Friday, May 7, 2010

Grand Trines, anyone?

This chart has been a great lesson for me. When I first started studying astrology, I glorified the grand trine. Oh, what I would have given for a grand trine. I watched my friends and associates who had them. I thought they had gold. Well, come nigh four decades, and I see that trines can be gold-plated. People with grand trines get in comfortable situations--housing, relationships, jobs--that can last for years. With this chart [of a female, P.] comfort and safety influence her more than ambition.

Although she is bright and capable, P. goes through long periods of unemployment-four, five years. Her Sun/Mercury combo in the 6th h. pulls in a complex set of aspects which are mostly problematic. Sixth house suns are work-oriented; they express themselves through work. When P. is working, usually in tax or accounting offices, she's punctual, pleasant and productive. Out of work, her 6th house influence shows in her spotless kitchen, routine cleaning, fussing over her two sons and a 12-year-old cat. A 6th house trait is a love of animals.

But look at the geometry of this chart; you can see a kite, i.e. a grand trine + a sextile. The grand trine is three planets or groupings 120 degrees[*] apart; the kite is formed with a sextile [planets 60* apart] forming the string. The tension comes from the opposition formed at the string; in P.'s chart, Uranus-Pluto are conjunct in the 12th h. [behind-the-scenes, isolation, confinement, solitude] opposing Mercury and, by translation of light, her Sun in Pisces.

Noel Tyl sees the grand trine as "self sufficiency, self-containment...the separation from relationship because of the self-containment" (Synthesis and Counseling 285). He sees this self-sufficiency as a defense mechanism.

P. expresses a desire to work, almost a guilt at not having to work for years at a time. She works periodically, relying on a rent subsidy and public assistance, part of the 6th/12th house polarity: work/welfare; independence/dependence. Tyl atttributes this "defense mechanism" to a tough childhood, where one had to protect against a hostile or unstable environment. P.'s parents were drug addicts; she was rescued at age seven and raised by loving grandparents.

Floridian astrologer Hiroki Niizato says the "defense mechanism is necessary even in adulthood, if one is destined to face tough opposition from others in the course of his/her journey for fulfillment." P.'s life choices have dismayed her family. Yet she is a leader among her friends who've made similar choices.

Her Mercury/Pluto opposition shows her obstinance. P. made up her mind that she was different from the relatives who raised her. They were readers, so she decided to hate reading. They went to college; she went twice but left each time after a year. Kites want to fly high even if early on they meet resistance.

Pluto and Uranus conjunct in the 12th house, a generational aspect since the two planets are slow-moving, is the apex or string of P.'s kite. I'm waiting and watching this generation. What are they going to do with this powerhouse of a conjunction? Robert Hand's take on it: "They will be very eager and restless for change, but at the same time patient enough to learn how to really bring it about. They will undoubtedly have a very powerful impact on everyone in society."

Already, this generation has endured a powerful recession, 9/ll, crack, herpes, AIDS, two Gulf wars-and this in just four decades of living. Baby boomers got through rock n roll, R & B, the British invasion, the cold war, the sixties, Vietnam, the civil rights movement, the assassinations of the sixties, before mellowing out at the end of the century. How will P. and her peers, born in the late sixties in a period of intense social upheaval, endure?

In many European countries, unemployment compensation is much higher than in the U.S. and lasts for several years longer, and workers have health care in flush and not-so-flush times. Who knows? Perhaps P. is a forerunner of a populace which has to learn how to live with permanent unemployment. Perhaps her kite is flying high.

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