March 31 to April 6, 2014
By Pam Younghans
Today’s photo: Auroras over Iceland (photo by Þorvarður Árnason, Astronomy Picture of the Day, March 24, 2014)
 
astrology-painting-sun-moon-zodiac-signs“ENGAGE.” This week we begin the month of April. That means we also start our most direct work with the energies of the Cardinal Grand Cross of 2014, building to the exact cross and strongest effects during the week of April 20.
 
A grand cross is a configuration in the sky created by planets in four corners of the zodiac. In this case, those planets are in the four cardinal signs: Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Mars in Libra.
 
CARDINAL SIGNS are the ones most concerned with initiating action. This creative energy can either come forth as a response to internal inspiration, or as a response to pressure and events from outside of us.
 
With a grand cross, all four planets involved are either square or opposite each other, so there is a great deal of pressure that can manifest when we’re working with this formation. How this pressure moves through each of our lives — whether mostly from the inside out or from the outside in — will depend a lot on where these planets are transiting through our natal charts, and whether (and how) they are interacting with our natal planets.
 
BECAUSE we’re working with cardinal signs, we may be tempted throughout this month to take action, perhaps not always supported by reason or concern for consequences. For some, this can be a very positive effect, if we have been “on the fence” in some area of our lives, wanting to make a change or a decision, but feeling tentative or fearful up until now.
 
For others, we will want to be sure we’ve thought through all the ramifications of taking action before we leap off the bridge. The impulse of CHANGE is great during this time, and can feel urgent in its calling to us. If we feel this urgency, no doubt there is need for change in our lives — but we may want to breathe deeply and tap into the wisdom of our divine Self for guidance before taking that Grand Leap.
 
IN OTHER WORDS, there is no one right answer for everyone who is asking, “Is this the right time, the best time, to make this change?” What we know for sure is that each of us is being pushed and prodded to make shifts in some areas of our lives — and each of us will come to our own personal awareness of when and how completely to make those changes.
 
For guidance and direction, we can study the intentions of each of the planets in the grand cross:
 
Uranus wants to liberate us from the “shoulds” of our lives, so that we live more authentically and more in tune with what is right for us, even if it looks crazy or selfish to others. Uranus is often called the “wild card” planet, because under its influence we may act suddenly and in unexpected ways.
 
Pluto wants to empower us, to help us move beyond the internal and external limitations that have held us in fear or resistance. As part of this process, Pluto helps us see very clearly the emotional patterns and life structures that have kept us feeling disempowered. This is not always a pleasant awareness, but it helps us see what needs to be dismantled or purged, as the first step in renovation.
 
Jupiter wants us to connect with our joy, with what has meaning for us, and with what we really believe in. Jupiter tends to exaggerate whatever it touches, and so while it is in Cancer, we are REALLY aware of what feels good and life-giving vs. what no longer nourishes us, no matter how well it used to fill our plates.
 
Last, but not least, Mars wants us to have the courage and energy to go after our desires. It gets a bit complicated when we start talking about Mars, however, because this planet is currently retrograde (moving backward). When a planet is retrograde, its energies are said to be focused more internally than externally. But if Mars is about taking action, how do we interpret Mars retrograde, especially as part of a cardinal grand cross that is inspiring us to take action and make changes?
 
ONE WAY to interpret this Mars retrograde is to understand that we are under a LOT of internal pressure right now. We may be holding in the frustrations we feel, especially if we don’t know what to do with them. If this is true, we need to find outlets for that energy, preferably through physical activity, and especially anything that involves swinging our arms (which is where anger and frustration are primarily held in the body).
 
The other interpretation of Mars retrograde is that this may be a very positive influence as a part of the grand cross. With Mars retrograde, we are inclined to be more deliberate, less impulsive. Since we’re dealing with Uranus and Pluto, two very impulsive planets, having Mars retrograde can be helpful if we are trying to stay in balance during this time.
 
THE SUN, now in Aries, interacts with three of the four grand cross planets this week. The exact aspects are the square to Jupiter (Tuesday), the alignment with Uranus (Wednesday) and the square to Pluto (Thursday). The opposition to Mars will occur next week (April 8).
 
The Sun represents our personal identity and sense of purpose, so these aspects this week and next may call forward issues of “who am I” and “what do I REALLY want.” Based on our answers to those questions, we may initiate some of our changes now.
 
Venus also interacts with Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto this week, but with less impact than the Sun. Still, including Venus in the mix means our relationships, values, and material/financial worlds are woven into the tapestry of change now.
 
AS A WELCOME ASSIST, Saturn is trine Mercury this week (exact on Wednesday). This aspect should be very helpful in stabilizing our thinking processes. Saturn in Scorpio is dedicated to seeing truth, and Mercury in Pisces is a direct line to our spiritual perspective.
 
When these two are working in harmony, we can expect our thinking to be inspired, but not unrealistic. And, we can expect that whatever fears arise, we have the ability to access a level of mental calm that will help us transcend the drama.
 
Blessings,
 
Pam
 
NorthPoint Astrology Blog: To read recent blog posts, please visit http://northpointastrology.blogspot.com/. I look forward to your comments!