The 1960s Cultural Revolution – Part 2: Endemic Revolution

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In part one of this topic I commented on the social and cultural changes instigated around the mid 1960s, breaking off my narrative around the end of 1965 with the supremacy of The Beatles. I argued that the deep, fundamental astrological influence of the outer planets, most particularly the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1965/6 was symbolic of these changes.

The first meeting of Uranus and Pluto was in October 1965, followed by two more conjunctions on April 6 and June 30 1966. The changes were truly worldwide, seemingly polarised in nature, all enhanced by media manipulation and/or the growing promotion of drugs like LSD. The latter is symbolised by Neptune’s positive sextile aspect to the other two outer planets at this time. Even sex was liberalised with the introduction of the pill, pushing the idea that women could be as ‘free’ as men.

At the same time we may have viewed the Cultural Revolution in China as being the opposite of the ‘liberation’ going on the ‘West’, perhaps seen in ‘reactionary’ Saturn being in opposition to the Uranus Pluto synod.

Yet when we analyse the rather divergent political systems, the actual processes were the same – revolution fostered by a saturation of propaganda, all to gain maximum power and control. Uranus upturns, Pluto grabs the reins, with Neptune providing a little deceitful cover in the form of film and other media propaganda as a way to persuade and ultimately deceive.

Pivotal London

China aside, just like the Uranus Pluto conjunctions of 1850/1, London and England once again seemed to be pivotal to the cultural changes, with the so called ‘British Invasion‘ and London becoming the hub of the new fashion scene, epitomised by such manifestations as Carnaby Street.

Interestingly the Beatles landmark album ‘Revolver’ (that is, revolution) was released in August 1966, a summation in music of what was going on. It was indeed a very revolutionary catalogue of songs, utilising unusual, highly sophisticated writing and recording techniques. This was truly one of the cultural icons of the age, symbolising innovation and change (Uranus) in music (Neptune), to instigate a change in the guard (Pluto).

Back in September 1966 Jimi Hendrix, arguably the most brilliant and influential guitarist ever, was brought to England, a step which was to propel him to superstardom at rocket speed within weeks. Although he would be dead within four years, Hendrix typifies the period of sudden change and vast, worldwide influence – a meteoric career indeed. Yet his star still burns bright in the minds of many today.

’68 – Year of Revolution

If 1966 really was the pivotal year, it led directly to the ‘Summer of Love‘ in 1967 and the explosion of creativity in art and culture, transcendental meditation et al. Accepted paradigms were being questioned, which in turn led to the 1968 year of revolution, which came very close to bringing down the French government, for example.

1968 was probably the most tense and tragic year of the decade. The Vietnam War was at its height, as were the protests against it. The call for change, positive or otherwise, was reaching a crescendo. Political leaders who might have been able to bring about such change, such as Martin Luther King Jr and Senator Robert Kennedy, were assassinated in the melee of confusion and hate.

Trying to assess the situation is difficult because of its complexity and the benefit of hindsight is indeed a valuable thing. It does not appear to be a simple case of left versus right, or even right and wrong.

Collective Uranus

Astrologically, Uranus has often been seen as ‘right wing’, but I disagree. I think Uranus simply represents the force for change, revolution, literally turning things over, as in the name ‘Revolver’. I therefore see Uranus as more what we might call ‘left wing’.

Pluto is fundamental, often the hidden power behind the scenes. As I have said, Neptune working in tandem provided the medium (music, art, film)  through which such changes could be started in that 1965/6 period.

Yet behind the passion play which was the 1960s narrative, was another, the so called ‘Space Race’, ultimately won by the USA when America landed a spacecraft visibly on a lunar surface.

Race to Oblivion?

The date was July 20 1969. Intriguingly, on this very day Uranus, planet of change and breaking barriers, was exactly conjunct the Greater Benefic Jupiter at 0 degrees Libra. To me this symbolised a conquest, not merely through the fact of the news headlines which followed, but in the long term reconfiguring of humanity at a global level. The lunar missions would peter out by the end of 1972 in a climate of disinterest: few would have predicted that.

Uranus is often credited in creating ‘individual’ tendencies when strong by position or aspect; it can manifest in individual personalities in traits like eccentricity. Nevertheless, Uranus is ultimately trans-personal and collective.

Continual Revolution – and Disillusion

It is no surprise all three outer planets were ‘discovered’ at times of great, revolutionary change; 1781, 1846 and 1930. The political manifesto most associated with all three the outer planets is socialism, a collective philosophy which has now spread to the entire world in various forms.

The 1960s began as an era of much promise, with a young American president taking office. The mid 1960s witnessed a vast cultural revolution, manifesting in various ways, depending on the political milieu of each country, though the same radical tactics were used. These were based on disruption and chaos (Uranus), confusion and deception through promotion of drugs and media (Neptune in aspect to both) and surreptitious power grabs (Pluto).

It is a sobering thought that the 1960s symbolically ended with the tragedy of the Altamont Festival on December 6. What had it all been for? Yet we are still living with the effects of the 1965/6 synod of Uranus and Pluto. The opposition will not be for a couple of decades. What kind of world will it be by then?

Copyright Francis Barker 2020

Musings on Pluto’s Mask of Invisibility

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By NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Southwest Research Institute/Alex Parker – Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71082408

I have done a little research on and off for a few years now regarding the ‘outer planet’ Pluto and his supposed effects. Put it this way, I have not been satisfied with terms like ‘transformation’.

I shall not go into it too much here as it is ongoing, but suffice it to say that I find I’m in agreement with many these days who think that Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the so-called outer planets, only really come into serious play by their placement, their relationship if you will, by either being angular or in close aspect to the true planets, or both. I don’t believe (yes, it is a belief) that Pluto rules Scorpio, for instance.

Demotion

Of course Pluto was demoted from planet status several years ago, it being essentially classed a kind of minor binary system involving a sibling called Charon (the ferryman of Hades in myth), with whom Pluto does this merry dance in the remote, dark reaches of this solar system. Yet, despite this, there doesn’t seem to be any lack of interest in him in astrological circles.

Pluto was first discovered officially in 1930 and many have attributed the dark, ‘underground’, extreme forces that were appearing in the world at the time to the planet’s arrival in the mainstream.

Does he have a name?

Then of course we have the name of the planet. I mean why call him Pluto? The work of Percival Lowell led to the discovery of Pluto, and of course his initials are the first two letters of the name. Then of course we have Mickey Mouse’s dog, Pluto, named after him.

So the question is, did the recognition of each ‘outer planet’ reflect the time of its discovery?

I have seen it said that Uranus, discovered in the late 18th century, coincided with the American and French revolutions, plus the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Well, I suppose Uranus has a reputation for turning things over.

Neptune was discovered in the mid 19th century, though it is far less clear what was going on then (spiritualism?) which we could call Neptunian – but maybe that’s just Neptune being Neptune, hard to make out really.

Synchronicity

And then Pluto around 1930 and the rise of fascism, communism: I get the point. Pluto is the Roman name for the Greek Hades, king of the Underworld. In mythology Hades had a helm, cap, or mask, which reputedly made him invisible, sometimes also called the Helm of Darkness. All these are what we might associate with Pluto. Either way, the mask allowed the wearer to disappear, or be undetectable, a bit like Pluto on his 248 year travail around us. I’m not sure I believe in synchronicity.

But the mask of invisibility only belongs to Pluto/Hades, others wore it to become undetectable, it is not Pluto himself. So maybe, to conjecture, in astrological terms Pluto by close aspect lends secrecy to whomever he is masking/aspecting? I don’t know, it’s something I’m looking at.

Can you keep a secret?

Nevertheless, we all know how dangerous and devastating secrecy can be, hiding true intent, a bit like the cloaking device used by the Klingons in Star Trek, or even like a ‘bird of prey’ using extreme speed (peregrine falcon for example) to disguise its final, devastating kill.

As an example, take a native with Mars closely conjunct Pluto, might the interpretation be that the Martian energy has the potential to be hidden, yet also potentially more focused and dangerous as a result? And if that energy is hidden, suppressed even, then there may be deep psychological implications too. If Neptune were conjunct Mars we might expect dissipation of that force; with Uranus we could see sudden, violent outbursts of energy.

I will leave the musings there but I intend to try and use living examples in later posts. I’m trying to keep an open mind, with the understanding that the whole truth can never be known. Thanks for your patience – these are just my musings.