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

Uranus in Libra

Owing to the exaltation of Saturn in the house of Venus, there is something sinister and subtle about the sign of Libra. Its own nature too, is the balance; and when that balance is upset by such a flaming sword as Uranus being cast into the scale, we may expect very astonishing results. Where Venus is afflicted and Saturn strong, we shall find that the influence is often excessively dangerous; but good dispositions and dignities of Venus, and an harmonious rising sign and happy aspects to Uranus himself, may bring about the development of the most useful forces. The freedom of Libra, an airy sign, will give play to the impulses of Uranus; in fact, one might almost say that he is never more himself than when he is in this sign.

Taking first some rather unfortunate examples, let us consider the nativity of Joseph Smith. I 61 Note, however, that it only appears unfortunate to us insofar as we may happen not to be mormons, and we must recognise even those forces of genius with which we are not in sympathy. It will, however, be lawful for us as astrologers to give planetary reasons for thinking this prophet to have been mistaken. At his birth Cancer was rising, a very proper sign for the reception of inspired knowledge; unhappily, Luna, close to Mercury, is in exact opposition to the cusp of the Ascendant, in her detriment, and square to Uranus, which is conjoined with Saturn. Libra itself is not very harmonious with Cancer, and though there is much power developed, such power is bound to work in a disordered manner. There is no help from the bright planets, Sol, Jupiter or Venus, and so the operation of the temperament issues in the putting forth of the most unreadable books ever written, dull, stupid, disconnected and pointless, for the records of truth.

There is much tragedy in the horoscope of James III of England. Here Uranus is in the third house, with a sextile of Luna and a semi-sextile of Sol, but squared by Jupiter. Sol is Lord of the Ascendant, Leo, but he is in Scorpio; and r.,·tars is rising in his own, the third, decanate of Leo, which represents’ unsuccessful struggle. Uranus, too, is in the third house, so that the mentality is eccentric. The whole outlook was gloomy in the extreme, and it is easy to predict an increasing tension, due to tactlessness and ill-temper, qualities which indeed cost him his throne.

Contrast these positions with those of Louis XlV, ‘le grand monarque’. Here Scorpio is rising, its lord Mars sextile to Uranus. Instantly we perceive a harmony of temperament, of the ambitious type, not very amiable, perhaps, but singularly strong and without inhibitions. The reign of such a monarch could not but be successful, as the world judges success.

A case of great misfortune is the Crown Prince of Portugal, shot, with his father, in Lisbon some years ago.

Here Uranus on the cusp of the twelfth house, opposed by Mars in Aries and squared by Saturn in his detriment, Sol and Mercury going to the conjunction of Mars, could only mean violent death. The temperamental quality bestowed by the position of Uranus is therefore masked by his direct malefic action on the material plane.

The severe quality of the vision of Durer is determined by the conjunction made by Saturn with his Sun, Lord of Leo, the Ascendant. Uranus is in the third house, making possible such pictures as ‘The Astrologer’ and ‘The Four Witches’. But there is a strong friendship between Leo and Libra, and the temperament is a most musical symphony of these signs and planets.

A more Venusian type of artist is Sir Joshua Reynolds. Here Virgo is rising, but in 29 degrees, so that Libra occupies almost the whole Ascendant. It is therefore to be taken that his influence is singularly free from admixture. A sextile of Jupiter and Saturn to Uranus lends him exceptional force, and it is to be noted that Sol, Venus, Mercury and Luna are all in the tenth house, and thus bear rule over the entire figure. It may be remarked here that when there is any dispute, so to say, among the other planets, the tenth house assumes primary importance.

In literature we have a figure analogous to that of Reynolds in painting: Sir E. Bulwer-Lytton. 1 7 I Here Cancer is rising, causing him to prefer antiquity to modern times, to ,write historical novels rather than modern, and even when he wrote of modern times, as in A Strange Story, to introduce the ideas of the past and make them more prominent than those of the present. The Moon is on the cusp of the Ascendant, or he might have gone even farther than he did; as it was, his personality was diffuse, his tendency was to play first at magic, next at politics, then at literature. Were Cancer more appropriate to Libra, the result had been happier; but the truth is that nothing goes well without a dash of fire somewhere in its composition. But in any case this dispersion of interests is somewhat characteristic of Libra.

The influence of Uranus in this sign at its best and most judicial is seen in Sir William Hamilton, who may be considered on the whole is one of the six greatest metaphysicians that Britain has ever produced.

Here Gemini is rising, and Mercury is in his own house Virgo in conjunction with Venus. This gave the mental development full play, otherwise Uranus in the fifth house might have caused trouble. The perfect harmony of the two airy signs, and the good dignity of ~Mercury, allow full play to the better side of Uranus. Hence we find him probing deeply into the most recondite mysteries of existence, and displaying the most even judgment as well as the subtlest power of analysis.

In the case of Petrarch, we find on the other hand that emphasis is to be laid upon the fact that Venus rules Libra, Leo is rising, giving him a large and warm heart, especially as Sol, its ruler, is close under the cusp of the Ascendant, while Mercury, exactly on it, adds keen intellect to the personality. Venus is trine to Uranus, and lends tenderness and beauty to his fierce and passionate rays. Is further explanation needed of the circumstance that he challenges even Dante as the Poet of Love, twin lamps of glory in the darkness of the ~Middle Ages?

In the horoscope of Erasmus, Uranus is in 9 degrees of Libra, just above the cusp of the Ascendant, while Venus is rising just below it. But Uranus is opposed by Saturn, making the temperament cold; Mercury, too, is ascending, and the Sun is in conjunction with the Moon and Neptune in Scorpio, diminishing his glow. Here then is the great scholar as opposed to the great lover.

A very incarnation of passion is to be found in George Sand, with 27 degrees of Aquarius rising and Saturn sextile to Neptune. The temperature is harmonious enough, and the intellectual side or the woman is clearly indicated by the points given above. but Uranus in the seventh house disordered the marriage relation, especially as he is squared by Sol from the fifth house. These configurations soon became dominant, for by direction Pisces soon became the Ascendant, and Herschel reached the radical place of its lord, Jupiter. The result is clearly to be traced in her volcanic career.

George Borrow has Uranus exactly rising squared by Sol and Mercury, while Venus, the lady of .the Ascendant, is squared by Saturn. This fully accounts for his queer sardonic temperament, its flashes of genius and its strange outbursts of passion.

In the nativity of Victor Hugo, Scorpio was rising with Mars in Aquarius not specially strong, high or well-aspected. Aquarius is friendly to Libra, however, and as after all r..-1ars is within 5 degrees of the trine of Uranus, the personality and temperament go well enough together. In fact, one may conceive that this combination gave the extraordinary power of work which the great poet and novelist possessed.

The cynical voluptuary Sainte-Beuve has Pisces rising and Jupiter in Scorpio in conjunction with Venus, and Neptune, a very apt description of the personality. Uranus has the conjunction of Saturn, squared by Mercury, and there is the temperament, and the tone of his life’s work criticism.

Dumas has Leo rising with the Sun just above the horizon, sextile to Uranus. Here again is a splendid harmony and its dominant note is the rich boyish glow always conferred by Leo, unless the Sun be most sorely afflicted, or Saturn present in the sign.

Two very successful young ladies on the London stage are Phyllis and Zena Dare, both of whom has Uranus in Libra. The former has Libra rising, Venus on the cusp of the Ascendant trine to Neptune; the latter with Pisces rising, has Jupiter in conjunction with Uranus in the seventh house, that of marriage. The former was more famous than her sister for her personality; the latter married into the British aristocracy.