It was on March 13, 1781 that the patron planet of astrology was discovered by William Herschel. Although Uranus had been seen several times before by various astronomers, it had been perceived as a fixed star rather than a planet, and Herschel originally cited it as a comet. Uranus had to endure the unfortunate name “Herschel” until it was renamed Uranus in the period between 1791 and 1821.
Uranus is the only one of the planets to be named after a Greek god rather than a Roman one, and in fact there is no Roman counterpart to the god Uranus who is the sky god and represented the heavens themselves. This singularity of identity is reflected in the quality of the astrological Uranus to define our individuality and unique attributes.
Uranus was the father of Gaia’s many horrific children, including the Titans and the Cyclops as well as beings with fifty heads and a hundred arms. His disgust for these monsters mirrors the quality of Uranus to show where we seek perfection and where we are disgusted by that which is less than ideal.
As the god of the heavens, Uranus brings us information from beyond in ways that we cannot explain. Like sudden changes of weather that take place in the sky, Uranus brings sudden change and the awakening to new ways of thinking about things.
The excellent Skyscript site has the discovery chart with these comments:
Although Herschel had not initially realised the significance of his sighting, the chart is clearly meaningful. Its most striking feature is the T-square involving Uranus opposite Mars and Saturn, squared by the Sun. One may say that the Sun brought the new planet to light, and Saturn brought it down to earth. The Uranus-Saturn cycle is associated with the natural sciences and Herschel had been born at a previous opposition. There does seem to be something inhuman about this T-square; the fact that the Moon, Venus, and Mercury are all unaspected makes it worse. The chart can be read as the nativity for the age of scientism: intellect (Uranus in Gemini) without feelings (Moon and Venus) or reason (Mercury), compounded with arrogance (Saturn-Mars-Uranus).
The discovery of Uranus coincided with three major revolutions: the American revolution in the late 1770s, the Industrial revolution in the 1780s, and the French revolution beginning in the 1790s. All of these events dealt with the radical change of the status quo and an equalization of social status, both hallmarks of the Uranian experience.
Uranus always brings surprise and an acceleration of understanding, often in ways we don’t understand and cannot anticipate.