The Cardinal Grand Cross
by Leah Whitehorse • • 65 Comments
Squares and oppositions are typically noted for being tense aspects. Squares tend to produce conflict and demand action of some kind to resolve the situation. Oppositions can indicate where we project out ‘stuff’ that we don’t want to deal with. Oppositions can be as the name implies and characterise where we come into opposition with other’s beliefs, ways of being, needs, wants and desires. Oppositions can generate a need to make a decision that is foisted upon us from what seems to be an outside force, although often it is a projection of an internal dilemma.
Both squares and oppositions are dynamic aspects that request we change something in our lives and change is rarely easy. Even changes that we desire can evoke their own kind of stress.
On a personal level, I have Mars currently transiting through my 3rd house (communication) and Jupiter transiting through my 12th house. As these two gear up to perfect to a square tomorrow (8th January), I woke up to find my email had been hijacked by a spammer. The result was nearly 3000 returned/delayed emails to delete. Don’t forget that the 12th house can be the house of secret enemies!
The Grand Cross on the 22nd-23rd of April occurs at 13 degrees of the Cardinal signs and is smacked in between two eclipses, one Lunar (April 15th at 26 degrees Libra) and one Solar (on April 30th at 10 degrees Taurus). In many cultures, the cross, the number 13 and the eclipse have been symbolically associated with death and endings, but also with rebirth and new beginnings.
Although the T-Square has been around for months (and will stay around for more months to come), the New Moon on March 30th will highlight the patterns that will blow more strongly with the Grand Cross and the eclipses forming in April. In general, the keywords for mid to late April are: loss, mourning and eventual metamorphosis. Pluto (the god of death) goes direct on April 14th; Mars (the god of war) forms the Grand Cross on the 23rd; Uranus (the “new”/surprising god of the skies) and Jupiter (the god of all gods and men) continue to square all of the above while Mercury (the god of communication) also enters the battlefield.
“Carrying” the Cross
Change is on the horizon. And change usually requires luck (fate) and/or effort and sacrifice (“carrying” the cross). Either the wheel of fortune spins and brings something new (for good or for bad), or we actively create it. A Grand Cross in astrology is all of the above, in the sense that it shows burden as much as effort as much as destiny at play. What cross are you “carrying”? What can carry/help you (emotionally, spiritually, mentally, even practically) while you walk across this sky?
Pluto – one of the protagonists of the Cross – rules fear. Succumbing to it is hardly a winning strategy. Hope is a much better ally (thank you Michele in New York for the advice :-)). We can still chose to be hopeful despite an undeniably heavy sky and struggling earth. We can still chose to act from our higher selves rather than fear. We can still chose to pay attention to BOTH the good and the bad around us.
The Grand Cross of Injustice
The sky has already been hit by retrograde Mars on March 1st (til May 19th); the god of war seems in fact to be obfuscating the light of reason -and that of peace… I look at the sky in my painting and in my charts as in trying to make logic of the absurdity of it all. I look at the sky but I see the dark blue color much more than I see the stars nowadays. That darkness is haunting. The study of the stars tells me that the dark sky (the two eclipses) will somehow catch on fire in April (Mars coming in the Grand Cross), revealing additional struggles and battles, secrets and solutions, endings and new beginnings, and many more surprises.
The world is at a “cross”-roads, with the North and the South (the 1% and everyone else), and the East and the West (we all know the names of the countries involved) clashing against each other. I look at the people around me – in the relative safety of the country in which I reside- and I see a lot of struggle and pain. No matter where we are in our lives (geographically, financially, emotionally, etc.) the Grand Cross seems to be taking its toll. This is a pain that hits right at the heart, a violence that penetrates deep into the soul of our common humanity. Hopefully the injustice of it all will wake us up instead of putting us asleep under the weight of power plays, additional violence, denial and apathy.
Eclipsing the Cross
The sky in my painting is still in the making. I remind myself that astrology shows “cycles,” not a fixed future. The stars do not dictate fate. They show patterns and symbols. My personal resolution is to observe, accept (“mourn” in some cases) and then act accordingly to my own personal power and situation. I firmly stand my (ethical) ground meditating on the difference between diplomacy and compromise, fate and free will. I try to find a winning strategy for the long term, not just the short one.
I remind myself that symbols are like coins: they have two faces. For example, Mars can be quite a trigger for discovering the warrior within ourselves that can give us strength and resolution, protection and confidence. Eclipses can shine the light over issues that we have “dodged” to deal with for too long. They may reveal to us an inner light that we may have forgotten about; they may reveal secrets and bring truths to our attention. Pluto can bring about endings but also opportunities to rediscover our own inner power and a new and more effective vision. A Grand Cross can bring challenges, but it can also shine the light into our own higher self while reminding us to have the faith to rely on something greater when all else fails.
The Sky above and the Ocean within
The sky on my canvas is not finished, but the ocean I am painting – my inner ocean – will not – no matter what – turn into a mere reflection/mirror of the pain I experience and observe on the outside. We can chose to keep our inner oceans full of endless possibilities, filled with hope and open to Grace. In the midst of it all, we can still acknowledge that this too will pass. We can still find the greater purpose unfolding. We can still find the strength to endure any unwelcome change, and we can still trust that eventually something better will be born out of the struggle. We can still chose to see the bright white light of the stars illuminating the deep blue darkness of the night.