What’s your generation’s cosmic story?
Academic research has identified five generations: the Seniors or Silent Generation, beginning around 1930; the Baby Boomers or Me Generation; Generation X; Generation Y; and, finally, Generation Z or the We Generation, thought to end in 2009. There is some difference of opinion about the exact time periods, but with the planets we can be exact. There is a specific timing when the slow planets change sign, when they meet up and when they interact by â€œaspectâ€. These periods richly inform the nature of each generation and create generational sub-groups, different planetary tunes.
There are two special periods: when Uranus spent time with Pluto from 1962 through 1968, then with Neptune from 1989 to 1995, both events that will not recur until the 22nd century. These deserve to be given a category of their own since these groups come with powerful gifts and a big generational burden to embrace in the midlife years. This applies now to part of the 1960s group, who are having the mother of midlife Uranus transits as Saturn opposes Uranus again â€” just as it did in the 1960s.
Neptuneâ€™s mysterious notes
How does a planetâ€™s note differ in each sign? How does the influence manifest? Take Neptune as an example, representing the hopes and dreams of a generation, the spiritual urge. In Libra from October 1942 to 1956, Neptune seeded a search for redemption through loving relationships. This reached its most idealistic level as that generation came of age through the 1960s and 1970s. In Libra, love was the spiritual search and the love child came into being.
Yet the Neptune in Scorpio generation, born 1956 to November 1970, carries fixed Water energy, and the search for a higher-level experience shifted to the realms of Scorpioâ€™s sexuality, emotional intensity and financial acumen as they came of age in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Those born 1970 to 1984, with Neptune in Sagittarius, instead seek higher-level experience through travel, study and exploring belief and the spirit of adventure. Some are coming into Neptuneâ€™s strengths right now. Its passage through Capricorn, which began in 1984, is yet to come of age.
A generational layering occurs as Neptuneâ€™s notes meet those of Uranus or Pluto. Discords and harmonies can arise. The pattern that each group carries is gradually activated by transits â€” moving planets. Specifically, Neptune first â€œwakes upâ€ at age 27â€“28, then comes into its strongest expression age at 42â€“45. Uranus â€œwakes upâ€ around age 15, shifts into gear at 21â€“22 and finds its midlife strength in the late 30s and early 40s. Plutoâ€™s cycle varies: seniors reached Pluto midlife energy around mid-40s, the Boomers just before 40, Generations X and Y in the mid- to late-30s.
In terms of the outer planets, human life is a stage whose characters are stamped with different yearnings and dreams via Neptune, different ways of seeking change and freedom via Uranus, and the deepest journey of transformation via the long cycles of Pluto. Together, these inspire generations and describe the dreams and the fads, the nature of rebellion and the social/political shadows we just have to learn to live with. Inspiration comes in many forms, but Uranus, Neptune and Pluto hold special secrets about that process.
Silent Generation: 1928â€“1944
The Great Depression of the 30s and World War II are the historical landmarks. Academic opinion is divided as to whether the beginning or the end of WWII brought it to a close. Yet the boom of babies was indeed a homecoming event.
The Virgo and Cancer cautious touch: 1928â€“1939
With Neptune in Virgo, seeking higher-level experience through duty and service was the shared dream of your generation. With Pluto in Cancer adding extra emphasis to home, family and national identity until 1939, family values, tightly structured family roles and nationalism were themes of the day.
The Pluto in Leo rush: 1939â€“1944
In a transformational sense, the Me Generation really began in 1939 when Pluto finally settled into Leo. While WWII represented the territorial and homeland issues of Pluto in Cancer, the war began with a rush of fiery Leo energy. Then in 1942, Leo flames were fanned by planning and cool-headed strategy as the Air element entered via Uranus into Gemini and Neptune into Libra. This sub-group extended into 1949 and was bound to look beyond the more emotionally based themes of the 30s as they reached maturity.
Baby Boomers: 1945â€“1961
The historical landmarks for this generation were the post-WWII baby boom and a redistribution of power and influence on the global stage as settlements were made and treaties signed. Leo energy, first from Pluto then from Uranus, gave the â€œLook at me do my own thingâ€ theme of independence to this generation.
Life change design via Libra and Gemini: 1942â€“1949
A particularly optimistic sub-group was born between 1942 and late 1956, when Neptune in Libra painted the rosy picture of redemption through love and relationship. This generation was represented in the â€œlove childrenâ€ of the 1960s and pushed a sexual revolution. Since planet Uranus represents the way we break from tradition, its passage through Gemini to mid-1949 was designs-of-the-mind time. Freedom of communication and thought was the theme and it easily translated into new freedom in relationships.
Tension in paradise in the 1950s
Once the freedom urge moved into the home-loving sign of Cancer on June 9, 1949, the Libran dreams were challenged and 1950s themes were set. Freedom in the home in the 1950s came with a plethora of labour-saving devices, designed to be used by female homemakers. Yet the need to rebel against traditional family roles was also set as this generationâ€™s coming of age. This was the next nail in the coffin of the traditional marriage structure.
Not surprisingly, as these groups matured, marriage breakdown and de facto unions became normal. Late 1951 to mid 1956 resonated to a particularly challenging tension between rebellion and the search for romance. The uprising of uninhibited personal expression courtesy of Pluto made it a heady brew.
Fixed intentions rule 1956â€“1962
Between September 1955 and September 1957, all three planets changed sign and the fixed signs of Scorpio and Leo began to carry that tension between dreams and the freedom urge. Now Uranus in Leo defined powerful ego drives, making a steamy combo with the emotional intensity of Neptune in Scorpio. Breaking with sexual tradition and gender roles as part of creative self-expression were the seeds sown in these potent six years of the Boomers. This was to enter into the social dialogue at this groupâ€™s maturity.
Generation X: 1962â€“1977
Historically, Generation X is linked to the radical social changes of the 1960s and to the Vietnam War. This also marked a dramatic change in the public attitude towards war, with the global reach of the Vietnam Moratorium marches. From 1962 to 1968 was the first outer planet alignment and turning point of 20th century.
A special Virgo tribe: August 1962â€“September 28, 1968
Your group was formed from a rare planetary meeting of Uranus and Pluto in earthy Virgo, from 1962 to 1968. Uranus, planet of rebellion, joined Pluto, the transformer, birthing a tribe that wants to make a difference in practical and earthy ways. Harmonious links with Neptune in Scorpio gave emotional depth and determination to this groupâ€™s incipient desire to transform society. Historically, both alternative medicine and ecological consciousness were politicised at this time. Your style is strongly defined now via the midlife transits, and the themes of your time have gained maturity and social acceptance.
That Libran touch: September 1968 through 1977
If you were born from late September 1968 to September 1975, you had Uranus and its freedom urge in the relationship sign of Libra. When in October 1972 Pluto entered Libra as well, an extra transformative energy was released. Members of that sub-group born from late 1972 to 1975 have the most intense need to analyse and work on their relationships.
If you were born from 1972 to 1984, with Pluto in Libra, you are part of the generation bound to meet the emotionally cathartic and shadowy side of marriage and relationships. This period coincides historically with a sharp rise in divorce rates. In your own maturity you seek to transform the whole nature of partnership and seek a balance of power in relationships. The additional energy of Neptune in Sagittarius from November 1970 added an optimistic philosophical edge to a generation on the move.
Sexual healing with Uranus: September 1975â€“mid-November 1981
Uranus shifting base to Scorpio kept up the pressure on relationships but carried extra emotional intensity, changing attitudes to sexuality and breeding incipient rebellion against gender roles. The search for sexual healing and for freedom from expectations based on gender is a coming-of-age theme for this group.
Generation Y: 1978â€“1994
Historically, Generation Y is linked to the profusion of digital technology and the growth of capitalism on a global scale. This generation hosted a rare planetary alignment from 1989 through 1994, the second turning point of the 20th century. Wikipedia lists digital, Facebook and instant gratification as generation Y themes.
The wanderers ride the centaur: 1978â€“1988
Your generation begins with Neptune firmly entrenched in Sagittarius until November 1984. Like those of Generation X born after November 1970, you carry the dream of multicultural experience, world travel and religious tolerance. Your group prefers to dissolve national boundaries in its quest for understanding. This is the Wanderers theme, so you dream of exploring a range of ideas and places.
Once change agent Uranus also entered Sagittarius in November 1981, an even more adventurous sub-group felt compelled to act on those dreams. Travel and exploration take on extra excitement and motivate change. The optimistic questing theme became its most expansive and positive during these years. Pluto in Libra helped relationships to morph, creating friendship tribes over and above couple consciousness to encompass the rapidly changing interests. Maturity for the Wanderers may include exciting adventures in the realm of education. Challenges to the dream of the globe as a fun playground also feature.
The indigo children
In 1982, psychic Nancy Ann Tappe claimed to see indigo-coloured auras in 97 per cent of children under 10 and in 60 per cent of older children.3 Later commentators have suggested that these children, described as sensitive, empathic, highly kinaesthetic and independent, became the Ritalin Generation, drugged to control the behaviour problems their traits evoke. Astrologically speaking, the Scorpio theme carried by Uranus from 1975 and renewed by Pluto from 1983 to 1995 accords with the indigo themes and suggests danger from drugs and patterns of habituation taken up at a young age.
Plutoâ€™s theme in Scorpio introduced transformation via sexual and emotional themes. If you were born November 1983 to November 1995, you have hidden reserves of sexual power and lessons to be learned from the misuse of this universal energy.
Capricorn captains of the world: 1989â€“1995
It was the rare alignment of Uranus and Neptune through the early 1990s that introduced an unpredictable, radically different version of Capricorn Earth energy to your group. A materialistic earthy impetus arose. Wild child Uranus got practical, endowing wisdom and aspiration well beyond your years, as well as the likelihood of coming of age in a time of radical social change. A lot of Capricorn means a lot of purpose and staying power, so the rebellious energy of Uranus is set to have its way once it arises, particularly in the 1989/90 sub-group born with Saturn there as well.
Generation Z or the We Generation: 1995â€“2009
Historical events for Generation Z include global terrorism and a return to religious war, with the rise of the jihad concept in the Middle East. Sagittarius rules beliefs and inspires crusading action. Pluto entered Sagittarius in stages through 1995 and the theme of a global community with fewer boundaries between cultures and beliefs emerged. Yet Pluto digs deep, revealing the shadows of martyrdom and intolerance that can come with strong beliefs. The period of July 2001 t0 July 20002 brought Saturn to oppose Pluto, catapulting those intolerant fanatical energies onto a wider global stage with 9/11.
Aquarian air ignites fire
Adventurous Sagittarian Fire was quickly fanned into a collective spirit and greater independence by the uprising of the Air element. First, Uranus in 1996 and then Neptune in 1998 entered Aquarius and the We Generation of inclusiveness, tribal consciousness, community focus and rebellion against old authorities took its shape. Focused ambition and community consciousness are themes flowering in maturity.
Aquarius cool gets wet: 2003â€“2010
After March 2003, Uranus in Pisces brings new dreams forward and fosters a freedom urge that plays out in the realms of science, art and altruistic pursuits when Pisces finds its feet.
Generation Next: 2009â€“2024
The next astrological generation is happening now, so popular culture and astrology agree. Pluto has finally settled into Capricorn, where it will remain until 2024. Right now, babies are being born who carry the practical passions of Pluto in Capricorn, the lofty hopes for community of Neptune in Aquarius and a sense of emotional flux via Uranus in Pisces.
Astrologically, there is already a sub group: a transition period into â€œnew timesâ€, which began with Pluto on November 28, 2008, and ends February 4, 2012. By then, Uranus will have settled into actionâ€“oriented Aries and Neptune into its home sign, compassionate Pisces.
The planets dance
The outer planets represent a transpersonal journey and the cycles of inspiration that change our course in life. They link individuals into age groups, with a theme unfolding over time. Thus Pluto in Capricorn empowers utilitarian values in the now, which gain status, while ambitions are more hidden. The shadow side is greed and ruthless power, while a deep, earthy spirituality lies in waiting. This plays out historically, but those Pluto babies must mature to find their own unique version. Pluto is merely one facet of each personâ€™s potential.
In this exploration of five generations we have moved between the now and then, examining time periods as cycles, within lifeâ€™s field of change. One personâ€™s pattern of birth is another personâ€™s age of maturity. When the slow planets make aspects to themselves, events unfold. Born during a particular generation, we carry the energy of those planetary patterns. These patterns also stamp the history of their times with the indelible blend of the planet dance.
Christine Broadbent loves her work. She offers astrology consultations for life direction, relationship synastry and event and business timing. She is currently based in Sydney and also works in Auckland. T: (02) 9938 4382, W: www.astrologyspot.com.au