Thomas Payne once stated, “People are more like their generation than they are like their parents,” I am paraphrasing here but that was the sentiment. As an astrologer I noticed that generations not only are a group of souls that go through space/time together which give them similar context and issues to grapple with, they also have physical characteristics that you can see if your eye is well developed. This is also a subject that has been sorely under investigated in Western astrology. There are no good books about the topic and astrologers who do mention the outer planets gloss over their importance. But we know from timing and transits, that the outer planets are the energies that bring about huge changes – so wouldn’t it be rational to assume they play a big role in our development as individuals as well? Of course it does.
There is also a saying that kids are often more like their grandparents than they are their parents. I’ve seen this to be true and this is because of an astrological phenomena that I will explain in depth later, but to give you a simple bite sized morsel, it’s because Pluto and Neptune (and to a lesser extent Uranus) move slowly and make no significant aspects to the generation directly on either side of them, but do make positive aspects and have often similar qualities to the generation just before or just after. You’ll see what I’m talking about as I go into more depth.
So let’s break down the past 117 years, from now until the turn of the 20th century, in terms of astrological generations. It’s important for us to define what a generation is and how long it lasts – there is much debate over the start and end dates of generations but astrology makes it clear cut and in my opinion is the only true guide to the issue.
Let’s start with the oldest living people on earth born around the turn of the last century (the generation would have started in about 1885) from 1900-1914 (those born in 1914 would be on the cusp of the next generation – I will explain generational cusps later,) have: Pluto in Gemini
Neptune in Gemini
Uranus in Sagittarius
As a generation they dealt with incredible advances in technology and communication. Actually, some of the biggest inventions that radicalized society, the telephone, the car and the airplane (transportation and communication) all happened while they were alive. Of course electricity was also harnessed – Uranus was opposing Pluto and Neptune. They were a highly social and congruent generation. A generation eager to learn, education was their focus as well as the modernization of the educational system – Webster’s dictionary came into existence right before the turn of the century and Jean Piaget was born during this period. His theory of cognitive development which broke down learning into distinctive phases was key to a world revolution in how children are taught.
It was also the period when literature and art were taken into new realms and re-imagined partially as a reaction to the advent of photography and later Cinema. Writing, literature and education were highly prized and valued by those born in this generation. Some of the most inventive (Uranus opposed both Neptune and Pluto) and brilliant writers, artists and scientists were born and or came to prominence during this period: Gertrude Stein, William S. Burroughs, James Joyce, Albert Einstein, Carl Jung, Nikola Tesla, the Wright Brothers, Pablo Picasso. The list goes on, this was a period of brilliant invention and intellectual mobility. It was also the birth of Cinema as an art form Pluto conjunct Neptune opposite Uranus – Neptune ruling film, Uranus ruling invention.
You can see why there was so much invention in the arts, writing and technology with this configuration. There was so much intellectual growth and explosive newness. Of course this generation also went through both WWI and WWII although most would have been too old to serve in WWII. Many would have been at their prime during the sexual revolution and crazy roaring 20s. WWI started just after this configuration. It started July 28, 1914 just after Pluto transited from Gemini into Cancer. WWII was also started when Pluto was in Cancer. Pluto ruling transformation, sexuality and destruction. When it was in Gemini the focus was on the twins aspect of sexuality – flappers wore boyish haircuts, showed their legs, broke taboos and questioned why there was a sexual double standard between men and women. When Pluto went into Cancer society buckled down, defended it’s home base (Cancer) and protected its resources (Cancer) along with a change in women’s roles. Suddenly women had to work while men went off to war – Cancer rules the home, mothers, nurturing, the homeland. The US chart also has a Cancer Sun and during this period with Pluto transiting our national natal Sun we developed the Atomic bomb (Pluto=plutonium) and had two wars that permanently transformed our country and our culture. Women went to work and realized their power, everything changed in the family structure and the way women were perceived during and after this period. It was also during the period of Pluto conjunct Neptune opposite Uranus in Sagittarius that the Suffragette movement was born and women were given the right to vote.
Now many astrologers stop there and look only at the big picture in relationship to the culture and the broad strokes of history, but these big picture issues effect us as individuals. They leave their mark on us and it is our energy, the energy of the stars integrated into the incarnation we are born into, that structures history, and we after all are the ones who make and live that history.
In the next post I will break down all the generational sign posts and where they start and end, and go into detail about the next generation after this one.