The outer planets of Pluto, Neptune and Uranus symbolize generational energies. Pluto takes the longest time to transit a sign – 20 years – so folks currently living on the planet have Pluto in Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius or Capricorn. The Pluto in Cancer generation is passing as the youngest of that generation are now in their 80s.
Pluto as a generational marker indicates how we are transforming and evolving as a generation. Pluto is often seen as destructive as the compulsion to change will not abide any kind of rational resistance.
The Pluto in Leo generation is what we call the Baby Boomers and they are now approaching the age of retirement and beyond. The societal rifts that this generation caused can be seen as an evolutionary leap into individuality. Prior to this generation, I’m not sure the generations even had a name. The Pluto in Leo folks said “we are a group.”
This group broke from the family and clan represented by Pluto in Cancer which preceded Pluto in Leo. We have evolved through several signs and are now experiencing Pluto in Capricorn which is the sign opposite of Cancer. After breaking family ties and family obligation (and this did happen in more cultures than the US), we’ve now come to identify with Capricorn – corporations, brands and social organizations.
It’s interesting that in the 2016 US election, the top three candidates – Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump – all have Pluto in Leo. We seem reluctant to break with this generation although former president Barack Obama had Pluto in the early degrees of Virgo. We elected a new generation then, like a rubber band expanded too far, retracted back into Pluto in Leo.
As the Pluto in Leo generation is moving into retirement, the energy will shift whether or not we embrace it.
The energy in the US is shifting – we can all feel it. But how is it shifting?
The Structured Generation
While today there are several Pluto generations in positions of responsibility, as the Pluto in Leo generation ages out of these responsibilities, the Pluto in Virgo and Libra generations are next in line.
Ken Ward’s Astrology has a nice summary of the dates/energies of Pluto in the signs:
- Pluto in Cancer (1914-1939)
- Pluto in Leo (1937-1958)
- Pluto in Virgo (1956-1972)
- Pluto in Libra (1971-1984)
- Pluto in Scorpio (1983-1995)
- Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008)
- Pluto in Capricorn (2008-2024)
While Pluto in Capricorn is very recent, we’ve been experiencing this energy since the 1990s in an evolutionary way – through our children.
Capricorn represents structure, rules, authority, hierarchy and social organization. Corporations, institutions, education, organized religion – these are all ruled by Capricorn.
In late 1988 and early 1989, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all began a transit of Capricorn. Saturn passes through signs in two years; Uranus seven years and Neptune 15 years. As Pluto now transits Capricorn those individuals born with Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn are experiencing a very intense transit to an already challenging aspect. These individuals are in their 20s and often have parents with Pluto in Virgo.
Let’s take a step back into the 1990s when all was well with the world . . .
At that time, technology was rising as a major component of our lives. My friend in technology tells me often how technology has improved our lives, made things easier. He is correct, but why am I busier than ever? When did I become a doctor to be on call 24/7 for every email and text? Why does everyone want everything now even when they don’t use it now?
Technology is a bit like physical roads. The more roads you build, the more cars there seem to be. The more technology I have, the less leisure time I seem to have.
The more technology we’ve developed, the more we’ve structured, categorized and measured our lives. Today in my country, many children’s births are scheduled. I’ve often wondered as an astrologer how this affects the birth chart; in reciprocal symbolism, I can say Saturn, Uranus and Neptune in Capricorn reflect the scheduled lives of scheduled children.
My generation often reflects on our childhood lives and how compared to today they seem remarkably free – we went outside and played in what was a neighborhood of people we knew and our parents yelled for us at critical times – meals and bed. We got in trouble, this is true. Like young puppies and kittens, we wanted to touch, taste and smell the world around us. Today, in contrast, there seems to be a fear of the world around us.
Today children have structured lives of child care, play dates and remote monitoring. When we eat, we measure calories and analyze our food. Now we even wear arm pieces that measure our physical activity. We are constantly connected socially through technology yet entirely removed. Social media provides measurements on the responses to our postings from number of views to emotional feedback.
Since the Saturn/Uranus/Neptune transit of Capricorn, there has also been a rise in the labelling of individuals who are seen to lack emotional connection to others. It’s quite fascinating that our world is consciously moving away from emotional connection to others yet we view that as a problem in those that appear emotionally unresponsive.
Also during this time, the number of corporations declined dramatically and those that remain are larger than ever. Corporations with immense control over monetary and natural resources are now functioning as new form of government.
For the love of Pluto in Leo
Was the popularity of Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump a reaction to an over-structured world? Why would a country that measures every breath it takes choose for president a man of remarkable unpredictability?
Capricorn respects authority and possibly the post Pluto-in-Leo generations are looking for a return to authority that they can truly respect (respect being a major driver of Capricorn energy). The Pluto in Leo generation is very open about creative personal expression and possibly the generations with strong Capricorn influence need this type of infusion of unstructured individuality. For Leo, existing is its own meaning; for Capricorn, existing means being ambitious, useful and productive.
Capricorn respect for authority includes respect for older individuals and tenured institutions. Both Sanders and Trump may represent what is older, traditional and foundational. While you may not see Trump as “traditional,” I would argue that he’s a “man’s man” in an older sense of the word.
Ultimately Pluto in Capricorn is asking us to transform and evolve our social structure. The generation with Neptune and Uranus in Capricorn are the ones who will carry this challenge as Pluto is crossing over this aspect in their horoscopes.
Soon, Pluto in Leo folks will not be here to generate enthusiasm. Pluto in Virgo, Libra and Scorpio generations are next in line to carry the torch of social responsibility. In Virgo, there is focus on work and health. In Libra, there is focus on partnerships and social interactions. In Scorpio, there is focus on intimacy and shared resources.
When Pluto moves into Aquarius in 2024, we will most likely have societies with new focus based not on clan or corporation, but on individuals sharing common goals. Those common goals will be focused on the energies of Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.