Coping with the Cardinals this Christmas & NYE.



On Christmas Day this year 7 planets are in cardinal signs. Sun, Mercury, Venus and Pluto are in Capricorn, Mars in Libra, Uranus in Aries and Jupiter in Cancer.

The standout feature of the aspects is a T Square, forming between the Uranus/Mars opposition, and the stellium of Pluto, Sun, and Mercury which is being opposed by Jupiter.

The moon will also move into a cardinal sign by early evening. Also by NYE the T Square has morphed into a Grand Cross. This leaves Saturn in the fixed sign of Scorpio, Neptune & Chiron in Pisces and the Nodes in Scorpio/Taurus.

Do these remaining planets have a chance of expression to release the energies of the T Square and Grand Cross?

Cardinal signs
Cardinal signs are the initiators of the Zodiac. After all, these signs rule all the angles of the natural horoscope, the Midheaven, the Ascendant, Descendant and the Imum Coeli (IC).
The cardinal signs initiate action – whether things get finished or not is another matter, but lively, ambitious action is the theme for them.

This Christmas the chart also has a cardinal sign in each element of the Zodiac! Earth- Stellium of Mercury, Venus, Sun and Pluto in Capricorn (planning/structure), Fire – our friend Uranus in Aries (radical self-expression), Water – Jupiter in Cancer (excess emotions) and Air – Mars in Libra (energetic relationships).

With the planets in their natural elements, Christmas Day gatherings will be a heady mix of emotions, relationships, plans/structure, self-expression. All the themes which usually tie in with Christmas day gatherings, however this year we have a few difficult aspects to deal with!

Cardinal T Square
The chart for Christmas Day at 1:00pm, a common time for when we sit down for our Christmas lunch.

Christmas day chart 1

As mentioned above, the standout feature is the T Square which forms between the Uranus/Mars opposition, and the stellium of Pluto, Sun, and Mercury, Pluto being the apex and opposed by Jupiter.
According to Nicholas Champion, “a T Square is two planets in opposition and both are square to a third planet. This brings tension and sharp pressing problems. A T Square in Cardinal signs gives exceptional dynamism and energy. When interpreting a T Square all the factors involved – planets, signs and houses … must be taken separately and then built up into a picture of the choices, difficulties and solutions which each planet suggests. Solution to the T Square: The tension of the T Square can be released or positively expressed through the planet which makes the closest sextile or trine to any of the three planets in the T Square. The tension of the ‘T’ Square focuses on the planet at the apex,… and the part of the chart immediately opposite may also act as a focus for problems. By coping with them the whole situation can be eased and turned to advantage.”1

With Pluto in Capricorn, the closest apex planet, and in the 9th house, we will be drawn to expressing judgemental ideas about the world and the universe. Radical unexpressed thoughts (Uranus in Aries in 12th) about the state of our everyday relationships (Mars in Libra in 6th) are challenged to be expressed exuberantly (Jupiter in Cancer in 3rd) in a very powerful, judgemental way (Pluto in Capricorn in 9th)
With Pluto sextile Chiron ( the closest aspect for positive release), any far reaching statements on the visions of the world (Pluto in Capricorn in 9th) or any personal grand visions one may have, should be expressed in a loving, considerate manner with Chiron in Pisces sextile Pluto. However, Stein states that when this aspect is negatively expressed it manifests a “brutally frank opinion”. 2

The nodes also play a role in breaking the nexus of the T Square. Pluto is sextile the North Node and Trine the South Node. These aspects can bring harmonious energy into play.

The North Node in the 7th/1st – indicating the host of Christmas lunch, can play her role in defusing hostile energy. Note the ruler of the South Node, Venus is trining the Moon at this time. Of course, a hostess always has this role at any dinner party, so let’s hope this harmonious energy will just kick in without too much trouble!

It is unfortunate that the planets Uranus, Mars in opposition have no sextile or trines to relieve the tension of this aspect (drive carefully). Later in the evening the Moon will move to a conjunction with Mars, which can only add more emotion to the mix!

Jupiter exalted in Cancer opposing the Apex planet, Pluto, and forming a trine with Saturn in Scorpio, can make communications more purposeful, and can assist breaking the opposition by “keeping a lid on things” (Saturn in 8th house). We may also be able to diffuse tensions by focusing on “having family fun” (Jupiter in Cancer). Initiate games, let the oldies tell stories, relive past joyful Christmas events, and so on.

Of course this T square will be coming into formation before Christmas Day, so don’t be surprised if suddenly (Uranus) family members (Jupiter in Cancer) can’t make it or cry off.

Many couples (Mars in Libra) might decide that they just do not want to spend Christmas with the in-laws, family etc. If this is the case, let go (Uranus) do your own thing for Christmas, it’s ok to do Christmas just as a couple, or very low key once in a while.

New Years Eve
If you are thinking – thank God it’s all over, when waving goodbye to your Christmas guests, well think again! By New Years Eve, the stellium in Capricorn, has morphed itself into a Grand Cross! Sun, Mercury, Pluto in Capricorn, are forming the grand cross with Uranus, Mars and Jupiter.

NYE chart 2

Pluto conjunct mercury, (the most powerful angle of the cross) is making harmonious aspects with Saturn and Chiron to break the nexus. Opposing Jupiter is also making a trine to Saturn and Chiron.

Use these aspects to exactly interpret any events you undertake on New Year’s Day, and the planets in signs and house positions, as Champion suggests above.

This NYE chart does give rise to concerns for young teenagers attending street festivities for NYE. Friction and violence can easily break out with this chart. Mars is in exact square to Pluto and Mercury. If you have young and vulnerable teenagers consider keeping them at home! If this is not possible, at least warn them and ask a responsible adult to go with them and try to make an early night of it.

It seems that this Christmas and NYE, we do need to listen to the stars, As above, so below. If you are hostess or guest this Christmas, stick to the old etiquette rules at the dinner table – avoid discussions about politics, sex and religion. Diffuse these conversations as much as you can. Call on Saturn in Scorpio to ban them! Express frankness in a loving, compassionate manner. Most of all have fun – play family games and recall happy family memories, view photos or old family videos. This too will pass.

Merry Christmas!!

2014 Planetary Overview
More Info on T squares

merry christmas small


1. Champion, Nicolas, An Introduction to Aspects and Chart Shaping in Natal Astrology,, accessed Nov 2013.
2. Stein, Zane, Essence and Application – A View from Chiron. p67.

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