Sextiles and the Grand Sextile: Complementary Elements

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month the path takes us into an – exciting! – exploration of the sextile aspect.

The sextile is an aspect of 60° which means that the planets in sextile are naturally positioned two signs apart from one another. When we allow for orbs of influence astrologers usually give 6° for a sextile so that the planets can be anywhere between 56° and 66° apart from one another and still be in a sextile. In the ancient world however planets could be considered in sextile so long as they were in the appropriate signs regardless of how close they were to being 60° apart. If they were exactly 60° apart this was simply the greatest point at which the sextile was significant. Early thinking about all aspects involved the concept of planets being able to “see” one another – the concept of aspects was seen as a visual one with planets in particular signs being able to see one another while those which were in a very close or exact aspect were truly scrutinizing each other. Conversely planets which were not in aspect either by sign or degree were unable to see one another. This condition applied to planets which were one sign apart (30°) or 5 signs apart (150°) because these distances are not considered major aspects, but planets which could not see one another by degree or sign could still interact with or be aware of the other through other conditions like mutual reception.

Universally the sextile is regarded as an “easy”, “harmonious” or “soft” aspect meaning that the two planets see one another in a positive light and the flow between them comes mostly without effort and with benefits. Squares, oppositions and certain conjunctions require our best efforts but sextiles and trines are far more effortless in their expression of the planets involved. The trine is generally regarded as being “better” than the sextile or at least more powerful and there is some truth to this but a consequence of this attitude has been the downplaying and ignoring of this aspect in favour of others and a lack of distinction between the trine and sextile. Downplaying and ignoring (something astrologers have to do as the process of chart interpretation demands heavy editing) is generally the issue with sextiles and trines anyway as the squares and oppositions and conjunctions in a chart assert themselves more aggressively and call out to our attention, astrologers tend to focus more on the problematic areas because they are frequently the most urgent and recognisable matters, but experienced astrologers understand that trines and sextiles can also be problematic and require attention, as well as that an assessment of a person’s strengths and resources are as important as an assessment of the challenges they face. One equips them to deal with the other and knowledge of both is necessary.

There are three factors that give a sextile its distinct meaning along with many nuances that modify its expression.

THE THREE MAIN FACTORS

Firstly, the meaning of the sextile aspect is innately connected to the meaning of the number 6, because an aspect of 60° divides the circle of 360° into a six sided hexagon. Wherever you see this number or shape in nature you see an expression of the energy of the sextile. The hexagon is surprisingly common in nature because there are physics and geometry involved that make it the most stable, space efficient shape to build with. Examples of it include volcanic basalt columns, snowflakes, pineapple skin, insect eyes, corals, crystals, bubbles on water, tortoise shells and snake skins. Primarily, though, we see this in six petaled flowers and in the honeycomb hive structure of the bee, and the nature of bees is very expressive of the sextile energy – buzzing aliveness, excitation, productivity, organizational awareness, industriousness, quick arousal and motivation. This is the sensation we have when the hairs on our skin stand-up when someone strokes it lightly, or when we lock eyes with an attractive stranger who smiles at us, or when the aroma of incense or music stirs something deep inside. It triggers or activates us sensually but in a way we enjoy or at least don’t have to expend effort on. The sensation is usually brief but powerful and the energy of the sextile follows suit. Whereas a trine tends to gush and keep gushing a sextile comes in spurts or firework displays. This means it can take some effort to sustain the output of a sextile compared to that of a trine.

This connection to pleasant but brief arousal brings us to the second concept that the sextile innately expresses, that of the energy of Venus. This arises from the position of the signs ruled by Venus – Taurus and Libra – in relation to the signs ruled by the Lights – Cancer and Leo. The sign of the Sun (Leo) looks forwards two signs (60°) and sees the sign of Venus, Libra. Conversely, the sign of the Moon (Cancer) looks backwards two signs (60°) and sees the other sign of Venus, Taurus. The other major aspects also gain planetary qualities in the same way:

Sextile: Like Venus because the signs of Venus are 60°from the signs of the Lights – 2 forwards from Leo, 2 back from Cancer.
Square: Like Mars because the signs of Mars are 90° from the signs of the Light – 3 signs forwards from Leo, 3 back from Cancer.
Trine: Like Jupiter because the signs of Jupiter are hundred and 20° from the signs of the Lights – 4 signs forwards from Leo, for back from Cancer.
Opposition: like Saturn because the signs of Saturn are 180° from the signs of the Lights – 6 signs forwards from Leo, six back from Cancer.

The conjunction was not actually considered an aspect in the ancient world although it was still used. It represented fusion or union, not being able to see one another in the sky but instead being together, like a marriage. It clearly has the nature of the Lights because the conjunction is an aspect of 0° so we would count 0 signs away from those of Cancer and Leo, which is correct.

The association with Venus explains why the aspect is a) ‘easy’ and ‘harmonious’ and b) arousing and often experienced as pleasing. Yet Venus is not known for productivity or organizational ability, so where does this quality of the sextile come from? Partly this feature arises from the physics and geometry of the hexagon, i.e. from the magic of the number 6, but aside from the number 6 and Venus there is another essential ingredient in the nature of the sextile which gives it this quality, and that is that the sextile combines different but complementary Elements. Where the trine connects signs of the same Element (Fire with Fire, etc.) the sextile connects signs of the same polarity or Fluid (sometimes also called gender in astrology). Fire and Air, the more Electric/Masculine Elements, are connected by sextiles, and Water is connected with the other more Magnetic/Feminine Element, Earth. Thus a sextile aspect emphasises and increases the flow of a Fluid in the same way that a trine does with an Element. This means that there are 12 natural sextiles in the zodiac, 6 Electric and 6 Magnetic:

Aries/Gemini (Electric)
Taurus/Cancer (Magnetic)
Gemini/Leo (Electric)
Cancer/Virgo (Magnetic)
Leo/Libra (Electric)
Virgo/Scorpio (Magnetic)
Libra/Sagittarius (Electric)
Scorpio/Capricorn (Magnetic)
Sagittarius/Aquarius (Electric)
Capricorn/Pisces (Magnetic)
Aquarius/Aries (Electric)
Pisces/Taurus (Magnetic)

We will return to these combinations later.

So, what is a Fluid, and what does it mean in a chart? A Fluid is an expression of polarity, like Yin and Yang. The universe is fundamentally unified but for manifestation to occur (i.e. Creation) it has to polarize into opposite but equal parts – night and day, light and dark, etc. The fundamental polarity is into binary Fluids, one which we can call Electric (because it is more accurate than Masculine or Positive) and one Magnetic (because it is more accurate than Feminine or Negative). The Electric Fluid is essentially about energy radiating out from a centre (creating spaciousness or the seed) while the Magnetic is energy being pulled in to the centre (filling spaciousness or the egg). These are not the same things as the physical universe forces of magnetism and electricity, however, because the Fluids permeate all of reality, including the astral and mental planes. The physical expressions of electricity and magnetism are just one of the physical manifestations of the Fluids. As these fundamental polarities interact in infinitely greater and greater complexity (leading to shades of grey and twilight areas as well as the creation of spectrum’s uniting the poles) they double up into the 4 Elements, 2 which are predominantly Electric (Fire and Air) and 2 of which are Magnetic (Water and Earth). The Fire and Water Elements are the ‘purist’ Elements because each is a direct expression of one of the Fluids as an Elemental building block. The Air Element contains a ‘cap’ or portion (about 1/4) of the Magnetic and the rest is Electric, while the Earth Element contains a portion (again, about 1/4) of the Electric Fluid with the rest being Magnetic.

What the sextile does is connect one Electrically focused sign with another Electric sign in a different but complementary Element, or conversely a Magnetically focused sign with another Magnetic sign that belongs to a different but complementary Element. It connects Fire with Air and vice versa and Water with Earth and vice versa, therefore emphasising one of the Fluids. But what does that really mean for a human being? The basic difference psychologically is that the Fire/Air sextiles are more outgoing while the Water/Earth ones are more receptive, but there are other differences that are best illustrated when we look at individual sign pairings later. Something has to be faceted with the sextile – it is a wood chipper, a gem carver, and the connection it has to one of the Fluids determines whether the process is one of impressing David into the marble or revealing him inside of it. The Fluids, being the fundamental parts of the Elements which make up all of Creation, are the essential parts of Creation. They produce and organise literally everything that exists, has ever existed or will ever exist, through the Elements that are their expressions. This is what lends the sextile aspect its power to organise and produce, its artistry. This, coupled with the connection to Venus and the magic of the 6th harmonic, is what gives the sextile its distinct essential meaning.

INTERPRETATIVE NUANCES

These three factors – the magic of 6, Venus, and the Fluids – really help us to grasp the nature of the sextile aspect but there are other nuances we can look at to gain interesting details.

One of these factors is whether the sextile is approaching (less than 60°) or separating (more than 60°). I have never met a sextile that was exactly 60°, at least not in a natal chart! An approaching sextile is keen to tackle something symbolised by the planets and signs and temples involved, it is often applying itself to the excitement that builds around the creation or launch of something, while a separating sextile is often more concerned with running, re-organizing or re-invigorating something that already exists (also based on the planets, signs and temples involved). The declination of the sextile can also increase its power.

A second factor is the essential and accidental dignity of the planets in sextile – is for example one of them in rulership or the sign of exaltation, and angular? Then it is probably dominating the sextile, pumping its energies into the other planet. A peregrine planet – one that is not in a place familiar to its energies – can find a friend or lover in a planet it is in sextile to, helping it out of its awkward situation, especially if that planet has some dignity of its own.

A third factor is the temples that the planets in sextile are in and rule – a sextile between the Sun and Mars always provides motivation and zeal, and that will be placed first in the temples that the Sun and Mars are in, and then in the temples they rule according to the placement of signs, i.e. according to the sign of the ascendant. Temples help to interpret a sextile by showing where it lands on the roulette wheel of life – in your marriage and children houses (5 and 7), in your debt and career houses (8-10) or your income and family houses (2 and 4), for example. The temples that are ruled by the planets in sextile often describe the whys of what the person does with that sextile, the reasons for their arousal, and where the energies of the sextile end up taking them. So, for example, in our zesty Sun-Mars sextile, let’s imagine that the Sun is in Aries and Mars is in Gemini and Aries is rising, so the Sun is in the 1st temple and Mars in the 3rd. This persons zeal and self confidence (Sun/Mars) is aroused and excited by communication and by self-learning situations (1st and 3rd temples). They also have Leo, the sign ruled by the Sun, on the 5th temple (creativity, leisure, children) and the signs of Mars, Aries and Scorpio, on the 1st and 8th temple. These last details suggest the reason why they are so aroused by these things and where the results will ultimately end up has to do with the 1st, 5th and 8th temples.

There is another nuance that is well hidden and although I am sure it is there I have so far not been able to find this anywhere in the tradition and am sharing it here for the first time. This arises from 7 planetary groups which are delineated by the sextile. These groups are each composed of 3 planets (which includes the Lights) and they are found by noting what the rulers of the signs in sextile are. For example, Leo is ruled by the Sun. Leo sextiles both Libra and Gemini. Libra is ruled by Venus and Gemini by Mercury, so the Suns sextile group is Sun/Mercury/Venus. When we do this for the 7 visible moving objects in the sky, this is the result:

Sextile Configurations by Rulership: Fluid Bonds

Sun – Mercury/Venus (Leo is sextile Gemini and Libra). Note the theme of socializing and communing. This is an Electric grouping.
Moon – Mercury/Venus (Cancer is sextile Taurus and Virgo). Note the theme of things growing (seeds, babies, etc) and being cared for. This is a Magnetic grouping.
Mercury – Light/Mars (Gemini is sextile Aries and Leo, Virgo is sextile Cancer and Scorpio). There are dual themes here, an Electric one of energizing and enthusing and a Magnetic one of reflecting and considering carefully.
Venus – Light/Jupiter (Taurus is sextile Cancer and Pisces, Libra is sextile Leo and Sagittarius). Dual themes again involving caring/nurturing (Magnetic) and celebrating/cheerfulness (Electric)
Mars – Mercury/Saturn (Aries is sextile Gemini and Aquarius, Scorpio is sextile Virgo and Capricorn). The dual themes here are connected to diversity/individuality (Electric) and strategy/insight (Magnetic).
Jupiter – Venus/Saturn (Sagittarius is sextile Libra and Aquarius, Pisces is sextile Taurus and Capricorn). Here the themes are morality/truth (Electric) and composure/calm (Magnetic).
Saturn – Mars/Jupiter (Capricorn is sextile Scorpio and Pisces, Aquarius is sextile Sagittarius and Aries). The themes here are wisdom/emotional maturity (Magnetic) and enlightenment/breakthrough (Electric).

This shows that the 7 traditional planets can be arranged into trinities, each planet in the same trinity being disposed towards helping and assisting the others by sextile according to a general theme. This deepens our understanding of the essential dynamic of each of the sextiles in the zodiac according to which signs they are in and helps us understand which planets (and signs) innately excite or arouse one another and why. For example the sextile between Leo (ruled by the Sun) with Libra (ruled by Venus) is clearly about the expression of our emotional life (Sun/Venus) and it has a social context that involves harmony in relationships (Libra). If the planets in sextile actually are the Sun and Venus this will be obvious, but with different planets the theme will be less obvious. Yet it will still leave traces, because the signs express the nature of their ruling planets. As another example, a sextile between Mercury and Mars (or the Moon) is just that bit more of a sextile than one between say Mercury and Jupiter, because Jupiter is not part of the Mercury group. Some planets are just better at arousing (sextiling) one another than others – they have a Fluid bond. If I were to characterize such a bond I would say it is like siblings or good friends because this is how planets in a sextile relationship also regard one another.

The same theory holds true for other aspects too – some planets are better at trining one another, some at squaring, and some at opposing. For example, Mars is made for opposing Venus (both his signs are opposite both of hers) and for squaring the Lights and Saturn (his signs square theirs), as well as for trining the Lights and Jupiter (his signs trine theirs) and sextiling Mercury and Saturn (his signs sextile theirs). Note that he is efficient at both squaring and trining the Lights. All of these predilections arise from the aspects the signs of Mars – Aries and Scorpio – make to other signs with their rulers. The planets and Lights are bonded, they have innate relationships to one another and these complex relationships are expressed geometrically through the prism of the zodiac. When these innate bonds are reinforced by an actual aspect and that aspect matches the innate bond, the power of the aspect is amplified. It’s like a tuning fork resonating with a vibration.

When I examine a sextile I’m usually asking myself the following questions:

What is being stimulated, aroused or excited by these two planets being friends and how are the signs shaping that?
Does the sextile connect with squares or oppositions, helping to deal with those issues or potentially aggravating them?
Does the sextile connect with trines or other sextiles to increase opportunities and resources that flow or potentially adding to laziness and complacency?
What kind of productivity does the sextile imply given the temples involved?
Sextiles can act like power batteries, so what is this sextile powering in the chart?
How might this person get the most out of this sextile? What does it call on them to sustain in order to manifest its potential?
What is its role in the purpose of the chart as an initiatory tool? What is the soul doing with this sextile?
How does the Fluid emphasised by this sextile (Electric or Magnetic) get supported by the rest of the chart?

For this last question I consider whether the chart is nocturnal or diurnal (born during the day or night), which hemisphere of the sky (lit or unlit) the sextile is in or if it crosses the hemispheres of the chart, the overall balance of Elements in the chart and the essential and accidental dignity of the Lights and the planets in sect:

Diurnal charts: Sun, Jupiter and Saturn are in the Electric or diurnal sect. If you are born in the day then these planets are in sect. They are stronger with the Electric Fluid and more productive when in Fire or Air signs and when placed in the daylight part of the chart i.e. on the same side of the ascendant as the Sun. In a diurnal chart this means they want to be in temples 7-12.
Nocturnal charts: Moon, Venus and Mars are in the Magnetic or nocturnal sect. If you are born in the night then these planets are in sect. They are stronger with the Magnetic Fluid when placed in Water or Earth signs, in the night part of the chart i.e. on the opposite side of the ascendant as the Sun. In a nocturnal chart this is also temples 7-12.
Mercury is in sect if it is an evening star (visible after sunset) in a night chart or a morning star (visible before dawn) in a day chart. It then follows the same rules as its sect regarding which side of the chart it prefers to be on.

If the majority of these factors and the chart in general are in favour of a particular Fluid and this matches the Fluid of the sextile I am looking at I start to see that sextile as a prime conduit for the Fluid. This becomes more significant in magical training with the Fluids (mastery of the Fluids follows mastery of the Elements) since a strong connection astrologically to a Fluid makes it easier for us to train its use while making us work harder to train the other Fluid, but in general it is a sign that the soul is either manifesting things from within them into the external world (Electric) or is manifesting things around them by drawing in material and experience from the external world (Magnetic). Electric sextiles (equivalent to waveforms) tend to be more innovative while Magnetic ones (equivalent to particles) are more productive. The short form takeaway for magical training here is that trines help with the astral equilibrium and sextiles with the mental equilibrium, but this is a big generalisation.

THE GRAND SEXTILE or STAR OF DAVID

The sextile aspect is an integral building block of many aspect patterns, including the Yod, Mystic Rectangle, Kite, Rosetta, Pentagram and Diamond, but the aspect pattern which most exemplifies the energy of the sextile is the Grand Sextile or Star of David. This is an aspect involving at least six objects in the chart all being spaced 60° apart so that they form a hexagon. Even when we include the ascendant, midheaven, Dragons Head, Dragons Tail and Chiron the chances of this occurring are extremely rare. I have nine charts with this aspect pattern in them in a database of over 10,000 natal charts. It is a complex pattern composed not only of the 6 sextiles but also of 6 trines (arranged into 2 Grand Trines, the ‘Star of David’) and 3 oppositions. Most of the interpretations of this aspect pattern are very positive stating that it is more fortunate than a Grand Trine because the sextile makes us more active, and I agree with this but feel there is more to say. There are 3 oppositions in there after all. That’s a lot of polarisation to keep in balance, like juggling multiple balls in the air at once with the balls being balls of fire. There is a lot of potential for a calamity if the balancing act is botched, a big ‘egg on your face’ factor. The energy of this pattern reminds me of plate spinning as well as juggling, with someone having to continuously keep the plates in motion to prevent them from falling and smashing. These people find it very difficult to tune out and do nothing, they get restless and even nerve-wracked about those plates. If they can find a constructive outlet for their great energies and restlessness they become dynamos and have a supreme knack for spreading enthusiasm and sensation around but there is always the problem of not being able to fully switch off and the potential that they will become interfering busybodies in other peoples lives, in other words they really need their own plates to mind or they can’t help spinning them for others. They can also come to believe their own hype. On the whole though the power of the trines and sextiles is greater than that of the oppositions so the aspect makes handling life easier for us and brings a considerable package of benefits.

Here are three examples of the Star of David with other aspects turned off so that you can see the configuration clearly.

The first is the chart of someone most of us alive today do not recognise but who was in her time one of the most famous people in the world. Brenda Frazier came from a family of social climbers and was given every luxury in her elitist childhood. Her family wealth, equivalent to about 65 million dollars today and which she inherited at the age of 21, survived being wiped out by the Great Depression and led to her becoming the archetypal ‘poor little rich girl’ or ‘Glamour Girl’ of the 1930s. She was hailed as “the Debutante of the Century”, appeared on the cover of ‘Life’ magazine after an infamous 2,000 people NYC ball in 1938 in which she danced all night with Douglas Fairbanks Jnr. and other celebrities, and was dubbed “the best advertisement for just about anything”. Troubled by anorexia and bulimia, Frazier also attempted suicide over thirty times in her life, battled alcohol and drug addiction, and in the 1960s made a brief return to fame when she wrote an article for ‘Life’ in which she relayed that she was deeply miserable during the time of her heyday. Her life is an example of both the blessings of the Star of David and its burdens. The chart shows a Grand Sextile in the Magnetic signs involving Capricorn rising, Uranus in Pisces, Venus in Taurus, Mercury and Pluto in Cancer, Jupiter in Virgo and a Scorpio midheaven:

More recognizable to most of us will by Ricky Martin, the singer and ‘King of Latin Pop’, regarded as one of the most influential modern musical artists in the world. With a career that took off in the early 1990s he has sold over 55 million albums and 70 million records worldwide, charting twenty one top-ten hits on the U.S. Latin Charts, eight of which reached number one, has had a total of over 30 hit singles and is the most awarded male Latin artist with over 200 awards. He came out as a gay man in 2010 but has always had a huge gay following. His chart shows a mostly Electric Grand Sextile (the Moon and Mars parts are Magnetic instead because the pattern occurs at sign boundaries) composed of Saturn in Gemini, the Dragons Tail in Leo, Pluto in Libra, Neptune in Sagittarius, Venus and the Dragons Head in Aquarius and the Moon and Mars in Pisces:

This chart is the chart of a friend. She runs her own metaphysical publishing business, holds down a separate job involving many children, organises several online projects, travels around the world to personally meet and greet her authors and is generally an all round tonic to be around, brimming with enthusiasm and always keen to move forwards, rarely holding grudges or looking back. She is very positive in outlook but gets easily distracted and can lose herself in her many projects, needing regular time to reconnect with herself. Her chart shows an Electric Star of David made of Neptune in Sagittarius, Venus and the Dragons Head in Aquarius, the Moon in Aries, Saturn in Gemini, the Dragons Tail in Leo and Pluto in Libra:

SEXTILES BY SIGN

To finish off this article I would like to give you some thoughts on what the various pairings of signs for each sextile indicate. As with any kind of interpretation these are only examples and other possibilities will exist but they should be good starting points for you to consider.

Aries/Gemini (Electric): Warming, curious, stimulating to the mind, it emboldens communication and is not afraid to ask burning or awkward questions. It strengthens the willpower when it comes to choosing the path, is prepared to defend its position, confers dexterity, perceives multiple-choices, tackles intellectual problems head-on, is persuasive, competitive in learning situations and acrobatic. Freedom and autonomy are important.
Example: Spike Milligan, zany comedian, Aries Sun sextile Gemini Moon.

Taurus/Cancer (Magnetic): Stabilizes and simplifies, family people, secures, comforting to the heart and soul, Cancer builds a nest and Taurus secures and feathers it, fosters a feeling of safety and insurance or insulation, calming, devoted, resists pressure and stands its ground, maintains things as they have been, respects sensible tradition, invokes shielding or protection, tenacity, love of nature.
Example: David Icke, conspiracy analyst, Taurus Sun sextile Moon in Cancer.

Gemini/Leo (Electric): Takes joy in gathering information and communicating self-expression, the life of the party, good cheer and humour, diversifying, multiplying, connecting the dots, understanding the whys of life, ability to hone in on pertinent facts, love of movement or dance, the thrill of speed, manual dexterity and coordination, mechanical brilliance, wordplay, singing, anecdotal eloquence, wit.
Example: Lord Alfred Tennyson, leading Victorian poet, Moon in Gemini sextile Sun in Leo.

Cancer/Virgo (Magnetic): Modesty and humility in caring for others, rhythm, prudence, acuity, shrewdness, firm grasp of facts, retentive memory, health consciousness, agricultural skill, pragmatism, minimising risks, effective blend of reason with imagination or intuition, helpful, humble, tactical analysis, maintains a sense of innocence or purity, fosters safety through organization.
Example: 14th Dalai Lama, spiritual leader, Sun in Cancer sextile Moon in Virgo.

Leo/Libra (Electric): Artistic brilliance, spectacle, social grace, sense of equality and fairness, balanced relationship, healthy flow of give-and-take, awareness of justice in life, diplomacy, charisma, charm, colourful, being able to share a spotlight, co-operative, beauty and prettiness, jewel-like, contentment, love of harmony or being with a partner, kindness.
Example: H.P. Lovecraft, inventor of modern horror, Sun in Leo sextile Moon in Libra.

Virgo/Scorpio (Magnetic): Detection and examination, depth analysis, good at concealing itself, quick in perceiving hidden or obscure truth, probing, scrutinizing, evaluating, identifying critical weak spots, clue finding and puzzle solving, sexual health, shrewdness, successful blend of scientific and occult methods, precision work, power behind the throne power, therapeutic transformations, deep knowledge.
Example: Prince Albert, husband of Queen Victoria, Sun in Virgo sextile Moon in Scorpio.

Libra/Sagittarius (Electric): Optimism, faith and trust, egalitarianism, love of truth and honesty, romantic, open to others, can connect with anyone from anywhere, buoyant and light, rises above the petty, pursues justice, persuasiveness and elegance, seeks fairness, defends liberty, generates excitement by flirting with mild danger, upward social mobility, idealism that is not completely naive, a strong moral compass.
Example: Bob Geldof, singer and fundraiser, Moon in Sagittarius sextile Sun in Libra.

Scorpio/Capricorn (Magnetic): Worldly wise, nobody’s fool, strategic master, realism, grounded psychic perception, psychological insight, industrious, able to plot and plan, self control, inner mastery, astral wisdom, maturity, sobriety and seriousness, concentration and focus, ability to persist, uncanny timing, sensuous sexuality, horniness, love of making money, appreciation for the value of things.
Example: George Eliot, Victorian novelist, Sun in Scorpio sextile Moon in Capricorn.

Sagittarius/Aquarius (Electric): Gregarious, able to multi-task, inventive and inspired, originality, exciting of crowds, wild and unpredictable in ways that are amusing, adaptable and flexible in any situation, foresight, prediction and prophecy, trend setting, being able to accurately perceive the road into the future, jack of all trades, philosophical and open minded, friendliness.
Example: Oprah Winfrey, talk show host, Moon in Sagittarius sextile Sun in Aquarius.

Capricorn/Pisces (Magnetic): Philanthropy, leading with heart, enrichment, a well oiled machine, conservation of the environment, grounded faith, ability to perceive universal laws or mystical truths, grasp of fundamentals and essentials, balance between empathy and practicality, finding the current or flow to the ocean, fertility, fecundity, resolution of karma.
Example: Martin Luther King, minister and activist, Sun in Capricorn sextile Moon in Scorpio.

Aquarius/Aries (Electric): Questing, army building, networking, self promotion, scientific breakthroughs, power generation, genius, pollination of ideas, battle tactics, ability to forge connections between unconnected things, brooks no nonsense, confrontational in ways that break down barriers, vibrancy, humanitarian action, revolutionary, keen to join the party, nouveau, impressive, capacity to use shock value productively.
Example: Joan Crawford, actress, Sun in Aries sextile Moon in Aquarius.

Pisces/Taurus (Magnetic): Fecundity, pacifying, self care, relaxing and unwinding, slowing down and going with the flow, considerate and kind, understanding and accepting, charitable actions, affectionate, working towards resolution, lending support, emotional maturity, puts the imagination to work, combines sensitivity with hard work, practical empathy, visionary building.
Example: Galileo, mathematician and philosopher, Sun in Pisces sextile Moon in Taurus.


That’s all for this month, I hope you will all enjoy learning about the sextiles in your chart and in the charts of people you know and that you will come to fully appreciate these hidden gems of astrology! If you would like to support the growth of this journal there is a Patreon group you can join where for 5 dollars a month you also gain access to a monthly forecast and some of my musings.

The Astrology of Roe vs. Wade

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! This month we talk about the astrology of Roe vs. Wade and look at the rocky road ahead for the US. This discussion is essentially a continuation of a previous journey made at the start of the Trump Presidency, “What Happens Next?”.

In case you have just emerged from a retreat, the US Supreme Court just ruled that abortion is not a constitutional right, overturning nearly 50 years of precedent set by the legal judgment Roe vs. Wade in 1973 and handing the issue to individual states to rule, many of which have already triggered pre-configured bans. There is of course plenty of commentary about this news, everywhere you go. In this journey I would like to look at the astrology of this moment in the context of the chart for the original 1973 legal ruling. Event charts evolve in similar but different ways to the charts of people, as time passes historical events are naturally re-evaluated or become relevant again and astrological transits to the event chart describe this ongoing process. In fact, there are even good examples of the birth charts of long dead individuals responding to modern day transits in this way, such as the recent discovery and exhumation of the body of Richard III of England, which was powerfully symbolised by modern day transits to his natal chart. Since this ruling has consequences throughout the US we should also check that chart, both for its present transits and those of the years ahead.

Before we dive into this though I would like to give you a refresher on the astrologer of events. This is an excerpt from my March 2018 journey “Astrology, Form & Awareness” in which I discuss how astrology manifests differently for children, animals, plants, objects, notions and events before discussing the role of enlightened awareness in these matters.

EVENTS

The astrology of events is different to natal astrology in some important respects, and these differences challenge some of the assertions of the natal astrologer. In mundane astrology, there is sometimes the question of when an event happens – in the more dramatic events (like 9/11, or dropping the first atomic bomb), a precise time can be known, but in some events a precise time is not only unknown but subject to debate. Secondly, the question of how long a chart is valid for is often presented – think of all the complex and rapid changes in Europe that have occurred in the last 30 years, for instance. There are so many significant moments that to be able to pinpoint a single moment as the ‘birth’ of any of it is fraught with philosophical complication.

It must be clearly understood when using astrology in this area, then, that the chart is not a birth chart and that it reveals a mere glimpse of something bigger going on, it is like seeing a giant, scaly fin crest the surface of the ocean as something enormous moves below. The study of the astrology of events can be jarring to the natal astrologer because it confronts the awareness over the assumption that a precise birth time is a vital piece of information. It suggests instead that what is being measured by a chart is not like a fingerprint but more like a map, a map of the significance present in a time and place.

The awareness of an event is a more complex entity, being composed of the awareness of all those who witness the event first hand, and also reflecting the awareness of all those who become aware of the event. It is a far more complex entity than an individual human awareness, more akin to a collective awareness, and this complexity fundamentally broadens the scope of its astrology so that it encompasses collective levels. This makes the job of the astrologer much more difficult, because there are many more ways for the astrology to take form.

Although events are momentary, meaning they happen and then they are no longer occurring, they all leave an impact and have consequences that vary with their significance and timing. In this way we can say the horror that was 9/11 is still happening, as we are still living with the consequences. We could say the same about many of the more horrific events of the 20th century. Horrific events tend to leave giant impact craters and send shockwaves echoing through history ahead of them. These shockwaves can trigger further events, leading to a chain reaction. We have seen this recently in the Middle East, in India, and elsewhere. The ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto has poured this spice over the world for a number of years now, flavouring all the events that break the surface.

Thus, with events the outer worlds and the slower moving planets are of great significance, as aspects between them highlight global trends. Uranus, Neptune and Pluto have become important players in this field very quickly. This is another manifestation of the collective awareness that is behind events playing a major role in their formation. When enough people have the same idea, and there is enough significance accrued by that idea, something happens. This happening reveals and releases the significance and it is this which is being displayed in the awareness of the chart for the event. Astrology is the wild card that gives an edge to one or another kind of thing happening.

As with the astrology of notions which births them, the astrology of events clearly expresses itself, without deception. It is incapable of presenting a false front – the symbolism of the astrology will display the essential meaning of the event, provided the event is significant enough. Insignificant events do not display much astrology because they lack the substance that astrology communicates. Significant events can still have an astrology that is difficult to decipher by human awareness, however, and make answering questions about the event subjective. Sometimes though, and more often than one would expect, the symbolism is very naked – the chart for the first plane hitting the Twin Towers has Libra rising with Mercury on the ascendant in a square with Jupiter, with Moon in Gemini opposing Mars, for example. There are so many parallels to the event in this symbolism, parallels that leap directly into the human awareness and leave little doubt as to what is being referred to. At other times, there will be ambiguity. The meaning of events is not often clear until time passes, while their significance hits us immediately and washes over us in ever decreasing waves until it dissipates. Astrological mechanisms drive this process. In the human world it becomes about integrating events into our collective story, our history, and making adjustments based on the consequences we experience. It is usually painfully short-sighted. The animal and plant realms have much better ways of integrating their individual experience of events into their awareness and this forms the basis of their collective awareness and their evolutionary development.

THE ROE vs. WADE EVENT

It is a gross understatement to say that the issues in the US are very complex. I heard them described as a wtfnado, and this is an accurate description of what it feels like to live there lately. Astrology can help with such a complex tangle because it can identify the strands of different issues and the length of time in which they play out. It can identify issues according to the planets that are symbolically connected to them, making it far easier to chart some kind of course through the world of ever changing events. It is far easier to deal with an issue once you know which particular astrological thing it resonates with. In the astrology we will explore in the following journey the issues at hand resonate with two outer planets – Uranus (freedom to choose) and Pluto (issues of life and death). It is the transits of these two planets that feature prominently in the astrology of the current situation, as I will show. Certain signs are also emphasised – Cancer (family, motherhood), Capricorn (government), Virgo (health matters), Aquarius (personal and individual liberty), Gemini (divisions, splits), and Libra (law, justice), as we shall also see.

First we need to look at the chart for the legal judgment on Roe vs. Wade which was announced after the judges reconvened at 10am on January 22nd 1973:

The case was that of Norma McCorvey (known as ‘Jane Roe’ in the court documents), a Texan woman who became pregnant with her third child in 1969 (where abortion was illegal except in life threatening circumstances) and sought an abortion through the Texan courts. She won this case but Texas appealed to the Supreme Court which took the next 3-4 years to come to a decision. Norma was thereby forced to have her child. This ruling recognised that a womans right to privacy under the 14th Amendment protected her right to have an abortion. It also ruled that this right was not absolute and had to be balanced with the health of the woman concerned and that of prenatal life. The court implemented these rulings by introducing a system in which regulation of pregnancy by government was made according to the trimester of the pregnancy.

We see the Sun in Aquarius (the theme of the season is individual liberty) in the 11th and the Moon (theme of the day, also womens issues) in Virgo (health) in the 6th (public health), with Pisces rising only seconds from giving way to Aries rising (interesting suggestions of ‘waters’ breaking before ‘birth’). Jupiter (chart ruler, ruler of the hour, also traditionally the planet of law) is in Capricorn (rulings, government) with Mercury (news, decision, announcement) in the 11th (public announcements), as well as Venus and the Dragons Head (both in the 10th). Mars (a potential chart ruler given the ascendant) is in Sagittarius in the 9th (both of which have strong legal connotations). There is a T-square involving a Mars/Saturn opposition and the Moon and a set of squares from Uranus in Libra in the 7th to Mercury, Jupiter and the Dragon in Capricorn. With (at the time, undiscovered) Chiron conjunct Eris in Aries, the chart has a Grand Square in Cardinal signs involving the Dragon, Uranus and Chiron/Eris, a tense pattern that pulls in those Mercury, Venus and Jupiter squares to Uranus by their proximity. In mundane astrology like this the Supreme Court itself is represented by the 10th house, not the 9th. The 9th represents matters of law, lawyers and legality, but the 10th represents Justices, rulings which affect the whole of the land, seats of authority, and thus the Supreme Court is an entity of the 10th house, not the 9th.

In an event chart the Moon symbolises the mood of the day, the character of daily events and how the general public responds to whatever happens. What we can read here (with hindsight of course) is that the Moon in Virgo in the 6th is symbolizing “womens health”, and the two squares to Mars in Sagittarius and Saturn in Gemini show the heaviness, seriousness, danger and urgency of the issue of abortion as well as the way the news was received by Christian nationalists at the time, who saw themselves as a ‘moral majority’ and believed that God had removed some of his protection from the American people for their sinful decision, that they had let the devil gain a legal foothold in the nation. So that Moon/Mars/Saturn interaction in this chart is extremely raw, volatile and touchy, it is a reactionary part of the chart that will be worth keeping an eye on as major transits to it could signify shifts in the status of the ruling. This T-square pattern made the decision one of the most controversial in legal history with some saying it went too far, others not far enough, and others complaining that it did things in the wrong way. It did not even satisfy Norma McCorvey, who had long been left behind by the slow pace of events, later converted to Catholicism and joined the anti-abortion movement, only to say on her deathbed that she never really supported it and was paid for her comments. Nationally Roe/Wade set off not years but decades of angry resistance to the ruling and energised the Christian nationalists, whose votes and money were courted by the Republicans. A significant development in this story was reached in 1992, which I will come to shortly.

All this is, of course, also strongly represented by the Cardinal Grand Square and in particular the squares of Uranus in Libra to everything in Capricorn. This adds even more controversy and outrage to the mix, stirring the pot of that Mars/Saturn opposition. The ruling itself – Jupiter in Capricorn – shows its support of womens health in those trines to the Moon in Virgo, but it faces ceaseless challenges from Uranus in Libra. Jupiter in Capricorn is not strong, receiving poor dignity in the sign of its Fall. Those trines from Jupiter not only support the Moon they also look to it for support, but the Moon in Virgo is too busy fending off the squares from Mars and Saturn, she doesn’t have what it takes to help Jupiter fight its battles. Jupiter doesn’t have to face squares from Eris and Chiron, as he has already escaped those entanglements, and this helped the judgment stick beyond its initial announcement, but it was forever cast in quicksand.

The Capricorn emphasis, the Virgo Moon and Saturn in Gemini all evoke the creation of a system of trimesters, a structural component of the ruling that implemented it practically. The unstable and dodgy nature of all of these factors had this system eventually replaced when new scientific and medical discoveries were made, but Roe was the beginning of a legal struggle involving the definition of life and the role of the state that has been complicated by the involvement of crusading religious views (Mars in Aries in the 9th). So the stage was then set for years and eventually decades of legal challenges (Uranus in Libra in the 7th). This led to a major turning point in 1992 known as “Planned Parenthood vs. Casey”. This case challenged five provisions of Pennsylvania abortion control law introduced in 1982, provisions which included needing parental guardian consent for minors, being informed about all the risks 24 hrs before the operation, notification of spouses (at that point, those could only be husbands), and reporting and record keeping of all abortions. In this development the essence of Roe was upheld and the rights of women to have abortions were redefined along with the trimester framework introduced by Roe which was by then scientifically archaic.

The date of this decision was June 29th 1992. What do we see in the sky at this time? We see transiting Jupiter in Virgo on top of the Roe/Wade Virgo Moon (which is also being sextiled by transiting Pluto in Scorpio), and both transiting Uranus and Neptune in later Capricorn activating the charts natal Jupiter (which is also being sextiled by Pluto in Scorpio). Exactly the areas we expect to see being worked on, and what a working – a conjunction of Uranus and Neptune, a super rare alignment (the last one was in 1821, also in Capricorn). Saturn in Gemini (the trimester framework for administering abortion law) is receiving trines from transiting Saturn in Aquarius (scientific progress). The 29th also sees the Moon in Gemini activating the event chart Saturn.

Note that by 1992 transiting Uranus has moved about 90° and is now squaring its own position in Libra in the Roe/Wade event chart. This is the transit that brings the whole matter to another round of consideration. Uranus is literally bringing all of the objections from the last two decades to the table and placing them directly before Jupiter in Capricorn. These transits led to the redefinition of abortion laws in the US but they were not strong enough either to overturn them or settle them. Instead they re-energised the debate and made it more complex and more widespread.

Are you already seeing the pattern here? Where is the planet Uranus today? Its just into Taurus after moving through Aries. Since we have recently had the transit of Uranus through late Aries, opposing itself and squaring everything in Capricorn in the Roe/Wade chart, we have been in the zone for another development. On top of that, we have had the pileup in late Capricorn (2020) and right at this moment, Pluto is in late Capricorn, sitting on top of the Roe/Wade Mercury and Jupiter, and this mounting pressure has caused the event chart of Roe/Wade to be overturned and abortion immediately abolished in many states. This is a Uranian rhythm wherein it takes Uranus about 20-24 years to move 90°. There are time intervals in the pattern of major events which clue us in to which of the planets are the timers. Every 20-25 odd years on from Roe, something major happens to it because Uranus reaches a position to strongly challenge the decision chart. Late Cardinal signs brew trouble for Roe/Wade, and we have had trouble in that area lately that nobody has been unaffected by, it is the area of the lockdowns and the pandemic crisis.

In fact, when we consider what happened in 2020, with so many planets in late Capricorn piling up on that Jupiter (transiting Saturn and Pluto being joined by Jupiter itself so that 2020 saw the Jupiter return for Roe/Wade overshadowed enormously by the threat of death from Saturn/Pluto), as well as Uranus in late Aries bringing squares, we might have picked that year as the year the decision would be overturned, and it may well have happened then were it not for the pandemic. Instead, what happened was a key development in the story that eventually led to the overturning last Friday, the appointment of Amy Coney Barret to the Supreme Court, an ideological shift in the courts makeup that made it seem almost inevitable that Roe/Wade would be overturned, and it was, it just had to wait for Pluto to trigger things – which he just did. In essence the sky picture shows the fate of Roe/Wade being sealed in 2020, which is exactly what happened. Roe/Wade was overturned during extremely heavy transits of the areas astrology identifies as significant to its continued existence. The event chart is a very useful case study for the transits of Uranus and Pluto.

DOBBS vs. JACKSON EVENT

Looking more closely at the Dobbs vs. Jackson Womens Health Organization decision from last Friday which overturned Roe vs. Wade by ruling that there is no right for abortion in the Constitution, what else do we see apart from a giant Pluto transit to Mercury and Jupiter (“Ruler of the ruling”) and the recent pile up in late Capricorn including transiting Uranus squares from Aries and Uranus opposition? We see current day transiting Jupiter in Aries opposite the Roe/Wade Pluto in Libra and moving in on the hot zone in late Aries, and all of this is angular in the Roe/Wade chart, on the ascendant-descendant axis of the event chart. Jupiter will pass directly through the hot zone of late Aries in the first half of 2023, and things will go through major developments then. We also see transiting Chiron in Aries square the event chart Venus and a Chiron return, also moving in on that hot zone, albeit more slowly, taking the baton from Jupiter and starting to deeply interact with it next year and gradually moving through it until 2027. And right now we see Neptune in Pisces casting a dissolving ray towards the Roe/Wade Virgo Moon, causing it to disintegrate and disappear. Remember, all of this is happening after the pileup in the hot zone in 2020.

Interestingly, the current decision was accurately leaked ahead of time through Politico in May of 2022, just as Jupiter in Aries was giving a sextile to the Roe/Wade Sun in Aquarius, so there was no surprise and the overturning has been expected. It would seem that some bold person (Jupiter in Aries) sympathized with that theme of individual freedom (Sun in Aquarius) and felt that the people had a right to know. This is a development which has worrying implications and sets a dangerous precedent for the future security of the Supreme Court, an entity which has already lost the trust and respect of the half of the country which now sees it as prejudicial and out of step. Additionally there is dissent over the reasoning of the decision and its implications as well as of the decision itself. Essentially this decision has damaged the institution of the Supreme Court. I believe this fact will be of critical importance in the years to come.

The day of the official announcement, June 24th 2022, transiting Mercury was conjunct the Roe/Wade Saturn in Gemini and Chiron and Jupiter were square its Venus in Capricorn (Mercury usually creates news headlines and this was bad news for millions of women) and Mars in Aries is almost exactly square the event charts Jupiter. Note that Mars in Aries is in that hot zone in the late Cardinal signs, with Chiron, making a hard and brutal square with transiting Pluto in Capricorn. This Mars/Pluto square is a direct challenge to the position of Jupiter in the Roe/Wade chart and probably has something to do with the damage mentioned in the previous paragraph. Since this judgment overturns both Roe/Wade and Planned Parenthood it establishes a new chart for the issue of abortion in the United States, one that now also involves other issues such as gay marriage, gay sex, contraception and privacy rights. It is time for us to create that chart and look at it:

When we do, we see something very interesting. The addition of the ascendant (in Leo) places Saturn in Aquarius in opposition and Uranus in Taurus on the midheaven – when we add the Dragon, this latest decision has the Saturn/Uranus square baked into it in the form of Grand Square in Fixed signs. The Moon in Taurus draws the focus of the chart towards Uranus on the midheaven and makes the Saturn/Uranus square the soul of the matter. This square is extremely trouble-making. What I see here are the issues shifting towards a more general focus on an individual’s rights regarding their own body (Uranus in Taurus) and the potential over time for this decision to break the United States into two or more separate, disparate entities. By leaving the matter up to individual states the Supreme Court may have cemented a situation that leads to the eventual radical rewriting of the Constitution, or its dissolution. We also see powerful emphasis on the 9th temple, which is ruled by Mars in this case, indicating the role of religious and moral ideology in the court’s decision, a major feature of which is the square from the Sun in Cancer (family values, motherhood) to Jupiter in Aries (religious zeal) as well as an out of sign square with Neptune in Pisces (religious issues again, also energies of dissolution, things disintegrating). Similar to the situation established by the Roe/Wade chart, this decision will be forever contentious and result in a complicated and unstable situation. We will see major issues resulting from it whenever the late Fixed signs (Taurus, Scorpio, Leo, Aquarius) are being heavily transited and the late Cardinal signs remain a hot zone because of the Mars/Pluto square sitting there. Additionally, eclipses in the Fixed signs may have strong effects stemming from this decision since the Dragon is involved in the powerful Grand Square. We are currently in Taurus/Scorpio eclipse season, with all of the lunar and solar eclipses taking place in those signs until July 2023. Therefore in studying this we should observe

(i) Events around the eclipses, both solar and lunar, (which are October 25th and November 7th/8th 2022 and April 20th and May 5th/6th 2023
(ii) The seasons of Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius and Taurus, especially when there are planets in the latter half of these signs, for significant developments
(iii) Major happenings once Mars is in mid Taurus at the end of this July and the first half of August. This will channel anger over ‘my body’.
(iv) Long term, the ruling is in much deeper trouble and causing worse trouble once Pluto enters Aquarius. He dips his toes into it in April and May of next year, moves in and out of it several times over 2024, then dives into it fully at the end of that year.

This last situation with Pluto leads us into a much wider situation than this ruling. Aquarius always opens things up on multiple fronts. In this particular situation, the United States is currently undergoing Pluto return as I have discussed in previous journeys. This Pluto return has now revealed a major part of its agenda, right on time. Abortion is an extremely Plutonian issue. Like other issues that have been bubbling under the surface of American life for decades, these issues are now unavoidable and threaten to tear the nation asunder. Transform or die is the essence of Pluto return and who among us now can deny that this is what is happening to America, indeed the world? This ruling has awakened deep forces in the collective psyche of America and exposed complex psychological disorder. I have seen this at the personal level many times in my own life and the lives of other people with regard to Pluto – it exposes the rot in ways that can no longer be denied or evaded leaving us with the stark choice, transform or die. The transformation is often intensely resisted because it is a kind of ego death, but resisting only causes the rot to spread out of control. On the other side is rebirth.

The Pluto return is clearly about several issues – gun-control, abortion, LGBTQ rights, economic disparity, political division/corruption, erosion of the power of institutions, the relationship between church and state and racism being the major ones. In typical Pluto fashion what we are seeing now is a major revealing and eruption of these issues and a hard ban on escaping having to face them. Right on time, in the year of the exact Pluto return, it is now evident to the entire world that the United States is in a vortex of events that will not simply abate but will gather in intensity and ultimately result in a massive transformation. None of this is news to any astrologers I know. We have been expecting it in this period for many years. The details however, the specifics, are always elusive in astrology. We see the essence of things in the sky and we are able to map the location in time and sometimes space, but reading the details ahead of time is an act of prophecy, not astrology. And this story has plenty of mileage in it.

What the essence of things shows for the future is that once Pluto enters Aquarius (starting next year) the consequences of the Pluto return (i.e. the consequences of what is happening now) will diversify and multiply. This is likely at least in part connected to the decisions that individual states will make, but with Aquarius there are always unforeseen consequences. I expect that we will, for example, see devastating economic impacts from this ruling as corporations adjust to the situation in different states, womens economic prospects are harmed and they are forced to have children they know they cannot afford, and the actual material cost of banning abortion is revealed (one study by the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health estimates the cost of abortion restrictions for state and local economies to be $105 billion annually). The slow advance of Pluto through Aquarius toward the middle of the sign at 17-24° (where it will eventually conjunct Saturn in Aquarius and square the position of Uranus/MC in Taurus in the Dobbs chart) represents a major set of consequences playing out. This occurs in the mid to late 2030s. However given the volatility of the Dobbs chart and the cultural meltdown in general, it seems likely that the Dobbs chart will not stand for that long anyway.

THE ROAD, AHEAD & BEHIND

More significant for the long-term future of the United States at this time, apart from how it will handle the current Pluto return, is the imminent arrival of Uranus in Gemini, because of the way this affects the US chart:

Right after Pluto return (now) there is Uranus return. By itself, there isn’t much cause for concern here – Uranus in Gemini is certainly a divisive influence, delighting in debate to the point where it causes irreversible schisms and exhausting disagreement, but it’s placement in the US chart does not draw much attention to itself. If the time used in the chart is correct (a controversy in astrology) then Uranus in Gemini is angular, giving it great significance especially in foreign affairs (the 7th temple is the mundane house of relations with other national entities), and we certainly see the meddlesome, interfering and domineering way in which the US has impressed its version of freedom on others, as well as its exporting of Uranian notions in general (freedom, liberty, independence, weirdness). We can also see this placement in how it has so successfully exported its media and entertainment. Uranus is not really challenged by aspect in the US chart, however, so it doesn’t look all that problematic apart from the proximity of Mars in Gemini, who is distant enough that they do not generate a cycle of rebellious revolutions as these planets are inclined to do. Until a major transit happens to them both, that is.

As I’ve stated many times in many ways, astrology must be considered in context. In natal astrology the context is the consciousness of the person whom the chart belongs to which determines the choices that they may have made in the past and thus their history. All of this determines what happens in the present. In mundane astrology where we are considering a nation, the context is the history of that nation and those people as well as the choices they will collectively and individually make in the present given where they are as a result. All of this is to say that Uranus in Gemini is deeply significant to US history:

This is the chart of the American Civil War, considered to have begun with the first shot fired for the battle at Fort Sumter, Charleston, SC. As the Union ships sailed into the harbor, a Confederate battery sent the first shot of the conflict. Note the position of Uranus and note the position of Mars. The American Civil War began under Uranus return with Mars conjoined. We also see a conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Pisces rising on the ascendant, all in square to a Sagittarius midheaven – stunning symbolism of the timing of shots being fired over water in a harbor. The Moon and Pluto combine in Taurus in square with Jupiter in Leo (slavery, ownership of a persons body and soul), in the 2nd temple (plantations, economic power, territorial crisis). The Gemini energy of the Mars/Uranus conjunction expresses itself in the division of sides into a North and South, the large number of battles and minor skirmishes and the swift mobilization of large numbers of people into militias, including many women disguised as men, the number of people imprisoned by one side or another and the importance of new inventions like the train and the telegraph.

When we skip forward 8 decades in time to the next Uranus return in Gemini, it is 1943 and the US has entered the Second World War following the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941. Again, the conflict has themes of Uranus in Gemini, with air conflict, bombing raids and atom bombs being the most obvious ones, and we get yet another harbor opening the war. In 1943 Saturn is also in early Gemini, adding his influence to this Uranus return where Mars was in the mix for the Civil War. In 1943 US forces, previously tested in North Africa, were deployed more significantly in Italy. They also suffered a near disastrous defeat in Tunisia, appointed Patton as a consequence, and began allied bombings of Germany with the UK. Uranus had just entered Gemini with Saturn just ahead of it, and Japanese citizens in the US were being sent to prison camps (multiculturalism, immigration and racial profiling fit with Saturn and Uranus in Gemini). The exact Uranus return is in 1944, during the Manhattan Project, and when the bomb is tested in Nevada and then dropped on a civilian population in 1945 Uranus is separating only 2° away from its exact return.

The theme is clear – the Uranus return is a pattern that draws the US into war, either internal or external, and the war is one of opposing ideologies driven and armed by new technologies (Uranus in Gemini). This doesn’t mean war is inevitable, it means there will be a strong pull in directions that are very likely to lead to war if not handled differently this time. So as we look ahead to the next Uranus return in 2027/28, we have to consider what the role of the internet, social media and mobile devices will be, or perhaps there will be new ‘crowd control’ technologies involved. We know these inventions are world changing and very recent, and that they can play huge roles in any kind of conflict, civil or global. Smart devices and drones are also potential flash-points in what is likely to be a non-linear tipping point involving multiple factors. We also have to consider that Pluto will be in Aquarius, symbolizing something revolutionary happening with science and technology, possibly related to space. The period of October/November 2027 is of concern due to the fact that Mars will be conjunct the US ascendant in Sagittarius and so in opposition to Uranus in Gemini, right on top of the Uranus return. Given the current situation and how things may pan out in between now and then, this could be one of the most perilous times in US history.

My take on all of this is that there is no getting away from transits like these, no pushing them further down the line for later, they have an urgency and emergency to them that forces the people of the US and by extension all of us into a situation where we have to deal with the issues. There are probably electoral issues that need facing too, in particular during the mid terms this year when there is an extended transit of Mars through Gemini, a pretty powerful energizing of the issues around the US natal Uranus in Gemini and its Mars (basically the USA has a crazy 6 month long Mars return starting in the summer of this year that will turn the heat up on things considerably – a sure sign of anger, outrage and rebellion being expressed). We should watch these developments for clues as to what the Uranus return is going to deliver in 2027, something we are really only 2 years away from beginning to see. I suspect there will again be allegations of electoral fraud as Mars in Gemini greatly energizes people to vote but rouses controversy and disputed results. From 2025 with Uranus in Gemini the way forward is through open dialog and debate of all the controversial issues and there must be an open-mindedness that is sadly sorely lacking in the current situation, on all sides. Without this the threat is of chaos as the various sides argue endlessly without hope of resolution except by coming to blows. Every fact, every point is interpreted by the opposing view as antagonistically as possible. We are really witnessing and taking part in the battle for the soul of America and ultimately of the world, as this national crisis occurs in the midst of global crises that are existential in scope. It is my sense, and has been for some time, that this decade and the next see some of the greatest changes in human history, and this is likely just one of them. For the American people there is the challenge of figuring out who they are now and in the future, and for the rest of us there is the problem of facing global challenges without America as it does its naval gazing and wrestles with many demons. How other countries, particularly Russia and China, respond to the growing situation between now and 2027 may determine whether or not the United States declares war on an external enemy at that time, and how it handles its own internal affairs will determine whether it is focused enough to act. In my view, the only way out of some kind of civil conflict later in this decade is for the US Constitution to be radically rewritten for the modern day, taking into account all the issues that are boiling up and taking a long hard look at its history and its soul.

In the end we must be grateful to Pluto for unearthing things that we have buried and giving us a chance to deal with them, if we will pay his price. His price is always death in some form, but it is rarely physical and more often astra-mental, especially when we go with it. His promise is one of rejuvenation and new life on the other side of the flames, but also of horror and catastrophe if we do not trust in his protection and jump. Uranus, similarly, promises us liberation and freedom from the things that limit us if we can embrace radical shifts that move on from the way things have always been done, but also of madness and chaos if we resist the need for such change or try to force it too selfishly. Both planets cause us to lose our way when we are judgmental and both planets can be violently destructive of the wrong things or the right things, depending on how they are handled.


That’s all for this month, thank you for your time and attention! If you would like to support more posts like this one please consider joining me on Patreon where at 5$ per month or more you will also have access to private posts.

More new member perks!

Greetings! Today I am happy to announce more new perks – everyone supporting me on Patreon at $5 a month or more will now receive a monthly private post which will cover current events and topics from an astrological and magical perspective. This will be a private post available only on Patreon at the end of the month visible only to those supporters and I am intending to expand the perks from here to include free audio and video talks, including a members only private meeting every month where we can all talk about whatever you want to talk about. I look forward to reaching out to you all in the coming months and years, and thank you for your support, it makes all the free posts in this journal possible for everyone.

Cosmic Carrots: On Trines and Grand Trines

Greetings, and welcome back to Journeys! This month we’re going to explore an area of astrology that I feel is often overlooked, the magic and power of the trine aspect, and in doing so we will get to peek into some rarely explored corners of the workshop of the Elements with over 50 examples.

A trine aspect is formed when any two objects in a chart approach an angle of 120°. Most astrologers will use an orb of influence of about 6 to 8° for a trine meaning that the actual area in which a trine is formed is between around 112° and 128°. As with all aspects the closer the trine is to being exact, namely the closer it is to being exactly 120°, the stronger its effect will be. In my experience the time before an aspect is exact – i.e. the amount of time it takes to build up – is often longer than the time afterward, the time it takes to disappear. For this reason I will often use an orb of about 8° for the approach and only 5° or 6° for the separation. I find that 2° or less for an aspect is often the hot zone with 2°-4° or 5° being the next most powerful form, meaning that an aspect of 118° – 122° is very potent while a trine that falls between 115° – 118° or one that falls between 122° – 125° are the next most powerful kind.

Aside from how close it is to being exact at 120° there are other factors affecting the power of a trine (or really any aspect). These include whether or not the aspect occurs in signs where that aspect naturally occurs. To explain this you have to understand that a trine will naturally form between zodiac signs that share the same Element – it forms between two planets in Air signs, or two planets in Water signs, etc. The three signs that belong to each of the Elements are spaced 120° apart from one another in the circle. Sometimes, however because of the above-mentioned factor of there being an orb of influence spanning 112°-128°, a trine can form between two planets in different Elements instead. This can only happen when both planets are positioned near the beginning or the end of a particular sign. In these cases we call such an aspect “out of sign”. An out of sign trine is not as strong as one that is in naturally trined signs. The reason for this is that the trine itself emphasises the bonds that exist between signs that share an Element – it is the aspect that underscores 1 of the 4 Elements and so an out of sign trine has its innate power undercut since it is split between 2 different Elements.

This is a key thing to understand – the trine is bonded in nature to one of the four Elements. It emphasises that Element and supports its flow causing our connection to that Element to happen with ease. The planets in trine with one another show how this is done and the form that it generally takes, but the two signs involved also shape it and we will discuss this at length in this exploration.

Another key thing to understand is that the nature of the trine is sympathetic to Jupiter. This is encoded into the order of the signs of the zodiac because the two signs of Jupiter, Sagittarius and Pisces, are both trine to a sign ruled by one of the Lights – Cancer (ruled by the Moon) is trine Pisces, and Leo (ruled by the Sun) is trine to Sagittarius. So the innate qualities of the trine aspect are that it builds Elemental form and operates like Jupiter. Astrology classifies this aspect along with the sextile (60°) as a “soft”, “harmonious” aspect while squares (90°) and oppositions (180°) are characterised as “hard”, “dynamic”. I use the terms “form building” for the soft aspects and “energy releasing” for the hard aspects because I think this is a more neutral and objective characterisation. No aspect is wholly good or bad and any aspect can manifest itself in either polarity.

What this means in practice is that through a trine a particular Element flows with greater ease and has the quality of attracting what we call ‘good fortune’ in the sense that opportunities manifest readily and abundantly because we are open to them and/or we have a talent that expresses the power and magic of that Element and the signs and planets involved. We have an unseen astral being of a particular Element who inspires and assists us from within the Earth Zone with a specific task in this incarnation. Someone with a Mercury/Saturn trine, for example, can find ample opportunity and greater ease when it comes to disciplining the mind and to concentrating while learning and thinking soberly, and if that aspect is in Air signs they find it very easy to detach and examine situations objectively. In fact when they come under pressure or there is an emergency this is a natural fall-back position for them to take and will often get them out of trouble – the trine often comes to our rescue as a response to squares and oppositions but otherwise can lay fallow. We can see why this configuration and others like it show up frequently in the charts of scientists and intellectual and technical thinkers, but it could also manifest itself in many others ways, such as orators or diplomats, even in artists like bards and sci-fi authors who explore ideas or use the spoken or written word.

Since the trine as an aspect that tends to lay fallow until called upon it is often undeveloped and contains untapped potential. The lack of urgency in dealing with the trine aspect as compared to the square and opposition and certain conjunctions means that I have rarely had people come to me asking me to help them with their trines. It’s also harder as a result to identify the presence of a trine in someone’s behaviour as by contrast their squares, oppositions and spiky conjunctions stick out sharply. We also tend to dismiss the things that we achieve through our trines, hand-waving them away as “easy” without really fully appreciating what we have accomplished. The effort we put into overcoming the challenges, stress and pressure of the squares and oppositions means that they often feel more important, more fulfilling and more significant to us. The rewards of trines often feel unearned in comparison. However we underestimate ourselves when we measure our successes only by what we overcome through blood, sweat and tears.

While it is often difficult to discern the influence of a single trine in a chart it is far easier to perceive when trines arrange themselves into aspect patterns, in particular the Grand Trine composed of three or more objects each spaced 120° apart from the others and all in different signs, i.e. there is at least one object in each of the three signs that belong to an Element and all of them are in trine to one another. For example, a Sun in Aries, a Moon in Leo and a Jupiter in Sagittarius, all near to 120° apart from one another, will form a Grand Trine across all of the Fire signs. This is effectively 3 trines working in tandem to form a near equilateral triangle in the chart. A Grand Trine will display very strongly the power and magic of the Element in which the trines take place. It will be easily identifiable to others but it is even more of a fall-back option than a single trine or a network of unconnected trines – it is something that we could even be largely unconscious of until the time comes for it to be called upon to get us out of a sticky situation. This is when others look at us and wonder at our great fortune or how we managed to get away with it, which is something that stands out and is remembered. The impression is that it’s all down to luck or talent and that some of us are born with it while others are not, but the reality is that our acceptance of situations and our inclination to fall back on innate strengths and a positive outlook is what generates the fortunate outcome. Squares and oppositions are things we resist but trines are about accepting without judgment, about going with the flow and attempting to utilize or channel its momentum to our advantage. This requires trust, principally in ourselves and our capabilities, even a leap of faith at times, all of which brings us back to the nature of Jupiter.

Sounds all good, right? Not really. While these kinds of influences are welcome, they are often welcomed without proper discernment or moderation. To put it bluntly, what is it that we are accepting about ourselves or life, what are we not resisting or enjoying too much of? This question is extremely important when it comes to the expression of a trine. I have seen many cases of people with an abundance of trines who get too much of a bad thing or accept things they should not and just go on living with situations they should seek to grow out of. Since there is no emergency, no pressure, nothing happens. The nature of the planets in a trine aspect and the overall tone of the chart as a whole can lead to these kinds of situations. Additionally, a trine is a lazy, complacent aspect. It doesn’t lead to growth, does not help us question ourselves or our behaviour and does not foster change, instead maintaining form and recharging resources. Grand Trines can actually make us apathetic and unconcerned with responsibility, qualities which can lead to criminal behaviour. Some astrologers say that the trine lacks motivation, but I think what they really mean is that it lacks urgency. There is motivation in this aspect but it’s not the motivation to do something, it’s more the motivation or innate capacity to be something, something that is symbolically encoded in the planets, signs, temples and Element involved. We can be motivated by sticks of punishing necessity, but we can also be motivated by the carrot of what we enjoy doing.

Additionally while a trine (or a series of them) which connects to a complex of hard and challenging aspects can help to relieve the pressure generated by the more difficult areas of the chart it could also remove the pressure that causes the person to act on the difficult pattern, they might just accept it. Think of a person trapped in an abusive relationship with someone that they do not break free of because in their view the person’s behaviour is just something that they have to live with. The acceptance and contentment of the trine can become a complacent poison as well as an antidote. This is all down to the consciousness of the individual and their choices, but if a trine is left to waste (meaning we do not develop its potentials) it can happen more easily.

Every aspect of course has to be evaluated within the context of the entirety of the astrology involved as well as by the details of its position but aside from the universal characteristics described above individual pairings of planets can also be delineated, for instance the Mercury/Saturn combination from the example. Some planetary pairings are easier to delineate than others in this way; outer planet combinations are usually where people find the most difficulty in understanding. Many astrological books have been written from this perspective – actually “many” is a vast understatement, there are shelves and shelves of astrological books delving into what each individual pairing of planets means for every aspect, including of course the trine. However with seven traditional planets and a growing number of modern ones the number of these planet/planet combinations is exponentially cascading. One can imagine that these astrological “cookbooks” of the future will have to run to many volumes! I do not even have the space in this exploration to delineate what the general characteristics of all of these planetary combinations for the trine are. However, fortunately there is another way we can examine the aspect, a way of drilling down into a deeper layer of detail that does not involve the planetary combinations, and this is done through examining the pairings of signs. For example, Libra can be in a trine with either Gemini or Aquarius and each of these two trines will have individual characteristics which apply generally and universally. Examining the aspect in this way will also give us insight into the workshop of each of the Elements.

THE FIRE SIGNS

Trines involving the Fire signs are the most outgoing, warming, electric and life affirming trines. They represent connections which affirm our will to live life fully and broadly, in enjoyment of all it offers. They are abundant sources of motivation, enthusiasm, spirit, guts, self assurance, confidence and optimism. Talents which flow from these aspects can be very physical, such as athletic or sport related talent, or of the spirit, such as charismatic leadership qualities or innate faith. There is often a dramatic, colourful, artistic and creative power that can be tapped. The three Fire signs of Aries, Leo and Sagittarius produce three individual types of Fire trine – Aries/Leo, Aries/Sagittarius and Leo/Sagittarius.

The trine aspect between Aries and Leo is the most charismatic, willful, domineering, enterprising and confident kind. It is imbued with a courageous heart and an undaunted spirit, often has enviable creative talent and unlocks the raw power of the planets involved. Let’s look at some examples. All of the charts in this journey are examples of Grand Trines, chosen because they will display the power of the trine more visibly.

Leonardo Da Vinci has a trine between Mercury in Aries and Pluto in Leo showing his capacity for deep thought taking form through art.

Andy Warhol has trines from his Moon in Aries to a Sun/ascendant conjunction in Leo as well as a Mercury/Uranus trine (with Uranus in Aries). This helps us to understand the source of his creative inventiveness and the innate artistry in his spirit.

Henry Ford has trines from a Sun/Mercury conjunction in Leo to Neptune in Aries, a visionary combination obviously related to both business and transportation but also to a silver tongued gift with persuasion and image building.

Bill Gates has a trine from his Moon in Aries to Uranus in Leo, an ambitious and tech oriented trine that enjoys being seen and breaking new ground.

JP Morgan has a conjunction of Venus and Pluto in Aries in trine with a Mars and Jupiter conjunction in Leo. This trine is about power, mass influence and over-brimming confidence.

Maya Angelou has a Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Aries in trine with her Leo ascendant, clearly symbolizing a defiant spirit with a will to survive and capacity to squeeze life for every drop of enjoyment.

Winston Churchill has Chiron in Aries in a trine with Uranus in Leo, something that helps to explain his charismatic ability to calm and assure the masses in a time of suffering.

The trine aspect between Aries and Sagittarius is more of a mission oriented trine looking for adventure and excitement, something to aim at that will help it distinguish itself. Its talents are its innate honesty (especially if this can be turned upon inner exploration), its capacity to grasp the importance of its actions on a broader scope and scale, a spirit of enterprise and exploration and an almost prophetic grasp of the big picture with an ability to foresee what is oncoming.

French Impressionist Renoir, known for his celebration of beauty and the feminine, has a trine between Jupiter in its own sign of Sagittarius and a conjunction of Moon, Venus and Pluto in Aries.

William Blake has a similar Jupiter in Sagittarius in conjunction with his Sun with both in trine to an Aries midheaven.

Michelangelo has a trine between Venus in Aries and a Sagittarius ascendant and he painted the Sistene chapel with beautiful, dynaamic religious icons.

Nostradamus has an Aries ascendant in trine with Pluto in Sagittarius, a component of his astrology which helped him perform his divinations.

Charles Dickens has a complex connection between Mars in Aries and a Moon/Neptune conjunction in Sagittarius, another visionary influence but one that is also breathtakingly industrious at work and motivated to improve the lot of life and the tenor of society.

Finally, the Leo/Sagittarius combination is often connected with a source of faith and belief, either sourced in ones being or in some external force, but it is also connected with the urge to improve the self, fervency, charm, adventurous exploration, magnanimity, joviality and good humour. There is a bright, positive, hopeful, forward looking cheeriness to these trines. Talents connected to the Leo/Sagittarius trines often serve to lighten the atmosphere, lift spirits, entertain and provide illumination.

Zany humorist Spike Milligan has a conjunction of Saturn and Neptune in Leo in a trine with his Sagittarius midheaven. He struggled with bipolar disorder and often used black humour as a vent.

“Somewhere over the rainbow” Wizard of Oz actress Judy Garland was born with a Grand Trine in Fire involving Neptune in Leo trine Mars in Sagittarius (the third point in the Grand Trine is Chiron in Aries). She was gifted with a contralto vocal range (the lowest and hence most masculine female vocal range) and was renowned for her versatility as an actress. She is a film legend and a gay icon.

Madonna, another entertainment legend, has Uranus in Leo trine Saturn in Sagittarius, an aspect which symbolises a lasting mass appeal and ability to establish new trends but also the creative use of religious iconography. It also gives her charm and a talent for taking control of her own creative direction.

Prolific horror novelist Stephen King has a conjunction of Saturn and Pluto in Leo in a trine with Moon in Sagittarius (in the 5th temple of creative output). With the two (hugely compelling) planets most closely connected to death in the creative (storytelling) sign of Leo pouring inspiration into his mind’s eye so directly, King is oft quoted as saying he couldn’t have done anything else. I have a look at King’s chart here.

Victorian era novelist George Eliot was born with Mars in Leo in a trine with Venus in Sagittarius. She assumed a masculine pen name, changing her name from Mary Ann Evans, and is known for her vivid depictions of both the countryside and human emotions and drives.

THE AIR SIGNS

These trines form connections in the mental plane that enable learning, communication and social interaction to flow more easily. They do not increase intelligence (nor do the Air signs) but rather lead to an increase in knowledge and intelligence through an acceptance of the need to learn and acquire more information, whether from books, people or contemplation, in other words through an awareness that there is always more to learn and an acceptance of that fact. There is light-hearted, watchful, logical, adaptable and freedom loving energy to these trines which manifests in many talents, including cleverness, wit, diplomacy, debate, objectivity, subject knowledge (usually broad and unfocused) and the pursuit of truth. The three Air signs of Gemini, Libra and Aquarius produce a trinity of trines – Gemini/Libra, Gemini/Aquarius and Libra/Aquarius.

The Gemini/Libra pairing emphasises the social and personal interaction of the Air Element. It is focused on communication with other human beings (or other living beings) and with ease in forming connections (including between concepts). It also emphasises social conditions and questions like equality and balance within society as well as within personal relationship and is good at asking the right questions and uncovering the truth. Its talents include being able to smooth over disagreements, establish common ground, the forming of links and connections between ideas and people and all kinds of persuasion.

Leonardo da Vinci (see Aries/Leo) was born with Chiron in Gemini trine Saturn in Libra. He had a deep love of animals and according to one of his many friends had the habit of purchasing caged birds and releasing them. As well as being a painter he was also an architect, engineer, sculptor, scientist and scribe who became known for his notebooks.

Harlan Ellison was born with a Sun/Chiron conjunction in Gemini in a trine with a Libra ascendant. The author of many well-known science-fiction stories Harlan is unusual in that he was well known for being “the most contentious person on the planet”. His reputation for being difficult with others and for providing shock value (filing many lawsuits and once sending a publisher over 200 bricks post due and a dead gopher by 4th class mail) became part of his charm and appeal.

Antonin Artaud was a leading theatrical theorist inspired by the occult, ancient cosmology, Balinese dancers and his many stays in psychiatric sanatoriums. Although his life was deeply troubled this served as the inspiration which left an indelible mark on the theatrical world. His chart shows a cluster of trines from Mars, Neptune and Pluto in Gemini to a Libra ascendant and Mercury.

Agatha Christie, the author of the greatest sleuthing mysteries ever published, had a tight Neptune/Pluto conjunction in Gemini in trines with the Moon and Mercury in Libra. She is well known for her characterisation, creating both Miss Marple and Hercule Poirot, and also for her inventive plots with devilish twists. The trine with the Moon is part of a Grand Trine including Jupiter in Aquarius.

Oprah Winfrey is the most famous talk show host in the world. Her Jupiter in Gemini is trine an Aquarius midheaven and part of a Grand Trine including a Sun/Mercury conjunction in Aquarius. She is famous for being able to talk to anybody about anything.

Gemini/Aquarius trines bring out the inventiveness of the Air Element. They supply insight, originality, unorthodoxy, love of change, liberty and freedom. This is an aspect that refuses to be contained or delineated by boundaries or labels and helps us to stand out in a distinctive way or unusual manner. It is revolutionary and rebellious without being too disruptive. Its talents include vocal gifts, lyricism, wildness, eclecticism and unpredictability.

Prince was born with a Grand Trine involving the Sun in Gemini and Chiron in Aquarius with Jupiter in Libra as the third point. He turned his social awkwardness, insecurity and shyness into a blessing with a falsetto voice and a knack for flamboyant displays. He was androgynous and consistently experimented with his own identity, famously changing his name to “The Artist Formerly Known As Prince” following a dispute with his record company and adopting an unpronounceable sigil as his stage name.

Jim Morrison was the lead singer of The Doors and a musical shaman who gave unpredictable and wild performances. He was the first rock artist to be arrested onstage during a live performance (a feat he produced many more times). His chart shows a conjunction of Mars and Uranus in Gemini in trine with an Aquarius ascendant.

Janis Joplin once hit Jim Morrison over the head with a bottle of whiskey during a fight at a party, referring to him as “that asshole” forever after. She had a powerful stage presence, wore her heart on her sleeve, kicked against the status quo, sang the blues as a white woman when that was daring and had a ‘chainsaw’ voice that resonated with sorrows and pain. Her chart shows a Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Gemini in a trine with Mercury in Aquarius (in the 12th temple).

John F. Kennedy announced the Moon missions and spoke about liberty and American freedom in speeches that are still quoted today. His chart displays a Grand Trine involving Venus in Gemini, Uranus in Aquarius and a Libra ascendant.

The combination of Libra/Aquarius tends to focus on broad social issues and reforms and with the relationship between the individual and society. Trines between these two signs broaden our contacts and enable us to form connections in a way similar to the Gemini/Aquarius trines but with more diplomacy and less contention or controversy. Talents related to this pairing include negotiation, mediation, creative originality, impartiality and objectivity, ability to consider all perspectives equally and emotional detachment.

Petrarch was an Italian Renaissance poet now considered the father of Humanism who argued that God had given humanity intellectual curiosity as a gift. He was born with a Grand Trine in Air involving Uranus in Libra, Pluto in Aquarius and Venus in Gemini.

William Butler Yeats was a poet and author whose inventive and unconventional style drew upon symbolism and a mastery of traditional forms as well as mysticism, spiritualism and the occult. He was born with a Grand Trine formed from an exalted Saturn in Libra, Moon in Aquarius and a Sun/Uranus conjunction in Gemini.

Friedrich Nietzsche had the Sun in Libra in a trine with Neptune in Aquarius and Mercury in Libra trine Saturn in Aquarius. He was a visionary philosopher and student of language who had a giant impact on intellectual thought, in particular developing responses to nihilism and eternal return (the notion that all existence is recurring infinitely). “If our soul has trembled with happiness and sounded like a harp string just once, all eternity was needed to produce this one event”.

Giuseppe Verdi composed some of the most famous and popular operas in the world including Aida, La traviata and Falstaff. His chart shows a Grand Trine involving a tight Sun/Mercury (probably cazimi) in Libra in a trine with Mars on the Aquarius midheaven and a Gemini ascendant.

THE WATER SIGNS

Water sign trines (and Water in general) helps us to know what we and others feel. We may not necessarily understand or even be able to communicate those feelings but we will be put in touch with them. These combinations are often more privately or invisibly expressed and are therefore somewhat more mysterious and enigmatic, and they often relate to feelings of dependency that are easy to fulfill. The talents that stem from these aspects can include psychic gifts, empathy, compassion, imagination, emotional force or clarity, calmness and loyalty. Ultimately they help us to be content by accepting what is felt. Water sign trines come in three combinations, Cancer/Scorpio, Cancer/Pisces and Scorpio/Pisces.

Cancer/Scorpio is adept at creating protected, private worlds in which the imagination and dream can flourish. If Aries/Sagittarius is the offensive master then Cancer/Scorpio is the defensive strategist. These trines are nurturing, protective, loyal and devoted, extremely private and sensitive. They furnish us with talents like intuition, foreboding, canniness, eroticism, shrewdness, spirituality, asceticism, preparedness and instinct.

Michelangelo was born under two Grand Trines in Water, both involving Saturn in Cancer. One is formed by Uranus in Scorpio and Mars in Pisces the other by Neptune in Scorpio and Sun in Pisces. He spent four years on his back painting the ceiling of the Sistene Chapel and lived an extremely frugal and impoverished lifestyle despite dying as one of the richest men in Florence.

Nostradamus (see also Aries/Sagittarius) had a Grand Trine in Water composed of Mars, Jupiter and Saturn conjunct in Cancer, Moon in Scorpio and Uranus in Pisces. He used astrology and bowls of water as a divinatory tool to access the Akasha.

Goethe, the German novelist, playwright and scientist who had a profound influence on Western culture, was gifted with a trine between Neptune in Cancer and Pluto in Scorpio as one side of a Grand Trine involving Jupiter in Pisces. His play “Faust” is perhaps the most famous supernatural play ever written and involves not just devils from folklore but also faeries and spirits.

Mata Hari (her stage name) was a French exotic dancer whose love for a German officer embroiled her in espionage. She was later accused of being a double agent and executed, although there is suspicion that she was used as a scapegoat by the French authorities. Her chart shows an exalted Venus in Cancer in a trine with Jupiter in Scorpio on the ascendant.

Cancer/Pisces is one of the more passive combinations in the zodiac, it is almost incapable of making any naked grabs for things. There is enormous sensitivity and vulnerability (far greater than other Water sign combinations) and an avoidance of attention, making these trines perfect for subtle, unseen, stealthy approaches. It can also be acquisitive, enjoying and finding ease when it comes to getting what it feels it needs emotionally. There is also great imagination as the astral senses are impressionable. Some talents which emerge from this combination include care-giving, calming, soothing, pacifying, dreaming, disarming, cleansing and comforting abilities.

Hugh Hefner had a trine between Pluto in Cancer and the Moon in Pisces. He was the founder of “Playboy” magazine and its clubs and franchise and lived a bon-vivant lifestyle. This was a time when sex itself was far more taboo than it is today and Hefner also took controversial attitudes such as support of homosexuality.

Jules Verne had a Grand Trine in Water involving an exalted Venus in Pisces and Saturn in Cancer with the third point being a tight conjunction of the Moon and Jupiter in Scorpio. He authored some of most popular adventure and exploration stories of all time (“Journey to the Centre of the Earth”, “Around the World in Eighty Days” and “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea”) and he is the second most translated author in the world (between Christie and Shakespeare). You can read more about Verne’s astrology in this journey.

Aretha Franklin was born with the Moon in its ruling sign of Cancer in trine with Mercury in Pisces and Scorpio ascendant. She is regarded as the Queen of Soul music and has and continues to provide strong feels, comfort and pleasure to billions of people.

George Michael was born under a Water Grand Trine involving his Cancer ascendant, Chiron in Pisces on the midheaven (ouch) and Neptune in Scorpio. He had to transform his career by coming out as gay and like Franklin his music continues to provide strong but mostly unseen and astral emotional support to billions of souls.

Scorpio/Pisces is the part of the Water triad that focuses on the mystical, unseen and spiritual dimensions. It is overflowing with imagination, deep insight into feelings, psychic potential, mystery and emotional power. This combination can also have a smoldering sex appeal or enigmatic sexuality, ability to obfuscate, misdirect or evade, astral magic, healing gifts or talents which allow it to transform and transmute emotions. Some of the talents I have seen in this combination include those that belong to psychic detectives with genuine gifts, counseling and therapeutic gifts, musical sensitivity, divination, acceptance of sexuality and mercy.

Marilyn Monroe was born with Saturn in Scorpio in trines with Mars and Uranus in Pisces. We can see the combination of sexuality and vulnerability in this mixture, but also her ability to weather hardship and unexpected twists of fate. She was probably quite psychic but left this undeveloped.

Kenneth Williams, another vulnerable soul, was born with Saturn in Scorpio in a trine with Uranus in Pisces. He is known for his comedy performances in the “Carry On” films and in later life for his diaries and interviews, in which he was the master of the anecdotal story. In many ways the depression he suffered found an outlet through his ability to make other people laugh.

Billie Holiday had a triple conjunction of Mercury, Mars and Chiron in Pisces in trine with a Scorpio midheaven. She was known for her vocal delivery and her impact on jazz music as well as for a life of tragedy, abuse, imprisonment, insanity and addiction – the triple conjunction of Pisces is in a painful square with a Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Gemini. This is a good example of how soft aspects can help to relieve the pain of harder aspects – or enable them through acceptance.

Leonardo DiCaprio came to fame in the movie “Titanic”. He is born with a Grand Trine in Water made of Mars in Scorpio (unsinkable ship), Jupiter in Pisces (iceberg) and a Cancer (sentimental) midheaven. Sometimes the symbolism is quite literal. The Mars/Jupiter trine also aptly symbolises his philanthropic efforts in later life.

THE EARTH SIGNS

The final set of trines emphasises material and physical support and the ability to ground oneself as a way out of challenges or difficulties. What flows in these aspects are resources and more importantly common sense, pragmatism and practical know-how. When the chips are down an Earth trine can find needed supplies or fall back on mechanisms that engineer a solution. It has support from infrastructure but also from internal stability and consistency – the person is just more reliable. The talents that emerge from these aspects include the ability to focus and concentrate more easily and for longer, endurance, persistence, love of nature and the senses, all kinds of therapies for the body, efficiency, sobriety, thriftiness, humility, realism and productivity. The triad of Earth signs produce three combinations, Taurus/Virgo, Taurus/Capricorn, and Virgo/Capricorn.

Taurus/Virgo is the part of the Earth Element that works at things, it is the industrious, labour-intensive, practice makes perfect corner of the workshop. The qualities that emerge from this combination are often related to consistency and reliability in the tasks that we enjoy doing, an ease with sticking to the plan and following the model, capacity to get through the drudgery or the boring work, being in positions where we are able to provide support and help to others or receive it, mechanical and engineering aptitudes and various talents such as structural analysis, being a wordsmith, healing modalities, logic, agricultural skill and “green fingers”, accounting acumen, conservation of resources and practical instruction.

Lewis Carroll, author of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”, entered life with a Grand Trine in Earth composed of Chiron in Taurus, Saturn in Virgo and Mercury in Capricorn. The eldest son of a pastor born Charles Dodgson, Carroll suffered from physical problems (an asymmetrical body, a weak chest, deafness in one ear, a stammer) but unlike many authors lived a comfortable life financially. At the age of 11 his father moved into a spacious rectory where the family lived for the next 25 years and following the commercial success of Alice he enjoyed substantial sums of money.

Oscar Wilde was born with a Grand Trine in Earth involving Uranus in Taurus, Virgo rising and a conjunction of Jupiter and Chiron in Capricorn (on the cusp of his 5th house of theatre). He was a free spirit imprisoned for living openly as a homosexual in Victorian England and whose wit, conversational skill and intelligence are renowned. He was one of the most famous people of his time (Uranus generates mass appeal, often with notoriety and controversy) and his father was a knight who was Ireland’s leading eye and ear surgeon. He used the inheritance from the sale of his fathers properties to set himself up in London, where he became world famous.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was a logic, mind and linguistic philosopher born with a Grand Trine in Earth with a Taurus Sun/Mercury, Virgo midheaven and Jupiter in Capricorn. His insights into the meaning of language itself makes him one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century. His father was an industrial tycoon and one of the richest men in Europe (only the Rothschild’s were wealthier) – Wittgenstein grew up in a palace.

Luciano Pavarotti was one of the most popular opera singers of all time. He has trines from Uranus and the midheaven in Taurus (the throat) to a conjunction of Neptune and Venus in Virgo on the cusp of the 2nd temple (physical resources). At the time of his death his net worth was measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars but he also left many debts (Neptune causes things to slip through our grasp).

Taurus/Capricorn is the most acquisitive and resourceful part of the Earth Element. Aside from supplying us with physical and material resources these trines are also extremely grounding and disciplined, patient and conservative. They can supply us not only with wealth and possessions but also the fundamental ability to handle real life. Whereas in times of crisis an Air trine falls back on objectivity, a Water trine on feeling and a Fire trine on action, the Earth trine falls back on an acceptance of fundamental realities and this combination is the master of that tactic. Some of the talents of a Taurus/Capricorn trine include resourcefulness, restraint, stoicism, tolerance, endurance, staying power, authority, stability and sensuality (enjoyment of the physical senses).

Mark Rockefeller is the great-grandson of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller (considered the richest American in history and the richest person in modern history after adjusting for inflation). His chart has a Grand Trine in Water – exalted Jupiter in Cancer (family wealth), Neptune in Scorpio (underground oil), Saturn in Pisces (oil again) – as well as a trine from the Dragons Head in Taurus in the 4th (family history) to Capricorn rising.

Lucille Ball is one of the most well known faces in the entertainment industry. She was an actress, comedian and producer, in 1962 becoming the first woman to run a major television studio (which produced “Star Trek” and “Mission Impossible”), but is most famous for her sitcom “I Love Lucy”. At the time of her death she had a net worth of around 80 million dollars in todays terms.

William Wordsworth was a poet who was instrumental in launching the romantic era of literature in the early 19th century. He grew up in a mansion in the Lake District of England and nature is a pervasive theme in his poetry (see “I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud”). He was born under a Grand Trine in Earth involving Uranus in Taurus, Pluto in Capricorn and a conjunction of the Moon and Neptune at a Virgo midheaven. A long term acquaintance once said of him “He looks like a man that one must not speak to unless one has some sensible thing to say.”

Carrie Fisher was born into a show business family, dropping out of high school at 16 to appear on Broadway. In her early 20s she found lifelong fame as Princess Leia in “Star Wars” and left a fortune estimated at 25 million dollars. She spoke honestly about the harsh realities of Hollywood, bipolar disorder and drug addiction. She was born with a Grand Trine in Earth – Moon in Taurus, Capricorn rising, and a Venus/Jupiter conjunction in Virgo.

Virgo/Capricorn is the area of the Earth Element that regulates, controls, nails down. It is concerned with following the rules and the proper method, with doing things with precision and exactness and aiming at perfection through the step by step process of scaling ambitions, acquiring the skill, practice and experience and saving up the resources to make designs manifest. This trine can confer honours and recognition from institutions. It is often gifted with problem solving talents that combine both wisdom and fine analysis into simple solutions. Planets in trine through these signs can be productive, efficient, frugal, careful, diligent, responsible, fruitful, organised, reliable and modest.

Immanuel Kant, author of “Critique of Pure Reason”, became one of the most influential figures in philosophy, introducing a Copernican scale revolution in his theory of perception and the notion that things exist as themselves independent of observation and that this inherent nature is unknowable. It is said that neighbours could set their clocks by his daily walks. His chart features an Earth Grand Trine of Moon and Pluto in Virgo, Saturn and midheaven in Capricorn and Neptune in Taurus rising.

Rudyard Kipling, author of “The Jungle Book”, wrote many classics of children’s literature and poems about British soldiers in India (where he grew up) and contributed greatly to the development of the short story format. He received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1907 and was the first English writer to receive that award. His chart displays a Grand Trine of Virgo rising, a tight Sun/Jupiter conjunction in Capricorn and Pluto in Taurus.

Alan Whicker was a journalist who interviewed thousands of people and investigated stories with a satirical tone. His globe trotting career aimed to inform and entertain rather than preach and he was awarded a CBE for services to broadcasting. His chart has an Earth Grand Trine of an almost exact Mercury/Venus conjunction in Virgo, trine to a Moon/Jupiter conjunction in Capricorn and a Taurus midheaven.

Jack Nicholson is one of the most celebrated and accomplished actors of the 20th century, with 3 Oscars and 12 nominations (making him the most nominated actor in Academy Award history). His chart has a Moon in Virgo, Jupiter in Capricorn and Taurus Mercury in a Grand Trine.


That’s it for this month, I hope you have all enjoyed this journey and I look forward to going on another with you next month! If you would like to support the growth of this site please consider joining me on Patreon, or write to me at dj@astralvisions.de if you would like to have a session discussing your chart, and thank you for reading!

New Patron Perk

Greetings! Today I am very happy to announce that all my Patrons now get access to a spreadsheet which lays out a clearer path to navigating this sprawling site. There are close to 1,000,000 words in the archives now and many topics have been covered since first opening up the mystery box in 2013, all of them freely available to everyone, and it’s all down to you guys helping out. This sheet helps to identify the topics covered and the depth the subject is given, but is also a way for me to say a big thank you to everyone still helping. THANK YOU!

Conjunctions of the Moon: II

Greetings and welcome back to Journeys! To end the year I present the second part of my dive into the more esoteric sides of the conjunctions of the Moon, looking at Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto and the Dragon.

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