The signs of the zodiac are divided into three qualities, or “quadrulplicites.” The cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn — are dynamic and initiate action. The fixed signs — Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius — are persistent and, just as the name suggests, solid and unmoving. The mutable signs — Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces — are adaptable, flexible, and open to change.
A T-square occurs when planets occupy three signs within one quality. Put another way, it is comprised of two squares (90 degrees) and an opposition (180 degrees), which denotes extreme tension and conflict. The planet or planets at the point, or apex, take on great significance. If all four signs are occupied, then it’s called a grand cross, which is comprised of four squares and two oppositions.
Such alignments are rare, and when they happen, dramatic events take place on the world stage. That will be all the more true in 2010, because the eclipses in Capricorn and Cancer are part of the picture. Eclipses are often enough on their own to herald life-changing events.
The shift into cardinal influences began slowly, with Pluto’s entry into Capricorn in early 2008. He slipped back into Sagittarius on his retrograde path over the summer and then re-entered Capricorn in December that year. When Saturn entered Libra last October, he formed a conflicting square with Pluto. The resulting tension is similar to pressure that builds up at the juncture of two tectonic plates. When the pressure releases, we get an earthquake.
It starts getting a little complicated here, because Saturn currently is retrograde and back in the final degrees of Virgo for a few months. That means he’s no longer part of the cardinal T-square, although he is going to form an opposition to Uranus at the end of this month, and we’ll briefly experience a mutable T-square. I’ll have more on that in my weekly forecast.
The big news comes in late May and early June, when Uranus and Jupiter enter Aries, followed by a pair of eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn on June 26 and July 11. On July 21, Saturn returns to Libra, where he’ll stay until October 2012. From late July to mid-August of 2010, there will be a tight T-square involving Venus, Mars, Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. We’ll have a few days in there when the Moon in Cancer transforms the configuration into a grand cross.
The last time we had this kind of powerful buildup in the cardinal signs was in 1989. The Berlin Wall fell when Uranus, Venus, Saturn, and Neptune were all closely aligned in Capricorn, opposite Jupiter in Cancer (Ceres and Chiron were close by, too). At the moment the announcement was made, the alignment was on the Ascendant and Descendant. This was one of the defining moments of the 20th century, and the T-square we’re about to experience is in many ways an extension of that event.
Other startling events happened in 1989, including the Exxon-Valdez oil spill, the Loma Prieta earthquake, and the protests in Tiananmen Square.
The most extreme example of a cardinal T-square I’ve been able to find is the chart for the Tunguska explosion in 1908. It’s a mindblower, with all but two planets aligned in Cancer, Capricorn, and Aries. The blast felled trees and knocked residents several miles away off their feet. Researchers still don’t know what caused it, but the prevailing opinion is that a meteor exploded several miles above the earth’s surface.
Other events that year, while not outstanding in and of themselves, fueled tensions leading up to World War I.
Unfortunately, there is no clearly identifiable pattern to provide us clues for what could happen in the next couple of years. Natural disasters, environmental crises, and political upheaval are all possible — and, I would add, likely. But some of the changes, while disruptive, may ultimately be beneficial. After all, the fall of the Berlin Wall was an amazing breakthrough.
Jupiter and Uranus slip back into Pisces this fall, and then we’ll have another reprieve until late spring of 2011. We’ll explore these developments in depth in Part II of this article.
Related post: T-Squares Past and Present