What’s so special about the Grand Cross in April 2014?

A Grand Cross is when 4 planets line up in the sky in an aspect pattern of 4 squares and 2 opposites. For the not astrology knowledgeable, an aspect is another word for an angle, in this case 90 and 180 degrees. It’s not something that happens very often but still with some reoccurring regularity. So what’s so special with this one that makes “everyone” (well astro folks obviously) talk about it?

Well the planets involved, Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto certainly weight in with some dignity and when you surf around on the internet that's what you mostly will hear about. In my opinion that’s not really what makes it special. The Uranus/Pluto square is certainly “heavy” and doesn’t take place that often, but when it does you can be certain of that it sets a mark in the history books. However, that’s still not enough to make this the Grand Cross, which I suspect this will come down as.

What about this being a so called Cardinal cross? This is significant and really something that adds to the importance of this “event” and in a way it’s half a step in the right direction towards what makes it stand out a bit extra, or quite some I should say.

To find the answer we have to leave the cross as such and look elsewhere. No planet has any astrological value, wouldn’t even have been noticed, if it wasn’t for the Sun. Whatever transformation Pluto is conducting, revolution or invention Uranus is up to, war that Mars fights, or don’t, they do that with the consent of the Sun. And the Sun, symbolizing the ruler, the King, doesn’t do anything without approval by his Queen, the Moon, who also is the one that makes certain his rule reaches out. Not without her modifications, of course.

These 2 heavenly bodies may not seem to be so significant in them self when it comes to transits etc. but that’s really an illusion because they don’t rule on the battlefield, they rule the battlefield - constantly seeking to implement their will and needs as they move around the Zodiac and the chart wheel. If you study a life event that coincides with a transit in your chart, you can almost always find the Sun or the Moon behind it, as a trigger for what will unfold - often both. They can reveal valuable information of what it really is about. A formation like this, a Grand Cross, forming in the sky doesn’t change that in any way and that’s where we will find its real uniqueness and purpose.

On 30 March at 18:45:30 GMT there was a New Moon in Aries 9˚59’ and this is where it all begins in my view. However, it should be noted that the earlier Sun ingress in Aries also is of significance and should be studied, especially for mundane events. But I see that as something standing outside of the cross as such, but it’s the same Sun that later will consort with the Moon.

A New Moon is a little bit like the King and Queen coming together, scrubbing each other’s back and to decide what to do next? It's an indication of purpose. What’s unique this time is that it happens in Aries, the first sign of the Zodiac, so this is the meeting of the year, setting the tone. It also takes place only 2 degrees behind Uranus, who still has 1 degree to go before arriving at 13 degrees, which is the magic number of the degree where the cross will take place.

So it’s this with the New Moon occurring in Aries, which is not only a cardinal sign but also the first one in the Zodiac, that makes it unique, and of course, its close proximity to one of the “cross makers” Uranus. Furthermore, by definition it also creates 2 squares to two of the other involved planets. One could say that it rules the Grand Cross. My aim with this text isn’t so much to make an astrological prediction as pointing at another dimension of an astrological event like this and hopefully broaden the understanding of it.

That said, the strong emphasis on Aries, together with the whole cross setting up in the 4 cardinal signs, gives without doubt a clear indication that we may open a new chapter in the history of humanity as this plays out. What that will be is very much up to us, depending on what we choose to do with the energy that now will be injected into our sphere of life. Can this be a new dawn for humanity or are we just going to play the same old record once again?

It’s worth notice as well that once the Sun and Moon is done with each other and split up, we shouldn’t think that they are done with us. Instead, they will continue forward and in the case of the Moon, who is the faster of the two, she will sweep almost a full circle touching all the planets involved in the cross, and a few more. This before the cross reaches its smallest orb with all 4 planets on 13 degrees on 23 April 2014. As she "touches" she's relaying her instructions from the Sun but as I hinted at above she does so in her own words.

Early morning that same day the Moon will reach 13 degrees into Aquarius and this is something of my own favourite moment, maybe because I have my own Moon close by. Nevertheless, this is what could be called a trigger or release point of the cross, although it's not the only one. But I think it can, or at least have potential to, be a good moment that can release the energy in a safe and constructive way. Notice that all the planets involved are masculine, and here comes now a woman. Can it be just what the boys need?

The Sun who keeps a much slower pace only catches up with and touches Uranus, which also holds a significant symbolism. While the other planets only can enjoy the spiritual touch and source of life indirectly through the modulation via the Moon, Uranus is able to tap in directly to the source. This makes its position both extra important and delicate.

Suitably, as the cross finally is about to settle, with Mars approaching its final destination, the Sun makes a conclusive move, its ingress into Taurus. If Aries and the process before this moment symbolize a seeding, the ingress more than anything symbolizes that the seed reaches its target , the soil where it can find means to sprout and grow. Actually, that’s something that happens right now and also highlights that pretty much about this cross takes place both before and after its peak moment.

While the deeds of the Sun and Moon takes place pretty much in the background and seldom show off as something obvious, it’s something that always goes on. Every month there is at least one new Moon, sometimes two, and at least ones a year it happens in Aries, starting a new cycle in the dance of creation conducted by our divine spirit aimed to nourish and awake our soul. This is true both for the small daily matters in our lives, as well as in the global affairs of the world. It’s important not to forget this when we are drawn into the bigger and more obvious happenings or dramas that may play out in a painful or frightening Plutonic transformation or be it a pleasures Venusian love affair. Or whatever situation we may find ourselves in as the energy of this cross takes hold and plays out.

I would also like to point out a few other significant factors that certainly add to the uniqueness of this cross. Mars, the warrior planet did not take place in this “grand meeting” between the King and the Queen and the other important players. By the way, haven’t we just seen this play out on the world scene recently? Mars had run a bit ahead of itself, gone a bit too far one may believe and is now toeing back in its retrograde motion to eventually join the others on 13 degrees in Libra.

Now this is significant, and important to notice, that Mars is retrograde, and so to speak will join from the wrong or “other” direction. Furthermore, and maybe even more important, Mars is also the undisputed ruler of Aries. So he’s not really pleased with others setting out the course without his lead, and on his domains, without even inviting him. Now retrograde Mars is definitely a Maverick, and as such, you certainly see or hear him, but you don’t really know where you have him. This time he has only himself to blame though, he couldn’t stop himself from moving forward stretching his marker when he saw the opportunity. Was it a brilliant move or will he has to pay the price later? Well that remains to be seen, but I yet have to read the script for that drama, so I can’t really tell.

With Mars the interesting situation also applies that he’s the traditional ruler of Scorpio, in contrast to the signs modern ruler, Pluto. It will be really interesting to see how this challenge, I think we have to call it so, will play out between these two Scorpio rulers. As a part of the picture, and a very significant one, Pluto happened to station and started moving retrograde just a few days ago, on the 16th. On this very 13th degree and this is indeed a really major thing, but something I will leave to another time for further exploration, because it’s a very very long time indicator as Pluto moves very very slowly.

Instead, let’s look at the fact that Scorpio isn’t involved directly in this cross, but its 2 rules are. Let’s also take notice about the fact that Saturn isn’t involved, at least at a first sight. It’s really hard to think of major happenings on the world scene without Saturn involved, somehow. Well the old chap is right now visiting Scorpio, on his journey through the zodiac, and if we create a midpoint between the 2 Scorpio rules where will we find it? Yes, that’s right, in Scorpio. It doesn’t fall in the proximity of Saturn though, but ahead of it and somewhere he will pass over a bit later. Right now he’s indeed retrograde as well and is caught up in some other affairs, which indeed involves Uranus but it’s something of a secret I believe, in true Scorpio spirit.

Midpoints often indicate or act as a release vent for the energy build up between 2 planets. So my take is that Saturn will enter the scene more visually at a later stage, as we are approaching Christmas indeed. What I really want to show with this part of my text is that the impact, the effects, of this grand cross is not something that will pass like a summer breeze or even a winter storm; this is something that will stay with us for a long long time, for good or worse.

However, the fact that 2 of the planets involved are retrograde, and that it’s a cardinal cross guided by an Aries New Moon, can mean that what we will see short term may only be the tip of the iceberg. In other words,  much of what happens at this stage may indeed take place in the unseen. The main theme is seeding, new beginnings, and with Uranus also in Aries, new inventions. Not only technological, or not primary technological as we tend to think about it may be a better expression.

Technology is not just stuff like computers, rockets and microchips; technology is anything that bridges or tears down barriers leading to a future that solves problems of today. So some of this may see the first light today but will not come out in the open for several years still. It will as well mean new revolts and uprisings with changes that may come very swiftly and without much of a notice. In this shape it’s symbolized by The Tower in the tarot deck, or as a “flash from a clear blue sky”, like the unthinkable. Will we see an empire fall, maybe? Maybe.

“So where do this leave me?” You may ask. Well that’s a really big question to answer, and here are already so many words, but... if you are born with any natal planet on 13 degrees, in any sign, then you are directly involved in this cross, somehow, and by some means you will be drawn into it. Now, that isn’t a bad thing because a cross like this can also be spelled OPPORTUNITY with capital letters. Just as I now did. It means that you more than others are given an opportunity to directly influence your future, by the choice of your actions. But it also means that it may come with a thrill, depending on exactly how you, or your planetary pattern, blend in with the cross.

For others the impact may be more subtle, because there are also other degrees that relates to the 13th in exactly this way, or it may be more of an indirect impact like a reaction to someone else’s action, but in the long run I personally think it will involve us all, one way or the other. No doubt will the souls entering the domain of this planet, at this time, bring with them something extra. I expect several of them to step forward and show it in due time. Those who leave... well we don’t really know much about that, probably because we aren’t ready for it yet, or maybe it’s as simple as we are not supposed to know. I’m pretty sure though that we all go to the same place, no matter what we have done while walking the Earth, and if we do this now we may as well do it with some special significance, for the other side.

So what about this with the number 13? This is certainly a number that carries a lot of symbolism in its bags. Often seen as ominous with “Friday the 13th” and the tarot card Death as maybe the most known advocates. But with some numerological magic we get 1+3 which transforms the picture in to the  tarot cards The Magician and The Priestess. Suddenly something much nicer and fruitful unfolds and transformation is exactly was number 13 and the Death tarot card is about. And 1+3 also equals 4, which is the harmonic number that represents the square, and here we have no less than 4 squares, while 3-1 equals 2 the harmonic for opposition. So is it significant? Certainly, it fits in well as one part of the puzzle that builds up the whole. But beyond that I don’t think we should exaggerate its importance. Each degree in the zodiac has its own meaning and on that level this is a degree as important as anyone.

What about the relation to another cross reappearing every year at around this time? My personal opinion is that the correlation is none.

Just recently an astrologer named Greg Bogart, an author of several books and in fact also a psychotherapist, gave a lecture about the Grand Cross. Due to the nature and seriousness of this Grand Cross Greg has generously admitted to that the done recording is spread and made available to anyone for free. So if you have read this far, here comes your bonus as a download of the 70 min audio recording from the lecture. He doesn’t touch on the Sun/Moon theme which I have focused on here, but says several good things about the main planets setting up the cross as such and its implications. It’s really worth listening to.

Note that the file is 126MB and packed as a zip file, to protect the file. You need to unzip it get to the playable file.

A final advice, whatever you get into, I know it’s not always easy, but try – don’t feed the fear.

Joakim Schramm

Addition: I got the (very good) question why I favour the Moon on 13 degrees Aquarius as the main trigger point of the cross, and not when she passes over Pluto on 13 in Capricorn? The Moon on Pluto certainly works as a trigger as well and it’s quite understandable why most are focused on and talk about it, but, it’s really more about Pluto than about the Moon and the cross in my opinion. What most is missing, or at least when they write or speak about this, is that the cross hasn’t technically been set up yet as Mars still is on its way on 14 degrees Libra. That matters.

It’s not until the Moon reaches in to 13 degrees in Aquarius and forms a close to exact angle to all of the planets on the same degree, with Mars arriving there as well, the cross fixes in place. This gives us completion and I think it's a good time to draw up a chart for, based on wherever you reside. I also think we should be happy this is the case, because if Moon/Pluto would be the guiding “happening” for the outcome of this process (as I like to see it) , that would probably bring a much darker future than what we now hopefully can look forward to.

The point with the Moon in Aquarius is also that she’s a much more talented distributor or energy from that position, both by sign and aspects, than being sucked in with the dark as well as rigid forces that currently occupies Capricorn. But that is really another story.

Joakim