Libra and the Collective Psyche in the 20th Century

Outer planets have a powerful influence on the personal psyche. They also symbolize massive transformations in the collective psyche as they change sign. When Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto transited the sign of Libra in the 20th Century, forces of good and evil clashed as we tried to find a balance between optimism, pessimism, tolerance, prejudice, progress, and regress. There was not much social or political stability.

While the planet Neptune (Pisces) transited the sign of Libra from 1942 to 1957, Nuclear weapons began proliferating. The first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima.  President Truman instructed the Atomic Energy Commission to produce an even bigger `Hydrogen Bomb’. The United Nations began blossoming. International cartels became firmly established. The European Common Market was recognized. The civil rights movement flourished. Group psychology became popular. The World Council of Churches was established. Mother Francis Xavier Cabrini, founder of the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus was the first American citizen canonized by the Roman Catholic Church.

The art world went through dramatic changes.  Allen Ginsberg became a popular poet writing, “I have seen the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness”. When Neptune left Libra in 1957, the bestselling novel was Peyton Place   focusing on sexual intrigue in a small town. People born between 1942 and 1957 tend to be overly idealistic in relationships.  They must learn to harmonize, compromise, and sacrifice.

While the planet Uranus (Aquarius) transited the sign of Libra from 1968 to 1975, the spirit of our nation shifted from optimism to pessimism. Faith in progress turned into disillusionment with national institutions and world progress. This period was marked by useless popular inventions like the “pet rock”, giant platform shoes, and shag haircuts. Punk Rock, along with primal therapy and streaking became popular. The Supreme Court legalized abortions in the first trimester of pregnancy (Roe vs. Wade). Governor Wallace, a racial bigot from Alabama, announced that he would be running for President on the newly formed American Independent Party ticket. He threatened to repeal the “so called civil rights laws”. Meanwhile, the most popular show on TV was a comic satire about a racist named Archie Bunker. Diplomat Henry Kissinger approved the financing of clandestine CIA activities in Chile aimed at preventing the election and inauguration of Salvador Allende as Marxist President. Patty Hearst was kidnapped and brainwashed by the Symbionese Liberation Army. A military junta deposed Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie.

While the planet Pluto (Scorpio) transited the sign of Libra from 1971 to 1983, growers and pickers finally reached a settlement that ended a nearly ten year grape boycott (led by Cesar Chavez). Farm workers finally had bargaining power. This time marked the official beginning of the environmental movement. The Supreme Court upheld busing as a way of integrating schools.  An assassination attempt left presidential candidate George Wallace paralyzed from the waist down. Prime Minister Idi Amin slaughtered over 300,000 Ugandans and alienated his country from the rest of the world. Violence in Ireland forced Britain to seize control of Northern Ireland and suspend the Protestant controlled parliament. An arm of the Palestine Liberation Organization terrorized the 1972 summer Olympics in Munich. In 1975 South Vietnam crumbled, bringing an end to the Vietnam War. Because of the Karen Ann Quinlan case, `right to die’ rulings were enacted all across the USA. The serial killer “Son of Sam” was finally put away after terrorizing the male and female population of NYC. Religious fanatic Jim Jones got his followers to commit suicide. John Lennon was murdered.

“Imagine there’s no country,

It isn’t hard to do.

Nothing to kill or die for,

And no religion, too.

Imagine all the people.

Living life in peace”

2 thoughts on “Libra and the Collective Psyche in the 20th Century

  1. Cuz
    You stop there.. I need to hear more.. your telling a story and making a point .. don’t stop now
    As an libran.. we need to know more
    To balance out the lack of knowledge ..
    And try and watch the Viet Nam documentary
    On PBS.. really good.. I’m learning a lot.. I missed
    A lot of it living in Hawaii and asia
    Z

    • Happy birthday Cuz (in 2 days)! You’re not a typical Libra. You have a ton of Scorpio energy and like me, that powerful sexual force needs to be channeled constructively and transformed from Scorpion to Phoenix. Because we’re almost the same age, we share much of the same outer planetary symbolism. We’re both about to experience a lot of spiritual focus and challenging enlightenment in 2018. If you’re in NYC in Feb., we’ll have much to share…

      looking forward to watching Ken Burn’s latest. thanks for commenting. XOm

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