The Tricolor and Fez

We depart a bit from traditional astrology here, but in my experience this is important.  We’ve been referring to a particular Configuration of Angles between planets as a “Pythagorean Triangle” or “Pythagorean Tricolor,” or sometimes just “Tricolor,” and a reader has asked for more information about these terms.  If we start with a picture, you can see why I call it a Tricolor…

TricolorTo skip right to the bottom line, it means that we can resolve the Challenge that the red line symbolizes, by indulging the Curiosity that the green line represents, because that will trigger the Grace inherent in the blue line.

First of all, we’ve struggled to find a good name for this Configuration, because normal astrofolks don’t routinely assign colors to Angles, so the whole idea of a “Tricolor” would be weird to them.

What we refer to as Angles, or Angular Relationships between planets, normal astrologers call “Aspects.” We don’t like to use the term Aspects because the word has too many other meanings.

An astrological Configuration is just a significant combination of related Anglular Relationships or Angles.  For instance, three Trines end-to-end make a Grand Trine, meaning “dumb-luck” Grace – as well as Arrogance until we realize that what’s going on is “dumb luck” and not competence!  The Trine (two planets four Signs apart – the “three” part of the Trine is because it spans a third of the Zodiac) is the Angle, and the Grand Trine is the Configuration.

The red line in the Tricolor is a Square, or two planets three Signs apart.  It’s called a Square because if you filled a circle with four of them you’d get a square shape.

We in our weirdness find the name Tricolor totally appropriate, as we’ve always (at least for the last 45 years) been in the habit of drawing the Angular Relationships that represent Mastery through Challenge in  red  – they’re hot, as in suspenseful – and drawing the Angular Relationships that represent Grace in  blue  – they’re cool, as in relaxing.  We’re also in the habit of using  green  to draw the Quincunx (two planets five Signs apart).  Turns out that’s appropriate too, as green is a Heart color, and the Quincunx symbolizes Curiosity, which as we’ve said many times is akin to Love, as both eschew Judgment.

A five-Sign Angle is five twelfths of the way ’round the Zodiac.  Five is the number of Learning, and twelve is the number of Pattern-Breaking.  So five twelfths of the way around the astroloop is about Learning how to Break Patterns – particularly Karmic Patterns.  There’s no way we’ll succeed at that without Curiosity, since the foundation of our Patterns is Judgment.  The Quincunx turns out to be a gift, as it inspires Curiosity.

Curiosity isn’t something we have to do under the influence of a Quincunx, it just happens.  Of course, Pattern-Breaking is first cousin to Ego Death, which is why Curiosity has a reputation for killing Cats.  But think nine Lives.  Nine is the number of the Muse, or Introspection.  It’s one thing to identify a Pattern, quite another to Change it.  For that you’ll probably need PIAVA, but noticing the Pattern you want to Change is the first step.

We don’t need the name “Pythagorean,” as virtually all of the Configurations in astrology are “Pythagorean” – it just means that the length of the sides are whole numbers, in this case whole numbers of Signs.  So from now on we’ll just call this Configuration a Tricolor.

Okay, so what does this alleged Tricolor mean?  It means

That we can resolve the Challenge that the red line symbolizes, by indulging the Curiosity that the green line represents, to trigger the Grace inherent in the blue line. 

There’s another meaning as well – if we misinterpret our dumb-luck Grace as competence and our head swells, it will trigger new Challenges that we’ll only be able to resolve by shifting to genuine Curiosity.

The “dead Cat” runs the Energy “backwards” – our Curiosity opens doors that are forbidden, creating the Challenge.  We come out to the Grace (in this case earned) by facing up to the Challenge.

If we’re “in the Flow,” we often move directly from the Challenge to the Grace, enjoying the Synchronicity of the Universe.  If we notice this, we respond with Curiosity about the Wonders of Spirit.

* * * * *

The Fez

When there’s a double Tricolor, we’ve been calling that a “Fez,” because it’s the shape of the traditional Turkish hat (though they originated in Morocco), but without the tassle.

FezThe Fez adds a fourth planet and a Sextile (the short blue line).  Start by coming up the red line on the left, then follow the green line down to the right, then come back to the left across the bottom blue line – that’s the Tricolor we drew above.  Then track up the red line on the right, follow the green line down and to the left, and back along the blue line at the bottom – that’s the second Tricolor.

The Sextile adds two more Tricolors!  Come down the red line on the left, up to the right on the green line, then back to the left on the short blue line.  And move down the red line on the right, up and to the left on the green line, then back on the Sextile at the top.

We could call the Trine Tricolors “Major Tricolors” and the Sextile Tricolors “Minor Tricolors.”

The difference between the Trine and the Sextile is that the Trine provides Grace automatically, while the Sextile provides Grace only after we take the first step to get it started.  So with a Major Tricolor the Grace follows the Curiosity without additional effort, while in a Minor Tricolor we need to follow the Curiosity with an initiatory Action.

Many astrofolk regard a Sextile as “better for us” than a Trine, because a Trine can make us lazy, while a Sextile requires our involvement to kick-start it.  Yet the Trine is the “Major” Angle, because it’s a has lower or more primary dimensionality – the Third Harmonic – than the Sixth-Harmonic Sextile.  The Trine represents the Third Harmonic because it takes three of them to “fill” or circumambulate the Zodiac.  It takes six Sextiles to fill the circle.

The Third Harmonic is the Empress, who symbolizes Love with Wisdom.  The Major Tricolor combines the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Twelfth Harmonics.  Of course the Twelfth Harmonic reduces to the Third, by the traditional method of adding the two digits of 12; to actually succeed at Breaking Patterns we must address them with Love and Wisdom.  The Fourth Harmonic is the Emperor, standing for Dominion, or Healthy Control.  The Sixth Harmonic is about Partnership, and combines the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, and Twelfth (or Third) Harmonics.  So…

The Major Tricolor Teaches us to have Loving, Wise, and Healthy Control over our Lives.  The Minor Tricolor Teaches us to share Dominion with our Partners.

* * * * *

The charts above are drawn for June 6.  We’ll interpret them in the next post.

One Response to “The Tricolor and Fez”

  1. Natacha Garnier de Molènes Says:

    Dear Jim,

    Thank you for sharing with us these quite interesting informations.

    However, it is difficult for me to grasp a subtle distinction between the Major and Minor Tricolors, hence I am submitting three questions to you:

    Could you please explain how the 4th harmonic, symbolizing dominion and healthy control, is interrelated with the 3rd, 5th and 12th harmonics contained in the Major Tricolor?

    As for the Minor Tricolor, I do not understand, according to your definition “…teaches us to share Dominion with our partners”, how it works with the principle of Pattern Breaking (12th harmonic), that the Major and Minor Tricolors involve.

    Is it relevant to say that the 5th harmonic is related to “Learning”?

    Again, thank you so much for your help on these matters.

    Best regards,


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