MILLENNIALS AND THE NEPTUNE-URANUS CONJUNCTION
IN THE WAKE OF THE AQUARIAN AGE
Millennials, born between 1980 and 1995, have inherited the perhaps disadvantageous status as the last generation of Pisces as we move into Aquarius, entering adulthood at what is arguably the most pivotal moment for the translocation of the former to the subsequent age. Compounded with the ominous juncture of their birthright, there are (as with all generations) certain correlative astrological conditions that prescribe the cultural associations of this generation in historical time. Here, I will explore the planetary positions of this period upon which this qualification is hinged, and how those influences impose upon the psychology of those born at the final thrust of the receding era.
A note about this paper:
When we talk about the procession of the ages we are talking about a larger cycle of time called The Great Year, which takes about 25,800 years to complete. The Great Year imposes itself in protraction upon the contralateral dimension of geocentric time, the planets and their individual orbits being bound to a prescribed order that implicates the nature of each particular epoch as corresponding with the cycle of the equinoxes around the ecliptic.
The Uranus and Neptune Conjunction:
The positions, movements, declinations and intersections of Uranus and Neptune during the last decades of the 20th century are integral to the consensus of urgency amongst Millennials for the necessary disintegration of power structures essential to the cabalistic and oligarchic influence of the age of Pisces. The sudden transparency of government systems afforded by the increased availability of Information on a scale that is as new as its repercussions are quantum—the existing order having been exposed as unaccommodating to the proletariat and the great majority. This is a foreseeable symptom of the intensifying influence of Aquarius, which gathers together the cognitive processes of individuals in the interest of increasing proportionate social design. The recent emergence of movements preaching to alternatives to the existing modes of the power state is a point of contention that is not only divisive (as we see the rise of populist movements throughout the western world and the comeuppance of reactionary militant regimes such as Isis) but is also consistent with certain ideas regarding the flux of political power associated with the mutinous and egalitarian quality of Aquarius.
Uranus is the planetary ruler of Aquarius, a planet charged with voltaic energy and associated with sudden change, challenges to tradition, discoveries and innovation—an advocate of progress, enlightenment and revolution in all aspects (with a particular emphasis on the advancement of technology as well as space exploration and colonization). Neptune is the ruler of Pisces, and is qualified by notions of fantasy, imagination, music, illusion, confusion, compassion, spirituality and all that is associated with the realm of the subconscious. On the other side of the same coin, Neptune also embodies the opposing paradigms of the subconscious dimension, ruling deception, secrecy, guilt, manipulation and addiction.
Uranus and Neptune formed a conjunction lasting approximately 10 years from 1988 to 1998, becoming exact in 1993. Embodied in this conjunction is the crucial message of this transition between the ages; as ideological Pisces is mingled with progressive Uranus, their respective qualities are simultaneously inflated and eclipsed by the other. This unification is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, the pietistic tendency of Pisces is challenged by the agnostic and subversive aptitude of Uranus, inciting the necessary reevaluation of all institutions and belief systems rendered obsolete in the face of the “new world order.” On the other hand, individualistic Uranus is deluged of it’s penchant for self-sufficiency by the compassionate and fanatical qualities of Pisces, creating a global consciousness that undulates between Uranus’s emphases on the needs of the self and submission to exploitative sectarianism. As a result, natives born and raised under this influence are easily coerced by subliminal suggestion, an easy target of regimes that seek to convert individuals to their ideology. Subscribing to a movement that privileges the identity of its followers over dissidents and outsiders is an easy fix for those who feel underrepresented and a need to self-identify, a circumstance that lends itself to nationalistic and xenophobic tendencies in nations where there is a strong sense of patriotic, provincial or religious dogmatism. On the other hand, compassionate Pisces and humanitarian Uranus will enrich these natives with a strong sense of social responsibility and urgency to inspire and actuate reform in the now archaic framework of civilization.
During my investigation, I discovered that the conjunction of Uranus and Neptune has repeated itself in a 170-year cycle. Before 1993, the last revolutions in recent history took place in 1821, 1651 and 1481, junctures of time that are all similarly indicative of important periods of flux in the development of the modern world. In the late 15th century we saw such consequential developments as the sustained dominion of the Ottoman Empire, the Spanish inquisition’s auto-da-fe, the supersession of the late Middle Ages to the early modern era and the beginning of the age of discovery and the rise of globalization. The mid 17th century was qualified by European colonization and practice of enslavement in the Americas, the founding of the Dutch East India Company, the reign of Louis XIV and the baroque cultural movement as well as the scientific revolution incited by the proliferation of such monumental theories as heliocentrism and the laws of universal gravitation. The last transpiration of this conjunction occurred in the early 1820’s, with unchecked ascension of power sustained by the British Empire after the fall of the Napoleonic, Spanish, Mughal and Holy Roman Empires. Karl Marx was born in 1818, under the influence of the Neptune-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. This period was also marked by the establishment of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the discovery of Antarctica, the telegraph and the end of the Spanish Inquisition. In my research, I calculated each chart of the 170-year cycle, going back 2000 years to the beginning of the previous millennia and the age of Pisces. I discovered that with every two revolutions, Uranus and Pisces move through the signs in succession, stationed in Cancer in 49 BC, at the onset of the millennia and emerging in Capricorn in 1988 at its culmination.
Age of Aquarius:
Age of Pisces:
219 BC Cancer
Age of Aries:
389 BC Gemini
559 BC Gemini
729 BC Taurus
899 BC Taurus
1069 BC Aries
1239 BC Aries
*Some dates are approximate as they were calibrated without accounting for the influence of retrograde cycles
This procession completes a 180-degree procession, half of the zodiacal cycle, kicking off the age of Pisces with the Neptune-Uranus conjunction occupying the estival (summer) solstice, making its way to the hiburnal (winter) solstice over the course of the Millennia’s duration. In the chart, the signs of Cancer on through Capricorn are located in the western hemisphere or axis of the zodiac wheel, with the first half of the millennia taking place in the second quadrant and the following half (the last 1000 years, approximately) taking place in the third quadrant. The second quadrant of the chart, corresponding with the 3rd to the 10th century AC represents self-expression, creativity and adjustment to others. The third quadrant, encompassing the last half the millennia is qualified by awareness of others and social involvement.
Looking beyond the age of Pisces we can see that the procession of the Neptune-Uranus conjunction spans the approximate midpoint of the age of Aries, and continues through the midpoint of the Age of Aquarius, taking place over the course of 4000 years, from 1000 BC to 3000 CE. Each 1000-year period can be correlated to a quadrant of the astrological wheel as it moves through the zodiacal rotation. Each quadrant is associated with a frame of reference that helps to designate the psychology of the chart based on the calibrated order of the planets within those constraints. This rubric can also be applied to historical inquiry. Here, I have attempted to provide those correlations:
Internal/ Self – awareness of self: self-development, self-worth, and personal identity.
1000 BC – 0 CE
Disintegration of the Bronze Age in the Near East, the Egyptian Empire, the Vedic Age and the Greek Age
Ascension of the Iron Age, Zhou Dynasty, the Roman Republic, Indian Kingdom Age, Kush Empire and the Joman Period.
Internal/ Other – subjective awareness of others: self-expression, creativity and adjustment to others
0 CE – 1000 CE
Disintegration of Kush Empire, second Persian Empire and Ptolemaic Egypt
Ascension of Roman Empire, age of united Caliphate, Indian Kingdom Age, Medieval Europe and age of Yamato rule.
External/ Other – Objective awareness of others: awareness of others and social involvement
1000 CE – 2000 CE
Disintegration of the Roman Empire, Ming Dynasty, Indian Kingdom, Mughal Empire, Mongol Empire and Shogun Japan.
Ascension of early Islamic period in India to British rule, colonial Africa, colonial United States, Imperial Japan, Republic of China and People’s Republic of China
External/ Self – Objective awareness of self: integration with society, world consciousness.
2000 CE – 3000 CE
The first quarter of the cycle, corresponding with the quadrant qualified by awareness of self, typifies the last 1000 years before the Common Era, a period associated with the Axial Age and the development of philosophical tenets now considered fundamental to the framework of modern human pathology impressed upon by the influence of such apostles of thought as Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Buddha, Parmenides, and Anaxagoras. The culmination of the first quarter of the cycle coincides with the beginning of the Gregorian Calendar, with the birth of Christ and reign of Christian ideology, a transition corresponding to the shift in the Universal nerve center from an emphasis on ‘Self’ to an emphasis on ‘Other’ as Neptune and Uranus crossed the axis referred to as the IC (Imum Coeli), the pole that marks the separation of the Eastern and Western hemispheres as well as the familial and spiritual root of the psyche. The completion of the second quarter of the cycle coincided with the fall of the Roman Empire, marking the shift from ‘internalization’ to ‘externalization’ as Neptune and Uranus rose above the horizon, crossing the threshold of the descendent or horizon into the southern hemisphere. I found the events of the third quarter to be particularly emblematic of the reciprocated quadrant; qualified by an “objective awareness of others” this period (taking place between 1000 CE and the present) saw the colonization and enslavement of peoples and nations by the West. Our current juncture in this cycle signals a different kind of crossing, as we bore through the axis of the Mid-heaven and declare our return to the Eastern Hemisphere, the domain that privileges free will and individual pursuits over all. Forthcoming, the final quarter of the astrological wheel is located in the Southeastern quadrant, compounding the individually focused Eastern Hemisphere with the externally charged Southern Hemisphere. This integration is commonly associated with the concept of personal identity as it is understood through a greater social and political context. This quadrant contains the 10th (Capricorn), 11th (Aquarius) and 12th (Pisces) houses, the houses signifying vocation, society and ideology. Accordingly, we can assume that the next 1000 years will be typified and influenced by an urgent reevaluation of the social order and the conditions of politics and bureaucracy the world over, an assumption already predicated by theorists deliberating the approach of the Aquarian Age.
The Disintegration of Music and Art
As of now, the first generation to come of age in the 21st century might seem a contingent casualty of history. Born at the cusp of the age of Pisces and Aquarius, they are condemned to social and spiritual faculties that are relevant only to the policies vested in the interim of the last two thousand years. Reaching adolescence at the apex of its culmination and coming into adulthood at the sudden onset of its disintegration, Millennials contending with the departure of the Pisces age have suffered frequent confrontations with the seemingly obsolescent predication of their congenital programming, unable or unwilling to emulate the divergent qualities of the ascending age. Where Pisces is governed by a sentimental disposition, often demagogic in its preoccupation with fantasy, Aquarius strips nostalgia from meaning, equalizes the social order and reprimands effusive individuation. The age of Pisces was defined by its veneration of idols, cultural and religious, inoculated with the notion that human material rendered to provoke the senses of the mind would conciliate and fortify everyday life with spiritual substance. Music and art were integral to this age for the stratification of the political and social fields, entrenched as it was in the relational process of experience. Pisces is the crowning edge of the zodiac, the sign that stands alone in the proximity of the subconscious mind to other worlds and the supernatural. It is an age that is unique as far as the creative acquisitions of its time possessing an intuitive and compounded access to the sublime. Proportionately, music and art sprung from this period had a mobilizing and transcendent capacity, impressed upon the devout and secular alike.
Having spent their formative years under the duress of this influence, Millennials might have imagined that the culture associated with their generation would be typified and established in the same mode as the generations of the previous century; by the gathering of their contemporaries to participate in spirited cultural movements where art and social politics are merged by zeitgeist. For Millennials, the most arduous cross to bear in the departure of their native age might be the spiritual disseverance of creative expression from culture and social order. In the age of Pisces, the enchantment of art was available to assuage the slings and arrows of human suffering when vast dimensions of the body politic were ravaged and exterminated in the championing of one god’s legitimacy over another. Raised by their baby boomer parents in the last decades of the last century, Millennials were influenced to assume the indivisibility of art with ethnology. Their undoing is that their only aegis of defense is that of the same tired Piscean faith in the transcendent power of art as the reconciliation of the tactile qualities of suffering. Their misfortune is that art in the age of Aquarius is may lack the wherewithal to serve as a function of divine supplication, qualified instead by a pragmatic social logic, no longer the rhythm of the spheres rendered from human material into temporal forms possessed by or conceived of suffering endured.
In addition to being canonized as the astrological ruler of music, Pisces is also associated with institutions in its various incarnations, as well as the submission of the masses to an idea or figurehead that dictates the conditional existence of the status quo. Capitalism under Pisces is a dangerous occupation, as Pisces privileges a social order that distinguishes a single body or entity as the master of the majority. The precipitated flattening and dissemination of cultural production at the onset of the Aquarian age is a result that is two-fold in its causality. Aquarius neutralizes disproportionate power dynamics and does away with unnecessary ostentation while Pisces codifies every aspect of human invention to conform to the dominant cultural phase. As one phase is usurped and disintegrated in percentages by the other, a climate is created where individuals are estranged by a culture from which they had come to expect a sense of existential tutelage, experiencing a sense of loss where there was once a function of meaning making. Under Aquarius, art must have a utilitarian capacity, to perform as an agent of progress, particularly that which privileges technocratic objectives over the correspondent resonance of individual experience. Furthermore, astrological speculation might infer that a shift in the denomination of governance from Pisces to Aquarius could be the surrender of autocracy to technocracy. We might assume that natives of the Aquarian age will not be programmed with the same supplicant and sentimental tendencies as that of Pisces and will seek their existential salvation in other dimensions of human occupation; the cultivation of new technologies, furthering our mastery of the sciences and understanding of human biological and cognitive processes, the rise of egalitarianism and increased access to the cosmos–all pursuits associated with the sign of Aquarius.
Many of the dates provided in this essay are not exact; they are rough estimations for the time specified taking into account retrograde cycles and other conditions of influence. Additionally, an exact determination of the point of departure and the duration of the cusp period between the Pisces and Aquarius age is a subject of much debate among astrologers. An age corresponds to approximately 2160 years (determined by the notion of the processional rotation of the earth, also referred to as “the great year” lasting about 26,000 years). It is accepted that Pisces began roughly at outset of the Gregorian calendar and there is some consensus that speculates the industrial revolution as one of the first symptoms of the rise of Aquarius working itself upon human forces. Regardless, history shows that this is a gradual transition, spanning several centuries of crises and upheaval in the dominant rule where empires and ideologies are overthrown and others ascend in their stead. Now is one of those historical moments of vacillation that shifts towards uncertain fate, where generations are lost in the shuffle of history. Lost as they may be in the scope of collective memory, they are not diminished in dignity as they are the tactile members of progress through time, the agents of flux, the blue-pencil rectifiers to the codex of civilization.