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The Grand Cross is also known as the Grand Square in Astrology. This is formed when four planets form four square aspects and two opposition aspects, making it resemble a big square configuration across the chart. Since squares and oppositions are challenging at best, this is essentially a difficult configuration to live out. This is not a common aspect in charts and can be considered as heavily karmic configuration, which requires the individual to live out and deal with significant issues this lifetime. This can be especially restrictive or limiting for individuals who lack self-discipline.
Since squares essentially indicate inner strife, when poorly handled, he is bound to feel that his energies and drives are often thwarted or blocked, creating much inner frustration, tension and anguish. The redeeming factor here is the two oppositions, which offer a perspective and balance needed to find the point of equilibrium, resulting in inner harmony and contentment. Ultimately, much depends on the discretion of the individual and how he chooses to exercise his free will. The stressful effects of this configuration must eventually be resolved through careful examination of the nature of the signs which the planets occupy, as well as the circumstances presented to the individual indicated by the House placements.
The Cardinal Grand Cross
The Cardinal Grand Cross configuration produces a highly restless and impulsive individual who is quick to initiate but often without proper thought or planning. The four squares only serve to aggravate the already impatient and assertive quality of the Cardinal mode. The will to succeed, along with a strong competitive streak, is inherently present. He is often hyped and charged up with excess energy that needs to be translated into action and needs to be constantly on the go, doing things. Otherwise, the unexpressed energy could easily manifest into inner tension, frustration, temper tantrums or anger management issues. One of the biggest challenges is that the individual tends to start off new activities with great enthusiasm but lacks the staying power follow through with his plans.
Thus, the two opposition aspects are often the key to the resolution in this difficult configuration. This relates to the Aries-Libra axis theme of independence versus co-operation. In order for the individual to succeed in his personal goals, he has to be aware of co-operation and consideration of others’ needs first. By engaging himself in the activities of others, he is allowing them to play a part in his life as well, thereby speeding his lessons of sharing and sociability. By learning to curb his impulsiveness and impatience with greater awareness, he would eventually be able to handle each objective at a time without scattering his energies in many directions.
This configuration teaches the lessons of developing patience, inner composure, endurance and better organizational skills. When fully integrated, the individual can avoid the usual pitfalls of thoughtless assertion, impetuosity, over aggression and unnecessary conflicts with others.
The Fixed Grand Cross
The Fixed Grand Cross configuration produces an individual who is willful and rigid on many levels in the psyche, causing a considerable amount of internal stress, tension and frustration. The four square aspects in this configuration only serve to intensify the unyielding fixity of this quality, making it the most challenging Grand Cross to bear. Although the individual possesses extreme determination, willpower with a ‘never-say-die’ attitude, the tendency is to engage in self-defeating habitual patterns that culminate in emotional crises. The dogged persistence can often backfire, as he tries to do too much at a time or tries to exert as much control over things and situations. The danger of this configuration is the manifestation of unexpressed emotions into perpetual stress or psychosomatic health problems.
Thus, the two opposition aspects are often the key to letting down the rigid defenses of the individual. By channeling the sense of possessiveness and willful resistance towards compromise and sharing with others, he can learn to become less rigid and obstinate in his actions. This is especially important if relationship matters were to be mutually satisfying for both parties.
This configuration teaches the lessons of clearing the psychological build-up of problems on a periodic basis, including all forms of resentment, jealousies and hostilities. By accepting the flow of life through surrendering oneself and offering spiritual service to others, he learns to become more relaxed and settled in mind and body. Learning to let go of things is one recurring theme in the individual’s life. By accepting things the way they are rather than doggedly forcing things to happen according to his terms, he can become a source of inspiration and stability to many others at the same time.
The Mutable Grand Cross
The Mutable Grand Cross configuration produces an individual who is intellectually stimulating and knowledgeable but also inconsistent, fickle and unreliable in his actions. The four square aspects heighten the state of restlessness in the individual, often manifesting themselves as agitated nervousness and tension. The main challenges posed by this configuration are inner frustrations due to indecisiveness, changeability, poor concentration ability and a general sense of poor timing in the execution of plans. Because the individual usually has so much scattered energies, the tendency is to either become overly adaptable or yield to external pressure when challenged, resulting in regrets over earlier decisions at times. A sense of stability or security in the individual’s life often eludes him.
Thus, the two opposition aspects are often the key to reconciling and integrating the opposing differences between the logical rationalizing of the conscious mind and the theoretical concepts of the abstract, higher mind. This configuration teaches the lessons of not caving in or bending over backwards too easily when pressurized by external circumstances. The individual has a tendency to be overly adaptable to all kinds of situations and unlike the Cardinal and Fixed Grand Crosses, he does not possess the spirited enthusiasm to begin projects or the dogged determination to carry them through.
Although the greatest source of conflict is likely to be found in his vacillating needs in relationships, this aspect often enables the individual to become more sensitive to the needs of others. Ultimately, the inner tension is most effectively expressed through creativity in the areas of education or communication, where the individual usually excels in.