Heavens Above! Archetypes of the Mythic 1960's
Text and edits by Erin Sullivan from excerpts in "Flashing on the Sixties" by Lisa Law, Chronicle Books, ©1987 and 1997. Her book of iconic photos and text from the early 1960's onward. Lisa Law asked Erin to add the astrology of the times to her iconic book, and this is the edited excerpt from that book.
The sixties were really only eighteen months long, but what an eighteen months! This fated time of full-blown revolution in global consciousness was seeded in the firmament aeons ago, and to pinpoint one astrological aspect is to freeze the fluidity of the cosmos, however, having said that, there was an astrological phenomenon which reflects those seminal times of change.
The period which "Flashing on the Sixties©" by Lisa Law covers - a brief, but pivotal time in the history of the evolution of consciousness - was marked by astrological phenomena which exemplified the two-millennia-long developing split between nature and culture. The once philosophical divide became a vast chasm, and those born right around the second world-war and through to the 1947/48 period had the nuclear and revolutionary aspects of the planets Uranus and Pluto, accompanied by Saturn and further embellished by the romanticism and idealism of Neptune in Libra, imprinted in their individual psyches. As a collective, acting on 'impulse' and following the inner voice, the war and post-war babies came of age in the profound meeting of opposites beginning in 1964 and culminating in 1969.
It is necessary for each successive generation to overthrow the previous - such is the nature of 'progress'. Saturn always devours his children and Jupiter always liberates them, creating a new mythology. However, the difference between the coup of the sixties and other social paradigm shifts, is that it was a global phenomenon and involved the outermost planets -- the collective planets, the planets of consciousness. The real revolution occurred in the brain, in the mind, in the psyche - it was not territorial, it was ideological! And, we were not simply, and justly, overthrowing our parents, but an entire epochal ethos! And, we continue to do so, and our children, and their children will too, for time is illusive and we are not yet saved.
The confrontation of Saturn in opposition to the nuclear conjunction of Uranus and Pluto (1964/5) was the generational stamp of the times. Saturn epitomizes the old man, the dying age, the death of the Golden Age, the past, history and the previous generations, while Uranus is change, individuation, group ethic, collective consciousness, as well as revolution, and Pluto is the edge of our known solar-system, thus, representing that which lies beyond individualism and toward global awareness - particularly awareness of nuclear threat, life's terminus and powers beyond the human sphere of conscious knowledge. All of this brought about the turning point in both individual and collective values. This astrological configuration was the inauguration of the exploration of the outer reaches of inner space.
Tribal affiliations and family dynamics began to form in archaic yet new-age ways, based on ideology and ethical concerns rather than by blood-family association and inherited pressure. The new minds broke loose in the millions and sought each other out! The meeting of opposites in the heavens brought to earth the necessity and urgency of change. The massive collective force brought by the Saturn opposition to the Uranus/Pluto conjunction in 1964/5 exploded in the way all cultural revolution is always demonstrated -- through the arts, in music, symbolism, literary and poetic revival, religious expression and iconography -- and political action. The sixties produced original imagery - florescent lighting and colour and a new kind of darkness (black-light), rainbows, motion art (light-shows) coupled with fabulous body decoration -- tribal signatures which clearly demarked an individual's affiliation (straight, flower-child, hippy, freak, biker, mod, rocker, et cetera), new social order, protest as political-method, and of course, the dark side of the light-revolution (the threat of global death). Hence the Hog Farm's first show 'on the road' was at Los Alamos, New Mexico, where we erected the portable icosahedron dome-frame, I set up the light show with Helena Lebrun and began the (still ongoing) work of de-nuclearizing New Mexico and the world.
The Road Hog, painted, collaged and montaged by Paul Foster and me early in 1968 at the original Hog Farm in Sunland Tujunga, epitomizes the mobile consciousness-raising tribe that the Hog Farm inadvertently became. Paul Foster (the harlequin-suited one) and me (in this picture, four months pregnant with Spirit, inside the bus, avoiding the throng as usual) prepared the Road Hog in altered states of consciousness for the purpose of creating alternative states of consciousness - we, the Scorpio freaks, worked on this bus at (very) odd hours in preparation for moving off to New Mexico via Kesey's farm in Oregon; then, later, all blown out by an accidental acetylene explosion, to take thirteen of us core-group Hogs from New Mexico up to Woodstock, New York, thence to White Lake and Yasgur's farm to prepare the grounds, sounds and space for the now historic three days of rain, music, rain, love, rain and peace (sort of). 'On the road' was reflected in the heavens by Jupiter and Uranus in Libra coming to conjunction by January of 1969 to bring both the gathering and the distinguishing of the various tribes formed in the previous three years. The god of the traveler, ideology and tribal affiliations (Jupiter) meeting with the planet both of individuation and collective identity (Uranus), sent factions of the Hog Farm hurtling around the US and, later, the world in aid of cross-cultural collaboration for world peace, ecology and a new system of order.
By August 1969, the planets had moved into perfect alignment for men to walk on the moon, and hamburgers, hot dogs, Levis and rock stars to be dropped out of emergency helicopters into the cow-fields of the Woodstock festival. The outer planets were about to change signs, marking the end of the experimental stage and initiating a decade of underground incubation -- the seventies. The famous Haight Street funeral had already taken place, and rebirth not yet happened! This was the turning point. This time gave rise to the global crisis/opportunity (wu-chi) which now faces us in the coming of the new millennium, where past and future must meet in the present.
So, here we are today, in 1996, at the Saturn return of the sixties - are we there yet, or are we just maturing the philosophy born out of revolution and passing the torch to those born under the aegis of the sixties configurations - our children have the next planetary-evolutionary stage imprinted in thier psyche! It's all about evolution and revolution - around and around we go, people and planets all in a conspiracy of movement and change.
Erin Sullivan - Founder Hog Farmer 1967; 'TransEuphoric Express light-show' in Vancouver, B.C. in 1965-67; and Hog Farm light show 'The Single Winged Turquoise Bird' for San Francisco shows and the Shrine Auditorium in L.A.; main artist on painting the 'Road Hog', along with Paul Foster and others - the Hog Farm bus which went on the road in 1968 and to Woodstock in 1969; she is the artist who painted the mural on the Kesey Creamery in Springfield, Oregon, 1971; now full time consultant astrologer, lecturer and author of five books. She is the Series Editor for the Arkana, Penguin, Contemporary Astrology Series.
The Sixties in the Nineties
Well, the ideals might remain still, but the achievement is a bit different than foreseen! With the current planetary picture in the mid-nineties leading into the millennium, we are not looking at any kind of re-visioning of the sixties. The sixties are then, this is now. The level of angst and violence in the collective consciousness is exactly what lay in the collective unconscious of the 'peace and love' era so famous to us now.
The violation of human ethics, and ecological conditions is emerging in a radical polarization of the so-called youth of the late nineties....their anger has no effect, and thus is particularly dangerous to them. The anger of the sixties did have an effect, whereas today, it simply goes out into the universe, where all the pollutants are sent.
The future, however, with the new generations coming into being, the Pluto in Sagittarius, Neptune in Aquarius babies are the new tribal order. Their function is to find comfort and safety within small collectives - because it will be truly "one world, one mind" and this is not as lovely as it sounds.
It will take decades, possibly centuries for this new manifestation of social and global paradigm shift to 'work' . . . and, when it does, begin to click in around 2035, then, we will see the new order. That is when the Pluto in Sagittarius people will be in power, and that is when the dream of the nineteen-sixties just barely begins to bear fruit. Power to the future!