Generation X – dark horses who avoid the limelight



Generation X, who are so dubbed following on from the baby boomers, were born (with varying dates) from roughly 1960 to 1977.

Sociologists described them as alienated youth, the “latchkey generation”, who had less adult supervision because of increasing divorce rates and working mothers. They were sometimes characterized as slackers, cynical and disaffected, into grunge and hip hop. In midlife, they appear to have become active, happy, and achieving a work–life balance. ‘Independent, resourceful, self-managing, adaptable, cynical, pragmatic, sceptical of authority.’ They are also credited with being the greatest entrepreneurial generation in U.S. history; and are deemed to be a “dark horse demographic” which “doesn’t seek the limelight”.

Astrology doesn’t lump together such a wide span of years into one astro-generation. Pluto was in Virgo from 1958 to 1972; Neptune in Scorpio 1958 to 1971. Uranus in Virgo 1962 till 1969 and then in Libra for seven years.

The 1960s batch would be very different from the 1970s, especially the mid-1960s when the revolutionary, inventive and erratic Uranus Pluto conjunction was around, at times in the tough-minded opposition Saturn in Pisces. Pluto in Libra from 1972 is a different energy, putting more focus and pressure on relationships.

Neptune in Scorpio might account for the grungy musical tastes. Pluto in Virgo would bring a changing attitude to work and health. Especially in the 1960s there were advances made in the area of health with leading-edge Uranus Pluto around. Virgo is also an understated planet, less flamboyant than the Pluto in Leo boomer generation. The X-ers would come of age sexually as AIDs erupted in the 1980s.

They do seem to have matured from disaffected youth to solid citizens; and were the heroes of 9/11 with most of the firefighters and police coming from this generation.

25 thoughts on “Generation X – dark horses who avoid the limelight

  1. I was born in 1957 and I am a baby boomer but our experiences were different to the early baby boomers. My husband is eight years older and we lived in different worlds really. I would say us late fifties overlap into Generation X

  2. Yes, Hugh, astrology has the edge. Marjorie’s post re Gen Z really confirmed my thoughts about a generation of children in Syria and Yemen. How on earth are they coping with a hundred ways to die, no education, their homes turned into rubble and no end in sight. Same generation as the Florida students but probably displaying the dark side of Pluto in Sagittarius as they mature. A blanket statement from the sociologists or the demographers really doesn’t compare to the razor sharp astrology.

    • The demographics obviously has a role to play in how each country’s generations experienced the astrological influences. In the UK many of the children born in the peak birth years of the early 1960s hit the job market as the early 1980s Thatcher/Reagan recession hit. This produced record youth unemployment in the UK and by 1983 over 3 million people were on the dole many of them fresh out of school or University. There was a big divide in Britain at that time between the young who had well paying jobs (yuppies) and those who did not. The generation itself was divided in a way that millenials at least ostensibly are not. The latter tend to find work but the pay and opportunities are not as good as for certain groups in past generations and they struggle with housing costs. I think the problem for modern youngsters when viewing previous generations is that they believe that they were all winners economically all the time when the picture is a good deal more complicated particularly for the Thatcher years

  3. All of the comments thus far refer to Pluto and Uranus in Virgo, Neptune in Scorpio, Chiron in Pisces, etc. I’m at the tail end of this range: Pluto and Uranus in Libra, Neptune in Sagittarius, Chiron in Aries. I’m not sure how much my cohort has in common with those born a decade earlier. They were teens pre-Reagan, in the freewheeling 70s. We were teens post-Reagan, at the peak of HIV-related fear.

    • It really doesn’t make any sense sociologically, really. The only common experience between children born in 1960 and in 1977 would have been spending their childhood truly fearing for Nuclear Annihilation. Also, Cold War, but that would include Baby Boomers and early Millenials.

      I think that in Europe, at least, there’s a huge Generational Shift around the time Pluto shifted from Libra to Scorpio. I have cousins and collegues born from 1982 to 1984. Their Worldwiew is just… different. But that doesn’t mean I’d completely relate with people born in mid 1960’s, either. They entered the workforce covered the way I never was. Probably worked for a decade in almost analogue World, and were well above entry level when internet came in.

      • I’m on the way earlier end, born in Sept 1958 with Pluto in Virgo, Neptune in Scorpio, and Uranus in Leo (Saturn in Sag). I think I may be more Gen X than Baby Boomer, so not sure I’d put 1960 as the cutoff. Though I have many Boomer friends, I had a much different experience growing up than they did. I watched all the chaos of the 60’s on TV. I heard a consultant once who said children form their views of the outside world when they’re around age 10. If 1968 in the US is my worldview, shunning the limelight seems an exercise in self-preservation! Also, the economy had tanked by the time I got out of college, so no more free rides and bumming around without need of a steady job.

    • Same here: March 1972. (And British, so I’m a Heath Baby!). The whole idea of generations, astrological and sociological, is fascinating, so I’m following this thread with a lot of interest.

  4. It is the astrology that provides the astro-generations and baby boomers are not really the result of the increase in children as the men came back from war. The true baby boomers are those with Neptune in Libra (make love not war and the hippy tendencies) and Pluto, perhaps also Saturn, in Leo (not wanting to be in the limelight). This is the generation where women found new freedom and marriage was not necessarily for life.
    As an aging child astrologer I have found that the generations give great insight into what we can worldly circumstances we can expect when the various generations are adult.
    Generation X grew into the Thatcher years, mass-unemployment and the miners strikes. From this they learned how to make their own way in the world. Dare I also say that quite a few of this generation – not all of course – are more than interested in the occult or esoteric.
    The generation with Neptune in Aquarius are possibly going to be in charge of a complete change in the politica arena and journalism/…..? More innovation, new inventions, etc.
    Perhaps, Marjorie, you would look into what the future might hold for the generation with Neptune in Pisces and the Pluto/Saturn conjunction in Capricorn yet to be born.

  5. I’d also like to think that we’re heavily involved bringing feelings and empathy to the national or international dialogue, with our Chiron in Pisces. In the US, we’re definitely therapy-zed, having been latckey kids, as you say…

  6. Pluto in Virgo – in the uk as we came of age, the Children of Thatcherism – the youth who remember the first female PM, the Iron Lady or the Plutonium Blonde as she was also known. The destruction of Industrial Britain and the loss of manual industial jobs. Low unemployment at the start of her reign. It gave rise I remember to many freelancers as well as entrepreneurs. Also, the beginning of Green politics and a rising consciousness of environmental issues.

    The Pluto/Uranus conjunction of the mid-sixties coincided with the increasingly rapid development of technology in the workplace (my father worked for such a company at the time). We were perhaps the first generation to utilise the results of these developments.

    Neptune in Scorpio – lack of boundaries in the sexual sphere. The glamourising and depiction of sex in cinema and tv. The late sixties saw the repeal of the anti-gay laws and the relaxation of restrictions in the theatre, tv and film.

    Neptune in Scirpio

  7. You’re right Hugh, the UK “Baby Boom” had a double peak, the second one in the mid 60’s. The ONS has a handy graph
    However, note the very sharp drop after that towards 1976/77. One reason Gen X continued to span such a big period of time, even years after Coupland’s book, is the low 70’s birth rate. It was easier to lump them all in. Strauss/Howe type generational theories were always much bigger in the US, Britain’s marketers and political think tanks would segment far more by class and geography (your ABC1’s etc), but that has changed in recent years.
    What is interesting about Gen X (ok, at least to a geek like me) is that the sharp drop in birth rate came as Uranus approached Pluto and reached rock bottom as Uranus approached mid Scorpio (when the death rate overtook.)
    The X’ers also don’t integrate this identity into their own as much as the Pluto in Leo Baby Boomers – who will often proudly tell you they are boomers. Uranus/Pluto and Uranus Scorpio seems to go the other way; the cynicism Marjorie describes is spot on.

    • Just for chuckles – I’m one of those Pluto (conj Jupiter) in Leo babies…I’m hardly one to brag about being a boomer. I always felt it was a wasted branding…and so self-centric, that of being a boomer. Was the drop in birth rate due to astrological influences…or a more reaslitic reaction toward the concept of “an affordable family”. Very few now create familes with more than 3 or 4 children. Unless one wants to be identified as “a Duggar”. I recall the social impact of a ZPG – “OMG there goes my social security lifeline! No more kids to pay for my rescue!”

      • Haha I don’t mean people go around wearing t-shirts Larry (though I’m sure they exist) and I think British boomers say it with a sense of bemusement as it wasn’t a big concept here until recent years. But I feel that they’ve always had a stronger group identity, generally speaking – that’s my experience. This is despite there being more difference between American and European boomers culturally than is the case with Millennials, who experienced a more diverse, globalised culture.
        The drop in birth rate in the UK came after the contraceptive pill and legalised abortion. It follows the Uranus/Pluto and Uranus in Scorpio pattern described. However, it didn’t happen everywhere, the story was very different just across the sea in Ireland, where the population went up for the first time since the famine. The common theme is a change to the previous norm and is worth bearing in mind with the upcoming Pluto in Aquarius.

    • And it’s still different for other countries. Finland only counts births from 1947 to 1952 as “boomers”, but these generations were huge. My Dad is born 1950, mother was born very early 1952. They both have 3 siblings, and this was a norm. Unsurprisingly, early 1970’s classes were big, too. We had the biggest (pre)teencraze ever in 1984-1986 with a kind of neogoth rock band. Music festivals peaked in the mid-1990’s. Nowadays, it’s almost impossible to make these things fly, because there simply aren’t enough Young Adults.

  8. 1968 the US, when Uranus was in the last degrees of Virgo, shifting into Libra the next year:
    Vietnam protests heat up, protesters killed. Martin Luther King killed. Riots in over 100 cities. 39 killed, 2600 injured, 21,000 jailed. Robert Kennedy killed. Rioting in Chicago at the Democrat convention. Nixon wins over Humphery by .07 percent. The war in Vietnam goes on for 7 more years under Nixon (as does Uranus in Libra).

    1968 was square in the middle of the X gen. Their parents were highly influenced by what happened, and this in turn had an effect on their parenting.

    • But no shouting and having temper tantrums about a rigged election, either. “Nixon wins over Humphery by .07 percent.”

      • Such innocence back then. No one could conceive that Nixon was a psycho who would send their sons to the meatgrinder for another 7 years.

        • Now that I think about it, I’m declaring it and the 72 election as rigged and I’m going to have a trantrum. Oops, MUST SHOUT TOO. Ahhhh, I feel younger already.

          • “Cadet Bone Spurs”, that made me think Who? Then have a laugh when I figured it out! You do have a way with words, larryc.

  9. US Demographics are not the same as those of countries in Europe so the arbitrary generational dividing lines that Americans have created don’t work that well outside their borders particularly when it comes to splitting so called post war baby boomers from Generation X.

    For example the post war baby boom in the UK did not end until the late 1960s. In fact far more babies were born in Britain in the 1960s than the 1950s. I think this trend is also seen in Continental Europe where countries took at least a decade to recover with austerity and rationing being the norm up to 1955 unlike in the USA. Astrology probably provides better and more subtle markers for the generational shifts in culture that have occurred than the populist demographers who peddle their theories to the media. And naturally as time passes the character of generations changes under the influence of their changing environment.

    • Agree, Hugh, also the US demographics tend to be slanted towards white kids rather than Hispanic and other youth of colour (if that’s the correct expression nowadays, no insults intended).

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