Chinese Astrology: Understanding the 4 Trines

Posted on March 09, 2019

Interest in Chinese astrology has gained popularity over the years, but there is much about this fascinating branch of astrology that many people do not know. Perhaps you know you were born in the Year of the Dog: loyal, dependable and a bit of a worrywart. Maybe your best friend is a Tiger, bold and courageous, if a little reckless. Perhaps your partner is a gentle, unassuming Rabbit or your boss is a powerful, determined Dragon?

However, did you know that you have an Ascendant sign too, just the same as you do in Western astrology? You also have a ‘Western equivalent’ sign. Just like the Ascendant or Rising sign in Western astrology, your Chinese Ascendant sign is based on the hour of your birth.

So, if you were born between 5pm and 7pm, you would be born in the Hour of the Rooster; if you were born between the hours of 7am and 9am, you would be a Dragon Ascendant or Dragon Rising. As for the Western Equivalent, this third Chinese Zodiac animal is based on matching you with your own Western Astrological sign. If you are a Capricorn, you are an Ox. If you are an Aries, you’re a Dragon. If you are a Taurus, you’re a Snake.

The 3 animals inside you make up your Human Trine.

This accounts for why you may have conflicting personalities inside of you. If, for example, you were born in the Year of the Horse, but you are a Rat Rising and an Ox Western Equivalent, you may find yourself alternating between very intense, studious moments (Rat influence) and sudden flashes of spontaneity (Horse influence). This could leave others baffled, possibly giving you a reputation for unreliability and volatility, while at the same time being both intriguing and exciting. However, you may find yourself able to balance out these two forces by applying a methodical, controlled approach to the opposing qualities (Ox influence).

On the other hand, if you have three animals that are in harmony with one another, you will intensify the qualities that these animals share. Let’s say you were born in the Year of the Tiger, the Hour of the Horse, and have the Dog as your Western equivalent. This is a bit like nabbing three cherries in the slot machine – you’ve nabbed three signs that are part of the same Chinese astrological Trine.

The 4 Trines in Chinese Astrology

Chinese Astrology is comprised of four Trines. The 1st Trine consists of the Rat, Dragon and Monkey. The 2nd Trine is the Ox, Snake and Rooster. The 3rd Trine is the Tiger, Horse and Dog. The final Trine, the 4th Trine, is the Rabbit, Goat and Pig.

Animals in the same Trine share common goals and similar characteristics. Very often, these signs make the best friends and the most compatible lovers. Similarly, the enemy of one animal is traditionally an enemy of all three creatures in the same Trine. For example, Rats and Horses are enemies in the Chinese Zodiac Circle of Conflict. While these two usually can’t stand the sight of each other, this often means the Tiger and Dog will also feel some animosity towards the Rat. Because Tigers, Dogs and Horses are specifically known for their loyal attributes, this intensifies their dislike of Rat natives.

The 1st Trine - Rat, Dragon, Monkey

Now onto the Trines themselves! The 1st Trine, consisting of the Rat, Dragon and Monkey, are the DOERS of the Zodiac. They are powerful people who have the capacity for great good. They share qualities of innovation, progressiveness and have a wonderful aptitude for combining intuition and initiative as one. These are the people who get things done.

If you have a boss who is a Dragon, he’s likely to have a secretary that is a Monkey. Dragons are one of the most powerful signs of the Zodiac, while the Rats are the brains of the First Trine and the Monkeys are the go-betweeners who use their witty and sociable skills to manifest the dreams of the Dragon and Rat. Together, they make fabulous partnerships. However, this Trine in its negative pole can be jealous, selfish, aggressive and vindictive which can hinder their progress as true innovators and achievers.

The 2nd Trine - Ox, Snake, Rooster

The 2nd Trine is made up of the Ox, Snake and Rooster. These three are steadfast and purposeful. If you want to get the job done, call on one - or all three! - of them. This is the Trine that conquers through sheer tenacity, for their powers of endurance go unrivalled. They are intelligent and tend to have endless patience – no frequent bursts of rage with these three!

The Snake is famed for his wisdom while the Ox is excellent at implementing that wisdom in the real world. The Rooster brings reliability and colour to the plans and routine this Trine sets out for itself. Their intelligence and good-heartedness are much admired by those around them. However, they can also be egotistical, fixed in their ways, self-righteous and judgmental.

The 3rd Trine - Tiger, Dog, Horse

The 3rd Trine consists of the Tiger, Dog and Horse, as illustrated in the example above. These are the humanitarians of the Zodiac who can often be found pursuing lost causes and fighting for the underdog. They are known for their loyalty, courage and independent natures.

The Tiger is the bravest of the three, but also the most reckless; the Dog is the most loyal, yet also the most neurotic; the Horse is a free-thinker, but can be highly unpredictable. These three can often be found leading the charge for some humanitarian pursuit involving children, animals or the environment. In love or business, they will always have one another’s backs (though the Horse has been known to have a straying nature when bored). However, they can also be rebellious, over-sensitive, stubborn, quarrelsome and disagreeable.

The 4th Trine - Rabbit, Pig, Goat

The final 4th Trine is made up of the Rabbit, Pig and Goat. They are the peacemakers of the Zodiac, calm, artistic and kind-hearted. These signs are caring, self-sacrificing and compassionate.

Rabbits can very often be found in nursing positions, as can the sweet-natured Pig. Goats are the artists of Chinese Astrology and they value aesthetic beauty in everything they see and do. This Trine works well with the 3rd Trine as they help aid them in their causes, though dealing with the “softer” side of things. They believe in harmony and peace between all men. However, they can be naïve, gullible, insecure, pessimistic and pedantic at times.

Concluding Thoughts…

Those are the 4 Trines of Chinese Astrology! Of course, Ascendants and Western equivalents play a big role – take the Tiger and Monkey, who are traditionally enemies in the Zodiac. If you are a Tiger, but you meet a Monkey and get along like a house on fire, it’s likely that Monkey has a Tiger, Dog or Horse Rising Sign, or that you have a Rat or Dragon Ascendent. Finding out your Human Trine can be a fantastic way of gaining more insight into yourself and figuring out how you can make your relationships work for the betterment of yourself and those around you!

To learn more about Chinese astrology and the Chinese Zodiac, make sure to check out your daily Chinese Zodiac horoscope!

Related Article: Love Compatibility: Which Chinese Zodiac Sign is Your Match?

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Sarah Brownlee is a harmonious Libra Sun, Conflicted Scorpio rising, and a Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. A whirlwind writer with a passion for Tarot cards and Astrology in all forms… Read More »

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