The triangle is a very mystical symbol; the pyramids of ancient Egypt themselves are built in this shape. A triangle has three equal sides, and the number 3 may be regarded as a symbol of completion. The number 3 appears throughout history in many cultures and religions. There are, for example, the three worlds or three levels of consciousness -- consciousness, unconsciousness, and cosmic consciousness. Western Psychology may define these same three worlds as the ego, the shadow, and the self. In the Vedanta philosophy of India, the three gunas are the ingredients of the nature of matter – sattva = goodness and virtue, rajas = passion, and tamas = darkness or ignorance.
The three gunas are in varying degrees in all beings of matter. In Christianity the number 3 is exemplified by way of the Holy Trinity. This concept suggests that three apparent gods are in fact one and the same thing. This would seem, once again, to be our eternal triad of body, mind, and spirit. God the Son is the body, God the Father the mind, and God the Holy Ghost is the spirit. These constitute the whole person.
It is said that things happen in threes. When a major world event occurs, we can expect it to happen two more times. Plane crashes occur this way, and so do other major events. On a personal level I know that when something comes up for me three times, it’s definite. It’s like baseball: three strikes and you’re out.
In astrology the number 3 gives order and meaning to this symbolic system of self-discovery. Astrology has four elements, but there are three signs that comprise each of these elements. There are three fire signs, three earth signs, three air signs, and three water signs. These signs form triangles to each other in the birth chart. This is what is referred to as the trine aspect. In a 360 degree circle each element of the same quality is 120 degrees away from the other, or 5 signs away. This relationship is 1, 5, and 9.
According to Vedic philosophy there are four aims of life. These four aims are part of the integrated human experience. The four aims of life are dharma, artha, kama, and moksha, and they are related to the four elements. From this perspective the meanings of the four elements take on much deeper meanings, and help us understand the life process. This deeper understanding can help us see life as a progression to higher consciousness. As we delve into the trinity of these four aims we come to understand the illusion of it all. The realization of the illusion of the material plane brings us to enlightenment. Nothing really matters in the end except that all these experiences lead us to the one and only realization that releasing all desire and attachment to this world gives our final liberation, which is moksha. When we become enlightened to this truth, we realize that moksha is the highest level. Until we learn what is real and truly lasting, there will always be suffering. If it isn’t immortal, then it isn’t real. The only immortal part of our selves is our soul. Moksha is what frees and liberates our soul from maya (illusion). We will come to understand this fourth dimension as we journey through life, and experience healing from the triangle within these four elements or four aims of life.
The trine is the aspect of healing. It is the aspect that gives ease and flow. In astrology, there are four elements – fire, earth, air and water. Their signs all trine each other. They work in unison with each other.
The fire element corresponds to our dharma, and dharma is our sense of purpose. When we understand our purpose, we are connected to our spirit and guided by inspiration. The spirit is what fuels our life. The dharma houses are 1, 5, and 9. As with all the other elements, these fire houses trine each other.
Aries is the first sign of the natural zodiac; it is also the first fire sign, followed by Leo, then Sagittarius. These three signs are called the fire triplicity. They are 1, 5, and 9 in relationship to one another. The First, Fifth, and Ninth houses are therefore the houses relating to fire or dharma.
The earth element is our physical body, or the material world. It rules over our material comforts and gives us earthly pleasures. Taurus is the first earth sign, and five signs away is the next earth sign, Virgo, and nine signs from Taurus is the third earth sign, Capricorn. This is called the earth triplicity. Taurus is the second sign in the natural zodiac, Virgo the sixth, and Capricorn the tenth. Houses 2, 6 and 10 are the houses of our material, physical world, and our pursuits to gain recognition. These are called the artha houses.
The air element is about desires. These manifest in the form of thinking, relating, and communicating. Gemini is the first air sign, and five signs away is Libra, and nine signs away from Gemini is Aquarius. These three signs are called the air triplicity. They deal with ways of communicating our thoughts, and our relationships in life. Houses 3, 7, and 11 relate to air. These are called the kama houses.
The water element is about our soul essence. These are the most misunderstood signs and houses. They deal with the ultimate healing of our human condition, and connect us to other dimensions beyond this world. The first water sign is Cancer. This is the fourth sign of the natural zodiac and therefore relates to the Fourth House. Five signs from Cancer is the water sign Scorpio, which constitutes the eighth sign or Eighth House, and nine houses from Cancer is the last sign of the zodiac, Pisces. Pisces is the twelfth sign and relates to the Twelfth House. This is the water triplicity. Houses 4, 8, and 12 relate to water. They deal with emotions, which, when healed, result in our final liberation, freedom of the earthly plane. These houses are called the moksha houses.
As we have seen, the four aims in life are dharma, artha, kama, and moksha. The life process is expressed through these four aims and results in our final liberation from this life through realization of the ultimate truth. The ultimate truth is realized through the process of living life, which is the progression through these houses/signs. A close look at each of these houses/signs will reveal the depth of life or process of life. A deep understanding of this will reveal the secret of life and the healing of the human condition. In this healing the truth will be revealed, thus alleviating the suffering experienced from illusion. All suffering comes from fear. Fear comes from the unknown. The “not knowing” comes from ignorance. Ignorance is what keeps us in the illusion. The truth will set us free. Let us look into the dynamics of the zodiac to help heal our illusions about ourselves. Through this we can find our final liberation. Through the self, all things will be known. This is what is referred to as self-realization.
The dharma houses 1, 5, and 9 and the fire signs relate to our spirit. The First House is the beginning of life. Aries represents new beginnings. The First House/ first sign Aries is the development of the self (our sense of who we are), our outward show to the world. It is how others see us, and it is the house of our self-image. It is our beginning into this world. Our life force and physical body are determined here, and the life force is our vitality itself
The self needs to extend itself beyond the self, and this is done through the creative process. Spirit comes out through the process of creativity. It feels its sense of purpose through self-expression. True creative expression is the outpouring of the inner spirit expressing itself in the outer world. This is inspiration. The Fifth House of the horoscope as well as the fifth sign Leo is where this outward flow of energy manifests through creativity. This is how spirit moves us, and we move others through extending our spirit in our own creative expressions.
The Ninth House and ninth sign Sagittarius symbolizes how we believe. It holds our spiritual beliefs and truths. The Ninth House gives us an understanding of what our spirit is. Spirit is the spark of life that unites us. It is the non-personal force that abides in all living beings. It is our connection to the eternal divine oneness. We are all parts of this one cosmic God.
Therefore the process of spirit is:
the manifestation of the spirit in the body as the life force (First House),
the need of spirit to extend itself through creative expression (Fifth House),
and the true expression of spirit, which comes when we realize we are spirit (Ninth House).
This how the fire triplicity works. When we feel spirit working through us, we are connected to our purpose in life. All human beings are born with an innate desire to know their purpose in life, in order to give their life meaning. The spiritual triangle does just that. It gives us our sense of purpose – hence these are the dharma houses.
The earth triangle is about our material achievements, and the recognition gained from it. Houses 2, 6, and 10 relate to the three earth signs Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn.
The Second House and sign Taurus is about the material possessions gained, and the money we earn. These are the comforts of life, and are sometimes a symbol of our success in life.
The Sixth House and sign Virgo is a house of work. It also symbolizes the things we will do to improve ourselves. It governs the actions necessary to achieve our goals. It is the daily grime within the workplace.
The Tenth House and sign Capricorn is our desire for recognition through our work. This is the career house. We typically spend more than half our life focused upon realizing these goals of wealth, and recognition for all our work and achievements.
The houses and signs of the earth triangle work together to achieve our goals of material wealth through self effort and work. These are the areas of:
achievement, possessions, and wealth (Second House),
the urge to improve oneself through hard work (Sixth House),
and the public recognition received through a career (Tenth House).
These are the artha houses – the houses of material wealth and of recognition for our achievements.
The air triangle is concerned with how we connect to others. It is comprised of houses 3, 7, and 11 and relates to the signs Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius. The yearning for relationship is part of our desire body. An integral aspect of relationship is: how we convey our information, i.e. the art of communication. The need to be understood and reinforced in our feelings and ideas gives us a feeling of completion.
The Third House and sign Gemini is about conveying information, and receiving thoughts and ideas. It is the house of communication and learning. It rules our early relationships in life, especially our siblings. In fact, these early relationships initiate our ways of relating to other people, which often includes a degree of competition.
The Seventh House and sign Libra is about the one-on-one relationships which make up our commitments. It is about learning to share. Most especially, it is about sharing your life with another. Sharing takes a certain amount of compromise and balancing. Relationships give us a sense of wholeness and completion, in the sense that someone understands and supports us. This is a need and desire that validates our feelings.
The Eleventh House and sign Aquarius is about our ultimate desires. It involves our hopes and wishes. In terms of our relationships, these are things we usually share with our friends. Friendships put us in touch with community. The Eleventh House and sign bring out our humanitarianism, i.e. our desire to be in touch with the greater whole of humankind. This includes groups and organizations where people can feel connected and share common interests.
The air triplicity conveys our ideas, needs, and desires through relationships. These relationships begin in early childhood.
Sharing starts with our siblings (Third House),
and later we need a lifelong partnership (Seventh House).
Our need to feel connected to friends and groups (Eleventh House) fulfills our need to know we are not alone.
These are the kama houses – the houses of desire and relationship.
The water triangle represents our emotional body and how our experiences affect our soul. The soul is our individual essence which we carry with us from lifetime to lifetime and which leads us into the realms of self-discovery. We want to know how to heal the deep emotional scars that plague our lives and imprint our souls.
The Fourth House and sign Cancer is about all those things which give us a sense of security -- things that have a feeling of permanence in our life and which we have little control over changing. Our birth family and heritage would seem to be out of our control. Our parents give us our sense of stability, especially the mother. The Fourth House symbolizes our need for protection. Protection fulfills our need for security. Our homes are the places where we hope to feel protected and safe. But deep down we know that nothing is permanent, and a deep- rooted fear lurks beneath the surface because of this knowledge. Thus the water houses are also about our deepest fears. All fear is based ultimately upon fear of the unknown. These houses are concerned with unraveling that which we fear – the unknown.
The Eighth House and sign Scorpio is the most misunderstood house of all. It is simply the house of transformation, but the price of such transformation is very difficult for most. It is necessary to undergo a kind of death process in order to transform the self. This means that we need to totally surrender our need to be in control. In effect, this requires the death of the ego. The more one tries to be in control, the more out of control one becomes, and this is manifested in problems such as obsessive-compulsive behavior. The transformation that evolves out of surrender heals the very core of the soul.
The Twelfth House and sign Pisces is the house of the unconscious. It is the house of release. It is through the release of our secrets and our fears that we free ourselves of physical and emotional pain. Our deepest fear involves the need to be right. This is the house of renunciation. The ultimate healing process that occurs here is the release of resentments. This is the place of forgiveness. This comes with total acceptance of everyone and everything. Here the emotional body is healed, and the soul is cleansed of all the karmas it has accrued in all lifetimes. This is our final liberation. This is moksha.
The natural process of healing occurs in the water houses. They have to do with the past, and with fear-based emotions. These relate to:
the fear of threats to our sense of security (Fourth House),
our fear of being out of control (Eighth House),
the fear of releasing all our attachments to this world (Twelfth House).
Of all the aims in life, moksha is our ultimate goal; all the other goals become insignificant by comparison. These are the most important houses of the horoscope, for the transformation of consciousness is the enlightenment of the soul. This is what is meant by our final liberation. We are beyond the chains of karma, and there is no more suffering, as Robert Plant sang so beautifully in Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven” – “When all is one, and one is all.”