The Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune Grand Trine

Grand Trine 18 July 2013
Grand Trine 18 July 2013

As far as astrological events go July 2013 offers something interesting to reflect on and observe. There’s a Grand Trine forming between Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune, with Mars plugging in too very near the time that the Grand Trine is at its most precise, soon after mid-July. It’s quite an impressive picture, involving quite a diverse set of planetary energies. The contrasting qualities of the planets involved makes interpretation a little more complex than it would be if the planets were all or mostly similar.

Jupiter and Neptune are both idealistic and, for want of a better word, ‘spiritual’, so there’s some compatibility there; but the other two, Mars and Saturn, are the celestial rogues. Sometimes combinations like these can yield constructive results, but the malefics (Mars and Saturn) have a way of tainting what they touch.

The Saturn/Neptune trine has been in effect for some time already, since late May or early June, if we apply a 1 degree orb. This is perhaps the foundation of this configuration, since it’s the longest lasting component. Mars and Jupiter move more rapidly through the zodiac and complete the triangle relatively briefly, around mid-July and shortly thereafter.

It should be understood that there is under no circumstances anything jolly about Saturn combining with Neptune- not even in a Trine! The Combination of Stellar Influences (by Reinhold Ebertin) describes Saturn/Neptune as ‘suffering, renunciation, asceticism‘ and among the best manifestations are listed ‘readiness for sacrifice, taking care of others…‘. Some of my clients who have had key planets in their charts triggered by Saturn and Neptune lately have been quite distinctly depressed by it. I think astrologers who see the Trine aspect here as a guarantee of nothing but good are missing a lot of what’s going on. Even so, the disillusionment that Saturn/Neptune can cause may be the catalyst for a spiritual search and a spiritual discipline and commitment that can lead people to a profound inner peace and a true spiritual strength. Conditions are never static; we miss a lot if we fail to see conditions as transient expressions of a process. This can be particularly useful to remember when dealing with Saturn/Neptune combinations (which in a sense bring about a confrontation between the most material and the most otherworldly ‘energies’, and so the results can be quite profound, but also subtle and elusive).

When Jupiter and Saturn (a pair of mutually complementary opposites) combine there is the potential for the materialism of Saturn to be guided by the social conscience and vision of Jupiter, and so it becomes possible for socially meaningful projects or movements to develop, progress, or come into being. These can function at a very practical and concrete level; Saturn gives a dense form to the inspired philanthropy of Jupiter which is not in itself particularly structured, methodical or efficient. If the selflessness and universality of Neptune (which possesses even Saturnine utilitarian virtue than Jupiter) is married to the financial and political acumen of Jupiter/Saturn, spiritually motivated and truly altruistic social (and perhaps environmental) projects may be born or blossom. I think something along these lines would be the most positive outcome of this Grand Trine: long term practical plans and projects for alleviating suffering (of humans and other sentient beings) and providing nourishment for the spiritual needs of humanity in general, ideally through fairly large and well funded organisational structures.

At its best the dynamism and action orientated attributes of Mars, combined with the practicality of Saturn, could indicate the drive to working hard in a sustained manner. When Mars and Neptune combine well (not something that happens easily) it may describe some form of selfless effort (also a possible theme with the most ideal Saturn/Neptune combinations); it can represent a sublimation of the impetuous self-will of Mars. However, if the natural Martian desire for winning and ego gratification is thwarted (read ‘reluctantly sublimated‘), as can happen when he gets entangled with Saturn and/or Neptune, he may not play along so nicely in this do-gooders game. He gets bitter when checked by Saturn and can become a covertly vengeful martyr when swamped and overwhelmed by Neptune. This could somehow be part of the storyline too…

Sometimes Neptune is all sentiment and good intentions, with precious little resilience when faced with real-world challenges. This will possibly be a key factor in determining whether the ideal possibilities in this Grand Trine configuration can be realized. The involvement of Mars and Saturn can compensate for the lack of rigor and tenacity in Neptunian idealistic visions, Jupiter can infuse faith, hope and enthusiasm, which can help people sustain their motivation; but Saturn/Neptune is the ultimate wet blanket and can dampen exuberance and extinguish the fire of the Mars/Jupiter component of this complex combination. It’s complex, and, again, some of the factions being brought together here are not automatically inclined to support each other, even when they have the potential to complement each other.

Here’s a key point to bear in mind: all the myriad possible permutations of success and failure in handling this energy combination will mostly likely occur somewhere, to some degree. These energies pour through this world, through all the microcosms; nations, businesses, organizations, social movements, clubs, families, relationships, and individuals. What happens depends on the response of these units. Each microcosm has its own set of assets and liabilities in terms of ‘response-ability’, and needless to say, much depends on where and to what extent this Grand Trine triggers the microcosmic natal charts. There are countless specific possibilities.

I guess the question is, who are you and how can you respond (to this energetic event) as an individual with personal material and spiritual ideals, and, who are you, and what can you do, and how could you respond to this opportunity in the context of being a participant in a relationship, a family, a group, a movement, an organization, a nation, a planet….? We encounter this influence both individually and collectively.

This Grand Trine seems to be about how we align ourselves with a vision of hope and salvation for humanity (and the planet?) as a whole. It’s transpersonal and requires a degree of self-transcendence to appreciate. Many groups and movements work towards such visions and ideals, and new groups and movements are being born all the time. This Grand Trine seems to be an opportunity for this vision to become energized and empowered, and we can all make a meaningful contribution if we want to. I would imagine that we will now have a unique opportunity to meaningfully contribute. It all depends on our response-ability.

It’s interesting to see how centrally important Jupiter, Saturn and Neptune (aligned to the Luminaries) are in the chart of the Dalai Lama. This seems to confirm the themes contemplated above:

“Today, more than ever before, life must be characterized by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life.”
– Dalai Lama

Dalai Lama


Dalai Lama natal chart


3 thoughts on “The Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune Grand Trine”

  1. My great friend and teacher Marion March once taught about Saturn Neptune that it’s keyword could be “architecture.” We also joked that “If you build it they will come.” was it’s phrase. Saturn builds Neptune’s vision. Of course all planetary archetypal energetics have a low frequency, and if Neptune is playing out its unconscious victim / martyr games Saturn can only structure that… Saturn has also been called the truth and beauty planet by Astrologer Rob Bresny…We certainly see the Dalai Lama being able to rebuild his community with the help of Saturn opp Neptune..

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