Sometimes it’s hard to see a difference–they seem to be one and the same, four planets or points square, and two pairs of oppositions–everything contacts everything else. But today we have a configuration that perfectly illustrates why there is a difference: with a Grand Cross, we have the oppositions, while with the Grand Square, we have the squares with either a single opposition or none at all.

Today we have the Sun at 00 Gemini 45 square Jupiter/ Neptune/ Chiron at 26 Aquarius–so far so good–square the Earth at 00 Sagittarius 45, which (like the Sun) is square Ceres at 5 Virgo 11, but Ceres is not opposed Jupiter/ Neptune/ Chiron, creating a Grand Square, but not a Grand Cross.

Both configurations are dynamic, but the Grand Square offers a partial disconnect among the energies that will make them manifest in less than obvious ways. It’s a clue to us that, even though the various events seem to be unrelated, they are really touched off by or driven by each other–and this should alert us to any underlying context or possible repercussions arising from the more subtle contacts.

With this particular set of energies, we see the Sun/ Earth pouring attention on both Mother Nature (Ceres) and the Jupiter/ Neptune/ Chiron combo of heightened perceptions of the unseen, imagined, and the gifts and wounds unique to the individual–but grappling with illusions, ideals, and hurt is not connected in any obvious way to Ceres’ various attributes, including a proprietary attitude toward others, negotiations, and cyclic or seasonal occurrences. But, as noted, they are connected, we just have difficulty seeing how, for example, our mother’s comments on our private life (very Ceres!) have anything to do with the way we’re (unrealistically) approaching our current relationship–and yet if we look closer we may see that our desire to have the relationship just so may reflect a deep desire to be in control of our own lives–and despite the reality that we are, we still receive Mom’s comments as having a controlling effect that determines (if we don’t resist openly) our choices. So we’re in this example dealing with the exaggerated (Jupiter)illusion (Neptune) that Mom (Ceres) determines our inner and outer life (Sun and Earth), and this stimulates the wound (Chiron) from which we act.

You can see both the oblique effect of the contacts and the way that seeing the connection can help us steer clear of the debilitating effects of our own reactions and assumptions–a good way to go through life, I think!