During Pluto’s passage through Virgo, from 1956 to 1972, the contraceptive pill was developed, symbolising the strength of the feminine (Virgo) and the freedom to express one’s sexuality (Uranus-Pluto). In addition, it heightened awareness of STDs and the need to investigate the dynamics between the human psyche and its body and environment.
Pluto ushered in a new way of thinking about the Virgo domains of labour, health, and daily routines, and it helped mend the damage done by previous overuse of the planet’s natural resources. Self-help book sales increased, indicating that people’s interest in topics like cleanliness, health, and personal development expanded. During the course of a generation, society as a whole uncovered insufficient services and systems despite the widespread adoption of new ways and technologies for better living. This was also the time when the Feminine Mystique was published, which argued that women should not be so dependent on males.
“The people of the 1960s weren’t yet aware of what the “Atom Bomb” had really done, what pollution would mean, what a disgusting world was being created. They were too busy watching everything beautiful. It was foretaste, according to Nostradamus, of what would come again much later. In addition, there was a most interesting and unusual planetary conjunction in the heavens of the 1960s, a Uranus/Pluto conjunction in Virgo, the sign of daily life, natural law, and the cycles of nature. This conjunction reflected a period of radical change in thinking about the quality of daily life and certainly can be tied with the whole concept of “flower-power”. Nostradamus: The Millennium and Beyond
Black People on the Buses
A government court outlawed racial segregation on public buses in 1956, the year Pluto entered Virgo at 0 degrees. It required a lot of planning because black people (Pluto) relied on the bus service to transport them to work and white municipal officials did everything they could to make it impossible, including prosecuting the black cab services that had started charging a 10-cent-fare (the same as bus fare). Many violent incidents and numerous failed attempts at negotiation occurred. Around the time of this racial clash, Neptune transited Scorpio (Pluto’s sign), eroding boundaries, while Jupiter travelled through Libra at 0 degrees (growth via justice and equality).
U.S. President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in 1963, the year that Uranus formed a conjunction with Pluto in Virgo. The assassination occurred as Kennedy drove from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport into the city itself. Furthermore, all spheres of society, including the natural world, civil liberties, and politics, were receptive to change. Ruled by Uranus are political leaders, anarchy, and unexpected occurrences. The planet Pluto represents death and destruction. His death (Pluto) brought severe grief to the nation since John had represented vivacious optimism and progress (Uranus) to a new generation of Americans. Moreover, civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. (Uranus) was assassinated on the balcony of his motel.
New Wave of Astrologers
Some of the most influential modern astrologers, including Liz Greene, Stephen Arroyo, Robert Hand, and many others, emerged in the late 1960s and 1970s, during the Uranus conjunct Pluto. That, plus the fact that people were using public-domain astrology software very early on. In Astrology, Karma & Transformation: The Inner Aspects of the Birth Chart, Stephen Arroyo explains that he began studying astrology while the planets Uranus and Pluto were in near conjunction in Virgo, making an exact aspect to his natal Uranus.
The great changes that occurred under the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of the 1960s and the emergence of ‘New Age’ thought. Rudhyar coined the term ‘transpersonal astrology’, injecting judiciously selected elements of Jungian psychology into what is essentially Alice Bailey’s Theosophical framework of the evolution of the soul, and emphasising the possibility of spiritual freedom from what he calls the ‘socio-cultural patterns of the past’. This is a quasi-psychological, quasi-spiritual astrology expressed in the 20th century language of New Age culture, which still proves inspirational to a great many astrologers, particularly in America. Liz Greene
Further Reading: Three Conjunctions of Uranus-Pluto by Dane Rudhyar