A Sensual Counterpoint

The headline for today is a Full Moon lunar eclipse…and for all month it is the Grand Cardinal Cross. [See Lunar Eclipse:  (Re)Balancing Thoughts and Feelings.] But we do have other aspects worth mentioning.

In Astrology, adjacent signs are most contrasting. Signs that lie 180 degrees across from each other seem to be complete opposites, but dig a bit and you will find that they have common roots.

The Grand Cross this month is not rooted in a single sign or element. It is, however, rooted in a single cardinality. There are three cardinalities; intriguingly, they resemble three of the elements:

  • Cardinal is initiating and resembles fire.
  • Mutable is adaptable and resembles air.
  • Fixed is stable and resembles earth.

The first three signs of the Zodiac pair a cardinality with its most similar element:

  • Aries: Cardinal Fire
  • Taurus: Fixed Earth
  • Gemini: Mutable Air

Given the full Cardinal Cross, which contains Mars and Uranus, if I had to assign it a single flavor, I would choose Cardinal Fire and thus Aries. Furthermore, we have the sun and Mercury in Aries, further stoking the fire.

The two signs most contrasting Aries are Pisces and Taurus, the signs on either side. Not much is happening in Taurus right now, but plenty is happening in Pisces.

As many of you know, Neptune and Chiron are adrift in Pisces. They are slow movers, have been there for more than three years, and will remain there for a number of years to come. The news is that Venus has recently joined one, and is soon to join the other. She is treading the nine degrees of water that lie between them.

Again, Pisces energy is most contrasting to Aries. Aries is active, fiery, and male. It is a single note played a cappella ed accentato (unaccompanied and with emphasis)! With Pisces, a full orchestra forms alternating dissonant and harmonious chords that flow into and out of each other. The emotions conjured are muted, blended, and can be confusing. Aries may very well be the most straightforward energy in the Zodiac, and Pisces, the most unclear and hard to sort out.

In practical terms, Pisces provides plenty of sensation, but requires us to tune into our feeling centers. Here, the head without the heart just will not suffice.

Venus—who is activating Neptune and Chiron—plays counterpoint to Mars—who is igniting the final flames of the Cardinal Grand Cross. Venus is like a soft sensual pedal played beneath a vibrant crescendo.

The peak of this contrast occurs on April 17th; that is when Venus begins moving through the 14th degree of Pisces and thus aspects, with some degree of harmony, Jupiter, Uranus, and Pluto: each of which will be moving through the 14th degree of Cancer, Aries, and Capricorn respectively at that time. Mars will still be two degrees and four days from peak within the Grand Cardinal Cross.

To me, Venus is opening a window of opportunity. It is illuminating a detour allowing one to bypass a thunderstorm. If you do, in fact, experience a building of tension between Monday 4/14 and Monday 4/21, look for subtle, creative solutions on or around Thursday 4/17. Even if you don’t see them, feel for them. Take a chance. Reach out across a battlefield and offer a truce. Use empathy to bridge the gap.

With any Astrological aspect, we can always assume the role of one planet. Choose Jupiter in Cancer. Even if you are not in the midst of the conflict, you can nurture those who are. You can bring lightness, joy, and humor to the situation. You can be bigger than the conflict.

In all likelihood, Chiron will be designated as the modern ruler of Virgo some day. Neptune is already the modern ruler of Pisces. These two planets…like the signs they rule…seem different but have common roots. The chemistry word solution, which is of Neptune’s domain, very closely aligns with healing, which is Chiron’s domain. They are synonymous in certain contexts. Elixirs can be used as cures.

Venus, the queen of love, beauty, and art, is the giver of solution and healing…if asked. She is ever-present in the sky, even in those brief moments when we cannot see her. And she is our closest neighbor planet more often than not.

Solutions that are the offspring of love are always within reach. To find them, we may be required to delve into the well of our feelings (Pisces) before expressing our individual perspective (Aries).

Love is always an option. It is that constant, subtle pedal is that is often overlooked, but becomes clear when all of the noise is silenced.

If life is taxing you this month, schedule some time for yourself on or around Thursday. If nothing else, intend to give yourself a break from worry as much as possible. Don’t try to solve your problems at that time. Instead, take notice of the beauty that surrounds you. If you don’t find blue sky, warm sun, and birds chirping, find the beauty in the clouds, the wind, and the beating rain.

Some of the most talented poets and songwriters find inspiration through pain and loss, then transform that darkness into the most beautiful sentiments that touch the hearts of many. They probably don’t even try to do that. I would imagine that their main goal is simply to find solace for themselves…a cathartic release of pain. The beauty just seems to pour out of the integrity of one fully accepting and expressing their plight.

While working on the first draft of this post, a particular song came to mind called Sun Rising Up. The lyrics at the start of it are poetically dark…so much so, they bring tears to my eyes. I know that some of us have felt this kind of pain. About halfway through, the mood shifts and rises out of the darkness, building towards joy.

Not hours later, Sun Rising Up played when shuffling the songs on my iPod. I took that as a sign to share the lyrics here:

Life has been fading into grey
All over my place, all over my heart, all over my life
No signs showing me a way out
Or telling my soul
How to get out of this never-ending hole of darkness surrounding my life

The absence of a tear has been the only moment of happiness I’ve ever had
Could not believe in me.
Unable to see how many things I have to give
Even to myself
I was waiting for nothing, for no one, for the end…

Before you came and showed me the reason why
You came running through rows of bright light and shining stars
Riding rows of silver horses

You came sailing through oceans of love
Sliding through cascades of rainbows
Built by sparkling maidens
You’re the reason why all these rays of light fill into my place
You’re the reason why the sun is rising up even when it’s twelve at night
You’re the reason why I think I’m falling in love…

Eclipses act out a descent into darkness, but they also remind us that the light does assuredly return. The energy of a Grand Cardinal Cross can feel like rope pulling all four of your limbs out from the center. You may wonder how long you can hold on, but then out of the darkness, the sun rises up, the light returns, and the storm quiets.


My talk at The Center for Sacred Studies [] in Guerneville, CA—originally scheduled for tonight—has been moved to Monday, April 28th from 7:00-9:00 pm. I’ll now be doing readings and energy work on Tuesday 4/29/2014 there.


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