Home Go to Astrology
The Healing Power of Three: The Grand Trine in Water
by Andrew Smith
As I write, we are swimming through the watery depths of consciousness. Whether we float benignly along a gentle healing current or sink beneath a tidal wave of emotion is down to the choices we are making. The crescendo of this aqueous concerto harmonises during a rare benign celestial alignment between the 17th and 20th of July, as the applying formation of three interlinking pyramidal pathways opens connecting three planetary archetypes within each of the three aquatic zodiacal signs. This planetary picture, called a Water Grand Trine, has only happened between these three particular planetary deities four times previously over the past three thousand years (see the technical notes at the end). Whilst the first Grand Trine involving Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune since the latter was discovered in the mid 1840’s occurred in 1928 it was within the Earth Signs. In 1966/7 this trio of planets re-connected as a Grand Trine in Water, but Neptune was passing through the sign of Scorpio. So the last time that these three planets connected as a Grand Trine in the exact same signs that they are travelling through this coming summer was the 17th August 928 BCE!!!
Much has been written on this celestial pattern, mostly concerning the potential geo-political, financial and social significance that may correspond during and after this trine forms. However, the purpose of this article is to highlight the psycho-spiritual shifts occurring within consciousness.
For most people triangles are simply three-sided objects that are occasionally chimed during an orchestral piece; were developed by the Greeks to frustrate countless young children in secondary school mathematics; or are practical and useful tools to aide engineers or surveyors. However, to those familiar with esoteric literature, triangles have a deeper, spiritual meaning. The triangle corresponds to a door or gateway[i] where the spiritual and earthly realms meet and merge. It is through the concept of ‘threeness[ii]’ that a dialogue takes place prior to the incarnation of spirit through matter.
If you reflect for a moment on how wide spread this notion of threeness is, it will give you a sense of why this pattern has been considered special. We talk about thought, word and deed. Science is concerned with the three worlds – animal, mineral and vegetable. In culture we have the two interlocking triangles of the Jewish tradition; the Shield of the Crusaders; and the Three Treasures of Tibet, and the tricolour of the Irish flag (along with countless other flags). In mythology we have the Trefot from the Norse mythology; the 3 Fates and Furies in Greek mythology; the three prongs in Poseidon’s trident; and the three Bridget’s in Celtic mythology. Examples from within the spiritual traditions include the Merkavah Field; the angelic beings, or celestial intelligences (who are divided into three triads, containing the nine orders); and the hieroglyph used to depict the pineal gland (the seat of the Soul; the ‘third’ eye or the connector to the spiritual realms of existence). Christianity is replete with threeness – the Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit); Jesua ministered over a three year period; he raised three souls from the dead; he died on the 3rd hour whilst on the cross; he had inscriptions in three different languages on his cross; he rose from the dead on the 3rd day; etc. etc. I am sure you can add to this list without too much deep reflection!
To illustrate the notion of threeness, the picture above is that of the Triskelion from the Celtic tradition and is an adaptation of the universal symbol, found through history and all over the world, of the triad or trinity. The meaning of three can be reduced to that of being a symbol of the unity of body, mind and spirit or birth, life and death. It is a key to the integrity and holistic interconnectedness of all existence. In divinity terms it is omniscience, omnipresence and omnipotence all combined as one.
It would appear that in the reality that exists just beyond the three dimension of space that we ‘see’ all around us, which is only part of the picture in terms of understanding our universe, that geometry holds the key to understanding the numerous tears and vortexes, slippages in time and the countless anecdotal stories wherein the ‘laws of nature’ are defied. There are certain areas on the Earth which have greater coherence than others, as well as certain period in time wherein gateways between realities exist more consciously or tangibly. The flow of energy within creation was harnessed by the Egyptians and countless other cultures in the creation of the pyramidal structures that are strategically placed along the Earth’s energy dream paths or lay lines. Not only did our ancestors create their architectural structures as a mirror of how their perceived their tiered, multileveled universe, but they built their monuments in accordance to natural harmony in the form of the five building blocks of geometry[iii] to maximise and harmonise with the rhythm of life. The simplest geometric form, the tetrahedron, which defines the pyramidal structures, is amongst the most stunningly advanced technology ever built on Earth. Not only do the pyramids serve as cosmic calendars[iv] but they appear to serve as massive healing incubators and possibly incarnation machines!! The results of Dr. Alexander Golod suggest that pyramid technology could improve our physical, mental and spiritual well-being, given the effects on activating healing chemicals in glucose, changing the molecular structure of razor blades, changes to the local weather systems around a pyramid and also to human life.
The notion of threeness, which defines a pyramid, appears in astrology by an aspect[v] called a trine[vi]. When three (or more) differing planets are positioned at an interval of 120 degrees apart from each other a pyramidal, or tetrahedron, shaped pattern is formed called a Grand Trine. A trinal pattern is an energy signature that suggests an ease of energy flow or a release from tension. To imagine this pattern, please picture someone standing directly in front of you. What can you see? Nothing but that person! They take up your entire field of vision. To see what exists behind or beside them you have to adjust your head or body.
If, however, you reposition yourself to the left or right of that person, so that they are 1/3 of the way along your field of vision, and then imagine a chord extending from your solar plexus to the imagined invisible centre between you both. After that chord reaches the centre of gravity between you both, picture that chord extending out from this centre towards your partner. If you measured the angle that exists between you both (out from the barycentre), it is 120 degrees. In other words, when someone is positioned 120 degrees from your line of sight, you can take in much more of the surroundings and you do not feel ‘confronted’. It is a much easier flow that the intensity of being made fully aware of someone’s presence.
The strength of a trine is derived from the creative power of the organising principle in which the planet occupies. There are five organising principles in life, known as the elements. Within the western astrological tradition, four of the elements comprise the psychic structures within which consciousness is expressed; the fifth (Aether) creates the overall matrix within which life is housed. Each of those elements reflects a primary orientation of consciousness within this realm of existence. The power of a Grand Trine stems from the fact that it involves three separate planetary archetypes within the same element. Therefore they are all speaking from within the same consciousness. This creates a strong feeling for the flow of a particular universal energy and has the upshot of creating a form of divine healing or protection.
The Water Element[vii]
This particular Grand Trine takes place within the Water element. Water is our life giver. We cannot survive without her. She is instinct. She is feeling. She is shapeless, fluid and malleable. Her fixity shaped and sculpted the earth during the Ice Age; her cardinality continues to shape our land and give us energy in the form of waves; and her mutability pours her life giving elixir on us in the form of rain clouds. Ours is the blue planet, so named because of this element. We have built our cities on the landscape she has shaped – riverbeds, alluvial planes, coastlines. She can extinguish even the hottest known fire, lava; flood or fertilise our earth; and cool our air. She nourishes and activates life.
In terms of consciousness, water is simply energy in motion – e-motion. Emotion is what fuels us. According to esoteric teachings our manifest reality begins with an idea. However a thought by itself has no momentum until it is charged. Once fuelled by passion (emotion) a thought becomes very, very powerful indeed. You can use the strength of your Heart to transform any restrictive emotions, or transmute negative emotions to their opposite positive emotions. But this requires you to always remain fully aware of your feelings and emotions at all times. This is alchemy in action.
You would be forgiven if you thought that alchemy was all about the transmutation of base metals such as lead into precious metals such as gold. True alchemy, however, concerns the evolution of the human body, Soul and Spirit where the “lead” of darker characteristics are transmuted to the “gold” of their corresponding positive characteristics in an on-going process that leads you on the path back to unity with Source Consciousness.
Your emotions are your inner guidance system and by being continually aware of your feelings you can steer your life in more conscious direction instead of being swept along on a river of external thoughts and “situations”, under the influence or even direct control of others. The watery, therefore emotionally charged, climate of this summer cosmic conditions is awash with the ability to not only to hone your ability to bring into being enormous dreams but equally ripe is the karios to access really deep emotional healing. No astrologer can ever say how a given celestial event will specifically manifest, since those psychic conditions are moulded by both your awareness and your choices. Nothing is ever written in stone. By becoming aware of the parameters of the planetary climate in any given period, it affords you a more objective ability to channel and guide the latent potential in whatever way that you need at this point on your path.
The formation of this mid-July sacred geometric pyramidal structure, or Grand Trine, effectively opens up an energetic gateway that enables us to consciously access and integrate the wisdom extant within the three realms of consciousness - Experience, Aspiration and Divinity. Its presence affords us a very powerful opportunity for cleansing and connection at a divine level, since water is the source of cleansing, purification and regeneration. The emotional shifts possible at this time are HUGE as the depth of feeling, intuitive wisdom and compassion accessed will help you experience profound healing as hidden truths easily emerge soothed and healed, easing any Soul, family or relationship related pain and suffering that you carry.
Simultaneously you have access to massive intuitive experiences, creative expression and lucidity of dreaming. It is a time wherein you have the opportunity to create and re-create the highest possible outcomes for your own life and of those immediately connected to you, since the water element has the ability to permeate all dimensions of life – manifest and ethereal.
Applying the Grand Trine to your Life
This Grand Trine is ultimately an expression of light, filtering through various levels of consciousness and reality, and whilst there are numerous ways to understand its meaning, figures 4 and 5 are some suggestions. Figure 4 is based on the interpretation of the planetary archetypes involved in this pattern, whereas Figure 5 contains a synopsis of the levels of manifestation within the signs of the zodiac involved. Cancer is a personal sign; Scorpio is a Social sign; and Pisces is a Collective sign. During this Grand Trine there are three levels of awareness being activated through space and time in general and within your own perception of space and time.
You do not have to know astrology or your chart to invoke this massive healing opportunity. It would be useful to simply hold space around family and past emotional intimate experiences. You could also use this time to reflect or meditate on what underlying emotion fuels the relationships you create – love, happiness, anger, fear, anxiety etc. If a lower vibration emotion drives you, please take the time to really feel why you have given permission to those emotions to dictate the course of your platonic and intimate relationships.
It would be useful to meditate on those suggestions, or whatever healing idea that your gut feels appropriate, by visualising yourself beneath this forming pyramidal structure. With your mind’s eye, create an inverted triangle with the point of the triangle directed into the Earth, its flat base resting above you - Ñ - connecting you to the Grand Trine in the heavens - $. Centre yourself in the middle of this ‘Merkavah’ Field - ï¿½"ï¿½ and set your intention or engage in whatever healing modality suits you.
Alternatively you can embody the Grand Trine, by tracing (or visualising) a circle in the ground around you (you can also position 12 cushions or sundry objects around you) and designate three additional objects to be Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune. Position them in a triangle INSIDE the circle. Quieten your mind, using whatever meditation techniques that you resonate with, and then listen to the Grand Trine talk to you. Whatever is invoked within the circle is not your mind chattering, but you are accessing knowledge and healing wisdom that if you feel pulsing through your body, will facilitate a deep healing within. Indeed you can, with permission, invoke healing for someone else whilst you are embodying the Grand Trine.
If you would prefer to intellectually understand what aspect of your life is being invoked at this time, you can explore where this Grand Trine is placed within your chart as it draws its creative power from the element the Planets occupy imbuing you with enhanced idealism, inspirational vision, and otherworldly insight[viii]. The Planets involved become totally expressive and confident in the Houses they occupy in your chart[ix]. If you are not familiar with the meaning of the planets, the following is a very short synopsis of what aspect of your psyche will be invoked for healing:
The Sun: Inner Flame
The Moon: Ego Consciousness/ Emotional body
Mercury: Thought Body
Mars: Spirit directed through Will
Chiron: Healing Body
Uranus: Creative Fire
Neptune: Spiritual Fire
Pluto: Regenerative Fire
Below are some visual guides to help you locate the Grand Trine in your chart. Please note that if you do not feel comfortable with the notion of aspects, simplify it, by merely focusing on any planet in your chart in Water signs (Cancer D, Scorpio, and Pisces L), as those planets will feel both stimulated and soothed at this time. You do not need to worry about whether the healing is dynamic or passive.
If you are more comfortable with astrology, then the following are some more technical ideas to locate specific healing mantras.
Firstly, this Grand Trine is taking place at 4/5 degrees of Water signs – Cancer D, Scorpio, and Pisces L. This means that there are four potential healing modalities taking place – literally within the zone of the immediately surrounding the planets within the Grand Trine, or by each of the three planet archetypes involved in the Grand Trine, as they aspect, or connect, with some region of your chart. It is beyond this article’s scope to discuss in detail what each of those planets mean but simply put you can focus on the healing methodology of each of those three planets as they connect in with some dimension of your soul.
Jupiter will uplift and open up OR exaggerate and inflate whatever is being invoked
Saturn will ground and integrate OR turn the anaesthetic off the issues in question
Neptune will dissolve and simultaneously heighten OR prompt you to surrender, trust and let go of those patterns being triggered within the Neptune zones.
Healing of any part of your psyche that is within literal reach of the Grand Trine (by conjunction). This is indicated by any planet within the YELLOW zones on the images. These zones are demarcated by an orb of 8 degrees and those aspects of yourself will feel as if they are being cleared out and reignited. The yellow zone within the images signifies a FRESH Start and therefore will simultaneously feel like something is ending and also starting afresh, so expect this to feel like a rebirth of those dimensions of yourself that are being invoked.
Any planet in your chart that lies within the PINK zones of the chart, imply that you HAVE to deal with those sides of your life at this time. Technically this zone exists between 26 degrees and 12 degrees of Cardinal signs – (Cancer, Libra, Capricorn and Aries)
Any planet that lies within the ORANGE zones of the chart, imply that you NEED to address those issues but not with the same urgency as the pink. Technically these zones exist between 17 degrees and 21 degrees of the Fixed Signs (in terms of Jupiter healing); Mutable Signs (in terms of Saturn healing); and Cardinal Signs (in terms of Neptune healing).
Any planet that lies within the BLUE zones of the chart, implies that those aspects of your Self will experience a more fluid healing. The issues will surface, but not in the same energetic manner as with the Pink and Orange. If you locate any planet two signs away from any of the Grand Trine planets that exist between 28 degrees and 10 degrees; OR any planet four signs away between 26 degrees and 12 degrees, then those planets are in sextile or trine to the forming Grand Trine.
Alternatively, just overlap the charts with your own chart and guesstimate!!
Another way of laying out the information is to lay out your chart on a modulus strip (See below).
This is a way of displaying the information in your birth chart, but in a straight line format, as opposed to the chart. The modulus of 30 degrees indicates a form of change that your Soul is ready to embrace and integrate without a significant level of intensity and tension. In essence, it is a form of fluid change. The 45 degree modulus on the other hand highlights changes that are more dynamic and therefore will require more time to assimilate. Both images contain two modulus strips. The first strip highlights the position of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune trine. The second strip contains the positions of the planets within someone’s birth chart.
Please cast your eye along the 30 degree scale (figure 9) and locate where the Grand Trine is taking place. It is at 5 degrees of the modulus. If you check the numbers long the second strip, the birth chart, you may see that it coincides with some planet in this birth chart. I’ve used a tighter orb, of 3 degrees, to highlight the ‘zone of influence’. If any planetary archetypes within this person are within this zone, then those parts of her life, will be experience healing. They are the Sun, Ceres, Ascendant and Venus.
Figure 10 contains the same modulus strips, but this time displayed to highlight zone of active or dynamic healing. This is the same as the ORANGE or PINK zones. Please cast your eye along the 45 degree scale and locate where the three planets of the Grand Trine are currently positioned. If you check the numbers long the second strip, the birth chart, you may see that it coincides with some planet in the birth chart. I’ve used a tighter orb, of 1 degree, to highlight the ‘zone of influence’. If any planetary archetypes within this person are within this zone, then those parts of this person’s life, will be experience healing. Jupiter is invoking this person’s natal Neptune and transiting Saturn is invoking this person’s Chiron. However transiting Neptune is not invoking anything.
Some technical notes for astrologers
This Grand Trine is part of a wider continuum of planetary cycles between these three planets. It is the first time since 923BCE that they have formed a Water Grand Trine whilst Neptune is in Pisces, with Saturn in Scorpio and Jupiter in Cancer. They have formed Water Grand Trines in 326AD (13 degrees of Water, Neptune in Scorpio), 1749 AD (22 degrees Water, Neptune in Cancer) and 1966 AD (24 degrees Water, Neptune again in Scorpio). The previous time that Neptune was in Pisces, trining both Saturn and Jupiter was 1588 BCE!
I believe that it is our awareness and consciousness that has the ultimate say in the manner in which any planetary aspect will manifest, regardless of whether the aspect is a ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ one. There are myriad points to make about this, but they are beyond the scope of this article. I am choosing, therefore to focus on the potential of this Grand Trine in terms of healing and preparation. To that end, I would also suggest that you could explore what was being invoked back when each of the planetary couples aligned with each other, both in terms of planetary aspects and time, so that you can more fully understand what this Grand Trine invoked for you in the early stages of its foundation[x]. The table and images below highlight when those synods were formed.
This means that the youngest leg, therefore more YANG orientated aspect, of the trine is the waxing trine between Jupiter and Neptune, whereas the Jupiter-Saturn and Saturn-Neptune trines are both waning and therefore more socially conscious and YIN.
The reason why I have chosen to depict Jupiter at the top of each of the Grand Trine is simply because Jupiter is at a declination of 23N09, whereas both Saturn and Neptune are parallel to each other at 10S51 and 10S52. This implies that we, as a collective are being prompted to aspire towards the Jovian archetype, but are being consolidated by the Saturn-Neptune base at this time, a further discussion is beyond the scope of this article.
Finally, this Grand Water Trine is very loosely formed in heliocentric terms and therefore appears to be relevant in terms of healing that is taking place within this realm of existence here on Earth, rather than it being a gateway opening within the Cosmos as a Whole.
The formation of the Grand Water Trine between Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces combining inspirational compassion with deep, wise alchemy and mystical vision and divine imagination, is a potent "sign" in the heavens that some great healing energy is being released in the world. With Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune we are seeing a convergence and graceful creative action between Philosophical intelligence, Structural intelligence and Mythic (psychic) intelligence...fun[xi]!
Finally, remember what is born of a moment in time is imbued with those qualities of time. So intentions set during this rare Grand Water Trine will have a very powerful impact on your life and on those around you, let alone on the world at large. Happy healing and thank you for taking the time to read this very long article.
All rights reserved. Andrew Smith, 09:22 CEDT, 7th July 2013
Please "Add a Comment" at the bottom of this page or blog in our Forum here.
Please do not use apostrophes in your comments.
About the Author
Andrew Smith discovered astrology in 1993 and has for the past 16 years run a very busy international private practice based in South Dublin, Ireland. He is married to Karen, also an astrologer, and has two children, Sarah and Maya.
Andrew has been writing extensively for clients over the past two years and this article is a return to a more engaged relationship with the astrological community, which he left to focus on client work in 1998, when he moved away from teaching in his school, the Dublin Astrological Centre and editing the Dublin Astrologer journal.
He believes that everyone ultimately 'knows' astrology and that all an astrologer is doing is to help re-connect and make objective the rhythm of both an individual's life and that of the collective in a manner that can offer more conscious choice.
Since Andrews' private practice (corporate and personal alike) have emerged solely through referrals he has no website, but can be contacted via email on email@example.com. He also has a web presence on facebook and on linkedin.
[i] Prior to the development of the first known alphabet by the Semitic people of Phoenicia, pictures, like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, were used to communicate. The triangular letter or symbol is known as “daleth”, and stems from the Egyptian symbol for a ‘fish’. By the time the Phoenician’s developed their alphabet the symbol had been reduced to a triangle on its side and meant “Tent door”. Daleth was adopted by the Hebrews for the fourth letter of their alphabet and like the Phoenician daleth, the Hebrew daleth also meant door. To the Greeks, who adopted daleth as the fourth letter of their alphabet, daleth was written in the form of a triangle and was renamed “delta”, which also means door.
[ii] To an astrologer, number is not seen in mathematical terms as an abstraction, but as a way to account for the meaningful process of becoming. The number One therefore represents a sense of unity and of being; Two represents the awareness that arises from being the in presence of someone/ thing else; it also signifies polarity and duality; Three corresponds to communication (for two entities to connect, there has to be a third term – that is dialogue); Four represents manifestation, since action arises directly from communication, and so on.
[iii] These are the five Platonic Solids – the Tetrahedron, the Cube, the Octahedron, the Icosahedron and the Dodecahedron
[iv] The Great Pyramid in Egypt tracks the Precession of the Equinoxes, the Heliacal rising of Sirius, as well as measuring the distance of the Earth to the Sun and the exact size of the Earth
[v] The term aspect comes from Latin and means “to look upon” and whilst the earliest recorded astrology in Mesoptomania did not use the notion of aspects, the concept was introduced when the Greeks took the core essence of the astral divination and refined it, adding numerous rational concepts to explain what were essentially shamanic insights.
[vi] A trine is derived by dividing a circle by 3 and it creates an angle of 120 degrees
[vii] Adapted from my article for Positive Life Magazine, Summer edition 2013 – “The Water of Life”, http://www.positivelife.ie/2013/06/water-fo-life-astrologer-andrew-smith-for-summer-2013/
[viii] Taken with permission from a post on Facebook by Kelly Lee Phipps
[ix] Please refer to any of my lunation notes for a guideline to the meaning of the houses and how to locate the houses themselves
[x] http://divineinspirationastrology.com/books/elemental-wave-chronicles-the-jupiter-saturn-cycle/ is a brilliant example of plotting the development of a planetary synod throughout the centuries
[xi] Adapted, with permission, from Kelly Lee Phipps correspondence on Face Book