Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

Two Grand Trines


October 29, 2004 (with chart)


Hello Eric!

I have an interesting element in my chart. I have two Grand Trines. What exactly does this mean and how can I make the best use of these aspects?





Dear Melissa,

Barbara Hand Clow, to whom I owe a deep debt of gratitude for unveiling astrology to me and many, many others at this time in history, used to say of trines that they are basically talent potentials and come with the caveat, 'Use it or lose it'. By contrast, squares, she explains in her Chiron book, seem self-activating. A transit comes along and, for example, makes a conjunction to one point of a square at the same time that it touches the other side at a distance of 90 degrees. That kind of double transit can kick your butt to exactly where you need to be. You may not like it at the time, but if you keep working and keep your awareness up, squares (by both natal placement and, as a result by transit -- the two are very closely related) get you pretty far.


One of the more typical modes that a square puts people into is a kind of inner dialog that can be very intense. A square can cause a person to take one viewpoint, then leap across the sky to the other viewpoint; and then leap back; and slowly there is an integration process that take shape and the viewpoints or perspectives kind of even out after much life experience. Squares mellow out; they fade like blue jeans and become more natural parts of our psychic makeup.


Trines work another way. Instead of being like an argument, they are a discussion where two people have very similar points of view. A conversation with someone with whom you share a similar viewpoint can be nice, but it's hard to get new information out of it. The contrast or friction that would create the new energy must come from somewhere. It could come from one person having more experience or from one having a lot of curiosity, but in any case there needs to be a conscious choice to work or learn.


Under transit, similar things happen. If a planet comes along and makes a conjunction to one side of a trine, it's making a relatively fluid aspect to the other side of the trine, and things can be a lot more mellow than with a square -- or at least there will be options for the release of pressure. They don't generally have that self-activating quality. The ease of trines is precisely their most challenging issue. Most trines consist of two planets in the same element; for example, Pluto in Sagittarius trine Mars in Leo. The two have an affinity and will often be in harmony. Consider the apparent and utterly bizarre fact of life on Earth which suggests that harmony doesn't get you very far. (This may explain why just about everywhere you go, you find another battlefield here.)


People say squares are difficult aspects. I say trines are just as difficult in a different way. They require manual operation and quite a bit of foot power. You have to reach over to both sides of the trine (or in your case, involving grand trines, all three) and access the energies; integrate them consciously even though they may seem pretty integrated already, and consciously apply the resources to your life circumstances.


You must provide the discipline with a trine. It does not do it for you. If you do manage to apply the discipline you will develop rapidly. But that's the challenge.


Another of my teachers, David Arner of Port Ewen, New York (from whom I learned much of my technical astrology, and horary, and who still teaches), gave me a good lecture on trines one day, particularly grand trines, which I remember distinctly. He said, basically, that grand trines can act like whirlpools. It is easy to get drawn into their energies and find yourself in patterns you did not necessarily plan to be in and thus cannot get out so easily.


Two things are necessary: being aware of this process (astrology rewards awareness no matter how you slice it) and knowing how to use it; and knowing how to get out of it when you're involved and don't want to be.


With trines, you can pretty much expect what you put energy into consciously to multiply. Therefore it becomes very important where you direct your energy. While a square is a little like your boss saying, here's a ticket, get on a plane and come to London, a trine is more like being handed a lot of cash and a few months off. Therefore, the act of choosing becomes important. In the first instance, you can make the most of your time in London, do a good job and perhaps be rewarded with another assignment; in the second, you have to make each choice consciously, accept your mistakes, learn from them and keep going.


As for getting out: this was the discussion where I learned about the kite pattern. A kite pattern is a grand trine, but with a planet at the midpoint of any two planets. In other words, pretend you have a grand fire trine, with a planet in Aries, Leo and Sagittarius. Then pretend you have a planet in Gemini, making a sextile to the Aries and Leo planets. There's the point of the kite. That's a place to go, work with or focus on in order to get out of the loop of the trine.


Let's look at your chart for some clarity.


For the benefit of our readers, the double grand trine in Melissa's chart is in the air signs. Actually, using just the four major asteroids (which I afford the full weight of planets), she has a rather astonishing ten planets in the air signs. This gets my official Gee Whiz rating. Let's list them off: Mars, South Node and Saturn in Gemini; Pluto, Vesta and Uranus in Libra; and Venus, Juno, Ceres and Mercury in Aquarius. Also, she has Aquarius on the 7th house cusp, one of the major angles of the chart.


One of the grand trines is Mars in early Gemini, trine Pluto and Vesta in early to mid Libra, trine the 7th cusp, Venus, Juno and Ceres in early-to-mid Aquarius.


Another is South Node and Saturn in late Gemini, trine Uranus in late Libra, trine mercury in late Aquarius (and also trine Jupiter in early Pisces.)


In reality, this is one gigantic grand trine because all the energies are woven together like one of those mysterious Celtic braids, over and under and then doing a nice little slip into Pisces with Jupiter there. The slip into Pisces is a big part of this chart. Jupiter on the 8th house cusp is one of the places you can go to get off the mental plane of all that air. The 7th-8th cusp is a deeply emotional, erotic and metaphysical space. This is a point of experience rather than ideology -- but beware, because Jupiter can get lost in ideas. This is suggesting that you lay all theory aside and dive into your feelings. There, you can begin to have rapid and -- from the standpoint of so much air energy -- incomprehensible change.


Next, consider Chiron. Chiron, in Aries, makes one of those kite patterns I was talking about. Chiron is in the 9th house and in Aries, there is a big quest for self-higher self and you may feel a pull to travel specifically for the purpose of finding yourself. If not, I suggest it. If you are all caught up in ideas, going far away is a good way to bring on a big shift in your understanding of yourself. Chiron is all about experience, and you will learn from experience rather than from ideas. I have a hunch, seeing this aspect, that this may be a fairly big theme of your life.


One last note. Your Sun in Pisces is making a square to both your lunar nodes and to Saturn. The Sun gets added emphasis because you have Leo rising, so it's the ruler of your ascendant as well. You could easily do a whole chart reading with an astrologer about this aspect, but I'll see if I can sum it up for you. I see a good bit of caution and perhaps conservatism when it comes to diving into new realities that take you past your ideas. There can be the sense of being hemmed in, of being corralled, or trapped.


Yet you really need to get over this and use the might of this square as a way of stepping up past your fears. One of the reasons this may be challenging involves your work. On the one hand you know there is a very specific contribution you can make to society. I see this from the Saturn and South Node in the 11th house. You know that your intelligence and spiritual evolution are way WAY above average -- partly indicated by that super-late degree Mercury.


But your Capricorn Moon on the 6th house cusp can keep you involved in rather conventional and undaring work, if you don't watch it. Safe and not so interesting work. Work that has you being a little boss rather than an original thinker. Forget about that, cousin, please. And I would suggest that you get with partners who take you into realms of the unseen and unknown -- rather than into rote patterns of relationship that get very old very fast and remind you of mom.


Here's an article I did a couple of years ago on the Capricorn Moon. Maybe it will have a little something for you.