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The Generation Gap

by Liz Greene


Written for the magazin "Appollon"

Like death and taxes, the misbehaviour of youth, we are told, is always with us. Complaints about adolescent flouting of parental and civic authority may be found in literature from Ovid to Shakespeare, and life amongst the medical students at the University of Montpellier in the 16th century, according to the outraged townspeople, was just as rowdy as it is today at Harvard Medical School. "Youth," said Oscar Wilde wearily, "is wasted on the young." The phenomenon of the "generation gap" has never been as vividly demonstrated as in the 1960's, when the chasm between the conservatism of age and the iconoclasm of youth appeared all but unbridgeable. Bob Dylan's seminal lyrics describe it concisely, although they hint at something far greater than the younger generation flexing its muscles against the older one:

Bob Dylan

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You'll be drenched to the bone.
If your time to you
Is worth savin'
Then you better start swimmin'
Or you'll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin'
Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don't criticize
What you can't understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is
Rapidly agein'.
Please get out of the new one
If you can't lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin'.

"The Times They Are A-Changin'", Bob Dylan, copyright (c) 1963, renewed 1991

Yet to think in terms of an inevitable age-versus-youth conflict between authority and rebellion, between experience and naivety, between limits and exuberance, between responsibility and freedom, is too simplistic. There are certain biological determinants which ensure that, when we are young, we have more physical energy; and psychologically we may have less containment and less rigidity when it comes to expressing ourselves, because the ego has not yet become "set" in its habit patterns and defences. Repeated confrontations with worldly limits may also sometimes, although not always, play their part in making us less inclined to take risks when we are older. The archetypal polarity of the senex and the puer aeternus reflects this inherent life process. But beyond these very general factors, the picture is more complicated than it might seem. Not only individuals may break the mould, but also entire generation groups. The face of the senex may reveal itself in the young, the face of the puer in the old.

Those who have watched the television series, Absolutely Fabulous, may glimpse, in the character called Edina, a florid exaggeration of the "flower power" generation which dominated the social upheavals of the 1960's. Edina is a mother who is entirely identified with the more rampant form of the puer aeternus. She smokes dope, drinks herself into oblivion, pursues promiscuous and often disastrous sexual liaisons, dresses like a bad advertisement for psychedelic drugs, and thinks and speaks in a fashion which many people would normally associate with irresponsible, self-centred adolescence. Astrologers might recognise a mocking portrayal of the revolutionary thinking, incurable romanticism, and ruthless self-expressiveness of the post-war "me" generation, with Uranus in Gemini, Neptune in Libra, and, most importantly, Pluto in Leo. In stark contrast, Edina's daughter, Saffron, is prudish, stodgy, studious, and deeply ashamed of the antics of her feckless mother. Saffron does not touch drugs, is wary of promiscuous sexual behaviour, dresses "like a Christian" (in the words of Patsy, Edina's equally appalling crony), and eats sensibly. She is a realist who has no illusions about human nature, and she does not waste her time fantasising about how the world could be. She is so well grounded that she is incredibly, irredeemably dull. Astrologers might recognise a mocking portrayal of the pragmatism, cynicism, and brutal honesty of the generation group born with Neptune in Scorpio and Uranus and Pluto in Virgo.

This mother-daughter relationship presents us with a reversal which gives the series its punch and humour; and, although hilariously exaggerated, it is nevertheless a peculiarly truthful portrait of a particular dynamic between two generation groups in the second half of the 20th century. They are divided, not by chronology, but by attitudes. Here it is the old, not the young, who kick against the confines of senex codes. If we wish to understand the sometimes irreconcilable conflicts which are so often set in motion between parents and children, generation groups need to be viewed, not merely from the perspective of age, but from the perspective of values. A generation group is not defined merely by time. It also exhibits inherent perceptions, responses, attitudes, and needs which make it unique. Generation groups reflect the quality, not the quantity, of the time in which they are born.

How long is a generation? A biological generation may be anywhere from fifteen to eighty years apart from its predecessor; we are dealing with the vagaries of procreation when we assess generation groups in these terms. Some people still in their teens have children; others wait until their thirties or forties; some men start second or even third families in their sixties or seventies; with the advent of Viagra, the eighties are entirely feasible; and with the possibility of freezing sperm for an indefinite period, there may be no limit at all, and a posthumous child may be engendered by a father who has been dead for a couple of centuries. Grandparents may be young or old, and it is possible, if one gets moving early enough, to be a great-grandparent at forty-five. But if we think of generation groups in terms of the qualities which they embody, then we need to avail ourselves of the broader insights provided by the astrological model, and consider the outer planets and their cycles.

Uranus, Neptune and Pluto in the birth chart portray three different but overlapping generation groups reflecting fundamental needs and longings inherent in the collective psyche during the period when each of these planets transits through a particular zodiacal sign. We each belong to a Uranus generation, a Neptune generation, and a Pluto generation. We have more in common with the Uranus generation that lived 84 years previous than we do with those born only 7 years earlier. We have more in common with the Neptune generation that lived 178 years previous than we do with those who were born 14 years earlier. And we have more in common with the Pluto generation born 246 years previous than we do with those born with Pluto in the previous or following sign. These planets provide us with a complex mapping of the cyclical qualities of time and the growth pattern of the larger unity to which each of us belongs. They also tell us about how our particular Uranus generation perceives and pursues progress, what our particular Neptune generation idealises as the path to redemption, and how our particular Pluto generation mobilises when survival is threatened. Beyond our individual value systems and character qualities, we each belong to larger groups which envisage evolution, salvation, and transformation in different ways. When we respond, not as individuals but as units in a collective, we respond through the outer planets in the birth chart. These responses may be relatively conscious and in harmony with our individual values, depending on how the outer planets "sit" in the natal chart; but they may also be relatively unconscious or in deep conflict with everything we thought we believed in. We may be surprised, shocked, and even overwhelmed and fragmented when these deeper collective levels of the psyche are activated.

It should be remembered that, although Bob Dylan was catapulted into prominence as one of the major prophets of his generation during the great Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960's, Dylan himself was not born under that conjunction. Born in 1941, he belonged to the generation group with Neptune in late Virgo trine Uranus in Taurus. Personal planet involvement such as the Moon, Jupiter, and Saturn in late Taurus and the Sun in early Gemini conjunct natal Uranus and trine natal Neptune, and Mercury in late Gemini square natal Neptune, ensured that he was able to translate the vision of his generation into highly personal creative work. The timing of this was not accidental; Dylan entered his period of greatest creativity and popularity while the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the '60's moved over natal Neptune, trined natal Moon, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus, and Sun, and brought to flower the potentials inherent in the natal configuration. In other words, the collective needs of the 1960's dovetailed beautifully with the collective values inherent in Dylan's generation group, and his poetry and music thus became the vehicle for both. That remarkable trine between Neptune and Uranus which occurred in the early 1940's, common also to John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Mick Jagger, seems to have reflected a vision of progress which embraced not only political and social change but also spiritual aspiration. That this configuration, moving from earth into air signs, presided over virtually the entire period of the Second World War may seem strange in light of the promulgation of peace, equality, and spirituality expressed by these generational prophets, especially by Lennon in the song, "Imagine". But Hitler's Reich was also a reflection, albeit a vicious and distorted one, of a vision of political and social change combined with spiritual aspiration. Jagger, with his natal Sun and Pluto conjunct in Leo, is perhaps more in touch with the darker elements inherent in his generation group, as is demonstrated in the song, "Sympathy for the Devil."

Perhaps most fundamentally, these generational icons share the placement of Pluto in Leo. In terms of generation groups, when Pluto moved from Cancer into Leo, a profound change occurred in the survival mechanisms of the collective; and this planetary shift is perhaps the astrological significator par excellence of an inevitable collision between parent-child generation groups. Those born with Pluto in Cancer tend, on the instinctual level, to perceive survival as dependent on family, community, and national bonds, which provide a sense of emotional belonging, continuity, and safety. These were the individuals who were prepared to go to war and die for King and country even if, as individuals, the war itself made no sense to them. Those born with Pluto in Leo tend to instinctively perceive survival as dependent on ferocious individuality and determined self-expression even in the face of opposition. Amongst these are the individuals who, whether through arrogant egocentricity or an intuitive perception of the individual's power to create a different reality, made their own decisions about their personal destiny, and refused to fight in Vietnam.

Bob Dylan was born on 24 May 1941, 9.05 pm, Duluth, Minnesota, USA.
John Lennon was born on 9 October 1940, 6.30 pm, Liverpool.
Paul McCartney was born on 18 June 1942, 2.30 am, Liverpool.
Mick Jagger was born on 26 July 1943, 6.30 am, Dartford.
By the time the latter two were born, Uranus had moved out of Taurus into Gemini, but was still trine Neptune. It also now formed a sextile to Pluto in Leo.

Outer planet configurations between parents and children

Exploring the patterns of astrological generation groups can take us into many spheres of human interaction and endeavour, and a single article cannot possibly do justice to the depth and complexity of this theme. However, I will touch on one of the most valuable areas of insight which the perspective of astrological generation groups can offer - the interaction portrayed by outer planet involvement across two birth charts in parent-child relationships. Some difficult issues between parents and children may be reflected by conflicting aspects between the personal planets, reflecting deep dichotomies in personal attitudes and values. A boy's Mars opposition his father's Moon may lead to some energetic conflicts of will, and perhaps even to violence in some cases; but such conflicts are unique to those two personalities and do not invoke deeper collective forces. And some resolution is possible if the father can understand that his son is a unique individual with self-assertive needs quite different from his own, and if the boy, when he is more mature, can can exercise the same objectivity about his father's emotional outlook and needs.

Other difficult issues between parents and children may be linked with Saturn and Chiron cross-aspects. The former describe dynamics rooted in personal defence mechanisms; the latter, although collective issues are hinted at, also enact themselves through personal defences against feelings of hurt and woundedness. A girl's Moon square her mother's Saturn may suggest a definite chill which dampens their emotional relationship. But some resolution may be possible if the mother can recognise the unconscious envy and anxiety which her child invokes in her, and if the girl, when she is more mature, can see beyond her feelings of rejection to the deeper meaning of her mother's apparently impossible expectations. A boy's Sun conjunct his father's Chiron may describe mutual hurt and misunderstanding; but some resolution may be possible if the father can face his own feelings of woundedness and inadequacy, and if the boy, when he is more mature, is able to recognise his father as an ordinary flawed human carrying wounds inflicted by a world much larger than the family.

However, some issues are bigger and deeper than individual personality interaction, and any resolution may depend on a much broader perspective. A child may appear to a parent, not as an individual, but as a representative of a vast collective force which can seem profoundly threatening to all that the parent stands for and believes in as an individual. And when it is the parent who embodies the power and vision of a whole generation, the child may feel terrified and overwhelmed. Parents and children may also interact through the medium of outer planet aspects to other outer planets across the charts. In such cases, both stand for the collective might of their generation groups, and may have difficulty in perceiving each other as individuals unless personal planets are also involved in the configuration. Anyone who has perused the charts of successive generations within a family will have noticed the frequency of close contacts - especially the "hard" aspects - between outer planets and personal planets across the birth horoscopes. These contacts are often within 1º of orb. One may be forgiven for getting the feeling that there is method in this cosmic madness, and that when such links appear between parent and child, or parent and grandchild, some deeper evolutionary pattern is at work which involves the group as well as the individual. Individual reductive psychology may fail to penetrate to the meaning of the responses which are activated, and we may have to expand our psychological models to grasp what is at work.

There are, of course, individual dimensions to such contacts. Cross-aspects between the outer planets in one chart and the personal planets in another can be understood partly through the basic principles of synastry. For example, if a girl's Uranus is conjunct her father's Sun in Gemini, his lively, restless, and intellectually curious nature will activate the spirit of progress and inventiveness in her - not always in a comfortable way - while she, in turn, may prove - again, not always comfortably - to be a source of potential creative awakening in him. The disturbing, electrifying energy of this contact would be visible from early childhood, and such a cross-aspect between father and daughter could prove enormously creative and intellectually stimulating, as well as conducive to alienation. Or, if a mother has Mars in Libra and her daughter's Pluto conjuncts her Mars, that mother may find her daughter's obstinacy and emotional fixity baffling, frustrating, and sometimes infuriating, while the daughter may feel deeply threatened by what she perceives as her mother's aggression. The explosive energy of this contact would likewise be visible from early childhood, and power battles would probably be inevitable between mother and daughter - although each may, with some consciousness, eventually help the other to be more honest about emotional and assertive needs and desires.

But interpreting such aspects in this way, while useful and valuable, may not go far enough. More is happening here than one person interacting with another. One person interacts with a whole generation, represented by the individual with the outer planet involved in the cross- aspect. The daughter whose Uranus in Gemini conjuncts her father's Sun will shake him up and make him think about life differently, not simply because he perceives her as inventive and rebellious, but because, for him, she embodies the enormous power of a generation group whose perception of human evolution depends on breaking down the rigidity of old and outworn intellectual structures. The mother whose Mars in Libra conjuncts her daughter's Pluto may feel overpowered and inclined to fight back, not just because she perceives her daughter as intense and inflexible, but because that child has at her back, like an invisible army, an entire generation whose survival depends on imposing a particular set of ideals of fairness and justice on human relationships. The relentless pressure of Pluto does not reflect the child's personal power-drive, but the bottom-line necessity of a collective which cannot tolerate any deviation from its vision of what is necessary in order to avoid extinction.

We can briefly explore a demonstration of this kind of parent-child generation dynamic through an example. Although their charts have been used ad nauseam, the British royal family is always useful in this respect, because the birth times are documented and the continuity goes back for many generations. Naturally, we need to work extensively with our own family charts to get a clearer picture of generational dynamics, because it is from direct personal experience and family "lore" that the deeper patterns of the generation groups become visible.

Generational games in the royal family

Powerful generational aspects may occur, not only between parent and child, but between the parent and the individual whom the child, when grown, chooses to marry. What the family psyche needs but does not possess amongst its members, it tends to instinctively Royal Family acquire through marriage, so that its myths and complexes can unfold and be worked through over the generations. It is therefore important, when examining family charts, to include not only the direct blood line, but also the spouses. For the sake of both brevity and clarity, I am listing only the relevant chart placements of a few specific members of the Royal Family, rather than reproducing the entire birth charts.

The Royal Family

King George VI
Pluto 11º 34' Gemini
Neptune 16º 30' Gemini
Uranus 22º 07' Scorpio
Moon 24º 51' Scorpio

Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother
Pluto 17º 21' Gemini
Neptune 28º 20' Gemini
Uranus 8º 31' Sagittarius
Moon 20º 24' Scorpio
Queen Elizabeth II
Pluto 12º 42' Cancer
Neptune 22° 02' Leo
Uranus 27º 21' Pisces
Saturn 24º 26' Scorpio
MC 25º 33' Scorpio
Prince Charles
Pluto 16º 33' Leo
Neptune 14º 07' Libra
Uranus 29º 55' Gemini
Sun 22º 25' Scorpio
Chiron 28º 13' Scorpio 
Princess Diana
Pluto 6º 02' Virgo
Neptune 8º 38' Scorpio
Uranus 23º 20' Leo
Moon 25º 02' Aquarius
Venus 24º 23' Taurus
Prince William
Pluto 24º 09' Libra
Neptune 25º 32' Sagittarius
Uranus 1º 29' Sagittarius
Chiron 25º 39' Taurus
Venus 25º 39' Taurus
Ascendant 27º 30' Sagittarius

Full birth data for the family members described: Queen Elizabeth II, 21 April 1926, 2.40 am, London. King George VI, 14 December 1895, 3.05 am, Sandringham. Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, 4 August 1900, 11.31 am, St Pauls Walden. Prince Charles, 14 November 1948, 9.14 pm, London. Princess Diana, 1 July 1961, 7.45 pm, Sandringham. Prince William, 21 June 1982, 9.03 pm, London.

There are, inevitably, links involving the outer planets between the Queen's chart and that of her father, King George VI; he had a conjunction of Uranus in 22º 07' Scorpio and the Moon in 24º 51' Scorpio, and this conjunction squares the Queen's Neptune in 22º 02' Leo. The Queen also has Saturn in 24º 26' Scorpio, at the MC in 25º 33' Scorpio, and both conjunct her father's natal Uranus. We may speculate about the personal issues described by the Saturn-MC-Moon contact across the two charts, and surmise that the emotional relationship between the Queen and her father was chilly but indestructible, and that a strong sense of responsibility and powerful but unspoken bonds of duty and social obligation replaced simple affection and spontaneous emotional exchange. But here we also have two outer planets in square across the charts. This is more difficult to understand, let alone summarise in a few words. Uranus in King George's chart exactly squares Neptune in Queen Elizabeth's chart. The spirit of progress, for those born with Uranus in Scorpio, seeks expression through compulsive destruction and rebuilding, through the mobilisation of survival instincts in the face of that which threatens life, and through courage in the throes of battle. Where a battle is not found, one will be created; in the King's case, there was sufficient battle going on in the world outside to satisfy any Uranus in Scorpio vision of evolution through crisis. In stark contrast, the dream of redemption, for those born with Neptune in Leo, is expressed through a fantasy-world where all is bright and beautiful, and where one's own life is both an act of sacrifice and a symbol of divine authority for others, similarly Neptune-bound, who seek release from their own dreary lives. The Queen both shares and embodies perfectly the mythic longings of her own generation group. It is not surprising that she is unwilling to let go of them.

Here, two generations collide: the older, which lived through two world wars and made an idealogy of facing the harsh truth and building on the ashes of what had been destroyed, and the younger, which preferred to turn its back on the bleak hardship of the world and pursued a fairy-tale vision of splendour and the divine right of kings. Such a square between parent and child, unless reinforced by personal planets, might not necessarily erupt in personal conflict. Here there is reinforcement: the King's Moon squares his daughter's Neptune, and his Uranus conjuncts her Saturn. He must have seemed emotionally erratic and compulsively depressed to her. She, in turn, must have seemed incomprehensible to him - and perhaps to her mother as well, who also has the Moon in Scorpio - because the Queen is the vessel for the grandiose, chivalric dreams of a whole generation. That generation is certain of its special spiritual role, in love with a code of honour and excellence which, while noble and beautiful, may be too disconnected from the trials and tribulations of ordinary life and the egalitarian propensities of the present Uranus and Neptune transits through Aquarius. When Neptune transited through Leo, the world longed for glamour and magnificence, and needed shining models; this was the era of the great Hollywood film stars. King George VI may have found his daughter strangely arrogant and unworldly, not because of a specific failing in her individual character, but because something else, something pervasive and powerful and universal, peeped through the personal realism and tenacity of her Taurus Sun and Capricorn Ascendant.

Something profoundly intelligent appears to be at work in family patterns involving outer planet contacts. Prince Charles was born with the Sun in 22º 25' Scorpio, conjunct Chiron in 28º 13' Scorpio. The close conjunction between his Sun and his grandmother's Moon reflects their emotional closeness. The conjunction between his Sun and his mother's Saturn reflects the great weight of expectation he feels from her, and the degree to which it both limits and shapes his destiny. But Prince Charles also has a powerful outer planet link with the grandfather whom he knew only in childhood; Charles' Sun is exactly conjunct King George's Uranus. Charles, as an individual, embodies that search for the hidden truth which the King's Uranus generation group pursued as a collective vision of progress. He is, in a way, the culmination in personal terms of the strivings of his grandfather's generation. But Charles' Sun-Chiron in Scorpio also squares the Queen's Neptune. It is not in the least surprising that Charles has sought to pursue his own development, intellectually, emotionally, and sexually, in ways which must seem directly threatening to his mother's Neptunian dream.

Charles, in turn, must feel bewildered, let down, and perhaps subtly manipulated by his mother, and profoundly irritated by her insistence on clinging to an ideal which, for him, is no longer valid in the world he perceives around him. The Queen belongs to a generation group wedded to a glorious redemptive vision of grandeur and nobility. Charles also has Pluto in 16º 33' Leo. This is not in close conjunction with the Queen's Neptune, but it is a conjunction nevertheless. There is something in Charles which he shares with his Pluto generation: a survival instinct which depends on an inner sense of specialness and a profound conviction that the individual's voice matters. In this respect he instinctively feels what his mother feels, not as a romantic ideal, but as a necessity - although the square between his Pluto and his natal Sun suggests that he is in conflict with his own generation group as well as with hers. He has more in common with his grandfather than with those of his own age.

Perhaps, on some deep and inaccessible level, Charles did not feel he had the power to stand up to that Neptune in Leo vision of noblesse oblige. His natal Pluto pulls him into collusion with it. So he chose (or had chosen for him, but nevertheless accepted) a partner whose planetary pattern added enough fuel to his own to challenge the generational dream described by his mother's natal Neptune. Princess Diana had natal Uranus in 23º 20' Leo, conjunct the Queen's Neptune. There is a certain inevitability in the way in which these two women polarised as the voices of their respective generations, and in the determination with which they perceived each other as enemies. Neptune in Leo dreams of redemption through a heart-fuelled vision of a higher, nobler world; Uranus in Leo perceives human progress in terms of the individual's capacity to break down existing authority structures to release the potential of creativity for the group. Diana's natal Moon in 25º Aquarius and her natal Venus in 24º 23' Taurus describe her own inner conflict with her Uranus generation group's self-willed ideal. But when one puts together the explosive combination of Charles' Scorpio planets and her natal T-cross, all challenging the Queen's natal Neptune, the annus horribilis takes on an altogether different cast. For the Queen, this marriage must have seemed to herald the disintegration of her most cherished fantasies of redemption, and Diana's generation group must seem like a guerilla army determined to spoil the party and destroy the last vestiges of royal privilege and dignity.

Inevitably, Prince William will carry on this generational pattern, which hints at a long, slow evolutionary process working its way through the centuries. William's outer planets are closely linked with personal planets in both his parents' charts: his Neptune-Ascendant conjunction, in 25º 32' and 27º 30' Sagittarius respectively, is conjunct both his father's Mars-Jupiter conjunction and his mother's Ascendant. It would seem that his parents embody, on a personal level, that longing for spiritual enlightenment and hunger for meaning which is essential to the Neptune in Sagittarius generation's dream of redemption. The "New Age" activities of both Charles and Diana will undoubtedly sit well with their son's generation group. But William also has Venus and Chiron exactly conjunct in 25º Taurus, and his personal values, developing partly through hurt and sorrow, are not in accord with either his grandmother's collective romantic vision, his mother's ferocious collective self-expressiveness, or his father's compulsive collective survival instinct. William's Neptune in Sagittarius is trine the Queen's Neptune in Leo, and both share the fire signs' dream of a better, grander, nobler world. But for William, that world can be found only through a moral and spiritual quest, and not through an affirmation of personal specialness.

Making friends with the outer planets

In the old days, astrologers used to talk about the outer planets as "dumb notes" in a birth chart; they were "unimportant" and not considered especially relevant to the individual's life. Now we know better, and those astrologers who study collective trends know how very powerful is the voice of the collective psyche in terms of individual destiny. When the outer planets are powerfully linked with personal planets in the birth chart, the individual is, more than others of his or her generation, a mouthpiece for the collective. Such a person needs to be able to create appropriate vehicles for that collective vision, while still maintaining individual integrity and an ego strong enough to process collective energies through personal values, aptitudes, and experience. The child whose ego cannot contain these things may be swept along by the forces which reflect the zeitgeist under which he or she was born, sometimes achieving great creative expression and sometimes disintegrating into psychosis - or both. The child who fights against his or her generation group, and attempts to suppress the larger entity to which he or she belongs, may suffer equally. A sense of profound isolation may be one by-product. Another may be powerful internal and external eruptions which leave the individual feeling utterly powerless in the face of the forces of change. Links between parent and child involving the outer planets suggest that each can help the other to recognise and develop the gifts and perceptions of their different generational groups, perhaps contributing more positively to an evolutionary process in which both are required, willingly or unwillingly, to participate.

Sadly, such links often result in a furious battle which may be blamed on personal factors. Perhaps it was highly inappropriate for the Queen to blame Diana personally for her rebellion against the royal status quo; Diana was a mouthpiece for her generation, and those born with Uranus in Leo are not lightly predisposed to believe in Neptunian dreams. Leonine creative vision may be common to both, but these two outer planets are opposite in meaning and reflect, respectively, intellectual and emotional perceptions of the same dimension of life. Neptune seeks fusion with a higher unity through idealisation and self-sacrifice; Uranus seeks progress through the creation of new idealogies. If a parent wishes to be helpful to a child when such contacts exist between the two charts, it may be important to recognise not only the child's individuality, but also what that child stands for as the representative of an entire generation. The wise parent will encourage the child to find appropriate vehicles through which collective needs and dreams may be individually expressed, rather than reacting blindly to what is perceived as a threat, or identifying blindly with what is perceived as the apotheosis of one's own generational dreams. A good example of the latter dynamic is the link between Joseph P. Kennedy's conjunction of Neptune and Pluto in Gemini and his son's natal Sun in Gemini. John F. Kennedy (*) was perceived by his father as the living incarnation of Papa Joe's generational vision of redemption and continuity through education, social mobility, and political power. The result was, inevitably, that John F. Kennedy never had a chance to become John F. Kennedy, except in the context of his father's ambitions - not personal ambitions, but those of an entire generation.

*See also "The Oracle and the Family Curse", for an analysis of the Kennedy family charts.

A great deal of further research is needed to comprehensively map out these great collective daimones which flow down through the generations, described by outer planet links between family charts. And the natal picture is not the end of the story. Generation significators not only link up across the natal charts of parents and children; they are also mobilised at specific times by individual outer planet transits, and during those periods when the conjoined cycles of two or three outer planets reach a critical juncture. For example, during the period when Prince Charles and Princess Diana experienced the breakdown of their marriage, Pluto was transiting through Scorpio, activating not only their personal planets, but also the Queen's natal Neptune. For the Queen's entire generation group, this was a time of crisis and disillusionment. The "dirt-digging" propensities of Pluto in Scorpio, flushing out all those spheres where emotional dishonesty threatens survival, ensured that those born under the redemptive vision of Neptune in Leo were forced to face, at last, the impossible gap between their vision and the reality of human sexual and emotional nature.

As individuals, we cannot control or dam up such great collective movements. We participate whether we wish to or not. But we can choose to participate creatively or destructively. We can feel ourselves to be unwilling victims of malevolent external forces. We can puff ourselves up with collective dreams and convince ourselves that we are the embodiment of divinely inspired change. Or we can engage in the humbler, harder task of refining our own character and talents to act as mediators, contributing as best we can to the positive unfoldment of what is essentially a greater human necessity. We need to have enough consciousness of where our own individual personalities merge into something larger, in order to construct something valid and life- enhancing out of our generational needs and compulsions. We also need to offer our children sufficient wisdom and containment to honour their very different generational dreams. As astrologers, we may relate best to those clients whose outer planets are in harmony with our own; if we have Pluto in Leo, we may relate better to those young people with Pluto in Libra than to those with Pluto in Virgo, and we may find it very hard to sympathise with the energies of the Pluto in Scorpio group, which we may experience as quite threatening. Neptune in Libra relates better to Neptune in Sagittarius than to Neptune in Scorpio, and Neptune in Scorpio relates better to Neptune in Capricorn than to Neptune in Sagittarius. 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.

Current Planets
27-Oct-2016, 11:58 UT/GMT
Jupiter1016' 4"3s02
Pluto1510' 1"21s26
Chiron2113' 6"r0n27
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