The Grand Cross
From tomorrow (April 17th 2014), Uranus, Jupiter and Pluto will form a T-square at 13 degrees of Aries, Cancer and Capricorn respectively.
Next week however, on Wednesday April 23rd and Thursday 24th, Mars will join them at 13 degrees Libra. This highly unusual line-up of planets is called in astrology a Grand Cross, and usually indicates a state of great tension, stress and conflict, though with the possibility of creative resolution and transcendence. This can come about through finding a deeper common ground beneath the apparent conflict, or by undergoing a paradigm shift in which the conflict no longer assumes the importance it once had. In an individual's natal chart this can, at its worst, be a marker of great inner conflict, and its highest, of genius.
Given the nature of the planets involved and the fact that this is another milestone in the unfolding drama of the series of 7 Uranus-Pluto Squares, this pattern is fraught with potential conflict, though Mars, the astrological significator of aggression, is perhaps at it's weakest at the moment, given that it is both retrograde and in the sign of its detriment, Libra.
It is interesting to note how tied in to this patten is the birthchart of he leader of the Russian Republic, Vladimir Putin, given the escalating tension in Ukraine since their revolution in February this year. Putin's Sun at 13° Libra has been hit by Uranus and Pluto over the last few months, will over the next week be squared by Jupiter (inflating his sense of self) and then on the 23rd and 24th by Mars. Perhaps we can expect him to be at his most belligerent and warlike at this time.
The United States is also triggered by this pattern, having its Sun at 13° Cancer and Saturn at 14° Libra. Although both planets are under great stress, the Sun is at least temporarily supported by Jupiter crossing it, whilst its exalted Saturn in Libra may come down firmly on any Martian attempt to threaten its interests.
Let us hope that the tensions already apparent in the lead-up to the Grand Cross will be resolved creatively and intelligently, and that its potential for chaos not be unleashed.
Individuals with planets at 13° of cardinal signs may also be experiencing great tension at the moment, and given that these signs are associated with decisive action, this is the best way of handling such astrological energies. Anything that reduces stress, such as exercise, running, martial arts, sport, dance, massage etc will also help dissipate the tension and avoid unnecessary conflict with others.
Solar Eclipse, May 10th 2013
Annular solar eclipse, showing the 'ring of fire'.
Early Friday morning there is a New Moon which is also an annular solar eclipse (total at approx 1:30am), at 19.31 Taurus, visible in Australia and the southern Pacific. Annular means that the Moon is too far from Earth to block out the Sun completely, so at totality it leaves a ring of the Sun's light (annulus) around it, sometimes known as 'the ring of fire'.
Astrologically, eclipses can bring drama, intensity and passion, and if you have any planets within a degree or so of Taurus in particular (and possibly Scorpio), expect to be in the spotlight for some reason. Eclipses are often like a message, prompting - sometimes forcing - you to make important decisions about your life, or showing you a vision of the way forward. Check out the house of your birth chart that the eclipse falls in for additional clues.
Eclipses also fall into Saros Series, which Bernadette Brady discusses in her book Predictive Astrology - The Eagle and The Lark (available to members in our library). According to Bernadette, this eclipse is part of the Saros 138 South15 series. Of this, she writes: “This series is about a release of tension. A situation which has been lingering will suddenly clear. In the clearing of the problem there is also a sense of grief or loss which is not so much personal as belonging to a group or collective.”
This eclipse, along with the two lunar eclipses surrounding it (on April 25th and May 25th) takes place within the current Uranus-Pluto square, exact on May 20th.
Eclipse photo by Kevin Baird, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
The BBC, Pluto & Uranus
The BBC is one many organisations and Countries (including the UK 1801) formed on 1st. January. Originally the BBC was a private company started on 18 October 1922, but its current form was established under a Royal Charter in 1927. All these 1st. January entities will have the Sun at about 9 or 10 degrees of Capricorn, so Pluto is already or soon will be transiting this point. Most of these organisations have a legal midnight formation time which also places the IC of the chart here, usually a degree or so earlier. The pattern seems therefore to be the foundations being rocked followed by turmoil, reorganisation and transformation. As this time and date every year also has a descendant round about 6 degrees of Aries - where Uranus currently is - the full impact of the ongoing Pluto-Uranus square will be emphasised in all 1st. January organisations.
The rioting in London and other English cities over the last few days has come as a shock to most people, but it shouldn't come as a complete surprise to astrologers, since we are in the middle of a dramatic line-up of planets that has its peak of intensity between today (August 9th) and Thursday.
Uranus and Pluto have been approaching a square (90 degrees) aspect since the middle of June (see blog post on the subject below), and in the last week, Mars has entered the cardinal sign fray by ingressing into Cancer last Wednesday, since when it has been within orb of both Uranus and Pluto. Mars, is said to be in its fall in Cancer, meaning that its normally direct, assertive energies are more likely to express themselves resentfully. Today it makes the exact square to Uranus, and in the early hours of Thursday, reaches the opposition to Pluto.
A more volatile combination of planets, in a more volatile pattern, and in more volatile (or at least, fast-moving) zodiac signs, can hardly be imagined. The fact that cardinal signs are strongly configured in the UK's national charts (especially Capricorn and Cancer) shows our particular sensitivity to these energies.
It is to be hoped that once Mars moves on after Thursday's opposition to Pluto, that the energy behind the current unrest, looting and violence, will dissipate as quickly as it arose, although we also have a Full Moon (bringing heightened feelings) to contend with, this weekend.
Another possible scenario is that the unrest lasts until the 25th, when angry, resentful Mars is contained by sternly disciplinarian Saturn, currently strong in the sign of its exaltation, Libra.
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Kris Lee and Graham Boston are astrologers who help run Aquarius Severn.
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