The trine aspect is a smooth, easy, supportive and “friendly” angle of about 120°, give or take 10°.
Trines are usually considered to be harmonious and beneficial, they show how the planets are working together. However, a chart with too many Trines and not enough Squares or Oppositions could indicate someone who may be prone to laziness, someone who relies too much on luck and does not have to stretch or challenge (Squares and Oppositions) themselves enough.
As Trines are 120 degrees apart and each sign is 30 degrees it is therefore true that Trines are usually 4 signs apart. The degree of orb can have an influence on this and you could find an aspect where the Trine is actually just over 4 signs apart. In general though the signs considered Trine are these. You may notice that the Trines usually involve signs that are in the same Element as each other (Fire, Earth, Air and Water).
Aries-Leo & Sagittarius
Taurus-Virgo & Capricorn
Gemini-Libra & Aquarius
Cancer-Scorpio & Pisces
Leo-Sagittarius & Aries
Virgo-Capricorn & Taurus
Libra-Aquarius & Gemini
Scorpio-Pisces & Cancer
Sagittarius-Aries & Leo
Capricorn-Taurus & Virgo
Aquarius-Gemini & Libra
Pisces-Cancer & Scorpio
The trine can be a bit complex to handle, as its influence is so laid-back it can get overstepped by the other aspects. In such circumstances the trine submits to these influences, bringing all the support without presuming to dictate any kind of morals.
The trine acts as a bridge facilitating a more slackened exchange of deductions between planets. It does not necessarily reflects an “easy life” but rather gives one more tools to handle the circumstances, especially when difficult planets are engaged.
The trine is fundamentally a helpful aspect, and it’s best suited in easing other difficult set-ups, as relieving the tensions of an opposition aspect, relieving the potential damaging influence of the squares.
In other circumstances it can still give a helping hand, but its soothing effect can make the person somewhat passive, unless the chart has other energetic elements or is well-focussed. Its easy influence can give the person a lot of “breathing space”, and the person gets more opportunity to do whatever he likes. This can cause the individual to slack in some things.
In some cases there may even be a boredom when lacking in afflictions, and with negative planets there may be negative consequences for their surroundings.
A common misconception is that trines are positive influences. As mentioned, this is not a rule of thumb when assessing a chart.
As these planets give each other a helping hand, there are positive feelings between the planets involved, a positive bias and a tendency for the planets to approve of each other, all within the context of signs and the other intensive aspects. Trines can remove some inhibitions, depending on any additional afflictions, natural inclinations of the sign and the type of “help” given by the trining planet.
The trine tends to reflect acceptance between the planetary principles in question, however if the chart shows particular contention in relation to the mixing of the notions of the trining planets, there can be a mentality of “agreeing not to agree” between them.
Finally, the trines should be primarily considered to be in a supportive role to other aspects. Only if there are no supportive roles they may be taken on their own merit.
- Diana, Princess of Wales had her Cancer Sun and Mercury trine Neptune
- Pope Benedict XVI has his Aries Sun trine Neptune
Same influence, negatively overrun:
- Friedrich Nietzsche had his Libra Sun strained by an opposition to Pluto, enflaming a square with Saturn, and then trining Neptune.
- A chart of a murderer had the Sun (Aquarius, 11th) strained by an opposition to Pluto, but trining to Neptune. He was morbidly imaginative in the killings which often involved helpless children (Neptune often associated with the weak).