'I look backwards because that's how I know who I am' - Jeff Jawer, astrologer
While anoraks of the Underground wet themselves over International Zine Month, July has been a challenging time for Yours Truly and, I guess, countless other sensitive, crabby Cancerians. If you were born under the signs of Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, you may have been feeling dazed and confused thanks to the emotional tsunami that is the Water Grand Trine. Fortunately, Mercury went direct on 20 July, supplying me with the rational head space to write about the scariest (and cheesiest) of topics - feelings. Yikes!
The Grand Trine is an aspect involving three planets of the same element (in this instance, the element of Water). Since Jupiter's ingress into the constellation of Cancer on 25 June, and Saturn's direct motion in Scorpio from 7 July, these planetary heavyweights moved forward to form the trine with Neptune in Pisces, the effects of which peaked around mid-month. Collectively, the Grand Trine is the purest expression of an element. A Water Grand Trine asks that we drop our defences and admit our vulnerability. It's an aspect that possesses the most in-depth creative potential. Reactions to life events are usually at a personal or subconscious level, making all this touchy-feely business spiritually and psychologically draining at times. Musician, Kurt Cobain, was born with a Water Grand Trine, the talents of which he used both productively and destructively within the too-short time frame of his life.
The Water element is connected to the Occult - the hidden aspects of our life experience. With Jupiter in Cancer, divine homesickness and our need to feel safe expand. Cancer symbolises our past and family roots. Mercury in Cancer (especially the retrograde motion) compels us to look back because that's where our identity germinated. Acknowledging the power that our personal history sometimes has over us is a strong theme, because without the past, we are blank slates.
I recently had a conversation with my Cancerian father who was perplexed by constant thoughts of his childhood in suburban, post-war Sydney. He lamented the loss of traditional values which are now unidentifiable and irrelevant to modern Australians: community spirit, altruism, decorum, a pioneering hardiness ... this pining for the 'good old days' is a classic Cancer premise which plays out beautifully under the current transits.
Traditionally, trines are seen as effortless to express and easy to work with, however, a trine in water signs involving Jupiter indicates 'flooding', both metaphorically and literally, because of the planet's excessive nature. Water is an active element but only in response to its environment. Saturn in Scorpio demands that we put a container around unharnessed feelings and work with them rather than have them overwhelm us in a powerless and passive way. It's an ideal time to examine where our fears and doubts lie and how they sabotage our plans for a fulfilling life. Saturn is character building. It brings us the humility to accept the restraints of our experience. We can reject the commercial seductions of our culture - no one 'has it all'; we all own a God Shaped Hole yearning to be filled with the things you can't buy on eBay: meaning and purpose.
I guess part of the emotional upheaval is that the Water Grand Trine struggles to function effectively amid the dynamic, revolutionary, and sometimes dangerous energy of the Uranus square Pluto transit. The challenge for us water babies is learning how to move between comfort and change without being besieged. Longing for a safe and often idealised past is my coping mechanism of choice.