The movement of the outer planets, Pluto, Neptune and Uranus, is generational. In particular, Pluto’s movement is slow enough — it takes about 15 years to get through a sign — to give us a wide cohort.
Pluto tells us what is powerful, what is transformed, what is lost. It’s interesting to look at the time when a particular Pluto generation comes of age, and then again when that generation comes to power. These are not necessarily at the same point. For example, the Baby Boomers (Pluto in Leo) came of age in the 1960s and 1970s but they came to power in the guise of Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Angela Merkel.
So this tends to happen — very broadly — at the ages of around 24 (2nd Jupiter Return) and then around 50 (4th Jupiter Return/Chiron Return).
1882-1912 — Pluto in Gemini
Coming of age: 1900-1930. “The Lost Generation”
This generation was culled on the battlefields of the Somme, and the wars leading up to it and then went on to transform communications — through literature, film, radio and public address systems.
“…but [I] had sworn on the very day of my demobilization never to be under anyone’s orders for the rest of my life. Somehow I must live by writing.”
― Robert Graves,
Anti-colonial liberation movements across the globe were driven by the words of these people — including Kwame Nkrumah and Jawaharlal Nehru, who both finally led their respective countries after WW2 during Pluto in Leo.
1912 – 1937 — Pluto in Cancer
Coming of age in the interwar period, WW2, and into the 1950s. “The “Greatest Generation” grew up during the Great Depression and then fought in the Second World War. They were followed by “The Lucky Few” or “The Silent Generation”.
Cancer is a sign associated with the motherland, and when these people came of age in the 1930s, so did nationalism, notably in Spain, Germany, India and Japan. WW2 was in some senses a giant tribal conflict.
After WW2, the end of colonialism saw tens of new states emerge across the globe, changing the map of the world, and entrenching disputes that people are still willing to die for today — Kashmir, Israel, Sudan.
“One has to grow hard but without ever losing tenderness.”
Che Guevara (Pluto in Cancer) quoted in Essential Care: An Ethics of Human Nature by Leonardo Boff
This generation went on to create the post WW2 “nuclear family” — a phrase which is literally Pluto in Cancer. The Lucky Few or Silent Generation refers to those who were too young to fight in WW2 but reaped the benefits of post-war prosperity. The term teenager was coined in 1944 by Life magazine to describe them also.
It’s notable that much of the social transformations of the 1960s was actually driven by this generation — including for example, Martin Luther King and Gloria Steinem.
Family power or tribal transformation.
1937-1956/7/8 Pluto in Leo
Coming of age during the late 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. The “Me Generation”, “Baby Boomers”.
Boomers came of age with a huge amount of fanfare, noise, drama, light and fireworks in the 1960s. The generation gap was a term invented for them.
The swinging 60s, rock&roll, mini-skirts, Woodstock, African liberation, black power, feminism. Self-expression, self-realisation, invention, creativity, experiment. Leo is a most creative sign anyway, and Pluto was sextiling Neptune (the planet of music) in Libra (art herself) for most of the time — John Lennon, Jimi Hendrix and all the big 60s and 70s names have this placement — right up to Prince and Madonna in the 1980s.
These children were born in a period of rapid population growth after the world wars, so there were many more of them than Pluto in Cancers. Indeed, the world population, which up until then had been gently increasing, took off like a rocket in the 1940s and has increased exponentially since. At the same time, they have been lucky enough to live through an age of growing prosperity — and in the West peace. Wars were fought in far off places rather than on home soil.
Boomers have written so much about themselves and their generation that it hardly needs explaining — but in two phrases: creative power; personal transformation.
“All I can be is me – whoever that is. ”
― Bob Dylan (Pluto in Leo)
We are now at the crossover in power between the Pluto in Leo generation and Pluto in Virgo, but with some notable exceptions, Pluto in Leo (the sign that rules by divine right) are still in the driving seat.
US President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron both have Pluto in Virgo, for example. But most of the Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls belong to the previous generation, so the US could revert to a Pluto in Leo in the White House — as it was under Bill Clinton and George W Bush.
In Europe, Pluto in Leo still holds the whip hand. Francois Hollande and Angela Merkel are both Pluto in Leo. The rebellious Greeks were, of course, Pluto in Virgo (Varoufakis) and Pluto in Libra (Tsipras).
Chinese premier Xi Jinping is the older generation, as is Vladimir Putin, but his powerful Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has Pluto in Virgo.