Events and Issues Related to Chiron's Discovery
Woodstock, The Hippie Generation and The Drug Culture
- Martin Lass © 2003
(This article follows on from "The Cold War".)
On August 15, 1969, at exactly 5.07pm EDT, the first strains of music started up at what would become the cultural and sociological event of the decade, perhaps even of the century. (See Chart 1--WOODSTOCK.) The most striking astrological transient of the event was the transit of the Moon from Virgo through to Libra, conjuncting South Node, Pluto, Uranus and Neptune on the way. The collection of 9th house planets--Mercury, South Node, Moon, Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter--loosely oppose Chiron and the North Node in the 3rd house. The Moon/Pluto conjunction and the Moon's transit through the final degrees of Virgo certainly augur a degree of bohemianism. In the Moon's transit from the self-absorbed lower hemisphere (the last sign of the natural horoscope being Virgo) into the more outwardly reflective consciousness of the upper hemisphere (the first sign of the natural horoscope being Libra) there is the intimation of fledgling steps toward a new world of peace, harmony and cooperation.
CHART 1 - WOODSTOCK
A cultural baring of Wounds (amongst other things!). The Wounds of Humanity were expressed through music, art and the hippie culture during the 1960s.
Woodstock opening - Natal Chart
Aug 15 1969, 5:07 pm, EDT +4:00
Bethel New York, 41°N41', 074°W52'18''
Geocentric Tropical Zodiac
Koch Houses, True Node
The festival itself certainly reflected the Healing qualities of the Virgo Moon and the artistic, harmonious and peaceful qualities of the Libran Moon. However, opposing Chiron in Aries still harbors doubts as to whether we are ready for such a momentous transition. Wounds and issues of low self-worth must be Healed if we are to evolve. The Moon's transit of the Virgo South Node indicates the resurfacing of issues still to be dealt with on the Healing journey toward oneness (Pisces North Node).
Our Wounds of low self-worth (Chiron in Aries) were expressed in the desire to return to a simpler, more balanced and more innocent way of life (opposing Jupiter in Libra, the Inner Child). When things become overwhelming, too complicated and the evolutionary path is lost or blocked, we seek a way out that ultimately takes us back to basics. In short, when we cannot move forward, we must take backward steps to a point where evolutionary movement again becomes possible. So, in these circumstances, we tend to seek of a simpler, more innocent way of life.
Pluto in Virgo sextiling Neptune in Scorpio, combined with the Sun moving strongly into a square aspect with Neptune over the course of the festival, was bound to manifest in alternate ways of attaining heightened/altered consciousness and Healing, i.e. sex, drugsand rock-n-roll.
Various factors contributed to the explosion of the hippie and psychedelic cultures and the so-called flower children. The influence of Neptune and its aspects to Chiron, both natally and in transit, perhaps contributed the most to these phenomena.
Firstly, however, those born between 1947 and 1952 experienced either their first Chiron-square-natal Chiron transit or Chiron-trine-natal Chiron transit somewhere between 1961 and 1971 and between the ages of 14 and 19. (See GRAPH 1 - THE CHIRON CYCLE.) These transits contributed to the surfacing of Wounds and issues in the consciousness of the youth during the 1960s. This hippie generation was also the last generation bearing the aforementioned Saturn/Chiron square that occurred 21 times between 1935 and 1952.
GRAPH 1 - THE CHIRON CYCLE
The way in which the youth of the day dealt with these Wounds and issues was more in the domain of Neptune, i.e. in the experimentation with drugs, sexual freedom and communal living. The unprecedented artistic out-pouring of these years, particularly in music, was also a way in which we expressed our Wounds and issues during these years. On top of this, we saw Eastern religion, spirituality and mysticism brought into the West. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who brought Transcendental Meditation (TM) to the United States and to the Beatles in the 1960s, was one such example.)
The most important Neptune aspect during this time was between May 1963 and January 1968 when Neptune trined Chiron 11 times. We have already discussed this aspect. Suffice to say, the influence of this aspect certainly contributed to the hippie and psychedelic cultures. In addition, the Chiron/Neptune trine would most certainly have coincided with Chiron/Chiron transits in many of those born between 1947 and 1952. Not only this, but the conjunction of transiting Neptune to natal Chiron for those born 1948-49 accentuated the Neptunian influences of the mid-1960s. (See GRAPH 2--NEPTUNE CONJUNCT NATAL CHIRON (1947-48.)
GRAPH 2 - NEPTUNE CONJUNCT NATAL CHIRON (1947-48)
Finally, Chiron's placement in Pisces during most of the 1960s and its opposition to Pluto and Uranus in Virgo brought to the fore the issue of earthing. This theme was emphasized even more by the conjunction of Saturn and Chiron in Pisces in the mid-1960s, in particular in 1966. The hippie culture emphasized the need to 'get back to basics', to return to a more earthy existence, i.e. to reconnect with our earthy origins. This was a process of recapitulation--retracing old steps--in an effort to pick up pieces lost or missed along the previous journey. Only in this way, could evolution proceed further. Old Saturn forms (the establishment) no longer served the requirements of the evolution of consciousness, hence the backlash by the youth of the day toward the establishment (arising out of the years of Saturn-square-Chiron between 1935 and 1952). The old values were seen to be dead-ends and so we experimented with new ideas, new ways of interrelating, new social paradigms, etcetera. We temporarily discarded the pre-emptive fruits of advanced civilization in favor of a simpler life and in favor of community and brotherhood. Again, this was the seed of the New Age movement that, in turn, birthed the ecology/'green'movement.
During the ensuing years, having walked a path of Healing/evolution and having reconnected, to a greater or lesser degree, to a more spiritual perspective, we were then able to re-embrace the technologicalsociety anew. Examples of this came in the computer revolution, in the wildfire spread of the Internet and in the tech sector boom. The seesawing between spiritual and material concerns in our lives, personally and collectively, is a universal and inevitable law. Chiron traces this ebb and flow, as we shall see in a later chapter.
It is interesting to note that the New Age movement, birthed during the 1960s as a backlash against the establishment, material values, capitalism, big business, etcetera, is now becoming the new 'establishment' and is itself big business! Conversely, big business is turning increasingly to New Age-style techniques, seminars and work-practices in order to ensure the smooth running of their communities of employees.
The planetary influences of the 1960s impelled the search for higher consciousness--for alternative ways of viewing ourselves, viewing life and viewing the world around us. They impelled us to break through the outmoded and stagnant Saturnian status quo and to find answers, resolution and Healing of the Wounds that Chiron, Pluto and Uranus were exposing. Again, Neptune was at the helm of the reaction to our exposed Wounds. Experimentation with drugswas 1) an attempt to escape from, alleviate or dull the pain of the exposed Wounds and 2) an innate if unconscious striving for higher consciousness. The underlying issues of drugs are thus two-fold: there are benefits as well as drawbacks to their use--for the individual user, as well as for society at large.
With respect to the latter aspect--the innate striving for higher consciousness--drugs provided a means, albeit haphazard and emotionally driven at times, for accessing holotropic states of consciousness. In holotropic states, connections between otherwise seemingly disconnected aspects of the world are revealed. The underlying oneness of the universe becomes more apparent. Our innate spiritual Wish to reconnect with oneness is fuelled by the experience of our exposed Wounds. Since the 1960s, psychiatrist and consciousness researcher, Stanislav Grof, has carried out intensive studies of holotropic states in connection with mental health and illness and in connection with psychedelic drugs, in particular. His findings concur with our Chironic view. He has since developed drug-free techniques of achieving the same holotropic-type experiences. It is true to say that without the explosion of drug use and abuse in the 1960s, such research may have remained on the back burner.
The question of the use and abuse of drugs certainly comes under the umbrella of Chiron, as our research shows us. The Chiron Paradigm holds that drugs are simultaneously escape routes from our inner pain and stepping-stones to higher consciousness. The use of drugs--whether alcohol, narcotics, nicotine, caffeine, refined sugars or psychological virtual drugs, whether legal or illegal, whether medical, recreational or religious--arises from our deep, innate and often unrecognized need for unitive experience and transcendence, i.e. from our need for Healing and evolution of consciousness. Drugs, like divinatory practices, identity crises, major life catastrophes, divine revelations and near-death experiences, have the potential to 'bootstrap' us into higher states of consciousness, revealing previously unseen meaning and connections.
In any case, during the sixties, our innate wish for Healing and evolution of consciousness was catalyzed by Pluto, Uranus and Chiron and was expressed primarily through Neptune. The culmination of this was, of course, the discovery of Chiron. The most interesting chart in relation to drugs, however, is the chart of the Second International Conference on Hallucinogenic Mushrooms held on the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, on October 28 October 1977, just days before Chiron's discovery. At this conference, three scholars presented material that linked the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms to many religious traditions of the past, including the Eleusinian Mysteries. It was suggested that the use of such mushrooms was one of the chemical catalysts for the arising of unitive and transcendent experiences that have formed the basis of religions and spiritual practices from antiquity to the present day. A challenging proposition, no doubt! However, to be expected, neither the religious nor scientific communities took any notice.
The chart in question has Chiron in Taurus (our Wounds stuck in the material and dualistic illusion) in opposition to the Sun in Scorpio (the seeking of the hidden essence behind material illusions, i.e. the Gift in the Wound). Mercury (lower intellect) occults Uranus (higher intellect, potential connection to higher understanding and transcendent integration of seeming paradoxes) in Scorpio, bringing higher understanding to our Earth-bound consciousness. Pluto (death and rebirth) conjuncts Venus (the Earthly heart) in Libra (potential for balanced consciousness), shaking our emotional nature out of its usual duality of lopsided emotions and judgments, paving the way for the more unitive experience of unconditional love. The North Node conjuncts both Pluto and Venus, auguring the destiny that awaits us all when we transcend our illusions and Wounds. Neptune in Sagittarius (intimating the oneness of galactic consciousness) sextiles this triple conjunction, opening the path to love and oneness.
We are not, of course, condoning the use of drugs as a regular means of attaining Healing and evolution of consciousness. The drawbacks and dangers of drugs are well documented. We are simply pointing out that drugs have been used in consciousness-raising capacities throughout history and have ramifications beyond modern society's primarily negative consensual judgments.
(This article is followed by "The Turmoil of the Sixties: Protests, Rioting, Wars and Racism".)
©2003 Martin Lass - unauthorized reproduction, copying, distribution or alteration without the consent of the author is prohibited by law and liable to prosecution.