In the 60s, two planets aligned in the heavens in the earth sign of Virgo -- Pluto, the planet that represents the archetypal energy of death, re-birth and evolution, and Uranus, the archetypal energy of revolution, innovation and freedom. They were joined during the exact conjunction in 1966 by an opposition from the planet Saturn, representing the archetypal energy of form, authority, maturity, frustration, and constriction in Pisces, the sign of the collective unconscious. There was a cosmic call for the old forms (Saturn) to dissolve (Pisces) so new life could emerge. A headline from the 60s that God is Dead was a sign of this dissolution. Of course, the old ways didn't want to die, and they made an even bigger grab for power as this new possibility started to grow.
In 2010, these three planets aligned again, expect now in a three-sided 90 degree aspect to each other. The alignment is one of tension which propels us into action. And you can see what has resulted: the patriarchy is taking its last stand as we the people all around the world finally wake up to our own responsibility for creating a better world. It is not governments which create change, it is people.
Tarnas states: "I was encouraged to examine the possible existence of historical correlations with planetary cycles when I encountered a number of highly suggestive patterns in which certain cyclical alignments between the outer planets (Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) coincided with major historical events and cultural trends of a distinctive character, as if the specific archetypes associated with those planets were emerging on the collective level in periodic cycles." (pg. 141, C&P)
Because of the great distance of both Pluto and Uranus from the Sun and the Earth, their cycle is one of the longest between two planets, lasting anywhere from 113 to 142 years (because of Pluto's erratic orbit). When Tarnas went back to study what happened during proceeding conjunctions and oppositions of these two planets, he found that each time there were similarities of cultural expression -- back to the times of Spartacus in ancient Rome!
What Tarnas found was that the archetypal principles related to these two planets found full expression in the 60s. The planet Uranus correlates to Promethean characteristics: "emancipatory, rebellious, progressive and innovative, awakening, disruptive and destabilizing, unpredictable, serving to catalyze new beginnings and sudden unexpected change." The planet Pluto is associated with Dionysian characteristics: "elemental, instinctual, powerfully compelling, extreme in its intensity, arising from the depths, both libidinal and destructive, overwhelming and transformative, ever-evolving... possessing a prodigious, titanic dimension, empowering, intensifying and compelling in whatever it touches on a massive scale."(pg.142, C&P)
Each time these two planetary energies synergistically merge, they produce "widespread radical social and political change and often destructive upheaval, massive empowerment of revolutionary and rebellious impulses, and intensified artistic and intellectual creativity. Other distinctive themes of these historical periods included unusually rapid technological advance, an underlying spirit of restless experiment, drive for innovation, urge for freedom in many realms, revolt against oppression, embrace of radical political philosophies and intensified collective will to bring forth a new world. " (pg. 144, C&P)
Not only were these planets in a conjunction alignment during the 1960s, they were also in conjunction from 1845-1856, when there was a wave of revolutionary upheavals across Europe, China, Japan, India and the Ottoman Empire. When these two planets were in the opposition alignment from 1896 to 1907, many social and political movements were born -- progressive labor movements, the Women's movement, the black civil rights movement and the beginnings of socialism. Before that, another opposition took place during the decade of the French Revolution, 1787 to 1798. The word "revolution' came into "wide use in the 1790s in its present meaning of sudden radical change of an overwhelming nature, bringing into being a fundamentally new condition." (Pg 144, C&P).
The revolutionary impulse during the 60s and the French Revolution wasn't confined to politics, but occurred in every aspect of cultural life: "in the music heard, the books read, the ideas discussed, the ideals embraced, the images produced, the evolution of language and fashion, the radical changes in social and sexual mores. It was visible in the incessant challenge to established beliefs and widespread embrace of new perspectives, the movements for radical theological and church reform and anti-religious revolt, the drive towards innovation and experiment that affected all the arts, the sudden empowerment of the young, the pivotal role of university communities in the rapid cultural shift. And it was evident above all in the prodigious energy and activism of both eras, the general impulse towards extremes and 'radicalization' in so many areas, the suddenly intensified will to construct a new world." (P. 145, C&P)
The revolution of the 60s was not a unique cultural event that will never be repeated, although for Baby Boomers, it was an utterly unique experience. But it is being repeated now, on a higher level, if you will. We do have to continue the revolution. But we can't get upset that it got sidetracked. The old always tries to pull us back into its clutches before we really break free. That's what I love about astrology. Not that it sets up a certain 'fate' but that it works through cycles, and that lets us know that there are certain energies to contend with within the cycle. The moon cycle is the best metaphor for it. In terms of the 60s and this particular conjunction of Pluto and Uranus, we've been in a new moon through crescent moon phase, which means that the energy was first an unconscious upwelling of new ideas and energy and then, when we catch sight of what we really need and want to do, we are pulled back by all our fears and our conditioning. It's at the quarter moon phase that we finally go on the hero's journey and make the break from the past.
Pluto and Uranus have just come to their first square aspect on June 24th; it is like the quarter moon phase of the lunar cycle. A square is a challenge -- a call to action. The real Hero's Journey. This is when we have to step up and stand for those values that we all proclaim we loved in the 60s. What will make this next stage of the 60s revolution even more challenging is that the planets will be in Cardinal signs -- the signs that signify the Solstices and Equinoxes. So it will be a dynamic and energized time, and it is vitally important to get it right this time. We will have to change the way our culture does business, by reigning in corporate power. We will have to grow up and become responsible, both as individuals and as a nation so we can save our environment. We will have to treat the rest of the human race, and other nations, as our equals, and understand that we are all in this together. We might even have to take to the streets again, like our friends, the French. If we do, the cosmic energies will be with us.
Are you ready?
The Archetypal Bards: How Muscians & StoryTellers Change the World
We have to go back to explore the archetype of the Bard, because it is really the music of the 60s/70s that changed us and still keeps us within the matrix of the 60s. We need to understand why our artists are so important to our lives and to these times of change. Archetypes are the patterns that shape our human consciousness. They are the images of the instincts that make us human. The archetype of the Bard acknowledges our collective need to understand ourselves through images, to give coherence to our lives through stories and song. And because of that need within humanity, some people resonate with this archetype and are called to become the storytellers of their tribes.
Bards help shape their societies by singing about the shared values of the tribe, teaching the next generation about their duties, their capabilities, and their place in the world. Stories from the desert speak of the need to share everything, for otherwise no one survives in the harsh landscape. The stories of the Celts shaped their view of warriors as being sensitive, boastful, brave and honorable. Troubadours of the Middle Ages shaped their society through their songs of courtly love. Bards are the ones who remember, the poets, the news-givers, the truth-speakers, and the visionaries of their people who see the truths of their times and give their people a perspective on them.
Unfortunately, archetypes can lose their power and then they become stereotypes. That's when bards become entertainers. Entertainers keep us entertained. Bards wake us up to possibilities.