Generation Z

by Liz Hargreaves

Many generational theorists agree with the Strauss-Howe research carried out in the 1990's which found a social generation spans roughly 20 years. According to William Strauss and Neil Howe, each generation shares an 'age location in history' in that they experience the same historical events and social trends. They believe a generation is shaped by this in lasting ways and will share common beliefs and behaviours. They found members of a particular generation were aware of shared experiences and traits, and will display a common 'perceived membership'.

This is consistent with the Jupiter-Saturn cycle and the generational conjunctions which occur around every 20 years. We consider this to be the basic cycle of historical change affecting the evolution and development of society and influencing how each generation sees itself. I think it is possible though that this natural cycle of influence could be disrupted in locations affected by violent upheaval, and for the people involved, such as in the two World Wars.

There was a baby boom in the UK and parts of Europe in 1918-1920 after World War I. These children would have shaped society differently than if they had arrived around the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction of November 1920. The first 'Baby Boomers' in the UK and the US started arriving in 1946 after World War II at the time a Jupiter in Libra / Saturn in Cancer square was active, and not around the conjunction in Taurus applying from May 1940.

Since World War II, when there has been relative peace in the West, the influence of the Jupiter-Saturn cycle has been allowed to settle and these planets were able to resume their natural role as 'rulers of ages'. It is now broadly agreed that Generation X arrived from 1960/61 (Saturn in Capricorn conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn/Aquarius) and Generation Y (Millennials) from 1980/81 (Saturn in Virgo/Libra conjunct Jupiter in Virgo/Libra).

The next conjunction (Jupiter and Saturn in Taurus) began to form mid-March 2000 and was exact on 28/5/2000. This should have marked the start of a new phase in history with great cultural change, and possibly a new generation. But Jupiter had a whirlwind visit to Taurus for only 4½ months and seemed eager to reach Gemini, arriving there on 30/6/2000, whilst still conjunct Saturn.

Due to Taurus being virtually ignored by Jupiter, and its influence not really being allowed to take hold, I wanted to see if Jupiter in Gemini was more indicative of the new generation being referred to as 'Generation Z' who it is thought started arriving sometime in 2000. They are the most connected the world has ever known and are, by far, the fastest communicators. I wanted to find out more about these young people and whether the other transits would reveal further clues as to when Generation Z may have started arriving.

Though Jupiter in Gemini was in detriment, which could have made its influence weaker, it is not easily subdued, and its dispositor, Mercury, will no doubt have speeded up its vibration. Interestingly, on the first of July 2000, the day after Jupiter had moved into Gemini, there was a New Moon bringing in the energy of renewal.

On 11th July 2000, Saturn trine Neptune started forming. On 13th July 2000, Jupiter in Gemini (still conjunct Saturn) began to form an opposition with Pluto, and Jupiter trine Neptune was tightening. So I looked at the chart for mid-July and a year or so afterwards.

They have seen the Millennials struggling for financial independence and now want to achieve success in their own way (The restrictions of Saturn in Taurus square Uranus in Aquarius - which began applying mid-May 1999 and affected the young adults of Generation Y - were nearly over after a final hit on 12/5/2000 and moving out of orb mid-May 13/5/2001). This square had no doubt brought evidence of circumstances that naturally a new generation would want to break free from. Saturn Trine Neptune in Aquarius (moved in from mid-July 2000 with Saturn having moved into Gemini by the time of the first exact hit on 24/6/2001) brought new and alternative definitions of success.

They see themselves as being roaming and autonomous entrepreneurs without being restricted to one employer, and want opportunities to be creative and innovative in their work. They see themselves as working in "pop-up" businesses (the lack of autonomy brought by Saturn square Uranus moving away and Saturn Trine Neptune in Aquarius moving in /Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn).

Work location is also important to them and enjoying what they do (Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus (dispositor Venus)). They know that instead of borrowing from banks and being indebted to them, they can digitally source crowd-funding (Saturn in Taurus square Uranus in Aquarius final hit mid-May 2000 had mostly worked through/ Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus (rules 2nd house).

A smallish number of Generation Y, such as Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, have earned billions of dollars for themselves. But Generation Z admire and identify more with Adora Svitak, a young author, who strongly supports the ideal of re-balancing this disproportionate success, advocating that society needs to adapt to bring empowerment and the means to achieve for all young people in the future (a new aspect Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius (mutable signs), was within orb from 13/7/2000, and exact 4/9/2000, 13/10/2000, 6/5/2001 and was within orb until early June 2001, and Saturn in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius came into orb early June 2001).

Those born from 2000 onwards have never known a world without the internet, social media and smartphones, and are starting to see technology as offering solutions to the challenges they have seen affecting the world (Uranus in mid-Aquarius from early January 2000/ Jupiter in Gemini from 30/6/2000 / Saturn in Taurus square Uranus in Aquarius has mostly worked through and Saturn moved to Gemini just before this aspect finally separated). They are innovative and future-focused realists and already thinking creatively (Uranus in mid- Aquarius and Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus).

They could learn about world events and new scientific discoveries almost in real time online (Jupiter in Gemini, Uranus in mid-Aquarius). Able to access tuition remotely from top universities anywhere in the world, which is much quicker than attending in person, they can learn at a rapid pace. (Jupiter in Gemini). It is also much less expensive (Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus).

Highly curious, they can navigate several topics at once. Innovative, advanced and creative ideas are continually being sparked (Jupiter trine Neptune in Aquarius (dispositor Uranus), first exact hit on 27/7/2000 when Jupiter is 3 days away from Gemini, 2nd hit 9/12/2000, 3rd 5/4/2001, in orb until mid-May 2001)). They seem candid, are interested in many issues and like to be asked about their opinions. They regard differences in gender and race as irrelevant (Jupiter in Gemini), are humanitarian and want equality (Uranus in mid-Aquarius).

Their ideas and dreams no longer need to meet the approval of older generations as they can discuss them online with their peers around the world to gain feedback, garner support and chat about how their ideas could take shape (Saturn square Neptune in Aquarius, active from August 1997, had its final hit on 29/1/2000 and moved out of orb mid-March 2000. Saturn Trine Neptune in Aquarius came into orb 10/7/2000 and was exact (Saturn having moved to Gemini on 21/4/200) on 24/6/2001, 22/1/2002 and 1/4/2002, before moving away in mid-June 2002. Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus).

There is greater tolerance for diverse beliefs and cultures as, due to their global connectedness, they have more contact with people from many different backgrounds and so have greater understanding. Previous barriers, such as a different language, no longer exist due to instant translation apps (Jupiter in Gemini, Uranus in Aquarius). They are more concerned about corporate and government ethics (Saturn square Uranus in Aquarius had probably brought in more awareness of this and Saturn opposition Pluto came into orb early June 2001) than if someone has a differing beliefs (Jupiter in Gemini).

Fast talkers and avid multitaskers, they have a very low boredom threshold and a need to direct energy in multiple directions. Marketers believe you have around 8 seconds to engage them. They are always several steps ahead, lack patience and expect things immediately. (Uranus in mid-Aquarius/Jupiter in Gemini (dispositor Mercury) and the combustible, impatient Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius, a new aspect, which began to apply mid-July 2000 and was exact 4/9/2000, 13/10/2000 and 6/5/2001 moving out of orb in early June 2001).

Email is the new 'snail mail'. They prefer the speed and brevity of Snapchat - even the name typifies Jupiter in Gemini. Texting with emojis is very popular as this generation likes to communicate with images. They can quickly access music, films and TV by streaming content to their devices and like to produce their own media content (the Jupiter in Gemini Trine Neptune in Aquarius aspect as before).

Almost everything they need or want can be accessed online or stored digitally on devices or in the cloud so there is a move towards the intangible and away from the material. They don't need to clutter up their homes with books, CD's, DVD's, TV's, photo albums or desktop computers (Saturn in Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius moved away for good mid-March 2000 and Saturn in Gemini Trine Neptune in Aquarius moved in for the first exact hit on 24/6/2001). They want new experiences such as through travel, not more possessions. They seek inspiration, not material wealth (Jupiter in Gemini trine Neptune in Aquarius as before).

Unrestricted access to the Internet and social media has its problems. Many parents have no idea what their Generation Z's are up to online or how to set up parental controls (Saturn in Gemini Trine Neptune in Aquarius as before). This and a general lack of regulation (Jupiter in carefree, highly sociable and communicative Gemini (dispositor Mercury) conjunct Saturn) brings problems (on a global scale) of lack of safety online (Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius, as before).

There are also huge problems with 'trolling' and bullying, which for the unfortunate target, can now be relentless and 24/7 as they won't turn off their phones for fear of missing something. There is 'blocking' and 'unfriending' to keep someone out of the loop. Not surprisingly, there is increasing concern about the mental health of the young, which is already causing many problems and, if not addressed soon, will affect them deeply in the future as well as society in general (Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius as before, Pluto conjunct Chiron within orb of influence from the end of January 1999, 3rd and final exact hit 6/8/2000 and within orb until 21/12/2000 after which it moved on).

Aware of the 9/11 attacks and the Arab Spring, they are uneasy about the safety of today's world. They are wary of the constant surveillance everywhere they go in the physical world, such as by CCTV, (which is in direct contrast to the woeful lack of safety on social media) and the legal right of some organisations anywhere in the world to access anyone's online activity, even though they accept the need for it in certain circumstances (Saturn in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius, as before). Generation Z want privacy and prefer incognito social media such as Snapchat, Secret and Whisper, where they can create a virtual identity if they wish, or an alias for expressing themselves anonymously and without censure. (Saturn opposition Pluto, as before / Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius). But they are also sociable and not inward looking and like meeting up in person with close friends in the real world (Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus).

They are conscious of their digital footprint as, at present, it is almost impossible to remove completely. They do not want their posts or activity online to come back and haunt them in the future. They are thinking long-term about this (Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto in Sagittarius, as before).

Complex and cynical, they are not easy to market to. They are savvy consumers who research everything closely and like to leave reviews which, if bad, can sink sales. (Jupiter in Gemini conjunct Saturn in Taurus (fixed sign)/ Saturn in Gemini opposition Pluto). Their opinions increasingly count - a lot (Jupiter in Gemini). In the US, they make up the largest population group, and with the older members on the cusp of adulthood, their views and votes will soon hugely affect, and no doubt transform, how the world operates (Jupiter in Gemini opposition Pluto, as before). They already have the greatest influence on technology brands and trends than any previous generation (Uranus in mid-Aquarius when they were born).

They expect advancements in technology such as Google glass, graphene, Nano-computing, 3-D printing and driverless cars to be readily available to them as adults, and 'smart clothes' with integrated devices (Uranus in mid-Aquarius when they were born).

They are increasingly environmentally aware with ethical and humanitarian concerns and want sustainability to come before profit. Much more recycling is important as is an end to fossil fuel use. (Uranus in mid-Aquarius/ Saturn in Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius active from the beginning of August 1997 moved away mid-March 2000 having forced the world to wake up to these concerns, and the young consequently feel strongly about these issues). Generation Z will no doubt be looking to use technology to think of workable and ingenious solutions to our finite supply of oil (Saturn in Gemini trine Neptune in Aquarius as before).

The planetary influences from mid-July 2000 seem to fit well with how Generation Z is beginning to see itself, how they see and experience the world they have been born into, what they think will be their biggest challenges, their aims and thoughts about the future, what they want to change and that they mainly see technology as offering solutions to the challenges of today's world.

As with every generation in the past, some will feel disaffected and unheard, especially perhaps those who have been born into poorer or underprivileged backgrounds. But technology could soon start to transform their lives by levelling the playing field (the long-running Uranus in Aquarius Sextile Pluto was getting ready to move on in mid-December 2001 and no doubt helped develop the new opportunities here) as it becomes much easier to access devices and the Internet as prohibitive prices will most likely go down (Saturn square Uranus in mid-Aquarius moved on mid-May 2001). The future prospects for these young people are probably going to be much better than for the disillusioned and disadvantaged young of the previous generation (Jupiter square Neptune in Aquarius came into orb in early June 1999 and moved away mid-April 2000).

Many young people (in fact, anyone) with disabilities, some of whom have felt forgotten and restricted in the past, are increasingly able to access new technology to assist them and provide more opportunity to play a prominent role in society, which is likely to transform their lives too (Uranus in Aquarius sextile Chiron in Sagittarius in orb since late November 1999 was working its way through around the beginning of Generation Z and moved away mid-November 2001/ Neptune in Aquarius Sextile Chiron, in orb since late November 1998, had completed its work by late July 2000 / Saturn in Taurus Quincunx Chiron in Sagittarius moved away mid-April 2001).

Every generation wants to make its mark on the world, and Generation Z will be no different. To quote Vivek Patel, 'To my fellow Gen Z'ers - once we understand who we are, together we will accomplish great things.'

The dreams and expectations for so many members of Generation Y did not materialise (Saturn in Taurus square Neptune in Aquarius). Perhaps they will for Generation Z who are less concerned with material possessions and seem to think of personal achievement in a different, more relaxed, way (Saturn trine Neptune in Aquarius as before).