The Generational Planets I : Pluto

For the most part, today’s post is not about relocation astrology. There will be some speculation about how it relates, but that’s not the main event here.

I have always been fascinated with generations and so became interested in the slow moving planets — Pluto, Neptune, and, to a lesser extent, Uranus. The planets spend a long time in each sign — Uranus roughly 7 years, Neptune roughly 14 years, and Pluto between 11 and 31 years (because of its highly elliptical orbit).

Demographers (mostly in the United States) have defined the generations — the Silent Generation (born before 1945), the Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1980), Millenials (1980-1995?) and Generation Z (after 1995?)

I am willing to throw that whole system away because it is arbitrary. People born in those time periods do not share certain fundamental things in common compared to people born under specific astrological signs for their generational planets.

According to their system, I’m Generation X, born in 1969. But really, I’m in the Pluto in Virgo generation (covering, roughly 1956-1972, including where it regresses right out into Leo and back into Virgo between 1956 and 1958, and where it regresses into Libra and back into Virgo between 1971 and 1972).

With Pluto the planet of transformation, death and rebirth, sexuality, money, the dark side, unconscious forces, obsession and compulsion, and affecting things like giant organizations and conglomerates, crime, and so forth, Pluto affects things that are very deep within us. It’s a planet I like to focus on.

In most cases, Pluto, 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:

  • Pluto in Gemini (1882/1884 to 1912-1914) — ?
  • Pluto in Cancer (1912/1914 to 19371939) — the Silent Generation
  • Pluto in Leo (1937/1939 to 1956/1958) — the Boomers
  • Pluto in Virgo (1956/1958 to 1971/1972) — Generation X
  • Pluto in Libra (1971/1972 to 1983/1984) — Millenials I
  • Pluto in Scorpio (1983/1984 to 1995) — Millenials II
  • Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008) — Generation Z

(Sadly, most of my sources go no further than 2012. I need to get new sources!)

I want to focus on the generations I know the most — those being Leo, Virgo, and Libra. I’ll do a bit on before and after.

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.

For Pluto in Leo:
“Pluto in Leo is all about power — witness World War II, the Cold War, the Korean War, and McCarthyism. This period saw the first atomic bomb, dictatorships all over the world — and the creation of the state of Israel and the United Nations. Power can be used for either good or evil, and the Pluto in Leo generation, with its natural self-confidence and sense of authority, seeks new ways to utilize power — sometimes for good, and sometimes for not-so-good.”

The Round Art corroborates this, rather bluntly:
dynamic emotions, authority, despotism, prominence, will to power, rule by force, extraordinary achievements; aggressive, tactless, brutal, powerful, boisterous.

We have been living with Pluto in Leo in our lives for decades, and they’ve held most of the power most of the time for close to thirty years. When you look at these descriptions, remember that Donald Trump, George W. Bush, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Al Gore all have Pluto in Leo in their chart. It is a very specific way of governing, whether a prominent leader like this or a more ‘normal’ person in a position of power. Notice that Barack Obama, born in 1961, is NOT Pluto in Leo.

For Pluto in Virgo, from the Idiot’s Guide:
“Tremendous changes in labor and industry resulted during the most recent Pluto in Virgo period: Computers arrived in the workplace; new medical discoveries made enormous strides in both preventing and combating disease; and humans set foot on the Moon — a technological feat unparalleled before or since. Pluto in Virgo natives are analytical, and often perfectionists, and they seek new ways to solve profound problems.”

From the Round Art:
inquisitive mind, fanatical zeal, accumulated detail, scientific objectives; brilliant, incisive, ascerbic, hyper-critical, investigative, profound, impossible.

Those of us with Pluto in Virgo, who are also aging like Boomers are, can be proud of these characteristics, even though we’re the forgotten generation and have spent relatively little time in power (though we are deserving of it).

Pluto in Libra gets interesting for me, because they’re both younger than I am and because they have pretty much come of age too. Many people I interact with have Pluto in Libra.

From the Idiot’s Guide:
“The most recent Pluto in Libra period brought both prison reform (and prison riots) and changes in the arts and international relations. Libra’s egalitarianism was manifested here in everything from the end of the war in Vietnam to Nixon’s trip to China to the healing of the nation after the storm of Watergate. Pluto in Libra natives seek harmony and cooperation.” (The guide was published 20 years ago, so it also said, “and, as this generation reaches adulthood we can already see the results of their Plutonian energies in their music and writing”).

From the Round Art:
fated partnerships, celebrities, fame, extraordinary power of assertion, personal magnetism, manifestation of genius; seductive, fascinating, disruptive, ruthless.

It seems like there’s a bit of contradiction, but I’d say that when we’re dealing with a potential characteristic, many individuals might exhibit characteristics on “both sides of the coin,” as it were. The issue is still there for those with Pluto in Libra and many of us in general.

I am going to include Pluto in Scorpio after all. The oldest of these are approaching 40, and America, in particular is a “youth culture.” (Whatever age we define as “youth.”)

From the Idiot’s Guide:
“Pluto’s most recent time in Scorpio saw a resurgence in interest in natural healing, and the rediscovery of “New Age” ideas. The most recent Pluto in Scorpio transit was the beginning of AIDS, and the period where all the “taboos” — rape, incest, sexual abuse, and scandals — came out in the open. The basic theme of this period is “transform or die.” Pluto in Scorpio natives (remember, Pluto is Scorpio’s ruler) are sensitive to their environment, emotionally intense, intrigued with the mysterious, and seek spiritual regeneration, sweeping away anything that stands in the way of their quest.”

I think this is a good time to reflect on these generations, from these descriptions, and be humble enough to recognize that each generation has its own priorities, needs, talents, strengths and weaknesses and to respect them.

For Pluto in Scorpio, the Round Art says:
fanaticism, tragic events, record achievements and endurance, rage, fury of destruction; transforming, maniacal, daemonic, homicidal, inspired, explosive, influential, subversive.

Wow! That’s pretty radical and out there. I think it’s safe to say that Pluto in Scorpio has been able, for the most part, to control their homicidal urges…

My parents were both born with Pluto in Cancer. My youngest nephew was born with Pluto in Sagittarius. That spans half of the zodiac, notable because Pluto takes over 240 years to move through the zodiac and they only span 77 years. Pluto has been in the fastest moving position, nearest the Sun and for much of this time within the orbit of Neptune. For the other half of Pluto’s orbit, the generations are as many as 30 years apart.

Pluto in Sagittarius, per the Idiot’s Guide “seeks personal freedom but also has a great faith in human nature, and is both philosophical and humane.” The Round Art says:
higher knowledge, spiritual pioneering, revolutionary ideas, striving for the unattainable, love of travel; fervid, iconoclastic, reforming, progressive, brilliant, uncontrollable.

Pluto in Cancer, per the Idiot’s Guide, “sought new ways to achieve emotional security and maturity and often love to break with tradition.” Per the Round Art:
heredity moulds destiny, unusual task, solitary research, emotions squandered; magnetic, contemplative, fated, destructive, insatiable, dominating, possessive, melodramatic.

I definitely saw this in my parents (born in 1924 and 1935, now both deceased). It seemed like the Round Art interpretation described things that definitely affected me throughout most of my life. My mother was an alcoholic and fights would get pretty violent. The destructive idea was something I noticed more and more as I got older, once I was aware of it.

At least three of my grandparents were born with Pluto in Gemini, though only one survived by the time I was an adult. The Round Art says:
ingeniousness, specialized writing, plagiarism, socially ruthless, organization, oratory, mass suggestion; brilliant, witty, critical, subversive, magnetic, adventurous, hateful.

Those of us that are older might have memories of the middle part of the century, either first hand or passed down through popular culture or our parents or grandparents — think of the movie Good Night and Good Luck, about Edward Murrow and Joe McCarthy, when Pluto in Gemini people were at the height of their power. Think of the idea of mass suggestion in the context of mid-twentieth century advertising (as sent up hilariously in the Tape Beatles’ “Music with Sound”).

Now, the place where relocation astrology might come into play here is through the Round Art interpretations. Because A.T. Mann argues that having a planet in a specific house is like having it in its corresponding sign, and because I agree with him, I’d say we’ve covered seven houses today — the 3rd house through the 9th house.

If you don’t own A.T. Mann’s “The Round Art”, you should. The interpretations of planets in signs and the aspects alone make the book worth it. Just know that if we have, say, Pluto in Virgo in the 10th house, we’d want to look at the 10th house/Capricorn, and if we move west so that it ends up in the 11th house, we’d want to look at 11th house/Aquarius. Thus these generational planets are also non-generational, in that sense. We might have things we can relate to with older or younger generations based on our Pluto’s house in our birth charts.

There are many other books with interpretations of Pluto. Some books focus only on Pluto; I have a few and I like Steven Forrest’s “The Book of Pluto” in particular. It was published in 1994 — he published “The Book of Neptune nearly two decades later. We’ll cover Neptune, the other truly generational planet, in a future post.

By David Muir

David Muir recieved his PAC as a 2020 graduate of the Avalon School in Vibrational Astrology. He has been a practicing astrologer having studied astrology since 1997. He specializes in relocation astrology, particularly in terms of how both one's character and external influences change in a new location. He has interests in compatibility, and just generally “getting the necessary information out there for you,” which can entail personology as well as different interpretations in general. David writes a 2x/weekly blog in both relocation astrology and other astrological topics of interest, on

David received a BA from Carlow University in 2011 with concentrations in philosophy, writing, and political science. He does a 2x/month radio show and has lived in Denver, CO since 2016.

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