Sunday, April 20, 2014


Everyone in the world of astrology has been talking and writing about a major astrological event that is climaxing April 20 through April 23, 2014. Four powerful planets-Mars, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto-are aspecting each other through squares and oppositions, which signify tensions and awareness involving personal or collective issues. This formation is referred to as the Grand Cross or Grand Square. These planets are currently transiting around the 13th degree of the cardinal signs of Aries (Uranus), Cancer (Jupiter), Libra (Mars), and Capricorn (Pluto). When planets are in the cardinal signs, humans have the opportunity to initiate activity, particularly when planets are propelled by the energy of squares and oppositions. This activity may involve both conscious and productive changes that improve our lives, as well as unexpected and volatile change that may cause pain and mayhem. 

The energies of transformative change (Pluto) and unconventional breakthroughs (Uranus) have been influencing us since 2012, when Uranus began squaring Pluto, a formation that will last until 2015, with its aftereffects continuing on. Because of their slow-moving action, these outer planets stimulate change that affects us on a collective and generational level. For example, we are increasingly hearing about the growing gap between the haves (Pluto representing the elite) and the have-nots (Uranus representing the potentially rebellious 99%), with admonitions expressed by the Pope and myriad advocacy groups on behalf of the average individual. Although this issue has existed for hundreds of years, it has emerged once again as a topic that begs for attention. 

Mars and Jupiter are faster-moving planets that are now aspecting Uranus and Pluto, adding to the complexity of planetary relationships. Mars represents the human function of desire and action, and its passionate energy is evident in the pursuit of relationships as well as on the battlefield. On the other hand, Jupiter is the planet of expansion and faith that rules Sagittarius, the sign associated with internationalism, religion, law, journeys, and higher education. In recent times, we have seen an escalation of unfortunate events that involve individuals or groups who use their religious beliefs or narrow worldviews to take the lives of others. We observe the active aggression of nations or nation-states to make claim for territorial advantages, and efforts at diplomacy to make the best of these tense and complicated situations. Furthermore, there seems to be a rise in freak accidents, like the two fire trucks that collided in my local community, causing unfortunate injuries and structural damage.

The Grand Cross significantly impacts the U.S. natal chart, because the U.S. natal Sun is at 13 degrees of Cancer (where Jupiter is transiting), while the U.S. Saturn is at 14 degrees of Libra (where Mars is transiting). Back in 1970, a small but concerned group of U.S. citizens started Earth Day, in recognition that Americans, through their lifestyles, were misusing precious resources that one day would cause environmental problems. It appears that we have reached the crisis point with respect to human-caused climate change. A study commissioned by the United Nations recently reported that governments have only 15 years to reverse the worst effects of climate change. Other entities (like NASA) have released contemporary reports that echo similar findings.

Perhaps the present symbolism of the cosmos may assist us in understanding the options available to the U.S. in this environmental dilemma. If driven by political will (transiting Jupiter) combined with concrete responsibility (natal Saturn), the U.S. could take action (transiting Mars) to restore balance (Libra) on our planet. Activists have succeeded so far in uncovering (Pluto) the destructive effects of implementing the Keystone XL Pipeline (and similar projects). Will the U.S. cultivate the compassion (Sun in Cancer) necessary to protect its people and other inhabitants of planet earth from environmental destruction? Will the U.S. citizenry assume the responsibility (Saturn) inherent in being members of a democratic nation to direct its leaders to do the right thing? This is OUR current challenge!

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