The Grand Cross of August 17-18, 1999

by Rick Riedel

During the two days of August 17 and 18, 1999, one of the most powerful and fearsome configurations known to astrologers will make itself shown in the heavens. This configuration involves the participation of all the major planets except Pluto and two minor asteroids in one of the four fixed signs of the zodiac. This forms a "Grand Cross," where all of the planets are either square or opposite each other.

Although apocalyptic prognosticators get excited about big conjunctions, like the one approaching in Taurus on May 5, 2000, these have historically been markers of a changing of the guard, rather than precipitators of actual events. The conjunction is classically the mark of the end of one cycle and the start of another. The massive "Super Conjunction" of February, 1962 was an example of this. Not much happened on the conjunction itself, but within 18 months, John Kennedy was shot, then the war in Vietnam escalated and soon, people were walking on the Moon. The Grand Cross is, instead, a configuration found in the middle of the cycle; the power point of the cycle.

The likes of the configuration that will be occurring in August of 1999 has not been seen in recent times. There was a weaker version of this configuration on January 11, 1910. This was in cardinal signs and included 7 major planets and 1 of the asteroids. The Grand Cross is part of a "crossing over" to a new era or age. It is to be noted that the first air transportation service, utilizing dirigibles in Germany, was established on this date. It is easy to see how the advances in technology transformed the world from a horse-and-buggy condition to the high-tech world we live in now. The Grand Cross coming this next August is much more powerful and features 9 major planets, the Moon's nodes, Chiron and 2 of the 4 asteroids in fixed signs. It will take someone with more sophisticated computer software than I have to research how long it has been since this configuration was last seen. It will affect everyone and everything. The Grand Cross can occur in any of 3 modes; cardinal, fixed or mutable. These correspond to the 3 gunas of the Vedas or rajas, tamas or sattva. This one is in the tamasic, or fixed signs. These are Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. The fixed signs have long been recognized as crucial in the experience of mankind. The Sphinx is a composite of the fixed cross. It has the head of a man (Aquarius), the front paws of a lion (Leo), the body and rump of a bull (Taurus) and the wings of an eagle (Scorpio).

Here is the lineup:

In the earth sign of Taurus, we have Jupiter and Saturn. These two giants classically rule the everyday, down-to-earth concerns of society. The stock market, housing, crop abundance or failure, money and the sense of comfort or anxiety over these things are under the influence of Jupiter and Saturn. In the Grand Cross, they represent the Earth and her relationship to humanity. All of the planets can operate in positive or negative ways. Here we have either the reverence for Mother Earth and her resources or the final destruction of plant and animal species, the fouling of air and water and, possibly, Her revolt against this disrespect.

Opposite these two, in the water sign of Scorpio, we have the Moon, Mars, Chiron and the asteroid Juno. Here we see the pressures brought about by the New World Order. The police state. Repression, control, the wounded psyche of a frustrated, confined society in fear over crime, change, and the reluctance to part with the "old way" of doing most everything. Even though this may be the area that precipitates the crisis envisioned by this planetary configuration, there is the least amount of staying power here. It may be that some action by the ruling elite will trigger the situation, but there is little here to sustain it. On a positive note, here we have the courage to pour forth energy and healing from the millions of light workers out there, and the inclination to step forward to teach and heal those who are feeling fright and suffering.

Square to this opposition, we have Neptune and Uranus in the air sign of Aquarius. The two slowest-moving and influential planets in this configuration are here representing the New Age; The Age of Aquarius. This is the social awareness, the group-conscious energies that today can be seen in reams of channeled material, world meditation days and the trend away from consumerism, materialism and the quest for power. At their worst, these two planets represent fixedness of thinking and reluctance to move on. At their best, they fuel the paradigm shift, the jump to the next quantum level, the leap to the next dimensional awareness.

Opposite this is a stellium in the fire sign of Leo. The Sun, Mercury,Venus, the asteroid Ceres and the North Node of the Moon occupy the sign of self-conscious identity. Here we have the leaders of our governments and religious organization. Here, too are the creative abilities of light workers everywhere. The self-assurance that comes from connection of the personality with the soul. This is the self-confidence that comes from hours spent in meditation; from lessons learned via discrimination and experience.

All of these planets are involved in a configuration that forms a cross, the arrangement of stress, tension and power. In the cyclic view, this is the position like that of a person pedaling a bicycle when the pedals are perfectly parallel to the ground. This is the time to apply maximum power to the pedals. It is here that the champion asserts himself and the pretender finds that there is not enough strength to push the crank another turn. This is the eye of the needle, the point of focus for all of the cosmic energy, both entering and leaving our lovely planet. We all have to go through this funnel; the New World Order and the New Age; both will find this as the make or break moment that will decide the destiny of us all.

The one notable exception in this configuration is the planet Pluto. Motionless in Sagittarius, Pluto is ceasing its annual retrograde motion, a position of great power. In 1978, Pluto moved inside the orbit of Neptune, and, for the next 20 years, from this unusual vantage point, has traced out it's defining pattern of evolution for society as a whole. This phenomenon happens once every 250 years or so and these periods have been remarkable in human history. The birth of Jesus Christ took place during one of these periods. Pluto will be emerging from its inner position at the time of the Grand Cross. It is the one light of hope during this configuration. Hopefully, it signals the growth of societal consciousness to the point that world destruction or enslavement will be eschewed in favor of enlightenment, discrimination and brotherhood.

Pluto makes a wonderful trine aspect to all the planets in Leo. This emphasizes the ability of each individual to make their own choices during this crisis. Pluto is also making a beneficent sextile to Uranus and Neptune in Aquarius, indicating the power of the coming New Age will have a chance to assert itself.

Adding fuel to the fire is the fact that there is an eclipse at 18 degrees Leo 21 minutes on August 10, just a week before. This is not just any eclipse, either. This eclipse is the first in a new cycle of 19 Saros cycles, a further indication of a new beginning.

Seers have had some things to say about these two days.

The California psychic, Charles Jeron Criswell King, popularly known simply as "Criswell," says that, time and time again, he has dreamed of a day when people will speak to one another, and when they talk about tomorrow, nothing will come out of their mouths.

That same day, Criswell predicts, what he calls a "black  rainbow" will encircle the earth, and will slowly suck away most of the air in the atmosphere. Men everywhere will die in the streets. But the disaster will last only a short while, with survivors coming back afterward to rebuild the earth. Criswell says this day will be August 18, 1999. Criswell knew nothing of astrology and it's anyone's guess as to where he came up with this date, as he made his prediction sometime in the 1950's.

Nostradamus, usually vague and metaphorical, comes right out and says:

"The year 1999, in the seventh month
There will appear in the heavens the
sign of the King of Terror
When the great leader of the Mongols
(Orient) is reborn And Mars (war)
reigns supreme once more" X, 22

Although moderns would see the 7th month as July, the writings of Nostradamus were translated from Old French and the term "sept" is involved. First and foremost Nostradamus was an astrologer, and possibly stuck to tradition, counting months as "moons" or lunation cycles.

In 1999, the Grand Cross occurs a week after the 7th Moon of 1999, the eclipse at 18b21. This is the "sign of the King of Terror" referred to above. The "leader of the Mongols," in the opinion of many, refers to a "Lord of Darkness" or non-physical being. I would be inclined to think that this refers to solar flares, of which there have been many; a pattern which began in August of 1998. A very large flare could certainly generate the "black rainbow" envisioned by Criswell. In any case, Nostradamus sees this time span as being important, and we would be remiss to ignore him.

It always seems like prophecies are usually gruesome, but because of free will, and because of the rapid changes going on here and now, predictions are always suspect. It is safe to say, however, that the planets will continue on their present track and enter into this Grand Cross configuration no matter what else comes to pass. It is best, then, to be prepared and watchful as the time approaches. We could be talking about anything from a pole shift to political upheaval. Personal experience tells me that political tensions are more likely than physical cataclysms.

Keep in mind that these two days are not a flash in the pan. Rather, the planets assemble, one by one and tension builds as yet another planet enters a fixed sign.

These two days (actually 2 1/2 days, when the Moon is in Scorpio. This is from August 16th at 3:40 PM, PDT until 3:31 AM, PDT on August 19th) are simply the peak of the energy push. Anyone born under any of the fixed signs of Taurus, Leo, Scorpio or Aquarius will be profoundly affected during these two days. Some interesting political/ economic leaders born under fixed signs are:

Bill Clinton (Leo)

Hillary Clinton (Scorpio)

Saddam Hussein (Taurus)

Tony Blair (Taurus)

John Howard - Australian Prime Minister (Leo)

Prince Charles (Scorpio)

Bill Gates (Scorpio)

I'm sure there are more, I just don't have their birthdays.

When confronted with challenges such as this, there is a tendency to react with fear and trepidation. If indeed the New World Order will use this opportunity to make their final moves towards power and control, fear is their primary weapon. The magnificent trine of the powerful Pluto to the "personal planets" of the Sun, Mercury and Venus in Leo will be felt by each and every individual who honors light and freedom as a connection to their inner spark, their own soul. Be it in silent meditation, or via caring, encouraging contact with close friends, it is the self confidence and optimism of individuals everywhere that can distribute the transformative power of the Divine energy presented through Pluto, the one planet that stands apart from the strife and pressure of the Grand Cross. We can all hang on to our personal connection to The One Creator. If ever there was a time for a "world meditation day" this is it. The best times for this would be at the traditional times of sunrise, noon, sunset and midnight, as at these times, there would be a fixed sign rising, no matter what your location. I never make predictions; nobody really knows what will happen. This is a free will zone and this does make the outcome uncertain.

All we can do is realize that this powerful astrological configuration is going on and be ready, in body, mind and spirit.

Rick Riedel

Sunday, January 17, 1999