Not quite a return to but . . .
As we ramp up to Pluto’s return to and sixteen-year-hang in Capricorn, we’ve looked at a number of different ways that this can manifest in out culture. I’ve spent a fair amount of time chronicling it’s impact in the realm of finance, government and health care, touched briefly on it’s influence on the concept of community and how it might touch the personal planets of Barack Obama and others in power. But I have yet to dive into how it is going to drastically change our families and the concept of them
In 2004, a ground breaking joint study undertaken by Duke University and The University of Arizona took place. It was a broad and deep look into loneliness and isolation in society over the course of one generation (two decades). Here is an excerpt from the study, which comprises the core of the studies thesis:
“Have the core discussion networks of Americans changed in the past two decades? In 1985, the General Social Survey (GSS) collected the first nationally representative data on the confidants with whom Americans discuss important matters. In the 2004 GSS the authors replicated those questions to assess social change in core network structures. Discussion networks are smaller in 2004 than in 1985. The number of people saying there is no one with whom they discuss important matters nearly tripled. The mean network size decreases by about a third (one confidant), from 2.94 in 1985 to 2.08 in 2004. The modal respondent now reports having no confidant; the modal respondent in 1985 had three confidants. Both kin and non-kin confidants were lost in the past two decades, but the greater decrease of non-kin ties leads to more confidant networks centered on spouses and parents, with fewer contacts through voluntary associations and neighborhoods. Most people have densely interconnected confidants similar to them. Some changes reflect the changing demographics of the U.S. population. Educational heterogeneity of social ties has decreased, racial heterogeneity has increased. The data may overestimate the number of social isolates, but these shrinking networks reflect an important social change in America.”
In essence, despite the fact that we are more connected than ever before through layer upon layer of social networking, it seems as though that as a whole, we are also lonelier than ever before and we wonder why we have lost so much meaning in and the value of life around us? It seems as though the net worth of human life has declined in proportion to our isolation. By losing touch with our fellow humans, we lose touch with out humanity and it is replaced by any number of artificial stimuli and synthetic responses, devoid of real feeling. At the center of this loss is the unit and concept of the family.
Up until as late as the fifties it was not uncommon for most americans to live within a five-to-ten-mile radius of their parents. For many families during that era, one or more grandparent also lived with the family. With the advent of cheap air flights and expansion throughout the western part of The U.S. in the sixties, along with the rise of the counter culture and probably most importantly, the first, real, generation gap, the actual model of family exploded.
It started with the end of the agrarian economy and the beginning of the industrial revolution but shifted into warp drive when the turbulence of the sixties hit. Young americans (Pluto in Leo) were trying to flee from the history of their culture and as a result, their families (Pluto in Cancer) along with it. Redefining the concept of the self often came at the expense of blotting out or obliterating ones roots in the process. A number of people with the same intention along those lines participated in social experiments of communalism and expanded on the notion of family. While at the same time, suburbs and the promise of affordable housing created the new model of community on the other. In any case, they both catalyzed a movement that was further away from the family roots, both in the conceptual and the real. Literally and figuratively, we simply grew apart.
The familial schism engendered by the rise in divorce and broken homes during the Pluto in Libra generation, only helped to widen the yawning chasm of social isolation and in many cases, despair. The concept of the self, the individual, the figure cutting across the new horizons of manifest destiny had wandered far off the trail and left his kin behind. In our quest to be ourselves, it seems that we have forgotten our others.
Pluto in Capricorn is going to change this in a very, very, big way. The changes will be the result of both institutional augmentation and organic response. Let’s look at how institutions will shape family as we know it during Pluto in Capricorn.
While I have been at times critical of Barack Obama for not being transparent enough and ultimately becoming, in my estimation an elected representative for the corporate state, I have not had much to say about his past and his roots as it relates to how he views the world.
Three of Obama’s key planets in his chart are his Mercury in Cancer at 29 degrees, Venus at 0 degrees Cancer and his Mars in Virgo at 21 degrees.
The concentration of Cancerian energy makes family important to him. He needs the feeling of being connected to his family and vice versa. As a result, he is naturally responsive to those that are close to him. I’m sure that he has a very disarming ability to make strangers feel like they know him. Hmmmm? Anyway, couple that with his nervous and in some regards hyper-critical energy of Mars in Virgo and you have someone that is always busy, doing what Virgo does best. . . organizing. The Cancer/Virgo energy has helped propel Obama from a grassroots level, from the hard streets of Chicago, where he learned rules for radicals from one Saul Alinsky, Alinsky (Aquarius) literally wrote the book, two of them in fact (Reveille for Radicals and Rules for Radicals) on the commandments of community organization, using both public and private monies as well as numbers of organized and directed people performing political actions.
Saul Alinsky established voting blocks, determined the outcomes of elections, and set up organizations (like ACORN) that would receive federal grant money.
In the eyes of a few discerning individuals, he was a socialist posing as a progressive democrat, or anything that needed to in order to take action. But if you wanted to learn the ins and the outs of the game, Alinsky was the man, so much so, that a fairly conservative, well bred and highly educated young woman, named Hillary Roddam traveled across country to study with him as well.
In fact, her college thesis, a paean to Alinsky’s model of radical works has been a source of controversy for Senator Clinton.
I am not attempting to brand Obama as a socialist, but his work with Alinksy, his mentor, is undeniably a major thread that is deeply woven into his political tapestry. Couple that with the astrological aspects in Obama’s chart and I see he and his administration wanting to further re-define family as we know it. It will result in a compulsory service corps for middle, high school and college youth and universal day care for pre-schoolers. While students will have a choice to participate in service corps, there is talk that a failure to join could result in the inability to receive student loans for college. In fact, you can even start to buy really niftyObama Youth Corps Keychains to get that spirit moving!
While it is still a little too early to tell what shape these programs will take, the fact is, is that they are out there, waiting to “organized” and enacted. As a result it will signal a movement that will push the individual closer a model of socialistic capitalism, which exists as the current, de facto model in China.
Obama’s background and training, combined and manifested through not only his Cancerian and Virgoan planets, but with his utopian Jupiter in Aquarius (retrograde and squaring his natal Venus in Cancer), he, through his socialist training will re-shape our ideas and ideals of what family is even further. We won’t have to wait long either. Jupiter moves into Aquarius on the sixth of January, right on the inauguration, where Obama’s natal Jupiter will be in an exact conjunction with transiting Jupiter. Auspicious to say the least. He will feel expansive and emboldened and begin to act on his big picture pieces immediately. He’ll waste little time in laying out the initial plans he has for America.
Since Pluto in Capricorn opposes Sun, Moon, Mercury and Jupiter, all in Cancer in The U.S. chart, the energy will be polarized and the corporation or other institutions like government will tug hard on the traditional concept and physical model of family. Part of the power behind Pluto in Capricorn is the reduction of the individual into monetizable or non-monetizable units. The individual, more than ever will assume the role of a number, a metric, a data point on a grid. This is the baseline of business. However, while there will be movements to further re-organize the family on an institutional level, families themselves will be in a counter-spin, re-organizing themselves amidst the backdrop of a deepening economic decline. The melting economy and what I believe to be trends of scarcity that are rapidly approaching us on the horizon, will force families to re-connect and reform. The guilt and shame associated with living at home far past a time that is regarded as socially normal will dissolve. People within families are going to need one another. If you are reading this, I would wager that there is a very good chance that you know an adult that is still living with their family, going to or considering it.
As this takes place, we will see the rise of three generations living together under one roof, out of necessity once again. So no matter how you slice it, from the ingress of the socialistic/capitalistic corporactocracy into the familial domain, to re-clustering of families for the mere function of survival, “family” as we know it is going to change drastically in the next sixteen years.
As a result of families bonding together for their own existence and well being, I believe that we will see the return of more traditional values as well. Our dispositions are defined by our economic circumstances and if we are forced to conserve due to lack of money, jobs, resources, etc, it goes without saying that an enculturated temperament will reflect the material condition in equal proportion. A new conservatism is already taking root in the charred remains of The Bush regime. It will partly be ideologically driven, but also rise simply out of necessity and response to the times.
As the new/old family paradigm reforms, it will have an impact on neighborhoods and communities and ultimately we’ll have the opportunity to re-organize ourselves, from the ground up, which, funny enough, is at the heart of Alinsky’s model. The difference is that it will be a self-organizing function, a mutation for survival, evolving alongside and in some cases in opposition to the beaureucratic model that will also be attempting it’s own, bottom-line, reformation.
In an emerging realization of bittersweet truth, the salad days of America’s wide-eyed-youth and seemingly interminable adolescence are at an end, and ironically our level maturation will be measured not by how well we adapt to leaving our families but by returning to them. Jesus once said, “you must leave your families” soon, you will no doubt hear a pastor somewhere say, “It’s now safe to return to your homes.”