The Uranus-Neptune generation (especially those entering our world between 1988 and 1996)

I teach community college in a program offering a high school degree to students who have dropped out of high school or have been unable to complete their diploma, if they can earn their diploma requirements at the community college level.  I teach only students between the ages of 16 and 21, so everyone I’ve taught in the program so far has been born between the years of 1996 and 1990. From 1988 until 1996 Uranus and Neptune were most exactly conjunct in the sign of Capricorn.  There is a lot to be written about this, and I plan to begin posting some of my thoughts upon this group of souls soon.

For now I am going to share some of the thoughts of Richard Tarnas, who brilliantly and comprehensively analyzed the historical cycle of Uranus and Neptune in his masterwork Cosmos and Psyche.

Throughout…centuries I noticed a parallel pattern of historical and cultural phenomena, similarly coincident with the alignments of the Uranus-Neptune cycle, involving the emrgence of utopian social visions and movements. Again, the underlying archetypal gestalt in this category can be recognized as a distinct synthesis of the two relevant principles:  Uranus’s Promethean impulse towards creative experiment and innovation, freedom, rebellion against the status quo, and a vector towards the future all complexly interacting with Neptune’s idealism and hope, spiritual inspiration, intuitive vision, the dissolving of conventional boundaries and structures, and the imagination of a perfect harmony and unity to be realized in the human community.

For example, the earliest influential statement of a utopian social vision in the Western tradition was Plato’s ideal communitarian republic that was to be overseen by philosopher rulers guided by the eternal Ideas. Outlined inThe Republic, this vision emerged from Plato’s philosophical awakening during the Uranus-Neptune conjunction at the turn of the fourth century BCE. Similarly, the first utopian work of the early modern period was Thomas More’s Utopia with its Renaissance Humanist vision of a more ideal social order. More’s work was the first to use the word “utopia,” which, with typically Neptunian ambiguity and paradox, draws on Greek roots to mean both “good place” (eu-topos) and “no place” (ou-topos), a world at once ideal and imaginary-two distinct sides of Neptune’s archetypal principle compressed into a single bivalent term. The sequence of axial alignments of the Uranus-Neptune cycle was closely correlated with the births of individuals who brought forth influential utopian works and visions, as with Thomas More’s birth in 1478 with a nearly exact Uranus-Neptune conjunction. This was the conjunction that took place from 1472 to 1486 – the period of the Florentine Platonic Academy and the revival of Platonism, of Ficino, Pico, Botticelli, and Leonardo, which also coincided with the birth of radical visionary reformers such as Luther and Copernicus. [p. 375]

Looking back over this [1985 to 2001] extraordinary period of the late twentieth century and the turn of the millennium, we can recognize that virtually every one of the major categories evident in past Uranus-Neptune eras played a dominant role in the life of the world community during this most recent alignment: the widespread spiritual renewal of the age, the astonishing multiplicity of spiritual paths and traditions from many cultures and eras disseminating and merging throughout the world, the burgeoning of religious movements in Latin America, Africa, Russia, and East Asia, the Islamic revival in the Middle East and elswhere, the rapid spread of Pentecostalism and other Christian missionary initiatives on many continents. We can discern the familar signs of the Uranus-Neptune archetypal complex during this conjunction in the pervasiveness and intensity of mediation and mysticism, in esoteric traditions and mythology, in Jungian and archetypal psychology, in transpersonal theory and consciousness research, in shamanism and indigenous traditions, in nature mysticism, in the convergence of science and spirituality, and in the emergence of holistic and participatory paradigms in virtually every field. [p. 419]

Equally suggestive of this archetypal gestalt are such characteristic terms and metaphors as “cyberspace,” the “World Wide Web,” “surfing the datastream,” “hypertext,” and the dynamic and nonlinear amorphous “sea” of virtually infinite sources of information, complexly interconnected through hypertext links, all mediated by genie-like search engines that have revolutionized the search for and transmission of knowledge. The many allusions toe the Internet as facilitating the emergence of a “global mind,” “Gaia mind,” the “Telhardian noosphere,” and “Indra’s net,” with Internet connections, high-speed fiber-optic cable (much of it undersea), and wireless technology that can potentially link every individual node of consciousness to every other on the planet, clearly reflect the Uranus-Neptune archetypal complex. We can also recognize the distinctive signs of this planetary combination in the widespread utopian, even mystical aspirations that emerged during these years in direct connection with the new technologies.  [p. 422]