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Slow Global Warming

OPTIMISM vs. PESSIMISM

by Gary Brand - written November 15, 2005,
published in the December 2005 edition of Echo* newspaper

Chart of the Grand Cross of 12/4/2005 through 1/17/2006,
calculated for 12/27/2006, the peak date of the cross.
ost of us have survived the first two grand crosses of 2005 and we didn't see the end of the World so we have a good chance of surviving the third, longest and final grand cross, from about December 4, 2005 - January 17, 2006.  A grand cross is a configuration in the sky of four or more planets literally forming a cross, with Earth in the center (so we will all bear this cross).  The period of time in which a grand cross forms varies according to the speed of the planets involved and the degrees (orb) between the two planets most widely separated from exact 90 and 180 degree angles with each other.  Grand crosses that don't include the Moon are rare - the last one (before the grand crosses in October and November 2005) was the grand cross eclipse of August 1999 - see the article entitled “Solar Eclipse Duration of Effect” for more - and it is even more rare for three grand crosses to form within the course of just three months, as happened October 2005 - January 2006!

Thanks to a response to my last column from one of my readers, I am now aware that, when I include an illustrative chart with my article, many of my readers think of it as a chart.  When we see an astrological chart we tend to think in terms of the planets in the signs, in aspect to each other, and in houses because we think of the chart as representing some event.  However, the "chart" included with this article (for December 27, the peak date of this grand cross) and the one included with my article in the November edition of Echo* (The Grand Crosses of 2005) were only to illustrate the grand crosses and should not have been construed as charts of an event.  Because these grand crosses last for weeks, the "houses" in these illustrative "charts" were meaningless, irrelevant, and should have been ignored.  The aspects between the planets in a grand cross and the signs occupied by those planets are highly significant.  To avoid any confusion, I have used a format for the "chart" that accompanies this article, which includes the signs of the zodiac and the planets in the grand cross but no houses.

I also want to thank the same reader for drawing my attention to the need to explain why I dwell on what some readers may consider "negative" or pessimistic outcomes of the aspects I describe in a grand cross.  To give some historical perspective, what the great professional astrologers of antiquity had to say about squares and oppositions - the aspects that make up the grand cross - was not very uplifting.  For example, the Medieval astrologer Guido Bonatti said, "the aspect of opposition is called an evil aspect, and it is the aspect of ultimate enmity, ultimate malice, and ultimate discord" (every grand cross has two oppositions).  But a really important point is that we all have a choice - we do not have to respond to the "negative" energies inherent in a grand cross by being fearful, depressed, resentful, frustrated, anxious, stressed, etc.  Instead, we can choose to not let these planetary forces drag us down or make us feel like we are carrying a cross on our back.  We can choose to use the challenges of the cross (represented by the four squares) in constructive ways.  It is not my intention to cause my readers to dread the conflicts and tensions inherent in a cross but to inform and forewarn so that you can be prepared when someone else is responding to the cross in negative fashion.

I feel that one of our greatest spiritual challenges is to respond in a loving and compassionate (Neptune) way when conflict (Mars and squares) or adversity (Saturn and oppositions) arise.  The squares and oppositions of a grand cross test our ability to remain centered in our true spiritual nature (the center of the cross is here on Earth) and to respond positively when internal conflicts (represented by the squares in the cross) or people in our lives (represented by the oppositions in the cross) tempt us to do otherwise.  The grand cross of December 4, 2005 - January 17, 2006 contains great potential (represented by Mars opposite Jupiter) to focus our attention on optimistic attitudes and outcomes and to stretch beyond our doubts or perceived weaknesses (Neptune square Mars and Jupiter).  Saturn opposition Neptune and Mars squaring both not only signify crises at the time of the grand cross like the rioting in France and the recent outbreaks of tornadoes but these aspects also indicate the aftermath of crises that have already occurred.  How we respond to challenges speaks to what kind of person we are:  do we look at a difficult situation and want to improve it (the optimist) or do we just complain about how bad it is (the pessimist).  The greatest tragedy of this time, symbolized by these grand crosses, is the mounting agony and death toll of those who survived the devastating earthquake in Pakistan.  Instead of complaining about why there is no great outpouring of aid from the super-wealthy, the Bush government, or average Americans, I'm giving what I can to alleviate the suffering and I urge you to give generously too.
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*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.
Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida
850-656-5758


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