Before explaining a Cardinal T-Square, let’s review the 3 Modes of astrology. Cardinal signs impact identity. Fixed signs impact self-worth. Mutable signs impact healing and reasoning. We will also discover the commonality that the four signs in a Grand Cross have.
Cardinal signs are typically focused with the question of self and identity, and actions surrounding these. Cardinal signs encourage action, initiation and the ability to impulsively express ourselves (Aries), our emotional identity (Cancer), our social and intellectual identity (Libra) or the tangible manifestation of our identity (Capricorn). Cardinal signs are about taking action.
In essence, the Cardinal T-Square is an astrology aspect which triggers a crisis of identity. The test with a Cardinal Grand Cross is reflected whenever there is a transiting aspect to it. The main purpose of the Fixed signs is to uphold and maintain the activity that the Cardinal signs created and initiated.
Mutable signs, similar to Cardinal signs, are easily scattered and disjointed when under pressure. The Cardinal T Square’s most prominent feature is its impulsiveness. Planets in Cardinal signs feel a need to act immediately. This current configuration is very potent because it is taking place at the early degrees of the cardinal signs with Pluto in Capricorn stationing direct and Mercury in Libra stationing retrograde. And then if you count Juno (soul mate asteroid) in early Aries, we’ve got a cardinal Grand Cross. The Cardinal quality is prone to lots of action but whether or not that action is productive is another question because often the impulsivity wastes energy.
Focusing on what the core issue of each modality is (Cardinal signs are concerned with identity, Fixed signs with self worth, Mutable signs with healing and completion) can also help to discover what all four of the signs in the Grand Cross have in common, and therefore to also discover the point of balance and strength. The Cardinal Cross, then, is essentially an identity crisis.
The key to utilizing the T-Square is to move forward – to become proactive with the apex planet, while minimizing the scattered feelings that may result when the T-Square is being triggered. Take note that when a transiting planet moves into the opposite of the apex, forming a pseudo Grand Cross, it could be providing the individual with an opportunity to release the productive energy of the T-Square in the most direct approach because the transit shines on the Apex placement. This brings an awareness of the need for balance to the Apex planet while tapping onto the two squares. To properly assess the needs of the T-Square, take note of the element of the sign that the Apex planet is in. The element provides guidance in understanding the nature of the action that the T-Square will likely produce: Fire = spirit, enthusiasm and identity orientation; Earth= practical, tangible, worth and value; Air = intellect, social and intuitive; Water = perceptive, emotional and spiritual.
The key to getting a T-Square to become productive is by defining these areas in the chart so that the individual can have access to the most supportive features of these elements and house placements and comprehend the best way to release the pressure imposed on the Apex planet. Similar to the Cardinal Grand Cross, the Cardinal T-Square focuses on the identity of the individual. The Cardinal T-Square tends to be the most active of the T-Squares, although not the most productive. Being aware of the “empty space” opposing the Apex planet can give the individual guidance for a Cardinal T-Square. The Apex planet in a Fixed T-Square will reveal where the individual is most inflexible.
With a Fixed T-Square, the compromise between the two realms may only be reached after a very ugly confrontation. The Fixed T-Square that learns how to incorporate flexibility into the decision making process receives the best rewards. The most difficult factor for the Mutable T-Square is focus and consistency. For the Mutable T-Square, the Apex planet will be the one most likely to be disturbed since this is the planet under the most pressure. Unlike Cardinal or Fixed T-Squares, the opposition aspects are less aggressive or confrontational since the nature of the mutable sign is to adapt.
The T-square planetary pattern consists of three or more planets at three of the four vertices of an imaginary square. The T-square is the most common of all planetary patterns. The T-square is often found embedded in larger planetary patterns like the “Bowl”, “Bucket” or “Hourglass”, but sometimes these larger patterns are either absent or so far from ideal that the T-square scaffolding underneath becomes the most relevant pattern for interpretation.
The characteristics of a square are obstacles and challenge, creating dynamic inner tension and leading to conflict and change. The T-square presents conditions that need to be overcome, usually accompanied by great energy and a drive to do so. Although the difficulties presented by a T-square are demanding, the dynamism it sparks is sufficient to the task. Mature marshalling of one’s resources can bring about great accomplishments, and many famous people have used their T-square as an impetus to success. In a T-square, the tension and awareness created by the two planets in opposition is resolved either by the planet receiving the double square, by the empty point opposite that planet, or, if there is one, by the planet most closely trining or sextiling any planet in the T-square.
The T-square symbolizes a lot of difficulty in one’s life, but it also sparks action and the drive necessary to achieve resolution. Living with the demands of a T-square can be very challenging, but when the energy of this configuration is well directed by a mature individual, it often leads to significant accomplishments. Whereas the T-square is a dynamic influence, the Grand Cross tends to diffusion. Most T-squares emphasize the quadruplicity of their quadrature; that is, the two opposed planets mutually squared by a third (more if there are conjunctions) are usually all cardinal, all fixed, or all mutable.
A Cardinal T-square can be approached by correct action. This is appropriate to many obstacles, because the squares and oppositions in all T-squares are dynamic and inherently promote action for their resolution. Mutable T-squares can be approached by correct thought, or by restructuring or approaching anew how you conceptualize the issues in question. Fixed T-squares can be approached by humbling the will.
In the present Cardinal T-square configuration, Mars has been the catalyzing factor, travelling through Gemini and its formation in a mutable (changing, adapting, transitioning) T-square into Cancer and its place in this cardinal (new directions, initiatives, leadership) T-square. Our personal goals, motivations and what we really want are the connecting force here between these two T-squares that are packing a one-two punch. This is the very, very beginning of a long series of cardinal squares we’re going to be dealing with over the next six years. Mercury in Libra creates the cardinal T-square and acts as mediator between the concrete-goals-in-the-public-realm evolutionary desires of Pluto in Capricorn and the more immediate Mars in Cancer personal goals for emotional security, nurturing and people and place that feel like soul home.
The fourth leg of the cardinal T-square is Aries, so the stabilizing factor in all this is us the ability to stand in who we are, no matter what. This Mars opposition to Pluto (like the recent Venus opposition to Pluto) has ties to the opening square we experienced between Mars in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. We have two planets being opposite (180 degrees) each other and the third one squared (90 degrees) to each opposite planet.
The t-square is part of the squaring the circle path. The focal planet is the apex of this configuration or the planet the opposite planets are squared off. This point gives us a great deal of information for the energy expression of the T-square. Beginner Astrologers will often mistakenly look at the T Squaresas negative in the natal chart. However, many presidents, actors, and just plain great people have had T Squares in their chart and were successful because the T Square energy offers focus on seeking the balance.
The challenge with a Cardinal Grand Cross is that whenever it is triggered, all four planets want to take action simultaneously, and each in their own direction. Fixed signs follow the Cardinal signs, and their purpose is to sustain and maintain what the Cardinal signs created and initiated.
The hardest part is learning to control the impulsiveness of the Cardinal planets long enough to get them to work together. The early degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Libra, Cancer, Capricorn) will be a ablaze with energy and activations this year. For cardinal signs, the astrological aspects may feel energizing and thrilling. One thing we can be certain of is this cardinal t-square seeks expression of radical, total and breathtaking change of our lives.
These three placements are called a Cardinal T-square and send energy to the empty Aries 4th house. If you have any planets in early Aries, this will turn into a Cardinal Cross and a major shift will move you forward. If you have any planets in early Aries, you are looking at a Cardinal Cross.
Back to the top of Cardinal T-Square .