12/31 Eclipse Grand Cross Ch.1

Chiastolite, a variety of Andalusite, an Aluminum Nesosilicate

A Grand Cross, as the name suggests, is two polarities, two oppositions, that are perpendicular, forming a cross.  The Fourth Harmonic is one fourth of the way around the Zodiacal circle.  Because the two poles of the Grand Cross are perpendicular, each end of each polarity is Fourth Harmonic to each of the ends of the other polarity.  Astrologers call the Fourth Harmonic a square, because it can make a four-sided figure.  A Grand Cross is made up of four Fourth Harmonics.

The Fourth Harmonic is about competence.  Trouble is, it’s relentless.  It’s competence, not confidence.  In other words, it’s about motivation, or energy.  Like one of those teachers we had in grade school, or the high school PE teacher – the better we performed, the more they expected of us.  It’s not about positive and negative reinforcement, it’s about no reinforcement or empathy, just increasing expectations.  At least, that’s the way it looks to us when we expect things to be easier.

It’s a funhouse mirror for our own perfectionism.  The classic Greek drama is about having to choose between two options, neither of which works.  That Oedipal view of Fate seems bleak to most of us, but charts with a big emphasis on the Fourth Harmonic produce those kind of dramas, because the Fourth Harmonic is where Power resides, and the more Power we try to use, the more practice we need with it, if we don’t want to get burnt by it.

Power isn’t a choice.  It’s not use it or lose it, it’s use it or get burned by it.  While we’re on the subject, we should remind that Power is never given, it’s always taken.  It needs a great deal of practice, if we’re going to take and use Power lovingly and gently.  Without practice, Power looks more like confidence than competence.  You can measure confidence by the angle of your jaw.  You measure competence by how many times it gets smacked.

Competence is like wisdom.  We don’t get it by thinking about it, and that’s the root of the dilemma.  The thinking perspective creates what appears to be a binary World, an either/or World.  Out behind the mirror, it’s a both/and World.  So sure, the Oedipal choice is a lose-lose proposition.  We need to choose a third course, or a fourth, or a fifth.  Why limit ourself to two choices?  We just step off of our karmic treadmill, and the World becomes larger.  “Just get off the bus, Gus,” as Paul Simon so aptly puts it.

Not that it’s easy to recognize our own karmic treadmill, take ownership of it, and step off.  But that’s the recipe.  Differentiate our own karmic treadmill from the perp holograms around us, take ownership of it, and step off. The Fourth Harmonic demands that we do this.  Karma forces us to use the same Skill in any circumstance.  Competence would have us use Skills appropriate to the situation.  It’s the Fourth Harmonic that offers us this Liberation.

The Fourth Harmonic seems problematic because it’s bigger and wider than Second-Harmonic phenomena like Thinking.  Most of us also do Emotion as a Second-Harmonic process.  There’s anger and then there’s forgiveness, either/or.  We don’t gain competence by emoting about it any more than we get competence by thinking about it.  Anything we do either/or is too limited for the Fourth Harmonic.

We bring all this up because one of the primary configurations in the 12/31/2009 Eclipse horoscope, which is basically the horoscope for 2010 and the Teens, is a Grand Cross.  The Grand Cross is one of two big Fourth-Harmonic patterns, and it represents energy, action, motivation, balance, constant motion.  The Fourth Harmonic is motivating because it’s never quite right, it always needs a bit of tweaking here, a little adjustment there.

Before we dissect this Grand Cross, let’s propose how to respond to the Fourth Harmonic, since our response is what separates the difficulty which mainstream astrology assigns to it, from the Liberation we know is available from it.  This is a wide-angle recipe.  It needs to be customized many ways to be useful.

First, identify the major perp or perps who have limited your Joy all of your life.  Men? Women?  Bosses?  Clients?  Disease?  Money?  Scarcity?  Mom?  Dad?  Recognition? This will be iterative, it will have many levels, and like a video game or any double-agent story, the perp’s identity will change as you go deeper.  You can use the same process with any momentary hassle.  For many people right now, it might be If only I had a good job, or If only I had more money.

Second, identify the behavior of theirs that limits you.  Do they, or does it, reject you?  Avoid you?  Disrespect you?  Cheat on you?  Talk behind your back?  Confuse you?  Tie you up in knots?  Hide from you?  Make unreasonable demands?  Make you uncomfortable or miserable?  Keep you from what you want?  There may be more than one behavior, but start with just one.  For many now, their good job, or more money, might be hiding from them.

The third step is to own the behavior.  If the World is a mirror, and we choose to co-create the World we want, and a Demon is harassing us, we need to turn and face the Demon.  We have found the enemy, and it is us, as Pogo once said.  How are we hiding from ourself? How are we making unreasonable demands on ourself? How are we disrespecting ourself, or cheating ourself, or torturing ourself?  No guilt, no blame, no shame, no reprisals, this is not an emotional process.  Take the first answer that comes to you when you ask the question.

If you do encounter guilt or blame or shame or grief, go with it.  Locate it in your body and embrace it lovingly.  Treat it like you would a lost child, with empathy and caring and concern.  Tap it out.  It’s a great opportunity.  This process is not about emotional release, it’s about changing your perspective, but any unpleasant emotion is a fabulous opportunity to loosen the emotional bonds we have to our karma.  We been living with it a long time, it’s an old friend.  Why would we abandon it now?  It keeps us safe.

The fourth step is to change the subject, just move on, get on with your life.  You’ve already changed.  Even if you didn’t get a clear answer to the question about how you yourself might be creating some faint ghost of Your Perp’s behavior, some funhouse mirror of what’s hassling you, having asked the question is enough.  Your larger self will do the rest.  This process only takes a few minutes, then you’re done.  You might be repeating it many times a day, but each time, start over.

Wait now.  What did we say a few minutes ago?  Our karma keeps us safe? Safe from what?  Fear of failure is the critical part of the Fourth Harmonic that keeps us locked in limitation.  Wisdom and competence arise from experience.  If we avoid the experiences that might end in failure, we won’t find competence.  It’s all practice.  We’d be clever to measure risk, so our “failures” are smaller.  We don’t build muscle by starting with the 300-pound weight.

But we can’t run Fourth-Harmonic energy in a framework of success and failure.  Fourth Harmonic energy demands the perspective of curiosity.  What will happen if we do this?  If we do that?  How can we experiment to see what will work, without risking the whole game?  Always trying something new, always taking little risks, always moving our range of experience and competence a little further out, always nurturing with ourself, always giving ourself room to explore, but expanding our comfort zone a little at a time.  The Fourth-Harmonic objective is experience, not success.

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2 Responses to “12/31 Eclipse Grand Cross Ch.1”

  1. Laurie Alumbaugh Says:


    It’s been a long time, but my search has finally come through. I don’t question this.

    Thank you for being here.


  2. Bonnie Says:

    This is So Right On … omg, the relentless high school coach pushing you to Your Best without (apparent) empathy or feedback. My son has multiple Grand Crosses(!) and this has been insightful for both of us :) Thank you, as ever, for bringing your genius.

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