Cancer time – one of the sensitive water signs. With all the opinions being aired in an emotional way about Rupert Murdoch, News of the World and that redhead Rebekah Brooks, astrologers have been having a field day. A birth time for Murdoch which is categorised as B, pretty good, is doing the rounds. Yes, we astrologers have a universal rating system for accuracy of birth times, from AA – very good, to D – dirty data! For Rebekah there is only a date, no time, but before I had even seen her birth date I thought, ‘I bet she has Mars in Gemini’ (She has Gemini eyes, a biting wit and red hair!) And I bet Mars was near the horizon when she was born. Only time will tell if astrologers can find an accurate time for her, but I was right about the Gemini Mars! Not to mention the Sun, Moon and Mercury in that sign too.
There have been all sorts of opinions floating around about Murdoch, (a Pisces, with Neptune featured strongly, standing for glamour and fantasy – or maybe deception). For me he is all about Pluto, the planet of passion on a good day, and control-freak on most days. His radical, black and white decisions, balanced with his skilled intuition, make for a powerful mix. Who really knows the truth about such a figure? He is undoubtedly a good actor. We all throw rocks at him, perhaps because we should, perhaps out of envy – who knows? Probably because we need a scapegoat for our frustration with the world. So I was delighted to hear one of my heroes in the business world speak about him in a more ‘normal’ way. Gerry Robinson, of “Can Gerry Robinson fix the NHS?” fame in the UK, was interviewed on BBC radio, (before Rebekah resigned and all hell broke loose.) The question was: Does the head or the heart rule in business? Gerry said, in short, that the head never rules in successful businesses. This interview covers why he holds that opinion, using Murdoch as an example. I wholeheartedly agree. Going for your passion is a good way to run an enterprise.
So it’s on to my next instalment of the series: Supposing astrology is a good model for life, what would it mean?
Talkin’ ’bout my generation…
Everyone is probably familiar with the term coined somewhere in the sixties – ‘Generation Gap’. It seems that we are programmed to have different norms and values from our parents. In that immortal line from The Who: “And don’t try to dig what we all s-s-say”. You often hear about such things as genes skipping generations, (many myths in there!) and the widely held belief that we seem to get on better with our grand-kids or grandparents, than our parents or children. I must admit to having seen this often in my practice.
Generations next to each other clash
But first, what is a generation? Although there is no definite agreement on dates, there are names for generations. There are people known as Baby Boomers, those born after WWII until about the mid-60’s. Next we get Generation X, those born from the mid-60’s until the mid-70’s, and then Generation Y, born from the mid-70’s until the mid-90’s. We are now into Generation Z, so I am not sure what comes next! The word generation is difficult to define, as it can be used in different ways. In families it means the next level of offspring. However, the X Y Z labels refer to a vaguely defined age-group. There are also names for those born before WWII of course. Theories abound as to why each generation might be the way it is, with explanations based on all manner of things. So why not astrology?
Astrology might have a simple answer
Well, the theory is simple, but in practice life is more complicated than can be fitted into any box, even an astrological one. Liz Greene, a very well-known astrologer, has written a wonderful and more detailed article on this subject (mainly for astrologers). Liz: “Whether we are parents or astrologers – or both – the generation gap will continue to exist, not because age and youth are in inevitable discord, but because the great collective cycles require a different vision at a different time. While we may never personally share the visions of other generation groups, we can at least recognise that they are an essential part of a much greater unfoldment of life.”
It’s these great collective cycles I wish to discuss here. An astrological model of life implies that we share archetypal patterns at generation level. Astrologers often refer to the three planets furthest away from the earth – Uranus, Neptune and Pluto – as collective or generational planets. Uranus spends about 7 years in each sign, which is a bit short for defining a generation, the average length of which seems to be about 25 years. I presume this is based on the average age of people having children. Since first-time parents are getting older, in the west anyway, maybe this needs an update!
I have often lectured about the planet Neptune, which has a cycle of about 165 years. I have spoken about him in terms of addiction and dreams. As he spends roughly 14 years in each zodiac sign, he is worth investigating. Pluto has a rather eccentric cycle, spending more time in some signs than others because of the tilt of his orbit. However, his total cycle is around 248 years. So again he is worth looking at too in terms of generations.
This is a very simplistic view, as the combination of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto vary with each individual. However looking at Pluto and Neptune and what they represent, provides interesting clues for specific age groups.
Follow your Dream
Neptune is getting astrologers excited at the moment as he is just changing signs from Aquarius to Pisces. He has also just had his ‘discovery birthday’, i.e. last week he was in the same place in the sky as when he was discovered in 1846. Planets sometimes go backwards and forwards (as seen from the earth), so can take a while to settle into a new sign. Astrologers look to history to see what happened the last time Neptune was in Pisces, to see what themes might be relevant in the coming 14 years. I commented on this in a my Capricorn 2011 post.
But what are these 14-year generations? Neptune suggests that each group will have a different dream, a different longing or even a different addiction. Each group will have an ideal to aspire to, even though this vision may seem unobtainable. Neptune is clearly visible in art and film, the themes following the signs. We love to escape into art and the cinema. Neptune shows what ‘drugs’ we like, how we like to escape, and where to.
A table of Neptune
1928 – 1943 Virgo
1942 – 1957 Libra
1955 – 1970 Scorpio
1970 – 1984 Sagittarius
1984 – 1998 Capricorn
1998 – 2012 Aquarius
2011 – 2025 Pisces
To give a couple of examples:
The Neptune in Aquarius group have dreams of technology – are even addicted to it. Of course we are all swept up in these current themes by living in these times, and these children were born when technology has come on in leaps and bounds. It feels like it has been a time of no borders and boundaries in this area. This group may have technology as an ideal, as part of their ‘DNA’. This is one example – technology is only one of Aquarius’ domains.
The Scorpio generation have dreams of (and are perhaps addicted to) depth, therapy, sex, some kind of passion and deep commitment. They have dreams of being in control. Keeping things under control or having some kind of influence might be an ideal to aim for. For the Sagittarius group, freedom and starting your own enterprise might be the dream, or being able to travel. And the Capricorns will long for structure and responsibility. The Libra group go for the ideal relationship. Somehow in all these dreams we are often disappointed. That seems to be the nature of Neptune; we may imagine and long for something which is too idealistic and unrealistic, and disappointment ensues.
Just how it’s meant to be
It is clear how this might work with different Neptune generations. Each group doesn’t really understand the ideals of the next one. Like all planets, Neptune follows a particular order through the zodiac – Pisces will always follow Aquarius. Signs next to each other don’t get on well together, a fact that has an astrological explanation too long to go into now. However, signs that are two signs away from each other have more luck. This might explain the fact that parents and children can clash in terms of what they long for or dream of. Grandparents will have Neptune at least more than one sign away. However, three signs away can also result in a clash of ideals, whereas four signs apart again gives more harmony. Maybe family planning should take account of this! It is interesting to look at Neptune in terms of your own family. From the table you can work out which groups your parents or children are probably in (you need a horoscope to be sure, if you are near the change dates). You can also look at which ones your bosses and staff belong to – it can really be an eye-opener!
And then there is Pluto!
Pluto is further out in the cosmos, so spends longer in some signs, with some long overlaps at the changes because of his weird orbit:
Pluto was in Cancer 1912 to 1939
Pluto was in Leo 1937 to 1958
Pluto was in Virgo 1956 to 1972
Pluto was in Libra from 1971 to 1984
Pluto was in Scorpio from 1983 to 1995
Pluto was in Sagittarius from 1995 to 2008
His entry into Capricorn in 2008 started a period that should result in responsible use of power (or else suffer the repercussions), as can be seen at the time of writing with the case against the Rupert Murdoch groups. Not to mention the Catholic Church being brought to task for the abuse of young boys. Pluto will remain in Capricorn until 2023-24. During that time he will be cleaning out all things Capricorn. I wrote about this in a 2007 post and have updated it in later posts. I was certainly right about the building trade if I am to believe my builder.
Pluto transforms the areas of the sign he is in, but what does that mean for generations? Again, each of these generations is different – this time in how they see, want, and exercise power. Also in how they seek to control and what they can become obsessed about. There is a fundamental belief system in each Pluto generation that operates very deeply in the psyche. The Pluto in Leo generation has often been labelled as the ‘me‘ generation. There is a deep belief in self-transformation and power at an individual level. This may be a reaction to the ‘family as power’ previous Cancer generation, where a small closed group has power. Belonging to a clan means a group member has influence. It is clear how these two generations would clash.
Virgo believes in service and functionality. Health and medical issues are the areas where this group want control and influence. Barack Obama’s first attempt at transformation was in the health area. An obsession could be exercise or keeping fit. Perhaps this fits a generation who want to have influence in how animals (Virgo) are treated. And order is power.
For Libra, dialogue is power. The relationship rules. For Scorpio – well, power is power – but so is sex! Could it be an obsession for Pluto in Scorpio? We certainly learned a lot about death – another of Pluto’s favourites – in this period, through the rise of Aids. There is a belief that researching and having an understanding of psychology or the hidden world, will give influence. Knowing secrets gives power. The belief is one of needing to be in control to survive. How out of control and powerless we were when confronted by Aids! Pluto’s fear is powerlessness, which often comes before transformation. Sometimes in therapy, we need to go to the bottom of the well before we can take back our power.
For the Saggi generation there is an underlying belief that anyone can be an entrepreneur. Power and influence are achieved by risk taking and having a vision. The beliefs in this generation are at odds with Pluto today. Capricorn believes that influence can be achieved by having a clear goal and taking responsibility for it. Accountability. A belief in standing up and being counted. This is very different from the previous Pluto groups. The same will apply as with Neptune – our deep beliefs will fit much better with people who have Pluto two or four signs apart.
Perhaps astrology can go some way to explaining the Generation Gap. An astrological model of the world actually demands it. And maybe the Generation Gap is necessary to promote change.
Interesting Websites of the Month
Liz Greene’s article
And back to the title – Talking ‘bout my Generation
Why do we think it’s funny when generations don’t fit their own stereotyped group? I love this video. It’s a few years old now, but very heart-warming. Probably the Neptune in Leo generation who finally attained their dream of being in the spotlight!
I agree with the song – I hope I die before I get old – whatever that means these days!
Quotes of the Month
“Every generation needs a new revolution.” Thomas Jefferson.
“Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastinations and weird clothes.” Bill Cosby.
“Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.” Lewis Mumford.