“I want every little girl who’s told she’s bossy to be told instead she has leadership skills,” Sheryl Sandberg has said.
One can be a boss and not necessarily a leader. And one can be a leader and not necessarily a boss. But you can’t just exchange one for the other. They’re not the same thing.
For one, people tend to love leaders and hate bosses. And not just because of verbiage. Leaders inspire, bosses dictate. One frees, the other inhibits. Sandberg is onto something, but she’s missing the point—and not entirely tuned into the generation she’s trying to reach. Because Millenials understand this in a way she can’t. They’re primed for a revolution, but it’s not from against-ness. It’s from their own innate desire to define feminism for themselves.
This makes me think of all of the remarkable young women I’ve been meeting born between the years 1989 and 1993 with personal planets in Capricorn. They have intense Capricorn energy due to the outer planet pileup that occurred during those years. And I think they’re ushering in a new kind of power in the world, one drawn from deep feminine strength and a disciplined maternity that shines through all they do.
Here’s the astrological low down: during these years Neptune (illusions, healing, dissolution), Saturn (structure, establishment, order) and Uranus (rebellion, new beginnings) were all in Capricorn. Let’s think about these years. The most overt example of this energy is post-Communist Germany, the immediate years following the fall of the Berlin Wall. The old order was dissolving and a new one had to be integrated. What was broken had to be made whole. And if we think about Germany’s rise, its resurgence over the past 25 years, we see something remarkable (not to mention it’s led by the most powerful woman in the world, Angela Merkel).
If we look to the actresses and public figures born during these years: Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Taylor Swift, Shailene Woodley, Kristen Stewart, to name the majors, we see something truly phenomenal happening. They’re defining themselves, they’re owning their power and championing authenticity at all costs. This, I believe, is reflective of their larger peer group.
Historically, Capricorn has been associated with the boss. It’s ambitious energy, driven to excel, but often held back by fear and insecurity. It’s comforted by security and tangible representations of success. And, historically, because we live in a patriarchal society, this has been associated with men and left-brain dominance. But Capricorn is a feminine sign (all Earth signs are feminine), which is why I think this generation is breaking the mold.
They value tradition. They value history and learning from the past, but, they’re willing to change the order, atavistically re-engaging the feminine archetypes to their (and society’s) advantage.
The old order isn’t working. And Since Pluto’s ingress into Capricorn, we’ve seen a slow (Pluto takes 248 years to travel the zodiac) breakdown of the institutions that have come to shape our current lives. This will continue for another decade or so, as Pluto continues to make its way through the sign.
And with it, we’ll see these women come into more and more of their authentic power, surrendering the need to boss and control in favor of empowerment and self-expression.
And all they have to do is be exactly who they are. Now that’s leadership.
Artwork by Michelle Favin of Whys LA for Poppy & Seed. Connect with her @whyslosangeles.