A recent documentary on the 60s reminded me of the arrival of the hippies, counter culture, and new age movement that was precipitated in the late 1960’s. In the early 1960s I was living in San Francisco (attending junior high school) and had direct experience of hippies’ forebears – the beatniks. Even at so tender an age I loved the beatniks – I somehow empathized with their highly individualistic and eccentric fashion sense in an age of mind-numbing suburban conformity. While the world will focus upon the hippies, it was probably not an accident that hippies first flourished in the city of beatniks.
When anything new emerges, becomes noticeable or hits the world stage, it is usually after some lesser known developments have taken place. Finding the seed or source of emergent developments requires a Sherlock Holmes’ approach to history.
So while hippies having love-ins at Golden Gate Park or hanging out in Haight-Ashbury was a news phenomenon, the lesser known beatniks set the magic spell in motion. The beatniks evolved out of the Beat Generation first widely publicized by Jack Kerouac’s On the Road in 1957 and William S. Burroughs’s Naked Lunch in 1959. However the defining moment or original magic spell for this revolutionary wave is attributed to Allen Ginsberg’s poem Howl in 1955.
Howl promoted social misfits, outcasts, drug addicts as the best minds in society – severely going against the grain of the post Second World War conservative population. Howl introduced the anti-capitalist attitude that became so pervasive in the hippie movement. Howl was a little known revolutionary tract that was the seed for what eventually evolved into the New Age movement. Like the ring that binds them all, this poem allegorically cast the spell that has rippled around the world.
The New Age movement, and the spin-offs that it has produced such as the environmental movement, remains a peripheral or minority influence in mainstream society in western culture, and insignificant elsewhere. What do normal people think when they see people sporting dreads wandering around, tribal associations, elemental fashion and all the hallmarks of New Agers? People do what people have traditionally done and continue to do – they demonize them.
Society, cultures and sub-groups love to demonize others that are different to themselves. Most people are genuine and sincere and therefore feel that their own approach to life, the universe and everything is relevant and reasonable, and so anyone not following this approach must be strange, untrustworthy and even evil. The Nazis did this to the Jews in the 1930’s following a long European tradition of persecuting the Jews because basically they were slightly different. The persecution of recreational drug users for example is just another example of the ongoing demonization of minorities and sub-groups. We have also seen this with homosexuals, single mothers, illegal immigrants and so on.
New Agers promote different concepts, don’t value career or ambition as much as mainstream society, tend to avoid organized religions, wear funky clothes, like alternative medicine, take an anti-war and anti-violence stance and so on plus are pro-choice on just about everything. Imagine if they ruled the world? Would the person of the year be maintaining a small sustainable organic farm with solar power and riding an electric bicycle in place of a car?
As absurd as this all sounds, the astrology of the Age of Aquarius does support the growing influence of the amorphous New Age movement in the world over the coming one and a half centuries. The reason why is not directly due to the Age of Aquarius, but the Scorpio sub-age within the Age of Aquarius. The Age of Aquarius has twelve sub-ages, and the Scorpio sub-age arrived in 1791, reached its culmination point in 1960s and 70s and fans out its influence to at least 2148. This is why the 1960s and 70s was such a revolutionary period as Scorpio is a sign of revolution (see The Aquarian age did not begin in the 1960’s or ’70s)
Key developments that occur around these dates (1791, 1970 & 2148) portend long term and significant developments. For example from 1791 onwards two significant revolutions occurred that took over a century to reach their goals. Firstly, and quickly, women began fighting for equal voting and legal rights, and only a few decades later the downtrodden workers began fighting for better working and living conditions.
Both these revolutions were hard fought throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries, and it was not until the early 20th century that Western culture generally gave women equal voting and legal rights. By the second half of the 20th century the working class in western culture arrived at their Mecca. Deep cultural developments take time to arrive.
The emergence of the counter culture, hippies and New Age movement at the critical 1960s and 70s also puts a new ball in motion down a bowling alley that is over one and a half centuries long. It is unlikely that in the middle of the 22nd century that the President of the USA will be wearing flairs, sporting dreads, and smoking a joint in their address to the nation. However it is very likely that the core attitudes of the New Age movement will be a major part of the mainstream political apparatus, though not necessarily dominating society.
The world is always moving into new territory and the ages with their sub-periods can foreshadow the journey ahead. The sub-age following Scorpio is the Libra sub-age. The Scorpio and Libra sub-ages have overlapped since 1970 and by 2148 Libra will be as triumphal as Scorpio’s revolutionary fervor was triumphal in the 1960s and 70s. Libra promotes balance, compromise and peace.
The growth of Libra from 1970 onwards (at about the time of arrival of the Peace Movement) will accelerate significantly around 2060 onwards. Libra the Scales is a dual sign (like Gemini the Twins and Pisces the two fish). This suggests that society will not be a homogenous monotone mainstream with very similar values. It suggests that two very different outlooks will coexist side-by-side at a minimum. Based on previous examples, I predict that the current mainstream outlook upon the world will continue to evolve into one significant aspect of society while the New Age pro-environment outlook will evolve into the other bloc.
So while hippies may not rule the world in 2148, their descendants’ evolved cultural values and outlooks will significantly contribute to the world’s culture. It is perhaps the addition of this new holistic outlook, balanced with the current consumerism outlook in the world, which may save it from the worst excesses of the environmental vandalism that has been unleashed upon the world since the Industrial Revolution. Libra implies that these two blocks will learn how to compromise. The penalty for not compromising in a Libra environment is fighting losing battles – just like Iraq!
For a more comprehensive examination of the above topic, see The Silent Revolution.
Further resources from Terry MacKinnell
www.macro-astrology.com – details of purchasing the book available
The Age of Aquarius for Dummies – explains the structure and sub-periods associated with the astrological ages
Aquarian Age Economics – Examines the relationship between macro-astrology and financial cycles
At the Cutting Edge of the Aquarian Age – Cutting edge research into the astrological ages for astrologers
FaceBook – keep up to date with what is happening