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Anais Nin
Photo Courtesy of
and Miss Wurzel Tod

Anais Nin:

My Funny Valentine

(Part 1 of 3)

Recurrence Transits
and the Sun-Neptune Trine

by Nick Dagan Best

View Chart of Anais Nin
Anais Nin; February 21, 1903; 8:25 p.m.; Neuilly-sur-Seine, France (1)
Sun at 1 Pisces trine Neptune at 1 Cancer

The Sun represents the individual in the most basic sense: the “person”, the “ego”, etc.

Neptune represents, among other things, the human collective, the “masses” in a global sense. It is also associated with imagery, fantasy, and even deception or trickery.

The “trine” is the astrological term for a connection (called an “aspect”) between two or more planets or points by a 120-degree angle in a horoscope. In a more general sense, the term is also used for two or more planets or points that are in two different signs of the same element (fire, water, earth or air).

Sun-Neptune trines in personal horoscopes describe lives that have storybook qualities. People with natal Sun-Neptune trines build interesting worlds around them, transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary. They have the power to transform others, erecting new personas for them so well constructed and convincing, they are near impossible to see through.

While people with this aspect in their charts are often sought after and admired by many, they also tend to be the subject of envy and intrigue. Even at their most tragic, there is always some compelling element about these people that others want to possess.

Though this general interpretation of a Sun-Neptune trine can be applied to just about anyone with the aspect in their natal chart, the manner in which it is expressed by a given individual is mitigated by other factors in the chart, such as sign placement, angularity (one or both planets in aspect to the Ascendant or Midheaven) and other planetary configurations tied in to the trine.

Recurrence Transits

The three stories included in this article involve events in the lives of people who have the natal Sun-Neptune trine in their birth charts, though in each case there is a third planet configured to the trine that demonstrates qualities unique to each of them.

These events happened on days when the Sun and Neptune were also trine by transit. Transiting aspects that mirror natal aspects in a given personal horoscope are called “recurrence transits”.

Unlike the conventional notion of transits in astrology (i.e. a transiting planet meets a point in the zodiac that makes an aspect to a person’s natal planet), recurrence transits refer to times when a planetary aspect found in a given birth chart recurs in the sky on a given day.

Periods when a person’s Sun-Neptune trine is triggered by a recurrence transit (there are two a year) tend to reflect ways in which the aspect functions in that person’s chart, usually in the form of events in his or her life.

Since they occur with such frequency, the transits often operate on a very subtle level. However, as Sun-Neptune trine natives assume such romanticized roles in the world, once in a while recurrence transit periods coincide with major events in these people’s lives that appear to “define” them in some way.

Anais Nin’s “Henry and June”

In late 1931, writer and diarist Anais Nin met the struggling American writer Henry Miller through a mutual friend in Paris. The two developing authors immediately became close confidants.

Miller complained to Nin about the mysterious nature of his wife, June Mansfield Miller, who was living in New York at the time, but due to visit him soon. She had sent him off to Paris, paying his way, with the pretence of supporting him as a writer, though he sensed that she was really doing it to get him out of her way for other reasons.

He revealed more to Nin about his feelings for Mansfield in the chapters he showed her of his novel in progress, Tropic of Cancer, which included a character named Mona – the aloof wife of Miller’s narrator, whose deceit sparks the anger in his coarse, misogynistic tone.

Nin found interest in Miller’s obsession for June’s secrets, but unlike him was more intrigued by Mansfield’s possible deeper motives than by the probable mundane truths behind her mystery.

Anais Meets June

When Nin finally met Mansfield on or around December 30, 1931(2), she met a very different woman than the one Miller had described.

View Chart of Anais & June's Meeting
Anais Nin meets June Mansfield Miller; December 30, 1931; time unknown, 6:00 p.m. used; Paris, France
Sun at 8 Capricorn trine Neptune at 7 Virgo

Nin, who had been happily married for nine years at this point, felt intensely drawn to June, as she wrote in her diary, “I saw for the first time the most beautiful woman on earth”.(3)

However, she also found Mansfield mysterious, claiming, “By the end of the evening I felt as Henry did, fascinated with her face and body which promises so much, but hating her invented self which hides the true one”.(4)

The two women had an instant attraction and became lovers over the next few weeks, until Mansfield left Paris to return to New York. During that time, Nin’s fascination with her increased, their intimacy made her feel bonded to the real woman Miller could not see.

In describing the bond, she wrote, “what a secret language we talk. Undertones, overtones, nuances, abstractions, symbols.”(5) In this erotic awakening, she felt the closeness of a sister.

A Mutual Muse

Once Mansfield was gone, Nin and Miller continued to discuss her intensely, both in letters and conversation. They soon became lovers, two companions joined in fascination for the same person.

More importantly, in her absence Mansfield served as a muse to both writers: she inspired Nin’s work of prose, House of Incest, and Miller completed the June-inspired Tropic of Cancer.

Nin, though supportive of Miller’s work, noted the contrast in their views of her: “Each time Henry describes June in his language, he fails to make her portrait. Elusive, voluptuous, mysterious June. Sometimes while reading his manuscript, I feel there is too much naturalism. It obscures moods, feelings, psychic states.”(6)

When, during her first visit, Mansfield read Miller’s manuscript of Tropic of Cancer, she complained bitterly to Nin that he had misrepresented her, that it was he, not she, who was delusional.(7)

However, when Mansfield returned to Paris in the autumn of 1932, she rejected both authors’ visions of her. Feeling betrayed and misunderstood, Mansfield soon left both Miller and Nin for good, though she continued to be a subject of interest for both writers for years to come.

“…thrown back into visions, dreams”

On the evening Nin first met Mansfield, she was having a Sun-Neptune trine recurrence transit. In her case, as her natal Sun is conjunct Jupiter in Pisces, the experience of this transit was to plunge headfirst into romanticism. As she told Mansfield soon after they met, “you’re the only woman who ever answered the fantasies I had about what a woman should be.”(8)

She wrote during the time of Mansfield’s first visit that she “came to me when I was hungry for reality. I wanted real experiences, which would free me of my fantasies, my daydreaming. She turned me away from Henry, who ruled that world of earthy, lusty harsh facts. She has thrown me back into visions, dreams.”(9)

This passage encapsulates the struggle a person with the Sun-Neptune trine in their natal horoscope has with regard to the everyday world: resisting, or at least managing, the lure of one’s “visions, dreams”, maintaining one’s attention to the everyday world.

Nin’s introduction to Mansfield, at the time of her Sun-Neptune trine recurrence transit, locked her, for better and worse, into a new cycle of fantasy; one that was dominated by a “mysterious” woman, whom she would continue to idealize for the rest of her life.

Nin, as a diarist, embodied the Sun-Neptune trine in her natal chart, using it to reflect herself and the world around her through the magical lens of her imagination. As an author in search of living characters, she could feel automatic intimacy with anyone who had a special passion for life.

Miller’s Neptune

Nin and Miller remained lifelong friends and mutual supporters. Ironically, the fact that they came to share Mansfield as a muse, long after she vanished from their lives, seemed to serve their friendship in the end.

Curiously, in the time leading up to his meeting Nin, Miller had been having a Neptune trine transit to his natal Sun.

View Chart of Henry Miller
Henry Miller; December 26, 1891; 12:30 p.m.; Manhattan NY (10)
Sun at 4 Capricorn; transiting Neptune at 4 Virgo between September 1930-September 1931.

This interesting phenomenon is known to happen with regard to major transits: that at the time of a given planetary transit to a natal planet in a person’s horoscope, that person is likely to meet or interact heavily with someone who already has that same aspect in their natal chart.

Nin’s recurrence transit of her Sun-Neptune trine, on the day she met Mansfield, tuned her in to Miller’s own experience of Neptune’s transit, compelling her to find her own answers to the mystery behind June Mansfield.

Link To Part Two of Three:
Chet Baker and the Sun-Neptune Trine


The Journals of Anais Nin, Volume One (Anais Nin, Quartet 1973)
Henry Miller, Letters to Anais Nin (Henry Miller, Capricorn 1976)
Tropic of Cancer (Henry Miller, John Calder 1973)


(1) Anais Nin’s birth data, rated AA; source: B.C. in hand, Jany Bessiere 12/91. (8:25 PM Paris time) (Nancy Weart sent three pages from Henry Miller's 'Red Notebook' 9/1991 that gave Nin's data handwritten in the book, for 8:30 PM.)

(2) Diary entry, p. 26, gives this date, though the meeting might have happened within a few days before it. The Sun was approaching its trine to Neptune over the course of this week, so the recurrence transit was in effect all along, though it culminated on this date. One way or another, Nin certainly first wrote about meeting Mansfield on this date, which, in some context, is of equal significance to the meeting itself.

(3) Diary entry, p. 26

(4) Diary entry, p. 26

(5) Diary entry, p. 41

(6) Diary entry, p. 62

(7) Diary entry, p. 41

(8) Diary entry, p. 30

(9) Diary entry, p. 39

(10) Henry Miller’s data, rated A; source: B.C. in hand with no time, Felipe Ferreira, 8/1995. The time of "midi-30" is given by him in 'My Friend Henry Miller.' The biography, 'Always Merry and Bright,' gives 12:17 PM. In a letter to Nin dated October 1932, Miller states he was born between 12:30 and 12:45 on December 26, 1891 on East 85th Street in New York City (Miller, p. 70).