About       Susan       John     Astro*News     Astro*Reports       Contact Us       Order      Music   Articles

The largest generation in history was born with stars in its eyes...  

By John Townley, June 2014. 

A lot has been said about the post-WWII Baby Boom generation, and now that the leading edge of that evolving lump in world demographics is reaching official retirement age, even more is being penned about it. What characterizes it -- astrologically and culturally? What accomplishments did it achieve? What is yet to come, as expanded longevity gives it a new lease on life?

For many years, astrologers loosely labelled it the “Pluto in Leo” generation, but that’s loose, indeed. Fully 1/3 of those born with Pluto in Leo predate the Boomers, and one-third of the Boomers have Pluto in Virgo. Neptune also only half-characterizes them, being split between Libra and Scorpio, and Uranus moves through a quarter of the Zodiac, from Gemini through Virgo. Saturn covers three-quarters of the sky from Cancer to Pisces, and Jupiter covers the whole circuit once plus another three-quarters . If there is a weighting of any kind, it leans toward summer and fall signs, with less in winter and spring. And if a “generation” is defined by an 18-20 year birth period, that kind of emphasis by sign will always happen, including a seasonal slant and outer planet sign overlaps, unless one begins with Pluto at the start of the signs it only takes 20 years to pass through. 

There is, in fact, a “Pluto in Leo” generation, if you start counting at 1939 (when Pluto first spent some real time in Leo) and end in 1959 (when it finally left). But, technically, that’s not the Boomers (though culturally, it may be, more on that below), because the Boomers are defined by the birth explosion at the end of World War II.

Boomers pass through the populus like a great lump. Click on right-hand image to see their lifetime course.

So if a “planet in sign” description is lacking, is there at least a neat planetary cycle of some sort that encapsulates the birth period of the Boomers, roughly 1946-1964? Actually, there are two that roughly describe the period of 18-20 years that loosely define a generation, from birth to the start of marriage and reproduction:

One is the almost 20-year Jupiter-Saturn synodic cycle, in this case from waxing square in Cancer and Libra to waxing square in Pisces and Gemini. But that doesn’t exactly seem fraught with cultural import, though it is an economic cycle on its own.

The other is the 19-year lunar node cycle, which in this case runs almost exactly from 0 Cancer to 0 Cancer, neatly encapsulating the whole set. That sounds much more promising. After all, the lunar nodes are associated with fate, karma, destiny, and all that trans-generational reincarnation stuff. And it seems to conveniently compartment the Boomers into a single solsticial sweep. Indeed, pre-natal epoch astrology suggests that incoming individuals are sorted in biannual sub-segments, based on the solar eclipse before their birth, with a complete circle every nodal cycle. So, maybe a cycle of fate, with a summer slant.

Which one is right?

As always with a circle, the question is: where to you start? And, what really defines a generation? Certainly we don’t consider ourselves to be quite the same generation as our much-older or much-younger siblings. Two kids born ten or twelve years apart are cultural strangers, particularly in today’s rapidly-changing technology and its swiftly-evolving identities. Ultimately, there is only a Boomer generation because WWII stopped and a four-year backlog of family reproduction all piled up into the few years right after, mostly in America where the economy encouraged it, not nearly so much in war-ravaged Eastern Europe or the Orient still damped by poverty and political tectonics on both sides of the developing Iron Curtain. 

But once you make room for all these definitional caveats, there does appear to be a true cultural (not just numerical) Boomer phenomenon specific to America and parts of Western Europe, which is obvious to all. It is the great cultural (and counter-cultural) change of styles and concerns of the 1960s and early 1970s, marked by the arrival of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, along with a wave of social consciousness concerned with equality of race, sex, age, religion, and culture in general. It’s obvious, and what anyone would likely tell you if asked to define the generation and its reverberation around the world.

 Baby boomers' planetary cycles overlap, click on right-hand image to see how they moved 1946-64.

But astrologically, how does it fit? Like a glove, actually, but not as defined by the immediate post-1946 population explosion, exactly. 

Instead, it really does fit in with the Pluto in Leo period, and those with that natal position. A broad glance at the movers and shakers who defined the 1960s cultural revolutions immediately displays it. The earliest progenitors of Boomer culture, whether Beat philosophy or early rock and roll (when that was still evolving from R&B and country, from 1956-59) were born with Pluto in late Cancer – Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, one (but not both) of the Everly Brothers, Chuck Berry. But those that later came to define both the music and the culture were born during Pluto’s stay in the first decanate of Leo, 1939-45 – the British Invasion and their American counterparts that established “classic” rock, folk, psychedelia, racial protests, inner spiritualism and drug culture, and the anti-war movement. In fact, just about all the movers and shakers of the 1960s were technically pre-Boomers (but with Pluto in Leo), and the 1946- generation’s effects weren’t really apparent until the early 1970s. Further, this very set of early initiators is also set apart from the second section of the boomers by a change in the Uranus-Neptune relationship that turned a spiritual corner in the worst possible way for the hopeful younger crowd. And by the time the earliest Pluto-in-Virgo (1958-) set began having much cultural impact (the early 1980s), the cultural wave that characterized Boomerism made the shift into the me-first, wealth-driven Reaganism that subsequently deconstructed much of the rapidly exploding social consciousness conceived in the late Depression and WWII and implemented by the post-War generation.

The overlap of the Boomer generation between Pluto in Leo and Virgo tells the whole story...

Not that the Boomers weren't obsessed with "me". They were, and still are. But it was about "me" and "you", and the interplay of the two, ultimately "us". What came next was/is about "me" alone, and "you" can go take care of yourself, preferably elsewhere...it may take the eventual ascendancy of the Millennialls to swing the pendulum back into balance again.

So, in the end, after a look at what Boomerism might be, we’re back to square one. Yes, it really was Pluto in Leo (or the generous, all-conquering, party-going spirit of it) and Neptune in Libra (with it’s high social consciousness) that both actually predated the 1946- set and laid the groundwork for its style and primary motivations. And it was a perfect development of their parents' home-loving/defending style that dreamed of greatness for their children (Pluto in Cancer, Neptune in Leo).

Boomers saw the world through Sunshine, Windowpane, and Owsley Blue glasses, and internally still do...

And, though we are beginning to sound dreadfully historical here, it’s still not over. 

Even though its natives are greying and despite mortality’s toll, it is still only just now being overtaken in sheer number by the generations that came after. Plus, with life expectancy greatly increased just during its own time, it has yet another generation of time ahead of it, to further evolve as an influence or perhaps a burden (or both) upon everyone else. However it expends its final hurrahs, its oversized tasks still not entirely complete, it probably won’t go with the quiet modesty of its parents' “greatest generation” of Pluto in Cancer (and Neptune in Leo), that fought WWII. Boomers, inside, expect to live and flourish forever, and they will greatly object to being corrected in the matter. Indeed, it could have been for the often-conflicting varieties of this endlessly endless generation that Dylan Thomas wrote in 1951:

Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,
Curse, bless, me now with your fierce tears, I pray.
Do not go gentle into that good night.
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Appearing as Pluto entered Leo, the Boomers are still crossing the road of history...after that, what?... 

Not a newsletter subscriber already?    Subscribe Free Here!

Let us know what you think! Write us:  townley@astrococktail.com

And every day, keep in touch with our Astrology In The News section...please take a look! -- Breaking news from around the globe, plus articles, reviews, it's all happening there, changes daily..

  Copyright © John Townley 2014. All rights reserved.
About Us Reports | Readings | John | Susan | Books | ArticlesNewsLinks | Music | Contact | Site Map