The Uranus/Pluto People


I notice patterns in the people who consult me.

For a brief spell, everyone who comes for a reading is a Scorpio. A while later, they all have Libra moons… or Saturns on the Midheaven… or Neptunes conjoining their Venuses. Often, I take these as personal indicators—the energies showing up in my clients are issues I'm being directed to explore in my own life, and these readings help me work them out. Just as often, it's some transiting planet or eclipse that triggers whatever the common feature in these clients' charts, announcing to them, subtly or not, that it's time to seek counsel. That's when they contact me.

Lately, it's been the folks with Uranus and Pluto conjunct in their natal charts who've been appearing in droves. It's not so unusual since, as Uranus and Pluto are both slow-moving outer planets and their placements (in signs and in relation to each other) are generational rather than profoundly personal, many people fall in this category. Uranus and Pluto came together in Virgo from about 1963 through 1968, with the exact peak of the conjunction falling in 1965-66. Thus, everybody born during this time—currently in their late-30s and early-40s—-has Uranus and Pluto conjunct in Virgo showing up somewhere in their charts… which leaves us to wonder: What does this configuration mean to these lucky duckies, and why are more of these Uranus/Pluto people seeking me out now?

Uranus and Pluto are both exceedingly powerful forces, 'transpersonal' planets that pressure us to evolve beyond the confines of our egos or risk personal devastation. Uranus is sudden, fast-acting and destructive, though ultimately liberating, creating the necessary chaos from which radical reform grows. In our birthcharts, Uranus is where we seek visionary unorthodoxy and independence—or if we deny these urges, highly disruptive events in this area force detachment. Pluto works more slowly and subtly, but on the deepest and darkest levels of our psyches, dredging up unresolved issues of intensity and control, eventually executing painful metaphoric deaths so we may be healed and reborn. Pluto in our charts reveals profound psychological roots that necessitate lifelong death/rebirth-style transformation—or if we refuse to admit to their simmering presence, we recreate unsavory emotional cycles of domination and submission.

Yes, both these planets sound scary, but we mustn't be intimidated. We all have Uranus and Pluto somewhere in our charts, and the archetypal currents they symbolize are natural parts of our lives. Only, some of us—those born in the mid-1960s—have these two planets working in conjunction, uniting their powers in a single concentrated rebellious surge, sensing the painful truths in status-quo power structures, aiming to revolt against them and establish progressive, liberating alternatives in their place. We might expect these folks to be walking time bombs, human upheaval machines waiting to explode the minute they are bumped.

Let's not forget, though, that the sign of this conjunction is Virgo, one of the most reserved, modest and hard-working of the zodiac. Except for those few whose Suns, Moons and/or cardinal chart angles are strongly affected by the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, the revolutionary qualities inherent in these people has tended to play out in smaller, quieter ways—in how they approach the Virgoan issues of daily work, health habits and sense of personal duty to the world.

To get a better idea of what revolutionary oomph lies semi-dormant in the Uranus-Pluto generation, we need only to look at the events of that time period, the spirit of which was imprinted in those born then. Need I remind what happened during the 1960s: the civil rights movement, the Vietnam escalation, the Cuban crisis, the assassinations (JFK, RFK, MLK), the student protests, the drugs, the hippies… you know the drill… basically, all the seeds of total revolution. In fact, 'The Sixties' is now essentially a brand name, standing in for 'social ferment and counter-culture activity' in the cultural consciousness—especially now that its radicality seems whimsically outdated in light of current circumstances.

Of course, it wasn't this generation who actually lived out the events of the '60s (imagine all those toddlers dropping acid and protesting injustices!). It was the preceding bunch—those Pluto-in-Leo 'me generation' baby-boomers—who lived out all the nihilistic fun. (The Bill Clintons and George W Bushes and John Kerrys of the world.) And then, of course, they all settled down into respectable (or self-centered?) careers and decent (or dysfunctional?) families and became part of the establishment they'd rebelled against.

I use those parenthetical commentaries not to pass my personal judgments on an entire generation, but to signify what psychosocial undercurrents might smolder beneath the surface among the more malcontented Uranus-and-Pluto-in-Virgo group. They possess a purity in their vision of how things could be, though they may continue to work, out of material need, in deference to the how they actually are—building up resentment in the process.

As astrologer Donna Cunningham pointed out in a thoughtful Mountain Astrologer article on this generation, the resentment often plays out in the workplace, where they balk at their meaningless service jobs, the ethical deficiencies of those in power, and the downsizing and outsourcing further delimiting their options. Consequently, they might steal supplies from their jobs, undermine the success of the larger organization, or simply offer lousy service as passive-aggressive expressions of their disillusion.

Those who express it more positively, however, might deploy the technology at their disposal to establish independent career paths through self-employment, rebelling productively and telling the power structure to fuck itself in slightly more polite terms. These same practical methods of individualistically embodying the Uranus-Pluto revolution also show up in the Virgoan areas of health care and environmentalism. In both these areas (and others as well), Uranus-Pluto types possess the resolute resistance to make individual choices that buck the institutional trends. They've demonstrated how to take powerful responsibility for their own health (through preventive measures and alternative practices) and for that of the environment (through grass-roots activism and consumption of sustainable resources).

But m any of this generation, I'm assuming, are still caught between hostile disobedience and the fullest realization of their potential to take productive revolution into their own hands. That, perhaps, is why they've been seeking me out. There are also some current astrological explanations why, which I'll get to in next week's article.

In the meantime, I'd love to hear from any folks of this generation who might have insight to share on how the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo plays out in your lives. Email me and let me know…