Uranus is the oddball of the solar system, in more ways than one. For starters, it rolls along its equator instead of spinning upright in its orbit, the way a proper planet does.

For another, the discovery of this almost-invisible planet rocked the astronomical world -- Saturn, previously the outermost clearly visible planet, was no longer the edge of our planetary panoply. Truly revolutionary!

Like all the other planets except the Sun and Moon, which are not truly planets, Uranus periodically turns retrograde in its orbit, seeming to stop in its tracks for about two weeks and then appearing to move backward along its path through the Zodiac.

After five months, it slows down again and seems to turn around once more, resuming travel in its original direction.

These points at which the planet seems to turn around -- and remember, retrogradation is only an optical illusion -- are called ‘stationary points,’ and are the times when the planet’s energies are most noticeable in the entire cycle of the planet.

When Uranus is stationary, watch both the news and your personal life for unbelievable headlines. It’s times like these that produced the saying, ‘Truth is stranger than fiction.’

During the retrograde period, our more outrageous inclinations may be less evident, though occasionally, for someone who’s normally rather repressed, this period will provide the opportunity to throw off the shackles of inhibition and allow a freer self to emerge. This is the ultimate triumph of Uranus Retrograde.

Learn more about the other retrograde planets: Mercury retrograde, Venus retrograde, Mars retrograde, Jupiter retrograde, Saturn retrograde, Uranus retrograde, Neptune retrograde, Pluto retrograde

The planet Uranus is often associated with rebellions and revolutions, earthquakes and volcanoes -- anything that erupts with sudden, unpredictable force and changes life as we know it.

But Uranus's effects aren't all disruptive; just most of them! This planet also rules original thought, unique inventions and improvements on tradition.

Without its influence in our lives, we might never know the development of science, for example, or humanitarianism. Whether it happens in a constructive or a destructive way, Uranus promotes progress.

On a more personal basis, Uranus influences our senses of freedom and restriction. Depending on its placement in your chart, this planet can make you feel quite rebellious in the face of the various limitations of your life -- your duties regarding work or family; the expectations that your parents and other people place on you; or even just the humdrum predictability of your day-to-day existence.

With its unstable and unpredictable energy, Uranus moves to upset the balance of your daily life; to shake up your routine, to fly in the face of others' expectations and so on.

Uranus is the planet that encourages you to break out of your mold, to spread your wings and fly. It challenges the validity of the status quo and puts it to the test through dramatic, often upsetting occurrences. And like change itself, the influence of Uranus is essential, even if it can be traumatic in the moment!

Uranus rules the freedom-seeking sign of Aquarius. Read about Aquarius to learn more about this sign and how Uranus influences it.

The planets are: Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto

Uranus, the planet affiliated with revolution, caused quite a stir when it was discovered in 1781. The discovery of Uranus hailed a period of new planetary discoveries, and shattered astrology’s previous use of only the visible planets.

In actuality, Uranus is visible on a very dark night, once your eyes adjust to the darkness and you know where to look, but it looks so much like a faint star that for a long time it was not identified as a planet.

Uranus is peculiar in another way, too. Most planets spin on their axes, perpendicular to the plane of their orbit, but Uranus basically rolls on its side as it orbits the Sun! It takes Uranus eighty-four years to orbit the Sun, spending about seven to eight years in each Zodiacal sign. It is a gaseous planet with twenty-two moons and a few visible rings.

From Earth’s perspective, Uranus retrogrades 43% of the time each year, the most important times being stationary points when it is about to change direction and seems to be standing still.

During these times, revelations and insights can come unexpectedly. After the dust settles from the initial Uranus retrograde, it's time to make sense of what happened.

The Uranus Return occurs for people at the age of eighty-four. Halfway through the cycle, the Uranus 'opposition' occurs around age forty-two and is usually described as a mid-life crisis, when a person feels an urgency to make some radical changes.

At eighty-four, if one is healthy, then the freedom to live the remainder of one’s life beyond society's expectations is very liberating.