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  • Writer's pictureKarey Pohn

Featured Planetary Archetypal Complexes

During the mid-1960s when Saturn was opposite the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, there were two very different dynamics at play on which we will focus: Uranus interacting with Pluto, and Uranus interacting with Saturn.  As previously mentioned, Saturn was aslo square to Pluto, but since we explored that dynmic extensively in the Chicago chapter, it will not be a focus here. We will first turn to the Uranus-Pluto interplay.

With the various planetary archetypal complexes, Tarnas (2006) notes that we often see two different vectors.  In the Uranus Pluto archetypal complex we see Pluto acting on Uranus (Pluto—> Uranus) and Uranus acting on Pluto (Uranus—> Pluto).  With the Pluto—> Uranus vector, there is compelling, intensification and empowerment, often on a massive or titanic scale, which can be profoundly transformative (Pluto) of the energies of Uranus: freedom, innovation, technology, rebellion, originality, science, exploration, and the future.  Whereas with the Uranus—> Pluto vector we can see the awakening, inspiring, disrupting, or liberating (Uranus) of elemental libidinal forces, sexuality, erotic, Dionysian elements, as well as violence, transformation and rebirth (Pluto). 

The Uranus- Pluto conjunction of the 1960s was paradigmatic of both of these vectors and the decade of the 1960s is the Uranus-Pluto poster child: “The 1960s was the most conspicuous and potently Promethean of the century.  I believe no other archetype better expresses and comprehends the character of that era with its impassioned demand for freedom and titanic quest for new horizons:” (Tarnas, 1995, p. 26); we have Pluto to thank for this empowerment of the Prometheus archetype.  Tarnas also said that no other decade was more Plutonic than the 1960s and we can thank the awakening influence of Uranus for that. 

Some of the adjectives that Tarnas (2006) uses to describe this potent planetary archetypal complex are: upheaval and intensified emancipatory impulses, radical cultural innovation, profound transformation, and “unusually rapid technological advance, an underlying spirit of restless experiment, drive for innovation, urge for freedom in many realms, revolt against oppression, embrace of radical political philosophies, and intensified collective will to bring forth a new world” (p. 144)

The Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1964 was the only time in the Twentieth Century that these two planets were in a conjunction. At the turn of the Twentieth Century they had been in an opposition (180 degrees apart), from 1896-1907 as previously discussed in the “Introduction to the Kaleidoscope of Culture” chapter. Many of the themes that began at that time were also in evidence during the 1960s, especially revolutionary movements and scientific achievements.

As noted before, Saturn was opposite both Uranus and Pluto in the 1960s from 1964-1967, and this dynamic can be seen between George, representing Saturn, and Mary representing Uranus.  This Saturn-Uranus dynamic will be discussed in the upcoming "Neoteny" excursion in the ongoing themes section. Tarnas (1995) explains that the interplay between Saturn and Uranus:

represents a fundamental source of all dialectical tension and conflict in the universe: between Prometheus as the principle of change and Saturn as the principle of resistance to change, between rebellion and authority, freedom and control, innovation and tradition, revolution and structure.  (p. 95)
Saturn-Uranus transits, in hard aspect often correspond with times of extreme psychological tensions and breakdowns: the sudden collapse of ego structures, psychotic breaks, dark awakenings—the unexpected “return of the repressed.” (p. 98)

In Cosmos and Psyche, Tarnas (2006) also notes that:

Especially frequent with this cycle were crises and the sudden collapse of structures, crashes and accidents, grim awakenings, and sudden breakdowns whether political, economic, or psychological. (pp. 222-223)

Now let us look at these planetary archetypal dynamics at play in the movie.  We saw these same archetypal players in Chicago (Marshall, 2002), but they had a much different feel, which shows the versatility of these players and the multivalency of these different archetypal complexes and the richness of their expression.


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