The Hidden Trauma of Trines

Writing books is not easy – of course, one would expect this, so there are no myths being busted in the making of this observation – but while most people who have attempted to write are familiar with blocks to exposition, there is another pertinent pitfall, and that is knowing when to not keep writing about a subject.

I have been having this problem with “Ixion”, which has somehow developed into a 500-page manuscript, and probably needs to be culled in places. So, I am paring, snipping, hemming, and tucking where I can. But as you can imagine this is frustrating. I want to explain every concept fully, and so much of what one delves into is incumbent upon some deeper understanding. Apart from developing efficiency of expression and parsimony of vocabulary, one must also know where to stop lest the work becomes encyclopedic and never gets read. I ran into this problem several times when writing, and readers of my work to this point will be fully aware, I hope, of the sensitivity with which we discuss “easy” aspects. I have talked about this a great deal because it can lead to all sorts of naïve expectations. That, for example, if we have easy aspects then our lives should be easy!

Easy aspects to Pluto
Easy aspects to Pluto look like this, right?

So, I am going to expand today on one of the concepts which is very important to any scholar of the Hadean placements, or indeed any placements, just especially so where Pluto, Ixion and Orcus are involved. “Easy” aspects to Hadean planets are far from easy. But more importantly, an easy aspect, like anything else in the astrology, is a response to something critical in the formative environment. Trines particularly are said and have been said since ancient times (I believe it was Claudius Ptolemy who first evinced this view) to be of the nature of Jupiter. This brings a sense of great good-fortune, ease, and benignity to the conjoined placements. But to dig a little deeper even, we should understand the fundamental emanation of Jupiter to be protective. Its metal is tin: and it is tin’s non-corrosive properties which made it the perfect material to fabricate, well… tins. Food is stored in tins precisely because it is such a good preserver.

Easy aspects are among the most selective in the astrology; they come about as an impetus to making something easier or smoother and to preserve one’s own wellbeing. As an example, consider Sun trine Jupiter, which creates a ready bonhomie, a practiced and appealing positivity and outgoingness, it is friendly, cheerful, and confident. The soul born into an incarnation with this aspect finds it incredibly useful, since it is an effective antidote to many of the world’s ills, it makes them popular, and it brightens the outlook of life in a most helpful and enjoyable manner. But why did it happen, why was this person blessed in this way? We can look at the matrix of aspects, placements, and rulers for a detailed account, but nearly always there is a reaction to the father’s (Sun) beliefs (Jupiter). Sometimes those beliefs are religious, but they are often somewhat moralistic in tone, and the child experiences a kind of reckoning in the eyes of the father, and they are thereby alert to their own fitness, their own goodness. They develop a skill of self-presentation (which is the Sun’s remit after all) which shows their enthusiasm, positivity, and willingness to improve, in order to live up to the father’s lofty ideals. So, looked at in this way, we can see the trine, or any easy aspect as a life-skill developed as a protective mechanism, to in a sense, head off a problem before it can manifest into an insurmountable difficulty (i.e. heading the approaching opposition off at the pass), which in this case is the father’s negative judgement.

Of course, it depends whether the trine is waxing or waning, so technically the aspect can head off an approaching square or an opposition, depending on whether it is heading towards, or away from the conjunction. Indeed, I would not be at all surprised to find that in one’s next incarnation, the Sun and Jupiter are in square or opposition!

We like to get under the bonnet of astrology and appreciate that while it is good to understand the rules of astrology, it is better to understand why the rules came about in the first place. Nearly everything in your chart is a response to early life conditions, but it is much easier to draw a line between one’s psychological and emotional difficulties and their originating trauma than it is between one’s psychological and emotional perquisites and the looming sense of potential difficulty that it addressed in one’s formative years.

In the same way it works with the Moon-Jupiter trine. My mother was an extremely difficult character who homed in on any negativity or crestfallenness with a carping, mocking savagery. Naturally I developed an innate skill of emotional positivity as a result. Similarly, my Sun – Orcus trine is a result of needing to be self-reliant. One of my mother’s most common refrains was that “Jeremy needs to learn to stand on his own two feet.” I went to boarding school at 11 and had to learn to be self-reliant, but even before then I was keenly aware of how annoying my needs were.

Those are rather personal observations which I hope you will forgive, but they do illustrate how easy aspects come about. They are always a response to something difficult, just as hard aspects are, they simply react differently, proactively, rather than reactively.

Therefore, if you have a trine, it is helpful to try and decipher what difficulty it was predisposed toward. More technically, what gift does if confer and what does that quality anticipate? Sometimes it takes a little work to imagine through the problem. For example, if you have Neptune trine Chiron, then maybe you learned to be more accepting of your own flaws and differences. That’s a great tool for somebody who might otherwise be the subject of criticism or rejection because they are different or prone to misunderstanding. How about Mercury trine Uranus? That’s a great gift for somebody who needs to change the narrative, to communicate with unexpected insight or inspiration, because what happens if the conversation goes the old, tired way? Are there difficult consequences for allowing the caregiver[s] to dictate the communication? Do you see how it works?

Usually, these insights are extremely personal. It can be hard to decipher them for somebody else because they are invariably much more nuanced than a much more straightforward hard aspect, which is nearly always a trauma response. We can dig into that perhaps at a later date, because again I would argue that it is not even that obvious. Hard aspects form where children are expected to process trauma alone and cannot avoid the consequences.

So, can you pick one of your easy aspects and work out what it was protecting you from? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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2 thoughts on “The Hidden Trauma of Trines

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  1. Hi Jem,
    Fascinating, that really resonates with me. I can see how an oversensitive child like I was, growing up in a family of emotionally undemonstrative individuals with a penchant for judging everyone and everything, conjured up a Grand Water Trine to hide away in. Only problem is, it’s so cosy in there that it’s always been hard to extricate myself from its clutches, so as to actually get out and do things in life. A constant battle/learning experience, especially now, when Pluto is transiting opposite one of the elements of that trine, my Cancer Moon. If anything is going to give me the necessary kick up the arse to get out of my Trine hammock, I suppose it’s Pluto, right?
    Hope you’re doing okay,

  2. This is quite the trick. I will pick the one grand trine that is one leg out of sign, which is which is a very self-reliant Moon conj Saturn Sag trine to Merc Aries (combust Sun) H8. This Merc is weakened and in an anxious placement but ruled by an exalted Mars which is disposited by Saturn. The Moon is applying to Merc 1.5 deg and Merc is a waxing trine to Saturn R 30 mins. I see Sat giving some weight to this Mercury, and slowing it down so it can focus, ponder, and in most cases, go it alone. I was always a good student, who followed the rules methodically, was a good test taker, was never helped with studies while young. When Merc mind goes faster than words can spit out and Saturn causes hesitancy, it finally simplifies and can be very direct. This is kind of weird to be honest, these three together. Hard to explain. I don’t always see it as a positive. I think is it a lot about self educating and ability to focus, reigning in the Mercury (trine Uranus Can, out of sign – (the 3rd leg of this Grand trine). I still hate filling out forms – but do my duty. I have little patience for that, yet will analyze for hours (Virg ASC is quincunx exact degree as Merc). There is a lot of do fast/redo make perfect. With Uran, I get flashes of insight that are sometimes hard to capture again. I am better as I am older, but I think I used to put my foot in my mouth a lot – not censure.

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