Anthroposophy NYC Blog
MEETING OUR TIMES
Mercury and Uranus in Aries: New Thinking for the New Normal
Author: Jonathan Hilton
Let us now return to the starry picture and attempt an understanding out of a new cosmology, which does not further the current experience of separation, but unites our consciousness with the world consciousness expressed in the stars, out of a modern renewed experience of the ancient hermetic axiom: “As above so below.” The full statement given by the great initiate Hermes Trismegistus, is: “That which is Below corresponds to that which is Above, and that which is Above corresponds to that which is Below, to accomplish the miracle of the One Thing.”
As stated earlier, over the next three days we have this conjunction of Mercury with Uranus and the conjunction with the Sun in the stars of Aries and the culminating gesture with a Mercury conjunction with the Sun, between Sun and Earth, on July 1 in the stars of Twins, along the zodiacal axis with Archer at the time of the exact Jupiter conjunction with Pluto in Archer.
The new outer planets, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto, based on the spiritual scientific research of Willi Sucher out of indications given by Rudolf Steiner, are connected with the higher (and lower) spiritual realms of consciousness, which extend beyond the bodily organization of the human being, in which are built the classical planets (though, of course, they also carry spiritual realities). In his research, Willi found a relationship of Uranus with the light ether, as well as with the fallen light ether, electricity. He also brought these planetary spheres into a relationship with the new faculties of supersensible development, as well as to their shadow counterparts. Uranus then is connected to the first stage of higher knowing or initiation, called by Rudolf Steiner, Imagination, and its fallen nature, just as fallen light is electricity, is connected with the realm of the Luciferic, using the terminology of Steiner. To go further, this realm of Uranus is also then connected to what is called Manas, or Spirit Self, the transformed human astral nature.
We can think of this on many levels, but for this article, we can think about Uranus in Aries, even in the forehead star of Aries, particularly in relation to thinking itself. The transformation that facilitates imaginative consciousness is the transformation of the consciousness (astral) body, which begins with the transformation of thinking, elevating it to spiritual seeing, or en-light-ened thinking (in light). Proceeding outward then, we can relate Neptune to the Budhi, or Life Spirit stage of consciousness, in which the etheric nature is transformed, and Pluto to Atman or Spirit Man, in which the physical nature is transformed. This is the path into the distant future, if we truly seek to unite ourselves with our evolutionary goals. It is the path that starts in our time, and for which we owe deep gratitude to Rudolf Steiner for articulating in a form appropriate and understandable for the modern human being. But because of our freedom, it is a path of choice. In all our relationships to the stars now, it is a matter of our conscious efforts to raise our awareness and choose to bring something to the stars out of the free development of spiritual faculties. In this sense does Uranus (as well as Neptune and Pluto) carry great challenges. If we do not consciously choose the path towards spiritual development, then those evolutionary beings who are obstacles to human progress will work actively in our unconsciousness and perpetuate old forms that will chain us to the past. With Uranus, this can go into the Luciferic direction, which would lead us into the realm of fantasy, illusion, and the attraction to older forms of clairvoyance that do not include the use of thinking as it has been developed. This would include trance-like consciousness or channeled consciousness or drug facilitated awakenings, which bypass conscious thought guided by the ego. It also includes that which would pull us away from engagement with the earth into a spirituality of blissful transcendence.
But this Luciferic thinking also manifests in another form. As described in the story of creation, it was Lucifer who “opened our eyes” and through our desire nature in the consciousness body, we were drawn to the world of the senses and sensation. Thus out of this original impulse arose the thinking that united itself with sensation, and the illusion of the maya of the senses. Uranus in Aries (entered May 2018 until May 2024) brings us especially into this relationship to thinking and the great challenge to humanity. Aries is that region of the zodiac especially connected with the head, perception and thinking. It is also deeply connected with the “I am” experience of self, both the earthly sense of self as well as the higher spiritual Selfhood. It was during the age when the vernal point was in the stars of Aries, the age preceding ours, known as the Greek and Roman times, that thinking, as we understand it, developed, beginning with the glory of the great philosophers, culminating in Aristotle. It is also when in Rome a particular evolution of the sense of selfhood developed, as reflected in the Roman concept of citizen and the law, which was the early move out of the group sense of self (I am an Athenian) into the independent self with individual rights as opposed to the group. Aries with its curved ram horns is an image itself of the brain and the thinking that developed as brain-bound reflective thinking. Thus with Uranus in Aries, we have a choice. It can be depicted in the image below. The old symbol for Aries is the curving downward thrust, leading us into the world of selfhood and reflective brain thinking. The new symbol can be seen as the same, yet, with the direction of the thrust from the bottom point outward and up again to a new thinking out of the spiritual self, which penetrates behind the veil of the senses to the logos of the world.
So now we have Mercury conjunct Uranus in Aries. Mercury too is connected with thinking, with intelligence, but it is connected as the messenger, as the bearer of cosmic intelligence to humanity. Mercury is also called Hermes, and its name is related also to Michael or Marduk of ancient Persian mythology. Mercury now serves the impulse of Michael/Marduk, the young Sun being, which is described in mythologies as the being who battles against the dragon/Tiamet to rescue humanity. It is Mercury/Michael who now seeks to redeem the intelligence, which has fallen into the dragon, and restore it to its cosmic Sophia/Ea home, through the human being. Just as a side note, the starry story that stretches above the zodiacal constellations of Taurus, Aries, and Pisces is that of Perseus, with his sword and the head of Medusa, slaying Cetus, the monster, of the depths who would devour Andromeda, the human soul. It is out of the forehead of Andromeda that Pegasus, the winged intelligence, arises. Here we have the story of Michael in another format.
As we strive to take up our relationship to the “above” and unite it with the “below,” we can be called to awareness of this challenge, which Mercury is picking up now beyond the Sun in its meeting with Uranus in Aries. And now Mercury carries this question/challenge as it comes around the Sun and on July 1st when it comes again into conjunction with the Sun, between Earth and Sun, in the Twins. It then hands off this question/challenge to humanity. It is up to us now to meet the question in the right way. Shall we raise our thinking to a new spiritual thinking, which Uranus carries, which is capable of addressing the world crisis? Or shall we succumb to the old sense/brain-bound thinking of the past and the old centric self-consciousness that keeps us bound to the past in our thinking and cannot lead us into the new?
What does it mean that Mercury hands off the question just in the stars of the Twins, conjunct the Sun, looking across to the stars of the Archer and the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto? As has been elaborated in my previous articles, these great planetary meetings of Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto in Archer, as we approach the Great Conjunction in December, are bringing us world-sized challenges and questions about what it means to be a human being, and our struggle between the old forms held onto by our lower nature from the past, and the human being arising aiming towards a future goal (Archer); about the destruction of the old, rigid forms of the past created out of world karma, which keep us from aligning ourselves with the true plan of evolution (Saturn and Pluto); about the vision of our humanity into the future and the no-less-than revolution in our thinking needed, and the will forces to be taken up to build the new vision (Jupiter and Pluto). Jupiter is also connected to thinking, but to the truly future thinking, which Willi Sucher calls clair-thinking, not clairvoyance out of the past. Jupiter is that sphere in which the beings of living creative wisdom are working to build already the next far distant stage of our existence, as the apocalypse describes it, “the new heaven and the new earth for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” On July 1st , with this culminating conjunction of the Mercury loop, in which the challenge/question of Uranus in Aries is handed off to us below, in our own individual ways, we can take up this Michael challenge to transform our thinking into the new. It is only in this way that truly new answers will come to address the human and social issues of the present and future. If we seek using our old thinking, our old social forms, our old concept of the self, then we will not succeed.
In closing, I wish to add one more picture/thought that is relevant to this Mercury-Sun conjunction in the Twins on the same day that Jupiter conjuncts Pluto in the opposite stars of Archer. As mentioned before, and as gone into more thoroughly in my previous articles, this axis of Twins/Archer is the vertical axis of the solstices, in our great seasonal cross of equinoxes and solstices. Unlike the horizontal axis of Virgin/Fishes at equinoxes that carries a different impulse, this vertical axis is connected to our ego experience. It is like the I (ee) gesture in eurythmy. It is the vertical line uniting above and below, thinking and willing, the heavens and the earth through a strong center, or I. In it, we can discover our relation to self. In ancient times, the self was experienced in the periphery of the greater Sun, and at the summer solstice, humans felt that they received the Self from the greater expanse of the heights where it dwelled with the Sun. That has all changed since the incarnation of the Sun Logos and His union with the Earth realm. The light (the Sun) has entered the darkness (the Earth), and is now in process, with those who unite with the light, of transforming the Earth into Sun. In this sense, the old polarity and separation of above and below is overcome. To apply this to our current situation, I see in this the great challenge of moving from a world system based on duality to a triune view of the world, in all areas of existence. This has been developed by Rudolf Steiner in practical ways in his presentation of the threefold social order. It is beyond the scope of this article, but it leads us into a deep probing of the origins of our current thinking, out of which all technology and our relationship to nature and the Earth has developed. And that is binary thinking! Francis Bacon first developed it and it permeates our technological, social, scientific, religious, and personal lives now. It is in this context that we must see these constellations with their inherent polarity and the current great planetary activity in them. In the middle of the polarity now stands the unifying force of the true I AM, which we can ever strive to realize in ourselves. And what is this true I AM? It is the very Being and transformative power of love. If this new reality of the triune does not come to replace the world system of duality then no new social forms will develop that can address what is needed now.
In many ways perhaps this momentary three-day conjunction of Mercury and Sun with Uranus in Aries might seem a passing event. Mercury makes a full orbit every 88 days. It will frequently pass Uranus in Aries, but the superior conjunction with the Sun with Uranus is not a frequent event. Then we also include the full Mercury gesture with its inferior conjunction with the Sun, in the Twins, on the day that Jupiter conjuncts Pluto in Archer. And now we let rise a full imagination of these planetary events and their call for a new thinking to heal the inherent polaric nature of the old image of Twins and Archer. This can bring us to a holy awe if we consider the great language of the cosmos of the stars and the beings working within the physically manifest. But it is now a time that they do not compel or guide, but leave us in freedom, awaiting our conscious uniting with them. Then they readily help us as brothers and sisters in fulfilling the evolutionary goals.
May 1, 2020
Jonathan Hilton is currently the President of the Council of New York City Branch of the Anthroposophical Society in America. He has been working with anthroposophy in various ways for over 40 years. His work includes a new approach to star wisdom, arising out of anthroposophy, as developed by Willi Sucher, with a particular focus on the cycle of the year as a path to the new Sun mysteries. astrosophy.com
This article is available in the PDF format for the followers of astrosophy.com.