The number of degrees that separate planets form each other is what astrologers call aspects. Some aspects (such as squares – 90 degrees, or oppositions – 180 degrees) can create tension either within ourselves or between ourselves and others. These challenges can impel us to grow and change as ways of reducing the stress. Other aspects bring connections that are harmonious. The sextiles (60 degree separation) and trines (120 degrees) provide positive support that enables each planet to express itself in comfortable, positive ways. A drawback to these aspects is that they can enable us to remain in our comfort zones and not grow. Often growth is our response to stress and tension. When things are comfortable or easy we may tend to get lazy. The sextiles and trines, however, can be used as tools that enable us to respond to life in ways that produce positive changes. But since there is no inherent tension in these aspects we must activate our free will to avoid laziness and apply these influences to our lives in ways that produce growth and not inertia.
This month four planets will line up in an aspect dynamic we call a grand trine. This occurs when all three signs of a given element have planets residing in them and each of those planets exists in a 120 degree relationship to the others. This month there will actually be four planets in the grand trine because both Venus and Jupiter will conjunct in Taurus. The other participants are Mars in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn.
With the earth signs so prominent, we should be able to get grounded and be productive this month. There are a few things to keep in mind, however, in order to use this grand trine effectively. First, remember that Mars is still retrograde. Mars pertains to action and new beginnings. When it’s retrograde, however, the energy is going inward rather than outward. Hence, it’s not a good time to begin a new project, activity or relationship. This is a useful transit with which to decide which things we have been doing are worth continuing to a point of conclusion and which are we willing to just let go of due to lack of interest or drive. With Mars in Virgo, a highly analytical and discerning sign, we should be able to make realistic decisions about these things. Beyond that, this a time to research and plan for new projects or goals to begin after Mars turns direct.
Another factor that might restrict some of the harmony and ease usually associated with a grand trine is Pluto in Capricorn. This column has addressed this event many times already, since Pluto first entered Capricorn in 2008 and remains there until 2023. Thus the influences of this transit are profound and immense and go way beyond the time and significance of the grand trine this month. Pluto wants us to dig deep and root out any behaviors, goals or ways of dealing with authority and control that no longer fit or have meaning to us. Although the grand trine can certainly be useful to those ends, it’s unlikely that abundant progress will happen this month.
Both Mars retrograde and Pluto in Capricorn can actually provide the resistance that limits the harmony of this grand trine but for that very reason it can therefore be more productive of growth. This is particularly true since the final two planets are Venus and Jupiter in the Venusian ruled sign Taurus. Jupiter is about abundance and expansion. Conjunct Venus it will bring the energy to be affectionate, harmonious and joyful in our relationships. The Jupiter-Venus conjunction is what I call ‘the aspect of amazing grace’ because it enables us to perceive others in their most positive light. Of course that can also suggest that we may be too giving, generous or accepting of others based on their potential rather than on the way they’re actually relating to us. In the main, however, this is a great combination of energies.
It’s also a combination that can produce the awareness of where a desirable, beneficial business or financial opportunity is available. Remember that with Mars retrograde and Pluto in Capricorn we need to proceed with great caution in any venture at this time. Research and methodical planning may slow down our achievements or our arrival at a desirable destination, but the earth signs prefer deliberation to spontaneity anyway.
The week of March 12-17 is when these planets will be in their tightest alignment, although we will be able to feel the influences of it from the 6th – 24th. The houses in your natal chart that have earth signs on the cusps are the areas of your life that are likely to experience the benefits of this grand trine. In fire houses your sense of self, confidence and creative energy will be strong and solid. In earth houses the material, practical elements of your life will be strengthened. In air houses your social activities will be harmonious and functional. In the water houses you should be able to establish a solid sense of emotional well being. However the grand trine is affecting you this month, remember to proceed with caution. Your actions should be methodical and your point of attention is the bottom line. Then you can use the transiting grand trine in ways that enable you to flow through life with harmony, practicality and grace.
Aries: Use the grand trine to enhance your physical well-being. Focusing on health, either in preventive maintenance or recovery can help work through a time that may be low energy. Refining skill and learning new techniques at work can actually enhance financial flow immediately. Developing long-range goals will pay off down the line.
Taurus: From the 5th on focus on you. This could take the form of attending to physical appearance, to refining your creative and romantic activities. The satisfaction that these personal points of focus provide can help sustain you in your longer journey to establishing a meaningful academic experience and/or spiritual path.
Gemini: With Mercury retrograde from the 12th until early April, your focus this month should be more internal. Spending time writing or in quiet contemplation or meditation will enable you feel more grounded and ultimately more productive. Looking within this month can provide the interesting information that you normally look for, and find, outside yourself.
Cancer: The new Moon in Aries on the 22nd provides the energy to be direct and assertive in your professional activities. By so doing you may shake things up a bit. You could surprise others by your candor, but you could also feel the backlash from those who prefer you to be accommodating. Growth for you this month comes from being authentic in relationship to others and thicker skinned in your responses to them.
Leo: This is a month to focus on practical matters, especially finance. There may an opportunity to enhance your income. Use it to solidify your own base rather than using it as an exercise in being generous to others. In fact, growth for you this month can come from learning to be more selective and discerning in expenditures.
Virgo: Any time you have spent focusing on you could start paying off this month. The full Moon in Virgo on the 8th enhances emotional self-awareness. As you express those feelings you could experience a deep sense of emotional well-being. You also might feel a deeper emotional connection in your primary relationship. This can increase feelings of joy as well as benefit both of you in feeling more intimate with each other.
Libra: Your artistic sensibilities could be stimulated this month. You could also seek and find sensual gratification. The grand trine could serve you well as long as you remember that some selectivity in what you do and who you do it with is important. As harmonious as the energy may flow for and feel to you, it will not bring the same sense of satisfaction in all areas or at all times.
Scorpio: Two planets are said to ‘co-rule’ Scorpio, Mars and Pluto. Since they are two of the four planets aligned in the transiting grand trine, we can assume that you will have opportunities to reap many benefits at this time. One main area of increased harmony and fulfillment could be your social life. Activities with colleagues could enhance both the atmosphere and performance on the job. Your primary relationship may feel romantic and harmonious.
Sagittarius: Your ruling planet, Jupiter, has been in the earth sign Taurus for almost a year. That period could have brought increased productivity leading to opportunities for advancement at work. It also could have brought up feelings of frustration since Taurus is not as adventurous as Sagittarius. If you have been working to stabilize the structure of your life, you may find rewards in that context at this time.
Capricorn: The transit of Pluto in Capricorn is intense, profound and passionate. You might be dealing with many serious issues and changes in your life. This month it’s time to relax a little. Do things that make you feel happy and joyful. Creative expression, sports or romantic experiences can help balance out a time in your life when big changes are happening which may not be easy or fun to deal with.
Aquarius: In the midst of exciting changes and new beginnings, now is time to slow down a bit. Working to develop domestic harmony perhaps by being creative at home could bring much joy. Looking at your financial picture with a discerning, analytical eye can prove beneficial in stabilizing that part of your life. The grand trine is useful to all, but for you to benefit from it, you need to be grounded and pay attention to those activities that you value the most.
Pisces: Artistic expression and harmonious social contacts could combine to bring about feelings of joy and fulfillment. Spending time with neighbors, relatives or good friends will be beneficial. Be careful about volunteering your time, energy or resources, however. The abundance and generosity you feel this month may not last beyond it.