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A Treatise on Astrology, Liber 536 by Aleister Crowley, 1917

Uranus in Aries

Uranus in Aries gives a character intrepid, dauntless, fiery and indomitable, whether for good or evil.

Flaming, headstrong, hot-tempered, impetuous, self-willed and obstinate is the type; but sometimes the native will make a sudden and complete volte-face, and purpose a new and contradictory course with the same energy as he did the former. Nor, as a rule, will he be capable of seeing that he has changed in any respect. There is nothing particularly constructive in this type of energy. A strong example of this temperament is found in Annie Besant, Aries the rising sign; in Pope Alexander VI the same qualities are apparent; but here Capricornus is rising, and although Mars is exalted in Capricornus, and so not inharmonious with the Aries temperament, yet a Saturnian element is super-added, with the most unfortunate results.

People with Uranus in Aries are always so firmly convinced that they are right that opposition to their wishes appears to them as something positively Satanic, and they are therefore entirely unscrupulous in crushing that opposition. Sometimes this masterful quality is confined to legitimate lines, as in the case of Edison. Scorpio is rising, and its lord Mars is softened by the conjunction of the Moon in the third house; thus the powerful will implied works mostly on the mental plane, where the enemy is only stubborn nature; and in bending to his will by the force of his genius, he has earned the thanks of humanity.

Contrast this with the case of ‘Bloody Balfour’ whose name will go down to posterity with that of Cromwell as an oppressor of the Irish people. Here Virgo is rising, with its lord Mercury in square to Uranus. Hence we find Balfour not a strong, but only a violent man, alternating pusillanimity and ferocity; the dominant characteristic in the whole conformation being the heartlessness and a sexuality which so often goes with the Mercurial type.

Lord Rosebery, on the other hand, has Aries rising, or rather 28 degrees of Pisces. At least Uranus occupied the Ascendant and so we find a fair uniformity of disposition. But his career has been interrupted by his sudden laying down of things and equally sudden resumption of them.

Anna Kingsford has Uranus in Aries, but it occupies the eighth house. Here as in the case of Balfour, Virgo is rising, but its Lord Mercury is in his own house and exaltation in conjunction with Venus, and the Ascendant is further dignified by the presence of Sol and Mars in conjunction. Here we find, then, a great example of the driving force of these configurations, for Anna Kingsford, despite all mental and moral disqualifications, disposed of an initiating force sufficient to transfigure the thought of half the world. It is her work which made Theosophy and its analogous cults at all possible. She was the head of the battering-ram that broke in the gates of Victorianism and the materialistic philosophy of the time.

The Earl of Strafford and Oliver Cromwell both had Uranus in Aries, and it should be most instructive to compare their nativities. Each had an iron will, an unscrupulous determination to have his own way at any cost, but Strafford has Virgo rising, like Balfour. He prepared a plan for dealing with Ireland called ‘thorough’ which was to legalist massacre even more effectively than did the Coercion (Crimes) Act of the Victorian statesman. But he was not strong enough to carry it out. He hung fire. Cromwell, with Aries rising, simply went through Ireland like a new Attila. There is no passion in Virgo to do any such act.

Robert Louis Stevenson has Aquarius rising, but Pisces is cut out in the Ascendant, and Uranus is just within it. There is no great harmony between Aries and Aquarius, but their presence together gives harmony. So indeed we find Stevenson, despite terrible ill-health, executing a series of masterpieces. Critics of literature will attribute to Aquarius the curious gentle ‘profound psychology and to Uranus in Aries the passion for bloodthirsty incident which reveals him in his work. Saturn is also in the Ascendant, just above Uranus, and this adds the tinge of melancholy which so increases his incomparable charm.

Another example is Ludwig II of Bavaria. Here Uranus is in the tenth house. Cancer is rising, weak, feminine, and receptive, and assorts ill with the violence of Uranus in Aries. So we see a dreamy, easy, pleasure-loving temperament, which burst out at times into maniacal enthusiasms and extravagances. The lack of harmony between these two configurations is the essential gulf within the personality which ultimately manifested itself as madness.

A final example is Abbas Effendi. As in the case of Stevenson Aquarius is rising, and Herschel is just within the second house_ Here is the same gentle profundity as Stevenson’s. But Neptune is rising, and instead of the tremendous will which enabled the writer to rank with the greatest masters of all time, there is but a soft and somewhat indefinite personality, its will interior and not externalised, owing to the forces that oppress it being too strong to overcome, and to the inhibitory influence which Neptune exercises on all continuous activity.