diagram Cardinal Cross

Cardinal Crossroads: Squared Off!

From 2008 to 2015, Saturn and Pluto teamed up against Jupiter and Uranus in a battle for dominance and integration that is still playing out years later. This article explains the tensions, conflicts and dynamics of this alignment.

Article Series: At the Cardinal Crossroads

Squared Off!! Jupiter-Uranus versus Saturn-Pluto

In our post-millennial world, it seems like we hardly have a chance to catch our breath from one change or crisis, but that another one comes along to smack us upside the head all over again.

After the terrorist attacks of 2001, we launched into the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2002 and 2003. Then there was the tsunami of 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005, nuclear escalation from North Korea in 2006, and the rumbling of financial unrest at the end of 2007. We've seen mad cows, bird flues, swine flues and SARS. The reality of "climate change" has rung increasingly loud alarm bells as we witness repeated extremes in global weather patterns.

Technology and the Internet has also expanded in leaps and bounds, reshaping our collective landscape. Social networking and self-expression websites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have exploded in popularity, and our vocabulary expanded to include new verbs like "text" and "Google."

The third millennium CE has been a pretty wild ride so far! It's no wonder that some publications have humorously nicknamed the first decade of the 2000s the "Oh-Ohs." And just when we were hoping to get a break from the chaos, along comes the Cardinal Cross T-square that is bringing even more surprises, new stresses and continuing struggles.

In the last few years, the world has been greatly challenged by a global economic meltdown, which was ushered in by Pluto's entrance into Capricorn in 2008. Pluto the Transformer seems determined to tear down the worst of the dysfunctional corporate and economic systems, and then sweep away the debris so that new structures can be developed. Everywhere we see symbolic signs that read, "Pardon our destruction/reconstruction. Thank you for your patience."

From late 2008 to 2010, we have had Saturn opposite Uranus (180°). Their "tug of war" has drawn numerous battle lines, requiring us to move on from our past and choose our future direction. On one hand we must decide what is worth saving from the "old order" – what is still essential that we must keep for the sake of stability and continuity. On the other hand, we must also identify what needs to be thrown away, recycled or reinvented, and let go of those things that no longer serve a constructive visionary purpose, as we move toward a new future.

In 2012-2015, the Cardinal Cross will climax with 7 – count 'em, seven! – passes of Uranus square Pluto (90°). This is a gathering storm of controversy and struggle for collective transformation, rooted in the turmoil of the 1960s when these planets were conjoined. Now, in 2010 as I write this, we are approaching this first turning point in a long-term process of radical change that began 50 years ago. The cycle itself is a gradual one that unfolds over 138 years, and each cornerstone in the 4-phase process involves a change of direction. Think of it like trying to turn an ocean liner 90 degrees – it can't turn on a dime but must take a broad, slow sweep to round the corner.

Saturn-Pluto and Jupiter-Uranus

A key part of the Cardinal Cross is the Saturn-Pluto square (90°) from 2009-2010. These two planets have much in common, since both have a vested interest in maintaining control over whatever they find within their realms. In a sense, they are the "tough love" of planetary energies. They challenge us to make tough decisions and to gird our psychological loins in the face of difficult and strenuous circumstances and choices.

cardinal cross square aspectsTogether the Saturn-Pluto pair form one "side" of the Cardinal Cross energy. They can either lock us into controlled stagnation or steer us through a demanding yet beneficial process of deep-seated and purposeful change.

Opposing or balancing them is the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction that seeks a different kind of change. Jupiter and Uranus want to break free of any limitations and arbitrary rules that (seem to) threaten to curb or obstruct our creativity, freedom, growth and potential.

Both pairs of planets are driven toward change but in very different ways. Saturn-Pluto (in red, at right) brings about change gradually, through a slow forging of dense energies. Jupiter-Uranus (in blue, at right), on the other hand, wants radical, extreme, spontaneous or fast change, breaking free of the shell that surrounds an "egg" of pure potential.

Each pair of planetary energies will ideally complement and balance out each other. However, collectively (and often individually too) we humans tend to struggle and argue before we are able to reach peace and reconciliation. Therefore, while these planets are in conflicting square and opposition aspects to each other, these trans-personal energies are more likely to fight against each other for dominance, at least initially, by squaring off in an all-or-nothing competition.

At its best, the Saturn-Pluto side of our collective energy strives for productive, purposeful change. However, when it feels threatened by an explosive Jupiter-Uranus energy, it can rigidly insist on maintaining strict control in order to preserve established forms of power, status and stability.

At its best, the Jupiter-Uranus side of our collective energy shines as an inspired vision of new possibilities that beckon us toward a new future. On the other hand, when feeling intimidated by excessive or arbitrary control, it can result in a reckless compulsion to shatter existing limitations regardless of the consequences.

Neither of these worst-case scenarios is constructive or healthy. Yet, for anyone who feels anxious about those on the "other side" of that chasm, it might seem necessary or essential to their very survival to polarize in the extreme opposite direction.

Sadly and ironically, the more divided, reactive and adamant we become as a collective – ostensibly in the name of preserving the good – the more our mutual survival actually becomes jeopardized. Severe damage could be inflicted on ourselves and our planet, while we point fingers of blame at the "other side" to account for our downfall.

What is needed is to recognize that both "sides" have something of value to contribute to the solution. However, when one or both "sides" refuses to be flexible, open and objective, how do we achieve healthy negotiation, compromise or resolution? When the rock meets the hard place, something eventually gives, but the results could be just as damaging as they are (re)constructive.

Today we see this dichotomy of agendas and ideologies in a number of unfolding problems. The solutions we choose to apply to these problems will have far-reaching implications.

One of the most tragic examples currently unfolding is the Deepwater Horizon oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, which adds yet another voice to the many environmental alarm bells currently ringing during our time. There are also heated debates over how to respond to the call for new energy sources. And there continue to be increasing tensions between countries, cultures, religions, politics, industrial policies and much more. These issues are likely to continue bubbling as the Cardinal Cross energy lingers in 2010.

The G20 World Summit – Where the Rock Meets the Hard Place

The recent G20 World Summit here in Toronto, Canada, is another example of how the Cardinal Cross energies are colliding together. Stormy protests are usually a given at these semi-annual conferences, fuelled by objections to globalization and international policies.

Protesters (Jupiter-Uranus) fear that only the rich and powerful will benefit, while disadvantaged populations and planetary health will suffer. In the absence of receptive cooperation from the decision makers, some protesters believe that only the escalation of zealous and violent demonstrations will prevent malevolent or damaging policies from being implemented.

On the other hand, those in authority (Saturn-Pluto) believe that only they have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to see the bigger picture of what is at stake when deciding how to prioritize the division of power and resources while ensuring stability in the global structure. To protect themselves from increasingly disruptive and hostile protest, they build stronger, denser impenetrable walls around their activities.

Cardinal Cross June 2010The G20 World Summit, here in Toronto Canada in June 2010, was unique because it took place under a powerful Lunar Eclipse that formed a Grand Cross aspect pattern with the Cardinal Cross planets. This aspect configuration also happened to intersect several planets and points in both Toronto's and Canada's charts.

As if on cue, there was extreme – some say unprecedented – chaos and violence. Fortunately or unfortunately, the violence was perpetrated by only a small number of demonstrators using so-called "Black Bloc" tactics. Their actions seemed to have little goal other than to inflict as much damage as possible on symbols of capitalism and corporate power.

Sadly, the messages of peaceful and purposeful protest were lost, as the media attention focused on the violence and chaos. There have been persistent reports and accusations of unwarranted, excessive and abusive force used by the security police, yet which was curiously ineffective against the worst violence – and all of it at the staggering cost of over a billion dollars. Over 1000 people were arrested, most of them peaceful protesters or passive bystanders.

As I write this, weeks later, the controversy that emerged at the G20 still "has legs." The protests (Jupiter-Uranus) refuse to subside and the authorities (Saturn-Pluto) remain determined to justify the police actions and maintain an image of control and power. Rotating, peaceful, yet passionate demonstrations continue to take place across Canada. Their purpose is to protest the policies and actions of the police and call for a full public inquiry. So far the highest levels of government have refused to budge, while local authorities have reluctantly agreed to an independent – and many feel inadequate – "review" of the events. This drama will continue to unfold over the next few months, as the Cardinal Cross hovers overhead.

Never let it be said that Eclipses have no effect!

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