The outer planets, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, are associated with what C.G. Jung called ‘the collective unconscious’ and bring people into contact with energies that move whole groups of people. These three planets exemplify energies that bring about collective evolution and change. Since the 1940s, these three planets all passed through the sign of Libra, bringing about profound changes in our ideas about relationship, marriage, equality, peace and fairness.
The ideal marriage under the patriarchy gave all the overt power to the man, who dominated both his wife and his children. Women were sometimes regarded as property and often treated as children. Real partnerships were rare, because women were not seen as being equal to men in any way.
But all that started changing in the 1940s when men went to war and women went to work. When these men came home from war to women who knew they were equally important, they married with different expectations. The world was changing.
Their children became the Neptune in Libra generation, the ‘flower children’ of the late sixties and early seventies. “Make Love Not War” and “All You Need Is Love” exemplify their attitude to relationship and to life. Neptune in Libra bestowed upon a whole generation a more idealistic, romantic and spiritual vision of partnership than their parents had.
Most baby-boomers were tested on those ideals in their marriages, and only after lots of ‘failure’ did some of them get it right. But that’s what Neptune does – it dissolves old forms so new ones can arise. What this generation did do was to open up new possibilities in the realm of partnership and marriage for future generations. Just look at how far we’ve come!
Searching For Our Soul-Mates
But I can’t help falling in Love with you.
Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes,
Some things were meant to be.”
Elvis really tapped into the baby boomers’ psyche when he sang these words. Neptune in the realm of relationships gave us a longing for a Love that was meant to be.
The Neptune in Libra generation went looking for their soul mates. They believed in love and all its possibilities, taking the ideals of romantic love to heart, and when the disillusionment (a Neptune trait) set in, decided they were not going to stay stuck in a loveless marriage like many of their parents.
Searching for their soul-mates, they married and divorced at staggering rates, looking for that perfect partner, the One who would shares souls. That is the cross the Neptune in Libra generations bears – that there is one special person out there meant only for them. When they didn’t find him or her, they suffered (another Neptunian trait).
Like Isis looking for Osiris, they searched for the scattered parts of their beloved, finding love in all the wrong places. When they saw inequality in their partnerships, they either suffered through the frustration or chose freedom and the pain of separation. Out of those choices came consciousness and self-awareness. Through their disillusionment, they came to discover how to love themselves.
Neptune set up a longing in this generation – a longing for true partnership and balance between the sexes. While the feminists marched for equal rights between men and women, the women of this generation often made the mistake of thinking like men about sex, life and relationships. Both the longing and the disillusionment created distrust between men and women and ultimately pushed these people into a search for their authentic Self.
Since the sign of Libra is about ‘the Other’ it is prone to projection. What we see in our partners isn’t necessarily what we get. We often see things in our significant Other that are really unlived parts of our own psyche and personality. And once the Neptune in Libra generation got disillusioned enough, they began searching for themselves. So what began as a search for a soul mate became a quest for the Divine Beloved in oneself.
Now that Saturn will be going over this generation’s Neptune by transit in the next two years, what are some of the issues they might face?
Neptune is associated with our collective feelings and often gives rise to empathy and compassion. Who do we have compassion for? Instead of looking for one perfect love, now is the time to look at everyone with Love. There might not be one perfect soul mate for each of us. There might only be people who have agreed to teach each other lessons about love and partnership before moving on.
Neptune wants a mystical merging of feelings. Like the ocean, Neptune’s energies are deep, constantly in motion, a mystery like life itself. Neptune inspires us to self-sacrifice and when we do this in partnerships we have to sacrifice our ego desires for the sake of others. How can we do this without going back to the old dominator model of relationships? Practicing forgiveness and understanding when we deal with each other is what true partners learn to do. By not letting our buttons be pushed, we can transcend (still another Neptunian trait) our reactions and chose to stand up for our ideals about partnership.
Neptune also symbolizes the Creative Imagination and Libra rules the Arts. With Saturn going over this generation’s Neptune, I wonder what different forms of art, music, dance and storytelling will come out of this time. Now that the Baby-Boomers are retiring, perhaps they will explore their creativity again.
This generation’s music was the most creative in recent history. From John Lennon to Sting, from Joan Baez to Bob Dylan, these musicians have explored the realms of relationship and social justice in all its changing forms. In these next few years, perhaps we’ll see a resurgence of music and art that really speaks to our times and our issues. It is time once again for the Neptune in Libra artists to share their vision of the world and of partnerships.
Neptune in Libra’s idealism also gave rise to the civil rights movement. As Saturn’s focus and discipline work on Neptune’s ideals, perhaps we’ll see a real return to the ideals of fairness for everyone, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation.
These are just a few of the issues that might arise while Saturn transits this generation’s Neptune in Libra. It will be interesting to see what this generation does. After all, they are the ones who once believed “All you need is Love!”