I have always wondered if trines (120 degree angle between planets with an orb of usually 10 deg.) are just a hype or are they truly a blessing when found in a natal chart or a welcome visit as a transit. A trine is supposed to be an easy aspect between two planets that are separated by 120 degrees that help them to blend the energies in a smooth manner. In analyzing many charts and transits I have found that trines do makes things easy in the area covered by the aspect. The person has better skills in navigating the energies involved in a trine aspect.
To understand how trines operate, let’s take the example of Obama. What strikes one first about him is his confident communication style. He has mercury in Leo trine his midheaven. His mercury is disposited by Sun in Leo – and pretty much all other planets (with the exception of Saturn) report to mercury and sun as they are the final dispositors of his chart. So his mercury is well positioned and in trining his midheaven has created a skill that is easily available for public interaction.
I think one important responsibility for an astrologer is to point out the strength seen in a natal chart and not to take it for granted. So explaining their trines is a good starting point. Very often people take their trines for granted because they had this skill or strength from birth and did not have to work for it. I have heard people say something like “Oh, I am good at that but I don’t think it’s a big deal”, “Isn’t everyone good at that?. Although people are usually aware of their trines early on, if one of the planets involved in a trine is retrograde at birth it may take a while for the person to understand this energy. Also, a trine does not always mean that the skill is being used for a good purpose. Serial killers like Ted Bundy have trines too.
Now just looking at how sun signs interact with each other is an easy way of understanding trines. Trines are usually formed with planets in zodiac signs of the same elements like fire, air, water and earth and sun signs with the same element are likened to have a trine relationship. It is much easier to have a rapport with people with moon or sun in the same element as your moon or sun sign. I have my Sun in a fire sign and moon in a air sign and I do find it easier to establish rapport with people with strong air or fire elements in their chart. If a person with an Aries sun sign acts forthright and direct in handling a situation, a Sagittarian or Leo will have much easier time understanding this behavior than someone with strong water in the chart, as they may look at the same behavior as being brash. So since trines are not in competition with each other unlike squares and oppositions, they tend to have more trust and understanding. Trines can be described as easy flow, negotiation, acceptance, right tools and resources, removal of barriers, and inherent skills.
Trines also help ease the challenging energy involved in hard aspects. For example, Woody Allen has a mars-pluto opposition which as I mentioned before (with Ted Bundy) can have a dark, intense, heavy energy causing overdrive, and obsession if not channeled right. Fortunately, Woody Allen has a trine from his Mars in fifth house to Midheaven which is a way to channel his mars-pluto opposition by working hard at his creative career. Woody Allen has openly stated often about his tendency to get depressed and how his work has been a positive outlet. During a premier of his movie at Cannes, Woody Allen said “I make films because if I don’t make them then I don’t have anything to distract me. My whole life I am constantly fighting all kinds of depression and terror and anxiety and I find that, like a mental patient in an institution, that if they keep the patient busy finger painting then they are more relaxed”. Also, in another perspective Trines can be put to better use when combined with a hard aspect like a square or opposition that provides the drive and challenge to stimulate them into action.
How do trines work in your chart? Are you aware of its potential and are they truly a blessing?