Astrological Musings

Astrological Musings

Pluto in Virgo: The Slacker generation and the new fiscal conservatism

by Lynn Hayes

slacker cover.jpg

Generations of people can be defined by the sign that Pluto was traveling in at the time of the birth of that population group.  The Pluto in Leo generation, the “baby boomers,” are famous for being self-involved and self-important, as you would expect from a group that is compulsively driven (Pluto) to break through the barriers of the sign of Leo, the sign of the ego.  Pluto was in Virgo between 1958 and 1971, and that generation is now between 38 and 53 years old.  
The generation defined by Pluto experiences a compulsive attention to matters described by the sign that Pluto falls in.  The Pluto in Cancer generation, parents to the Pluto in Leo boomers, gave up everything for their families (Cancer).  The Leo Boomers made self-expression into an art form.  
Like all of the other signs of the zodiac, Virgo operates on many different levels but the underlying principle is a sense of order and attention to the mundane details of everyday life.  We therefore find Virgo representing our physical health and the connection between the mind and the body, our diet, service to others in assisting them in their daily life, and the day-to-day work experiences that provide the income to sustain us.  
Demographers often call this generation “Generation X,” which was also called the “Slacker” generation, and report that this was the first generation in the United States to earn less than the previous generation.  As “Slackers,” this generation embraced grunge rock and rejected the pull of materialism.  Perhaps aware on some level that the world was about to change, many of them went from job to job and thought about career completely differently from any other previous generation.  Forget the college degree…forget the 30 years and the gold watch.  They lived a life that was more spartan than their baby boomer parents and elder siblings – no second home, no boat, no three-car garage (Virgo is modest and tends to be financially conservative).  
An interesting article about this Generation is a clear demonstration of Pluto in Virgo:

WE MOVED to San Francisco and Brooklyn and Mission Hill. We jumped from job to job. Put off marriage. Never bought a place. And we never heard the end of it. We were drifters, they said. Layabouts. No respect for work and real estate or the value of a good pair of cufflinks.


But now, in the cold glare of a recession, everything looks different: We’ve got no house to lose, no career to dash, no school-aged children in need of pricey Wii gaming systems.

Not recession-proof, exactly, but recession-resistant, at least.

Of course, it’s not like we saw the crash coming. We didn’t plan for this, didn’t time the market. And we made some bad choices along the way: The persistent neglect of our 401(k)s, battered stock market notwithstanding, will catch up to us someday.

But in retrospect, it’s clear that we did something right. We lived a smaller life, a life we could afford. And as the country rebuilds the economy, as it tries to replace it with something more sustainable than a leaning tower of subprime mortgages and consumer binging, it is time to reevaluate that much-maligned Gen X archetype: the American Slacker….


We brought you the Internet, worked on green technology, and filled the ranks of Teach for America. We crossed the color line, ate local produce, and bought secondhand clothing. We lived in smaller spaces, drove smaller cars, and took the subway to work.

It all seemed like a quaint liberal fantasy at the time. And on some level it was. But now, with a creaking economy and an overheated planet, it reads more like a survival manual: a guide to multicultural living in an increasingly diverse society, an incubator for the technology that might save the American auto industry, an antidote to our awful adventures in sprawl.


Of course, we could abandon this life as we get older, I suppose. We could grow impatient with our little apartments and cramped hatchbacks. We could set our sights on the kind of suburban existence we’ve forsaken. But I’d like to think we’re smarter than that.

We created something worthwhile – a sustainable neighborhood, a tech future, a life we can manage. And we won’t let it go too easily.

At least I hope not. As the nation rebuilds a crumbling capitalism, it could use a little perspective, a little wisdom. Bet you didn’t think you’d get it from us.

Image is reprinted without permission from the book The 5 Habits of Highly Successful Slackers (Because 7 Is Too Many)

  • Wingnut

    Hi! Ummm, the CAPITALISTS are rebuilding the pyramid scheme called capitalism, not us Christian socialists. We non-capitalists are waiting for the outlawing of economies (money and ownership), and thus the abolishment of pyramiding (servitude/inequality).
    Careful what you call “nation”… as not all of us subscribe to the pyramid scheme symbol on the back of the USA dollar, nor anything involved with the columbian freemasons. Thus, we don’t go along with the government being in a “district of columbia”, either. Its not even part of the USA!
    You can go rat-racing (doing “jobs”) on a felony join-or-die AmWay (American Way) pyramid scheme if YOU want-to, but not all of us are stupid enough to worship pieces of paper. No other living thing on the entire planet… uses money and ownership. Why do capitalists? Caps are bought into a con/sham… as members of the competer’s church called capitalism/free marketeers/new world disorder. Do a Google IMAGE SEARCH for ‘pyramid of capitalist’ for a 1911-made illustration of the thing. It was seen-thru as a con/sham… a LONG time ago.
    Best Regards!
    Larry “Wingnut” Wendlandt
    MaStars – Mothers Against Stuff That Ain’t Right
    Bessemer MI USA

  • BullFish

    Interesting post-however as one who was born in 1964 (have that mid 60’s Pluto/Uranus conjuction) I never felt like I was a true Gen X. I also felt like a little Baby Boomer energy & a little Gen X.
    Any comments on that sub-group?

  • carol stanley

    Pluto is absolutely a generation thing. Hard to lump together so many people andgive them traits…I am firmly against this…We are a product of our time…and as life becomes more technologically advanced so does our lives…Also finances, crime and other things go along with this.

  • Lynn Hayes

    It’s true that categorizing a whole generation by one planet is a very general way to look at anyone. But there are certainly threads that are true for a generation as a whole, although the characteristics won’t fit every single individual. For example, someone with a lot of Pisces and Aquarius in their chart won’t feel much like a baby boomer with Pluto in Leo, because Pisces and Aquarius both seek to transcend the individual ego and Pluto in Leo celebrates it.
    The subgroup of the Pluto in Virgo generation that has the conjunction of Uranus to Pluto that made the sixties the powerhouse of a transformational revolution that it was, possess an internal drive to create that kind of revolutionary transformation in their own lives and they will certainly not relate to the “slacker” idea. But they will likely relate to other aspects of the Pluto in Virgo archetype: the desire to serve, a concern with the ecology of the body and the planet.

  • cimbalok

    As usual, Lynn is right on in her analysis. I am a late Pluto in Leo (29 degrees, Retro) and most of my best friends are Pluto in Virgo. I have a lot of Aquarius (Moon, Venus, Chiron, Desc.) in my chart as well as a Pisces Sun. I remember being in high school and being embarassed for my “generation” and this was before I studied astrology! Of course, my Pluto in Leo and Leo Asc. did ensure that I would become a professional performer. Can’t win ’em all! Or, more accurately, people are more than what meets the eyeball.

  • Jill

    I absolutely cringe when I read anything that tries to tar entire generations with the same broad brush. It’s as inaccurate with generations as it is with races, ethnic groups, or anything else. Generational stereotypes are born of media imagery. Not all Gen-Xers are slackers just the way not all baby boomers were self-involved navel-gazers. I remember the guys in the plaid pants with their Nixon buttons. They were boomers just as much as the antiwar crowd was. Perhaps there are astrological tendencies for generations, but I find any kind of stereotyping to be extremely dangerous in the wrong hands. As we grow older and the later generations, who only know our generation from grainy images of love-ins on TV, start blaming us for the world they live in and because people in our generation had fun that they didn’t get to have, I think we will see just how dangerous it can be.

  • Mike

    “because people in our generation had fun that they didn’t get to have”
    I think your generation overstates itself and believes itself special in some way. I don’t think later generations see you this way. We look upon your antics with bemusement maybe, but not envy. I mean, what good did it do you, really? And what did you do exactly that we can’t? Buy hulking SUVs,second homes, drugs, rock concerts? Yawn. We’ve been there and done that. We look at how you collectively ended up, which is, well, OK I guess but nothing to shout about. Each generation has the opportunity to be wiser than the previous one.
    My generation (Pluto in Libra) seems to be about transformed relationships. Lots of interracial marriages and other unorthodox relationships have become the norm for us.

  • Lynn Hayes

    ” Not all Gen-Xers are slackers just the way not all baby boomers were self-involved navel-gazers. I remember the guys in the plaid pants with their Nixon buttons. They were boomers just as much as the antiwar crowd was. ”
    There’s nothing inherently liberal about Pluto in Leo – it has more to do with the way the ego is expressed than what side of the aisle you fall in. Mike’s comment “I think your generation overstates itself and believes itself special in some way. I don’t think later generations see you this way” describes the phenomenon perfectly. The Pluto in Leo folks tend to believe that we are doing Very Important Things.
    Pluto in Virgo is more modest, and more service-oriented. Mike’s Pluto in Libra generation is redefining not only relationships, but what it is like to be an individual and how to balance the two. The Pluto in Scorpio people (1982-1995) redefined sexuality and “hookups”.
    Yes, these are generalizations and more or less true depending on individual personalities and astrological makeup.

  • Juno

    Pluto actually dipped into Virgo in 1957–and back from Libra into Virgo in 1972.
    · In Leo: June 14th 1939 to June 11th 1958 (with two brief brushes in Virgo from October 19th 1956 to January 15th 1957, and from August 19th 1957 to April 12th 1958)
    · In Virgo: June 11th 1958 to July 30th 1972 (with a brief brush into Libra from October 4th 1971 to April 16th 1972)
    So those born right before and right after those retrograde cycles would also be Gen X-ers.

  • Mary H Ruth

    You make very useful comparisons here. This post so accurately describes my 25-year old son. I may have to buy him the book!
    Born in ’53, I’m a teeny bit older than your definition of a boomer, but I’ve always counted myself one. My son, so vastly different from me, can only be described as awesome. I admire his new ways tremendously.
    Now how about ‘Gen Y?’

  • Your Name

    Yes, I’d say there’s something to this, speaking as a former Peace Corps volunteer who does not own a home at the age of 39, one who was born in 1970 with 27 degrees Virgo.
    The economic opportunites were simply not there for people born right around my birth year. Most of us graduated from college in 1992, into one of the worse recessions in the U.S. before the current one. This set a lot of us back economically for years.
    But there was a lot of inherited money for those born toward the end of Pluto-in-Virgo, the children of early Pluto-in-Leo parents. Those with inherited money didn’t need to work. Those without inherited money quickly figured out that busting their ass wasn’t going to pay off the way it did for their parents.
    Pluto-in-Virgo women also struggled with infertility to the extent that no generation has before them. Virgo is either fertile or barren. As a result, fewer children are being born to this generation. Those without kids may simply not have to work as hard.

  • Lynn Hayes

    Juno, personally I consider those born when Pluto retrograded back into the previous sign as straddling the cusp of the two generations rather than firmly being in one or the other.
    Mary Ruth, born in 1953 you might be late for what we call the “Baby Boomers,” the post-war population explosion, but you’re still firmly in the Pluto in Leo camp.
    Gen Y, or the “Millenialists,” I would put in the Pluto in Scorpio camp. I think I wrote about that at some point, I’ll have to find the link.
    Thanks for your comments, “Your Name,” and your tale describes the story of a generation for whom work (Virgo) has been completely transformed. I hadn’t realized that Pluto in Virgo was connected to infertility. Virgo, the maiden, is certainly less fecund than most signs.

  • Jill

    Anonymous Peace Corps volunteer: Posts like yours are something I can respond to in one of two ways: I can either go with my first instinct, which is to tell you how I gradulated high school into the first Arab oil embargo (1973) and college into the second (1977) and entered my life into a pretty bad recession myself. Or I can appeal to my better nature, which is But what’s the point of one-upmanship? It’s like the game that Jews and Black Americans have been playing for three decades now of “Who owns the patent on suffering?”
    I remember being angry during the recessions that have occurred during my working life about how the WWII generation got lifetime job security, pensions, a comfortable retirement, and guaranteed Social Security and we are going to get screwed. Now Gen-X is saying the same thing about us. Neither stereotype is true; there are plenty of WWII generation Americans without pensions and plenty of boomers who find themselves having lost so much of their 401(k) money that retirement is just a pipe dream now — assuming anyone will keep us with sags and wrinkles and gray hair in the workplace.
    This is why I fight this kind of generational stereotyping and warfare whenever I see it — because it accomplishes nothing. The fact of the matter is that what helps one generation helps every other, and let’s face it — we either live together or die alone — unless you’re prepared to line up the baby boomers against the wall and shoot us en masse (and I’ve read some posts on blogs from Gen-Xers who seem to think this would be just a swell idea). The needs of seniors and of young families are not mutually exclusive. The need for decent-paying jobs in good work conditions are relevant to those of us who will now have to work till we die and those just entering the workforce.
    Generational warfare, like most forms of bigotry, is counterproductive and a waste of time. It’s an easy, pat way of assigning blame instead of looking at the structures that have created the situation we’re in now.

  • meg

    actually, virgo dipped into pluto as early as november 1956. my partner was born in nov 1956. his pluto is in virgo, i was born 6 months earlier and my pluto is in leo.

  • Peter

    I was born in 1971 at the tail end of Pluto in Virgo. I have it at 29 degree’s in my First house.
    Some of the Baby Boomer Generation worked hard, but also liked their playtime.
    The biggest thing to come out of the 1960’s, was the emergence of the Pill. That totally revolutionised sexual practices. It was also at a time Pluto was in Virgo. (Health)
    There were those, who became disillusioned, and never obtained the dreams and aspirations they thougt they could obtain.
    My generation has had to go through periods of massive unemployment. Whilst many parts of the World were severaly neglected and abused.
    Many of my generation are getting out of the cities and towns, and heading for a life in the country. Some of them have to do several jobs to make ends meet. Yet the quality of life is far better and healthier.
    A friend of mine who is the same age as me. Has just had her 3rd child. She’s always been a real hard worker. Yet she and her husband can’t afford a mortgage.
    We’ve gone from a period of absolute excess, to a back to basics attitude.
    The Pluto in Virgo generation, has and will see many good healers amongst alternative practices.
    We’ve also got to deal with the deep seated neurosis that has emerged from society’s ills.
    I admire the baby boomer generation for their revolutionary spirit. For they rebelled against parental control and the Establishment. But many got sick and worn out in the process.

  • Peter

    I read a chart on Astrotheme that Jesus’s chart may have had Pluto in Virgo.
    That’s interesting, considering his mission was largely healing based.

  • Your Name

    I react with horror when I see the word slacker used this way. The slackers were Gen x or y. I see Pluto in Virgoans as Gen UV (as in uv rays,) or Gen VW is also acceptable.
    They’re in the shadow of the boomers, so maybe you didn’t notice the people who picked up the trash after the hippie parade.
    Remember the advertisement on TV with the Native American with the tear in his eye? We answered that call.
    We were the earliest ecologically minded folks, and the anti litter campaigns we took literally.
    I cannot believe anyone could confuse the DIY generation, the self help generation, a very noble little band now considered quite mainstream (Clean House, How Clean is Your House? DIY Network Divine Design, Design on a Dime) with the SLACKERS. How demeaning.

  • ashley

    Slackers? No. Dreamers? Maybe

  • Dove

    I’m offended by that fat-cat term as well. Slackers ass, that’s a ridiculous term, most unwarrantedly thrown in our direction.
    This Pluto in Virgo is a worker bee, it’s just that my interests aren’t of the boring, exploiting, typical mega-money-making kind, but of the noble and truly beneficial to humanity kind–health, healing, Nature…true FREEDOM.
    If not for us, and those like us, this world would have gone to “hell in a handbasket” loooong ago.
    Pluto-in-Virgo’s know this life is about more than just some money-flavored icing, we make–hell we are–the cake. Organic of course, ha, sweetened with local honey and fresh-ground whole-grain flour 😉 A single red rose sits beside it, as the sweet sun shines through the open window, fresh clean air filling our modest-but-oh-so-beautiful humble homes :) We know the ingredients for real joy.

  • Lord

    I personally believe that because our generation is keen to details we may sound pretty annoying to all other generations.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment WRR

    Born in 1962, I have the Pluto/Uranus (both in Virgo) conjunction in my eleventh house. Not sure I’m a slacker – I’ve worked 50 to 80 hour weeks my since I was eighteen. I do have difficulty understanding and dealing with this energy, however. I’ve often felt I have a responsibility to help the planet and the unfortunate in some way, but struggle so much just to take care of myself and loved ones. I would think with Uranus in its house of dignity, drastic plutonian energies would be more constructively directed toward contributing to the greater good, but it seems to be a place of great struggle for me. Am I a fool to expect any better from Pluto tightly joining forces with Uranus? Anyone have any suggestions? Help!!!

    • Lynn Hayes

      WRR, so much depends on the other details of your own chart. The Uranus/Pluto conjunction is a generational force, and the planetary makeup of your natal chart would tell a more personal tale.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Ryan

    Virgos aren’t slackers! They are silent, modest, peaceful, and hard workers! They pushed computers, aerospace, and nuclear technology forward a great deal, and now that they are old enough to start taking political power I think we’re in a good spot. The libra generation has given us a lot of theoretical knowledge (gene sequencing, protein folding, new planets, etc.), but they are actually hard workers as well. I think the Scorpios are the true slackers. Zuckerberg is the only guy that has invented something significant it seems to me, and he’s a Taurus, so he couldn’t help it. It was still a social network though. I don’t really blame them for slacking though since the Leo’s screwed them over with all their wars/debt, and they have to revolt to get rid of those a-holes. That’s the way I see it as a member of the Scorpio generation myself, and I’m even a Taurus. But there’s really no point in working anymore. Too much debt. Too much divorce. Too little children. Too many wars/cold wars thanks to the Leos. At least WWII created new technology that resulted in a population boom. These new wars/military expenditures have been almost a total waste of productivity and resources. Nothing has really come out of them.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment debi

    i have a natal 4th house, retrograde Pluto in Virgo with my North Node & i was wondering what this means as far as my life as a child w/o a father; (abandonment)& something tragic happening in my childhood that changed me forever

  • http://Amazing Mario

    Thank you for posting this, I was looking for something to explain why I have never felt the drive to do anything with my life other than an a simple life with an average job? Of course not all generation X people skipped College, but most did and I was one of them. Having the Pluto and Uranus conjunction hit me hard I guess ? My inner desire on a personal level is Inner Transformation – spiritual growth, to be of service to humanity in some way or another. Your article explains much of what I have witnessed in so many ways. I grew up with the Punk Rock generation – and loved it. thanks again.

  • Pingback: “Pluto in Virgo” VS “Pluto in Libra” Generations | Paradise Kendra ☼

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