A Baby-Boomer comments on Millennials…how brave is that?!!
(But I also talk about planetary cycles…so it’s not all about them. My thanks go to astrologer Jessica Adams for our recent email conversation, which got my brain cells ticking on the ever fascinating topic of the upcoming Millennial Generation.)
I still recall with great clarity my first encounter with planetary cycles in 1983. In the early days of a developing obsession with astrology, still grappling to acquire reasonable fluency with natal patterns, my focus — of necessity — was limited to unlocking the complex symbolism of natal horoscopes. I had no idea that the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction at 6°- 9° Sagittarius that year, trining my 12th-house Mercury, was about to provide a wake-up call.
It came via a wonderful lecture on mundane astrology by the late, great Charles Harvey. “Time is the flowing Image of the Eternal…and the planets are the instruments of Time,” began Charles, quoting Plato’s Timaeus. That hour passed in seconds, or so it seemed. I was riveted. The idea that each horoscope is a unique “chip” of the prevailing planetary pattern, which also symbolizes the ebb and flow of collective and world affairs, was a revelation. Although no great expert in mundane astrology, my fascination with the great planetary cycles’ timing of the unfolding of collective and personal life, and their interweaving, has never waned.
The mighty Neptune/Pluto cycle of 500 years begins whole epochs: the most recent conjunction in the 1890s in Gemini began the Information Age.
The 172-year Uranus/Neptune cycle began at 2°- 3° Capricorn in 1821; the next Uranus/Neptune cycle began at 18°-19° Capricorn in 1993.
Seminal thinkers such as U.S. Transcendentalist philosopher Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) and Germany’s political philosopher Karl Marx (1818-83), whose socialist ideas changed the world, were marked by the influence of the conjunction.
Neptune longs for a new, perfect vision of how life could be; Uranus breaks down the old order in ways never before envisaged, letting those new vistas take shape, paying little attention to the ensuing chaos. Those long cycles are change-makers, ensuring that nothing stays the same shape for long, either in our personal lives or the patterns of the Big Picture.
The start of the 1821 Uranus/Neptune cycle saw Karl Marx’s early life and growth to maturity. The fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, when Saturn in Capricorn joined Uranus and Neptune at the end of that cycle (and the seeding of the new one in 1993) saw the collapse of the Communist system birthed by Marx’s ideas.
Each generation bears its own stamp. The most recent Uranus/Neptune group began to appear with the applying conjunction in 1986 in late Sagittarius/early Capricorn; the two planets stayed in close range of each other throughout the sign of Capricorn and the middle of Aquarius until 1999. (1) They are the ones now rising with the new Millennium, as we Pluto-in-Leo baby-boomers sink slowly into decrepitude and irrelevance…no doubt kicking and screaming as we go.
The Millennials are the future. So what can they expect, and we expect from them, as the new world order recently birthed by Uranus/Neptune arises and takes shape? I wonder who will prove to be their Marx equivalent? I wonder who will be their Thoreau? Here are a few brief thoughts, which I hope will stimulate yours!
The 20-year Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions, the “Great Chronocrators,” or Rulers of the Ages, are “concerned with the formation of our sense of social purpose and direction, our quest for concrete achievements in the world.” (2) The next Jupiter Saturn conjunction in 2020, which grows closer and closer in late Capricorn throughout that year, finally reaches exactitude at 0° Aquarius at the winter solstice. (Their previous conjunction, at 23° Taurus in May 2000, was the last in the earth element for around 800 years.)
Next, Pluto shifts from Capricorn into Aquarius in 2024, beginning a long trine aspect to the 1892 Neptune-Pluto conjunction in Gemini, bringing more air. The next Uranus-Neptune conjunction, in 2165, will take place in early Aquarius, their first meeting in the air element for a thousand years.
Thus, since 1980, when the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at 5°- 8° Libra entered the air element for the first time since its last entry in the 12th century, we have been moving gradually into an air-dominated era, with the sign of Aquarius in high focus. We are moving from an emphasis on material development and planetary exploitation (characteristics of the Industrial Revolution and the materialistic culture which arose) to one of global social development — of ideas, information, communication, and relationships expedited by technology — for the coming 200 years or so. (3)
This upcoming Uranus/Neptune generation, with its Capricorn/Aquarius mix, are a challenging bunch. They aren’t inclined to be gullible: Saturn’s influence, via his rulership of Capricorn and Aquarius, sees to that. They like proof. My 23-year-old nephew, just having finished a Politics degree and currently doing a Masters in Overseas Development, is very much like that. He is interested in astrology and very open-minded, but I have to present the subject to him with grounded clarity. I like that challenge!
The young folks whose charts I have read are having to learn to dance on a wobbly board, as it were: Capricorn craves order, whilst Uranus is bored by it and Neptune loves to dissolve it to see what lies in the open spaces of spirituality and imagination.
This generation will thus be arriving at maturity as the energy patterns dominating collective life shift from an earth element base to an airy fundament. The dominant sign energy, as we have seen, will be airy, collective, revolutionary, idealistic Aquarius. We are already seeing the early brushstrokes of this upcoming era, with the fast rise of the Internet and social media over the last decade, and with it young people who are expert at surfing those new cultural waves.
Let’s hope this Millennial generation arising, then their children, will slowly create a new kind of global interconnectedness: perhaps, even, a way of living which is not rooted in the despoliation of Mother Earth.
(1) Editor’s note: The author is using a 10° orb for the conjunction, both applying and separating.
(2) Quote from the article Jupiter-Saturn Astrology by Greg Bogart.
(3) The Jupiter-Saturn conjunctions fall in the same element (with very slight deviation) for approximately 200 years.
(This blog originally appeared on Anne’s site. We greatly appreciate her offer to reproduce it for TMA‘s blog.)
Bio: Anne Whitaker is a writer, astrologer, and astrology teacher based in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds the Diploma from the Centre for Psychological Astrology in London, U.K. She can be found on Facebook, Twitter @annewhitaker, at Astrology Questions and Answers and email: firstname.lastname@example.org