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

Uranus in the Third House

This is one of the most interesting mundane positions which Uranus can hold. Browning says: ‘Our interest is on the dangerous edge of things’. The number of accidents and adventures that can occur on the physical plane is after all rather limited, and there is such a tendency to monotony, but the mind knows no such restrictions. Uranus in the third house, which primarily governs the intellect almost invariably produces the most extraordinary effect. One may say that its empire is practically without limit. There will certainly never be any blind adherence to convention and in such horoscopes as indicate general weakness, the nativities of commonplace people, Uranus may be expected to stand for eccentricity of thought, just as in the Ascendant stood for eccentricities of personality. When he is badly aspected and also if there are no planets between him and the Ascendant, this influence may be so accentuated as to constitute actual mental disturbances, or even disease. But of course such cases arc exceptional. In the average case, however, we need expect no more than curious and unusual tendencies of the mind with regard to its occupation, and also with regard to the manner of its thought, the logical processes are likely to be very dissimilar from those of ordinary people. A somewhat extreme example of the effects of this position is Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, who devoted amazing ability and energy to the foolish problem of the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. But there can be no question that the same qualities of mind directed in saner channels would have constituted superlative distinction.

We find once more such a mind attached to the criminal temperament in the case of Caesar Borgia, whose intrigues stand out in the Middle Ages with overwhelming force . In all history there is hardly an equivalent example of brain power misapplied. His imagination was immense and his combination subtle and profound.

Another mind no less extraordinary is that of Joan of Arc. Here we have extreme simplicity and piety of disposition, combined with a mind equal in scope to that of the greatest seers, and, as it turned out, to executive power of a high order. The essential factor in her greatness is of course the quality of the mind. There were hundreds of other people equally good and equally strong, but unless she had been fitted to apprehend the operation of superior claims to the intellectual she could not have saved France. Here we see Uranus in his best avatar; he enlarges, emancipates, revolutionises. We should also note the tremendous opposition which he excites on the part of minds not tuned to his vibrations. This quality of inspiration, as we may call it, is very characteristic of Uranus, when well dignified, especially by such aspects as the squares and opposition of Saturn and trined to and sextiles of the Sun.

In matters of science, which has been for the last century the principal means through which the emancipating thought manifests upon the physical plane, Uranus is particularly good and powerful. We find Louis Pasteur and Dr Wallace12 3 with this position. It is to be noted that the personality of both these men was quite conventional; they are to be contrasted with such as have Uranus rising. It was only the mind which was exalted through work in so exceptional a manner. In this connection, too, we should mention Goethe, who was in one sense the pioneer of science. He represents the transition; he was the first poet who ever understood the importance to humanity of the scientific method. Previous bards rather resented the introduction of precision. He, on the other hand, welcomed science with open arms. However this may be, there can be no question as to the very extraordinary character of his mind. In this one respect he may be said to have no rival whatever. To the true observer of the human intelligence, Shakespeare and Dante appear commonplace when compared with him. Their limitations were those of their period. Goethe was much more cosmic than either of them. If he did not understand the human heart so fully as the former and was not so exalted a mystic as the latter, he was yet more prophetic than either of them. He anticipated the modern spirit. The same unusual quality of mind is also to be seen in Durer. Almost every other artist of whom we can think has what we may call family relations with others. Leonardo and Raphael and Michael Angelo and Rembrandt are much more like each other than Durer is like anyone of them. He thought, and with an artist that is the same as saying that he saw, in a manner entirely unique.

With regard to the lesser indications afforded by the third house, Uranus does not operate on so grand a scale. In the matter of writings, for example, he is not likely to” produce any wonderful effect, except in so far as the writings may be the crystallisation of the mind which produced them, as in the cases o f Goethe and Durer for drawing is a kind of writing cited above. There is a tendency rather to some eccentricity and trickery. It may be due to this position that Dr Wallace in his old age took up with the ideas with regard to astronomy and spiritualism which were quite out of keeping with his former eminence in science.

In the case of the average man, Uranus in this house will probably stand for trouble and annoyance. Letters are likely to miscarry and even fall into the hands of the last person in the world whom the writer would have wished. In the matter of brothers and sisters, once more, the indication is unfavourable. It may mean in bad cases that one of them is mad or at least very queer in every way. No kind of harmony with such relations is to be expected, and the native will probably do well to avoid them as much as possible.

In all matters of short journeys and communications of a minor nature generally, there is the same feeling of uncertainty and unrest. The native will probably be unable to rest; he will flit about from place to place, never knowing where he may be from one day to another. There will always, too, be misunderstandings and confusions, with regard to all such affairs.

There is a special application to what we have said about the quality of the mind. In most cases when the turn is toward science or religion, there will be found a fascination for occult subjects. It will be noted that in every case cited above, with the exception of Pasteur, there has been a strong inclination to dive into the unknown. This being the case where the mind has been of such extraordinary calibre and one might think so largely occupied with other matters, we may assume that in the minds of more ordinary calibre, the total contents being less, there is more room for development of such ideas. This, on the whole, is not to be regarded as entirely fortunate, for the study of the occult is always dangerous, unless the mind is based so broadly upon general knowledge that there is no danger of it being upset or obsessed. The lure of the unknown is terrible, and unless the path of the student is fully lighted, it is likely to cause the native to follow false trails, in which case life may be ruined. ‘Narrow is the way and strait is the gate and few they he that find it.’