In Synthesis and Counseling for Astrology, Noel Tyl goes into depth regarding the Grand Trine aspect structure. He defines the Grand Trine as a protective moat of “self sufficiency, self-containment…the separation from relationship because of the self-containment.” (P285 in Synthesis and Counseling, 1st ed.) Here are some of his thoughts from the book:
- If the Grand Trine exists without involving the Sun or the Moon, the defense mechanism might operate separately from the core need energy of Sun-Moon blend – there usually will be a schism between these two separate themes.
- Water Grand Trine suggests a closed-circuit of emotional self sufficiency (“I’ve been hurt too many times – I don’t want to be hurt any more.”)
- Air Grand Trine is a closed circuit of social or intellectual self sufficiency (“I can get along just fine by myself, thank you.” – “a defensively useful superiority complex.”)
- Earth Grand Trine – a closed circuit of practical self sufficiency (i.e. “I don’t need your help.”)
- Fire Grand Trine – a closed circuit of motivational self sufficiency: “You can’t tell me anything I don’t know” or “I know exactly where I’m going and I don’t need your energy to get there” – a do-your-own-thing type.
In many cases it is a leftover defense mechanism from tough childhood, where one needed to protect him/herself from hostile or unstable environment. Hanging on to such defense mechanism may hurt the development of intimacy in later life.
With all that said, here I will make additional suggestion: perhaps this 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.
The defense mechanism and utter self-containment of the Grand Trine insulates one’s psyche from harsh criticisms and hostile oppositions from the world – perhaps not perfectly, but enough to keep one going forward.
Consider these examples:
1) Apple founder and “technological evangelist” Steve Jobs has two Grand Trines (Fire GT of Pluto-Mars-IC; Water GT of Jupiter-Uranus, Saturn, DSC). As the man on the cutting edge of electronics/computer revolution, I bet he had to be willing to face oppositions, doubts and even redicules of others in order to bring his vision to pass – wouldn’t he need a thick skin, to NOT need people’s approval?
2)Muhammad Ali – as noted in the Leo rising post below, the defense mechanism of Ali’s Earth GT most likely insulates him from the psychological pressure and attacks from his opponents. Wouldn’t a fighter need that defense mechanism in order to keep fighting?
3)Dalai Lama XIV – two Grand Trines (Water – Sun, Jupiter, Saturn; Earth – Moon, Uranus, DSC). In a different way, he also had to fight most of his life in struggle for his country’s freedom. Weaker souls might have collapsed under pressure – but there is a psychological defense mechanism that protects the sensitive core.
4)Martin Luther King Jr. (GT involving Jupiter, Neptune, Saturn) – Again, he had to face extremely difficult opposition in the course of civil rights movement – and he needed that defensive moat of psychological protection.
So even in adulthood, Grand Trine’s defensive mechanism may be a necessary psychological resource, if you’re doing something controversial and have to go through tough oppositions and criticisms. The key may be to know who your opponent is, and to be able to let others in that are safe, so you don’t remain totally isolated.