SQUARES: The Point of Tension

[image: josh bridges]

Do you know anyone who, no matter how often they get it wrong, never seems to learn that there’s a right way?

Or ever meet someone whose personality you immediately sense is going to grate against yours, possibly to the point of conflict or all-out war?

And how about those times where nothing seems to be working for you, where nothing you do or say seems like it’s going to let you win?

Chances are, that this highly pressurised state is the product of a square (or two) in the horoscope. Whether in the natal chart or by transit/progression, squares can be exhausting, grinding us down, making us old before our time, breaking and crippling us to the extent where we’ve become incapable of doing anything at all.

Much like the effects of Saturn, where everything can feel hard, karmically ill-fated, squares are a natural part of the human experience, and although we may be at the mercy of our squares, more positively, it is the tension that spurs us into action and stretches us, makes us grow, shapes us more into the person that we are.

Squares between any two bodies accentuate incompatible or antagonistic elements, raising the degree of tension. Tension wears us down to the point where we hit the wall, and something has to give. Some tensions have been building for weeks, others months, years, and some have been building for generations.

1.) The ongoing squares between PLUTO and ERIS have provided the dark backdrop to all tensions of the past few years – PLUTO, in this sense, represents power and dominance, the ability to influence the behaviour of others or the course of events, whether in an interpersonal relationship or a political process; the attempt to eliminate that which no longer serves and to replace it with something more willing to submit.

ERIS represents all that feels unwelcome, shut out, unheard, useless and unwanted. When we watch what has been happening over a longer (3-4 year) period, we observe the struggle between the dominant members of any species working to survive via huge leaps of corporeal adaptation, transformation, corporate domination over others, political manipulation and outright extortion and corruption to stay in power and top of the heap (Pluto in Capricorn) versus a struggling underclass, the marginalised, unsightly and aboriginal (indigenous peoples and their cultures) at threat of extinction via war, famine and disease (ERIS in ARIES).

Lots of theories about conspiracy abound, but if we look closely at the last 3-4 years, this tension has produced huge leaps and troughs in the race for the ecological, environmental, geopolitical, biotechnical and global economic survival of the fittest.

With all squares, even those between the outermost ‘dwarf planets’, we feel the impact shortly after their partile period passes, although these will essentially be subtle and invisible to the masses, who only really notice day-to-day differences.

2.) SATURN’s square to URANUS has also been a strident feature of the 2021 staple, coming to a head now as we toil between the conservative and the radical, the establishment and the break-for-something-else, security vs freedom, centralised control vs individual autonomy, physical vs digital and a host of other shitty issues that just get on our ass every day, each time we try to reason with anyone about anything, even within the left and right sides of our brain.

Complicates matters when the tensions of #1) coincide with the tensions of #2), doesn’t it?

Since Saturn is dignified in Aquarius and Uranus in Fall through Taurus, the conservative side will seek to preserve the status quo by opposing innovations and progressive trends in all social and political matters. Uranus pushes back, revolting against the established order of things, but in any case, both are in fixed signs, and their tense inflexibility ends in widespread breakdowns of just about any relationship, especially when these two feature strongly through the 2022 eclipse season due to URANUS being the pole-axed upon the North NODE.

3.) VENUS recently squared MARS, which isn’t new since VENUS raps a new MARS gig every couple of years or so, but the last few haven’t been so sexy, as MARS & VENUS generally are, since for the past 3-4 cycles they’ve begun in awkward signs like Virgo or Capricorn/Aquarius, and this continues as we see the sexes/genders struggle with emotional tensions, especially in romantic and sexual relationships – not necessarily just with the opposite sex.

The square only typifies the disgust we feel when it becomes apparent that we’re using or being used purely for sexual gratification (or other base exploits).

Interesting too, how this week Venus and Mars connect with Saturn and Uranus, Chiron and the Nodes, creating all kinds of odd alliances, attempts to patch up recent arguments and even finding profound new ways to heal old wounds. So it looks quite interesting for those who dare to rise into the frequencies of love & compassion rather the low-vibing bang-bang-blame sagas…

This all sets the scene for the LIBRA NEW MOON – a kinda “whole new era has begun” type deal, which I will cover in the next instalment of COSMIC BUS. Some crazy curveball is up ahead with those SCORPIO/TAURUS eclipses (OCT/NOV.)

Become a member to join the next Cosmic Bus Video Report LIVE FROM ATHENS:

So what’s the point of squares – a dynamic destined to grind our bodies, nervous systems and spirits down, literally drain us before our time? What’s the whole point of being driven to the point of feeling incapacitated? Such is the tension of the square aspect, and so much more intriguing when they appear multiple times in a single horoscope…

Below I will expand on what is going on here and why it’s necessary for you, your relationships, your society, and entire centuries of culture to apparently disintegrate all at once. (or will they??)

Yes, of course, it’s ultimately for your own “higher good”, but then, this all depends on what you call ‘higher’, if indeed you are wary that there is anything higher than your own selfish needs (and all that “nonsense”, right?).

[art: josh pierce]


For many astrologers, squares, or the separation of two (or more) planets by 90º, spell bad news. This is because any combination involving planets that are not in harmonious elements (Water/Air, Earth/Fire, Fire/Water, Air/Earth), requires significant effort to adjust to the divergent energies and attitudes in those areas of life indicated by those planets.

Certain issues, goals, desires, and drives appear to function at cross purposes, manifesting as a difference in attitudes that simply has to be accepted, an irritation, or a deadlock in the interchange of energy.

This tension may be experienced as a kind of resistance, either internally, against someone, or wholly externally. One thing is certain, the more resistance, the more unsettled we become, and some squares are much more difficult to handle, becoming obstructive, violently conflicting, or oppressively inhibiting.

Not all squares are difficult, but some, listed below, reveal profoundly irreconcilable differences, which challenge those involved to learn about how to deal with completely differing points of view:

Sun-Saturn, Sun-Uranus, Sun-Neptune, Moon-Mars, Moon-Saturn, Moon-Uranus, Moon-Neptune, Moon-Pluto, Mercury-Neptune, Venus-Neptune, Mars-Saturn, Mars-Uranus, Mars-Neptune, Mars-Pluto, Jupiter-Saturn, Saturn-Uranus, Saturn-Neptune, Saturn-Pluto, Uranus-Neptune


Squares are essentially the division of the circle into 4, or quarters, critical points in the 360º cycle, which are concerned with matter and manifestation. At each 90º interval, we are forced to grapple with the issues concerned, compelled to actualise the planetary problems as they manifest themselves in a very real, concrete way in our lives, both in terms of what happens to us and our behaviour, which of course can never be separated.

We notice squares because the issues they raise unmistakably smack us in the face. Because the energies interfere with one another, we are left with an agitated situation, uncertain of what’s going to happen next, and apprehensive about whether we can cope. Uncertainty and fear set in; we overreact in an effort to prove ourselves; we become intrusive in the areas defined by the planets involved and then run into all sorts of stress and upsets with others.

Like putting out fires, this can be an endless pursuit, and although through repeated tense incidents we get better at dealing with crises, we often get burnt and suffer/inflict considerable harm. Of course, handling our squares gets easier with time, but there are some who just never quite get it, or refuse to learn, rather playing the hapless sufferer of life’s relentless tensions.

That is why some people with squares mature into the most accomplished problem-solvers and some end up being life’s most incorrigible losers.

Also, people without any squares in their charts, those used to taking the easiest way (path of least resistance), don’t seem to strengthen in character as fast as their more challenged (squared) counterparts.

[art: josh pierce]


Wherever we see two disparate sides fiercely applying force to have their way, the conflict never ceases. No side can coexist while one side sucks it up, conceding to a solution that only benefits the other. This is tyranny. To live together, they must eventually stop fighting and engage in healthy back-and-forth discussions, one side at a time.

Friction only generates heat, which results in anger; violence begets violence and breeds hatred. Disparate energies need to find a way to work together. Most aggressive sides, especially the harsher, more abusive ones, could benefit from learning to contain their anger instead of automatically striking back. The dominant force could use the qualities of the more recessive other to empathise with others and seek diplomatic resolutions to problems.

On the other hand, the weaker, more submissive energy could benefit from acknowledging their anger and permitting themselves to act it out in constructive ways instead of automatically reacting in their most negative manner. Talking themselves out of it, blaming themselves, or allowing the dominant to blame them is forfeiting their function to keep the peace.

Hence, empathy from both sides is essential to understanding what is needed from each to make better use of the square or conflict. If we are stuck with having to endure our squares and the archetypal forces they represent, our only hope is to resolve the dilemma by using the energies in as constructive and conscious a way as possible.


It would be far healthier and more beneficial for both sides of the square to stand up for their needs and express their individual natures without feeling the need to shut off or wipe the other out. In order to reach some settlement, or to “Square Off”, they must reach a point of reconciliation, or truce, and if there is to be any reconciliation, there must first be truth.

The astrological square, whether in our natal chart or by passing transit, calls us to somehow come to understand the archetypal nature and need of all conflicting energies, whether dominant or weak and appreciate their vital function. However discordant, we obviously cannot have one without the other. The mistake we keep making is to appropriate more importance on either side and to depreciate, diminish or even try to eradicate the other. Hence the conflict continues to repeat, which over time becomes crushing to the physical body or the ego, ultimately becoming soul-destructive.

Finding ways to resolve conflicts caused by disparate propensities and principles is the hardest thing we must face as humans. We make moral judgements about which is the “good” side and which side is the “bad” side, perpetuating the victim/blame saga. Yes, there are two sides to every issue, where one side may assert itself as the “right” one and the other the more “wrong”, and hence more vulnerable to persecution, but there are actually four sides to every square, just as there are 360º to every circle.

With squares, we can get so caught up in our respective tensions or dilemmas that we can become blind to the potential for a resolution. Here, we must allow ourselves to view all sides (including the opposing two arms of the square) for an actual resolution to emerge, which is why squares are so challenging and often require the assistance or intervention of exterior people of ‘forces’. Like a hopeless patient whose answer to dealing with a headache is to keep banging his head against the wall in one corner when near another, there is a door which will allow the doctor in; we must accept the responsibility of choices available to us to solve the problem.


Squares ask us to empathetically look at what we are doing, either self-defeating or destructive and find ways to reconcile by urging us to make the best in a difficult situation. Through the conflict, anger and irritation generated by squares, we develop the insight and wisdom to meet challenges in ways that are most strengthening and character-defining.

For instance, in the distant PLUTO/ERIS (natural selection) square, we must understand that humanity can preserve neither absolute corporate power nor primitive indigenous rights for the survival of our species on this planet. Something (many things) in each of us must acclimatise to a transforming new earth, and in this process, something has to become permanently extinguished in the race for the survival of our species.

In the SATURN/URANUS square, where constraining elements of conventional political/business structures are being rattled by radical voices and ideologues, each anguished about self-managing their resources must allow the socio-economic revolution to take place. Reconciliation here means individual freedoms must be allowed to flourish and contribute to a new centralised humanitarian network.

A New Earth, requires a new, more communitarian style of government, and the answer for those who wish to survive the transition successfully is to look ‘outside the box’ to find the key which will unlock the door to the future. It is entirely unclear how this will play out for humanity, but over the next decade or two, we will see how current ideas, tools and infrastructure can be best put to use to govern the planet, its peoples and resources in ways that allow greater freedom, innovation and equanimity for all being, as we enter the Aquarian Age.

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