Despite its modern “pop psychology” status, astrology is an ancient study, primarily of cycles, dating back to early humans, who probably saw themselves as mere specks on the backdrop of the incomprehensible world they lived in. Marking these cycles was perhaps an effort to understand their world and a way of following what was happening as they sought to find meaning in what might otherwise appear to be a series of random events.
The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are, among other things, slow moving governors of the collective, their cycles speaking of the zeitgeist of the moment, the flavour of the times, and whose rhythms dictate the rise and fall of empires, the creation of political movements and the tidal idiosyncrasies of fashions and fads.
One of the most significant outer planet meetings in living memory was, arguably, the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in the mid 1960s. These two planets recently came out of their waxing square phase, as they finally completed an extended 7 year dance of exact squares that has seen the global economic crash, nations fighting for independence, the rise of fascism, and “religious” war threatening many countries.
Before this conjunction in the ’60’s’60s, the last time these two planets met was in 1851, with their “waxing square” occurring in the 1930s……
The influences of Uranus and Pluto are not simple and clear-cut. During the Uranus-Pluto square of 1933-34, a pressing need to reactivate sagging economies after the worldwide crash of 1929 led in Germany to Hitler’s rise (he was seen at first as a reformer and national saviour) and in the USA to Roosevelt’s New Deal (an enlightened move which actually gave background military-business interests an insidious leg-up)
Some facts that I found whilst researching 1851 was that The Great Exhibition was opened in what became known as the Crystal Palace. Constructed from a cast iron frame and glass, it attracted six million people, equivalent to a third of the entire population of Great Britain, between 1 May to 15 October 1851. Showing the best and most innovative that the empire had to offer, it also featured the first public conveniences in use in England. During the exhibition, 827,280 visitors paid one penny each to use them, which is where the saying “to spend a penny” comes from.
The New York Times was founded this year, first published on September 18th, 1851, and some of the articles included were “Is Europe Ripe for Revolution?” & “Fugitive Slave Riots in Lancaster Co. Pa.” The 1850s were as revolutionary for their time as the ‘60’s’60s were…. Charles Darwin published The Origin of Species, putting forward the theory of evolution by natural selection in 1859, and Neanderthal fossils were discovered in Germany. Epidemiology also began when the source of an outbreak of cholera in London was traced to a contaminated water pump. Great strides were taken in understanding our world, and in its own way, this conjunction in Aries must have marked the beginning of a new cycle.
One amusing, but rather prophetic fact that I found was the following, …. The word girlfriend first appears in writing in 1855, with the word boyfriend following in 1856…….what a shy quiet whisper of the sexual revolution that followed with the next conjunction in the 1960’s!
A line from a song by the Doors comes to mind… “Break on through to the other side”, which I feel encapsulates the energy of the 1960’s conjunction quite well, for I think that above all, and in the spirit of all conjunctions, it was a time of new beginnings.
The energy of this powerful conjunction between two collective giants can be seen very much through the kinds of seemingly unimportant and apparently random events against the turbulent backdrop of Civil Rights, Assassinations and the grotesque horror of the Vietnam War. The hatred and fear of Communism, which had been part of American politics for several decades, found its bloodiest expression in this War. The fear of Communism, which was held as the antithesis of American individualism, triggered both this war and the difficulties that erupted during this time with its close neighbour Cuba.
New ideas and new beginnings were being born into this ferment, for as well as death, there was also a great deal of new life, and one thing that permeates this particular period of history very strongly is protest. It seems to be a time when people felt that it was time to speak out strongly against what they saw as unfair, unjust and inhumane. The Vietnam War saw massive protest that carried on right through the decade, throughout America and also in other countries, as people spoke out against the wisdom of America’s decision to fight a war on foreign soil, something that sadly is still happening today, although perhaps not for much longer. We see huge demonstrations in the USA, not only against the war but as the civil rights movement comes to its height, as people of colour feel it is the time to stand against the inequalities in many parts of the USA. Innocent people lost their lives, and Martin Luther King is assassinated, but still, the protest continued, and eventually, racial equality was brought into a law to the entire USA. The racial question was not confined to the United States, for in Australia, Aborigines, who had not even been classed as fully human at some point in Australia’s history, were given full voting rights, which was a massive breakthrough for that country’s history.
Student protests are a prominent feature of this time, erupting in both North and South America and Europe, as young people’s rights are brought to the fore on a global scale for perhaps the first time. Students in France managed to get the country to the brink of Revolution, as their ideas captured popular opinion. People were now ready to listen to the young on a large scale, “Youth Culture” had been born and appeared to go global, culminating in the Summer of Love in 1967, an explosion of energy that literally “rocked the world”…. Things were never the same again.
Freedom and revolution were words that seemed to be repeated often, and I picked up on freedom of information. The Freedom of Information Act was brought into American Law, and the Vatican abolished the list of banned books, which, although it doesn’t seem too significant, reflects on the historical repercussions of book banning in a Catholic country such as Ireland massive.
One significant new territory that was captured in this decade was, of course, Space, with, among other things, the first space walk, the first view of Earth, and the first sight of the Dark side of the Moon, all achieved around the time of the conjunction. The first man to walk on the Moon did so in 1969; it was indeed a period of immense breakthroughs.
In the month of October 1965, Ian Brady was arrested for the brutal murder of a 17yr old man, and within weeks, bodies of children were discovered on the Yorkshire Moors. Myra Hindly and himself were revealed as serial killers.
The peak moment for me, though is the ephemeral… the energy of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction must surely have been epitomised by a moment that will go down in British Television history. The first ever regeneration of Dr Who takes place as the face of William Hartnell morphs into that of Patrick Troughton on the 29th of October 1966.
Reflecting on events in the world there were a few happenings in the 60’s that stood out particularly to me, for their relevance in the recent past.
- In Libya, in 1969, Colonel Gadaffi came to power, a regime that has since crumbled, and Gadaffi himself has died.
- In Syria, after overthrowing the King, the Ba’at party come to power, the same regime that is still grasping hold of power there now, the sorry battle continues.
- In the USA in 1969, the Stonewall riots begin the Gay Rights movement in America, and this year the first openly gay leader of Ireland took office, what a breakthrough.
- The first message was sent via the forerunner of the Internet, and now, we are more connected than ever before….. the web is a global community that has exploded over the last 15 years.
- One other fact I noticed was that this was the time that they think that the first case of HIV was brought to the USA via Haiti from the Congo…. Perhaps they will find a cure in the next few years.
- On January the 2nd 1969, Rupert Murdoch bought the News of the World, which historically had always been a scandal sheet that relished in the communication of the lascivious and the shocking. This newspaper finally closed down in recent years amid huge scandal that has touched many of the respected establishments in the UK.
These occurrences reflect the stress of the waxing square, between these two planets, which has passed its exactitude now, but whose effects will be felt for many years to come.
3 thoughts on ““BORN IN THE SIXTIES” The Uranus Pluto Conjunction”
Reblogged this on Still Another Writer's Blog.
really interesting post, thank you. I’ve been looking into transiting Uranus-Pluto aspects with regard to my own chart. The conjunction was exactly opposite my 17° Pisces Moon which is apex of a yod and the recent square also hit this configuration, I can now make sense of some of the more life-changing events in my life!