Triadic arrangements of meaning
Triangles are an almost entirely new concept in astrology. Almost, because the elemental triads of astrology (fire, earth, air and water) are also included in the triangles of esoteric astrology, albeit with extra layers of esoteric meaning. Triangles are an essential part of Alice Bailey’s Esoteric Astrology but, as is always the way with esoteric work, they require significant effort to make them useful in the symbolic interpretation of individual or group horoscopes. Some interpretive work is included in the descriptive text for most triangles listed here (the remaining ones will follow), although the esoteric astrologer will determine their meaning in the context of any horoscope in which they appear.
The ‘big three’ and the seven ray triangles
The big three: Great Bear-Sirius-Pleiades are behind origin of all triangles, and are each expressed in our solar system primarily through the signs and planets of three associated triangles:
There are also seven main ray triangles, each expressed through three signs:
- 1st ray: Aries-Leo-Capricorn
- 2nd ray: Gemini-Virgo-Pisces
- 3rd ray: Cancer-Libra-Capricorn
- 4th ray: Taurus-Scorpio-Sagittarius
- 5th ray: Leo-Sagittarius-Aquarius
- 6th ray: Virgo-Sagittarius-Pisces
- 7th ray: Aries-Cancer-Capricorn
The many triangles of Esoteric Astrology
Beyond these primary three and the seven ray triangles, there are over 80 triangles, some forming around 14 groupings, each containing up to 5 related triangles (full listing to follow). Most consist of three astrological signs, some contain one or more planets or are formed entirely from planets, while others include rays, constellations or specific stars (e.g. the Great Bear, Sirius, the Pointers…).
…these triangles must not be thought of as placed, static and eternally the same… [they are] in rapid movement, revolving eternally in space and ceaselessly moving onward and as of fourth and fifth dimensional extension… only the inner eye of vision can imagine their progression, position or appearance. […] It is useless… to attempt to unravel this aggregation of interlacing streams of energy. All that is now possible… is to accept hypothetically these statements […] and… arrive at some understanding of that intricate, interwoven network… the… etheric body […] This astrology has nought to do [with…] the outer plane of existence… our effort lies along the line of psychological life history… (417-18)
Some triangles are immediately applicable to individual horoscopes, others require that their symbolic meaning is stepped down to the personal level, while others are more obscure or concerned with abstract esoteric configurations that have no obvious personal application. For completeness, all are listed, although a few descriptions still require editing. For convenience, those including signs and planets are also listed selectively under each sign and planet.
Each triangle has two receptive and active poles, plus a third balancing or grounding node. Sometimes these are given in Esoteric Astrology, others are not always clear.
All triangles studied will be regarded as expressing
- A major conditioning energy, producing manifestation.
- A secondary qualifying energy producing consciousness.
- A lesser expression of force producing tangibility.
…These energies change within themselves and sometimes one will strike the dominating note and sometimes another; sometimes a secondary energy will become a major conditioning force and sometimes the lesser expression will come to the top and become, for the cycle, the outstanding characteristic of the triangle. (420)
How to use the triangles
A good starting–point is to look through a horoscope to see if any configurations stand out, for instance if Sun, Moon and Ascendant signs all feature in one of the triangles, it is at least worth attempting to assess how the meaning of that triangle might apply.
Another approach might be to locate the most prominent planet or sign in a horoscope, then scan through the triangles in which it appears to see if the meaning of any strikes true, or if any aspected planets and signs correspond to a triangle. For aspects, it is essential to locate ‘closed’ aspect patterns where three or more planets fall in three signs that also appear as the nodes of a triangle.
Note: to ease the process of cataloguing for this website, the three nodes of each triangle are listed in alphabetical, planetary then stellar order (signs A–Z, Vulcan—Pluto as in the solar system, stars A-Z) so although they’re the same triangles, their names may appear in a different order from that in Esoteric Astrology.
(more to follow)