Elements of the Cardinal T-Square: Finding the Way Out

Air Signs. © Pat Paquette

What does it tell you when you keep hitting the same obstacle over and over again?

Some people complain and blame their lack of success on others or on external circumstances. Some think they haven’t worked hard enough, so they grit their teeth and redouble their efforts, using the same tools and techniques. Some will make a superficial change here and there. Others will give up entirely.

There are times when giving up is the best thing to do. I say that not to encourage anyone to be lazy, but because in that moment of giving up, we open our hearts and minds to the new information necessary for growth and advancement.

When the same old ways of thinking, being, and doing aren’t working, it’s time to make radical changes. If we won’t voluntarily make those changes, either because we aren’t aware enough to make them or because we’re actively resisting change, external circumstances will force us to take in new information and move in a different direction.

This is a lesson that many of us are learning during the cardinal T-square.

Change, even when it’s positive, can be disorienting and downright distressing. For many people, it’s so distressing that the temptation to go back to the old, painful way of life is too powerful to resist. The human mind is hard-wired to repeat familiar patterns, and that’s what we’re fighting against now. Getting onto a new path truly feels like an uphill battle.

If there’s anything positive in the cardinal T-square, that’s where I see it. Until forced to change, most human beings won’t do the required work, usually because the initial change is so upsetting that it seems more painful than the situation that was causing them so much suffering. In medical terms, it’s called a “healing crisis.”

Action and discipline … not the most fun combination under the stars, but a very productive one.

I even see some potential good in this week’s conjunction of Mars and Saturn. These two since ancient times have been considered the “malefics,” and there’s a good reason for that. Transits of Mars and Saturn very often do correspond to accidents, tragedy, confrontation, and war. But Mars is the planet associated with action, and Saturn at his best is about discipline and structure. Action and discipline … not the most fun combination under the stars, but a very productive one.

When planets are in square or opposition, we look to sextiles and trines as our “way out.” Last Sunday’s Full Moon provided such an opening. There will be another this Friday when Mercury trines Pluto, who’s at the apex of the T-square and thus under the most pressure.

Mercury is about communications. In Virgo, discussions can be very practical and helpful. Pluto, meanwhile, represents everything hidden, forbidden, and scary. When we face these demons, transformation happens. Talking with someone you trust can help you get in touch with your deepest fears, longings, and desires. Sometimes just owning these things is enough to propel you into a different orbit.

Friday could be a very trying day for everyone, but if you keep in mind that the challenges you face may be trying to get your attention in order to nudge you in a different direction, you can use these forces to your advantage. As I mentioned in my weekly forecast, planetary aspects are only going to get more difficult in the next few weeks. Talk about it, get it out, and confront the unpleasant truths lurking under the surface. If you do the work now, you can save yourself more grief later.

Aquarius, the sign of astrologyPat

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