by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Generation X / Pluto in Libra

 Bacchante by Witold Pruszkowski
 (1855, oil on canvas, Lviv National Art Gallery 

Back in 1971 and 1972, Pluto’s yearly direct-retrograde-direct cha-cha moved it from Virgo into Libra. That means that anyone born between October 5, 1971 and April 16, 1972…

Or between July 30, 1972 and November 5, 1983…

Or between May 18, 1984 and August 27, 1984 are all members of the tribe known as Gen X.

Given that wherever we see Pluto positioned natally we see a huge emphasis pro or con (and sometimes both) in a person’s life, it’s not surprising that those born as Gen X (under Pluto in Libra) are all about the pluses and minuses of All Things Libra. Libra being the sign of 'where cause becomes effect,' Gen X is the generation which brought us ‘branding’ and which has given rise to that wholly ‘let’s talk’ concept commonly known as networking. Both branding and networking have to do with creating an identity which others will know/react to in some given way.

But are they real? Or are they profitable in/at the personal level That becomes the Pluto in Libra question.

Libra is an air sign which in belonging to the zodiac’s 3rd quadrant is all about interaction. ‘The theory of the thing’ and what we bring to the table …to discuss, to negotiate about, to get opinions on, to get reactions through...that’s all entirely Libra.

And yes, people think of Libra as a sign about ‘relationships.' But it may be better thought of as a sign about relating. The whole 3rd quadrant is interactive and its native signs (Libra, Scorpio and Sagittarius) are all three signature ‘stages’ in relationships. Libra is the talking and the establishing a basis for communication, alliance, personal comfort (or enmity) with each other. It's the idea of the thing. But it's not until we get to Scorpio that what we generally think about relationships – the sex, the money stuff, the arguments - that may come on line with Libra, but it doesn't get felt or make an emotional impact until one reaches the Scorpio level.

Libra is not deep-in-your-gut emotional. It’s fervent, it’s opinionated, it’s all about having a perspective. Libra is about the appearance of, and presenting a 'product' or  point of view which includes presenting one's self as a product and that which stands for a point of view.

Thus, branding. And thus, since Libra is the idea and not the reality, the nebulous world of networking. Libra doesn't get to and indeed is not highly comfortable with the carnal heat (and possibility of frigid rejection) we associate with Scorpio.

As for Sagittarius (third sign and third stage in this quadrant all about interacting)…Sagittarius relates to relationships by being the land of ‘working on it,’ ‘working it through,’ 'seeing how/if it works' and figuring out whether you need to make course corrections or maybe even just go back to the drawing board.

So when it comes to Pluto in Libra, we're talking about Pluto – a planet which is all about the lure or allure of the thing and which is NOT theoretical in experience (because it’s about the actuality of the transformative experience) being focused through a sign which merely is about the idea.

Hence Gen X's challenges. Gen X people tend to be very devoted to the ideas they believe in and often the ideals they think are right. But then life intervenes with that little Pluto twist.

Did I say LITTLE? That’s so wrong. Just as Pluto natally placed in Libra can spell devotion to the idea, it can also describe the idea which you can’t let go of even when it brings you to your knees.

(And that would be ‘brings you to your knees’ not in a good way!)

Probably more than many other metaphysical symbols, the experience of Plutonic forces cause us to reflect. They're about being in control, not being in control and whether we want to be in control or whether anyone is in control. Pluto experiences tend to be ‘transformative’ in connection to Scorpionic outcomes (read: how well we tolerate risk and how well we choose who to build alliances with and how well we build them)...and in that, Pluto - whether by transit or in the nativity - ends up pointing very directly to the opposition polarity.

Why would this possibly be? That would be because it's our choices of what to get into or what to not get into (and how those choices are based so directly on who we are or aren't with/within our own psyche) which ends up generating our outcomes.

Since it's always easier to look at history, we'll try out the Pluto in Leo/Baby Boomer formula. People born under Pluto in Leo are sometimes called the “Me Generation" - a call name which has everything to do with the Leo focus on developing or using one's native abilities. But Baby Boomer people aren’t really fulfilled and can't succeed until what or who they are gets out there and tied into the big Aquarian world of society and finding one's functional niche - the 'where you are accepted' thing. This glitch with Pluto in Leo is just like the Pluto in Virgo Yuppie challenge in that it begins with the 'doing it in my own back yard' (or mud puddle) and which can't succeed until or unless it works for everybody else.

That's all about the polarity of second quadrant signs where one develops the ability on a local level but then...well, in the case of the Yuppies, all begins in the Pluto in Virgo world of concrete operation, functional methodologies and aims, gains and systemic imperatives and ends up teaching its natives that to succeed in your own right (or life) you have to care about others.

And that means you have to (Pisces as opposition to Virgo) accept them for who they are (part one) and then recognize that you're 'one of them' and that that's the basis of your ultimate power.

Pluto placements show where life will pretty much force us to grow. And what we will need to grow into are the mandates of the zodiac's polarity sign, which with Gen X (Pluto in Libra) points directly at Aries.

This is sort of where it gets interesting however… Pluto in the first six signs of the zodiac operates on the Self and takes that to the worldly or interactive polarity sign. But with Pluto in any of the public signs (Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius or Pisces) what we learn there becomes the force which shapes us.

For plus, for minus, for undecided, for iffy, Pluto in Libra thus describes a generation which experiences the world they live in, the society in which they transact their life as an operational force which molds their being. Their sense of capacity. Even their validity.

And what does that mean? 

We tend to think of Libra as the sign about the other. But it isn’t really that. You have Libra somewhere in your natal chart and wherever Libra falls that’s where whatever you do and whatever (whoever) you are CREATES the reaction you get from others.

A friend of mine told me the other day that he’d been talking to a psychologist who imparted a savvy piece of information he was very appreciative of. We never control others – we only control ourselves, the psychologist told him.

And that’s true. Unfortunately since psychology isn’t metaphysical, that statement is only half of the very important (and powerful) truth which Pluto in Libra embodies like nobody's business. So let's try this statement again with its metaphysical compliment (after all, for every action there is an opposite and equal reaction, and that applies to the metaphysics of human operations).

We never control others – we only control ourselves. Therefore to cause a shift in how the world (including others) responds to us, what we have to do is change who we are, what we do, how we do it and who we are doing it with, or for.

That’s the Libra premise…and that’s the secret of Gen X, although there is a bit more to it when you get down to the zodiacal (Libra/Aries) polarity. Where Gen X people recognize that the success or failure of any given effort or venture or conversation or relationship is about who they are being with the Other and whether that Other is indeed their Libra “equal.”

And that implies that you have to pay attention to the old saw 'what we put out comes back to us' as the key and the understanding that who we are is the key to who we will attract and how successful (or unsuccessful) we will be in that process of relating or relationship process. Commonly known in metaphysical circles as ‘like attracts like’ this one simple idea is Pluto in Libra in spades. So where Gen X people ‘do it right’ or addressing their true Libra equals or the right “audience,” they do splendidly providing they are bringing their valid and verifiable Self to the party. But when they just try and fit in, or where they insist on doing it their way instead of the right way…where they are not being true to their Aries concept of Self or where they refuse (Pluto being in Libra) to deal with that Self in all its glorious and vulnerable shades of dark and light, positive and negative, strong and weak - all that - things don’t work quite so well.

Okay…let’s be more exact here...where they ignore the Aries reality of Self, things suck. Pluto in Libra can be the tendency to get walked on and its natives get walked on exactly to the degree that they don't own their Self and thus attract others equally un-invested in their Self. In fact, given a choice, the Pluto in Libra person who has not chosen to own or invest or grapple with their Self will opt to keep company and ally (Libra = alliances) themselves with other people who are equally unrealized, equally lacking in internal alignment and equally likely to melt like chocolate bars under a hot sun rather than choose someone to grow with.

Of course, there are moments in the Pluto in Libra life when these uber-talented natives realize they need mentoring. Or when they recognize that their innate nature makes them someone who is virtually 'made' to play a supporting role to someone else - such as the soldier to their commanding general, the secretary to their boss, the whatever to whomever.

In that case, to the extent that the Pluto in Libra person owns their own identity, they will tend to attract others who own their identity in equal measure. This is an important concept because when Gen X people simply 'give in and give up' that ceding of personal power will only attract an Other who will use that power for them.

Or against them.

And that would be likely...why? That would be likely because Pluto IS the outcome ruler of Scorpio no matter where we see it placed (natally or by transit). And when Scorpio gets into its 'weakness' mode, that invites tyranny.  

Thus the whole swath of Pluto in Libra subjects - the branding to the networking to the wanting to be ‘part of my group’ thing is rife with Gen X challenges. It just  sometimes doesn’t work. And when it doesn't work, or when it's a manifestation of 'checking out' that's a sign of Gen X trouble.

Gen X is all about the development of the Self which is then 'tested' and 'perfected' against an Other. But the dynamic is always Libra/Aries - it's always about the Self. I know Gen X’ers who blatantly don’t do well fitting in, and yet they loathe the whole idea of standing out – a curious quality for a generation all about “names” and celebrity images and molding the image and being as beautiful as possible.

When Pluto moved into (and committed to its transit of) Capricorn back in late 2008, this put a whole lot of pressure on every Gen X’er around. Why? Because Pluto in Capricorn is the square to Pluto in Libra. Every Pluto placement gets to its 'square point' and we happen to (at the moment) be in Gen X's. And while all squares are about balancing and synthesizing our efforts (and/or keeping things in sync) in this case the earthy quality of Capricorn and the fact that Capricorn and Libra are both cardinal signs has made things squirrelly.

Earth plus air equals a challenge to understand the reality of life under any circumstance. And since we’re talking about two cardinal ‘just do it (and exult or take your lumps later)’ signs, this has resulted in many a misstep and shattered psyche. Of course we’ve seen a number of ‘stroke of luck’ cases and right-place-right-time sort of stories.

As Pluto came within orb of fixed star (nebula) Facies back in 2010, things got complicated. For Gen X, this has meant a lot of puzzle pieces…some of which seem to have a mind of their own. For some this meant just a lot of life factors needing juggling. For others, aims and goals became convoluted and difficult to sort through or keep on track.

Here in 2013, Pluto has come within orb of fixed star Vega, signature of charisma. Pluto will actually conjunct Vega starting in 2015, and at that point a lot of Gen X’ers are going to succeed – and some will recognize that what they have been so fervently aimed as is not worth chasing.

And let’s not forget Uranus and Neptune. Uranus ‘flirted’ with moving into Aries during May, June, July and early August of 2010. But it wasn’t until 2011 that Uranus and Neptune shifted signs: Uranus moved into Aries and Neptune entered Pisces. The ‘whole sign’ inconjunct from Neptune to Gen X’s Pluto in Libra plus Uranus opposition from Aries is the signature of many a shakeup which has (and will continue to happen) in the lives of Gen X’ers who are on the wrong track but refusing to change.

And let’s not forget…in transiting Aries, Uranus is saying to the whole of Gen X that they should not be ‘married’ to their perspective. Whatever they learn through others which changes or shapes their lives, it’s likely to produce unusual answers. Odd realizations. A need to find one’s way out of the box.

If there’s a solution for Uranian energy, it’s flexibility. And even that sometimes doesn’t work. In Uranus transiting Aries we have the opposition of Uranus to the natal Pluto of Gen X as a generation.

Maybe the times are changing…maybe they’re not. But in the short and long run Gen X people are going to learn a lot of lessons about individuation, about being an individual and what the balance really is (or should be) between the Self and Other.

The front end of this generation (those born closer to 1971-1972) are nearing 40. That means they’re moving into and through the classic ‘mid life crisis’ transits. At the other end of the tribe, the younger Gen X’ers are just coming out of their first Saturn returns.

One of the many nebula on the edge of Sagittarius as photographed by
WISE - the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer
(photo credit: NASA Caltech, April 2010)

Either way, as they flex, as they accept that some of the standards or ideas or images they have long held dear are not applicable or not possible or plain old not worth the effort, members of the Gen X tribe will be facing now just who they are to-with others, and not just who those others are, but who they are.

This is one of those occasions when I wish I had an astro-Hallmark sympathy card.'

Then again, I don’t have the address of every Gen X’er in the world. So I’ll just say it here: to all you wonderful Gen X folks - my very best wishes for good luck in understanding yourself through others. For the next few years what you do, how you do it, who you do it with and why you do anything is going to be in for an update. And that means and quandaries will test your ability to understand the difference between who you really are and what you might think is really 'good' to be. 

By the end of this time, more of you in your generation  will be focused on who they can be instead of how it looks or trying to 'look the part' while working who they're with or whether anyone else cares.

In the end, you who are Gen X are supposed to learn your own worth through the worth of others. The temptation, the 'need' to be 'like' some image or 'pre-approved' notion will sometimes fit...and then again, sometimes it will merely lead you astray until something which seems strange to you wanders across your path, daring you to know who you really are.

The only real question - and the one which Pluto in Libra truly asks - is whether you will be willing to be and become yourself with joy equal to that you have shown in following the 'idea of the thing.' In some measure, in some way, some of your changes will be tough - mostly because you're going to have to dare to be different...which is to say, yourself - that unique person you are.

But if you just try letting go of the ‘what someone else says/thinks is good’ and go the route of living for your Self and who you really are, chances are, you'll like doing and being that...and you'll like yourself better for being the genuine You.

And will others.

There's a vast difference between the 'like' of pals or social networking and the gut level liking which grows out of respect for who you are. The great and accomplished of your generation are all people who have followed their essence. In being who they were, they have been able to reach out and be heard.

No, transformation isn't easy. Letting go of habits and looking at the truths of who we really are can be downright scary, especially when most of the people you know are busy ignoring the obvious truth of life - that we are who we are.

To be satisfied being who you are while living a Gen X life is to understand that satisfaction lies in purity of Self and finding those who truly correspond with your mind, your spirit and your splendid humor of soul.

The good news is this: once you go there, all becomes obvious...and much, much easier.

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