The heavens are always shifting and changing, just as life on Earth is. Last month’s Grand Sextile (July 29) has dissolved and a new, stunning energy pattern is emerging.
Between August 23-27, a Grand Cross will form in the Cardinal signs in our skies: Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. As Venus comes around, it transforms the on-going T-square, which was a dramatic trickster during the time of the recent Grand Sextile, bringing dynamism and balancing energy from the Pluto-Uranus square and Jupiter.
The Grand Cross
Also known as a Grand Square since it creates a large square-shaped pattern that dominates the chart, Grand Crosses are all about balance. They are the bones of the Medicine Wheel, the structure around which the energies swirl.
The planets making up a Grand Cross bring a unique mix of energies, depending on which planets are involved. And this week’s Grand Cross is a heavy hitter, as the energies of two outer planets, Pluto and Uranus, blend and dance with the social planet Jupiter and the personal planet Venus. All realms of human existence are highlighted in this formation — the universal, global, community, and individual.
It continues the heat and pressure of the Pluto-Uranus square, which first formed in June 2012.
Quite a few people feel intimidated by Grand Crosses. Comprised of four squares and two oppositions, many people see only the challenges in this formation. I see the dynamism. And with a Grand Cross in the cardinal signs – Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn – there is a lot of dynamism.
Cardinal signs are the Leader signs, the Initiators, the Movers and Shakers. Jupiter’s thunderbolts hurl their energy toward Earth and shake the foundations. The electric energy of Uranus keeps everything pulsing and shifting. Pluto’s transformations are mysterious and cause what no longer serves to fall away while we wait for what is emerging to come in. And Venus softens the whole picture, with her loving, artful, and beautiful energies.
What is fascinating about this Grand Cross is that it is not an isolated incident. A parade of the personal planets will bring their energies to this Pluto-Uranus-Jupiter T-square and transform it into a Cardinal Grand Cross, five of them altogether. When Venus, who moves quickly through the solar system, breaks the connection and moves off, Mercury is close on her heels in September and will be followed by the Sun in October and Mars in December/January (direct) and again in April (retrograde).
And during the final Grand Cross formation in this series, each of the planets will come to exact angles at 13*. Note any planets that you have at 13* in the cardinal signs will be activated by the Grand Cross.
Energies and Potentials
While the energies of the Grand Sextile and its partners last month were dancing too wildly to analyze, the energies of this Grand Cross invite some thought — especially if they correspond to any of the planets or points in your natal chart.
Speaking generally about the arms of the cross — Uranus is opposed to Venus (mind v. heart, pulsing electricity v. flow, shock v. softness) and Jupiter is opposed to Pluto (light v. darkness, opportunity v. shedding/death/release). Jupiter and Pluto are rulers of different realms and each is the ultimate power there.
For some, these energies will be so powerful that people simply need to flow with them. But which ones? All of them. Balance is the key. This is a Cardinal Cross with Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Venus in her own sign, Libra. What was beginning to come together with the Grand Sextile is now being brought more clearly into manifestation.
Another way to track this energy is to ask yourself what has been emerging over the last few weeks? What is new? What is different?
Some of us may be flowing with the energy naturally and allowing what is emerging to come into being. Others may be resisting. With Pluto, Uranus, and Jupiter in the picture, resistance may be futile, or painful. For many, it is a back and forth, up and down, in and out process.
But the process that is unfolding over the next months is clear — Venus draws us more and more closely to what we love. Mercury helps us to move toward and express it. The Sun helps us to become more and more conscious and to shine from our center, and Mars helps us to be active, courageous, and passionate around it.
We are fortunate with this first in the series of Grand Crosses that the diamond-creating crucible of Pluto and Uranus is being balanced with the benefits of Jupiter and Venus.
So what are the potentials of this pattern? What are the energies coming together in this Grand Cross?
Pluto in Capricorn has the potential for structured, controlled, or disciplined power or transformation, especially the ability to shed what no longer serves, release what must be released. Jupiter in Cancer will make everything bigger, more expansive, generous, fortunate, understanding, joyful in emotionally-connected, sensitive and nurturing ways, mirroring Venus in Libra’s soft energy. The shedding of Pluto needs to be balanced by the expanding energies of Jupiter. Uranus in Aries has the potential of assertive, active, passionate, and courageous freedom and unconventionality, the radical and the shocking. Venus in Libra will make everything more loving, artful, and beautiful in relational, balancing, and delicate ways.
The qualities of the planets in this energy pattern themselves point to the need for balance. And that this cross is being formed again and again and again in Libra, the sign represented by the scales of balance, once again supports the cry for balance.
The Grand Trine and Four Sextiles
There are additional elements that create more softness and ease in the chart for this time period, not the least of which is a Grand Trine in Water, formed by Lilith, Saturn, and Chiron. Water is an element that brings in the energies of flow, a feminine element. Chiron is the wounded healer, teacher and master, and willing to sacrifice. Lilith is the powerful Feminine gone underground because of the abusive power of the patriarchy (an out-of-balance system of power and preference). Saturn draws us to truth, patience, discipline, and boundaries. This is a powerful energy pattern that accompanies this Grand Cross.
We might say that moving beyond our wounding to healing, reclaiming our strengths from the Shadow, and setting boundaries, a willingness to embrace truth, patience and discipline will ease the energies of transformation symbolized in the Grand Cross.
Four sextiles will appear on August 25, the center point of the pattern: Moon-Neptune, Neptune-Pluto, Pluto-Saturn, and Saturn-Sun/Mercury (conjunct) create what some people would like to call a Grand Sextile. While it is not another Grand Sextile, these sextiles create something of an embrace that softens the sharp edges of the Grand Cross. It opens us to opportunities that we might not otherwise see, because our emotions around transformation and change often makes the process so uncomfortable that we resist it.
Nurturing and being nurtured, creativity/spirituality/imagination, power, grounding, conscious thought/movement/communication will help to ease the transformations. The supports in the chart’s energy balance the challenges it may pose.
… and there it is again — balance.
About the author:
Kate Knodel is an explorer of the landscape of poetry, myth, and our fractured, expanding and healing selves. She is a speaker and workshop leader, writer, empowerment coach and transformational training designer.
In her work around personal myth, she uses the symbols of astrology to help people to dialogue with their personal stories, and to discover the mythic landscapes of their life’s journeys.
Visit her on Facebook or her website for more information.