Riding the Wave of Transformation
The Cardinal Cross was a powerful aspect pattern in our skies for several years, starting in 2010: Uranus square Pluto along with Jupiter and Saturn. These alignments initiated deep change that continues to unfold.
Article Series: At the Cardinal Crossroads
The Cardinal Cross ~ Making it Work for You
The Cardinal Cross is a T-square (sometimes called a T-cross) aspect pattern that is moving through our skies in 2010 that is made up of slow-moving planets. It consists primarily of Jupiter conjunct Uranus in Aries (and Pisces), with Saturn opposing them from Libra (and Virgo), and Pluto squares them from Capricorn.
Jupiter-Uranus wants to break free of the old and leap into something new. Saturn wants to be more cautious by sticking with the tried-and-true methods and established achievements. Pluto mediates between the two sides but is there to ensure that transformation takes place. It's not enough to simply find a balance point between the extremes, which could leave us merely stuck in a stalemate. Pluto knows something new must be born by merging the best of both worlds.
At various times throughout 2010, other faster-moving planets align themselves with one of these three "corners." The Lunar Eclipse in June 2010 creates a Grand Cross since the Sun fills in the fourth "corner" of the square.
For more information about the planets and aspects involved, see What is the Cardinal Cross?
Personal and Trans-Personal Effects
On a personal level, the Cardinal Cross creates a time of deeply significant change and transformation. We are all touched by this cosmic alignment in some way, although those most affected seem to have planets or sensitive points in their natal chart that interact strongly with the Cross planets. If you have natal points that lie in the late degrees of the Mutable signs (Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius) or the early degrees of the Cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, Capricorn), then you are probably feeling the effects on a very personal level.
The overall impact of the Cardinal Cross can be hard to pinpoint because there are so many different planetary energies contributing to the mix. You might respond more to the energies of one of the three "corners" of the Cross (Jupiter-Uranus, Saturn or Pluto). Or, you might feel caught in between two of the planetary "corners," as you wrestle with two equally difficult (or enticing) alternatives, in which case the third "corner" could provide a way to break the deadlock.
Your personal experience might also become wrapped up in a more trans-personal experience of these energies. There are so many things going on in the world right now that are troublesome, alarming, unfamiliar or urgent, which are vibrating to the Cardinal Cross energies. Your own response to these planets could become merged with or riveted by any of these momentous global events or situations that are unfolding.
For example: Have you been profoundly affected by the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico? It's hard to imagine anyone who hasn't been deeply disturbed by it. Perhaps this has moved you to want to get involved by volunteering, offering solutions, or encouraging people to pray, meditate or visualize to facilitate healing. You might be enraged or overwhelmed by the loss of human life, the ruined livelihoods, or how the company has handled the drilling or the response to the disaster. Or, you could be so emotionally exhausted from it all that you just can't bear to watch the news anymore.
Other current global issues might also become a focal point for your personal connection to the Cardinal T-square: environmental issues, political clashes, religious controversy, civil rights violations, economic recovery, globalization of industry, and so on.
Each Planet's Voice
The Cardinal Cross contains "larger than life" transpersonal energies that can trans-form your life's direction, focus and experience. Each of these planetary energies speaks with a different "tone of voice," encouraging you to move in its particular direction. And when all four of them are yelling at you at once, the effect can be confusing and overwhelming – as if you're at a FIFA soccer match with all the vuvuzelas blasting at once! It helps to understand the contribution made by each individual planet.
Jupiter is like a regal trumpet that announces something potentially grand and magnificent. It often brings opportunities, insights and a renewed sense of purpose and faith. Jupiter can also tempt you with promises of optimistic glory, yet can fall short if there isn't enough substance in the opportunity to make it happen. It can also drive you to pursue bigger, better, higher, deeper, more thrilling, more satisfying, more, more, more of whatever you are focused on. For example: food, sex, wealth, security, certainty, intensity, risk, confidence, etc.
Saturn is like a drum – not a lot of melody but provides structure by keeping steady time. It often brings endings, delays, obstacles and facing consequences of past actions, although it can also bring rewards and results after careful planning and hard work. Saturn understands that old does not necessarily mean outmoded. Relying on tradition and tried-and-true methods tend to produce predictable results, which can enable you to be more effective. Progress can be achieved when you aren't always reinventing the wheel. However, as the saying goes, "if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got." In other words, if you're not getting what you need or want from what you're already doing, then maybe you're locked into too much Saturn and need to try something new.
Uranus is like a synthesizer that can sound like just about anything! Its energy can liberate you from being stuck in a rut, fill your life with a whole new perspective on life, and give you the chutzpah to break out of an old habit or routine. On the other hand, it can also blow up your plans, shatter your familiar view of the world, and leave you feeling dizzy and vulnerable. Risk taking is a necessary ingredient when trying something new, but recklessness will usually hinder more than help. Change is Uranus' primary mode of operation, although this can feel chaotic and frightening while it's happening. When you're in the center of a cyclone, the worst thing you can do is try to reach out and stop the chaos. That will just yank you out of your center and spin you around even more. The best thing to do is to remain centered and grounded in the "eye of the hurricane" and take things as they come.
Pluto is like the subwoofer speaker in your stereo system that generates those deep low tones. Pluto asks you to symbolically shed your skin like a snake, so that you become re-empowered and reborn. Loss is often a part of Pluto's transformative process. As much as you might not want to let go of whatever it is, it is typically something you are now ready to live without, and in fact it may be necessary for you to let go of this in order to become your most authentic self. As your life changes to reflect the true essence of who you really are, you become more empowered and more resilient in the face of difficulty. If you feel like you're surrounded by darkness, think of it as the darkness of the womb from which you will be reborn.
The idea is to synchronize these contradictory energies into a symphony of planetary sound that moves you in some new direction. One sound might be more dominant than the others, but they all combine together to form a whole effect that is greater than its parts.
Jupiter-Uranus versus Saturn-Pluto
Using another analogy, it's like riding an untamed horse. If you try to dominate it and rein it in too much (Saturn and Pluto) the horse may bolt in rebellion (you lose control). When control is too rigid, the horse's spirit could also become broken (you stifle the benefit of its power and potential). On the other hand, letting the horse run too wild (Jupiter and Uranus) means you might get thrown off or trampled (overwhelmed or inundated by too much too fast). Or, you could wind up someplace you don't want to be (getting too carried away with the impulse).
In order to ride this cosmic beast, you need the right balance of disciplined control and willingness to "cast your fate to the wind." It's important to step up to the challenge – stay alert and keep making conscious choices. The circumstances of how this energy manifests in your life may not be entirely within your control – you are, after all, co-creating your life with the Universe. Nevertheless, the way you respond, the choices you make, and the attitudes you adopt are within your control, and it is by balancing these qualities that you will navigate successfully through this tumultuous, powerful and meaningful time.
Jupiter and Uranus represent tremendous potential for innovation, breaking free of old restraints and embarking on a new journey—literally or figuratively speaking. This is especially true while they are both in Aries (Jun.06.2010 to Aug.13.2010, and Mar.11.2011 to Jun.04.2011). Your sense of vision, optimism and opportunity could become supercharged under this energy. You might feel like you're on a roller coaster ride, with its highs and lows, thrills and chills, and its rather chaotic or erratic yet exciting changes.
On one hand, this can make for a very exhilarating time, full of potential, stimulation and new possibilities. However, if breaking out of your established routine or comfort zone is something that doesn't come easily to you, that roller coaster ride could make you feel like your life is out of control. In that case, it may be tempting to want to retreat back into the (perceived) safety of Saturn and Pluto where (it at least feels like) control is more within your reach.
Here's the thing: a roller coaster relies on a strong, sturdy track to hold it in place and to keep you from running off the rails. In the same way, the best Jupiter-Uranus experience relies on the solid structure of Saturn and Capricorn (where Pluto currently is) to guide it along its journey and ensure that you get to your destination safely, wherever that may be.
Pluto in Capricorn and Saturn are both about control and structure, but too much of these qualities can stifle the growth and progress that they are meant to support. The roller coaster won't go anywhere if its track doesn't allow enough movement. And besides, the ride is supposed to be exciting and a little scary – that's the fun of it! Too much Saturn-Pluto will take away the ups and downs and curves and loops, which turns a stimulating, liberating experience into something merely utilitarian. Jupiter and Uranus come into your life to wake you up, not bore you to sleep!
Having structure in your life means having a routine and boundaries, as well as being disciplined and responsible. Responsibility – response-ability – is not meant to be something that stifles your freedom, progress or pleasure. Rather, it is meant to support these by enabling you to deal with the necessities, realities and obstacles in life. This in turn strengthens you, teaches you and shapes you, as well as facilitating your evolution, growth and maturation. Unfortunately, we often resist Saturn's or Pluto's influence because we think they will strip us of the joy in life. If that happens, though, it probably means you need to invite Jupiter and Uranus in your life a little more!
Control and Chaos – Finding the Balance
The idea is to find that balance point between the extremes of Saturn-Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus – between suppressing what's happening and letting things run amok. During this Cardinal Cross time, you could find yourself zigzagging back and forth between extremes, which can wear you out unless you use this as way to find that midpoint. Like a sailboat tacking into the wind, it might be necessary to shift back and forth in order to find your balance point and make progress against hardship.
The trick is not to get stuck in reactive extremes, but to use each swing back and forth to learn how to find that midpoint, from which will emerge a new impetus that encompasses and transcends both extremes. This is the Pluto transformative element – creating something new out of the raw elements.
Are you stuck in Saturn-Pluto? Do you feel like the more you try to control things, the more out of control life seems to get? You might be holding on a little too tightly and controlling too much. Try asking yourself if you might be trying to prevent a change that actually needs to happen. By trying SO strenuously to avoid something that may be inevitable, necessary or beneficial, you could ironically be creating more turbulence and perpetuating the chaos.
Letting go doesn't have to mean losing control. Your best solution might wind up looking quite different than what you think it will. Letting go might simply mean trying on new ideas and thinking outside the box. Or, perhaps there's something about the situation you're trying to avoid that will actually have a benefit that you're not seeing. Getting a new perspective about the possibilities can help you relax the iron grip you have on the situation, which can then allow life to flow more naturally and beneficially.
Are you escaping into Jupiter-Uranus? Do you find that the more you try to stay free and open, the more you seem to get dragged back down into negative, rigid or habitual ways of thinking? Ask yourself if you might be running away from something that truly needs to be faced. If there is something that you need to deal with, insisting otherwise could actually become like a ball and chain that keeps you from soaring free.
However, being "grounded" doesn't have to mean you become trapped and unable to move. It means being connected to the earth, in sync with the reality around you, and in touch with your body which gives you an intuitive and instinctive perception of that reality. If you're out of touch with these things, you're limiting your ability to navigate through life, which means while you're "soaring free" you're flying partially blind.
Alternatively, feeling like you're being held back might turn out to be a safety mechanism that keeps you from harm. If you're so mesmerized by that "bright light" of hope and vision, and don't see clearly what it really is, you might be like a moth about to fly into a candle flame, in which case that invisible glass you keep bumping into might actually be your best friend. In other words, even if Saturn-Pluto is creating an obstacle in your life, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Whether you're clutching too tightly onto Saturn-Pluto or escaping into too much Jupiter-Uranus, the best way to find out what the resistance or obstacle is really about is to turn around and take a close, hard look at it. A personal reading is an excellent way to do that, using your astrology chart to reveal the deeper truth about what's going on and how to work with it instead of against it.
© Wendy Guy 2010, all right reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal purposes, please obtain written permission from the author before reproducing this article. Diagrams of Grand Cross copyright Wendy Guy.