Ouranus, Uranus, or heaven, is said to have been the father of Saturn, who, jealous lest another son should appear, mutilated him with his scythe. This legend is but an apologue of the nature of this planet, often called Herschel after the man who rediscovered it. This planet swims lonely in the vast abyss that separates Saturn from Neptune. If we have compared Neptune to the outpost, we may continue by saying that Uranus is the moat of the fortress, and its secret passages. And if we have called Neptune the soul of the sea, then Uranus is the essence of volcanic fire. There is no planet so strange, so revolutionary, so occult and mysterious, or so contradictory. For this is in the shocking story of Uranus, the principle of heaven bereft of fatherhood by the jealousy of time. This planet is the planet of genius, the planet of the secret magical power in man that lies (according to the Indian mythology) coiled at the base of the spine like a snake, ready to strike up and illuminate the whole, or downward to damnation. Genius may break ; it will not bend. Gil de Rais, de Sade, Borgia, were men of genius, just as truly as Michael Angelo and Isaac Newton. All genius desires the infinite, and the infinite is one, not many. Only the mediate steps are diverse. Darwin regretted his limitations as bitterly as did Alexander; and the love of Christ equally with the malice of Satan would destroy the world were each not thwarted by that world’s inertia. The essence of genius is this occult but overmastering lust of achievement in practical and material shape. If Neptune makes the saint or hermit, Uranus makes the magician, the man who calls forth from the Unseen not only its peace but its power. The dream of the Uranian is universal dominion by and for his Idea. This Idea may obsess him, blind him to all else, ruin him by narrowness. He rarely understands that Being must take Form before It can be perceived, and he often misses his opportunities. He does not know how many veils must be thrown over the splendour of his Virgin before men can bear to gaze upon her without going mad. All genius is equally “good,” but unless it be accompanied with utmost breadth of sanity, with moral strength as of a god, and above all with humor, it thickens, it ferments, it turns to deadly poison. It is characteristic of the infatuation with an idea that all sense of proportion is lost. Even so, a diplomatist plunges his country into war at the cost of millions, both of men and money, in order to gain an advantage of negligible worth. So also Uranus is the particular planet of all secret vices that tend to usurp the whole nature of a man. From religious fanaticism to indulgence in dangerous drugs the gamut runs ; and, because of the obsession of the one idea, the defiance or neglect of circumstance attending it, we find what we call fame or infamy as our own bias determines. There is no good or evil absolute ; to one man Caesar is a hero, to another a fiend ; the Puritans destroyed cathedrals ; others, even today, hate pictures and statues. One critic thought Shelley a devil specially incarnated to plague mankind ; another calls him a beautiful but ineffectual angel. So, let us clear our minds ; let us realize that de Bruierlliers might have been Madame Curie, and Dean Swift, John Cleland! Any genius, thwarted in the beneficent purpose of his life, turns either to self-indulgence or to revenge. The anarchist throws his bomb, in the spirit of philanthrophy ! Unless all the “good” and “bad” of Uranus is fully understood, it is useless to try to judge mankind. For every man has this Uranus in him, strong or weak, subtle or gross, fortunate or unfortunate, and this is the Royal Snake of Egypt, the giver of Life and Death. If you will not allow him to -create, he will devour. The most important thing in the life of any man is to discover the secret purpose of his incarnation, and to follow it with wariness as well as passion; with wisdom, if possible. Astrology has no more useful function than this, to discover the inmost nature of a man, and to bring it out into his consciousness, that he may fulfill it according to the law of light. The Uranus in us is the Sacred Dance of the legend ; in the hands of the Holy King it .built the Temple of the Grail; in those of Klingsor, the Garden of Evil Enchantments. Genius may be fertile or sterile, radiant or self-consuming ; the one is White Magic, and the other Black. But the force is the same ; and, being thus double, it is of the utmost importance to direct it aright. The purity of a strong and noble Jupiter is the greatest safeguard to this force; and the Sign of the Cross, in its fullest, holiest, most Pagan and most Christian sense, is its warrant. For not only is it the Redeemer, but must be itself redeemed.
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