Tuesday, July 29, 2014

The Way of Things - Cycles and Generations

Round, like a circle in a spiral
Like a wheel within a wheel.

Never ending or beginning,
On an ever spinning wheel
Like a snowball down a mountain
Or a carnaval balloon
Like a carousell that's turning
Running rings around the moon

Like a clock whose hands are sweeping
Past the minutes on it's face
And the world is like an apple
Whirling silently in space
Like the circles that you find
In the windmills of your mind

Hear Sting sing it HERE

(Warning: Long post!)

A column titled "A New Breed, But Millennials Should Be OK" by a friend and in-law, who edits one local newspaper and writes a weekly column for another, sent me scurrying down one of the internet's numerous deep rabbit-holes, as well as into my own cavern of archives.
SNIP from his column:
We who’ve lived a few decades are told we must study and understand the Millennials; we must adapt to their unique needs.

What are those needs? Experts echo the theme Millennials are selfish and irresponsible (a generalization that’s insulting to them); and the answer to nurturing Millennials is to understand them better (a solution that’s insulting to us).

Every generation of “older folks” has the prerogative to become crotchety and play the sorrowful kids-are-going-to-Hades card. But what’s different this time is that we keep getting told we have to put up with the Millennials and their generational peccadilloes.
When the whole column becomes available at the newspaper's website I'll link to it here. I'm no expert on the fads and foibles of any generation, especially the younger ones. Even on my own, War Baby generation, I could lay no claim to expertise. We're now well past our best, sadly few and far between on the net these days...at least on that part of the net I frequent, there are some residing in corners where I refuse to wander, talking about stuff I prefer not to think about.

Any passing reader interested to see a few of my own words on generational matters: easy pickings - just click on "generations" in the cumulus that is
"Label Cloud" in the sidebar; there are several posts, 2008 on, touching on generations and generationalism.

The habit of pitching one generation against another, a game seen regularly around the internet, remains objectionable to me, another form of bigotry in fact, when taken to extremes. Stereotypes, though not without a tiny kernel of validity, can soon become toxic, like the stereotypical notions that women nag, men are henpecked, Americans are loud-mouthed egotists, Brits have bad teeth, French are cowards, Italians pinch women's bottoms...etc.etc.etc.

Vast arrays of variety exist within each generation, it's like millions of different melodies being played, but with a distinctive background "humm" going on, a "humm" peculiar and individual to each age-group - something which draws the group together, and at the same time sets them apart - yet it is only a subtle background "humm", not the melody, not the composition, not the lyrics.

Astrology understands this.

A serious study of what the generations actually do comprise is a different matter. A study either considering said "background humm", or not considering it at all, but studying how whatever the generations do comprise affects aspects of life for all of us. Even then, though, it depends which part of the world one is considering. The English speaking (or more properly English reading) internet is heavily weighted towards the USA in most things, the topic of generations follows this pattern. It's hard to find much that's specific about Britain, in this respect, though I did see a few articles on Australian generations - possibly inspired by some new book or TV programme there. How generations, say from the 18th century until now, have formed in the USA and how they have formed elsewhere in the world via background and experiences, even in the land of the USA's closest cousin, Britain, has to be so different as to possibly negate all attempts to classify. Having said that, keeping it in mind...

Studies and several books by William Strauss and Neil Howe, see Wikipedia , and Amazon are of interest.

For example, their Generations: The History of America's Future, 1584 to 2069 (1992) was described by former Vice President of the USA, Al Gore as "the most stimulating book on American history he'd ever read". He even sent a copy to each member of Congress. The book is described:
William Strauss and Neil Howe posit the history of America as a succession of generational biographies, beginning in 1584 and encompassing every-one through the children of today.Their bold theory is that each generation belongs to one of four types, and that these types repeat sequentially in a fixed pattern. The vision of Generations allows us to plot a recurring cycle in American history -- a cycle of spiritual awakenings and secular crises -- from the founding colonists through the present day and well into this millennium.
In 1997 Strauss and Howe wrote The Fourth Turning. At Amazon it was described as having been heralded by reviewers as "a brilliant, if somewhat unsettling, reassessment of where America is heading".

Snip from comment at Amazon By 'Odysseus'

The basic insight in this book is a simple one: Instead of trying to build a theory of American history (as did Arthur Schlesinger) that is based on unexplained "cycles" and "swings" from liberal to conservative and back again, why not simply look at how American generations behave as they age? When you do that, as Strauss and Howe have found, you find that American generations behave with a certain consistency throughout their lives. If their formative experiences push them in a certain direction while young, they'll continue to act in that way as they get older. That is, if you understand that history is really the process of different generations moving through time, then the swings of American history no longer look so mysterious; they appear as predictable manifestations of the fact that different generations with different life experiences have risen to the foreground.

Of course, you don't want to take all of this too sweepingly, or else it starts to seem like astrology or historical biorhythms. Generations are diverse groups, and no two people within a generation are exactly alike. But there are clear trends of generational behavior, which Strauss/Howe substantiate quite well.

Of course we wouldn't want to bring astrology into it would we? Would We? TSK!

There are some long and interesting reader reviews at Amazon links. I shall press on without going into more detail about Strauss and Howe's theory; it is set out in detail and clearly enough at Wikipedia, here. Also there's a good run-down on the topic at Hub-pages HERE.

For now, keep in mind Strauss and Howe's theorised four generational cycles:
Four generational archetypes that repeat sequentially, in rhythm with the cycle of Crises and Awakenings.
From the Wiki link:
....four generational archetypes that repeat sequentially, in rhythm with the cycle of Crises and Awakenings (High/Awakening/Unravelling/Crisis). In Generations, Strauss and Howe refer to these four archetypes as Idealist, Reactive, Civic, and Adaptive. In The Fourth Turning (1997) they update this terminology to Prophet, Nomad, Hero, and Artist. The generations in each archetype not only share a similar age-location in history, they also share some basic attitudes towards family, risk, culture and values, and civic engagement. In essence, generations shaped by similar early-life experiences develop similar collective personas and follow similar life-trajectories. To date, Strauss and Howe have identified 25 generations in Anglo-American history, each with a corresponding archetype

 Hat-tip Sacred Geometry Inc

Astrologers have long known some variation of Strauss and Howe's theories.

Searching for a book on this topic by an astrologer, I found Generational Patterns Using Astrology by Edwin Rose (2011), described at Amazon:
Generational Patterns Using Astrology will enable you to find your place in history. It will explain how your parent's generation is different than yours and even the differences between your parent's generational patterns. Once you see your generation's pattern in the flow of history, you will see what challenges we now face, and what part your generation's role is in all of it. Looking forward, you will see what years in the future will be key, and what opportunities (and difficulties) await us. If you have children, you will understand their generation and how it differs from yours.
I wasn't familiar with the author's name, but eventually found this at Dodona Books website:
Edwin Rose

The author taught and lectured on astrology for 35 years. During that time he studied how astrology influences people and history. He self published a 445 page book Planetary Music: Understanding Astrological Rhythms (1998) and has a website with astrological information and predictions that gets 300 hits a day -- it has been in continuous operation since 1996. For six years the author and his wife owned the metaphysical bookstore Guiding Star in Mill Valley (near San Francisco, CA) which has given him an appreciation of the astrological audience. He has worked as a software engineer and software manager for major corporations including Apple, Leapfrog, Cisco, and Autodesk -- most of his software career has been in animation, games, graphics, and TV. Edwin Rose died in 2010 shortly before his title Generational Patterns Using Astrology was published.
Three chapters of Mr Rose's book are available at Google Books - see HERE The last of the three is most relevant to this topic. I've taken the liberty of copying part of the chapter as a sample:

...The excerpt ends there.

Strauss and Howe's four cycles of generational archetypes: Prophet/Hero/Nomad/Artist have astrological cycles which could be seen as comparable. Edwin Rose mentioned the elemental cycle, and was comparing it as the excerpt ended. There's also a cycle on a more personal scale - related to the individual, the Saturn cycle of Saturn Returns which equate roughly to childhood/teenage/young adulthood/maturity. Cycles within cycles! The far outer planets, though, are the ones related to generational astrology. Mr Rose's book will explore their cycles.

Another book which touches on the generational theme astrologically, and one I already own, is Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece. I've mentioned it more than once in archived posts, and there's an excerpt from it relating to the generations at Wandering Star, HERE.

The burning question after stumbling through all of this has to be - "Well then, where are we now?"
It seems that using Strauss and Howe's theory we're in a period of Crisis, the most intense of the four periods. The last Crisis was World War 2, after which society underwent a drastic change. That was followed by a High period, with prosperity growing along with corporations and middle class contentment. An Awakening phase began in the 1960s, with the hippies, civil rights, etc. Then things began to unravel, slowly, during the 1980s, with the next turning point possibly being 9/11...and off we went into Crisis (again). Major change ought to be around the next corner (but, as the song goes "who knows where or when?")

(NOTE: This post did ramble on a bit. I'm not sure it said what I wanted it to say. The rabbit hole was dark and deep! Anyway, it'll stand for two days. At some point I'll get my head around a better and more concise version and re-air it. ).


anyjazz said...

We saw circles within circles at the Salina River Festival.

An old workmate of mine had a quip he would quote now and then: It's all the same circles, just different people going around in them.

Now, I don't know what any of this has to do with that but it's what I though of as I was reading.

Twilight said...

anyjazz ~ Yes we did - I ought to insert your brief video in the post somewhere.

Your workmate was being polite...I think what he/she really meant was
"same shit, different assholes".
(Sorry!) ;-)

Twilight said...

Video didn't work properly on Blogger - added photo instead. :-)

mike said...

In a bit of a twist, take anyjazz' comment from his workmate and add your poop comment, Twilight...look at the (very nice) photo of the sculpture and peer into the background at the port-a-potties...LOL.

The cyclic nature of astrology is all too often overlooked, except for the "returns" of Jupiter and Saturn...maybe the solar return, too. Our finite, flash-in-a-pan years on Earth limit the greater view. Most individuals want astrology to work for them within the limits of decades and, preferably, the immediate present, which typically doesn't allow much consideration toward repeating cycles. But, as your interesting post indicates, many cycles of the slower-moving planets correlate with generational qualities, particularly when considering Jupiter and Saturn aspects to each other and to Uranus-Neptune-Pluto.

Financial-economic astrology is all about short and long term cycles. The Mayan calendar is a superb example of maxi-mini cyclic timekeeping. The Earth may not have ended 12-21-2012, but something shifted!

Nick Anthony Fiorenza has an interesting site delving into synodic cycles:

Twilight said...

mike ~ LOL! I hadn't noticed that in the photo....well done Sherlock! :-)

Yes, you're exactly right about astrology. It is very annoying, too, how people who consider themselves intellectually bright and "in the know" about everything, but the minute astrology is mentioned they dismiss it out of hand, sometimes even ridicule it - and the person mentioning it. Yet - here is proof of some measure of correlation between findings of non-astrologers and of astrologers.

Astrology is often "a fool to itself" in many ways, because it survives (admittedly the only way it can) via the old "He's a Taurus and his Mercury is being hit by....whatever" kind of thing. That's all well and good, but it's not what astrology really ought to be about, well...not if for consumption of those intellectually disdainful mortals anyway.

I could rant for a week on this - but shall desist.

Thanks, yes -I think I've visited Mr Fiorenza's website before - it's a very good one!

mike (again) said...

"Astrology Making Progress in Britain’s House of Commons"


mike (again) said...

New cycles will start in six years, with interesting conjunctions of Jupiter-Saturn-Pluto-S Node happening in Capricorn, 2019-2020.

Michael Lutin says:
"... At the same time, don't kid yourself, there's a war brewing.....greater what you see or read about in the news. It's a world wide revolution that will reveal itself more openly sometime around the moment Pluto reaches the third decant of Capricorn. IN America 2018-19 and beyond. The crucial national Elections will be In 2020, not 2016 . The situation is pretty much contained and under control of the control freaks who fear chaos, at this point, and what we are seeing is the smouldering of distracting local brush fires."
(Daily Fix for July 29, 2014)

Twilight said...

mike (again) ~ Well may the goddess of astrology (Urania) bless David
Tredinnick! A quick look at his birthday in my ephemeris - Jan 19 1950
Sun Capricorn/Moon possibly Aquarius, Venus and Jupiter in Aquarius - yep - Urania!


Michael Lutin thinks 2018/19 an onward for the start of the next "turning" then? I've always thought it to be likely around 2024/5, but that might be the culmination of something begun around 2018 I guess.

I still think 2016 election will be an important one though, and could make all the difference to how it all plays out - nothing is written in stone, not even astrologers' pronouncements or astrology itself. It's "blowin' in the wind"