There are two articles in the latest Newsweek magazine that have inspired posts, so you’ll get one tomorrow about the end of the happiness craze. Today, though, I am excited about Jonathan Alter’s article about the battle between the Early Boomers versus the Late Boomers in the battle between Obama and Clinton.
Jill has been bemoaning just such a battle on her blog, where cohorts from both generation are duking it out over the Democratic candidates. The fact is, the Boomers that get the bad rap about being an admittedly self-indulgent and narcissistic generation are those of us born with Pluto in Leo. The late Boomers, the one Alter describes as “feeling like generational stepchildren . . . as if we arrived late at the ’60s party after everything turned bitter.”
These Boomers are those born with Pluto in Virgo (after October of 1956), and their generation has been marked by a strong resentment to those who came directly before them. This is no surprise, because Virgo doesn’t like Leo much. Where Leo seeks the spotlight and takes center stage, demanding attention and adoration, Virgo is selfless and service-oriented and seeks only to serve others and live a life that is safe and orderly. The sign that Pluto falls in typically doesn’t express our individual personality but it does reflect who we are as a generation.
The Leo nature doesn’t have much thought for the future – it is anchored in the present and a need for pleasure and fun. Virgo, on the other hand, has a tendency to worry about the adequacy of available funds and planning for the future. Where Virgo is willing to work long hours toward a goal, Leo is more concerned with doing work that will allow the fullest expression of oneself. Where Leo seeks to express the Ego in the most perfect way, Virgo has an intense dislike of Ego expression, and herein lies the deepest difficulty between the two generations.
There are plenty of Boomers who weren’t hippies, but that instinct for self-expression and living our own life has been a driving force for nearly everyone born during this time period (except for those with strong concentrations of earth and water signs). And it’s no wonder that the Pluto in Virgo generation is resentful of the”entitlement and excess” and the squandering of resources that has been done under the Boomer reign.
The length of a generation shortened significantly during this period. Pluto was in Cancer, for example, nearly 25 years (between 1913 and 1939). Those with Pluto in Cancer sacrificed everything for family and country, both focuses of the Cancer archetype. Pluto was in Leo from 1939 until 1956, only 17 years, and then in Virgo for only 15 years, from 1956 until 1971. Jonathan Alter reports that demographers have concluded that generations are only 10-15 years rather than the 20 years used previously, and this makes sense given the acceleration of Pluto during these years and Pluto was in Sagittarius for only 13 years. (This trend is about to reverse, with Pluto traveling through Capricorn for 16 years. )
Obama’s candidacy is reaching across aisles of race and gender; hopefully he can reach across the Pluto/Virgo aisle as well!