Hey y’all! So, as you know, the first half of 2014 is dominated and defined by a really scary and intense astrological event that we astrologers have been keeping an eye on for quite awhile. You’ve heard me moaning about it for months if you follow me on social media. It’s called the Grand Cardinal Cross.

Cum in and let me explain the secrets of the universe...*~*~
Cum in and let me explain the secrets of the universe…*~*~

A SOMEWHAT SIMPLIFIED EXPLANATION OF WHAT I’M TALKING ABOUT

In astrology, different aspects decide the mood or vibe of what’s going on the world. The aspects are decided by what region of the sky (the signs) are being occupied by which planets at what time. The angles between these planets create good and bad aspects. A conjunction is when two planets are at or nearly are at the same point on the big wheel of the chart — this can go either positive or negative. The best aspects are sextiles and trines — 60 and 120 degree angles between planets that promote support and harmony between each other. The worst are oppositions and squares, which are 90 and 180 degree angles where the planets are trying to do different work at the same time and are playing tug-of-war or straight-up shouting at each other.

A Grand Cross happens when two pairs of planets are in opposition and they’re all squaring each other. We’re in that right now — it’s rotating into place in the sky and has been since January, and will actually become exact in the next few weeks. More on that later.

Grand Cardinal Cross chart, borrowed from Dark Star Astrology
Grand Cardinal Cross chart, borrowed from Dark Star Astrology :*

Let’s go over the four arms of the Cross before I tell you all about how itsabouta fuck your life up:

PLAYER ONE: URANUS IN ARIES

The planet of surprise and revolution moved from mellow Pisces into firecracker Aries back in May 2010 for the first time since the 1920s. We’re under halfway through its full Aries transit — it will remain here until March of 2019. Aries, a cardinal sign, is all about movement and change and starting and stopping and action, so it’s a jolty place for whackjob destroyer Uranus to be. It exacerbates the “out with the broken, in with something else I don’t care what is just get me out of this” mentality that Uranus already has. It’s energizing, certainly, and blazing. Some people have felt their minds have been scattering under this aspect. Many people have become hyped up, more tense, more on edge, more fearful — this transit is very paranoid, because Aries rules war and conflict and Uranus is all about sudden, drastic change. We’re also collectively super attracted to stimulation, electronic and physical, and feel a strong need to multitask, but we’re operating at warp speed and need a grounding influence that we have no idea how to even begin grabbing. I would make a comparison to the movie Gravity, but just thinking about it gives me anxiety. You get me.

People get anxious and changes happen rapidly, as do your intentions — nobody is sure where they want to put down roots. Jobs and relationships keep getting recycled or unexpectedly thrown out before you’ve even realized something’s up. You can avoid the actual uprooted scenario to some extent if you allow yourself to change your mindset — that’s the trick. Flexibility and an embrace of radicality, a willingness to morph, will help you to save and conserve under this transit, if that’s your instinct. It’s always positive under this energy to change your routine — a lot of people get into fitness, veganism, a new daily schedule, people move cities, travel — all these things are good choices. Take breaks, spice things up, try something new.

PLAYER TWO: PLUTO IN CAPRICORN

Another long-term energy-paradigm shift occurred just two years prior, in January of 2008. Pluto left queer Aquarius and swept into rigid, “cold earth” Capricorn. He will not leave Cap until January of 2024. (Yeah…outer planet transits affect things forever, basically.) Pluto in Capricorn is dark — Pluto is already a planet that channels a lot of psychic work. It rules power and authority as well as transformation — not the quick-tempered superficial reworkings of Uranus, which feel traumatic but always lead to a miniature rebirth, but the motion of a soul being slowly scraped out of its chrysalis with a knife, if that image means anything to you. Remember Sailor Pluto and how she had to guard the portal of space-time? Guarded by the Underworld, self-sacrificial stoic soldier type? Kind of the scary den mom to everyone else? Her primary attack is called “Dead Scream?” Yeah, Pluto is intense.

Flawfree...but terrifying.
Flawfree…but terrifying.

In Capricorn, Pluto is tied to the decay of existing structures. Disease is apparent, it is unraveled, and the body dies or is transformed. Survival of the constantly evolving, of the shape shifter. The pillars of society crumble, their cracks are exposed, and nobody feels secure in them anymore. Many people, on a personal level, are dealing with issues of control and agency and the interplay of their soul with pressures of authority, both micro-personal and macro-oppressive. Excess is excised by its failure to feed the soul and provide. This is a stony aspect that undergirds the next ten years — failure to commit, to refine, to refresh is failure to live. Self-destruction will very well kill you, or you have to actively destroy the dark parts of your soul. You can see already how that might cause tension against the ultraquick, floor-is-lava Uranus in Aries which is riding on top of it for five more years — you have no idea whether to fight or fly. Both feel wrong and both feel right.

PLAYER THREE: JUPITER IN CANCER

Finally, something that doesn’t last a decade or two. Jupiter left the happy-go-lucky, social Gemini in June of last year and entered mermaidian Cancer, where it will swim until July 16th. Jupiter is a high-vibrating planet often said to bless the part of the chart where it appears with luck — it also attracts growth, in experience, in understanding, and everywhere.

fishWherever Jupiter is, it rules the way you should act to draw the best to you during its time period. In Cancer, this means we must be sympathetic and try to conserve/rework existing relations to draw the best outcomes for ourselves. We have to mother each other. But we also have to be careful not to withdraw into our comfort zones. It takes a lot more effort to leave the house with Jupiter in Cancer, doesn’t it? You just want to stay swaddled in your cocoon, or like, go hang out with your mom. We have a tendency to smother other people with our emotional states, as well. Cancer is super-emotional and it makes everyone the friend who like calls you crying five times a day because of some personal crisis or another that they’re taking way more seriously than they need to — we’re all a bit more like that person under this Jupiter.

Other things: we might learn more about what it means to create a home or a family, and learn more about the novel ways we might want to do that for ourselves. We might over-pamper ourselves, not stretch ourselves out of whatever is comfortable to us. We might sink into our couches, or we might swing the other way and become really obsessed with satiating our inner Martha Stewart and Pinteresting DIY doorknobs and shit — it’s different for everyone. We might feel a huge need to cling to relationships, or we might feel crushed by them and seek air. The underlying theme, though, is to be nice, be empathetic, think about where other people are at, work with them, and be aware that other people’s emotions are running as high as yours. Talking about it is always better than avoiding the issue  — but don’t get hung up on things that don’t actually matter that much, just for drama’s sake, at the same time.

MARS IN LIBRA

And now, for the final arm of the cross — honestly the most erratic and worst, in my opinion. Mars usually stays in a sign for about a month and a half, but he crashed into Libra early in December and will not leave until…wait for it…July. What the hell, why is that?

Because Mars just went retrograde, so it’s going to retrace the section of Libra it just spent months traversing..and THEN it has to retrace that section back AGAIN in forward motion for another few months. (It had almost completed its transit — it only needed to finish out four more days.) This is a truly unreasonable and unprecedented amount of time for Mars to spend in one sign — Mars is usually a snappy planet that switches up energy constantly, like Mercury does. Notice the back-to-back retrogrades we have this year: Venus, then Mercury, then Mars/Saturn, then Mercury again…the Universe is like YO, ARE YOU SURE YOU GOT THIS? YOU MIGHT WANT TO REVISIT IT. ARE YOU SURE YOU TOOK NOTES? YOU MIGHT WANT TO REVISIT IT ONE MORE TIME…DID YOU GET THAT? TRY AGAIN. It’s do over after do over after do over. Whoever was important in your life or whatever has been a pertinent emotional issue for you in the past few years will not be cleared out or gone for months — you have karmic work with those issues to finish up — so it’s really difficult to, like, cut people out and think you can just make a fresh start or a clean break. It’s not. They are probably going to come back up, either IRL or by haunting your subconscious until you deal with them. The past few years were kind of seminal and important. Both the things you did brilliantly and the things you monstrously botched are very important, still, but you’re having trouble accessing them and how you felt about them at the time: hence, retrograde after retrograde to jog your memory.

Now, back to Mars. It might not be a terrible thing if Mars was in a sign it was pleased by for eight months (EIGHT. MONTHS.) Unfortunately, that’s not the case here either. Mars and Libra are not really pals — Mars is at what is called a “detriment” in Libra. A detriment means the qualities that the sign engenders are in direct opposition to the mission of the planet. Libra is about diplomacy and balancing, Mars is about striking, NOW. Libra calls for harmonization, for the pieces to be brought together in symphony. Mars is about destroying the other/Other/each other. It does this by making you project everything you hate about yourself onto the people closest to you. It tries to externalize your most private dilemmas. It makes you see everything backwards and inside-out.

Mars in Libra is tres Effy Stonem. *clunk*
Mars in Libra is tres Effy Stonem. *clunk*

So, these eight months are about the leather-skinned, steel-armored soldier storming into the opulent mansion of the delicate socialite. She gently reaches out to him to serve him some champagne, and he breaks the glass and broods in a corner. Her grace is a threat in his eyes, her jewels and self-adornments a veil of suspicion that kisses her whole aura. His abrasiveness is a challenge of her delicacy — if she can soften him, her finesse is unmatched. He feels her attempts to relate to him are actually a show of disingenuousness. She feels his unwilling demeanor, his drawn sword are guarding a deep wound. Some situation in your life looks or feels that way right now and whether you’re the ingenue or the warrior, a party guest or a backup trooper, both positions honestly are terribly suited.

animal worldMars in Libra is passive-aggressive, and the Mars figure during this time is supposed to learn to either play by the rules of Girl World and win that way, or kiss and make up. Not his style, but the bumbling awkwardness needs to be shirked for any progress to be made, the anger distilled into a pond of reflection, a self-gazing amongst the bloodbath if you’re still following me here. He longs for vengeance, for blood, and at some points in this transit it will be spilled, but by the end, the idea is that we will have learned how to navigate the ugliest of our emotions with grace. Sometimes it is the threat of peace being violently disrupted that actually engenders the conditions under which peace can be had — or, things need to be obliterated and burned for the ground to be fertile again, especially with regards to relationships of all forms. We have all, over the past few months, lost the ability to judge the appropriate ways to express our anger — for some, it’s bubbled up through anxiety and a need for ultratight control and a need to constantly be heard. For others, we’ve repressed it and stopped voicing it, stopped processing it, letting it mutate. For others, we’ve become explosive, irritable, and constantly agitated. All of those things need to be met, reckoned with, and changed. That is the lesson of Mars in Libra, and it is a difficult one to grapple with and continually learn by failure for EIGHT MONTHS.

The main issues until March 1st under Mars in Libra dealt with insecurities — especially those pertaining to masculine-ruled parts of the self, which means masculine people were/are feeling HELLA impotent — and “games,” as in, assertions of power being played like a game. Energy was really erratic with many people feeling at one second empowered and manic and two seconds later, downtrodden and hopeless. Confidence levels dropped magnificently, including confidence as the self as well as confidence in the ability of the self to produce positivity, the ambitions one ties their self-worth to, the ability to maintain their own dreams for themselves.

From March 1st until May 19th, the retrograde is a time where the battlefield reshuffles. The urge to strike and attack isn’t as hot now, and conflict becomes internal or silenced. The best thing to do is to analyze our own tendencies for aggression, in whatever form it manifests, and begin to assess our loss of control wherever our touch has dissipated. Friends and allies don’t switch teams but rather resolidify, sometimes in unseen or unpredictable ways.

Stop doing this.
Stop doing this.

Once Mars goes direct on May 19th, energy stabilizes and many, many, many insights have been discovered. The game that was on pause after February is back in session, but many of the pieces in direct conflict at that time have been sacrificed for the greater purpose of winning late-game. Grudges and mutated feelings melt. The Hulk shrinks back down to size and puts his clothes back on. We have done the hard work of relearning appropriate ways to express our anger, our disgust, and our upset — how we must deal with it, and how we mustn’t. Mars finishes retracing the retrograde-worn shadow of Libra on July 21st, and completes the entire transit of the sign on July 25th. And GOOD RIDDANCE, BITCH. No more passive-aggression, pointless power plays, sneaky behavior, and seemingly arbitrary discord and discomfort.

 

ALL TOGETHER NOW…THE GRAND CARDINAL CROSS

As you can see, a lot of the issues these four planets are bringing up in their current placement are directly, inherently, and diametrically opposed to each other. It’s like we’re all stuck in the middle of a vortex, an explosive dinner party with four major players in each corner screaming at each other. It’s like an energetic centrifuge, spitting up change that can occur in rather unexpected ways.

The cross has been in alignment since January, and will still be in the sky through July. (You can thank Mars’s dumbass Libra retrograde for making this last so long.) It will be much less intense after May 14th — it starts to fall out of sync, not in, after that time. The reason I’m focusing on it right now is because of two reasons:

1. In astrology, we have “soft aspects” and “hard aspects” (as I like to call them). When one planet is chilling in, say, Libra, and another in Aries, but if one’s in 9 degrees Libra and the other’s in 18 degrees Aries, that’s a soft opposition — they’re not getting along, but it’s not so intense. The closer they are degrees-wise, the more intense the interaction. Within about a 5 degree bubble, we can say it’s a hard opposition. In mid-April, all four arms of the cardinal cross hit exactly 13.5 degrees of the signs they’re occupying at the same time. That is extremely rare and basically means resistance is futile. The T-square between Jupiter, Pluto, and Uranus is exact longer because they move slower, but on April 22nd Mars moves into 13.5 degrees Libra and the whole thing happens at once. From April 20th to 24th, they are within one degree. THE DEGREE THEY ARE ALL WITHIN ONE OF IS 13, which is associated with death, karma, and transformation — y’all, I ain’t fucking around telling you this is intense shit. This is either complete breakdown, or breakthrough. If you prepare yourself, this will be enormously productive. If you are childish, mean, resistant, or short-sighted, everything could go up in smoke for you. It’s your choice.

2. Remember eclipses? They’re those extra special lunations — essentially, supercharged full moons and new moons — that bring about a changed circumstance that you don’t have the courage to bring upon yourself. They’re surprises. They can go way good or way bad, depending on how much you fight the wave. They force you to realize what you need. We get two pairs of them during two months a year, for a total of four eclipses per year.

The Grand Cardinal Cross stations into precision during March and April. April also happens to be one of 2014’s eclipse months.

Mte.
Say it with me, kids: BULLSHIT.

Do you see where I’m going with this? The Universe is basically shaking you and pointing to the work you need to get done. If you’ve been doing what you should, you will be okay and the change you’ve been moving towards will be accelerated. If you’ve been fighting yourself and pushing out people and things that are good for you, if you’ve resisted self-analysis and positive change, if you’ve been clinging to the things that make you feel comfortable but stunt your growth as a person, you could be in a lot of danger. This time is very, very volatile.

The Lunar Eclipse on April 15th is in Libra as well (UGH!) and will ramp up whatever is already going on. Remember, the keywords of the cross are “power, control, faith, and revolution.” The April 29th solar eclipse is in Taurus and will be intense too, but will bring in different energy and the promise of eventual stability. It trines Neptune and Pluto, so it feels very soothing, very healing.

Here’s the good news I’ve been waiting to tell you: underneath the Grand Cross, there is a Grand Trine — Jupiter, Saturn, and Chiron are blessing those who are actively working to repair their errors, make amends, and balance karma. Those people will come out of this mess stronger. Those who want nothing but to self-destruct have the perfect opportunity to do so — those who want nothing but to self-create have the perfect opportunity to do so as well. It’s your choice. The Grand Water Trine is more apparent in May and promotes healing, reconciliation, and repair — resolving issues and progressing forward in a more healthy, open way with communications and emotions flowing. Again, those who have put in good karma and held strong during these months will reap those rewards at that time.

I know, I know. It's SO MUCH AT ONCE.
I know, I know. It’s SO MUCH AT ONCE.

Think you’ve got it? Next time, I’ll be back to let you know how each Sun Sign will be affected by all of this exactly. Hang in there!

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March 8, 2014