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Grand Trine Planetary Configuration (See Example Illustration here)

       One of the most common aspect configuration is the GRAND TRINE. This involves three planets or luminaries (Sun and Moon). Each of the players are forming a TRINE (120 degrees angles) between each other, forming a equilateral triangle. Usually, the three celestial bodies within their respective signs are representative of one ELEMENT (AIR, WATER, FIRE or EARTH). (see illustration) or TRIPLICITY represented. (SEE triplicities)

       The Grand Trine divides the GREAT CIRCLE of 360 degrees into thirds. This makes it the THIRD HARMONIC ASPECT. Esoterically, in sacred geometry the equilateral triangle represents the level of pure Being. If the Grand Trine in a chart also has one of the planets as the RULER of the chart involved in the formation, then the energy being expressed is considered DIVINE in nature. The ascendant is where Divine Spirit enters the chart so the energy flow is coming from the East of enlightenment. With or without that as a factor, the Grand Trine is a pure expression of the ELEMENT.

Grand Trines in Air Element: Gemini, Libra and Aquarius.

These three signs are the expression of the intellectual realm.

The element of Air expresses its energy in mental and relationship responses. Individuals with this Grand Trine will most likely be social and relationship-oriented.

Individuals with planets in Air Signs iare all about networking, communicating and focussing on ideas. The understanding the concept of duality is center with their values and belief system as each air sign symbol is a double sign Gemini,Libra, and Aquarius. Thus each air sign seeks out the mid point between the opposite to discover the flow between the polarity. For Gemini those midpoint characteristics would be akin to the traits associated in the signs of Virgo and Pisces.  For Libra, the polarity characteristics would be alike to Cancer and Capricorn. And last for Aquarius the midpoints would be similar to the description of Taurus and Scorpio. With the trine energy we see this expressed in all the Air signs by having the natural ability of understanding the other side of a position in a debate and to communicate effectively their opinion with emotional detachment from the results.

People with an abundance of planets in air signs could legimately be called “air heads” as there is a tendency for the emphasis of activity of the mental versus the physical, spiritual or emotional. Logical thinking and detachment are easy functions for those predominant with Air Signs. Where they are uneasy is dealing with the intense emotions.

It is unlikely you would see an Air sign Grand trine, delving deeply into their own emotional wounds. Their reaction would be more along the lines of recognition then turn and runaway. Deep analysis of emotional matters are non-existent for air signs. They are great talkers of ideas but not so good at the follow through on the on those ideas. Unfinished projects are common with Air Grand Trines.

You will find the Grand Trine Air in individual natal charts who may have been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder. Falsely, I add, because often it isn’t about the lack of focus as it is about the discernment that what task is before them is not worth their energy or time OR the task is not intellectually stimulating enough to sustain their interest.

Grand Trines in Water: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces.

This element finds its expression in the emotional realm.

Sensitivity to their own emotions as well as others is often how this Grand Trine energies are expressed. Grand Water Trines indicate individuals who are deeply connected with transformative energies, both conscious and unconscious. Their reaction to life is first through FEELING and then through mental analysis. Acting on intuition is innate with these folks.

The depth and intensity of their emotions is largely due to what planets are the players and what houses they are in. On the challenging side of this trine you can see as a result of this trine, oversensitivity, and prone to emotional drama. These folks may create a crisis in order to experience the healing and the transformation.

Grand Trines in Earth: Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn.

These signs find their expression in the physical and material realm.

Earth Grand Trines are not as energetically expressed as the other elements in Grand Trines.

One of the reasons for this is the element of Earth is associated with the material plane, and individuals with a Grand Trine in Earth will tend to be very grounded and practical in their approach.

Earth signs enjoy organization and security. Earth signs are have a propensity for the sensual and therefore indulge themselves in world pleasures and creature comforts.

Grand Trines in Fire: Aries, Leo and Sagittarius.

These signs find their expression in the spiritual realm.

Fire is identified with spiritual energy as it represents LIFE. The element of Fire energy expresses through action and activity.

Individuals with a Grand Trine in Fire may be like the Energizer Bunny and keep going and going until their battery finally wears out. As a result their major challenge is not to over-extend themselves.

The element of Fire, like a flame, will burn as hot as it can until all of its fuel is gone. These folks also are very truthful to a fault. Sometimes their honest to others can be brutal and without tempering. The energy expressed is expansive and along with that can be explosive in both happiness and friction. Most Grand Fire folks will need to be learned to conserve their energy and explore the all emotions instead of just the emotional one.

      Depending on what houses and planets are the Grand Trine, this is also an indication of spiritual inspiration in a chart. Many great spiritual leaders so Grand Fire trines. On the other side, Grand Water trines can indicate that as well.

        The trine formation is considered beneficial and a harmonious flow of energy. However, I would caution the reader to watch over-generalizations in any astrology delineation. As in life the energy is about friction and flow, positive and negative, to reach the point of BALANCE. A chart with many trines and few SQUARES can act have the potential of being challenging because it does not have the balance. The abundance of trines in a chart may indicate a lack of stimulation to achieve and may indicate energy flow of complacency. On the other side of this is the person who needs no outside help for motivation and is quite driven. As a result the individual may lack a sensitivity to other folks needs, wishes or desires.

       When looking at a chart that has Grand Trines, it helps to ask a few questions. (NOTE: we are only dealing with natal interpretation and not transit/progression interpretation)

1) What is the Ruler of the chart?
2) Where is the Ruler of the chart in relationship to the Grand Trine?
3) Is there a final dispositor that is part of this Trine?
4) What are the missing components in the chart? Aspect, element, house placement, etc.
5) Any unaspected planets?
6) What is the predominant ASPECT in the chart?
7) Do the squares balance off the Grand Trine?

       There are other questions you can ask once you see the chart, but these are just a few to give you an idea of what you have to consider when delineating the Grand Trine and other aspect configuration. Again, the caution is made not to over-generalize. View the BIG PICTURE first and then the Picture within the Picture.