On January 12, the full moon completes a cardinal cross. Fear, dread and trepidation can pucker your butt, spike your adrenaline, and provide you the “come to Jesus” moment you have been avoiding.
Uranus is still opposite Jupiter in the cardinal signs of Aries and Libra (and will be until October). Cardinal signs initiate action, movement, change. Aries the fire-ram rashly leaps forward: over a cliff or head-on into an opponent, who knows? It is Libra who keeps a cooler head and thinks: “how do I get what I want by negotiating.” Social justice and rules are important to Jupiter in Libra. He balances the equations of give and take. Libra is tough but not rash. The goals of Uranus and Jupiter are not incompatible. Just risky.
The opposition between the Sun and Moon are square to the opposition of Uranus and Libra. This is a cardinal cross. Moon is in Cancer and Sun is in Capricorn. Now all four of the cardinal signs have a representative at around 22 degrees. This defines a large cross in our sky. Just to make sure we are really paying attention, Pluto is also joining this configuration next to the sun. Pluto squaring Uranus has shaped the last 4 years. By now we are well aware of the beasts that prowl in the shadows of our collective unconscious. Are we finally ready to establish a more mature approach to these demons?
A cross offers choices. The choice to take up this cross is yours and mine. Right now there is a call to break out of our rut, take the chance, stand up for what is morally and ethically right. It feels critical, but it is not compulsory. The outcome is not guaranteed. Results of entering the fray may or may not be successful.
I used to daily struggle with a very tangible problem that illustrates the feel of this cardinal cross: kayaking.
Days that I worked from my kayak, I had the choice to either walk around a large waterfall or paddle over it. I knew at the beginning of the day that this choice was going to meet me halfway down the river. There is that moment when I am sitting in my kayak in the eddy. I am in calm water but there is a struggle happening inside me. I can pull out and walk around this falls. No one would blame me. But I would feel disappointed if I didn't go for it.
So there I sit. I feel my heart thumping through the entirety of my body. The roar of the waterfall and the blood that is pounding through my head and are indistinguishable. This is the crux, the cross.
Am I going to do it?
It is technically an easy move, but it takes concentration. It takes balance. It takes full engagement. Don’t flub up.
Maybe you have experienced this in other ways. There you are in the grocery store line, or on the subway, or in the cafeteria. Someone engages in socially repugnant behavior. Someone is bullying another person. Someone brings the fight near you, but it is still your choice to engage further.
How do you use this trigger? Do you say nothing? Do you look down and pretend you don't hear? You grapple with the options and the possible personal consequences. At a certain point the deliberation is over, you’ve considered the words you are going to say; you’ve thought about the direction it can go. You have a flash of imagined consequences: winning, losing. Are you going to navigate this obstacle while maintaining your balance and your composure? At that moment when you are concentrating on your options, you can still choose.
Once you launch, you are in it. You no longer have control. There is no time to scrutinize the next moves. All you have is action and consequence. Accepting the challenge doesn't mean that angels from heaven swoop down and escort you to a place on high. Failure is part of the process. You know this; if you didn’t know this then there would be no trepidation.
This is the cardinal cross.
When do you choose to take up this cross? Choosing doesn't mean you get to choose the outcome. It means you get to choose: “Yes, I am going to enter this fight,” or “No, I am going to take the easy way out today.”
This full moon presents triggering events. Our personal passions are engaged in power struggles and conflicts at play already. We must choose our roads carefully, and guide our minds to incorporate principles that we are willing to build towards with our conduct. With practice we are no longer dependent on incentive or circumstance, we trust our own ability to rise to the occasions presented.
We all have opportunities. We know who we are. We have thought long and hard about some things. When the time for action comes with its surge of adrenaline, if we have kept true to our practice, we can stay balanced and grounded, speak with authority, speak powerfully. Stand up for who we are, do what we have to do, say what we have to say.
So back to the waterfall and me -- sometimes I walked around it, and it wasn't the end of the world. My kayaking career wasn't over because I didn’t feel up to it. In fact, assessing my personal state of stability was not only allowed, it was prudently required. But when I did do it -- when I accepted the challenge -- the power surged through me. Over time, I mastered it.
But let me tell you, I wasn't always successful. When an attempt doesn’t go so well, the power that surged through me felt like a nasal douche and peeled my eyelids back. Sometimes my teammate had to throw me a rope and drag me out, defeated and soggy.But when it goes right, I feel like I have just locked into the power grid force and am flying without second guessing myself. To me, that makes the risk worth it.
As Mary Oliver said:
The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising and gave to it neither power nor time.