one of the legacies of the Hundred Years’ War and the economic dislocation of the times.” 7 The War of the Roses fractured Britain, as two royal families battled for the English crown.
During these years, the boundaries of sovereign dynastic domains were displaced or dissolved, fracturing the coagulated, patriarchal ascendancy of the Middle Ages, and opening the space for the new thought that was already birthing The Renaissance. These were the years when Joan of Arc valiantly took up arms (as a woman!) to defend France from English occupation, in the end, losing her own her life, yet canonized for her courage.
Also in this time period
• The Medici’s facilitated the emergence of the Renaissance as Florence became the center of the arts and learning.
• Gutenberg invented the printing press
• Leonardo da Vinci created his masterworks
• Michelangelo painted the Sistine Chapel
• Columbus discovered America
• An Augustinian friar and professor of theology, Martin Luther, lists his 95 theses
In the years that followed The Inquisition sought to cleanse and purify religious expression and practice throughout Europe and The Spanish Conquistadors explored Mexico and the American Southwest contributing to the genocide of the native American population as a result of “Eurasian diseases such as influenza, bubonic plague and pneumonic plagues devastating the Native Americans who did not have immunity”8.
In 1927, the current cycle of Uranus-Eris conjunctions in Aries began. There were 3 conjunctions between 1927 and 1928. We are currently in the culminating phase of this cycle as the 2 immortals come together in June and September of 2016, and again in March 2017.
The late 1920’s:
• Charles Lindbergh completes the first solo flight across the Atlantic.
• Alexander Fleming Discovers Penicillin
• The 1929 Stock Market Crash occurs
In the immediate ensuing years, The Great Depression occurs, and Adolf Hitler and the Nazis come to power in Germany. This transit truly has been earmarked by both triumph and tragedy.