Uranus in Aries and the "Democracy Virus"

Posted on May 14, 2011
Posted by Jim Sher


Uranus entered Aries for the first time in this cycle on May 29, 2010, but it only visited for a few months before returning into Pisces. This gave us a brief glimpse of what was in store for us but when Uranus entered Aries fully on March 13, 2011 the game changed for good. Uranus will be in Aries for about 7 years or until 2018 and during much of that time it will be squaring Pluto, so it’s really time to take a look at what all this means as we are now able to extrapolate on what we have begun to see.

Uranus is the archetypal symbol of independence, of acting and thinking for oneself instead of blind acceptance of what authority figures may tell us. It is the iconoclast, the person who must challenge the prevalent beliefs and even attempt to destroy old, outworn structures, institutions, and symbols. This, of course, will be resisted by the structures in charge at the time, but especially if those structures are seen as dominating the people of that nation by dictators, autocrats, and monarchs. Uranus in Aries, amplifies this much further as Aries needs to be able to roam free, unfettered by outside figures who seek to control, limit or curtail the Aries spirit that seeks to act in a way that the individual Aries feels it must do. Together, Uranus in Aries will not tolerate restrictions from totalitarian authorities who the Aries will regard as corrupt.

However, it is important to make a distinction between how an individual responds to a potent transit versus how the masses do. In fact, they can act in very different ways. For an individual, the person will be inspired to break free from the past programming and desire to take risks one might not have even considered at other times. One may decide to pursue a path that they could not envision doing in the past, but now, it’s different. Now, one sees that to keep oneself in the status quo is a kind of soul-death. To feel alive, one must grow at all costs, leave the past behind and follow one’s Bliss, as Joseph Campbell (an Aries) put it. But when this type of transit is experienced by the people of an entire nation or continent, Uranus often becomes the chaos maker, seeking revolutionary change at all costs. People mobilize for social causes and for more than just governmental reform. Instead, it may seek revolution. The more severe the oppression, the more severe the response to that oppression will be. I have often wondered why dictators so often refuse to understand this. Mubarak is only the first major leader of an Arab country to ignore this truth and has fallen as a result.

The Arab World

What we are witnessing in the Arab world is truly historic. It is likely that we are seeing a fundamental paradigm shift in that area of the world. Admittedly, as is typical of Uranus, there is always great uncertainty about where things will go. All one knows is that there is a demand for change. No doubt some changes will be constructive, while others will be worse than what existed before. Unfortunately though that is the way of things, is it not?

We have seen revolution in Egypt and Tunisia. Libya seems to be on course to the overthrow of Qaddafi. Of potentially much greater significance, Syria is seeing mass killings by a dictator seeking only to stay in power, which of course, means that his power is likely to be on the way out. We see unrest in Bahrain, Yemen and other countries. Every citizen in the Arab world is watching developments closely resulting in the development of a spiral towards more and more countries falling to this growing desire for change. Each successful revolution motivates the citizens of other countries, emboldening them, and makes them more willing to die for their cause. Is this not a revolutionary spiral we’re seeing? How can we know where events will go? The truth is that no one knows where it will lead or when it will stop. The huge royal family of Saudi Arabia has got to be very concerned as their dominance is certain to be increasingly questioned and even attacked. We haven’t even had the first square of Uranus to Pluto, meaning that what is happening now is just a run up to what will be emerging in the next year.

Where is this going?

Many journalists are using the term I have chosen for the title of this article. The Arab leaders, in power for many decades and longer, are accustomed to having their form of dictatorship go unquestioned. It was assumed that it would never end. And, of course, the idea of democracy being introduced was unthinkable not long ago. But these assumptions are no longer true. So, the term ‘democracy virus’ is being used to describe what is growing exponentially in the Arab world. It is radically new and to the leaders at least, it is regarded as an aberration, a virus that must be destroyed and a threat to their idea of what their life is supposed to be. But it is growing more each day and is not likely to end.

As most of the readers of this blog know already, we can attribute this to the internet and the emergence of social media, such as Facebook and Twitter. Both of these are ruled by the planet Uranus and the sign of Aquarius. And of course, the smart phone, which is transforming our world yet again, bringing us closer together in some ways, but, in my view, farther apart in other ways. (But that’s for another time.) There seem to be two strategies to deal with democracy virus – the carrot and the stick. The dictators are using violence and payoffs as their only alternative. But how can this work for long if the real need of this part of the world is the kind of participation that can only be found in democracy or at least some degree of it.

The Paradox

Here is what I find the most interesting. On one hand, we see that Aries is a sign of individualism. One of the chief ways this is emerging in the U.S. is the revolutionary spirit that regards government in the same way that many citizens in the Arab world think of their autocratic leadership. Does anyone find this odd? Is it the same? Is the U.S. system a monolithic, dictatorial system?

In Egypt, what really angered the people the most? The answer is clear. It was the corruption in the Mubarak government. I don’t know if he would have been ousted if it weren’t for this. Is this not where the anger really comes from when there is revolutionary talk? So, in the Arab world democracy is seen as the answer to corruption, but what about in the U.S.? Are the people of the U.S. asking for more democracy? Well, in some ways we are seeing this. In a very unusual move, the people of southern Arizona want to form their own state. They’ve named it Baja Arizona. Why? Because the people of Tucson feel they have no power in their very conservative state. These are the liberal and moderate people of Arizona who do not feel their voice will be heard no matter how loud they scream. But will the rest of Arizona permit it? Will the state allow their southern counterparts to have two liberal officials suddenly appearing in the U.S. Senate? Obviously, the greater number of conservative voters are not going to give permission for this to happen as it would totally nullify the conservative influence the state of Arizona now has in the Senate. And there are other states where a similar theme exists and is occurring from both sides of the aisle.

So, what does this tell us? As I mentioned Uranus brings in new paradigms, new ways of seeing problems and even more new ways of solving them. If we focus on events only, the coming 3-4 years may bring about much talk within states that can change the structure of the U.S. It could be like what we are seeing in Arizona where one state splits into two or there may be secession talk. Already we are seeing states refuse money from the ‘evil’ federal government. Is the U.S. government truly the same as Mubarak in Egypt or Assad in Syria? But we need to look at more than just events. We also must value the coming opportunities for new thinking and new approaches that are outside the present political two-party system.

Let’s see how astrology might help us. The fact is that no sign exists alone. In fact, I do not believe that it is possible to fully understand one sign if you do not also understand it’s opposite. So, to understand Aries, one must know about Libra as well. By definition, a ‘set’ is composed of two sides, each of which depends on the other in order to exist. When this is seen thoroughly, it can help us move forward. When a set of opposing forces is seen, we recognize that the first step is to realize the limitation of approaching any problem that is posed in a dualistic manner. So, if Aries is the archetype of individualism, then Libra as its opposite sees how important social equality and harmony is for a society. Libra knows that the social contract is important. This means that a society must find a balance between the forces of individualism and social harmony, which is naturally a state of tension. Each of these archetypal needs must be validated as necessary. Tension can either break us down or it can motivate us to find creative solutions.

To apply this to politics in the U.S., I am suggesting that to label people as either conservative or liberal is itself an underestimated problem as it prevents our present form of government from being able to solve problems. Instead, let’s suppose that two things were added to our approach to government. First, suppose the citizens of the U.S. found a way wherein they could approach solving specific problems on an individual basis and secondly, found a way to debate those issues in a way that was truly informative before the decisions were made. What would happen? I believe consensus could be developed about many issues, because despite the seeming rancor constantly bombarding us by the 24-hour news cycle, most reasonable people would agree on many things if the issues were broken down into manageable problems. But this would mean the destruction of both parties as they exist now. It would also mean the destruction of the incredibly powerful lobbying groups who have so much influence over the decision-making process. Is this even possible given the fact that these forces dominate the entire process? Must we not either find real solutions to the significant problems we face or be bogged down into immobility?

My purpose here is not to propose or predict a possible future as much as it is to suggest a truly different paradigm for how decisions could be made in a democracy. In fact, I am suggesting we become more of a democracy than we are now, where money rules all decisions. Is this our definition of democracy? Or is this the definition of corruption? I think it is the latter. These ideas are not inconsistent with Uranus in Aries because Aries can be bold and give more weight to the individual while Libra, as its opposing force, reminds us that we also must have a relationship with our fellow citizens.

So, will Uranus in Aries be simply a revolt against ‘big government’, which we are seeing now, or will it become the introduction of a new paradigm about how a people can have influence over the problem-solving process that affects us all? Will Uranus further democracy and seek to oust or minimize corruption, or will it do the opposite and give even more control to the powerful influences controlling the entire decision-making process? By the way, since when do we really believe that a corporation is a person? What is the effect of the Supreme Court deciding that it is? And more importantly, how is this view actually promoting or valuing true individuality? Isn’t that what Aries wants and needs?


Whenever Uranus is in play, and especially when it squares Pluto, there are opportunities for very significant change. But by change I do not mean revolutions that simply oust one group in favor of another group who have the same basic values and way of operating. This is the time when new kinds of structures can be created, where new values replace the outworn ones and when those who really have the power lose it in favor of a true spirit of democracy. Is this too idealistic? Perhaps it is. But at least in the true spirit of Uranus, the ideas are being expressed. What will happen with these idealistic ideas is unknown, but the coming transits will likely bring forward very unusual and out-of-the-box approaches for consideration.

Here’s a really fun website that you might enjoy about the imaginary debate between the economists John Maynard Keynes and F.A. Hayek that goes into the two opposing ideas of how an economy should be run. It’s called the Economic Fight of the Century.

As always, I would love to hear your thoughts. May they come from both sides of the aisle and also from the true iconoclasts among you.







Astrology Aries Paradigm shift Uranus
Jim Sher

Jim brings over 35 years of experience as a therapist and transformational counselor to his practice of astrology, metaphysics, meditation and philosophy. He operates as a teacher and counselor and specializes in the use of discourse as a part of his teaching approach.

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4 responses to “Uranus in Aries and the “Democracy Virus””

  1. mara@maraclearspring.com' Mara says:

    Jim, I love how you wrote “I am suggesting we become more of a democracy than we are now, where money rules all decisions.”

    If money trumps (or buys) any vote, then democracy has been undermined. I think that’s what we are seeing now.

    I love receiving your newsletter and have often shared it with others. Thank you! Mara

  2. iam@amazinggracenow.com' Sharon says:

    I live in Arizona and it will be interesting to see how this split develops for people’s voices to be heard here(perhaps a reflection of the the microcosm of the macrocosm unfolding). I believe we will see more of this in other states also, who want to splinter off, as people are fed up with not being heard or represented within their own state. As always a great article and keen insights, Jim.

  3. clzittle@gmail.com' Cheryl says:

    Interesting about the technology being ruled by uranus. If you know any aquarians, they only let you in to a certain point. Not past that point unless you are the ONE person whom they trust. With technology it only lets you in to a point as well. Great job with this aspect. Interesting time we live in for sure.

  4. iamjoyous@comcast.net' Joyous says:

    Excellent, Jim! That really sheds light on what in going on, both in the Arab countries and in the US. You have wonderful clarity in your writing.
    Blessings, Joyous

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