What does Pluto in Capricorn mean to the family dynamic?
Have you ever tried to get a goat to do something that it didn’t want to already do? (virtually impossible). Goaty Capricorn behaviours are currently reflected in the family dynamics throughout the emerging western world. There are patterns of expectations and reward for specific behaviours deemed either good or bad / right or wrong. With Pluto’s slow transit through Capricorn we see the structure of family dynamics being challenged and questioned. It is creating an ‘all or nothing’ trend within families. The trouble is, no one is really budging. Let’s have a look at how this is happening…
In a similar way that Pluto in Capricorn is making society sit up and take stock of their relationship to world responsibility and resource, so too is Pluto in Capricorn making us consider the true nature of responsibility and resource within the family unit. Our family dynamics are having a long awaited overhaul.
Let’s look primarily at those with the most apparent power within the family. These are the Matriarchs and Patriarchs. The ones with the most resource, power and experience – these family members are now in a position of choosing between controlling or transforming their family structures. This is a new experience for them, because for many, they have worked tirelessly for only a few employers over a working lifetime. They haven’t really considered their family needs beyond the terms of providing a home, clothing and food for their children until they left school. That’s how it was for them. That’s how they were raised.
Family responsibility was much more clearly defined in their day, with social norms and strong expectations on behaviour. They were the ‘children should be seen and not heard’ generation formed of the Pluto in Cancer and Leo generations.
The Pluto in Cancer generation (1913-1938) who were fearful for their home and their family, experienced great suffering and sacrifice. Many losing relatives to war, many seeing (and feeling) the loss of structure within their home towns. These people had their security violated in a major way. Their challenge was to find structure, rebuild and regenerate. They became very skilled and resourceful and were expected to muck in. There wasn’t time to discuss or bicker within the family. Children fell into line, like soldiers to a general.
The Pluto in Leo generation (1938-1958), who are also now largely retired (or about to), had fears of being controlled by a tyrant/dictator. Seeing and feeling the horror of totalitarianism, they learnt to become their own power houses of control. Whilst they too were privy to strong family expectations, some of the hardships were wearing off during their childhood. They were raised knowing that they would recreate society, that they would be entrusted to ‘rule’ businesses and their homes in a new way. They had opportunities and took what they could, when they could.
Building on from the regeneration of the previous generation they oversaw the start of people management. These boomers got very wealthy from this and have profited from grabbing at opportunities and loopholes as they have occurred.
Both group of retired people, who owe lots of their wealth to the business practices of the 80s and 90s, and the housing boom, are now quietly seething that their younger family are struggling so much. They think they are irresponsible and have brought it on themselves. They see disrespect, dishonour and non-commitment from their younger family members.
Divorce isn’t yet common place for this generation, so you’ve also got an inbred culture of ‘making good of bad choices’. This generation are wonderful at shutting off their intuitions, passions and desires for the ability to live a ‘functional and correct’ lifestyle. It’s not really their fault, it’s how they were programmed during difficult times.
They had far less choice than subsequent generations, and did help to rebuild the western world. Now in retirement, they are taking a well-deserved rest, enjoying long foreign holidays and applying their own logic to new dilemmas. They think ‘if it (hard work) was good enough for me, it’s good enough for them’.
It’s my way or the high way!
From their perspective of hard work, gritting their teeth and making sacrifices, they feel within their power to assume that this would be the right strategy for their successive generations. Because they are reasonably comfortable in life, they are quite loathe to question, challenge and get involved in the way society is being shaped. ‘You don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ is a common ingrained thinking pattern here.
If you press them on their loyalty to the system, rather than listen openly to your concerns, you are more likely to be talked over, shut down or called ‘an extremist’! For them to question authority, they might have to change their thinking, and if they changed their thinking, it might change their lives. And they’ve worked all their lives for what they have now. All their trophies of comfort, they’ll be loathe to give up.
Growing dissension in the ranks!
The following two generations who are the bulk of the workforce right now are living the reality of what their parents and grandparents created for them. Not being so worried about security and authority as the previous generations, these people from the 60s, 70s and early 80s have been more concerned with quality rather than quantity. Their loyalties to their elders have been strained as they are raising their children very differently, in a very different world of contrasting needs. Torn between following their family norms and finding their own way, many have moved away from their place of birth. Physical distance and a preoccupation with having to make ends meet has granted them more anonymity from their kin.
The Pluto in Virgo generation (1958-1971), seeing and feeling the shift in globalism became aware and fearful of poisoning, ecological damage to mankind and the world. They grew up into the early environmentalists, starting movements, volunteering and creating ideas on radical healing. They also became the first generation to fear being part of a larger workforce, yet felt fear of not contributing. They were critical of the structures created before them and were looking at becoming more honest. As such they became the first real generation to separate and divorce en masse. (Their divorcing predecessors were more reluctant and less obvious. This generation were more concerned with the emotional poisoning of children and have lived in many different family units)
The Pluto in Libra generation (1971 – 1983), began to fear relationships, as a great shift of family divorces and separations took effect during their childhoods. Here the inequality between man and woman became real and this generation began to buck the trend of marrying young and following set family patterns. During their education, physical punishment (caning) was banned, beginning a new chapter (of personal respect) in education. They were also one of the earliest generations whose mothers routinely worked. The quest for finding ‘The Romantic Other’ began in earnest – maybe this is as a result of family separation so early on.
They were some of the first people to not ‘own’ their work process from start to finish as the employment world embraced micro-management, segregated tasks and dedicated work function teams. Whereas this culture was common practice within factories, it was now the norm in offices, boardrooms and retail. Job dissatisfaction, purpose and meaning has been questionable ever since.
As adults, both generations have faced choices of conscience in a new way. Where they divorced/separated their financial security was much less certain, yet they gave themselves the chance to rebuild and find happiness in the arms of another. Although both generations were quick to leave the family home following education, many have returned to live at home for brief spells whilst they find their feet again in between relationships and job change/loss.
Employment was no longer guaranteed, neither was there as much ownership involved. Therefore this generation became more specialist in their area of work and less well rounded. With less time to look after themselves, there is a general de-skilling occurring within this generation. They are more likely to pay someone else to fix their problems as they feel time deficient to learn themselves.
The rate of depressive illness, mental breakdowns and ‘being signed off’ increased during these two generations. It would seem that those who stuck to the ‘original formula’ of sticking at marriage and a job, have been the most stable (but not the happiest or most authentic). It would appear that there are cracks appearing in the mandated lifestyle that was created and passed down to these generations. The cost of living it has increased exponentially for them in comparison to their predecessors.
Mass cognitive dissonance
During the last 25 years, entertainment, leisure, sexual expression and inebriation has taken on a life of its own. With the electronic age in full swing the subsequent generations have not really known life pre-internet. There has been a mass numbing. With both parents working, many of the youngest three Pluto generations have been raised by the one-eyed babysitter (the television). Therefore the emotional disconnect between families, family culture and feeling loved has grown bigger.
The Pluto in Scorpio generation (1983-1995) are all of working age now. Their biggest fears and areas for transformation have been through the continued sexual revolution and move to ‘experience emotional belonging’. It is during their early childhood that AIDS first came on the scene, not to mention the nuclear threat.
Having had less meaningful contact with their parents, and more ‘leisure and fun’ experience, they have become a generation of thrill seekers, dare devils and sexual chameleons. Their ability to try new things, and throw themselves into the highs and lows of life is impressive. They are even more determined to live their life independently. Education during this generation has been ever more aspirational, in a way that does not match the faster changing needs of society. It would seem that society changes faster than they can study. And that as they have left education, what they have been taught is out of date for the job in hand.
It’s no wonder that this beautiful creative generation of people are falling prey to depression before they even leave education. The hopelessness felt by this group has incapacitated them and as such they are the first generation who have hesitated to leave home following education. And where it is difficult to get motivated and feel naturally high on life, the sexual confidence, relative affordability of drink and drugs, has left them finding their fix elsewhere.
The problem for them really is that they are waking up to the family and collective lies that their predecessors have been preaching and it is deeply uncomfortable. They can see the hypocrisy and they long for answers that they know their parents and grandparents are ill-equipped to give. Their greatest challenge is to find themselves on their own and rise from the proverbial ashes. If they are lucky, there may already be a trailblazer / rebel / ‘drop out’ within their family that has already challenged the status quo of the mandated lifestyle.
The Pluto in Sagittarius generation (1995-2008), has experienced fear of racism and religious and cultural belief. With the energy of 911 etched into their consciousness. It’s no wonder that they have had the most crazy induction into the experiment of freedom. On the one hand they’ve had access to the internet all their lives, and can connect with ANYONE around the world, 24/7. They have also been the generation to have the most fear based parenting, molly coddling and protectiveness. Yet inspite of the protections wrapped around this generation, the ongoing sweep into two income families has meant that much of their childhood was spent in a creche or in childcare. This generation have learnt to be more casual in their emotions, love and needs. They also have the least expectations for love from others. A practical adaptation from necessity. We have yet to see how this generation and the Pluto in Scorpio generation will live and serve humanity. It’s clear though that the pressure to survive is far greater than ever before and that society is broken. The question for them is how do they make it right again?
Transforming family dynamics through Pluto in Capricorn
It would seem that there is a collective family need for healing right now. Pluto in Capricorn is about responsibility and resource, and as I have suggested, the Pluto generations are all at odds as to how the world works. There is resource disparity throughout families, where those with control have all the resource. It would also seem that each successive generation has a harder time in establishing itself and in doing so ‘makes the other family members wrong’ by default.
It has and is creating unrest in family situations as when the younger members of families complain of their lot, the elder relatives are hurt. The world that has made their grandparent’s financially comfortable has in fact hurt the children and grandchildren. The grandparents are insulted by their offspring’s suggestions that their way of living is broken. The elder generations aren’t prepared to accept responsibility for this problem. ‘If only you could apply yourself and work harder none of this would happen’, they say!
This is not just happening within family units, but in communities. A growing conflict of them and us. Of the wealthy and the impoverished. Of the traditionalists versus the freedom fighters. And as the traditionalists pull rank together, people are becoming ever more polarised in their views of history, society, guilt, shame and behaviour.
“It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.” Jiddu Krishnamurti
Families that stick to their ‘official version of family behaviour codes’, will be put under greater and greater pressure. There’s a need for a collective family release. Where families persist in hidden shame, the pressure will leak out and eat at the most susceptible members. (most likely in the form of illness). With no avenues for authenticity you’ll have families breaking down at a faster than normal rate.
The Pluto in Capricorn effect in families, is most likely to affect the most ‘controversial and colourful’ member of the family. (ie the one who is most likely to consider things from a fresh/different perspective). This creates an instability and the rest of the family by default group ever tighter together to feel safe and peaceful once again.
If you’re one of the controversial / colourful family members, no doubt you’ll be feeling a bit scapegoated right now. You’ll be hard pushed to convince your family members with a clever argument or with facts and figures. The older generations don’t want to listen because it ‘makes their values wrong’ somehow. And whilst this is having an effect on families related by blood, that is not to say that you’re on your own. People are gravitating into new family sets, based on shared value systems, not blind faith and blood.
Families that allow themselves to challenge their identity, will grow stronger and more diverse which is what is needed right now. As they do that they are more likely to support each other (not out of duty, but out of love) and in doing so, will learn about how they can share resources, share skills and create even stronger sustainability for themselves.
It’s a time of being truly responsible and sustainable within families. This can only truly happen when the structures of hierarchy break down, and people find their own ways of contributing to the family collective. Each stage in family life is necessary and each generation needs the other to survive. It’s through learning how to appreciate each others’ contributions and working with each other, that families will transform.
The ultimate transformation through families, will be when each generation comes clean about their part in global society, and makes changes to set this right. For families that do this, it will involve everyone realising that where they have made short cuts in the desire to find security, it has been to the detriment of another. Where one member has profited, another family member has had to bear the cost financially and emotionally. It would seem that the corporate lifestyle and vapid consumerism that has become the way of the world, is in fact killing us all. Far from nourishing us, it is poisoning us. We need our elders, the people in our society with the most connections and experience to stand up, man up and lead by example.
- The older generations share their wealth without condition (and not at point of death!)
- The older generation finally considers where their greed (driven from a level of insecurity), has:- Bought them happiness, impoverished others indirectly, is even sustainable
- They move to be closer to the newer family consciousness. They don’t expect the younger ones to stay to honour their family shrines (err I mean homes)
- They stop pushing their security values onto other family members.
- They use their retirement time to challenge that which weakens the family dynamic
- The middle generations share their learning and experience on finding love and meaning honestly. They report on what it has cost them and how it has occurred.
- They come clean about whether their education has given them:- Greater earning power, opportunities to feel motivated, defined who they are
- They stop pushing their parent’s values (that they know don’t work) onto their children
- They allow their offspring to make their own love choices, free of guilt, shame and anger.
- They accept that in their haste to make life work, they have not been emotionally available for their offspring / younger generations
- The younger generations drop the illusion that their elders (with their current myopia) can guide them in changing their world, without changing their minds
- The younger generations invite their older relatives to meet them on their quest to turn everything around
- The younger generations stop numbing themselves to hide their concerns. They name their demons and begin to deal with them directly with the full love and support of their elders
- Every generation forgive themselves and others in their part of the family dynamic and drama. At best, their carefully rehearsed roles have given each other a dynamic learning opportunity that makes them collectively stronger.
Trading in guilts? It’s a shame!
If each generation can ‘own’ how it has peddled in family guilt and collective shame, they can begin to change how they operate and live without having to prove each other wrong. The transformation is to stop thinking so personally and taking offense. If and when this occurs, you’ll see families starting to re-group, heal and transform.
- With all generations sharing in food preparation, household chores, childcare and enjoying security.
- With families taking greater responsibility with researching safe food options.
- With relatives caring for each other when they are sick.
- With families being there through birth, life and death.
Where this doesn’t occur naturally, then the family dynamic is likely to break down altogether, and people will gravitate towards new value based family and friends to form their own family units. Society by it’s current terms is very difficult to navigate without support. Where there is a vacuum, there is a solution and it may be that the solution is outside of the family unit.