Friday, May 26, 2017

Neptune in Capricorn Generation: Dreams of Success

One thing that instantly turns me off is talk of “generational entitlement.” As someone who was born in 1989, I am a part of a group that gets a really bad rap these days: Millennials. The majority of trash-talking I've witnessed about Millennials has been online or in articles. But, I was on the receiving end of it, not too long ago, in a conversation with someone about a decade older than me. And all of this judgmental talk about how we are so entitled and self-involved and so on made my skin crawl. Yet, it’s a tale as old as time. Every rising generation gets ridiculed and shamed and patronized during their passage into adulthood. So, people my age, I guess it’s just our turn!

The thing that does fascinate me about generations, in terms of astrology, is how the outer planets symbolize these generations. And in terms of outer planets, I mean Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. Neptune was in Capricorn from about 1984 to 1998. People have a hard time defining Millennials and just what the cut-off age is. For me, it’s anyone born from about 1985 to 1995, which would encompass the Capricorn Neptune folks. Those born in the last couple years of this transit, in my opinion, aren’t really Millennials because to be one you had to fully experience the 90’s as a child. 

It was a decade that was very Capricorn-heavy, in terms of transits, from Saturn’s passage through Capricorn to Uranus and Neptune both being in Capricorn to the transiting Capricorn North Node (which is conjunct Neptune for those born in 1991). So, clearly, during this time, people were in a highly Capricorn state of mind. The adults around us were very fixated on the ideals of this sign: ambition, achievement, perseverance, dedication. This is obviously something that shaped us and that we were conditioned with, hence our generational markers being so Capricorn-infused. We can’t “blame” a generation for anything until we stop and take a look at how they were raised and conditioned. With Neptune, we see the utter idealism of a generation; the dreams and the fantasies that fueled them yet that aren’t entirely based in reality. Yet, with Neptune in realistic Capricorn, this is quite a paradox. Our dreams and fantasies were seemingly based in reality but not totally. 

We were taught, in one way or another, that we could do anything we wanted to do when we grew up. The whole “work hard and be on top of your game and you’ll achieve” mantra of Capricorn affected those of the Neptune in Capricorn generation in a profound way. It was the message of all the major adults in our lives, whether it was our parents, teachers, coaches, or role models. Everyone was so busy climbing to the top and striving for the ultimate image of success in the 1990’s. It was a very capitalistic era, thanks to all of the long-running Capricorn transits. Kids look at adults and fantasize about life vicariously through them. In many ways, Neptune represents how the generation, as children, projected all of their fantasies on to the adults around them. With Neptune in Capricorn, it was fantasies of success, recognition, prominence, authority, even fame. 

Because of the sanctified version of success that the Neptune in Capricorn transit represented, we became a generation that had a transcendent (Neptune) idea of achievement (Capricorn). I personally think the whole “participation trophy” complaint is bullshit because I never received one of those as a child or teenager. I think that was much more of a trend for kids who were born in the 2000’s, giving them that Neptune in Aquarius idealism that absolutely everyone is special. Neptune in Capricorn was not quite as easy on us. However, I do think that a lot of Capricorn Neptune folks grew up with a glorified sense of what we could achieve. Don’t give up, don’t quit, try again if you don’t first succeed. Neptune is a planet of redemption and so this placement created a generation of people who always sought to redeem ourselves through what we could accomplish. 

For instance, when I was growing up, I was a mess at quite a few things. My track record in school was spotty, sometimes amazing and sometimes lackluster. I was in the school band for a couple of years in middle school and played the saxophone. I hated it and didn’t really apply myself (although I did really love playing the xylophone in elementary school). But, I did know that I had creative talent, like writing, singing, acting, etc. I knew that even though there were certain things I sucked at and I didn’t like, there were other things that I was really good at and could be very accomplished in. This “redeemed” me, making me realize that I could enjoy the bliss of achieving something and that if I didn’t do well in other areas, that was alright. 

Basically, the Capricorn Neptune was not as hard on us when we failed as it was on previous generations. We were forgiven and urged to move on to what we could actually accomplish or to recognize what we did accomplish and pull off, even in the midst of failure. I’m talking about on a general level, as a culture and in society. So, that is where the whole participation trophy thing comes in, to me. It’s that everything that we did, growing up, could be seen as an achievement, even though the “real world” would deem it as a failure. We were the first group of kids, I believe, to really grow up with this mentality. 

Gifted classes and elective classes were also stressed with this generation, in order for us to gain recognition at the level we deserved to or in the things that we were deeply interested in. We were encouraged to achieve (Capricorn) but to not forget about our humanity (Neptune) in the process. Instead of sheer hard-edged realism that urged us to just go after goals to make money, we were taught that if we want to accomplish something, it should be something that is deeply enriching to us and to our souls, as well as something that could potentially enrich others and their souls. 

The more aspects a person has to Neptune in Capricorn in their chart, the more they will live this out on a personal level. I have many aspects to my Neptune and this was always an ideal that I grew up with. But, even if you aren’t very Neptunian, having Neptune in Capricorn means that when you get around people your age, they can bring out that imaginative or empathetic sensibility within you in terms of your goals, whether it’s not being too hard on yourself when you supposedly fail, having vivid dreams of success, or achieving goals without sacrificing spiritual fulfillment. Naturally, because of this generational mindset, we entered adulthood with some lofty visions of ourselves and what we could do in the world. And like with all generations, we were dealt a rude awakening when the real world intruded and shattered our illusions. 

It’s an interesting process as every generation’s illusions are shattered in this way, via their Neptune, once they go through their 20’s. The reason why is that this is always the time when transiting Pluto conjuncts that generation’s Neptune. Pluto can disillusion this generation in a seemingly cruel way but it allows us to learn how to survive and not be too broken when reality intrudes on our dreams. The Neptune in Scorpio generation, for instance, had this collective dream of the ultimate intimacy, of being to live out their sexual lives in very fluid ways, and to have no boundaries in terms of sharing themselves with someone else. This happened because they were children during the sexual revolution of the 1960’s and the wild, flower-child vibes of the 1970’s. 

Then, Pluto in Scorpio occurred and hit their Neptune during the 1980’s and 1990’s. Pluto brings crisis and turmoil during its transit in things that are represented by the sign. Pluto in Scorpio is probably most symbolized by the AIDS epidemic that began in the mid-80’s. Sexuality and death became intertwined. The need for safe sex was stressed, across all sexual orientations and identities, making it a literally life-or-death situation. Paranoia increased about how much you could trust your sexual or romantic partner. So, Neptune in Scorpio people’s idealized sense of intimacy was shattered, bringing up issues of betrayal, trust, sexual activeness, and even mortality that eventually required the Neptunian concepts of forgiveness, healing, and going from unconsciousness to consciousness. 

The same thing could be said about the Neptune in Sagittarius group, who were conditioned with an ideal sense of faith, of accepting other cultures, of being devoted to beliefs, due to the wandering, philosophical and multicultural times of the 1970’s and 1980’s that they grew up with. But, when Pluto in Sagittarius happened, so did 9/11 and the Iraq War, where people were literally dying because of the religious beliefs of someone else. This shattered their illusions by bringing up these concerns of nationalism, of being too obsessed with one’s own country or faith, of mistrusting foreign people or fighting against such prejudices. (Since Pluto’s effects are pretty irrevocable, these are issues that are still reverberating today, especially with Saturn currently in Sagittarius, as well) So, again, healing and forgiveness and awakening were required of this group in these ways. 

How has Pluto been treating us Neptune in Capricorn individuals, then? Well, it’s clear that we’ve been dealing with shattered illusions due to the Great Recession that hit as soon as Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008. It’s a transit that absolutely turned the economy and the professional climate upside down, resulting in a lot of turmoil and crisis in terms of professional security and what one could achieve. Therefore, our idealized sense of achievement has been altered, in many ways, into adulthood. Capricorn deals with the demands and pressures of our field and our career. Previous generations eased into a milder professional environment where you could make a decent wage without even having a college degree or much experience in that job. Today, you need a Master’s degree, years of experience, amazing references, and the ability to speak French while standing on your head to get a job that’s really financially comfortable. And sure, you can earn all of that but while you’re putting yourself into enormous debt and having to live with your parents.

While other generations can take Millennials to task for being entitled or not working harder, we are a generation that is working as hard as we can and that ultimate success still feels very elusive to many. For us, it’s not enough to just pull yourself up by the bootstraps. Pluto has been hitting everyone in this group’s Neptune for years. It just finished being conjunct mine although the retrograde will make it a wide conjunction again for a while. So, intense feelings of failure, of struggle, of “adulthood” being a faraway dream is what we are all dealing with. Even those who have achieved security may have this haunting fear that either it’s all going to disappear one day or that they sold their soul to get it, especially if their friends are struggling or less well-off. But, like with the other generations, forgiveness and healing are required. We have to forgive ourselves for what we haven’t achieved and find inner peace by letting go of rigid notions of being an adult. 

It’s why the term “adulting” was created by Millennials. Capricorn does represent that level of accomplished maturity and for many of us, it either seems like a total mirage or like it’s a dream you want to wake up from. A lot of people feel this way about adulthood but Neptune in Capricorn folks experience it on a very deep level. And the stronger Neptune is in your chart, the more you’ll feel it. I also have to add that if you have Saturn in Capricorn conjunct Neptune, like I do, or the North Node in Capricorn conjunct your Neptune, this transitional period has been especially hard and disillusioning for you. For me, life recently has been one crisis after another about what goals I cannot and cannot pull off. But, this also provides me with the opportunity to heal and to let go of one dream of success for another. 

In the end, Neptune’s generational effect does give us the yearning to have vivid dreams of whatever the sign stands for. Pluto’s transiting impact just transforms those dreams. It initiates us into adulthood by re-conditioning us, so our ideals are truly ours instead of our parents or the other influential adults that we were surrounded by. We are here to have dreams (Neptune) that those who came before us (Capricorn) did not. I think a lot of people in this generation carry the sense of being able to achieve what their parents couldn’t, in one way or another, just because they are able to visualize it and not be affected or tainted by the world’s demands. 

We are the generation that cares little for the traditional markers of adulthood. There’s a reason why Millennials aren’t out buying property in droves (a trend that the Internet is strangely fascinated with). It’s not just because it’s not financially feasible. It’s because we don’t let ourselves get too attached to the linear path of being an adult. Over 20 years ago, you had to buy a house, get married, and have a kid or two all before your 30th birthday. Neptune in Capricorn means that we are transcending that conventional trajectory. Times are changing and, like all generations, we’re reflecting that change. 

Also, we operate on a higher wavelength of realism. We know that being married or having children or settling down somewhere means sacrifices and, often, sacrifices of what we want to accomplish. Neptune is about sacrifice but in Capricorn, it means sacrificing certain things to achieve what we want, not the other way around. I think we all keenly feel how much our parents gave up their true goals for a conventional life (if you have a strong Neptune, you probably experienced a lot of guilt, in this way, growing up) and we want to rise above that. A lot of people my age, including myself, are too focused on their goals or ambitions to think about being a parent or someone’s spouse. Capricorn does represent delays and with Neptune in Capricorn, in one way or another, we will delay those conventional things to accomplish our dreams, waiting til our early or mid 30's or later to have them. And we will eventually accomplish them! So, if you are of this generation and you’re feeling deeply frustrated now, just be patient. Your dreams will manifest perfectly in due time.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Uranus in the 9th House

When a person with Uranus in the 9th House of their birth chart follows their inner compass, they find their state of mental freedom. Uranus sets us free intellectually, which I am spending this whole Uranus in the houses series explaining. But the 9th House is also a place of freedom. 9th House freedom is just in a more experiential way, occurring through the expansion of our possibilities. So, having a 9th House Uranus means that you have the potential to feel very free on both this intellectual and experiential level. Wherever Uranus is in our house is where things are not “normal” for us. And with it being in the house of exploration and discovery, you can guarantee that this is a person who embarks on abnormal adventures on a regular basis. 

I always describe the 9th House as being indicative of our college years, especially since this is the time where I think planets in the 9th House really find full expression. Before then, they can often feel cooped up, restless, and insatiable, like there is always something else out there, on the horizon, waiting to be discovered by the 9th House individual. Uranus in the 9th is no different. Once this person graduates high school and goes out into the world, they are releasing a lot of pent-up rebelliousness or defiance. This is often a placement that indicates someone who really goes wild once they get to college. But, even if they don’t attend a university, that time in their life from the age of about 18 to 22 can be really wacky and crazy, as they are no longer being oppressed or controlled by others’ beliefs, which can be the experience growing up (more on that later). 

The college years (or the late teens and early 20’s, if you didn’t go to school) are, therefore, a time of experimentation for you, if you have this placement. You develop a detachment from a concept of what’s conventional, in terms of exploring the world around you. If you went to college, this could have manifested in particularly odd or defiant ways. You might have been highly inconsistent in terms of attending your classes or getting your assignments done. Something in you just compelled you to go out to that concert, even though you fully intended to finish your research paper. You could have genuinely just forgotten about the class you had on Wednesday, too busy being interested in something else. It’s no surprise, then, that 9th House Uranus individuals often have a dubious track record throughout college, sometimes feeling quite ill-adjusted in this new world. 

But, it wasn’t for lack of intelligence. Even though your switch was regularly off in terms of your schoolwork, when it was on, you were absolutely brilliant. Uranus in the 9th House shows that an intellectual freedom within you really began to blossom during this time. This is because college encourages people to develop strong opinions and viewpoints about subjects and what’s going on in the world. Facts can be a little bit too easy for you to assimilate. But, opinions (9th House) are an area of true experimentation (Uranus) for you. You might have been that student who blew professors away with very impressive essays, full of ideas that other people hadn’t thought of before, including the professor. The classroom, whenever you showed up, also could have been the time for you to do this, making you that student who was unafraid to voice a different opinion amidst countless students who think otherwise. 

This is because developing your own beliefs requires you to not really care what other people think. We all have the potential to not give a damn and to not be concerned with others’ opinions, to some extent or another. Uranus’ house tells us where and how that manifests for the individual. With Uranus in the 9th, it’s in terms of the opinions of others. This is a house that is about developing your own sense of right and wrong. In this way, you can display wonderful independence and freedom. If you think it’s right, then it’s right, regardless if other people believe you’re crazy. The thing is that Uranus is so logical, at the same time, that your beliefs, as unusual as they often are, generally are based in some solid rationale. This is what gives you even more conviction in the face of someone else’s disapproval. 

Yet, the contradictory thing about the 9th House Uranus is that you are sometimes detached from your sense of right and wrong. There are times where you will be totally outspoken and insistent on your truth and other times where you couldn’t care less. This is how your inconsistency emerges. It’s all based in your 20-year-old self that spent those wilderness years of adulthood just experimenting with beliefs. Therefore, you don’t get too attached to a certain belief system. It’s also what gives you the potential to seem too flaky to more straightforward people who aren’t zig-zagging all over the place with their beliefs. You might voice a particular opinion just to rebel against someone else’s. It’s also very common for 9th House Uranus people to rebel against their own opinions, sick of hearing themselves go on and on. Sometimes, you do this to cut yourself down to size, as you aren’t interested in acting all high-and-mighty. But, it can give the impression that you aren’t a person with the most consistent or predictable moral fiber. 

In many ways, you aren’t. Yet, this is your moral fiber, at the same time. Uranus in the 9th is about understanding that there are all kinds of beliefs out there and that they all should be considered and respected. You want to know what it feels like on both sides of the fence, instead of being rigidly tied to just one perspective. It’s this attitude that could have made you an exceptional roommate in college. People from different backgrounds and lifestyles fascinated you because you wanted to know exactly what made them think that such a way of living was right for them. If they were messy and you were clean, you tried to figure out just why you believed in being clean and why they felt like being messy was right for them. This is what shapes your moral compass: a tolerance for the direction that everyone is going in, knowing that it’s all equal, at the end of the day.

This is an attitude that also could have made your path throughout college very unpredictable. Uranus does bring abrupt changes into our lives. And the 9th House Uranus is the classic student who randomly and drastically switches majors, like going from chemical engineering to art history. It also symbolizes students who decide to take a break, all of a sudden, even if everything is seemingly going good. And, of course, it can also show people who just drop out of college, potentially at the 11th hour. But, all of this is logical to you, even if your journey seems crazy to everyone else. Maybe you believed you got all you needed to get from college or maybe you just suddenly felt the need for a more inspiring (9th House) change (Uranus). 

In any case, you really believe that change is good. You will spend your life suddenly going in one direction when you thought you were headed in another. There are times where it feels like this change in path is kind of thrust upon you. It stems from the fact that you probably, like most 9th House people, come from a strong religious background that you unexpectedly went against in adulthood. Whatever the religion, it could have been something that, as a child, made you feel free and intellectually engaged. But, as time went on, you snapped out of that religious fervor in a major way. A lot of 9th House Uranus individuals can look back on their religious upbringing and feel horrified at how “brainwashed” they were. There is the potential for you to have experiences with religion that can feel almost cult-like, as if these beliefs (9th House) overwhelmed your ability to think freely and for yourself (Uranus). This feeling of being controlled is also something that can awaken your inner sense of anarchy. 

It may not be something that you openly voice while growing up. But, there is a reason why, when you’re thrust out into the world, you start going wild or dabbling in all sorts of things that are the anthesis of your religious roots. It’s like you begin knocking over all of those sacred crows as an act of true freedom. While you thought the idea of eternal salvation or peace in the afterlife where enough to feel free, getting out into the world can shock you because you realize how sheltered all of that was making you. Once you see that there are a diverse range of beliefs that are all valid, you become increasingly distant from the religion you grew up with. You might even take perverse pleasure in pissing off your family when you come home with your “sacrilege”, like announcing to your mother that you’re now an atheist or interrupting the family prayer. 

The process of losing one’s religion is very common for 9th House people. But, with Uranus here, it happens in a way to set yourself truly free. It is possible that you either stay with the religion you grew up with or find another religion as an act of freedom against non-believers. Yet, I feel like it’s more likely that you will just break away from religion altogether, ex-communicating yourself in an almost outrageous fashion. Still, the 9th House is what you believe in. So, every 9th House planet needs its own “religion”, which can be much more metaphorical than literal. Uranus in the 9th House people may find that in things like astrology, numerology, or the Tarot. Although I consider these things more spiritual than religious, they can feel like proper religions to you because they give you something to believe in that has a logical system to it. These belief systems also don’t assert themselves as the be all, end all, claiming themselves as right and everything else has wrong, and don’t demand a rigid moral code of you. Again, you are disinterested in such moral superiority and in also in such commandments, as you feel that those rules will inevitably be broken anyway. 

When we’re in 9th House territory, we believe that anything is possible. Uranus in the 9th means that the more you embark on a nontraditional journey, the more you will feel like anything is possible. So, getting into astrology or reading Tarot cards can be amazingly inspiring to you, opening up a whole new world. Doing anything considered weird or left-field sets you on the right path and brings out your inner enthusiasm. This can mean engaging in odd adventures. Traveling also correlates to the 9th House. Uranus in the 9th House people would benefit from always keeping their passport updated because they never know when they’ll get the urge to go off to some random place. You can do so very abruptly, feeling like this spirit of adventure keeps things from getting too predictable. You may also get the urge to go to some obscure place that many people haven’t heard of before, thriving on the experimental feel of doing so. 

Because of this, you can also easily move to random places within your country of origin, as well. If your spouse or significant other needed to move to another city for work, you might not even hesitate about doing so. Just like you can freely travel to a country without knowing the language, you can casually move to a new city without knowing the culture or anybody there. After all, it offers the opportunity for all sorts of unexpected discoveries. The same can be said for how you explore the city that you live within. While the 3rd House is your immediate neighborhood, the 9th House represents how you venture out of that neighborhood. Similar to Jupiter in the 9th, you are up for exploring every place that your city has to offer. You’ve probably ventured into territories within the city that your other friends wouldn’t think to or didn’t even know about. 

Your sense of adventure does not operate like everyone else’s. This is something that goes back to the age of 18 to 22 where you would party by exploring lots of random territories, especially ones where many people like you may not easily feel welcome. But, you don’t care. The 9th House Uranus person, at one point or another in life, can be quite a wild thing, painting the town red in ways that can be startling or uncontrollable. You are prone to getting into a lot of mischief. At the same time, you can step back and know what you’re doing. In the end, exploring your city is like a science project for you. You’re constantly studying these diverse environments and forming your own beliefs about how they operate. It’s all quite intellectual for you.