April 18th, 2014

Square Up! The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014


“At the moment of supreme tension, there will leap into flight an unswerving arrow, a shaft that is inflexible and free.” — Albert Camus

“A perfect square configuration…represents a tight linking of two kinds of consciousness-building processes…which produce four 90 degree aspects…and leads to a very thorough and exhaustive type of clearing-up activity.” –Dane Rudhyar


Plato said the soul is a circle. But how do squares and circles come together? Imagine the difficulty of fitting a square peg into a round hole. Right?

The notion is annoying, but if you talk to most anyone (yourself included) I think you’ll agree that the concept — the blending of a circle and a square — is apt, especially now. Everyone is registering the twists and turns, the psychic torsion of the decade’s most significant astrological happening: The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2014.

But what is it? What does it portend? How long does it ‘last’? And how can you ride this particular tiger?

We’ll get into all of that in this essay.

I’ve loved the anticipatory build-up to the Grand Cardinal Cross (GCC) and how the term has actually entered the Zeitgeist. Everyone is talking about it, even the incredulous.

Essentially, this is an astronomical event that astrologers have claimed for themselves because it is a significant pivot point that resolves in 2015, with the final square between Uranus and Pluto.

Too, the term is elegant and beautiful. It’s also charged with an air of mystery and, for those so inclined, an Armageddon-taint (a misguided notion, but then consider the applicants.)

Quickly, this particular GCC is: Four planets positioned within the four cardinal signs of the zodiac (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn); with each planet placed at a 90 degree angle from the other; and two sets of those planets are placed in exact opposition. Oy.

But there’s a simpler way to picture this, for the novices and the curious, and it goes like this:

Imagine four individuals (the planets) sitting at a round table (the zodiac) and each individual is intent on promoting his or her unique philosophy. And yet each individual must find a way (the square) to not only promote his or her philosophy, but to inspire the others to bring forth the finest qualities of their philosophy so that everyone may benefit (and not have destroyed each other) in the final hour. (And you thought Game of Thrones was complicated.)

This roundtable is a good way to picture the promise of the ongoing Grand Cardinal Cross.

Astrology has myriad ways to apply its principles to every facet of life. From the personal to the cultural. But I’ve decided, in this report, to pull together a set of ideas and pointers based on the ongoing dialogue I’ve had with my clients throughout the first quarter of this year. A psycho-spiritual presentation you could say. Why?

Because a recurring theme continues to emerge within the particulars of their lives. A theme that provokes questions related to doing and being. When does one do? When does one simply exist — to observe, wait and watch and then consider options?

The ‘toggle’ between doing and being is one of main tenets of moral philosophy, and the GCC is pressing this dichotomy into high-relief, for each of us, now and throughout the remainder of the year.

For the philosopher in each of us, a riddle like this is fine to probe on a relaxed Sunday afternoon. But when we must focus on the day-to-day necessities of living — making decisions, exercising volition — well, it becomes complicated because the manner in which many of us experience the world right now feels peculiar, uncertain; as if a trap door could open at any moment and take us down to places we’re not interested in seeing.

And yet, this is indeed the playing field that’s in place, symbolized by the GCC. How to maneuver, how to ‘do’ and ‘be’ within it?

When curious friends have asked me to give a nutshell reading of the GCC, I explain that for many people it feels like this: They want to move forward, especially creatively, but they can’t move forward because they’ve no inkling as to where they are moving to. But to not move forward feels like they’ll implode, so they close their eyes and prepare to jump. Willing to let the consequences or rewards be what they may.

This sounds foolish, but there’s something about the risk taking of the fool, the nascent courage of the fool, that accompanies this larger-than-life astrological moment, and I’ll explain more about the specifics as we — jump forward. I invite you to tag along, it’s sure to be an enlightening investigation.


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Opening photomontage: The Lonely Metropolitan by Herbert Bayer, 1932, with some collage flourishes by FW.

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