It seems that there is a constant chatter about a pervasive sense of entitlement that has invaded our modern Western world. I can’t be the only one who considers that modern life is poorer for this, or maybe I am and I’m just getting bah-humbug older. We are so much more affluent and have many more life choices than our forebears ever had; in the Western world we rarely have to concern ourselves with just survival and yet we have rising levels of anxiety, depression, mental health issues and suicides. From a purely logical standpoint this doesn’t make any sense.
The dictionary definition of entitlement is given as the fact of having a right to something. But what really do we have a ‘right’ to? Do we even actually have a right to anything at all in life? We may hope, we may desire, we may strive towards certain outcomes, but if we feel we have a right to something and then don’t get it, then it follows that we will be unhappy. So could this be one of the reasons behind our societal malaise?
Entitlement has always tended to be associated with the moneyed elite who can buy their way to whatever they want, but nowadays it seems so much more evident in other areas of society as well, but perhaps nowhere more than the millennial generation – those born after 1980 to a ‘baby boomer’ generation who wanted better things for their children to experience.
The sense of entitlement is like a horrible toxic weed which pervades society and is indeed something which I believe is very damaging to society as a whole. As I said at the beginning of this article – do we really have an actual right to anything in this life?
So what kinds of entitlement might we be seeing now? Here’s just a few off the top of my head.
- Political entitlement
- Entitlement to fame and money without the merit of talent and hard work
- Not in my back-yard entitlement
- Nanny state entitlement – expect the NHS/government to fix everything for us
- Spiritual/new age entitlement
- Religious entitlement
- Philosophical entitlement
- Entitlement to my rights
- Social media entitlement
So, can we see some astrological signatures in the development of this entitlement disease? For this I like to look at the outer planetary cycles – the generational cycles – because these tend to mark changes which come from the social and economic forces evident within the collective.
First let’s go back to the 1930’s. This was a period of real hardship. We had a financial depression and the Second World War. People’s lives and security were threatened on many levels. Those involved fought in defence of their country, for their families, for their beliefs and for their basic freedom. At this point we had a meeting between Pluto, God of the Underworld, and Uranus, God of the Sky, very similar to that which we have experienced since around 2008 until now (2018).
The 1930’s and the more recent aspect between Pluto and Uranus were both squares – a square means conflict or clash. Pluto/Uranus speaks very much of revolution and social rebellion – the breaking down of old structures to bring about new – a radical restructuring of peoples and nations. Pluto is representative of wealth and power and wants to purge whatever is hidden or decaying for the purpose of transformation and regeneration, whilst Uranus, discovered during the 18th century Enlightenment period wants to awaken and enlighten.
This aspect represents the collapse of an old order to make way for a new. Uranus energy is symbolised in myth by Prometheus who gave man the gift of fire in order that he might achieve a new type of freedom through heightened awareness. So as Pluto breaks down the old order, Uranus sparks innovative and progressive thinking towards a new world order. This new energy can come in at a very fast rate and be almost shocking in its manner, particularly as it can appear in many different and highly unexpected forms. The first stage, however, is for Pluto to reveal what is rotten, what must be purged and what is going on underneath the surface hidden from view.
So I think we can safely say that we saw this type of energy in the 1930’s and over the last ten years we have seen economic recession, the Arab Spring, the refugee crisis, Fukushima, crisis in the EU, the Ukraine and in Syria. The Trump election and Brexit are both examples of a Pluto/Uranus conflict, but I believe both were born from the anger of a stratum of society who felt they were being totally overlooked; the anger and frustrations of a populace who felt that they were not listened to and that their own needs and desires were being overlooked. And they revolted!!! This came as a complete shock to other parts of society who in turn felt that what they considered as their right and entitlement was being removed.
At a conjunction the two planets are standing together so there is more potential for the energy to blend rather than clash. The Pluto/Uranus conjunction of the 1850’s saw epic scale innovation and new order because this was the period of the Industrial Revolution, the Gold Rush, and ordinary people getting richer. In actual fact this was the beginning of capitalism and mass production as we moved from industry based around farming and working the land to one based more around factories, towns and production. At the conjunction of Pluto and Uranus in the 1960’s we saw the Cold War, war in Vietnam as well as social and cultural change on an epic scale with an escalation of technological developments, advancements in space exploration and advancement in society, helped by the discovery of cheap fossil fuels such as oil.
I can speak first hand about the unprecedented rate of development of the sixties because I was a child of the sixties. It was magical, amazing – we were the first group of teenagers to actually matter and we were a mass market like no other before us, avidly drinking all that was on offer. We knew it was different and it was so exciting. This was the start of the counter culture and nowhere was it perhaps more noticeable for us teenagers than within music and fashion. The Swinging Sixties had arrived. We had the Beatles, the new bands of the 60’s, many of whom are still going today, and fashions aimed directly at them by designers such as Mary Quant and Biba. Technological advances such as transistor radios and affordable record players helped the spread. Girls also discovered sexual freedom for the first time with the advent of the Pill. After the austerity of the war this generation wanted to elbow their way to new types of freedom and new exciting cultures. Now, whilst their parents might have been rather shocked at what was going on, or not really understood what had hit them at the speed of a rocket, by the same token they wanted their children to enjoy their youth having had their own forcibly taken from them by war and deprivation.
We saw the beginnings of a drive for a new world with unusually rapid technological advances, an underlying spirit of restlessness for experiment and innovation and a desire to rebel against convention and conventional structures – we got a taste for the new and we wanted it quick.
The baby boomer children who grew up in the counter culture environment of the ‘60s then went on to have the millennial children who were parented very differently from the generation before. So, the millennial era benefited from the progressive views of the 60’s and became the era of child centred living – no longer should children be seen and not heard. The child was at the centre. These children were told they were special and too much of a competitive environment was discouraged. Nothing wrong with that you might say but it’s all about balance. And as the pendulum swings its not easy to find that harmonious point of balance.
And what did we have astrologically – a Uranus/Neptune conjunction between 1988 and 1997, the meeting of the two most ideological planets in the cosmos, which would herald yet another magical new technological cycle bringing with it astonishing transformations at a remarkable and unprecedented rate of knots. This was the time of the birth of the world wide web, the internet and everything else that the web has led on to, including the ‘selfie’. And for me the selfie is the epitome of the entitlement disease – can you get much more entitled than the ‘me me me’ vein of a selfie.
So, let’s discuss the forms of entitlement. Some, I think, are pretty obvious, but you might wonder why I put spiritual/New Age entitlement on the list. Well, New Age thinking has brought much that is good to our modern society, but I can’t be the only one who gets fed up with those who put themselves on a weekend course and then consider themselves to be so good that they now call themselves a practitioner. They have found a place of power and are completely working from their ego; they also tend to be the biggest spouters of the New Age type proverbs and sayings. Because the ‘alternative’ brigade is not really regulated as such, those who work hard and honestly at their craft are negatively affected by those who suffer from this ego entitlement.
Entitlement to fame and celebrity status is very much a modern disease, together with a desire to be famous and rich without possessing any obvious talent. On the back of this has spawned a huge swathe of reality TV series, which for me bear no relevance whatsoever to reality in any shape or form, but which seem to provide a good few with an envious lifestyle. But one wonders how much agents and production companies are ruthlessly exploiting these reality star, talentless people and making a lot of money out of them. And, in spite of their lack of talent, but because they are exploited and ruthlessly promoted, they in turn have become the heroes and role models of today for many of the young to aspire to.
Social media entitlement including the selfie – for which to my horror we recently devoted a National Day to it. How on earth did that happen I ask myself? I get Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, Armed Forces’ Day – but seriously, National Selfie day??!!! Now I am a fan of social media but everything in balance. And the problem with social media is how it can take over lives and produce an unhealthy sense of envy. Maybe we really do believe that all 2093 people on our Facebook are our true and faithful friends but, of course, we never put our humdrum everyday rubbish on Facebook – we put on posts when we are having a good time. But if the reader does not look between the lines and is also experiencing an unhappy time this can easily lead to an envy born from a disallowed and frustrated sense of entitlement.
We see now technology that is exponentially rising year on year so that our level of change is the greatest ever seen. However, we also have an exponential rise in mental health issues so I question whether we as human beings can actually mentally deal with the advances at the rate they are seen. Maybe some parts of society have already become a hybrid race – half human and half AI – as they spend their days bent over, glued to their mobile phones. Have we become slaves to technology now rather than masters of it?
And, of course, this is not all about Pluto and Uranus in aspect – there are many other factors. For the sake of time and space I’m just picking on the main ones. Since the 1930’s we have experienced an on/off opportunistic relationship between Neptune and Pluto which has fuelled a deeper awareness of, and study of, the workings of our unconscious mind; before the likes of people such as Jung and Freud we didn’t really think about how we felt and where our minds took us.
And it is against the backdrop of the Pluto/Uranus force for change that the next convergence of outer planetary transits will layer on top, and we have some extreme convergences between now and the mid 2020’s. Some of these convergences suggest that we could be on the brink of a new era.
We are coming up to a conjunction of Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn just before we see a new Jupiter/Saturn Great Cycle beginning at 0 degrees of Aquarius. Jupiter/Saturn cycles are historical markers and markers of socio-economic attitudes – this conjunction marks a move from the element of earth (capitalism, materialism) to air (intellect, mental attitudes, science, space). The cycle in earth began in the mid 1800’s and correlates with the Industrial Revolution, the beginning of mass production, mass movement of people, mass travel and the next will be the first in the air element for nearly a thousand years.
There are also some signs that have not been seen since the end of the Roman Empire as well as other signatures not seen since the Bronze Age. So, perhaps this signals a time when we will harness technology in the same way that we learned to harness metals in the Bronze Age. All these cycles see a mixture of negative and positive potentials. Saturn conjunct Pluto suggests the end of one era accompanied by breakdown, pessimism, crisis of authority, inflated entitlement, but it can also provide sustained purpose coupled with a high level of resourcefulness which can lead to the attainment of great success. What it suggests to me is that those who can dig deep within themselves will be able to push beyond and achieve. Those who will come through well will be those who are prepared, those who are able to work their way out of a given situation with tenacity and determination. They will have to truly be aware of any issues, own the responsibility for them and put in the hard work, effort and sustained focus that will be required. That won’t happen if there is a sense of entitlement – it will only happen for those whose strength of character allows them to put this aside and work through issues.
Before the mid 2020’s we will also see a conflict aspect between Saturn and Uranus which suggests that possibly structures which should never fail might just do so. This aspect heralds radical change to old, traditional ways and also suggests an increase in general angst and hypersensitivity. With this type of cycle those who will succeed are those who don’t resist change but rather embrace it and find ways to work with it. Those who fall by the wayside are those who cling grimly on to the old ways. It is possible that we may even see a failure of technology or with Uranus in Taurus, some kind of extreme climate change for which many will be ill-prepared but will nevertheless be forced to deal with.
Putting this all together I honestly believe that we are on the verge of a new era (which should be the contents of a further blog). But I will just give a few thoughts here of possibilities – you might care to add yours.
- Integration of technology with human biology alongside mainstream AI
- Huge leaps in technology, particularly AI and space exploration
- Major cathartic event for society
- Extreme climate issues – possibly cooling rather than warming
- Death of the structure of the planet which has to be faced
- Extra terrestrial disclosure (Roswell Saturn Pluto 1947)
- Massive confrontation with reality