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Features, Ronnie Pontiac

Navigating the Grand Cardinal Cross: Daily Astrological Observations for March 15-April 15, 2014 (Pacific Standard Time)

sectitle-featuresIMG_0241For a lucky few Saturn’s long station has brought respect, and honors for those who earned it through long dedication and hard work.  But for many this has been a trying and tiring time.  Saturn stationary retrograde has occupied 23 degrees Scorpio since February 11.  22 degrees arrives appropriately enough on March 22 as Saturn begins its five degree backslide.  If you’ve felt exhausted or depressed lately that’s a sign not only that you need more rest and perhaps healthier habits, but also that practical lessons must be learned.  Look around for mentors that may be able to help you acquire the skills and knowledge you need.

When Mercury squared Saturn last week the worst of the doldrums ended.  Mars brings new energy to Mercury, invigorating desire and the will through communication, chance meetings and other games of Hermes.  Learning your lessons now will help you navigate April’s Cardinal Grand Cross with more ease.  Fear mongering has focused in on this Grand Cross as a time of financial disaster but with Jupiter trine Saturn that seems unlikely. With Mars, Pluto, Uranus involved violence is likely. Acts of war, atrocities revealed, and terrorism are all possible outcomes. A metaphor for what each of us must face as we experience the Cardinal Grand Cross.

If we react by being ruthless, by taking action only for our own good no matter the result to others, if we fight and bicker instead of finding reasonable compromises, if we act how we want when we want with no regard for anyone else, the result will be debilitating crisis. If we instead squarely face our fears ready to sacrifice what doesn’t work and organize what does, if we work forcefully for compromise and harmony, if we set out for new frontiers and do what we want when we want with an eye to the greater good, if we nurture others with generosity, opportunity and justice this can be a time of significant personal and cultural breakthroughs.

Consider the Jupiter and Uranus half of the Grand Cardinal Cross. Jupiter in Cancer wants you to be nurturing and just. Female oriented energy is heavily favored. Work on your emotional habits and find ways to help people who deserve it. Uranus in Ares is the clarion call of true 21st century culture. Currently we are still dominated by 20th century culture. But as the living celebrities of yore, Chuck Berry and the other indestructibles begin to pass away, and technology accelerates its impact on every area of our lives, it will become more and more clear to us all that we are in a new century and a new millennium.

But do not ignore the Mars and Pluto half of the Grand Cardinal Cross.  Mars in Libra requires partnership.  If you wish to impress the world with your desire and will you must do so balanced by another.  This Mars demands diplomacy and justice.  Artistry and grace will go further than brute force, a rarity for Mars.  Meanwhile Pluto in Capricorn continues its ruthless exposure of lies and crimes, dismantling the old power structures, forcing us all to face the facts in our personal lives and as a culture and race.  Give yourself, your life and your goals a hard look.  If you’re trying to live a 20th Century life in the 21st this is a good time to find a better way.  Get to the bottom of what doesn’t work in your life and allow no convenient illusions to deter you from understanding what really matters to you.

All this happens within the greater context of the five year Uranus square Pluto that began in summer 2011 and ends in 2016.  This is nothing less than the inevitable decline of the 20th century way of doing things as the 21st century arrives in earnest.  From iconic boomer celebrity deaths to mind boggling breakthroughs in technology, change is happening at a rate that will become obvious to all.  However 2016 isn’t the all clear, as the United States begins its Pluto Return, nothing less than a death rebirth that will decide the fate of the republic.  Will this take the form of a modernization and liberalization of culture by technology and democracy, or will the latent American police state emerge in full fascist force?  The reality is likely to be more subtle.  Pluto moves slowly.  Only if Pluto is repressed, if the past is held onto by any means necessary, only then does Pluto explode in irresistible destructiveness.

1836663_10152256193182095_827106827_o MARCH 15

Yesterday’s Mercury trine Mars continues to help us out of the long Saturn station doldrums especially in the morning as the moon smiles on Jupiter then Pluto.  Look for hints about how you can get real about something that will help you break free to succeed in a way that really works for you and others. The approaching Venus sextile Uranus can bring unexpected fun to your life.  Begin looking around for hints of beauty and liberation.


Full Moon in late Virgo continues to help us find practical ways to benefit self and others.  Focus on practice and learning.   However, it’s easy to miss the fun of the Venus sextile Uranus if you stay focused on the stressful aspects of life.  You may find that romance, art, music offer you glimpses of a future that suits you. Pay attention to those hints.


Mercury enters Pisces bringing a dreamier more sentimental mood to communications.  Spring is near and the feeling that winter has gone on too long can be overwhelming but enjoy the opportunity to build your strength as you prepare for the next round of activity.  Irritating aspects from the moon to Uranus and Pluto can provide a glimpse of perhaps the most important aspect we’re all living through now, Uranus square Pluto.


Venus sextile Uranus today demands playtime and respect for the unexpected.  Artists, musicians, filmmakers, this is a wonderful time to bring beauty and serendipity to your work.  Romance, epiphanies of beauty, the pleasure of technology can be yours so keep your eyes and ears open for a good time.  Harmonize with your community.  Woo your future.  But remember, it’s still winter, and the astrological year has not quite come to its close.


Yesterday’s themes continue as the moon smiles on Mercury in the morning, Neptune in the afternoon, and Jupiter in the late evening.  Talk about it, dream about it, with the optimism of Jupiter at your back can you find a reason to feel free and blessed by Venus tonight?  Creatively inclined people, this is a good time for art.  The approaching Mercury conjunct Neptune adds a psychic quality to inspiration.  Explore how inspired you can be, dare to dream.



Now add the Vernal Equinox to the mix.  The sun enters Aries and the new astrological year begins.  It’s spring and though some will continue to suffer unprecedented cold, and others have had no winter, the subtle exuberance of rebirth continues the pleasant Venus sextile Uranus theme of romance and freedom. But with Mercury conjunct Neptune almost exact and Moon conjunct Saturn in the evening meditate and rest. Unless you need to edit something.  Good time for editing solo.  Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of wondering why you now feel tired or lonely.


As Venus sextile Uranus begins to fade and the moon squares Mercury then Neptune communications may become confused.  Be certain that you hear and see what’s really happening as it’s easy to mistake fantasy for an educated guess.


Mercury conjunct Neptune makes us all a little more psychic.  Great time for meditation and imagination, but be extra careful about communication and travel as confusion is probable somewhere along the line.  Saturn finally leaves 23 Scorpio, another relief.  With moon trine Uranus in the morning and sextile Venus in the afternoon this can be a day of pleasant surprises, but they could be easily missed if you walk in a fog of habitual stress.  In that case watch out for bumped heads and stubbed toes.  If you practice inebriation or for that matter if you take pharmaceuticals you may find you’re a little more sensitive than usual.  Go easy.
IMG_0307MARCH 23

The dead of the moon arrives with Moon entering Capricorn shortly after.  The mood may darken, and you may feel tired.  Get back to getting rest and the practical side of learning what you need to know.  What did you learn from the fun you had, or if you didn’t have any, what did you learn about yourself?  If you look for it you’ll find signs of the fun Mercury trine Jupiter around the corner.  Prepare to reach out to communicate with people who can help you.


Moon square Uranus and then conjunct Pluto give us another potentially disturbing glimpse of the larger issues of Uranus square Pluto, personally and collectively.  Spend a moment looking over your day.  Do you see where something that began in 2011 is nearing a critical point?  Where do you want to be in 2016?  Let the optimism of the approaching Mercury trine Jupiter illuminate opportunities you may have missed.  Communicate with an eye to building consensus and sharing success.  Think about what prosperity means not just to you personally but to your community.


Moon sextile Saturn but square Mars suggests discretion is the better part of valor.  Don’t push ahead today.  Instead get a good look around you.  Consider cause and effect.  Tomorrow’s Mercury trine Jupiter can help you find more joy in life.  Communicate something positive.  The approaching Mercury sextile Pluto gives depth to thought.  Analyze research.  Gain understanding about what makes you happy in your life and what has to go.  Writers, editors, anyone who depends on dexterity in their creative work, this is a good time for breakthroughs in your craft.  Find greatness.


Mercury trine Jupiter today promises good times if you can get out from under the funk of the approaching Grand Cardinal Cross.  We’re still in the dead of the moon, so even though springtime has come, the feeling is that we are still among the ruins, especially with Mercury in end of the cycle Pisces.  Take time to find joy today and share it especially when the moon conjuncts Venus just before midnight.  But remember, we’re still in the dead of the moon.  Venus is about to square Saturn. Don’t overdo.


Mercury sextile Pluto today provides an opportunity to better understand the Pluto quarter of the Grand Cardinal Cross.  Don’t let the fun you’ve been having, or not having, blind you to insights about the best direction to take.  What has outlived its purpose in your life?  Or is it up to you to find that purpose?  Communicate, have deep conversations, dare to reach out in a way that might change your life and other lives for the better.  Use the approaching Venus square Saturn to learn about your art, to beautify your body and soul with discipline.



The moon conjuncts Neptune in the morning, you might wake up with inspiration, or a meaningful dream.  Moon trine Jupiter in the morning adds optimism to the day while moon sextile Pluto in the afternoon and then moon conjunct Mercury can provide insights into important aspects of work and play.  But Mercury is still in Pisces so issues from 2013 may linger in our minds.  Creative activities continue to be favored especially with tomorrow’s Venus trine Mars and Venus square Saturn adding romantic tension but also a critical edge to the proceedings.


Venus trine Mars brings an erotic harmony to the day if you let it.  Such subtleties are easily lost in the prevailing tension of the impending Cardinal Grand Cross so take time to appreciate them if you can. Venus square Saturn can cause rifts in relationships, or deflate artistic egos, but the object is learning.   With Saturn and Venus in unhappy aspect well intentioned advice can land with the thud of harsh criticism.  Silence and caution?  Perhaps, but they too can be misinterpreted.  Try to learn from the process.  As the moon is reborn in Aries the fourth quarter nears its close.



Not just the New Moon, but the moon in Aries, heralds a second spring, as tomorrow’s Sun square Jupiter lifts spirits as the approaching Sun conjunct Uranus aspect electrifies the atmosphere with a sense of the unexpected, a certain exhilaration of freedom, and glimpses of the rapidly arriving future. Moon conjunct Uranus can lift spirits with unexpected surprises but soon after moon square Pluto exposes the consequences.  Here again an opportunity to glimpse the personal and collective issues of not just the Grand Cardinal Cross but also the five year Uranus square Pluto.


With Sun square Jupiter tomorrow and Sun conjunct Uranus the day after it’s easy to over do it by falling into a false sense of optimism, or giving in to breaking free no matter the cost.  Don’t overdo in an effort to make yourself feel better, or to prove something to yourself or others.  If you can take a relaxed point of view today you could be surprised by opportunities you might have otherwise missed.


Sun square Jupiter suggests the exuberance of many April Fool’s pranks will not be taken lightly.  However moon sextile Neptune, then Jupiter, then trine Pluto can make for a very pleasant day if you make room for the unexpected.  Dare to take a different point of view.  Try something new.  You need to feel important and free, how can you provide yourself that experience on this day that was once sacred to Aphrodite?  But be careful, Sun square Pluto is only two days away.  Avoid force, and be prepared for instant karma.


Sun conjunct Uranus just after midnight does not favor rash actions, especially moon opposition Saturn in the afternoon and Mercury trine Saturn in the evening.  Though Uranus in Aries demands the arrival of the future right now Saturn requires caution, planning and learning.  This could be a time of amazing breakthroughs if you’re where you should be doing what you came here to do, or a very disruptive time indeed if you’re holding on to ways of doing things that no longer work for you or others.



Sun square Pluto in the wee hours of the morning followed by moon square Neptune in the afternoon makes this the likely hangover day if you’ve taken a ride on the Jupiter and Uranus aspects.  Consequences can become very plain.  Avoid trouble with authority.  Don’t lash out because you haven’t been able to have fun or find freedom as the Grand Cardinal Cross nears.  Take a good look at the issue of rebirth in your life.  What is dying?  What is being born?  Are you on the right side of that distinction?


The moon smiles on Uranus in the morning, then the sun, then Mars in the evening.  Sun square Pluto is still in effect so take the yin way through the day.  Yang is more likely to meet Pluto, whereas yin can find a flow.  Continue to reflect on how you can address practical matters and the structure of your life to situate yourself where you want to be in 2016.


Venus enters dreamy sentimental Pisces and an hour later the moon trines Venus.  Again these subtle aspects can easily be missed as the Grand Cardinal Square is almost exact and the combative Sun opposition Mars approaches.


Don’t let moon conjunct Jupiter in the afternoon fool you, as the late afternoon brings moon square Uranus and moon opposition Pluto.  Premature optimism will probably be shot down, especially with Sun opposing Mars soon.  Many will find themselves more irritable than usual.  Consequences of missteps or oversteps on April 3 might become more obvious.



Mercury leaves Pisces and enters Aries in the morning starting a new circle around the zodiac.  For some this is when it will truly feel like spring has begun.  Get a fresh perspective on your life.  But be cautious as tomorrow’s Sun opposition Mars can be violent, and accident-prone.


Sun opposes Mars providing plenty of energy especially for argument.  This aspect sometimes makes people want to fight, especially if they feel they have been somehow thwarted.  Avoid belligerence.  Get the best out of this aspect by applying it to hard exercise or hard work, but do so with a little extra caution as stubbed toes and other injuries are common, especially as expressions of suppressed or uncontrolled emotion.  Approaching Venus conjunct Neptune can add to the confusion, but you may already be encountering moments of romance, beauty, epiphany, if you are looking for them


Pleasant aspects between the moon and Uranus, then Mars, then the sun are contradicted somewhat by moon square Saturn in the late evening.  A good day for energetic work or exercise, followed by meditation and rest.


Days without lunar aspects can feel a bit spacey.  The prevailing planetary aspects can feel stronger than usual.  Tomorrow’s Venus conjunct Neptune provides a truly dreamy climate but Sun opposition Mars is still very much with us.



Can you accept serendipity?  Artists and musicians, creative people in general, are you ready for inspiration?  Some will be drawn to intoxication, even inebriation, but romance and beauty can be found if you take time to be sensitive to the subtle.  The Grand Cardinal Cross is almost exact so it’s easy to miss these important grace note aspects.  Look for today’s Venus conjunct Neptune in your life.  Do something for Aphrodite’s sake.


Moon sextile Saturn adds a note of caution to Venus conjunct Neptune but also the ability to bring structure to any visions acquired.  Another good day for creative work.  In romantic situations respect limits.  But Uranus is exactly square Pluto again and will be for some time so all this can be lost in the five year grind if you’re not careful.


No lunar aspects can cause a sense of emptiness in a day, emphasizing prevailing planetary aspects so in some ways this day may feel even more like Venus conjunct Neptune then yesterday, the day of the exact conjunction.  Works of the imagination are favored.  You may find insight into the lessons that will help you most as you navigate the Grand Cardinal Cross.


Mercury squares Jupiter then conjuncts Uranus only to square Pluto in the evening.  Meanwhile Pluto is stationary retrograde intensifying the stress level of the Grand Cardinal Cross and bringing into high relief the facing facts theme of the aspect.  Pluto takes up abode at 13 degrees Capricorn from Feb 26 until June 4.  There’s a possibility of a significant archeological or historical discovery during that time.  But for most of us Pluto stationary is even more taxing than Saturn stationary.  By the end of it we may feel as though we’ve been stuck in one place too long.  But the lessons we’re to learn are crucial.  We must find the practical solutions to our problems and let go of old mistakes and outworn ways of being.

all photos ©2014 Tamra Lucid

Written by Ronnie Pontiac

Newtopia staff writer RONNIE PONTIAC is a founding member and primary guitarist of Lucid Nation, executive producer of the documentaries Rap is War, Exile Nation, and the award winning animated short Cohen on the Bridge.  He associate produced The Gits documentary, and was art editor, then poet in residence for Newtopia Magazine in its former incarnation . He’s a published author of works on obscure topics such as ancient Greek religion and the history of alchemy. Follow him on Twitter @AmerMysteries.


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