In this sign Uranus appears most clearly as the emancipator. Aquarius is the sign of the Man Cherub, not so spiritual as the Eagle, but with the clear light of reason luminous in his eyes.
Nor is it without significance in this connection that the Tarot trump corresponding to Aquarius is ‘Hope’.
However, the sign is too harmonious to the planet to produce the great emancipator every time. It requires some special excitement before it becomes operative in its fullest extent, and it is rendered commonplace by an easy going personality.
Thus in the cases of the Emperor Maximilian and of Lords Roberts and Wolseley, we find no marked humanitarian or revolutionary impulse. Roberts has Pisces rising, with Jupiter just under the cusp, in opposition to Saturn and Mercury. Uranus is ‘in prison’ just within the twelfth house, with no help anywhere. There is therefore nothing sufficient to arouse those deeper and stronger spiritual forces to which we have learned to look for the revolutionary ideas which sway mankind.
Wolseley has Aquarius rising with Saturn in Virgo not particularly strong. Uranus is near the cusp of the Ascendant, giving him the peculiar personality, which, harmonising so well with the temperament, brought him so much honour, as it was close to the sextile of Jupiter. Once again, however, there is no deeper force at work; the career was conventional.
The unhappy Emperor Maximilian of Mexico is an example of feebleness and lack of unity. Sol and Mercury were rising in Cancer; but the ~Moon is in Nadir, in opposition to Mars; Uranus, too, receives no help; it is a fine illustration of how mere good fortune, unaided by personal strength, fails to keep a man from mischief.
There are two humorists with this position, Du Maurier, very shallow, and Lewis Carroll, very deep. The former has Uranus on the cusp of the Ascendant, with nothing better than a semi-sextile of Luna to assist him; Saturn is in opposition to Mercury. It is a feeble display.
The latter, on the other hand. has Sagittarius rising, and Jupiter is close to Uranus near the cusp of the third house. He has benefit of a semi-sextile of Neptune – here is the subtle yet sacred character of the humour – while Venus and Mars rising in conjunction, lend passion and power to the personality. Sol. too, is only 8 degrees from Uranus. A most fortunate figure, on the whole, but at the same time, nothing revolutionary to be found in it.
President Garfield has Virgo rising, with ~Mercury not very strong but in the third house. Jupiter is in conjunction with Uranus; Saturn has just risen. There is evidence here of a clever, even, nature, likely to move harmoniously enough, but without that quality which overturns faiths and empires.
General Gordon is a wilder type. Aries is rising, with Mars sextile to Jupiter. Uranus is 10 degrees only from Sol well above the eastern horizon. One can understand the impetuous and romantic and adventurous disposition; and there arc also indications of great emancipatory ideas. But there is hardly sufficient force to carry them out. Uranus being in the twelfth house, is hampered sorely.
Compare with this the nativity of Joan of Arc. Scorpio is rising, and Mars is semi-sextile to Jupiter, and trine to Saturn, and trine to Venus. Here is an all-conquering personality; Uranus giving the revolutionary idea, is content with his achievement and the work is carried out by the ego. Hence, to some extent its instability.
Consider a true empire-builder, Franz Josef of Austria, who, from a congeries of races who detested each other mutually. made a nation strong enough to bear the shock of the greatest war in history.
Libra is rising, giving the even judgment and sound balance necessary for any such work, and Venus has the semi-sextile of a conjunction of Sol, Luna and Saturn. She is opposed by Neptune, which led to certain set-backs, but failed to inflict permanent injury. Uranus, too, has the sextile of Mars. It is the great strength of Venus (in her beloved sign Cancer) situated in the tenth house that gives all its great political future to this figure.
A very different type of emancipation is Goethe, with Scorpio rising. and Mars exacted in Capricornus. trine to Mercury and Sol. Uranus has the square of Saturn, which is on the cusp of the Ascendant.
It is a magnificently harmonious picture, and a great one; for with such a sign rising, and such large planets involved, there must always be big things on the carpet.
With this compare Rossetti, a very similar mind, but less original and less cosmic. Gemini is rising, Mercury with Luna in the twelfth house, sextile to Venus and to Uranus. Venus is trine to Jupiter. All this is as harmonious as Goethe’s figure, but not nearly so big. The forces involved are all conventional and commonplace.
Another great mind was that of H.P. Blavatsky, with Cancer rising and the Moon trine to the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus. Sol is in the Ascendant giving success. But the other combination gives the real force of the character, the dreaminess, the religious impulse and the occult impulse all working together.
Her chief of staff, Colonel Olcott, has a much more idealistic temperament, but lacks the explosive force. Libra is rising, and Venus is conjoined with Sol; but the square of Mars makes these less effective than they might have been without It; Uranus, too, is in opposition to the Sun. Naturally with such a figure , one should anticipate but second-rate qualities. The trine of Mars and Saturn makes them efficient such as they arc; he did his work right well. ‘ The great sage and mystic of antiquity, Proclus, the neoplatonist, has this position. Here Uranus is in conjunction With Sol and Venus, Saturn and Jupiter are square to them. Aries is rising, Mars exalted in Capricornus. Here once more is the double gift of the gods, the preoccupation with great things and the power to execute them.
Melanchthon, the friend of Luther, is a milder figure. Virgo is rising, Mercury not very strong. Uranus has ‘the sextile of Mars and Jupiter; but it takes a great deal to pull up a weak Mercury when Virgo is rising. He was all very well in his place, like Olcott with H.P. Blavatsky, but alone he would never have set the Rhine afire.
Our last example is the unhappy Chatterton. Here Uranus is in 29 1/2 degrees of Aquarius, so that one is tempted to relegate him to the next section, Cancer is rising, the Moon imprisoned in the twelfth, Uranus squared exactly by Sol, and not much assisted by being within 10 degrees of the trine of Mars. Luna has a sextile of Jupiter, and no other aid of importance. It is all feeble in the extreme.