The Cardinal Grand Cross - April 23rd 2014
by Isaac George
“In the beginning was the thing. And one thing led to another” - Tom Robbins ("Half Asleep In Frog Pajamas")
This may or may not be one of those dates in our times that we look back upon, point to and say, “Well, that was something else!” After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962 was over and done, one British journalist called it “That Was the Week That Was.” Perhaps these eight days could be dubbed “The Pressure Cooker” as it contains so many powerful aspects that it is easy to miss the details with so much steam boiling around the senses.
In order to interpret the energies of this extended week, I must ask the reader to be patient with the chronology, as well as the analysis. As best as possible, I will describe the potent potentialities from a completely human and planetary feeling, rather than under the glare of cold intellect. There is nothing either fluffy nor intellectual about this alignment and the contrast of the celestial Archetypes. I’d advise all who read this to conduct a thorough gut check. Regardless of the date of this publication, many of us have been quite aware, psychically, of the energy that’s been building since late February.
A Grand What?
In astrological parlance, a Grand Cross is created when there are four planets each positioned 90° (called a Square aspect) apart from each other and at the same degree across the four astrological elements (Fire, Earth, Air, and Water). This also creates a pair of Oppositions of two planets 180° apart. Visualize a circle with a cross inscribed in the center and connect the points along the outer rim of the circle.
Even though the complete development of this configuration occurs over a period of eight days, there are three primary days on which it is most potent. Although all life forms on Earth are affected by the electromagnetics of planetary and celestial movements, each individual will invariably interpret the experience through their own unique filters and perceptions. Therefore, I will speak in general terms regarding the possible effects or manifestations of this configuration. It’s like doing a reading for the entire Planet, as if it were the client and we are just the mites on her clothes…which, admittedly, is a bad analogy.
So, the focus will be on a planetary scale, then the possible impacts in our personal universes and, lastly, the big deal of how this Grand Cross may affect the most powerful nation on Earth…the United States of America. For surely, whatever will affect America will affect the rest of the world.
The Astrological Cast of Characters:
Uranus at 13 degrees plus of Aries (Cardinal Fire)
Jupiter at 13 degrees plus of Cancer (Cardinal Water)
Mars at 13 degrees plus of Libra – Retrograde (Cardinal Air)
Pluto at 13 degrees plus of Capricorn – Retrograde (Cardinal Earth)
Cardinal Signs – means to lead, to show the way, to initiate something.
Keywords – starting anew, creation, change, to aim or turn in new directions.
Day 1 – April 15th
This is a real laugher…but only if you’re an American citizen and still feel you must fill out a tax return. This is Tax Filing Day in the USA, but is also the day of a powerful Lunar Eclipse with the Moon in Libra and the Sun in Aries, which may just spark off some revolutionary fervour in the subterranean landscape of the American psyche.
The scales (Libra) are way out of balance between the haves and have nots, as the highest percentage of tax burden in the U.S. falls upon the middle class, while the lowest contribution comes from the top 1% income bracket. Social Services are under increasing strain to provide for a record number of people on various forms of government support, which in turn are funded from taxpayer contributions or heavy Federal borrowing. On top of that, corporate tax contributions have dwindled as more and more multinational corporations shelter their wealth offshore.
With fiery trouble-maker Uranus parked in the sign of Aries, this may become a lit fuse in the months and years ahead, and take the form of tax protests or even non-compliance and challenges in the courts. Something’s got to give!
Note: April 28-29th is another point to be aware of, as there will be a Solar Eclipse at 6:13am UT. The Sun and Moon will station at 8 degrees of Taurus. I’ll speak to this in a future blog if I feel it warrants further exploration.
Day 2 – April 21st
Jupiter, like all astrological Planets (with the exception of the Sun and Moon), undergoes a period of “retrograde” motion during which it seems to stop and retrace its steps across the sky and then return to its direct motion. April 21st is the day that Jupiter arrives at 13° 39” minutes of Cancer for the final time, exactly conjoining and activating the USA Sun.
Uranus, at 13° 34” Aries and Mars at 13° 31” Libra form almost exact Squares (90° angle) with that same USA Natal Sun position, while Pluto completes the pattern at 13° 34” Capricorn opposing that very same American Sun position…but with one important difference – Pluto is now retrograde. This occurrs the day before the eclipse on April 14th. Remember, retrogrades mean a turning inward - self-examination.
The challenge from Uranus is that “…change not chosen from within, will be imposed from without.” Revolution or calamity from unexpected quarters is the result of hegemony, hubris and pride. Jupiter just expands this tension and Mars urges action while issuing this “in your face” very Plutonic challenge: “Power is illusory and fleeting. Nurturing and true compassion must replace the tendency to smother your children...all in the name of security (fear).”
Day 3 - April 23rd, 2014
Okay, this is the main event for 2014. Everything else unfolds from this point (and the ringing leftover from the Lunar Eclipse eight days prior).
The chart shown here is calculated for London under Universal Time (UT). Click on image to enlarge.
Regardless of your perception or understanding of astrology, my experience with major transits that encompass the global situation is that something always happens before, during or after a major alignment such as this one. Many astrologers (including yours truly) have painstakingly examined major historical events or long-term cycles and have seen how they are both instigated and mirrored by the energies in astrology. In recent times, the Saturn-Pluto opposition that occurred just prior to the event we know as 9/11 (September 11th, 2001) and the economic meltdown of 2007-2008 (Pluto ingresses into the sign of Capricorn), and the Japanese earthquake, tsunami and subsequent nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011 (Uranus ingresses into Aries – March 11th, 2011) are all excellent examples of these processes. (Click here to read an example I blogged about a while back.)
What is most personal about this chart is that it will be like a gun going off at the beginning of a horserace. If you have the Sun or any planets or angles (Ascendant, Descendent, MidHeaven, or I.C.) within 3-6 degrees of the position of each of our cast of characters (see above), then you are like a thoroughbred chafing at the bit to get going with whatever is in direct alignment for your Soul and your life purpose. This will involve a letting go or falling away of whatever it is that no longer works or that you want for you in your experience, but the primary energy is one of new directions and new beginnings. The pressure cooker of the past three to six months will start to ease off after this point.
Since Uranus pulls the trigger on the whole Grand Cross, it is nigh impossible to predict every contingency or permutation. Remaining in a state of openness, or expectancy, will be a more sensible response to the pressures involved than trying to screw yourself up as if you’re trying to avoid a blow. Lightning strikes when you’re not looking for it, and with Uranus in Aries, activated and expanded by Jupiter in Cancer, expect lightning to strike the waters and churn up lots of steam and thunderheads! Decisions will have to be made, and striking out in new directions will be initiated. Trying to maintain the status quo will only increase the tension, and the pain. Don’t resist, and there will be fewer dramas and traumas!
The main personal themes will include your personal relationships and relationship dynamics, finances, home and security, and the level or quality of individual freedom. There will be an edgy knowing that it is time to be living your destiny, or allowing your destiny to live through you! This requires imagination, a sense of adventure (even when the butterflies are buzzing in your belly) and a willingness to chart your own course. And, anyone who tries to stand in your way may have a rough time of it.
However, the humbling caution here is to remember that these astrological archetypes, as represented by various Greek or Roman names, are bigger than all of us, and operate like living entities via the collective or shared consciousness of humanity. Therefore, what is yours to be and do, is both a self-selective process that invites you to participate with the planetary consciousness, with Mother Gaia. So in one respect, the celestial ‘characters’ in our human journey are expressing their attributes through the human experience, which then influences our individual and collective choices, and also contributes to the totality of the vision of this world as a sentient Being…which connects us to everything that is.
On a collective and global level, this Cardinal Grand Cross is just 1/7th of a process that began in 2011-12 which started a cycle of seven squares between Pluto and Uranus. One of the Plutonian aspects is that of the Lord of Death, so many things we have either cherished or invested in, no matter what culture or country we reside in, will be falling away to make room for Uranian re-evolution and innovation. This journey began when Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, precipitating the financial meltdowns that occurred over the next three years. Perhaps the seven squares represent the activation and cleansing of the seven collective chakras in the shared unconscious. That may be stretching things a bit far symbolically, no matter how much one wants to connect dots.
It will be necessary to remain open to the truth that there is only one constant we may rely upon…the constant of change. Lightning will strike, wherever and whenever our divine design deems it necessary to awaken us from our slumbers or delusions. Uranus in Aries is this species clarion call for the collective kundalini awakening, which heralds the return of the Divine Feminine in equanimity and balance with the Sacred Masculine. Shakti rises to activate and meet Shiva. The Earth awakens to shake the foundations of the powers of patriarchy and confound and dissolve the structures of oppression that have enslaved humankind for almost 10,000 years.
To complete this analysis, I must conclude with a more comprehensive analysis on how this alignment may affect the USA. It is a geopolitical, cultural and economic fact of our era that whatever occurs to, or with, the United States of America affects the entire global experience…for good or ill. The Cardinal Grand Cross of April 23rd will alter the course of America, but in exactly what way I cannot predict.
I have used the commonly accepted natal chart for the U.S. which is July 4th, 1776 at 5:10pm in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The exactness of the main planetary characters of this Grand Cross to the USA Natal Sun is quite remarkable.
Having personally experienced transiting Pluto opposing my natal Sun in Cancer for the last two years, it is apparent that the very national identity of the America is in the crosshairs. Jupiter exactly conjoins the USA Sun degree, while Pluto exactly opposes it. This identity crisis is expanded by the effect of Jupiter to expand or exaggerate, and since the U.S.Sun is in Cancer, Pluto will rightly be asking “who do you think you are?”
Is America supposed to be the world’s policeman, demanding compliance to its wishes and whims, all the while maintaining the attitude of superiority and smothering any culture or people it deems to threaten her national interests? This is the shadow persona of America’s Cancer Sun, the patriarch Saturn ruling Capricorn, Cancer’s opposite. Perhaps there will be an epic shift in the principles on which America was founded, a shift that returns it to the best in its roots, but also a shift in which that which is archaic and outmoded is finally done away with. The USA's Cancer Sun archetype seeks to invite, embrace and nurture those who've been oppressed. This is the core identity of America, before it became co-opted.
Meanwhile, Uranus in Aries opposed by Mars in Libra (retrograde) will be demanding a major course correction of the direction of this nation. If no action is initiated by either the citizens of the U.S., or by its governmental structures and those hidden behind the scenes that pull the strings, then there may be consequences not foreseen by anyone. With Mars in the U.S. house of career/profession, and Uranus in the 4th House of familial identity, tradition and history, the tension will be focusing on how economic resources are distributed for the mutual benefit of all. Continuing the current economic model will be unwise. The response to the continuation of ‘business as usual’, the way Wall Street and the banksters want to keep it, may be a popular movement similar to Occupy Wall Street. But with Mars and Pluto both retrograde, and Uranus and Jupiter dominant, the reaction may become chaotic or even violent at times. This depends on the strength of the mask of Plutonian authority, and how far those in power are willing to go to preserve their game. As in the game of golf, someone on the team may be playing with a handicap. In this case it is Pluto and Mars who are paired up, both with -10 handicaps. Uranus and Jupiter will be busy trashing the greens and tearing up the fairways…IF, there is no meaningful change of direction. If America is to survive in some form it must alter its entrenched perceptions, and move towards an Earth-friendly and egalitarian consciousness of mutual cooperation with the other nations and peoples of this world.
This is the challenge to America…grow up or diminish. If it does diminish, its fall may be more spectacular than that of the Roman Empire. But that may still take a hundred years…or more.
Now, I must admit that this is all being said through my interpretive filters, and none of the above may happen, or some unforeseen lightning strike, perhaps another 9/11 style event, may cause the correction to occur, or at least begin. Whichever way it plays out, something WILL happen…and it will probably be quite a surprise or even a shock. With Saturn retrograding in Scorpio, the potential for a whole pot of scandals to come to the boil and blow the lid off may be a distinct possibility…a wild card in the hand of the Fates.
Don’t Panic! (A Whole Lotta Shakin’ Going On…)
The good news is that the dolphins are still here (a nod to Douglas Adams). I wish there was a "Hitchhikers Guide to the Earth" though and that for each and every situation we could quickly look up a solution or meaning to some event and feel more okay about it all.
As I am finishing this blog, I have been noticing the recent increase in geological disturbances around the fabled Ring of Fire (please click here, here and here for recaps of most recent activity). This region covers the entire Pacific Rim, and of late, the west coasts of the Americas have been heating up. Yellowstone, Los Angeles, Chile and now Panama have been rocked in a very short time span. Volcanic activity started picking up a few weeks ago, and the theory of traveling volcanism as a harbinger of earthquake activity has always seemed to have been born out…at least in my experience. Could some major geological event be the trigger that galvanizes the United States, or the world? It happened in Indonesia in 2004 and in Japan in 2011. Lightning striking…again? Only time will tell. With the power in the Lunar Eclipse on April 15th centered in this Grand Cross, anything is possible.
Regarding the possible rumblings or eruptions in your own body or personal world, I recommend that self-care will be essential, as well as being available to those in your periphery who are perhaps facing difficult challenges or decisions at this time. If you are a counsellor or body-worker, then you might be experiencing an increase of clients who are 'in crises' over the past three months. This will continue to peak over the next two weeks and on into May.
For yourself: Take a little time apart from others. Go for a walk in nature, or have a sea salt or Epsom salt baths with essential oils like lavender, frankincense or geranium. Take a walk in nature daily, or earth yourself by placing your bare feet in contact with the grass, sandy beaches or even a cement sidewalk. A friend of mine recently shared that she found it incredibly nurturing to roll herself up in a duvet, like a bug in a rug, and just self-cuddle. I haven't tried this yet, but it sounds good!
For others: When others are stressing out, remember to breathe and ground into your own center. Then attempt to be present for them. Just the art of listening to what someone else is going through, without trying to fix them or offer advice, can be healing for the other person in and of itself. If there is a serious emotional or psychological issue, encourage the individual towards counselling (I recommend more holistic forms, like transpersonal psychotherapy or psychosynthesis.) or perhaps somatic (body) work that addresses emotional stresses. Sometimes, just sharing a hug or holding someone in pain will do the trick.
Our bodies are constantly processing not only our individual stresses, but those in the collective experience. Some folks are also sensitive enough to mirror the tectonic and geological stresses on a planetary level. In varying ways, we are each other’s 'keeper', and although the Uranus in Aries archetype exalts the concept of individuation, it doesn't not reduce or supplant the real need we have for companionship and community. Libra is the complementary opposite, and asks that we embrace our uniqueness and also the uniqueness in the 'other'. See them for who they are, and what they reflect back to will be their inherent beauty, and not your idea of who they are.
When the Earth moves, let us embrace each other.
“Breaking Up is Hard to Do”
I have been getting a longer range sense of what this energy of April 2013 may be defining for us as a species. We may be starting to go through a split...a split that is a foundation shift from the old patriarchal order to be sure, and that will also include a spiritual/psychic split of some kind.
The human race can begin a return to the higher wisdom of Nature, which the Gnostic philosophers identified as the “Sophianic Vision” (Sophia is the Wisdom Goddess). This is a vision of how we may experience ourselves as thriving, cooperating and co-creating together, or the current direction may well continue to fragment human beings into isolation via technology and environmental degradation. In one way, our technology has shown us our collective mind, but in so doing, we have lost sight of the fact that it is merely an externalized example of the connection we possess with each other already, and with the planet we all reside upon. The Internet is the outward manifestation of our natural telepathic and empathic connection that is inherent to us as a species...our neural network made visible. This differs from 'hive mind', or artificial intelligence, because that is an inorganic model that demands conformity based on forms of hierarchy.
Therefore, I feel that we are at a significant crossroads at this time, and that this celestial event has something to say to all of us about our conditioned beliefs and our bad habits, individually and as a species. Some of us will choose the former road, choosing to reunite with our humanity, Nature and Mother Earth, which is naturally loving, generous and presents us with an immense potential to thrive and live harmoniously within the biosphere and with all of Life, including the wider Cosmos. Some may continue in the other direction, into cyberspace, trans-humanism and further disconnection from the human soul – the 'nous' that is our divine gift. This is an evolutionary dead-end.
If we gain the necessary wisdom soon, we will be able to place our technologies into a higher order of service to our humanity and in harmony with our planet. In my heart, I feel that the majority of us are responding to the call of our roots, which are sourced in the divine and also very, very human. This is where a heaven on Earth may be created…this is where we are now, with this spark of divine intelligence and with these bodies, on this planet. We cannot escape to somewhere more magical or more magnificent. It is here that we belong. And yes, through our bodies and our souls, and through this living planet, we are eternally connected to everything.
It’s here, all inside of us AND outside of us. Embrace both perspectives as already one, and the illusion of separation vanishes like smoke.
The spiritual warrior archetype, so exemplified in Uranus in Aries, now challenges us to take our next steps courageously, and with a warrior's sense of adventure. However, this time, we are all spiritual warriors who are watching out for each other’s welfare. We are in this thing together...and wherever that thing leads to next, will depend on the breadth of our imagination, and how we act to embody our vision. May we choose wisely.
For those of you are interested in a full animated visual of the astronomical relationships that astrology is based on, then click on this link to view this fascinating animated feature showing the Earth, the other planets in our Solar System, and the constellations of the Zodiac. http://www.solarsystemscope.com
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