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Alan Alda and the Uranus Return

Uranus is a relatively slow-moving planet. It takes around seven years for it to transit one sign. It used to be that very few people lived long enough to see transiting Uranus make it all the way around the zodiac and return to the place it occupied at their birth, what we call the Uranus Return. However, nowadays it is more common, and one person who has lived long enough to see his Uranus Return is Alan Alda. (Click on Alan Alda to see the chart.)


On it’s way around the horoscope Uranus squares it natal place twice and opposes it once. It is the first square that has the greatest relevance to most people. It occurs around age 21 and it typically brings about a need for independence and a desire to strike out on your own. It is a time to defy authority, take risks and do the unexpected.


In my experience, the opposition of Uranus to it’s natal place and the second square have less influence. (Though I have seen individual cases in which they are important.) I think that this is because these aspects hit us when we are older (ages 42 and 63.) By this time in our lives, we are locked into the responsibilities of adulthood and the liberating, mischievous energy of Uranus has less room to play. We might feel the urge to do something “wild”, we might even have a “mid-life crisis” episode, but the overall course of our life is not changed.


Of course, the Uranus Return comes along at an even less opportune time in our lives. Uranus is a planet that it typically associated with youth, with the idealism and rebellious, electric energy of the young. What relevance could such a planet have for people in their 80s? Sure, the mind might be up for a Uranian revolution, but the body is going to lag behind.


Alan Alda seems to have found a way to beat this curse. A few days ago, he announced that he has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. The diagnosis was made three and half years ago, but Alda had kept it a secret. Now he has “liberated” himself of that secret. He has also made himself a symbol of resistance to the disease by remaining active with acting gigs, a podcast and speaking engagements. He has made his Uranus Return a time to show the strength and innate optimism of his Aquarius Sun sign.


Alda is also currently going through another “heavy” aspect: Saturn’s passage over his Ascendant. Saturn crossed the exact degree and minute of Alda’s Ascendant in January of this year. It is currently moving retrograde toward that same point. He is entering a new phase in his life, a phase in which he is going to be known less as an actor and more as the face of a Parkinson’s survivor. But, with that Aquarius Sun sign, I think that Alda is ready for this change. There is nothing that Aquarius like better than beating expectations.

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