Ask Real Astrologers: What Is the Significance of a Cardinal Cross?

This week’s question comes from Anya in the United States:

Hello and thank you for your kind work. I have been told that I have a cardinal cross in my chart, and am wondering what that means, if it is so. I appreciate your time and consideration of this question.

Libra ponders . . .Neith’s response:

Anya, a cardinal cross in your chart means you have four planets, one in each cardinal sign (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) aspecting each other. A grand cross has four 90° angles and two oppositions and it is a powerful but stable pattern.

Because it is in the cardinal mode, you most likely are very good at initiating action and may be a natural leader. However, unless you have other planets and angles in either fixed or mutable signs for balance, finishing what you start may be a problem.

A grand cross also means you have four planets evenly spaced around your chart wheel, and whenever transiting planets are in the cardinal signs you will have one corner of the cross being conjoined, squared or opposed. The Sun will conjoin each planet in the grand cross four times during the year, and this can be a great learning tool for you, since the Sun’s transits are brief.

If you wish to learn more about your chart, you can get a free chart at Astrodienst. You can also get some interpretations, but they are computer-generated and no substitute for a reading from a real astrologer. Either Pat or I can give you more feedback, if you wish to order a report. Astrology is a wonderful tool to learn more about who we are and why we do what we do.

Aquarius expounds . . .

Pat’s answer:

Anya, this is a great question. Since you didn’t supply any birth data, we will assume that you indeed have a cardinal grand cross in your chart, but let me just comment that, to be technically a grand cross, the planets forming the cross must be among the eight planets (yes, Pluto counts!) plus Sun and Moon. Chiron and the asteroids don’t count, nor does the Ascendant or Midheaven. In my chart, for example, three planets are in the early degrees of Taurus, Leo, and Scorpio, with my Aquarius Ascendant directly opposite. But this is still just a T-square, not a grand cross.

So with that caveat, the classic interpretation of a cardinal grand cross in the natal chart is just as Neith describes. Of the three types of grand crosses — cardinal, fixed, and mutable — this is the easiest to have in your chart. You may be very dynamic and active, but it’s easy to just spin your wheels and not get anywhere unless you have an outlet for all this wonderful energy. To discover where your best outlets are and how to take advantage of them, look for sextiles or trines to the planets forming the grand cross.

As Neith noted, a reading with one of us is a good way to determine how these planetary configurations operate in your life and when they may be activated. I currently am not accepting new clients, although my schedule is starting to lighten up, so anyone who would like a reading with me, stay tuned…

Wishing you much love and luck, Anya, and thanks for taking the time to write.

Got a quick question? Click here to contact Ask Real Astrologers.

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4 thoughts on “Ask Real Astrologers: What Is the Significance of a Cardinal Cross?

  1. Rossa

    Pat/Neith,

    To have a Grand Cross do the planets forming the cross ALL need to be in either cardinal, fixed or mutable signs?

    It looks like I have a cross in my chart, but 2 (Mars, Jupiter) are in the Fixed signs of Taurus and Scorpio and 2 (Venus, Pluto) are in Mutable signs, Pisces & Virgo. Does that count as a Grand Cross or just 2 oppositions?

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  2. Rossa

    Sorry, just looked it up and it’s not a Grand Cross (phew!). Looks like a pair of T-squares, opposite each other which make a square in my chart.

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  3. Pat Post author

    Rossa, T-squares involve three (or more) planets in the same quality, so to have a mutable T-square, for example, you’d have to have a planet in either Sagittarius or Gemini, near the degrees of your Venus and Pluto. Likewise, for a fixed T-square, you’d need a planet in Leo or Aquarius near the degrees of your Mars and Jupiter.

    And don’t breathe a sign of relief just yet. T-squares actually are much harder to handle than grand crosses, as they are less stable.

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  4. Rossa

    Thanks Pat. I do have planets in the signs you mention but not at the same degree.

    Venus and Pluto are at 3° in Pisces and Virgo. My Moon is in Sag but at 16°. Don’t know how close in degrees they need to be to make a T Square.

    Then Mars and Jupiter are 26° and 29° in Taurus and Scorpio. And Uranus is 14° Leo and my Sun is 13° Aquarius so maybe I just have 3 oppositions instead.

    Just need to get my head around trines now!!

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