Uranus, the Planet of Rebellion, enters into its yearly retrograde on August 19, and it'll continue tracking backward for the next five months, until January 18, 2022. Although Uranus is a planet that often brings unexpected change, this transit is in dependable and stubborn Taurus, a sign the planet has been hanging out in since 2018. As such, we've lived through this retrograde a handful of times before, and are at least somewhat prepared for what's to come.
Uranus is an outer planet, meaning that it deals more with our subconscious and the unseen, says Madi Murphy, co-founder of The Cosmic RX and The Cosmic Revolution. "This celestial body wants us to work on our long-term goals, and because it doesn’t change signs for seven years, it gives us ample time to work out the areas of our life that need liberation," she says. "Like a super-loud and annoying alarm clock, this planet jolts you out of your sleep, causing you to wake up and return to reality."
The rebellious planet has been one of the most active and chaotic celestial bodies of 2021, according to Narayana Montúfar, senior astrologer for Astrology.com and author of Moon Signs: Unlock Your Inner Luminary Power. That's one of the main reasons we've experienced so much change this year, including losing our sense of having a shared reality. "This planet's ongoing square with Saturn has been shaking the foundations of our lives in order to bring us more freedom," she tells Refinery29. "While some of these changes have been positive, some have been shocking, and definitely unexpected."
Astrologers have been calling the ongoing Saturn-Uranus squares the defining transit of 2021, which makes sense when you realise this happens only once every 22 years. When they occur, we often see cracks appear in the foundations of society, and the problems with our political, financial, and social institutions become exposed, and then crumble, Montúfar previously told Refinery29.
Uranus retrograde isn't all about the fall of society and complete destruction, though. "We often talk about Uranus as the planet of surprises and the unexpected, but let's remember that Uranus is also the planet of genius, breakthroughs, and innovation," Montúfar says. "Since Uranus is an intense planet, when it retrogrades, it's easier for us to access and absorb its genius energy." Although our eyes will be more open to the harsh and unpleasant things around us, we'll be inspired to make changes and take advantage of the rebellious energy Uranus has been bestowing on us all year. The key feeling this transit wants to bring us is freedom.
And a lot of that freedom will happen in our personal lives. "During this five-month backspin, we can all expect shakeups, breakups, breakdowns, and breakthroughs," says Lisa Stardust, the author of Saturn Return Survival Guide and The Astrology Deck. "Being that Uranus will be moonwalking in sensual Taurus, all financial matters and affairs of the heart will take a trip on the astrological roller coaster."
Although this transit may cause a lot of upheaval, the planet's energy usually points us in the right direction. "The universe is giving us the rare opportunity to let go of all the relationship drama we’ve suffered and understand our worth in partnerships," Stardust says, "The same applies for professional opportunities. We’re revising the past story and reassessing our value." Our goals, our futures, and our worth are up for a refresh.
Leslie Hale, psychic astrologer for Keen.com, agrees. "Uranus is associated with freedom," she says. "This is why sometimes Uranus’s retrograde is associated with break-ups and breaking free of things we find oppressive in our lives." Whether it's a partner who's not meeting your standards or a job that's not valuing you for your worth, now might be the time you finally cut ties.
To survive and thrive this year's Uranus retrograde, Murphy leaves us with this advice: "Stand up for what’s right, bust out of any ruts you may have gotten into, and get comfortable being uncomfortable." Don't be afraid to really go for it — the Planet of Rebellion is behind you.