As the planet experiences deeper crisis and during a time when diverse populations including the different generations need to come together get us off the course of disaster, generation gaps appear to be widening. Astrologically, we can look at the generation markers with Pluto in Cancer (people in their late golden years), Pluto in Leo (baby boomers just entering their retirement years), Pluto in Virgo (Generation X and shadow boomers) who feel locked out, Pluto in Libra and Pluto in Scorpio (Generation Y and beyond) and we can see that specific generations dominate and are unwilling to cooperate.
My personal experiences are with the shadow boomers and Generation X since I’m on the cusps of these two generation, born in 1964. I can speak from my personal experiences and then include a funny clip from “Family Ties” and links to articles about the generation gap between baby boomers, and generation X and Y, though Y generation seems to be landing the bulk of employment these days. I can also point out observations from my experiences growing up with Eisenhower Era parents and educated by mainly the hippie generation from K-12 which continued during my studies at a progressive university.
Now, I think brainwash is too strong of a term, but the baby boomer teachers and professors did shape my consciousness by force feeding me their progressive beliefs. Unfortunately, all children find them selves in the precarious position of having adults shape their worldviews through their patterns, beliefs, perceptions and opinions of the world. And teaching dualism (those people are wrong and we are right) to young minds is a dangerous game. Messages of the baby boomers also dominated commercial radio airwaves, the television, Hollywood, and other media during my formative years.
And I’m not saying that these messages were all bad, but they were one-sided and any debate of that time had a fiery nature to it, thus the Pluto in Leo, a fire sign, generation. Not only that, the baby boomers have an abundance of creative talent, but that doesn’t give them the right to hog the stage or the media spotlight. And some of us have grown tired of baby boomers rehashing their glory days. Really, they looked like stoned fools rolling in the mud at Woodstock. And this drop out of society bit while playing the role of absentee parents stoned on this or that drug or consciousness movement of the moment caused damage to all those latchkey confused kids. Yes, I would agree change and transformation of society is necessary, but those changes start in the home and by giving children some kind of structure.
The television show “Family Ties” offers us more than moments to laugh at ourselves, but a nugget of truth about what happens to children whose parents live extreme ideals. While there’s nothing wrong with the father who manages PBS or the mother who works as an architect, (at least they’re at home with the children and aren’t smoking dope), we can see how feeding children sprouts and granola or pushing 1960s ideals on children (as a polarity) backfires with the emergence of yuppy children. In fact, there’s a funny line in the following clip where the father tells the yuppy child Alex to backpack to Mexico or hop a freight train at his age and Alex replies, “Dad, this isn’t the 1960s.” (Or something to that effect).
I was around the age of the children characters while this show ran in the 1980s and I have to say that I related to the children, and not the progressive parents. But at some point in my university years, I was exposed to new age spirituality, a vegetarian diet, animal rights advocacy, shamanism, paganism, and a lot of 1960s philosophies. Whether I borrowed these values or whether I adopted them as my own through peer pressure is a question that I ask myself. I also would like to know my authentic self, not the self my parents shaped or the self that the baby boomers shaped, but the real me. While I enjoyed the music, cinema, and art of the baby boomers, as well as, exploring the new age concepts, I am from another generation with a different mission on the planet.
I also, like others from my generation, carry a deep-seated resentment of the baby boomers hogging the stage in all industries and acting as gatekeepers that kept my generation out. When I graduated from college with ambitious dreams, I couldn’t get my foot in the door to land a communications position. Instead, I worked at a cafe which gave me the label of slacker. New age teachers of the baby boomer generation would preach to me that if I bought their books or attended their workshops I too could have a life like theirs–I could have it all. Now, I know all of that was bogus because I could barely pay the rent working customer service jobs and entry-level office jobs, much less attend an expensive workshop that lined the pockets of baby boomers.
And the odd thing about baby boomers is that they are complaining now that they will lose their entitlement programs which they receive from a government they despise. You can’t have it both ways, but perhaps those Pluto in Leo folks think that they can. Perhaps, they are reaping the benefits of all their years of saying that we don’t need government or at least not one that doesn’t do their bidding for them. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that this generation doesn’t deserve their social security benefits that they earn through work, but only that they should take a look at their double standards because they’re coming off, at least the more progressive baby boomers, as hypocrites, as well as, a little selfish. But what’s not to love with this Leo bunch?
So back to generation X who baby boomers shut out of the job market back in the 1980s and 1990s when these folks graduated from college. Well, the smart generation X people formed bands, started a do-it-yourself movement that has flourished beyond their generation, and became entrepreneurs. Some got jobs at software companies launched by people from their generation, but many just stayed in menial jobs (Pluto in Virgo wants to serve) while others went to school to study alternative healing or massage. And the sad thing about this generation is that it is sandwiched between a generation who wouldn’t allow them into the job market in the 1980s and a younger generation now in their 30s who won’t allow them in the job market now.
So people in their 40s and 50s are finding themselves living back with their parents from whatever generation, working menial jobs once again, and getting rejected from jobs because they might have gained their experience through contract work instead of the usual climb the ladder routine. Maybe when it comes to hiring, human resource managers would rather hire a people pleasing Pluto in Libra employee rather than a critical thinker with a service mentality Pluto in Virgo employee. But people from generation X are not getting any younger and their mid-life crisis is not run-of-the-mill, considering that perimenopausal women of this generation just see their retirement years fast approaching with nothing to show for their employment years.
This was a generation that did not gain relationship skills or any real structure from their parenting if their parents came from the baby boomer generation. The more progressive types from that generation would have shunned anything that would have defined structure for previous generations and would have lent itself in the way of survival and relationship skills. What this generation taught us was how to be rude to authority figures, how to disrupt places of business, and perhaps write soapbox rants, not that the Pluto in Virgo folks don’t do their own share of ranting. Here are two articles as examples.
So where do we go from here? How do we close the generation gaps? Pluto in Leo folks could admit their mistakes and that they don’t have all the answers. They could also show more humility and share the world stage with younger and older people and communities. Pluto in Virgo folks could stop over analyzing and criticizing everything and do what they came to this planet to do, serve the higher good. Pluto in Libra folks could stop playing nicy nice and dig below the surface. Stop trying to please others and admit that they have shadows too. Pluto in Scorpio folks (in their 20s now) could lighten up and stop blaming others for their shortcomings and take responsibility for their feelings and actions. And so on…
Whether we like it or not, we all share this planet. And if we think of the planet as a sandbox, then we had better stop crapping in the sandbox unless we like the smell of our crap. I’m guessing we don’t. Every generation has a piece of the puzzle and every generation deserves its time in the spotlight. The problem is that the baby boomers never got off the stage and its about time that they yield to others, if not out of humility then at least out of common sense. While some shows must go on, the Pluto in Leo generation’s show ended decades ago, and on some level, members of this large aging generation know it.