Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Trines: Terrific or Tricky?

© 2012 by Joyce Mason
All Rights Reserved

When I was a young and eager astrology student, I used to view every trine in a chart as a kiss by Lady Luck. It was like getting one of those Community Service or Chance cards in Monopoly. “Bank error in your favor. Collect $200.” Trines seemed like marks of grace on a nativity. Back in the days of hand-calculated charts, my fabulous first teacher, fellow Radical Virgo, Gavin Carruthers, taught us to use color codes for all the aspect lines: red for squares and oppositions, black for quincunxes, green for sextiles and blue for trines. When I drew a lot of blue in a chart, I saw smooth sailing on the seas of life.

Now I’m not so sure there aren’t some other kind of blues involved. Lately, I’ve been struggling with my Jupiter trine Mars and the issue of over-doing just about everything. I guess there’s no accident in my imagery in the last paragraph, because my trine is in the Water element.

I have two friends with Grand Water Trines, and they will both tell you that they are far from a walk in the park or a joyride on a sailboat. One calls it her Grand Whine. As you can imagine, with the planets Mars, Uranus and Venus involved, she can get on a roll, throwing herself a pity party. For the other, it can be the Grand Waterworks, a Niagara Falls of Tears, given her watery triangle includes Saturn, a conjunction of Moon, Uranus and Jupiter, and finally, Mercury.

A trine does little or nothing to change the quality of the planets involved. It just allows them to interact easily, perhaps too easily—no stopping them.

Trines can amount to, in reality, anything from the sublime to the ridiculous. Example: If Moon trines your Jupiter, how easy would it be to overeat constantly? Those two together can actually be like close friends who are a bad influence on each other.

That’s the thing with trines. All they do is make the flow of energy between two planets easy and effortless to keep going. Is this always a blessing, say, with Mars/Pluto? Venus/Uranus? Neptune/Moon?

Just to muse on the few examples above, Mars trine Pluto might have a terrific sex life but become a sex addict—or have a temper beyond belief, because once ignited, it just keeps going—and blowing. Venus trine Uranus may enjoy a bevy of unusual lovers, but what about the flow of instability? And unreliability? Is this always fun for him or her? Lastly, Neptune trine Moon might be psychic, poetic, musical and mystical, but can s/he ever find a real relationship?  One that’s not riddled with illusions and projections? You get my drift.

I always recommend living on the upside of the zodiac as much as possible, but trines can sometimes be those Astrological Blind Spots we’ve covered in another article. Trines can keep us stuck in a rut. Sometimes, we dig a hole so deep; we just have fun there, oblivious to the larger impact the trine is having on our lives. With my Mars/Jupiter trine, I’ve always related to the title of the book, Women Who Do Too Much It’s only in the past few years that I’ve “gotten” how Jupiter trine Mars contributes to this chronic condition, which actually threatens my health and well-being. Why is it so hard to “cure?” Because I have a multiplicity of interests, I want to do it all. With Mars trine Jupiter, it’s easy to think I can actually pull it off. Plus, I’m having fun. (Help me before I “do” again!)

Famous People’s Trines. I thought it might be interesting to look at a few people in the public eye and their trines, to demonstrate how this aspect can be a mixed blessing:

John Edwards. With a four planets in Gemini, we shouldn’t be surprised that this born charmer has a Twin that’s a trickster. (He actually has several.) Edwards also has Saturn conjunct Neptune trine Sun. Reality always travels with the illusions he creates and vice-versa. The trine aspect allowed him to get away with figurative murder until his deceptions about his mistress and illegitimate child caught up with him. His final admission of the situation coincided with transiting Uranus approaching his Midheaven while transiting Saturn squared his natal Mercury in the 12th.

The ex-Senator might have turned his life around and caused a lot less pain to others, were that aspect a more “instructive” square. Edwards also enjoys a close North Node in Aquarius in the 7th House trine to Moon and Jupiter in Gemini in the 11th. Schmoozing’s his game, and the game is easy for him. Even if he “got off” during his recent trial for illegal use of campaign funds, John Edwards has been found wanting in the court of public opinion, trines and all. He says all he wants to do is start over. I suspect that people will forgive him his trespasses and that the schmooze trine will ultimately make it easy for him to begin anew. Question is, will he ever learn?

Nicole Kidman. This gorgeous Australian actress, probably best known off-camera for her 10-year marriage to Tom Cruise and people’s perception of the pair as a power couple, boasts a Grand Fire Trine between Moon, Saturn and Venus. She also has Mercury trine Neptune. She and Cruise adopted two children together. Six years after their divorce, Nicole married musician Keith Urban and had two biological children with him, one by surrogate. Her career seemed to flourish after her separation from Cruise, which is probably not coincidental.(It seems an even more unlikely coincidence after reading the effects of marriage to Cruise on his subsequent wife that came out during his recent divorce from Katie Holmes.)

The same Moon/Saturn/Venus trine which rewards Nicole for her hard work projecting her lunar and Venusian qualities—and surely makes it easy for her to do—may also be the fiery energy flow that enabled her to go the course for a decade with Cruise. This was amidst recurring rumors that Cruise may be secretly gay and that they had a tight marriage contract that “required” her to stick with him for at least that long. Surely, Saturn in flow with her feeling and relationship planets would help her keep up her end of the bargain, if this is true. Mercury trine Neptune would make it easy to keep up appearances—and help her make it in the illusory medium of film.

There is so much we’ll never know and so much back story and that leaves you wondering, if not mystified, available on any search engine. The blessing of Nicole’s trine is that she appears to be genuinely “settled down” in the most positive, Saturnian sense, with her current spouse and expanded family. It wasn’t easy at first with Keith Urban’s substance abuse issues. He credits his devotion to Nicole as his catalyst to seek and succeed in treatment.  Maybe she flowed with her trines until she finally found the happy ending.

Jackie Chan. Martial artist and physical comedian Jackie Chan can probably attribute his grace, flowing movements, passion for physicality and nonstop wit to a trio of trines in his chart: Mercury trine Uranus, Mars trine Pluto, and Jupiter trine Neptune. His movies like Rush Hour are always upbeat, hilarious, and full of intrigue as well as a lot of fancy kicks and footwork. He has incurred countless injuries, doing his own stunts (Mars trine Pluto overdo). My husband and I were musing, watching one of his early films (Who Am I?) about who has broken more bones, Jackie or the late Evel Knievel. (Knievel’s trines, by the way, include Mercury conjunct Sun trine Jupiter and Mars conjunct Neptune trine Uranus.)

Jackie Chan movies have trademark scenes where he’s forced to undergo torture or other physical punishment in martial arts matches. Like my own Mars trine Jupiter, it appears Jackie’s Mars trine Pluto is almost too much fun for him—at a big price to his body. He’s willing to endure physical risk and pain, including a literal hole in his head, incurred during a stunt accident. With Jupiter trine Neptune, he likes to make BIG movies and take BIG risks in them. Great for us, but I’m not so sure about him.

Get Reacquainted with Your Trines

I’m not trine to put a damper on something you always thought was one of the big boons in your chart. Indeed, trines can be just that, especially in a chart with a lot of squares, oppositions and other tensions. Your trines, in that case, can work like the valve on an old-fashioned pressure cooker, letting off steam. They can be the way out of constant demands and offer a welcome relief and release to what feels like endless inner work. The trap is not seeing their downside and whether the easy flow between two planets also creates unwanted—often unrealized—grief for you.

Take an objective look at your planets in trine, warts and all. See what you triangulate out of the exercise—and please share in the Comments any new insights!


Photo Credit: © swillklitch -


Les said...

This is interesting, Joyce. For me, I think my one trine is a boon - Uranus/Asc/Moon trine in Leo trine Saturn in Sag - because that Saturn is also square my Virgo Sun. My Moon and Sun are so at odds but trine offers a way for the fire to go to form.

My bf though has a grand trine with late Scorp Moon trine Cancer Mars trine Mercury in early Aries. His Mars is also in a T-square squaring both Aries Sun and Libra Jupiter. And he has a trine from Chiron to Uranus (and a square from Saturn to Jupiter). Somewhere in there I suspect is the root of his bipolar (well medicated for umpteen years).

Joyce Mason said...

I like your take on your trine, Leslee, and see easily how it would work the way you describe. You've got one of those "escape valve" trines that are a wonderful relief in the middle of other happenings.

Thanks for taking time to share!

William said...

I also, have one of those escape valve trines. My natal Saturn is square the Sun however it makes a trine to Uranus and a sextile to the moon. People are always telling me that I have amazing resilience in the face of adversity. Life may knock me off kilter on occasion however, it hasn't so far knocked me off my feet.

Joyce Mason said...

Hi, William! Thanks so much for commenting. I love your thought about resilience. I think I want to print it on a t-shirt and wear it: Life may knock me off kilter but not off my feet.

You also bring to mind how aspects and aspect configurations need to be taken in context. The "challenging" aspects tend to build character and complexity. The trines and sextiles can often round us out. Sounds like you've got a dynamic combo going.