30 January 2004 International Edition
Love As Anarchy

In last week's essay on the Sixties, I mentioned the idea that while people born in that era possessed the astrology that sparked a social revolution as a permanent energetic feature in their lives, those who lived through it experienced it as a transient experience. Literally called a "transit" in astrological terms, the movement of planets in real-time affects the natal chart and events of a person's life over a period of weeks or years, then moves on.

There's another way of looking at transits, particularly those involving meetings of slow-moving planets that are associated with sweeping changes in society, which is simply this. These transits create openings where they occur. In a sense, they blow a little door in reality as we once knew it, and make room for something to come through. Once the planets pass their peak meeting, they keep moving, but the door stays open.

We can see this work with eclipses, which happen once but leave behind energetically sensitive points that can be highlighted in future charts. One example is the total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999, which many people remember. That eclipse occurred in the 19th degree of Leo. Two years and one month later, on Sept. 11, 2001, the country went through a wrenching change. In the chart for that moment, the planet Venus, which represented the United States, was located exactly in the 19th degree of Leo, recalling the eclipse of two years earlier, and all its millennial themes.

(One theme of the Aug. 11 chart, as reported with some vigour at the time on Planet Waves, was the nuclear domination of space by NASA, a paramilitary organisation, and its strictly military cousin, the United States Space Command.)

This also works with Pluto. I've noticed that when Pluto has moved through a client's house in their natal horoscope, or transited an angle or important planet, people can have a touch of post-traumatic stress. I sometimes have to explain that it's over, and propose ways they can live as if that were true.

As for the Sixties. The main planetary event behind the developments that both ripped the country in half, and pushed through long, long overdue social progress, was a conjunction of Uranus and Pluto, planets associated with revolution and evolution, respectively [see last week's edition for details]. There was a more complex configuration that met up with these two main players, including Chiron, Neptune and Saturn, but the main event was a series of conjunctions in mid-Virgo. The exact meetings occurred on three dates: Oct. 9, 1965, April 4, 1966, and June 30, 1966. Given that the effects of the conjunction can be seen for about seven years on either side, that the exact meetings occurred within ten months is pretty incredible. Where the effects were felt, they were felt powerfully and irrevocably.

This point in time was the beginning of the cascade of awareness around the Vietnam War, and the extent to which it was based on absolute lies. Layers of denial began to be peeled off, at times violently. It was an extremely painful time for the country, particularly for the power establishment, which essentially had its consciousness torn open by a long series of revelations over the following two years. The Vietnam "policy" was an outgrowth of rigid, fear-based (to say the least) Cold War thinking that led to the world's current condition of being rigged for nuclear detonation and the notion that nothing else could possibly be safer. And it was made of lies, as revealed in the late Sixties in the Pentagon papers.

Vietnam was supposed to be a feel-good war: we were actually doing something about the scourge of Communism. When it turned out that we were not, when, to the contrary, it turned out that we were merely killing millions of people in Indochina and sacrificing thousands of our own men and women for nothing, this came as the stomach-wrenching, guilt-wracked awareness that we -- all of us, since the war was perpetuated by both lies and those who should have known better because they had the facts -- were doing something very bad.

Meanwhile, in response, the protests were escalating in approximate proportion to the success of the Vietcong, against whom we were waging war in the south, and the North Vietnamese, against whom we were waging war in the north. All of this changed people, and remarkably, it began to change them the most profoundly after Uranus and Pluto had made their exact conjunction. The experience was humbling and sickening and not a soul here on Turtle Island was left untouched by the pain. It divided families, corporations, academic departments at universities, Congress and the larger political community. Campuses erupted in turmoil, and people felt a lot of pressure to commit to one side or the other. Dissension over the war tore at the social fabric of the country. Friends seemed to turn on one another. What was then the old order crumbled. In the end, we can say for sure that awareness was raised.

What is crucial to recognise is how PERSONAL this all was, or rather, how personal it became. It became personal because, finally, people started to take it personally, and because it really was personal: the 54,000 killed and many times that number injured touched nearly every family in the land directly. Either you, your brother, your cousin, or those of your best friend got killed or maimed in the distant jungle.

The awareness effect took a long time to build, it eventually spread and, as minds were loosed from old belief and behaviour patterns, people began to make deeply conscious choices: about what they believed, who they were, who they wanted to be with, and what they wanted to do with their lives.

Whether this had a unifying effect or released fear on a collective scale is another question. Just six years later, the nation elected Ronald Reagan president. But that would not have happened had Reagan and George Bush, his running mate, not cut a guns-for-hostages deal with Iranian militants holding 52 Americans, thus beginning the phase of meddling in the Middle East that is only coming to a head right now.

Now, imagine all of this energy, rage, creativity, divisiveness, humanitarian impulse and Promethian fire bound up in the natal charts, and hence, the hearts and minds, of an entire generation born in this era.

Volcanic Eruptions and Ouija Boards

The three-stage conjunction of Uranus and Pluto in 1965 and 1966 occurred in the 17th and 18th degrees of Virgo. There's a divination system called the Sabian Symbols that helps decode the meaning of different degrees of the zodiac (of which there are 360), or at least gives us a dependable opportunity to look for synchronicities.

The 17th degree of Virgo has the symbol, "A Volcanic Eruption." Writes Dane Rudhyar, "We are dealing here with the dramatic release of energies which have been kept in check by the outer shell of ego-controlled consciousness. It may be a spectacular catharsis, but it often takes paths of destruction. Yet unless some form of purification by fire is experienced, the inner pressure of the karmic past or of more recent frustrations would shape up perhaps even more destructively the very foundation of the personality."

The 18th degree of Virgo has the symbol, "A Ouija Board." Rudhyar describes this as "The ability to contact deeper recesses of the unconscious psyche and sensitiveness to psychic intimations and omens." He adds, "The release of unconscious energy has lost the explosive force pictorialised in the preceding symbol, yet at this stage there is still no conscious and wilful control over what reaches the ego-consciousness."

Here is the interesting thing. The conjunction occurred first in the 18th degree (in late 1965), then retrograded back to the 17th degree for the two meetings in 1966 -- the Ouija Board before the Volcanic Eruption. We had all kinds of warnings of what was coming, and what was already happening. You can walk into most any record store and pick up a copy of Bob Dylan's 1962 recording from the Gaslight Café, in which he describes how a "hard rain's a-gonna fall."

Oh, where have you been, my blue-eyed son?
Oh, where have you been, my darling young one?
I've stumbled on the side of twelve misty mountains,
I've walked and I've crawled on six crooked highways,
I've stepped in the middle of seven sad forests,
I've been out in front of a dozen dead oceans,
I've been ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard,
And it's a hard, and it's a hard, it's a hard, and it's a hard,
And it's a hard rain's a-gonna fall.

While this is foreboding of the decade to come, it has some chillingly accurate imagery of Vietnam, including references to dark forests and being "ten thousand miles in the mouth of a graveyard," reminiscent of Apocalypse Now. He later describes "guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" and a place

Where the people are many and their hands are all empty,
Where the pellets of poison are flooding their waters

With the divinatory warning not taken, the eruption took place. In retrospect, it seems inevitable.

Release of Control Themes

In many respects, the astrology of the Sixties is about the loss of control, and to a great extent, Sixties kids live lives that are greatly affected by external sources of influence, yet driven by deep inner forces. They tend to live with truly profound psychological and spiritual upheaval, particularly as their main chart configurations are transited as they are being today.

Here are three examples of "loss of control" imagery in Sixties charts. The first occurs in Virgo, which is about the ordered and often controlled assembly of ideas. Here, the explosive Uranus-Pluto conjunction took place, shattering all the neat, preconceived ideas of the post-World War II era. Events of the Sixties were intellectually shocking and challenging. Many people attempted to deny ideas they were confronted by, and those ideas often knocked them down.

The next involves a sign I haven't mentioned yet, but which is profoundly important in the lives of those born in the Sixties: Aquarius. Aquarius is a sign associated with freedom, but it has a lot to do with control and rigidity. One of its main themes is the crystallisation of reality. It is closely associated with Saturn, which is its original planetary ruler. Through the peak years of the Sixties, Aquarius was stuffed with yet-to-be-discovered planets.

These include Pholus, discovered in 1992, which is all about opening the jar and releasing the old karma that often goes back three generations. Pholus spent many years in Aquarius during the Sixties. Also in Aquarius was the first planet that would be discovered beyond the orbit of Pluto, designated 1992 QB1 (it is still not named). QB1 has among other themes an association with the near-death realm. Also in Aquarius was a centaur planet called Chariklo, the wife of Chiron. She was discovered in 1997, and is about compassion and emotional connection, among other themes. These potent forces to me represent the breakdown of the carefully guarded, cherished and polished crystal of Aquarius belief systems.

Last item is Neptune in Scorpio.

Those familiar with astrology have no doubt encountered some of the control themes associated with the sign Scorpio. To sum this up, these control themes stem from the rather deep place in consciousness where we deal or attempt to deal with sex, death and survival. (These are root chakra issues, for those who follow the chakra system.) In the work-a-day world, this translates to a lot of confusion about love, money and sex, and a lot of fear associated with death that almost never gets called by its real name. This is a cultural issue, but it's also one that seems to be rooted in the genetic code, a theme associated with Scorpio.

I cover these, seemingly rather odd, associations in this article:

Neptune's influence is said to dissolve things, and that sense of Scorpionic control that had cemented itself into place during the allegedly puritanical Fifties began to melt. This made room for a good bit of anarchy, particularly around sex. This anarchy had some help from a drug. Neptune and drugs have a lot in common, and a sex drug called Norethynodrel, commonly called Enovid -- the first birth control pill -- began what we now term the sexual revolution.

To be sure, the sexual revolution was not a revolution of ideas. It was a revolution of women not worrying about pregnancy for the first time in human history. The ideas that emerged out of the sexual revolution were for the most part incredibly stupid, they were thought up by men, and had little basis in the reality of relations between the sexes. But still, the first steps toward progress are rarely graceful, and the release from being pent up for a couple of millennia is rarely neat and orderly.

Neptune's run in Scorpio spans from the summer of 1957 through the fall of 1970. You could say that a certain degree of moral breakdown is associated with this transit. Morals are about control imposed by one person over another, usually through a system of ideas within which we get trapped.

Speaking of anarchy and drugs, then there was LSD, a hallucinogenic first synthesised in 1938 but which hit the streets in force in 1965. This drug had an effect on every aspect of consciousness, sex included, but also reached into politics, art, music and social reality.  A lot of old ideas about consciousness and the general nature of reality began to melt away. Both the pill and acid fuelled disorder allowed something else to come through: creative energy, the yearning for freedom, and the drive to go beyond conventional models of reality.

In the case of LSD, we had the first instance of a drug in widespread use that had a purpose remotely approaching spiritual. By spiritual, I mean the intentional shifting of consciousness toward love. Under the influence of LSD, death can be a profoundly important meditation, and contemplating death on acid can entirely change one's relationship to existence. And that happened pretty often.

Under the influence of Neptune in Scorpio, both the pill and acid induced a kind of anarchy. Anarchy is not love, but it's often a step in the right direction where too much energy has become enshrined in structure, form and regulation. A Course in Miracles, the channelling of which began under the influence of Uranus, Pluto and Chiron in the mid-Sixties, sums it up pretty well: "The course does not aim at teaching the meaning of love, for that is beyond what can be taught. It does aim, however, at removing the blocks to the awareness of love's presence, which is your natural inheritance." ++

This essay is getting long, and I still haven't addressed the specific transits to Sixties astrology in detail. Rather than gloss over them, I'll devote next week's essay to that purpose. All of the Sixties placements, including Neptune, Chiron, Uranus, Pluto and Saturn, are coming under major transit in these current years. For now, think of it this way: when the Gods of Change, in particular Neptune, Pluto and Uranus, aspect these points in your charts, a lot of energy will be released. This is going on in different ways for people near or at the ages of 30, 35, 40 and ages close to this. Next week, I will look in particular the Pluto square and Uranian Opposition transiting aspects as told in Sixties charts.


Last week I promised a book list of my favourite works about the Sixties, plus one published in the Sixties. I strongly suggest that people born in this era really understand what happened around the time of your birth; your life will make a lot more sense if you do. Here is a list; all titles should be searchable in Amazon or

Acid Dreams: the history of LSD and associated counterculture movements, by Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain. Excellent, detailed journalistic account of the impact of acid on society.

Eros Denied by Wayland Young. This is an analysis of sexual repression from the standpoint of religion, published in 1964, right as the big tsunami hit the shore.

Living with the Dead by Rock Scully and David Dalton. Up-close, biased and brilliant history of the Grateful Dead and Jerry Garcia, with much on-the-street reporting from the Haight just as things got interesting and weird. One of the funniest books I've ever read.

Make Love, Not War: The unfettered history of the sexual revolution, by David Allyn. A balanced, critical analysis with a lot of juicy history.

Sex for One by Betty Dodson. First published as a pamphlet in 1973, this is an important social document of consciousness-raising movements that grew out of the Sixties turmoil and changes. Betty was something of an outcast for her views (bisexual, into masturbation, not into romantic love). She is a radical's radical. Her new book, Orgasms for Two, is am awesome followup and helps make sense of our sexual relationships.

The Purple Decades by Tom Wolfe. This is a collection of Wolfe's shorter writing from the 60s and 70s. Wolfe is a moralist and deep down a stodgy conservative, but he's a good observer and this book will often require you to snort oxygen, you'll laugh so hard.

Planet Waves Horoscope
for the week of Jan 30, 2004

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Mars is about to change signs. It is what‚s called void-of-course, but you are nothing of the sort. That is, unless you decide that you don‚t need the people around you who are so well situated to assist you with a particular goal that‚s been a source of obsession for quite a long time. You are closer than ever to making a concrete step toward achieving what you‚re after, but this is not an independent project, nor is it your project, really. It‚s something for which you‚re responsible and to which you are deeply devoted, but it‚s community property. I hope this reminder comes as a welcome relief but not too big of a revelation.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Well, I can see this is a rather apprehensive moment for you, for some reason probably involving the wave of energy that‚s about to ripple through your body. Presently that wave is hanging around the ethers just outside perception and sensation, but it won‚t be for long. Pay attention to your fear right now. It‚s not that your apprehension is an accurate measure of the situation; far from it. But it‚s a dependable measure of the potential creativity to which you have access, and fortunately, not just in the future, but right now. You just need to learn to let energy do the one thing it likes to do best, which is move.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
If you can identify closely with the interests of another person, you‚ll be able to work out the current rather complicated situation in a way that benefits everyone. This is clearly a moment when both parties need to see how their mutual interests are served by fairness and generosity of spirit. Yet beyond this, there needs to be a genuine and documented devotion to something larger, perhaps an idea, an institution, or a collective necessity. Beware of anyone in this situation who is "working for himself," particularly if you sense an unspoken agenda. Your sense is very likely to be correct.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
All the world‚s resources are shared resources. You know this, as one who takes the whole human family as your brood. This is not the week to get too carried away with your ideals, however. While insisting on taking care of yourself may seem to go against the tidal flow of the moment, you need to be vigilant on behalf of your own interests. This includes taking an extreme of caution in contractual negotiations of any kind. Get a second and third opinion from disinterested parties, and give things a few days for a new level of clarity to set in. In any event, sign with caution, and listen with even greater caution.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
This is one of those truly rare moments when your appreciation of the people closest to you can approach perfect devotion. It may even seem like you‚re being wildly idealistic, but you do have high standards and a remarkable ability to see beyond people‚s faults. Remember that you‚re the one doing the seeing. This is also a situation calling for your idealism being grounded in some form of action: some form of service is distinctly in order. You know there‚s such a thing as a good cause, and the only way that good causes get anywhere is because people see them and have the guts to act.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You have, potentially, a moment of perfect balance and open communication on your hands. A direct, honest and extraordinarily pleasant meeting is possible. The question is whether you will allow yourself to be present for it. If you‚re judging yourself as somehow inadequate, or unready, or not well enough to experience life at full strength, you will surely miss the experience. We‚re never really ready for the best opportunities that come our way, and after so long of doing without, you may have taken on the sense that you don‚t deserve to experience something or someone you would love to delve into. Dare to let go of that one. It‚s old and boring.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You are rapidly moving past the ability to have a boss. It's all probably well enough at the moment; work-related aspects presently have you in harmony with your day-to-day environment, even making some progress on the creative front. But this won't last long. You need to either be fully independent, i.e., self-employed, or find a situation where you manage an area of a company without a lot of oversight. As good-natured as you are, you cannot brook inferior minds screwing with your excellent ideas. Ideas which, by the way, have radically increased in quality recently. You're coming up with solutions, including the solution to this particular dilemma.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You are back in Great Mystery territory. For such an emotional person, the elusive and oddly mental quality of the moment may feel a little uneasy. You're probably getting some shade of the message to feel your emotions and think your thoughts, though it's likely to get harder to do this by the day. If the fog clears, it may happen with the help of a person who knows you a bit better than you know yourself. They have something you lack at the moment, which is the ability to stay firmly seated in your body. However, a little stroke of their heat may be all it takes to get you grounded nice and good.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
You would do well to work with this tension you feel, the more consciously the better. While the sensation may be akin to being wrapped in Saran Wrap (pleasant enough under certain circumstances, but not lately), there is a source of strength and inspiration working its way up from your deeper layers. You know there is a solution; you know paralysis is an option; you can see through the whole situation. What, then, is missing? Well, you don't like the pressure of external forces trying to change you. I doubt you ever will. Keep your focus and you'll find your way through.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
If people could see all the patterns of psychological abuse that dominate the world's thinking and behaviour, would we let it go? You're poised to make some deep observations in this regard, particularly involving taken for granted ins and outs of your work life. Be careful; recent events already have you hyper sensitised, perhaps feeling like a sacrificial lamb. There may not be much you can do as the next round unfolds, with the possible exception of stay out of the struggle and focus on observing. You will soon have your opportunity for social activism, but this week would be ill advised.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
The turnout point at which you arrive this week is not so plain to see, and may seem like nothing much at all, or, if you're sensitive, a wave of awareness and the subtle but distinct yearning for freedom. Freedom from what? It has to do with your parents, and their harsh concepts about what binds us to the world -- the obligations, the sense of injustice, the long-cherished secret values to which nobody has given a moment's thought. Events of the next few days may destabilise you, and all the better if they do. Yet feel a shade deeper and you'll sense the past and all its right attachments dissolve like clay.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Beware of confidence that comes from your feet. Your heart and mind are the only assurance you need, and they're related. Look for that sense of strength and awareness right at the top of your lungs, and feel it with every breath. This is like your datalink to the cosmos. Living information is on its way, to say the least: concrete, passionate ideas that track the sense of growth and innovation that have begun to whelm you. These are not mere insights; they are waves of inspired strength. As for your feet: they're good for helping you feel the Earth hold you up. Support from below, breath from above.

Mid Aquarius Birthdays

With the Sun so close to Neptune around your anniversary, and with the Leo Full Moon brewing, there is a touch of the miraculous in the air. There is also a chance for you to engage with the world in a distinctly new way, and if you persist, you will break the spell of an old psychological pattern that has held you under the thrall of your parents' negative beliefs about life for many years.

I urge you to consider the extent to which your own negative patterns have little to do with who you inherently are. Rather, your environment taught you a certain way of organising your mind and your reality, and you grew into that. Mind is the correct concept; in essence, you were pushed from a life as passionate person to one as a kind of intellect by people who did not understand that it is possible, much less vitally necessary, to express themselves.

But all that is changing. The people around you are reflecting a very different person back to you than the one you knew as a child. Your relationship are different than they ever were. There is a greater sense of life, of power and most of all, of your presence within them. It may seem odd to think that you could have lived as if you did not exist in your own relationships, but that does seem to be the case. Now you may dare to live as if you are here. And if you can get past your unconscious fear of the consequences of this, you will find that there are no consequences other than the fact that you actually feel better.

There is some imagery of soul retrieval in your chart. That is, the waking mind making a decision to go deeper into the psyche and find, and contact, and bring home, the deepest aspect of who you are. You will know you have succeeded because the people around you begin speaking to this deeper element rather than the shell or personality you lived with for so long.

It is true that these can be unstable times: our ideas about ourselves are the most tangible thing that seems to hold the world together. But really it is a picture of who we are and the world that seems to be held together is a kind of conceptual model that we force people to be part of. When we let go of these images and models, there can be a time of unsettling changes, and progress can seem slow and hardly sure.

Trust this process. Trust your soul. Trust yourself. The tide has turned, and it will carry you where you need to go and, with any luck, where you know in your heart you want to go. ++

Planet Waves Weekly International Edition
30 Jan. 2004, Version 1.0

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