The Cardinal Grand Cross – Surf’s Up!

Be the shark.

Surf the shark.
Image courtesy

A priest, a rebel, a politician and a prostitute all face each other in a high tech gladiator arena...

Nah, not going there this time. Rather than open with an illustrative vignette, I'm going to get right to the meat.

It's Cardinal Grand Cross time, as of Tuesday, April 22nd, though you may have been feeling the energy ramping up for a while. If you've been paying attention at all to the astrology news of the past few weeks you've undoubtedly come across mention of this Grand Cross several times. It's hard to know what to say about it that hasn't already been said, but since it's my job to say things about important things, I'm going to dig in my brain and see what nuggets of wisdom I can produce.

In astrology, a Grand Cross refers to four planets arranged like the four corners of a square — two planets opposing (180ยบ) at ninety degrees to two other opposing planets. A Cardinal Grand Cross means that the planets are in so-called cardinal signs, which specifically means Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn (draw lines between the centers of these signs and you'll see the cross I'm speaking of).

Now that you've got the geometry, what does it mean symbolically? A Cardinal Grand Cross is like four generals trying to pull the same troops in four directions at once. Each general thinks their way is right and they insist on leading the charge. Yet they can't all be right and no battalion of soldiers has yet figured out how to bi-locate, much less quad-locate.

So what are four stubborn generals to do? They can resist cooperation, in which case some troops will go with one while others will pick the other generals, leaving everyone weaker. Divided we fall, as the old patriotic statement goes. But if the generals relax their egos and learn to listen, they can integrate their purposes together and lead as one unit, managing infighting with intelligent empathy. Success is thus assured.

The generals, or planets, involved in this scenario are as follows:

  • Uranus in Aries: The driving need to liberate from all conditions that keep us feeling trapped or oppressed.
  • Pluto in Capricorn: The destruction and renewal of existing systemic structures (governments, economies, highways, job markets, homes, bones and teeth, etc.).
  • Mars Retrograde in Libra: The need to separate from those who seem not to love us, driving us to assess where we are at fault by being too dominant or too passive.
  • Jupiter in Cancer: Expanding our minds and hearts to feel the emotional realities coming up for us (whether ours or someone else's), giving us the opportunity to emotionally mature (become fully responsible for our emotional wellbeing) throughout the changes coming at us.

Arranging these planets in a perfect Grand Cross, the question becomes: Can you liberate yourself from the past while you actively work to destroy and rebuild it, shifting relationships in the process during intense self re-evaluation, while holding loving space for any resulting emotional turmoil? Whew. Not an easy set of tasks for anyone to handle.

A common personal experience with these energies is the emergence of repressed anger. Uranus and Pluto are making demands of us that can make previously tolerable situations utterly unbearable. Old issues that have been lying dormant in our souls can explode on the scene, and in the fashion of Mars Retrograde in Libra, we can lose ourselves in our anger and spew our vitriol at the nearest relationship. On larger scales, entire countries can uprise and take down oppressive dictators. As always, the sword must also point inward: Who's the dictator in you that has stubbornly refused to make the adjustments that will free you?

The larger-picture statement of this Grand Cross is that humanity is stepping through an evolutionary portal, as if God has his finger on the fast-forward button. We clearly don't have a lot of time on this planet to keep up business as usual, we have to make some deep, lasting personal and collective change. Now, we can all argue like the four generals about what direction to go in to create that change, but the truth is that it's not up to just any one of us, arguably not even only up to humanity at large. There are other intelligences at play here, that of the planet and of whatever higher powers help govern our growth. We have to be real in understanding this or we risk mucking it up for ourselves.

How do we make the most of this complex energy? Firstly and mostly, stay present! Don't try to run from whatever's up, or point fingers in blame and soothe yourself in isolated pity. You won't last long that way. Keep yourself open to the process as it unfolds, allow your life to shift, even if that means letting go of things very dear to you. Trust that whatever is leaving will be replaced by something better. Actualize excitement in the possibilities of a better future. Take the hand of Spirit and be bold in knowing you are protected and loved. Be bold also in looking within yourself to see where you're at on the dominant/submissive scale — are you demanding too much from others or allowing yourself to be walked over? Are you always trying to control or meekly sitting back in fear? Wherever you are between those extremes, see where it would be beneficial for you to adjust.

I can't stress the word trust enough. Trust, trust, trust! There is a great deal of evolutionary movement afoot, and if we ride the wave with enthusiasm, even with sharks nipping at our heels, we are sure to make it to shore, alive with the certainty that the work we do is the work of the agents of Heaven itself.

Please share your thoughts...

12 Responses to The Cardinal Grand Cross – Surf’s Up!

  1. john says:

    Brian thank you dearly! Wonderfully written and so positive! I understand this better now thanks to you, and I now see why things have been happening the way they have been. Much love.

  2. Sasha says:

    Hey Brian — great summary of a complex, cosmic, planetary get-together. Your discussion of Mars retro in Libra “The need to separate from those who seem not to love us, driving us to assess where we are at fault by being too dominant or too passive” really resonated with me for a number of reasons 1. my natal has that aspect in 24 degrees Libra (i think in the 12th house? my deceased dad was a libra and had serious difficulties with capricornian duties). The Jupiter (exalted?) in Cancer can hopefully steer this process helpfully. 2. It also feels extra powerful as my ASC is nearby in 28 Degrees Libra. 3. Assessing one’s fault in things that happened in the past is so much of my existential thought diaries — certainly extra-fueled by the intricately obsessive mind of my many Virgo energies in my 11th house including Uranus in 13 degrees of Virgo, Pluto in 15 degrees (does that qualify as a conjunct?) and Venus at 20 degrees. Oh – well I’ve gone on and on — that’s the Leo Sun. Wondering how you and others’ natal chart relate to this cosmic event! Best, Sash

    • Aries says:

      Hey Sasha, thanks for commenting. The North Node is currently exactly conjunct your Ascendant, which adds additional momentum for you to grow in relationship. It could also mean having to spend some time alone to reflect on past relationships, what you want out of them, and to fine tune your relationship goals. With South Node, Mercury and Sun in your 7th, old relationships you thought were over can crop up again. I would say your Virgo planets are definitely conjunct. Venus is New Phase to Pluto, so this life is about starting new lessons in evolution through relationship. Sounds like a big theme for you. :)

  3. Wencke Braathen says:

    This was very helpful. I like the analogy of the four generals pulling in different directions, but I can also see how they are representing different facets of the same jewel. And the jewel is evolution, and a rapid one. We need to expand, and look inward. We need to liberate from the past and at the same time destroy and create something new. I really like your take on this and find it very informative. Thanks for help in preparing for the ultimate change, which we’re all going through.

    • Aries says:

      Thank you for your comment, Wencke. I resonate with Eckhart Tolle’s idea that human consciousness has long been evolving through the mind, to get to know it inside and out until we reach the point where our mind-identified sense of self dissolves and we all experience our connectedness naturally. Evolution is the engine that gets us there, and the planets are our guides to make the transition as smooth as possible.

  4. Elsa Savaiano says:


    I always enjoy reading your articles. Thanks for this wonderful explanation of the Grand Cardinal Cross. I am feeling this energy very strongly lately. A lot of very old issues are coming up. I’ve been feeling some anger and also feelings of helplessness. I’ve been struggling with boundary issues both at work and in my personal life. I don’t feel respected. This is a lesson that will keep coming up for me until I learn to set boundaries and be firm about others respecting them.
    Again, thank you for putting things in perspective. I don’t feel so alone in my struggle any more.

    • Aries says:

      Thanks for your comments, Elsa. Feeling helpless can lead to anger, and vice versa. I think the solution to either is to realize that it’s safe to surrender. Your enforcement of boundaries will come naturally when you feel the protection of Spirit. And no you are never alone, everybody’s got something to work on. Blessings to you.

  5. Sharyl says:

    Wonderfully executed Brian, loved it. There has been alot of talk about these energies, and you have layed them out with such elegance and simplicity. I have found this time to be so full of creative expression that I keep asking myself if I am missing something? Smiles. I know its not over yet.
    Blessings to you and all during this time of “riding the wave of greater consciousness”. Peace and Blessings……

    • Aries says:

      You’ve got it Sharyl, this energy is ripe for creative expression. We just have to have the desire, wisdom and strength to harness it. You are, of course, missing nothing. Hope to see what comes through your art from these times. Thanks for commenting!

  6. Dan says:

    Wow, this is an excellent post. I’ve felt the effects of this MAJORLY during the month of April. This has been a positively challenging month, but because I’ve been “balanced” with all of the intensity, I feel like I’ve permanently changed for the better and now see a bright future ahead. I haven’t read anything astrology-related in a very long time, but the intensity of this month made me “stumble upon” discussion of the Grand Cardinal Cross on the internet. I was surprised to see how many others were going through lots of heightened experiences. All of this inspired to re-listen to a recording of my session with Brian from last year, and WOW, how spot on that session was, and how much has changed from then to now. And then after checking back in on this site, I was glad to find an article on the Grand Cardinal Cross that was concise and easy to understand. Thanks for doing what you do, Brian!

    • Aries says:

      You’re quite welcome, Dan. Seems everyone is going through heightened intensity these days. Happy to hear you’re feeling positive change working in your life. That’s how it goes when we accept the process and willingly step up. Thanks for doing your part!

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