The planets Pluto and Neptune have maintained a sextile aspect (sixty degrees apart) since the mid 1940’s, and they will remain in this relationship until the 2030’s. Normally, the aspects and astrology of Pluto and Neptune are in effect for only ten to twenty years; but at the present time Pluto is at a fast part of its orbit, so it is moving at roughly the same velocity as Neptune while they are separated in the sky by sixty degrees. Thus the sextile aspect will remain in effect for almost a century, and astrology suggests that there will come a time when there is no one on earth who does not have Neptune sextile Pluto in his or her horoscope. What does this fact imply?
For one thing, generations born with Neptune sextile Pluto tend to come to maturity during times of great economic expansion, when long-standing assumptions and mindsets are being overturned. The times and the astrology indicates that this was true of the previous Neptune sextile Pluto generation (born between 1837 and 1851), which we think of today as the generation which ushered in the modern age – modernism in business, invention, technology and art. It was also true of the preceding Neptune sextile Pluto generation which brought the Protestant Reformation and the beginnings of capitalism. Because the hallmark of these generations is individualism, not unquestioning obedience to social fiat, it is not surprising that the statesmen of these generations tend to be ineffectual, conservative leaders who passively defend privilege and profit, such as Clemenceau, Cleveland, McKinley, and Hindenburg last time around; and the present generation of insipid and incompetent politicians today. It doesn’t appear as though we can rely upon our politicians for effective leadership until long after 2030!
On the other hand, the interpretation and the astrology for Neptune sextile Pluto generations reveals experimenters and technicians who make marvelous contributions to technology, such as Edison, Bell, and Burbank in the previous cycle; and the computer whizzes of today. On the other hand, these generations make better tinkerers than theoreticians. In the nineteenth century Pavlov, Cantor, Michelson, and Krafft-Ebing made outstanding contributions to their respective sciences; but they are most famous for the questions which their techniques raised but never answered satisfactorily. Neptune sextile Pluto-ites are doers, not abstract thinkers or ivory tower theorists. They are interested primarily in “how”, not “why”. For example, in art the Impressionists Renoir, Monet, Gauguin, Cezanne put more importance upon capturing transient light effects rather than in form and composition (which the Post-Impressionist movement attempted to restore). The Impressionist movement is considered to be the beginning of modern art because these artists were the first to consider the technical process of painting to be more important than accurate depiction of the subject matter. The High Renaissance artists of a previous cycle such as Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian similarly were principally interested in geometrical perfection and balance – i.e., technique. Interestingly, no such inspired artistic movement emphasizing technique has yet appeared in the present Neptune sextile Pluto generation. Perhaps this will yet happen; or perhaps the present generation found its expression in music rather than graphic arts.
Thus the meaning and astrology of Neptune sextile Pluto generations shows them to be innovative rather than conservative (except politically). They emphasize individual achievement over obeying rules; are generally more fascinated with technique than with meaning; and are doers rather than thinkers. They are pragmatic rather than concerned with upholding traditional values. This suggests that the present vogue of fundamentalism in the Abrahamic religions will not endure: these generations lean towards the “varieties of religious experience” of such as William James in the previous cycle; the “priesthood of all believers” of thinkers like Luther and Zwingli in the preceding one; or the “turn on, tune in, drop out” of the hippies; rather than groupthink.