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Because these two planets move so slowly, they hold their exact 90-degree angle for about four years, which began in spring 2012 and which ends in spring 2015 (with a wide time orb on either side). This aspect comes with the sensation of the turmoil we're witnessing in the world, the sense of living on the edge or over the edge, and the sensation of everything happening at once.
It also offers another quality that many other tumultuous aspects don't necessarily have much of—the quest for liberation, and the potential to create it. Pluto drives growth and progress. Uranus drives sudden change. The two working together, combined with human awareness and creativity, can have beautiful results. They can also combine into something that is dangerous and unpredictable, such as revolutions that give rise to even worse regimes than before; activist movements that start off strong and end in apathy and defeatism.
The third point of the cardinal cross is Jupiter in Cancer [an orange glyph that looks like thenumber 4 in the lower right side of the chart]. Jupiter bestows protection (including literally, protecting the Earth from impact with asteroids and comets), magnifies anything it comes into contact with and it can bring an exotic quality (such as foreign, otherworldly, or mystical ) into the scenario. Jupiter is a classical planet and it is exalted in Cancer—it's the most strongly placed planet in the whole alignment. The other planets have significant impact; Jupiter is strong in its sign by the classical rules, and comes with the message "This is home. Let's make the most of it."
Note, the United States' Sun is at 13+ Cancer. That is to say, where Jupiter is now, the Sun was on July 4, 1776. For Americans, that Jupiter is a double reminder of what it means to be home, and to take care of home. There is also the implication that the United States will be involved in an unusual event this April.
Jupiter also has another role—a link from the grand cross to the grand water that also currently exists. Yes, we are in the midst of both a cross in the heavens, and a trine. The grand water trine means there are planets in aspect in all three water signs. [Those are illustrated by the green triangle in the middle of the wheel.] The other water signs are Scorpio covered by Saturn, and Pisces covered by Neptune, Chiron, and Venus. The one point that the two patterns share, the cross and the square, is Jupiter.
Notice how both red and green lines converge on Jupiter. Jupiter has access to all of the other planets in both patterns. It's not exactly the hub of the wheel; it's more like a command center set off to the side. A grand water trine means that it's easy to get caught in one's emotions, and for the whole society to get caught in an emotional "Bermuda triangle" and not be able to escape. We need to watch carefully for this kind of experience. It's also easy for individuals to get caught in an emotional pattern and have the same basic effect. Think of Jupiter as home base; that is, the reminder that we are at home, and that we can use that to our advantage.
What makes April 23 the peak of the grand cross is that Uranus, Pluto, Jupiter, and lastly, Mars will be aligned to within one degree, at 13+ degrees of their respective signs [The degrees are indicated by bold numbers, and fractions of a degree in smaller numbers closer to the center of the wheel.] This is a remarkably close alignment, given that all four placements split a single degree. And it's astonishing that this aligns with the US Sun to the very degree.
Okay, now for the last element—Mars, the one that to me illustrates the matter of trust; and the point that applies the burst of energy to the pattern which makes it such a strong factor right now. [Mars is to the right, above the horizontal line, in red, looking just like you might expect it to.] When fast-moving inner planets like Mars get involved in slow-moving patterns, they tend to activate the pattern, push it to the forefront, and make it personal.