I received an email this morning that pointed me to a piece that got me thinking again about intergenerational astrology, something that has long preoccupied me. Here it is, one of the long, serious, insightful essays to which I have become accustomed on cosmicconvergence2012.org.
The feud in question refers to the yawning disconnect between those who were born in the Pluto in Leo generation (1937-58) and their parents, born in the Pluto in Cancer generation (1912-1958), and how that disconnect has meant that “the succession of power never took place.”
I call the Pluto in Leo folks “the me generation,” and it’s true, we were and are somewhat narcissistic, full of ourselves, and still want to be rock stars. I have a feeling that the more unconscious among us were the ones who spurred the movement into McMansions and obscene materialism as an outpicturing of our inner need to shine.
The author of this piece calls us “the beatniks” (pre and during World War II) and “the boomers” (post-world war II). A good distinction, and one I hadn’t made. I like it, being temperamentally more beatnik than hippie.
I call the Pluto in Cancer people “the family generation,” for whom security concerns of home, family, community, and country, were all of primary concern. Tom Brokaw memorialized them as “The Greatest Generation” because of their sacrificial and heroic roles in World War II, and this appellation, for me, as a self-centered Pluto in Leo, never sat well!
In any case, the author of the “Feud” essay does a great job detailing the dynamics of the disconnect between these two generations and how that dynamic has managed to impoverish the present and perhaps sabotage the future.
He also points out that it was the very ease and comfort of security at home provided by the Pluto in Cancer generation that both nourished the Pluto in Leo generation to feel so entitled, and spurred them to reject the family values of their parents and embrace instead, sex, drugs, rock ‘n roll.
All very accurate. And, as usual, incomplete (for what is not incomplete? are any boundaries real?).
Since I am so interested in intergenerational astrology, permit me to carry this discussion further by pointing out that we can also talk about smaller “sub-generations” within any of Pluto’s generational signatures. For example. Uranus, with an 84 year cycle (so it moves one sign every seven years) was in Taurus when the first Pluto in Leo people came in, and during 1942 switched into Gemini. There’s an enormous difference between the two sub-generations on an unconscious level.
I happen to have Uranus in Gemini, so am very much of the mind, fast, mercurial, loving the expanding adventure of ideas. Uranus in Taurus people tend to be slower, more methodical, even cautious, not nearly as wild and bold as their fellow Pluto in Leo compatriots who have Uranus in Gemini. It’s almost as if the great divide in our generation, between those who would stay “straight” and those who would go “way out, far out” — shedding inhibitions to “do our thing” and dance to the tune of the new pied pipers — cleaved there.
Both Pluto (248 year cycle) and Uranus are what astrologers call “outer planets,” with cycles usually longer than one human lifetime. It is these planets that we usually refer to when we are thinking about generations, and about how the world-wind shifts, from time to time.
There’s yet a third “outer planet” signature, that of Neptune, with a cycle of 165 years, and so averaging about 13.5 years per sign. This cycle also switched when Pluto was in early Leo, moving from cautious, scientific, analytic, doubting-Thomas Virgo to “peace love dope” “find your soul mate” Libra in 1942-1943.
Then, for the Pluto in Leo people, it’s also interesting to look at those born between 1946 and 1948, when Saturn, with its 30 year cycle, was conjunct Pluto in Leo, and many of the leaders of our generation were born, including both Clintons, for example, and Steven Spielberg. Those with Saturn conjuncting an outer planet are meant to “ground” the enormous energies of that planet into this earthly reality. Personal power was and is, the issue, drama and egotism the petard, and sheer, exuberant creativity the show of Pluto in Leo.
In any case, while I appreciate the “feud” between the two generations that the author speaks of, there are ways in which generations born later, those with Pluto in Virgo (hard-working wizards of all things technical and electronic 1958-1972, many of whom are furious with our generation for bankrupting the country) have also turned the world upside down — not to mention the Pluto in Libra, Pluto in Scorpio, Pluto in Sagittarius, and the current Pluto in Capricorn generations: we await both their offerings and their reactions to what has gone before.
While we, of the Pluto in Leo generation are always going to be touting our own horn, and asking why the world didn’t appreciate what we had to offer, especially when it came to the more spiritual aspects of our discoveries with sex and drugs, our pilgrimages to foreign lands and philosophies, our thirst for creative self-expression, of course, to some extent, the world did pick up on us. Yoga and meditation, for example, two of our signature discoveries, are now commonplace; and both gloves and girdles still quaint relics of a seemingly ancient past.
So while the Pluto in Cancer/Pluto in Leo feud may be real, on another level, it’s not. Plus, as I can attest, there are those of us who have worked through our issues with our folks. For example, myself, who came to terms with my recently deceased, and seemingly indomitable father — see various posts archived on The Grieving Time — (who, by the way had Saturn conjunct Pluto in Cancer). Indeed, we worked our disconnnect through to the point where, after 30 years of feuding, he whispered to me, while dancing on the cruise that he gifted to the family for his and Renee’s 50th wedding anniversary: “Thank you for making me question every single one of my beliefs.”
Of course I was stunned!
He paused, and then added, “Of course I didn’t change any of them!”
We stopped, convulsed into laughter, and then danced on, happy to be in each other’s arms, heart to heart, though not mind to mind, for that sweet little while.
And perhaps that is our greatest offering to the world. For Leo rules the heart, and Pluto in Leo can open it.