According to a programme about the Internet that I was watching recently, the modern mass culture that we live in may eventually come to be seen as an aberration. Before we had modern methods of communication such as TV and modern means of transport, cultures and communities would have been much more locally based. Now, with the Internet, small communities are again springing up through sites such as Myspace and Youtube, much of it based on shared musical interests. This means, for example, that bands that would not previously have attracted a large enough audience to merit the large companies releasing their records, are finding a following through these sites. Increasingly, bands do not have to attract a mass audience in order to succeed and become widely known.
There is also the blogging phenomenon, where bloggers such as myself are regularly read by a certain number of people, but probably not enough to merit publication in a book or magazine. Apparently there are 60 million bloggers worldwide. I’ve only been blogging for 5 months, but I’m delighted by the opportunity that the Internet has given me. Because if you write, what you want more than anything is for people to read what you’ve written. And the occasional appreciative comment by a reader makes a big difference to my enthusiasm for my blog. So the Internet is giving so many people the chance to be creative, whether through writing or music or film, in ways that are not possible in the wider mass culture.
And people are gradually spending more time on the Internet, where they can follow their special interests, rather than watching the television. And even the TV is gradually splitting into more and more channels.
The presiding deities of this cultural renewal are Uranus and Neptune. The outer planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto govern the wider movements and transformational shifts in the Collective, and these currents intensify when 2 of the outer planets aspect each other. The most powerful aspect is the Conjunction, which sets in motion a whole new phase lasting 100-400 years. These Conjunctions occur very rarely, yet there have been 2 in the lifetimes of most of us: the Uranus-Pluto Conjunction in Virgo, which lasted for much of the 1960s, and the Uranus-Neptune Conjunction in Capricorn, that lasted for much of the 1990s. So the times we have lived through have been unusually transformational, and we are still living through the gradual unfoldment of those Conjunctions.
Uranus and Neptune conjoined in 1993, so the establishment of the Internet in 1996 occurred well within the penumbra of that Conjunction. And the symbolism is apt: Uranus – electronic communication; and Neptune – the creative imagination and the dissolution of boundaries. Since 2003 Uranus has been in Pisces, which is ruled by Neptune, and Neptune has been in Aquarius, which is ruled by Uranus. So there has been what is known as a mutual reception between these 2 planets, which is a bit like a Conjunction, prolonging the effect of the original 1993 Conjunction, and ensuring that the Internet will continue its intense early phase of development for some time yet. Exciting as it is, we are still only at the beginning of the Uranus-Neptune cultural renewal that the Internet seems to promise.
Many of these developments come from young people, and what we will need to look out for in the coming years will be the impact of those born under the Uranus-Neptune Conjunction, some of whom are now reaching their late teens, but most of whom are still early to mid teens or younger. They are already an important part of the networking that is occurring on the net, but their involvement, and the particular influence they have to offer, can only increase. In this way we will come to understand more fully the nature of the 1993 Uranus-Neptune Conjunction. Our generation has become part of its unfoldment, but it is from those born under the Conjunction that we will see its strongest and fullest expression. Watch this space!
It is not usual to see a generation having an impact so young – they normally have to wait until they are old enough to occupy influential positions to do so, or at least be in their early twenties and become pop stars. But, through the Internet, this generation is helping to shape our culture while still in their teens.