I. Introduction

The generation of children born from approximately 1983 to 1999 (broader estimates say 1978-2003) includes a special classification of individuals first identified by authors Lee Carroll and Jan Tober [1] in their 1999 book The Indigo Children.

In this excerpt, the authors list several attributes they feel best describe those children:

They come into the world with a feeling of royalty (and often act like it).
They have a feeling of "deserving to be here," and are surprised when others don't share that.
Self-worth is not a big issue. They often tell the parents "who they are."
They have difficulty with absolute authority (authority without explanation or choice).
They simply will not do certain things; for example, waiting in line is difficult for them.
They get frustrated with systems that are ritually oriented and don't require creative thought.
They often see better ways of doing things, both at home and in school, which makes them seem like "system busters" (nonconforming to any system).
They seem antisocial unless they are with their own kind. If there are no others of like consciousness around them, they often turn inward, feeling like no other human understands them. School is often extremely difficult for them socially.
They will not respond to "guilt" discipline ("Wait till your father gets home and finds out what you did").
They are not shy in letting you know what they need.

Every generation shares certain characteristics which can be attributed to the lengthy transits of the outer planets through the twelve signs; Uranus stays in each one for approximately seven years, Neptune spends about fourteen and Pluto, with its erratic 248-year orbit, takes anywhere from 10 to 25 years to move through any given sign. Each combination of these three planets lasts long enough to influence a vast swath of the world's population, imprinting upon each new personality the unique qualities of their time.
In Horoscope for the New Millennium, E. Alan Meece [2] offers the following definitions for the four sub-generations born between 1982 and 2003:
"Explorers, part two," 1982-84 (Uranus and Neptune in Sagittarius, Pluto in Libra) -- Undisciplined and unfocused, but probably very positive and mature otherwise ... visionaries, adventurers, humorists, storytellers, writers and philosophers, but don't look for too many great political leaders.
"The benevolent entrepreneurs," 1984-88 (Uranus in Sagittarius, Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio) -- A more ambitious and well-disciplined group ... many far-seeing and important leaders and entrepreneurs. They feel a great duty to society and Humanity.
"The committed ones," 1988-1995 (Uranus conjunct Neptune in Capricorn, Pluto in Scorpio) -- Steady, persistent, determined, ambitious and passionate. They have great talent in the arts, politics and organization ... great leaders who lay down lasting foundations for a new age of civilization.
"The flame throwers" 1996-2003 (Uranus in Aquarius, Neptune in late Capricorn and Aquarius, Pluto in Sagittarius) -- A very outgoing, irrepressible, exuberant generation, quick to question authority and convention ... brilliant intellectuals, inventors, reformers and propagandists.

    According to Richard Brown [3], the astrological signature of the Indigo Children is a combination of outer planetary conjunctions and their aspects to Quaoar between 1983 and 2002:
"In generational astrology, Quaoar is best seen in its ability to define the generation which popular culture now calls the Indigo Children [who] began incarnating in small numbers during the 1980s and in larger numbers during the 1990s. A few stragglers are even incarnating now in late 2002. The astrological signature for the Indigo generation began in 1983, at which time both Quaoar and Pluto had entered Scorpio.

"There are three distinct segments to this Pluto-Quaoar configuration for those who make up this part of the Indigo generation. A two-year stretch from September 1991 through November 1993 ... during which Quaoar and Pluto were conjunct in late Scorpio. The second, during which Quaoar and Pluto are zigzagging back and forth across the cusp of Scorpio-Sagittarius from December 1993 to November 1995, and ... Finally both planets are in Sagittarius for the third ... which lasts almost seven years from January 1995 to November 2002.

"The Uranus-Neptune conjunction (January 1990 through December 1996 using a 6° orb), an exceptionally demanding energy in its own right, combined with the Pluto-Quaoar conjunction ... gives us the highest energy group of people we've seen on this planet for several millennia."

In her exploration of the Indigo signature, Lorraine Valente [4] focuses on the predominance of Capricorn placements in the charts of those born from 1985-1991 and includes Chiron and Saturn in the mix:
"...The 1989 to early 1990 group also has Uranus in exact opposition to the planetoid of healing, Chiron [and] Uranus, Neptune and Saturn in the sign of Capricorn ... A group of innovative children, wise beyond their years, whose nervous systems are wired differently to utilize computers and new technology, who are inspired to build new social structures in our society."
Donna Cunningham [5], after being "inundated with requests by the parents of indigos" and, having observed certain astrological patterns in their charts over the years, reported on the indicators behind the Indigo phenomenon in The Mountain Astrologer (Jun/July 2003):
"Uranus and Neptune had been conjunct ... for a number of years when these children were born, first in Sagittarius, then in Capricorn, and finally in Aquarius. The years 1984-1999 were especially significant. These strangely gifted youngsters tended to have Uranus and Neptune highlighted in their charts, perhaps connected with their Sun, Moon or rising sign or with several factors at once."

Bill Streett [6] confirms this aspect of the Indigo signature, most notable in those born within the four years when the Uranus-Neptune conjunction's influence was at its strongest:
"A particularly creative, self-determining, and restless bunch of children were born in the last several years of the twentieth century. The high amounts of creativity, imagination, intuition and rebelliousness that these children display are certainly attributes of the Uranus-Neptune combination ... in particular, children born between 1988 and 1992."

II. The Crystal Children -- Indigo Light?

In the summer of 2003, Richard Giles [7] predicted a new phase of this phenomenon:

"Mars, the ancient god of war, is at his closest point to the earth in recorded human history. During 2003, both Mars and Uranus have entered Pisces ... Mars stays there six months and Uranus will stay until 2008. The strong Piscean emphasis this year will produce a crop of children with very potent futures."

A second generation, born between roughly 1998 and 2003, has been characterized similarly; hypersensitive, possessing powerful psychic or intuitive abilities and "important life purposes." They are, however, described as "blissful and even-tempered" compared to the Indigos. Most of the information available online about the Crystal Children seems to stem from the works of Doreen Virtue, Ph.D., whose primer on them can be found here.

III. Crystal Blue Persuasion

Do these two generations, as many experts -- and many more parents -- say, represent the next stage in human evolution? Rupert Sheldrake's [9] "Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance," or morphogenetic fields, may go a long way towards explaining the heightened sensitivity, borderline-psychic intuitiveness and telepathic potential observed in many of the children born in the last twenty years. According to Sheldrake, "The past forms and behaviors of organisms influence organisms in the present through direct connections across time and space," citing experiments in which "laboratory rats in one place have learned how to navigate a new maze [and subsequent generations of] rats elsewhere in the world seem to learn it more easily."
Since scientists have observed in laboratory rats and other species an apparent generational transference of learned behaviors, it stands to reason that the same phenomenon affects our species, and that each new generation is born encoded with the distilled totality of human knowledge and experience in their DNA (though perhaps not in any form that's accessible or useful to them individually -- at least not yet).
Few would argue with the observation that human development has accelerated in recent decades -- and at a rate often described as exponential, a word we often use to describe human (and viral) population growth. Consider that the world's population reached one billion in 1802 and has since increased to over 6.5 billion [10]; doubling since the 1960s -- tripling in just two generations, since the 1920s. The fact that our cognitive and creative advances have paralleled this unprecedented -- and still accelerating -- rate of growth suggests that there is something more at work here than plodding Darwinian evolution and linear paths of inheritance.
Does the theory of morphic resonance make sense of the mythology that has grown up around these children born in the late 20th Century? Can the astrology of those extraordinary years explain what their parents have observed and conjectured? All things considered, are they really so different from everyone else's children?
As enlightening as the findings of Sheldrake and others might be, there is another factor at work here. All parents think their children are special. We might see a lot of interesting things looking at the charts of "Indigo" and "Crystal" children but we won't really know if our observations are meaningful -- or if our predictions have resonance -- until these children become adults and their impacts on the world can be observed.
For now, we might learn more from the charts of the parents who are looking to their children for the salvation of our species.

1."The Indigo Children" by Lee Carroll & Jan Tober, published by Hay House.
2. Horoscope for the New Millennium by E. Alan Meece.
3. QUAOAR by Sign: A generational indicator (and a look at the Indigos) by Richard Brown.
4. Indigo Children: The Color of the Future, Lorraine Valente.
5. Mars-Uranus Aspects: The Heat is On by Donna Cunningham, The Mountain Astrologer, Jun/July 2003.
6. The Astrology of 2010: Personal and Generational Implications by Bill Streett.
7. MARS RETROGRADE: Children of the Pisces Revolution, The Mountain Astrologer (Aug/Sep 2003) by Richard Giles.
8. http://www.experiencefestival.com/a/CrystalChildren/id/21350
9. A New Science of Life: The Hypothesis of Morphic Resonance by Rupert Sheldrake.
10. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/0/02/Population_curve.png

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