Please refer to my May 12, 2020 post about Pluto for more background.
It was suggested to me by an astrological colleague that I might want to publish more about the generational planets once I shared my insight with him, particularly about Neptune and Pluto.
As I noted back in May, demographers in the U.S. have defined the generations in a certain way. Usually when I think of Generation X, I push things back a bit, and cover the Pluto in Virgo generation. That’s 1956-1972, for the most part. But that can also cover the Neptune in Scorpio generation, overlapping quite well with the Pluto in Virgo generation, as it covers 1956-1970.
The major difference between Neptune and Pluto in terms of timing is that Neptune uniformly covers about 14 years per sign. Whereas, Pluto covers anywhere from 11 to 31 years with its highly elliptical orbit. Most of the Pluto ‘generations’ in the 19th century lasted very close to those full 31 years. Pluto was closest to the Sun when it was in Scorpio, and spent the least amount of time there.
Neptune is uniformly 14 years, generally. In most cases, Neptune, when it enters a new sign, will regress back into the old sign, for as many as three consecutive years, before landing in the new sign for good. With that in mind, here are the most recent planets and what I would describe them as:
- Neptune in Leo (1914/1916 to 1928/1929) — the Silent Generation
- Neptune in Virgo (1928/1929 to 1942/1943) — ?
- Neptune in Libra (1942/1943 to 1955/1957) — the Boomers
- Neptune in Scorpio (1955/1957 to 1970) — Generation X
- Neptune in Sagittarius (1970 to 1984) — Gen X/Millenials
- Neptune in Capricorn (1984 to 1998) — Millenials
- Neptune in Aquarius (1998 to 2011/2012) — Generation Z
- Neptune in Pisces (2011/2012 to 2025/2026) — ?
My late parents were in the Neptune in Leo (dad) and the Neptune in Virgo (mother) generations. And I’m Neptune in Scorpio (but barely — my Neptune actually progressed into Sagittarius when I was about 25). I would say that the generations I know the most are Libra, Scorpio, and Sagittarius. I’ll focus more on those.
I’ve been mostly posting secondary information in many of my posts. A great book for any introductory student to digest, as you’ll learn a lot from it, is The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Astrology (second edition, 2000, Amaranth, chiefly written by Madeline Gerwick-Brodeur and Lisa Lenard). It will even teach astrologers with more experience, and of course it’s a great reference book. I’m also going to use the Round Art of Astrology (A.T. Mann).
I want to in particular highlight the difference between Neptune in Libra — which is somewhat correlated with the Pluto in Leo — and try to highlight distinctions between Neptune in Libra and Neptune in Scorpio. I do this because I’ve noticed something.
Boomers have their act together to such a degree that they simply do not understand those of us coping with Neptune in Scorpio. I was in a focus group with about twenty other people of various generations. In many cases, the Neptune in Libra people looked younger than the Neptune in Scorpio people, even though we’re ten to twenty years younger than the Boomers were.
If anything, I want to evoke compassion from the Boomers to our generation — make them know not only the unique gifts that we have, but also why we can’t do the things they were able to do.
For Neptune in Libra:
“Neptune in romantic Libra emphasizes both idealism and love, and this generation is interested in new ways of looking at relationships and laws. This is the generation that confronted sexual equality, marched for peace, experimented with LSD, and cares deeply about injustice throughout the world. Sometimes this Neptune’s intentions can have unfortunate results: the Neptune in Libra period saw the end of World War II — and then the beginning of the Cold War. Neptune in Libra was also when marriages were subject to uncertainty (war time made this difficult) and disillusionment. This period is when the divorce rate began increasing, too. Still, Neptune in Libra is idealistically inspired.
For Neptune in Scorpio:
Neptune in Scorpio can be self-destructive — and potently powerful. The purpose of Neptune in Scorpio is to encourage spiritual regeneration. But since most people didn’t follow this path during this most recent transit, it degenerated into exploiting sex for commercial purposes. The birth-control pill dissolved fears of getting pregnant, but this, in turn, led to a higher incidence of venereal diseases. This is also the generation of the drug culture and rock music, and advances in civil rights, which were connected to dissolving the established power bases. Neptune in Scorpio natives have an enormous capacity for renewal, especially spiritually, and there also can be an extraordinary capacity for psychic awareness or an interest in the occult. This period saw the beginnings of tremendous change in every facet of life; after all, Neptune in Scorpio is intensely inspired.
The Round Art descriptions are also very illuminating.
Neptune in Libra:
receptivity, refined feelings, easily attracted, platonic love, romanticism, love disappointments, odd relation of self to public; idealistic, dreamy, tender, poetic, seducible sympathetic, sweet.
People born for well over a decade in most of the 1940s and the first half of the 1950s had both Neptune in Libra AND Pluto in Leo! What a combination. Refer to my May 12 post for more information. And then read below.
Neptune in Scorpio:
subconscious forces, keen senses, metaphysics, wrong-doing, soul-sickness, depression, drugs, debauch; secretive, emotional, seducible, mediumistic, escapist, perverted.
For all of the 1960s and the later portions of the 1950s we had the combination of Neptune in Scorpio and Pluto in Virgo. But for every single person reading this who was born before Neptune in Scorpio or after Neptune in Scorpio, please try to reflect on what our generation is going through, because I can be the first one to say that almost all of this is true.
We are escapist. We see things, very strongly. We deal with a lot of subconscious “stuff.” We have depression as sort of an existential quality. We are capable of being mediums. We definitely can keep secrets and are some of the most emotional people you’ll meet, and if our emotions are immature, or even if they aren’t, they can overpower us.
And if you are friends with a Scorpio Neptune, do you see and respond to the soul-sickness? Maybe you don’t. It might be in my interest to write more about that topic alone, because coping with it may be a full-time job in and of itself. I’ll endeavor to work on case studies of soul-sickness. (My grandmother, who was born in 1908 with her Neptune in Cancer, the last water sign, embodied the kind of soul-suffering that is specific to Neptune in Cancer. I saw that very clearly in the last weeks of her life, and notice some similarity. Soul-suffering or soul-sickness — either is difficult and pervasive).
Neptune in Sagittarius covers people that at the time of this writing are between 36 and 50 years of age. They have come of age. Per the Idiot’s Guide, Neptune in Sagittarius:
is open, honest, and idealistic, and astrologers put great store by the generations in this sign, the sign of higher learning, philosophy, and freedom. During its last transit here, we saw Watergate brought out in the open, and Jimmy Carter, an idealistic Washington outsider, elected President. Neptune’s last transit also was a period of universal travel, as millions of people began to see the world. New and mystical religions sprang up all over, and music and art were often spiritually oriented Personal fitness and outdoor sports also became popular. Neptune in Sagittiarius natives often feel a need for greater religious and philosophical values and may revise existing laws or ways of thinking to reflect that need. Neptune in Sagittarius is prophetically inspired.
I had a big “A-ha” moment in late 1998, the beginning of a period of emotional distress and mental illness, when I realized that the first of these people, barely younger than I was at the time, had attained early adulthood and were already making their influence known, even possibly to a greater degree than we did, at least in youth culture. It was enough for me to identify the sense of prophecy that our generation lacked but that I appreciated.
The Round Art has Neptune in Sagittarius, which correlates highly with Pluto in Libra, as follows:
presentiment, clairvoyance, travel, idealism, over-active mind, lack of discrimination, dreams, visions; mystical, prophetic, religious, literary, over-sensitive, vague, unrealistic.
Let’s celebrate the unique gifts of Neptune in Sagittarius. Or, maybe we already are.
Neptune in Capricorn is the last generation I’m going to feature, since it covers virtually all people we can consider ‘young adults.’ The Idiot’s Guide puts it as follows:
This has been a time that’s been recognized for its dissolving of worn-out governments and economic structures. The USSR dissolved, the Berlin Wall fell, an all around the world there are new countries forming or reforming after years of being swallowed up by others. Communism collapsed, and here in the U.S., we began facing the need for socialized medicine and other necessary reforms. Economic and political structures — society’s organizations — are associated with Capricorn. Neptune in Capricorn natives have a deep sense of responsibility and self-discipline, and great courage and purpose to achieve their goals. Neptune in Capricorn is constructively inspired.
The Round Art has it somewhat differently, though:
deep research, meditation, strange objectives, religious problems, family troubles, psychic experiences, scandal, notoriety; mysterious, crooked, deceptive, depressive, underhanded.
There are people born with Neptune in Leo and Virgo who are still alive; and the elders of the Neptune in Aquarius generation is starting to reach adulthood. I focus mainly on the generations who seem to be right “in the middle of it” — covering Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn — but there is worth in at least summarizing these three others. I’ll start with the Round Art.
Neptune in Leo:
enthusiasm, love of beauty, peculiar or clandestine pleasures, acting, scandal, self-glorification, gambling, seduction, theatre and opera; wasteful, theatrical, pretentious, lavish.
(Neptune is exalted in Leo).
Neptune in Virgo:
intuitive understanding, healing powers, hypochondria, chemistry, botany, planning, pathological sensitivity, seclusion, weak psyche; gentle, patient, discreet, deceitful, addictable.
(Neptune is in detriment in Virgo).
Neptune in Aquarius:
strange attractions, search for soul unions, dependent on others, noble aims, idealism, unfounded hopes, wild enthusiasm; helpless, drifting, deluded, insincere, easily swayed, fraudulent.
(Neptune is in fall in Aquarius).
I would like to express at this point that most of us have ‘dual characteristics’ in our charts, which is what I alluded to in the May 12 post about Pluto. We have Neptune in a generational sign, but we also have Neptune in a house, and, at least according to the Round Art (which I keep recommending that you have in your possession).
For me, Neptune is in Scorpio, but it’s also by birth in my 1st house, and by relocation, in my 2nd house. I did not post the Round Art definitions for Aries/1st house or Taurus/2nd house today. But you may easily have Neptune in Sagittarius but in the 6th house, so you can see the Neptune in Virgo and, at least from the Round Art’s philosophy, have those characteristics in your chart.
Is Uranus a generational planet? Well, it takes an average of seven years to go through a sign, so it is and it isn’t. I haven’t focused on Uranus in this way in quite a while, so it would be worthwhile to cover this in a future post.