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    Managing the Cardinal Grand Cross
    and Other Life Challenges

    By Psychic Astrologer Matthew Engel

    Website: www.MatthewEngel.com

    Entrapment Or Transcendence?

    A Psychic-Astrologer's Perspective on Managing Challenges Presented by the Cardinal Grand Cross from 2010 to 2012 & Beyond...

    Have you been feeling stuck? Overwhelmed? At a stand still or cross roads and having trouble making the right decision? Maybe even feeling as if you're short-circuiting a bit? Well, the energy shifts are once again intense! In addition to the cardinal Grand Crosses (involving Pluto, Uranus, Saturn, Jupiter, and Moon), we've also just had two eclipses with lingering effects. The partial lunar eclipse on June 26, 2010 impacted our emotions and ego. How do we identify with our emotional and physical selves and surroundings? How do we find comfort? From what sources? Are we using our intuition to access Higher Guidance or is fear taking over? What childlike emotional patterns need to be released? The solar eclipse on July 11th blasted the heck out of any childish emotional baggage that surfaced on June 26th - really bringing it to the surface and forcing us to confront those patterns and engage in some rapid fire emotional growing up. It's painful at times, but can be really freeing too. Some people have been experiencing a release of pressure since July 11th that began on June 26th. Others are feeling perpetually confused and in a bit of stalemate. I often refer to this experience as the "locked box syndrome." You move two steps forward and bump your head, so you go two steps in the opposite direction and bump your head...to the right, you bump your head, etc. You feel trapped by your situation! The astrological Grand Cross (also referred to as a Grand Square) is greatly contributing.

    Astrology provides a helpful blueprint for understanding and managing the various energies at work at any given time. Given this epic state of affairs in the heavens, I think it's important to offer an astrological, psychic, and psychological explanation and interpretation of what's happening right now - and offer some tools to assist you in managing these trends. A Grand Cross/Square literally means that four transiting planets are lined up in the shape of a cross or square. Each planet carries energy and brings certain aspects of our lives to the surface.

    Imagine these planets lined up at 12:00, 3:00, 6:00, and 9:00. For argument's sake, picture the Moon (in Cancer) at 9:00 with Pluto opposing it at 6:00. Saturn, at 6:00 forms a 90-degree angle (square) to Moon and Pluto and opposes Uranus. Additionally, Mars will conjunct (align with) Saturn and Jupiter will conjunct Uranus - adding 2 more planets to the mix. Planets in opposition create a juggling act and a need for balance. Planets in a square lead to conflict. The whole picture creates tension and heavily brings large-scale issues to the surface.

    Let's start with some Quick References about the energy that each of those planets (or asteroids) carry as a way of understanding the story that's unfolding.

    Keep in mind that the energies of these planets are currently in conflict.

    Saturn is often referred to as the 'father principle.' It 'rules' structure, discipline, tradition, conservatism and foundations. It also has to do with societal rules, policies, procedures and traditions - whether functional or not. Saturn has earned a bad rep from many people who have a bit of familiarity with astrology because they first heard about the energy of this planet when they were going through their infamous Saturn Returns (at ages 29 and 58). The lessons may have been difficult, but the outcomes involved necessary maturation and growth, hard work, and tenacity - tough love from the Universe! Saturn entering the sign of Libra brings forth a new focus on balancing resources, justice, and fairness. Saturn in the mix of the Grand Cross gives us the discipline to work through our struggles.

    Uranus is sort of the nemesis of Saturn. It breaks down structure - often in an abrupt or unconventional manner. This break down of structures may seem rough around the edges but it's just the beginning of something new. Uranian energy is visionary in nature - imaginative and often lacks refinement yet brings about sweeping change. Again, I'll emphasize abruptly! On the day of the 2008 election, Uranus was directly opposing Saturn - hence the breakdown of an old Saturnian structure and election of a seemingly new type of president. There's no need analyze those variables again at this point, but Uranus is opposing (creating conflict and breakdown) of Saturn's structures again at present. Uranus can have a bit of an explosive effect - literally or figuratively. The explosion in the Gulf of Mexico is a great example. Reliance on fossil fuels is part of an old structure that simply MUST die. Uranus came in explosively to demonstrate that fact out to anyone who simply hasn't gotten it. Relationships often go through massive change during Uranus transits. The rules (that came from Saturn's influence) change - often as a result of sudden death (literally or metaphorically), injury, or because someone broke them without warning! Prior to 2008, Uranus last opposed Saturn in 1965-66 - the early years of the Civil Rights movement! Think about what social change, societal, and personal structures need to die...Even though some of the changes may catch us off guard, the destruction that Uranus brings always set us free!

    Jupiter expresses our ideals, values, perception of self worth, and capacity to expand (physically, financially, spiritually, creatively, professionally, etc.), based upon what we believe to be our Highest Truth. Some astrologers refer to Jupiter as the planet of good fortune because of its expansive nature. Spiritual teachers, professors, and healing gurus are a great example of the Higher vibration of Jupiter. However, Jupiter can be righteous when operating in a lower capacity. Religious fanatics are examples of Jupiter operating in its lower vibrations. Uranus is currently conjucting (in alignment with) Jupiter- thus supporting a new establishment of values and ideals in our society, lots of religious fanaticism, conflict in the Middle East, and a heightened interest in new forms of non-denominational spirituality as well as unconventional business practices that are expanding and carrying a different level of integrity. Think of an expansion of unconventional philosophies. This energy is somewhat unapologetic because both planets are in the feisty sign of Aries!

    Pluto...I LOVE talking about Pluto because I find that it possesses more depth than any other planet. A lot of astrologers don't understand Pluto, but I think it's fascinating! Even though Pluto was 'downgraded' to asteroid status several years ago, its energy is still one of the most intensive as it brings forth the capacity for death, rebirth and total transformation. Plain and simple: Like a tidal wave, Pluto manifests crisis and the effects carry high drama. The psychological functioning that surfaces as we manage a Pluto cycle brings out our worst qualities because we can slip into fear and survival mode...primary process functioning at it's worst! Obsessively, we may go to great lengths to manipulate, control or suppress our surroundings (including other people), attempting to sweep the real truths under the carpet. The energy can be forceful, dark, possessive, sexual, and addictive. That which may have been previously latent hits the surface and our true colors (individually or collectively) present themselves. The reason? Because deep beneath the surface of the psyche lies dark secrets and obsessive qualities that must be purged out and transformed in order for true evolution to occur. Anything less is superficial!

    Examples of the Plutonian role in our Grand Cross include government and corporate scandals, the mortgage meltdown, our addiction to oil and materialism, the misuse of resources, natural disasters, infidelity hitting the surface, attempts to oppress, bomb and control specific groups of people while lying about the real reasons for doing so, many of the hard realities that play out in our lives because we've been relying on dysfunctional paradigms. Phew!

    But remember...Pluto also brings profound power to heal and transform some of the darkest individual and collective demons!

    The Moon involves our ego. It includes emotions, self-identity, defense mechanisms, intuition, projection, physical and psychic sensitivity as well as our homes, personal relationships and where we find comfort.

    I'll address Venus and Mars only briefly as they will be part of our Grand Cross for a short time, however their role must be considered.

    Venus: Material values, public images, relationships with possessions and how we define ourselves through our material world.

    Mars: Anger, self-expression, creativity, warrior and masculine energy, the capacity to take action.

    Saturn, Uranus and Pluto will maintain cycling degrees of conflict through 2012. Jupiter will cycle in and out through March 2011. The Grand Cross will be activated on several dates when the Moon (or other planets) transit the sign of Cancer:

    July 10-11, 2010

    August 7, 2010

    September 3, 2010

    October 1, 2010 (with slightly less intensity)

    June 30 - July 1, 2011

    July 7 - 15, 2011 (with Venus in the mix rather than Moon)

    July 17-18, 2012 (with Mars in the mix rather than Saturn)

    Using the Energy to Your Benefit: When planets are in a square or opposition, they create a sense of conflict but they actually bring to the surface an area of needed growth that has previously been latent. Add several planets to the mix and the tension and intricacy multiplies. With this particular set of planetary transits, we need to integrate the following characteristics:

    Surrendering to the fact that an old paradigm simply isn't working and allowing ourselves to move with the tides of change rather than trying to swim against them or attempting to preserve what isn't working, humility, thinking outside the box, using your imagination to envision a more peaceful and abundant experience regardless of logistics (remember the Law of Attraction!), persistence and hard work, maintaining a level of integrity, a vision of the bigger picture, and a focus on what's really most important, connecting with our heart centers, allowing for a more equitable exchange of resources, following our intuition and connection to Source rather than our intellect or trends that 'other people' follow, taking a scrutinizing look at where we find comfort and assessing whether these patterns are really serving our Higher Good.

    All of this applies to how we navigate our relationships, expenditures, medical care (I feel that exploring alternative treatments and integrating them into Western medicine is quite useful right now), living arrangements, priorities, value judgments, careers, and daily decisions. It's equally as important to avoid getting lost in the details of the story. Instead, take notice of what's going awry, and take action from there. Repeating the story of despair does nothing to transform it. Taking action as stated above and connecting to your inner Guidance does help to get the ball rolling for change!

    Recently, I found myself feeling really stuck and frustrated - even a bit paralyzed with some decisions I needed to make. Some were bigger and others were minute. I'd like to share the message I received from Spirit as I feel it's applicable to many of you:

    If you're finding yourself feeling stuck in a box - can't move forward, back, left or right without bumping your head against the wall with circumstances or logistics, IMAGINE yourself filling your heart with Love & Light and Transcending up and out of the box - free of attachment to specific outcomes - just knowing that up and out is better than stuck! Your duty right now is not to confine yourself with logistical probabilities. Instead, it's your time to heal yourself, transform your own experience (energy) and believe in infinite possibilities for expansion. Spirit's job is to take care of the details.

    About the author: Matthew Engel, MSW, CHt - Psychic-Channel, Counselor, Certified Hypnotherapist, Past Life Regression Therapist, Intuitive Life Coach. "Empowering you to access your inner Light!" Customized Life Transformation Sessions Available in Person and By Phone. Contact Matthew to sign up for his free e-newsletter. Website: www.matthewengel.com

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