One day this past October, my partner had described a crazy day he’d had. Eventually, I said, “That’s what we might call Uranian.”
His first assumption was that I was referring to Eris, as he was more acquainted with Eris by way of the Pricipia Discordia than he was with Uranus in astrology — he insists that he doesn’t understand astrology, and I take that sometimes as a hint not to talk about it and sometimes as a challenge to get him to understand it.
When he realized what I had actually said he asked what Uranus was about and I tried to explain with emphasis on the differences between Uranus and Eris. I struggled. What were the differences between Uranus and Eris and why had his day been Uranian rather than Erisian?
My first thought was that I had said his day had been Uranian because I am more acquainted with Uranus than Eris, thus Uranus comes readily to mind while Eris does not. However, I did continue to wonder. I needed to sort this out.
Eris, I believe, does indeed signify chaos, though, of course, not only. Uranus signifies disruption of old patterns. Often, Uranus is associated with what is referred to as the “Promethean principle,” that is, to liberation, surprises, flashes of insight, and the like.
Now the question. If a pattern is given and it is interrupted, is this due to the principle of chaos or to a principle of “liberation” from the old pattern? Is this due to a disruption of the old pattern or to the introduction of chaos?
Let me rephrase that last question. If a pattern is given and it is interrupted, is this due to the introduction of chaos or to a disruption of the old pattern… making way for the new?
Let’s consider this with a few examples. Note the differences.
Which of these is Uranian and which is Erisian? Okay, now I’ll show it in a different way with another example.
One more, just to confuse you a bit.
Okay, let’s unpack this. In each example the first item is Uranian and the second is Erisian. Example 1 should be easy to understand. Uranus changed the pattern to another pattern while Eris changed the pattern to chaos. Eris obliterated the pattern entirely. Uranus merely introduced a new one to replace the prior one.
Example 2 I hear is a bit trickier. Uranus does more than merely switch one pattern to another. Uranus switches categories entirely from letters to numbers. Notice that there is no pattern in the second category. There is no pattern to the numbers, but the category remains thereafter. Eris obliterates the pattern without introducing anything new.
I think Example 3 should be easier to understand. Uranus simply reverses the pattern. You see the sudden shift there in the center without introducing anything new. Eris, however, didn’t simply remove the pattern from existing elements as in Example 2, but introduced total chaos. Any given character might have been included, but without a pattern.
So what do we learn here?
Eris obliterates patterns. I highlighted a few of the many ways that could be done. Uranus obliterates patterns, too, but the similarity with Eris ends there. What I show is that Uranus introduces something new. In the first example it was a new letter while maintaining the overall structure. In the second example it was simply a new category — numbers — and in the third it was the direction of the pattern. Neither Uranus nor Eris imply a pattern, however, a pattern may be found after a Uranian event, but almost never after an Erisian event — such is the nature of chaos.
The essence of Uranus is not inherently creative, but revealing. Uranus pulls the rug out from under you, flips the light switch, opens the trap door, drops the lightning bolt, blows up the volcano, lifts that writer’s block, and meows pitifully at your door in the cold to change your life forever. Uranus releases, surprises, and brings in the new. Uranus is freedom in the form of lifted restraint.
Eris is chaos, yes. Gleeful destruction. But not only. Eris is freedom. Eris is freedom in its truest, fullest, most complete form. Eris is absence of bounds, completely, a failure to comprehend restraint altogether, but Eris is not content merely to sit in the midst of formlessness like Neptune. Eris needs a new thing to destroy, and here is the great paradox of the Erisian impulse. Eris needs restraint. Eris needs to walk within a world of order if she is to have any fun, if she is to have any meaning. Eris must understand order if she is to smash it to pieces. Eris must be insightful. This is why Eris would choose to do such a thing as toss an apple.
Eris revealed herself to the human psyche after New Horizons was launched, before it arrived, and after astronomers had grown uncomfortable with such an odd thing as Pluto being a planet. Eris upstaged Pluto, with Mike Brown’s help “killed” him, and attempted to pull him out of our collective psyche, overturning our deepest, most intense motives and… generating discord about it. Eris rolled the apple and caused us to turn away from our shadows, from our psychic underworlds, from our deepest fears and desires. Turning away from our fears doesn’t make them go away. If we bury an impulse it invariably sprouts somewhere else. These are the seeds sown of chaos.
Ten years later, here they come. Have you seen the fear in the news?
The point of confusion, I find, is a tendency to associate Uranus with disorder, which I believe is incorrect. When Uranus drops a flash of insight, disorder may result, but the Uranian part of it — the sudden insight — is not an act of disorder of itself. Nor is it an ordered act. It is a flash, and order may be contained within the insight, but the content of the insight is not necessarily the Uranian aspect of it.
If you need a bit more convincing, please consider this: Uranus is associated with such things as the Copernican revolution. Did Uranus create the entire new world, the entire new way of seeing our place in the Universe, or did Uranus simply open our eyes to it?
To finish. Eris: insightful discord. Uranus: a flash and a new thing.