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The Grand Cross Configuration
(see illustration)

The Grand Cross or Grand Square configuration is formed by four (can be more with conjunctions) planetary bodies all SQUARED (90 degrees) to each other and two pairs are OPPOSITE each other. Said another way, it is the T-Square with the missing leg filled in by the fourth planet existing as the opposite to the focal planet. (See illustration). The four 90 degree angles form the Grand Square and the two planetary oppositions form the Grand Cross.

The individual who has the this block of planets in their natal chart has the potential of feeling blocked, directionless and pulled in many directions. The Cross has a tendacy to bring the energy of indecisiveness.

Again, like the T-Square, the Grand Cross has the characteristic of one of the modalities: Cardinal, Fixed, and Mutable modes. A Grand Cross includes one planet in each of the elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Because the Grand Cross is composed of Squares and Oppositions, it is an aspect pattern that is concerned with both action (Squares) and perspective and balance (Oppositions).

Esoterically, the Grand Cross is a 4th Harmonic aspect pattern. The number four relates to the cross of matter; it is the number of form, and of structure, and of the physical world. The planetary symbol for the Earth is an equal arm cross surrounded by a circle.

This configuration has the energy potential of building stress and tension until it has to be released. At that point, some sort of action needs to happen. Squares can generate the energy of feeling insecure and uncomfortable. One can choose to look at squares as being either concrete blocks imprisoning themselves or one can choose to consider them as building blocks to teach and challenge one to focus on the meeting of the all the four directions, where all directions become one within the cross.

This picture of planets, energizes through friction and brings the necessary heat to catalyze and calcinate down to forge or hone a new form. With this 4th harmonic aspect, related to the world of form and structure, squares usually require some sort of physical, external act of expression. It is up to the individual to bring that structure to form.

The action necessary is to look for that core of integration at the meeting of all the four directions. To do this one would work strongly with energy of the planetary pair oppositions. When the opposing planets are balanced, then they are exerting the same amount of pressure on the planets that they square. This creates a solid foundation. Of course, when the opposing planets are out of balance, this structure breaks down, and the squares take center stage again.

So we discover the core of integration by focusing on what the core issue of the quality of the Grand Cross. Cardinal signs are concerned with identity. Fixed signs are concerned with self worth. Mutable signs with healing and completion. Our example is a Cardinal Cross. By identifying the quality the Grand Cross we discern what all the four signs have in common and are able to discover the strength of the foundation of the Cross.

CARDINAL: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.

Cardinal signs are all concerned with the question of identity. Aries looks at self identity, Cancer emotional identity, Libra the social and intellectual identity and Capricorn the actual manifestation of the identity.

Cardinal signs of the Zodiac are the action signs. They often act as initiators and can be impulsive about their actions but at different levels. Aries, will act this way at the SELF level, initiating anything concerning their self. Cancer will see this expressed in the HOME ENVIRONMENT more so than in the PUBLIC. Libra will exercise this more in the THOUGHT AND COMMUNICATION WITH OTHERS. Capricorn will actually WORK TO SEE THE INITIATING ACTION MANIFESTED.

The Cardinal Cross is considered expressed as an IDENTITY crisis. There is a battle of energy between all the four planets which are trying to each find center stage. But each of the four planets are trying to play the same role but from different perspectives.

To illustrate it would be similar to having, Sir Laurence Olivier cast in playing the role of Hamlet. Sir Laurence Oliver, being one of the four planets. One of the other planets would be Robert DiNero, playing Hamlet, and another would be Whoopi Goldberg playing Hamlet and finally the last planet would be Minnie Mouse, playing the role of Hamlet. All four planets involved each are trying to define the character of Hamlet in the example above but all come a different level and perspective.

In a natal chart this is much the action of the four cardinal signs in trying to express the definition of the individual. When a Cardinal Grand Cross is triggered by transits or progressions, all four planets want to take action simultaneously, and have the energy of pulling the individual apart in all four directions. Here it is a good reminder to get in touch with the Source or the INNER IDENTITY. When we stay focused we will have an easier time of choosing how to channel the energy.

FIXED: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

Fixed signs follow the Cardinal signs, and their purpose is to sustain and maintain what the Cardinal signs created and initiated. This is expressed in their focus of self-worth. Fixed signs have a tendacy to resist all outside efforts to initiate change. Cardinal signs have the impulsive trait to deal with and Fixed signs have the stubborn trait.

When the Fixed Cross is triggered by transits or progressions, this Grand Cross of four planets react by digging their heels well into the dirt to resist any of the external energy that may change the status quo. When the Fixed Cross decides to take action, its action is much like a steamroller and anything in its path can be flattened. It’s hard to stop the action taken by this quad once organized and initiated.

In examining a Fixed Grand Cross, look at the planets and house that are expressed by the Cross. This is where the self worth issue comes to focus and can be where the Fixed Grand Cross individual will take matters personally and look at people, places, and things actions as an attack on their own self worth. So to suggest a personal change to a Fixed Grand Cross individual would be met with resistance. You just would not find a Fixed Grand Cross individual easily participating in one of the way too many reality shows dealing with makeovers unless other factors such as trines play into it.

MUTABLE: Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.

Mutable signs are concerned with completion, re-evaluation of projects finished, and are flexible.
Stress can have the energy influence on Mutable of scattering the energy, disassociating or fantasizing. The biggest challenge for individuals with a Mutable Grand Cross tends to be maintaining their focus and their ability to concisely communicate. Mutable folks are master jugglers.

They have to keep all the planets and the house they reside in straight. When the mutable cross is triggered, the first energy response of the four different planets involved is to change or adapt to avoid conflict or difficulty. It would be appropriate to respond by adjusting the energy and approach of one of the four planets, when all four planets simultaneously adjust, the effect is like the juggler dropping all of its ball.