Beginning in 1954 when Tupperware parties began putting money in the pockets of housewives and Playboy Magazine began sowing seeds of dissatisfaction in the lusty hearts of suburban dads, the ground was being fertilized for the sexual revolution that was to come later in the 1960s. Saturn continued to travel through Scorpio until January of 1956, testing the structures of power and forcing confrontation in areas of sexuality. It was during this period that sexuality researcher Alfred Kinsey’s funding was cut off due to threats from conservative sources.
Neptune entered Scorpio in late 1956 as Saturn entered Sagittarius. The entry of Neptune (escapism/spirituality) into Scorpio (sexuality, intensity) corresponds with the very beginnings of the free love and drug culture. The publishing of Albert Ginsburg’s work Howl is considered to mark the birth of the Beat Generation, a counterculture which was largely concerned with pushing the boundaries of sexuality and drug use, both Neptune in Scorpio matters. Jack Kerouac’s On the Road was also published at this time, reflecting the growing expansiveness of Saturn’s passage through adventurous Sagittarius and the desire to test the limits of religion and philosophy, Sagittarian influences. Under the Beats, marijuana use became more widespread resulting in the Narcotics Control Act of 1956.
This mid-1950s period also corresponded to the rise of Rock and Roll as a dominating force in the popular culture, along with the mainstreaming of African-American entertainers and a growing interest in jazz.
During this period Neptune was within range of a square to Uranus (radical change and new ideas). Although the two never did fully align, the Uranian influence instilled the beginnings of a revolutionary fervor to break out of any rigid boxes of morality which included attitudes towards homosexuality. Some of the more radical members of the Beat Generation indulged openly in multiple sexual partners, sometimes across gender lines.
When Pluto entered Virgo in 1958 the stirrings of a new sexual freedom subsided somewhat. Under the influence of Pluto’s journey through the self-centered sign of Leo, hedonism and pleasure became suddenly more important than family and country, the domain of Pluto’s previous domain of Cancer. In fact it was during the Pluto in Leo period that the era of sexual research began with Masters and Johnson and Alfred Kinsey. The following year, in 1959, Saturn entered Capricorn and there was a bit of a backlash against the awakening sexuality of young people as the Pluto in Leo (1939-1958) generation came of age and bumped up against the fears of their Pluto in Cancer parents. 1959 marked the year of the Obscene Publications Act in the UK, and fears over nuclear proliferation and the Cold War superseded any revolutionary inklings.
In June of 1960 Searle’s “the Pill” was approved by the FDA for contraceptive use. (The development of the Pill accelerated when Neptune (drugs) moved into Scorpio (sexuality). The release of the Pill for mainstream use among women is largely credited not only with the sexual revolution, but with the growth of the Women’s Movement generally. By the end of 1962 Searle’s monopoly over the contraceptive pill market ended, and the Pill went mainstream just as Uranus conjoined Pluto.
Tomorrow: The exciting conclusion as the sexual revolution achieves its climax under the Uranus/Pluto conjunction.
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