Finally, we’ve come to the current generation that is in the process of being born into these tumultuous times through which we are all living. This is the Pluto in Capricorn generation (2008–2024), and they have already been tagged with some preliminary labels — from the mundane (Generation Z) to the apocalyptic (Generation Omega). They may indeed live up to both monikers, as they will prove their place within the generational continuum, yet will likely live out their lives in a world that previous generations would find unrecognizable. A new era of human history (perhaps post-history) is about to begin, and the Pluto in Capricorn generation is destined to become it’s first citizens.
Collective Soul Purpose
As we’ve been exploring, Pluto in any sign represents our collective soul purpose: a mostly unconscious process that leads us — as a generation — to compulsively and habitually approach certain aspects of life in a similar way, as described by the sign Pluto was transiting when we were all born. This gives us our generational signature — a constellation of qualities that we possess and share with our cohorts that seem distinct from those who came before and after us. It represents the karmic issues we are trying to work out together over the course of our lives (and perhaps over many lifetimes). It provokes in each of us as individuals the need to grow, change and evolve. And our individual efforts, harnessed as a collective force, in turn effects some necessary changes in society and imparts some valuable contribution to the continued evolution of our culture.
So what is the “constellation of qualities” that characterize the Pluto in the Capricorn generation? This is a soul collective that is incarnating together to learn lessons around achievement, structure, value and purpose within the social context of systems, hierarchies, rules and regulations. This is a generation coming into the world prepared to roll up their collective sleeves and do the heavy lifting that will be required to save humanity from the brink of extinction. Why else would they have chosen to incarnate into this current culture of crisis? Only a group of souls armed with the requisite true grit and determination would be motivated to answer this collective “call of duty” at this critical juncture in the evolution of human history.
In the previous article on the Pluto in Sagittarius generation, we speculated on what we might call a Millennial Alliance. As we outlined, the peer group that conventional demographers have identified as the Millennial generation (1982–2000) is actually an amalgamation of two astrological generations — Pluto in Scorpio (1983–1995) and Pluto in Sagittarius (1995–2008) — with two similar but distinct orientations to life. They both have their eyes on reforming the social order, with Pluto in Scorpio seeking to affect change through raw power dynamics and transgressive sexual politics, while Pluto in Sagittarius will likely seek to implement a broader, more high-minded philosophical approach to evolutionary change.
The Pluto in Capricorn generation now being born, while part of this socially-oriented continuum, represents an inflection point in our collective unfolding, and the beginning of a new phase in the entire cycle, by virtue of it being a cardinal sign. From the perspective of evolutionary astrology, collective souls born under cardinal signs carry with them the message that a new chapter in human evolution is about to be written. Of the four cardinal signs of the zodiac — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn — Capricorn is the final and most mature, socially-oriented and objectively-motivated archetype of the group. All the cardinal signs are imbued with a sense of direction, purpose, drive and motivation. Their energies radiate out from the center, and demand they be put to a constructive use. Capricorn, being not only cardinal, but also an earth sign, tends to display this constructive purpose in very concrete ways. This is why Capricorn is considered the great builder of the zodiac.
It’s also ruled by Saturn — the old taskmaster — who’s sober, nose to the grindstone, matter-of-fact fingerprints can be seen all over Capricorn’s quintessential tendencies. Saturn is also known as the Lord of Karma, and is characterized by limitation, restriction, isolation, fear and crystallization. Any of these characteristics sound familiar in this era marked by the Great Recession and the coronavirus pandemic? This is what Pluto in Capricorn has wrought on a society. We are all feeling the gravity of the situation, the heft, the weight, the burden.
Let’s recall once again the keen insight of psychologist Carl Jung who made the following observation:
“Whatever is born or done at this particular time has the quality of this moment in time.”
— Carl Jung
In the context of our current discussion of the Pluto in Capricorn generation, when we emphasize the words “born or done” in the aforementioned quote, we begin to understand how the souls being born under this configuration are bound to possess the qualities of this time — heavy souls destined to carry the weight of the world on their broad shoulders.
I can’t say I envy this nascent Pluto in Capricorn generation, but I wanna thank them in advance for all the hard work that they have come into this world to undertake. Perhaps no generation in living memory has been born with such a collective burden. Arguably the last generation to require such gravitas was the Pluto in Cancer generation (1912–1937) who were born into an era that included the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, The Spanish Flu and two world wars. In fact, these two archetypes — Cancer and Capricorn — form a dynamic pair of opposites, and are thus connected in many ways. Each is the polarity point of the other, and this is a topic which we will explore in greater detail in a future article, for it represents a core concept in evolutionary astrology that holds the key to the potential for profound growth and change — in both individuals and generations at large.
But for the purpose of this discussion of Pluto in Capricorn, we can extrapolate a similar trajectory to the life cycles experienced by the Pluto in Cancer generation that came before. If we compare and contract the Cancer and Capricorn archetypes, we find that while they are both yin (inward-focused) and cardinal (initiating movement from the center outward), Capricorn is an earth sign and focuses its practical and grounded energy on the public and society at large, Cancer on the other hand is a water sign, and focuses its empathetic and emotional energy on the private, the personal, the family and the home.
The Pluto in Cancer generation (now age 83–108) was known as “The Greatest Generation” or the “GI Generation,” because of the young men from this cohort who served as the “boots on the ground” soldiers that fought the many battles of WWII. From our astrological perspective, a better moniker for this group might be “The Homeland Generation” — for they were a soul collective that was “all or nothing” about issues of home, family, safety and security, all concerns of the Cancer archetype. In all of the zodiac, you will not find a more patriotic generation than Pluto in Cancer. This is what gave them the grit and gravitas to survive the Great Depression and to sacrifice their lives for the love of their country. As a result of their selfless efforts, they laid a foundation and ushered in a new era — the postwar period into which all of us today have been born.
By association, we can expect the Pluto in Capricorn generation to answer a similar call of duty, not in service to only America, but with a mandate to carry the weight of the entire world. Only a generation imbued with the qualities of the “the old taskmaster” would choose to come into the world at this time. Therefore, we can expect some very “old souls” to be born under this configuration. They will embody a seriousness and a practicality that will stand in sharp contrast to the cerebral thinkers (Pluto in Sagittarius) and emotional power players (Pluto in Scorpio) who have come before them.
If the Pluto in Capricorn generation lives up to their potential, they will channel their heroic abilities and work to rebuild a better society. But like every archetype, they are prone to succumb to their shadow side, which would result in not the shiny new city on the hill, but a cold, repressive, pessimistic authoritarian prison of their own making. Remember, they have been born into this time of darkness, uncertainty, fear and repression. These qualities and characteristics have been imprinted on their very souls. They will be hard-pressed to shake off this pessimistic malaise. They may well opt for the safety and security of a repressed law and order state versus risk the freedom of a more liberal society — a path that seems to have created the very crisis with which we now find ourselves facing.
In many ways we are currently witnessing the emergence of the shadow side of the American body politic. The emergence of “memetic tribes” — groups of ideologues who are weaponizing the digital dissemination networks (aka social media), hunkering down in their media bunkers and launching “info wars” at perceived enemies who beset them on all sides — has produced a fragmented and fractured culture with warring factions empowered to express many deeply dangerous and largely unconscious fears that have lingered in the dark recesses of the American psyche for centuries. Sexism, racism, classism — all the “–isms” — are rearing their ugly heads seemingly all at once, as if demanding to to be seen and heard, looked at and examined, and (hopefully) resolved and healed. But the possibility also exists that they can be exacerbated or repressed, cynically manipulated or ruthlessly twisted to effect political or social control. This is the shadow side of Pluto in Capricorn, to which both “the qualities of this moment in time” as well as those born into it are susceptible.
How America as a whole — and how each generation (and each individual within it) — responds to this collective confrontation with the shadow will likely determine the character and quality of the new world order that is struggling to be born at this critical juncture in human history. Throughout this series we’ve examined the shadow side of each generational archetype along with its brightest potentials. The current composition of our society consists of six distinct but continuous generations, each with their own archetypal complex and collective soul purpose. The aggregation of the particular ways and means that each of these generations is applying to achieve these collective soul purposes is what determines the very nature of our society and defines the very character of our culture. We are all writing this history together — as a nation, as generations and as individuals. The only way forward is to work through our collective issues, in the spirit of cooperation and community, with understanding, kindness and compassion. The time has come for all good men and women and non-binary identifying Americans to come to the aid of their country.
In the next article, we’ll explore a tale of two futures — one scenario where we collectively embrace the better angels of our nature, the other where we succumb to the demons of our shadows — in the hopes of waking us up from our collective amnesia and motivating a greater sense of an intergenerational mission and purpose to rally and save our precious republic from imminent collapse.