Are you ready for a feminist queer resurgence?
By Danny Larkin
BY: DANNY LARKIN
Every seven years or so, the planet Uranus travels into a new sign of the zodiac. This ingression – as astrologers call it – is often heralded as a major event and marks shifts on the personal level and turning points on the collective levels of culture, technology politics.
Because Taurus is ruled by Venus – which symbolizes sex, women, and money, many astrologers are anticipating breakthroughs with women’s liberation, gay and trans rights, and financial disruptions. It’s exciting to all of us hungering for equality and freedom. Digging into history, we discover how Uranus in Taurus coincides with earlier changes for women in queer people. Uranus resided in Taurus during the period spanning approximately 1850 to 1859. Now the 1850s aren’t exactly the first decade you think of when it comes to revolutionizing moments in queer History and women’s history. But major shifts occurred in America, which bear digging up as contemplate a powerful revolutionary feminine energy that will be staging a comeback.
On May 29, 1851, just a few days before Uranus went back into Taurus after a retrograde period in Aries, the women’s movement opened up to hearing and celebrating the voice of a black woman – the one and only Sojourner Truth. She gave her famous speech – A’int I a Woman” at the Women’s Convention organized in Akron, Ohio. Here’s a short excerpt.
“I want to say a few words about this matter. I am a woman’s rights. I have as much muscle as any man and can do as much work as any man. I have plowed and reaped and husked and chopped and mowed, and can any man do more than that? I have heard much about the sexes being equal. I can carry as much as any man and can eat as much too if I can get it. I am as strong as any man that is now…” This speech was widely disseminated. It marked a major turning point in the largely white women’s right’s movement acknowledging the perspective of a woman of color. Yes, a long road lay ahead for women of color.
At the very end of this Uranus in Taurus cycle in 1859, the first effective gay bar opened up in New York City – the Charles Pfaff’s Beer Cellar at the Coleman House Hotel. Effeminate men poured drinks for a bohemian clientele. It marked a turning point in a brave businessman creating gay space and challenging local authorities. And it made a deep impact on Walt Whitman, who was America’s first openly Gay poet. At the end of this period in 1859, Walt Whitman created an unpublished sheaf of twelve homoerotic poems, which was later published and became known as “Calamus ” cluster. They opened up a major controversy in literary circles about openly acknowledging homosexuality.
Looking at the next Uranus in Taurus cycle, from 1934 to 1942, we meet Rosie the Riveter, who took America by storm 1942. She was actually an appropriation from Canada. In 1941, Veronica Foster of Ontario was celebrated as Ronnie, the Bren Gun Girl. In response to the outbreak of World War 2, millions of women in North America went to work since the men were away at War. Women in the workforce galvanized the emerging notions of feminism. Women proved to be just as competent and efficient as men, dispelling long-held myths of women’s inferiority. It was a watershed moment – a brawny image of a woman – was so widely celebrated and disseminated.
Given this history of the Uranus in Taurus cycle, many astrologers are eagerly anticipating this next chapter when Uranus – connected with revolution and bringing down conventions – aligns with the feminine and artistic Venus.
And already, a major symbolic gesture arrived just before Uranus enters Taurus. And it’s in many ways a prelude of what’s to come. In London, the square in front of Parliament has for too long only featured men. That changed late in April 2018. The first statue of a woman by Gillian Wearing was unveiled. The suffragette Millicent Fawcett holds a banner that reads “Courage calls to courage everywhere” – there could be no more fitting motto for women and LGBTQI individuals as we enter the next Uranus in Taurus cycle.
It will be crucial to bear in mind the transition on May 16th, 2018 isn’t a clean break. Yes, it’s momentous that Uranus will make its first foray into Taurus since the early 1940s. But, it won’t stay there long. Uranus will hover over the early degrees of Taurus until November 7th, 2018. But then Uranus will appear to move backward in the sky, right after the US election and return to the sign Aries for the winter.
So it’s crucial to understand the period of May 2018 – November 2018 as the first prelude in a reenergized fight for women’s equality and gay rights, which roughly corresponds with the lead up to America’s midterm elections. Now is the time to get creative as we look to influence the midterms. What is the new Rosie the Riveter image we can invent for our times that will go viral on the internet? How can we channel Walt Whitman to create a language that will get everyone talking? How can we steal a page from Charles Pfaff, and create alternate spaces that challenge straight white men in power? How can we pioneer new messages to support women candidates in breaking the glass ceiling?
There will be a big shift after the American midterms when Uranus goes backward into Aries on November 7, 2018. Uranus has this pattern of sliding back into the sign it was just in at the start of every new 7-8 year cycle. The purpose is to address unfinished business from the past seven years. We all know that Trump hasn’t yet been held accountable and that impeachment won’t happen in a Republican house. If Democrats win back the house, the strategy shifts along with retrograde Uranus into impeachment proceedings. If Democrats lose, the fight shifts to the courts, mass demonstrations, and civil disobedience.
Whatever the outcome of the midterms and potential impeachment proceedings, we can’t get discouraged because Uranus will move back into Taurus on March 2, 2019, and stay there until 2026. It seems very likely that a woman will again seek the presidential nomination for 2020. And the powerful wind will be at her back that Hillary didn’t have.
Sojourner Truth and Walt Whitman never claimed it was going to be easy to be pioneers, but what they experienced during Uranus in Taurus was the inspiration to capture imaginations with new words, new images and new ideas of equality. One of Martin Luther King, Jr. favorite aphorisms was s, “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” So now is the time to get creative, blend Taurine beauty and the Uranian zeal for revolution, and bend that arc with pizazz.