Murder & Mayhem: The April 2014 Grand Cross


For many, April was a month when the ground literally seemed to move. A powerful and turbulent Cardinal Grand Cross involving Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, Mars in Libra and Pluto in Capricorn, keyed into the lunar eclipse in Libra mid-month, turbo-charging the days between April the 15th and 23rd.

Not since the Cardinal Event of August 2010 which I mentioned in my post about the London Riots of August 2011, have we seen astrological conditions of this explosive nature. Mass protests (India and Venezuela – 21 April ), outbreaks of violence (Ukraine), revelations of corruption/cover-ups (Hillsborough Anniversary 15 April) and tragic accidents (Sewol ferry disaster in South Korea – 16 April ) became the order of the day as the planetary Titans squared up for battle with each other.

With Mars and Pluto retrograde during the peak of this configuration, much of what arose now had its roots in the past. For example, on April 15th, the football fraternity commemorated the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough Disaster, in which nearly 100 football fans lost their lives in a crush during a match at Sheffield Football Stadium. Earlier this year, as a result of years of campaigning by families of the victims, an enquiry into the true cause of this tragic event was launched after evidence of a police cover-up emerged.   Given how Pluto in Capricorn has consistently been associated with the rooting out of institutional corruption, it could hardly be a coincidence that nearly a quarter of a century on, proof of a widespread police conspiracy to conceal their involvement in what unfolded finally came to light.

In Boston, Massachusetts the local community held a number of ceremonies and events to mark the first anniversary of the Boston Bombing that took place during the Boston Marathon on 20 April 2013.

Elsewhere in the world, there were riots over matters that had their roots in past grievances or injustices, including a demonstration in India on 21 April by the Sikh community who took to the streets to protest about the way political leaders referred to a rally in 1984 during which over 3000 Sikhs lost their lives.

On the same day, anti-government protests in Venezuela also broke out, whilst in the Ukraine, the situation remained tense with photos being released by officials in Kiev of masked pro-Russian soldiers operating in towns such as Luhansk in eastern Ukraine. This was met by accusations by the Russian government that the Ukrainian government had broken the Geneva Agreement. The day before, three guards manning a pro-Russian checkpoint near Sloviansk had been shot by people believed to be Ukrainian nationalists, further escalating tension levels in the region.

Given the connection between Mars and war, together with Uranus, the planet of popular protest, positioned in fiery Aries, and their involvement in the Cardinal Grand Cross – it hardly seems surprising that so much violence and unrest took place around this time, much of it stemming from around the Spring when Martian energy is usually at its peak due to the presence of the Sun in Aries.

Pluto and the Connection to Nov 2013 Scorpio Solar Eclipse

Interestingly, Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, who many believe sold out to Russia, was also ousted from office by what the BBC called ‘giant street protests’ in February 2014 ‘against his decision to abandon a far-reaching European Union partnership deal in November 2013’ – close to the November 2013 solar eclipse seems significant. Not only did this lunar eclipse close out that Scorpio-ruled six month cycle (which could be interpreted as concerning Pluto-ruled matters such as shadowy dealings, corruption and abuse of power), but the popular protests also occurred during the 2014 Aquarius season, which is Uranus-ruled. Sadly, at least 88 people died in this uprising when they were shot by riot police, which we could associate astrologically with the Mars-Pluto square (oppression by violence) that formed part of this cardinal event. In this case, it is Pluto, rather than Mars, that links the two events via its rulership of Scorpio and its involvement in the 2014 cardinal grand cross.

Sewol Ferry Disaster & the April Lunar Eclipse

On the other hand, the sinking of the South Korean ferry off the coast near Jindo on the morning of April the 16th, which killed over 250 people, seems to bear the hallmarks of the lunar eclipse. Given that it began its voyage on the day of the eclipse – April 15 – from the port of Incheon at around 9pm (see the chart), we will use this to cast a horoscope for that particular journey.

As is clear from the chart, the eclipse, formed by an opposition between Sun in Aries and the Moon in Libra, keyed very powerfully into the Cardinal Grand Cross. We can see the big red square in the aspect quadrant very clearly. One of the corners of this grand cross is held by Jupiter in watery Cancer, which happens to occupy the 8th house and is conjunct the Arabic part representing ‘water journeys’. 

According to Hellenistic astrologers like Firmicus Maternus, this house was called Epicataphora by the Greeks. Loosely translated, this means ‘Casting Down into the Underworld’ while its opposite counter-part, the second house was known as Anafora = ‘Rising up from the Underworld’. So you can clearly see how this house came to be associated with death and that dark place of worry and anxiety that often comes with owing people money.

So, having Jupiter in Cancer in the 8th is already not a great omen. Although usually a benefic influence, if we consider that is under siege from Uranus and Pluto by square aspect, then its position in the 8th house could well be interpreted as meaning a large number (Jupiter) of deaths (in 8th) at sea (Cancer). We saw something similar in the astrology of Flight MH 370, where the chart ruler was Jupiter in Cancer in the 8th house.

Although not the ruler of the AS here, Jupiter has a clear connection to Pluto, which is the chart ruler via its aspect to Pluto and, secondly, because it rules the cusp of the 2nd house where Pluto is located. Frankly, having Pluto as the chart ruler doesn’t in itself bode well, given its very clear associations with death, catastrophe and immutable change, so even if we were to ignore this, the auspices from Pluto are not great either.

As if that weren’t bad enough, we also see that the Ascendant, which is 18-19 degrees Scorpio, happens to rise smack bang between the fixed stars, Zuben Elgenubi and Zuben Eschamali, which straddle the 12th and first houses. These stars have ancient associations with the Underworld, which is the place where, in Mesopotamian and Egyptian mythology, justice on souls who has transgressed during their lives was thought to be meted out, so we can see the connection with the Scales of Libra here. The Moon, ruler of Jupiter also happens to be in the via combusta, or burning way, another sector of the sky with underworld associations, which I wrote about in detail in relation to the death of Whitney Houston.

To add to the negative omens, Saturn in Scorpio is also rising. Saturn is considered a malefic planet in horary and traditional astrology, and placed in Scorpio, the water sign most associated with death, rebirth and resurrection; we are again met with symbols of death by drowning or submersion in water. In this chart, Saturn also rules the 3rd house of short journeys and local travel, which further reinforces the idea of a ferry trip that was doomed.

Suffice it to say, I don’t think we need to look too much further into the chart to see that it speaks of tragedy at sea on a grand scale. My condolences go out to all the families who lost loved ones that night.

When it comes to April 2014, I don’t think anyone will be able to look back on this period without associating it with some degree of strife, stress or tragedy. Although in astrology, one is encouraged to look at the potential for growth in any situation, I think with this one, it is very difficult to put a positive spin on things.

Of course, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and sometimes reforms and positive social change don’t come about without struggle and upheaval. As a whole, we humans don’t like change, especially if we are in power or somehow benefitting from the misery of others, forcing others to take up arms or become more militant in order to defend themselves and protect their rights. Thus, the last planet to join the Cardinal Grand Cross, Mars, seems to be the most significant when we look at the overall spirit of this time.

We have certainly seen its role, both directly and indirectly through its rulership of Uranus in Aries in the Arab Spring uprisings, which I have written about in previous postings, including the Astrological Review of April 2013 . It is probably no coincidence that during this period, the Sun, Mercury and Uranus were forming a stellium in Aries, alongside the South lunar Node.

Currently positioned in Libra, the sign of justice, Mars seems to be tasking us with the desire to take action to redress old wrongs and rebalance the inequalities in our society. Let’s hope that we can do so without embarking on yet another senseless war. The Grand Trine in water signs, active on and off during and after this period, may provide some hope of a more peaceful solution.


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