The Cardinal square between Uranus and Pluto has been quite wide over the past few months and so has been gentler in its effects while Mars and the Sun both moved through it, and also as the full moon made a t-square aspect to it. The revolutionary and deep-reaching changes it indicates are still being set in motion, just not in quite such an ‘in your face’ kind of way as they were earlier in 2012. Now as we move into 2013 the square is beginning to close again and the pressure to achieve those changes will build. During 2013 the square is particularly active between 6 and 12 degrees of Aries and Capricorn – anyone with planets within those degrees of cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn) will feel these transits most strongly and others with planets at the same degrees will also feel the repercussions. As the year draws on people with planets up to 15 degrees will feel the impact. If you aren’t sure where your planets are you can draw up your own chart here:
January 2nd – 7th
In early January we get the first hints of the cardinal square being activated as Mercury moves across the square to Uranus (becoming exact on the 3rd of January) and the conjunction to Pluto )becoming exact on the 6th of January). There is a strong possibility that the first week or so of the New Year could bring tensions, arguments, difficult communications or news that challenges us in some way. Tempers could become frayed and words become hurtful if we are not careful. It might be worth remembering that Mercury is just the messenger of the gods – and remember the saying ‘don’t shoot the messenger’. If you can hold your tongue and count to ten at this time you might get to understand the meaning behind the message, the changes that are necessary in your life and how you can contribute to the wider changes required in our social structures. There are opportunities to see through to creative solutions at this time, if we can remember not to react to something we feel is difficult or negative but to listen and respond to the deeper message.
January 12th – 18th
A week or so after Mercury moves through the square Venus does the same with her square to Uranus becoming exact on the 13th of January and the conjunction with Pluto becoming exact on the 17th. This continues the tension, but now it is less likely to come out in words and more likely to be felt in difficulties in relationships with partners, friends and colleagues becoming more moody than usual. It can also bring encounters with charismatic and powerful people – if this is the case for you the trick will be to recognise those who will help you in your life’s journey and those who want to distract you or manipulate you. Of course this energy can work both ways and you might have to guard against viewing people as merely useful for you in achieving ambitions. For those looking for a little romance this aspect can bring into your life people who are exciting and deeply magnetic, a word of caution however, it can be a sign of a relationship that is over almost as soon as it has begun, leaving you wondering what hit you.
March 20th – April 3rd
February March see some relief as the square remains quite wide and no personal planets move through it until Mars in mid March. Mars highlights the energy of the square from a different perspective, boosting the individualistic and revolutionary energy of Uranus through a conjunction on the 22nd March and re belling against the hard graft Pluto in Capricorn demands through a square that becomes exact on the 27th March. Mars has an affinity with the energy of this square as he rules Aries, the sign that Uranus is in, and so his input to the square is likely to be felt very strongly and could manifest in violent or aggressive behaviour against people or organisations that seem to be curtailing his freedom. It is a highly active and energetic energy which is best channelled into some kind of physical activity – sports are particularly good, and if the Pluto in Capricorn energy can be used effectively it will be as good for team sports and individual ones. Either way, if there is not some kind of physical outlet for this energy you could find yourself prone to accidents at this time.
Just as Mars begins to move out of the square Venus moves into it, repeating the conjunction to Uranus on the 28th March and the square to Pluto on the 31st. This time could well see a revisiting of tensions in relationships and financial affairs that were raised at the beginning of the year. This time however Venus feels more like asserting herself and her own interests. She is in Aries, Mars’s sign and isn’t really that comfortable there so is more than a little likely to kick off if she feels she is being treated unfairly. This is a tendency that will be highlighted by Venus being in close conjunction to the Sun at the same time. This is the superior conjunction of Venus and the Sun and marks the culmination or closure of the Venus retrograde cycle and the beginning of the next. This is a BIG DEAL, especially when it comes to the issues raised by the cardinal square as the Venus retrograde cycle that this superior conjunction ushers in will have a direct impact upon the cardinal square – I will write more about this soon. Venus at this time is feeling under a lot of pressure, she wants closure on the issues that were raised during her last retrograde cycle which began at the last superior conjunction back in August 2011 and was most intense during her retrograde phase over the summer of 2012. Unfinished business in relationships, finances, creative endeavours should be carefully assessed and only carried forwards if there could be some real benefits from doing so – those things (arts projects, relationships, investments etc) which have set seed and look promising are worth nurturing, those things that are draining, that don’t seem to fulfil their promise or that just aren’t quite what was hoped are best left behind in order to make way for the new opportunities that will come. Venus in Aries conjunct Uranus gives an extra boost to our ability to do this, although one danger could be in being hurtful and cruel in our desperation to be rid of things that stand in our way. If possible, let things and people go with kindness (to yourself as well as to others) so that the new cycle can begin with a clear conscience.
Of course, the Sun conjunct Venus as she conjuncts Uranus means that the Sun is also moving through the cardinal square at this time, intensifying the energy. The Sun’s conjunction to Uranus comes on the 28th March and is potentially explosive – issues which have been building up will burst out now and quite possibly take you or those around you by surprise. Frustrations and anger will rise to the surface as will a rebellious spirit and a will to have things your own way despite claims around you that you need to work for the good of the whole/organisation/relationship/team whatever. This conjunction is followed by the Sun’s square to Pluto on the 1st April and can indicate run-ins with authority where we are forced to face the consequences of our actions and it might not be that comfortable. As always with squares there can be a positive side to this energy but it will take some serious discipline to truly make the most of it because it is so potentially explosive and at the same time demands some kind of physical expression. This is a time when engaging in physical activities that also allow you to think about deep issues could pay off in great insights into your own situation and those of others around you – walking meditation for instance, or running, or yoga could all be helpful but you also need to remember to be in control, to walk or run at a measured pace, otherwise the potential for accidents is there.
April 12th – 22nd
On 12th April Pluto turns retrograde and the pressure in the square really starts to build as Pluto turns to face into the square with Uranus and so the key players Uranus and Pluto are both moving towards one another. Mercury moves into aspect with this rapidly tightening square during the 3rd week of April forming the conjunction to Uranus on the 20th April and the square to Pluto on the 21st – a couple of days to watch over our tempers and our tongues. Well chosen words at this time can really hit home and achieve a lot but there is also the chance that they will hurt and cause a difficult reaction if we are not careful with them. It’s another time to be careful not to shoot the messenger and to watch your back if you are asked to carry any messages!
The square becomes exact on 20th May as the Moon moves into Libra forming the square into a t-square and Vesta through Cancer completes a grand cross pattern. This pass of the cardinal square becoming exact is therefore quite highly charged with Shakti or feminine energy – but not of the pink, fluffy and submissive kind. Vesta in Cancer is dedicated to home and hearth and also to the origins of family, ancestry and tradition – she is dedicated to preserving these at all costs. At this time we may feel a threat to our usual ways of doing things, feeling that the pressures of work and society are pulling us away from our family – and the Moon in Libra feels torn in two directions. Arguments over traditional values, respecting the past, honouring our memories and trying to keep tradition alive set the tone for the next phase of the cardinal square. In our personal lives it could be felt as arguments between parents, between home and school and work, between wanting to break free and do things differently and at the same time feeling stuck in the past. It is a very tense aspect that calls for some kind of creative balance to be reached between traditional and modernising energies.
June 6th – 13th
In the second week of June first Mercury and then Venus move quickly through the Cancer point of the t-square that was activated when the square became exact in May. Mercury opposes Pluto on the 7th June and then squares Uranus on the 8th June while Venus opposes Pluto on the 11th and squares Uranus on the 12th. This second week of June will highlight those issues that the cardinal square is demanding are addressed in your personal life. They are likely to revolve around family, home, parenting and a desire to maintain things the way they have been against a pressure to change them and to do things differently. This pressure may come from within but is just as likely to be felt as an external force – maybe a change of job requires a major move, or a run-in with a child’s school demands some parenting issues are looked at. But whether internal or external this time sees some movement towards understanding the value of tradition in our lives and at the same time shows where it is holding us back and is no longer serving a useful purpose.
July 1st – 5th
The beginning of July sees the Sun move through the Cancer point of the t-square with the opposition to Pluto exact on the 2nd July and the square to Uranus exact on the 4th. This brings some kind of culmination to the issues ushered in by Mercury and Venus and with the Sun in Cancer it will feel as though things are a little more on an even keel at home for a while – the creative tension in the square can be put to good use at this time by actively doing things with or for family and your home – anything from playing with the kids to baking to decorating is likely to go down well at the moment and is a productive use of this energy. On the other hand just trying to relax and do nothing might not be so easy to achieve, this t-square likes active energy rather than relaxation so it’s a good ideas to ensure you also build in enough activities that aren’t too draining and ensure your diet does not contain too much sugar or caffeine or anything else that might keep you awake.
July 17th – August 3rd
On the 17th July Uranus turns retrograde – for a couple of weeks, since the pass of the Sun through the t-square, it might have seemed as though things were sorted and the pressure was easing as the square has been separating. Now as Uranus turns backwards the square starts to close in again and the pressure is turned up once more. As it does so Mars moves into the t-square, opposing Pluto on the 27th July and squaring Uranus on the 1st August. As we saw earlier in the year Mars moving into aspect with the cardinal square brings a definite, aggressive, forceful energy into play. As he moves through the Cancer point of the t-square he is in challenging aspect to Pluto and Uranus and does not really feel like doing as they are telling him to. This is an aspect pattern just made for confrontations and angry encounters and many of these could be felt in our homes and personal lives, where we most want to feel safe and nurtured. It is a difficult time and will take an exercise of will and discipline not to lash out or over-react in ways which will cause regret later on. If we can understand the pressures that we are under, and if we have read previous aspects accurately and have some sense of the changes that are being asked of us in terms of family, security and tradition this is a time when use can use the energy of Mars to turn those changes into reality – this is the best use of this energy, whilst trying to cling to the past or force new things onto our nearest and dearest without their support will simply increase the tension and frustration.
Mars basically sets the scene for the big guy to move into the picture – and for almost the whole of August Jupiter moves through the Cancer point of the t-square. Jupiter expands whatever it is he touches and throughout August 2013 he’s going to be facing square into the cardinal square and blowing up whatever issues have been raised over the past few months. For those of us who feel this cardinal square strongly this is likely to be a bit of a bumpy ride as the opposition to Pluto (exact on the 8th August) sees Jupiter defending his home and his preferred way of doing things while Pluto makes that as difficult as possible for him. Pluto might be a small planet but he packs a hard punch and often sees Jupiter as over-inflated and self-concerned. Pluto wants to bring Jupiter down a peg or two while Jupiter wishes Pluto would lighten up and stop going on so much about responsibility to the greater good, society and hard work. Caught between these two is Uranus who really just wants to do his own thing but with both Pluto and Jupiter putting the pressure on him this looks less and less possible and as the square from Jupiter becomes exact (on the 21st August) any tensions and disagreements are likely to burst onto the surface – there’s absolutely no chance of sweeping them under the carpet any more – any issues that have not been dealt with over the preceding months are going to insist on being addressed this month. My best advice for August is to ensure that issues have been addressed beforehand and that all those you love and are close to understand what it is that holds them together as weak ties can quite easily be broken at this time but strong ones hold fast and see you through the tough times.
Fortunately this stormy weather only lasts a couple of weeks and soon after the storm reaches its climax Venus moves into the picture – and she starts to activate the cardinal square from her own sign of Libra and so her diplomatic abilities are increased along with her skills at calming things down and soothing fraught emotions.
Venus squares Pluto on the 24th August and opposes Uranus on the 26th meaning that August finishes on a gentler note than it began – hopefully some key issues have been resolved and family ties have not only held strong but have strengthened – at the very least you should now be clear about just who in your closest circle really supports you and who you are prepared to go out of your way to support. It may have been an uncomfortable ride for some of the time but Venus can do a good job of cooling things off for a little while, before the next lot of action.
September 14th – 17th
The next pass to activate the cardinal square is Mercury moving through Libra – this is not necessarily a difficult pass, Mercury in Libra is inclined to be diplomatic and tactful. In the 3rd week of September he may just give you some gentle reminders that things aren’t yet finished – and it is no coincidence that he does so as Pluto turns direct and begins to turn up the pressure in that square once more.
October 1st – 5th
Things don’t really pick up speed until the beginning of October as the Sun moves through the Libra point of the t-square. The Sun in Libra tries to be fair but can inadvertently stir things up, people can seem manipulative or as though they have hidden motives, there is suspicion about whether people really mean what they say – and the Sun’s insistence upon things being fair can work with Pluto as the square becomes exact on 2nd October to dredge up issues that have been hidden and demand that they be addressed. With the Sun in the sign of relationships and contracts these issues are quite likely to centre on close partnerships and agreements – at this time it is best to check the small print of anything you sign and double check people’s motives. The opposition to Uranus which is exact on the 3rd October can bring confrontations with people who are only interested in themselves and just want to be free to do their own thing.
October then sees a gradual increase in tension as the square moves to become exact one more on the 1st November. There are some pretty powerful aspect patterns in the chart for this pass of the square becoming exact. Once again we have the Moon forming the square into a t-square. In fact the Moon forms an opposition to Uranus who is the apex of an intensely charged yod with Mars and the Sun/Mercury forming the base sextile. This is an extremely difficult aspect to make the most of but is helped by the mutual reception between Mars and Mercury. With the Moon in Libra we are looking again at partnerships, contracts and negotiations and the mutual reception between Mercury ruled Mars in Virgo and Mars ruled Mercury in Scorpio gives an ability to look at the details of arrangements, unpick problematic issues and reach solutions. It is important, however, that the impatience of Uranus doesn’t mess things up, he needs to be focused on creative and unusual solutions rather than speed.
The second key factor to note about this chart is that Jupiter is on his retrograde degree, about to be pulled back into a t-square formation with it by Lilith. This sets the scene for the focus of the cardinal square over the coming months – a revisiting of issues, going back over, internalising the lessons learned. As Jupiter begins to move backwards into the t-square Venus moves into Capricorn and squares Uranus and conjuncts Pluto in mid November, putting her mark on the mood of the cardinal square as she herself prepares to retrograde over these points in opposition to Jupiter retrograde. Meanwhile December sees Mars move onto the Libra point of the t-square where he will also put his mark onto before he too turns retrograde and backs over these same points again. The end of 2013 is crucial in terms of understanding and achieving the potential of the t-square with Venus, Jupiter and Mars all preparing to backtrack over these points early in 2014 – all the issues activated during 2013 are really a preparation for this time which sees an incredible opportunity to bring together our internal and external worlds so that spiritual lessons learned become visible in the outer world and outwardly visible achievements become felt as internal spiritual growth. This is not an easy thing to achieve – so the preparations we are given through 2013 are ideally to be welcomed and worked with rather than feared and denied.
I have just written an initial piece on this coming series of retrogrades here: