Sextiles 101

SalOFSolomon_astropattern
Sextiles fall 60 degrees apart. This example chart has 6 sextiles forming the Star of David or Seal of Solomon as it is known in esoteric astrology. You don’t see it often, and it requires a Splash chart pattern, and two grand trines, but it is quite a delight for those born July 29/30, 2013, and other years, of course.

Welcome to Sextiles 101. You’ll find this the second post and our Aspects 101 Series. Over the course of these posts, we cover major and minor aspects, the angles formed between planets.

Let’s get started.

Sextiles 101 – What are they?

First of all, a sextile represents two or more planets 60° apart. If you have the Sun at 2° Libra and Saturn at 2° Leo or 2° Sagittarius, the sun sextiles Saturn. But, that’s not all. There is, as with all aspects, a degree of ‘orb’.

What is the orb for Sextiles?

Orb of aspect for Conjunctions plus
Orbs for Conjunctions and other aspects, minor and major.

Understand, an orb represents the degrees allowed for the aspect to ‘work’. In the case of the sextile, the orb may be tight – 5° either side. Or, it may be wider, 8° either side for the *luminaries.

In the example above above showing the Star of David pattern, all the sextiles fall into a tight orb, within 1-4°s. But if Pluto was 28° Sagittarius, it would still be sextile to Neptune at 2° Pisces because it is within 4° orb.

Take a look at my settings for the aspects in my Io Time Cycles Software program. You can see the orbs are adjustable, and I like them wide, especially if the luminaries are involved.

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Aspectarian for the sample, Star of David, chart above.

The Key to Understanding any Aspect

Richard Idemon taught that the aspects are like table legs. Pick one ‘leg’ up and all the other legs of the table will follow. No exceptions. In this example, if you feel something on an emotional level (the moon) you will automatically awaken the sensitivity and nebulousness of Neptune and the call to adventure of Jupiter as both are sextile the moon. You can not do one without the others when they link by aspect, even if that means expressing one quality and pushing the other down into the unconscious. (not the best solution in the long run)

Finding the Sextiles

As you practice looking at a variety of charts, your eye will learn to pick up sextiles easily. Even the out-of-sign ones. If you create charts without the ‘lines’ drawn in the middle, you will learn to see the aspects faster, without relying on the crutch, which doesn’t let you practice seeing the chart. Meanwhile, you can double check with the aspectarian, the graph that comes with the natal chart. It shows us how all the planets and points are connected by aspect via symbol. Here is the aspectarian for the example chart.

What does the Sextile Mean?

Itzchak_Tarkay
Watercolor by Itzchak Tarkay

Now, let’s explore the meaning of sextile. This aspect links two or more planets or points that fall between 60°s plus or minus 5-8°s either side. The popular keyword for the sextile is “opportunity”. This comes from the positive nature of the aspect that usually links signs that fall in the same polarity,Earth & Water or Fire & Air. Sextiles also require us to be alert. An opportunity may arise between planets in sextile although we have to utilize it in some way. Even though sextiles represent cooperation and empathy, the nature of the planets involved must be considered as well as the individuals unique way of expressing them together.

If Mars is in a sextile aspect to Pluto, it does not automatically imply that one has transformed their primitive assertive drives in such a way that they are strong yet sensitive, powerful but not dominating. It may just as likely indicate that when they feel assertive or takes action (Mars) they also feel the power of the primeval world move through them in an wave of dramatic and life changing energy (Pluto). It is important to acknowledge the role of the sextile to bring planets together for a single purpose or cause. We decide how that combined energy will express.

Forget about Easy or Hard

Straight away, let’s drop the value judgments around the aspects. Sextiles make life neither good nor bad, easy or hard. What they do is link them together for potential opportunity.

Furthermore, the aspect’s expression isn’t set in stone. It changes as we evolve. A child with Mars sextile Pluto may find their parents strict, controlling, scary at times. As they mature, they might experience the Pluto drive for power and control as bullying at school or, conversely, a charismatic blessing. Eventually, they can become both the Sun and Pluto, taking responsibility for their own power and drives, using the strength to bring fulfillment to themselves and others.

Dalia-LamaThe Questions to Ask of the Sextile – An Example Chart

The above chart of the Dali Lama has multiple sextiles. See if you can identify them all by looking at the chart first before checking the aspectarian.

If we take just Sun sextile Neptune, we can ask, do they have compatible desires?  What happens when these table legs come up? The sun wants to shine, to be seen as distinct, lighting things up via the sign and house it is in. In this case, in Cancer, nurturing, empathic, creative and fiercely protective of loved ones in the house of Spirit, compassion and inner journeys. This is sextile to Neptune, ruler of the 12th and connection to the divine.

We all can’t be the Dali Lama (or can we?) but what better way to express these energies than being a spiritual leader.

MohandasGandhi
Mahatma Gandhi with Sun in the 12th sextile Saturn and opposite Neptune.

Compare with Mahatma Gandhi who had Sun in the 12th house opposite Neptune in the 6th.

Working with Contrast

If there are contrasting drives and goals in sextile to each other, instead of honoring one of the planets and resisting or repressing the other – instead of making it either/or – you engage with and/AND. Instead of creativity (Sun) or spirituality (Neptune), find creativity AND spirituality. If you are thinking partnered or serving others, play with the idea of partnered AND serving others.

The bottom line is, if you think it’s either/or, it will be, so use your awareness to pave new thoughts with and/AND. Freedom AND commitment. Money AND soul. Dream Job AND independence. Security AND love. Accomplishment AND spiritual life. Power AND creativity.

Summary

To conclude, a sextile between two or more planets means they are scripted to dialog with each other. They are connected so that if one is active and ‘doing something’ the connected planet wakes up too. They are partners, of sorts, always. Finding the And/and to the sextiles in your chart can harmonize your desires, smooth out any kinks in your vibe and launch new successes, over and over again.

Try it!

Also, if you missed our first call in the Doorways to Manifesting Series, you can listen to it here:

Doorways to Manifesting – leveraging the contrast in your chart.

Comments on the Fourm and example charts in the Chart Gallery.

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Notes

* Luminary refers to the sun and/or moon.

* Basic Rules:
Planets
are energy – the actors. They show us WHAT is acting.
Signs are expression – the costumes the actors wear. They show HOW the actors move.
Houses are environments – the stage on which the actor struts her stuff. They show WHERE the action is.
Aspects are the scripts – the dialog between actors who are connected. They show WHY the actors are attracted to each other.

*What Activates Aspects in the Natal Chart

Three things will activate any aspects in the chart: time, place and people. Think of it like this:

TimeTransits to the conjunctions

Place – Relocation or Astre*Carto*Graphy

PeopleSynastry, as when another person’s planet acts like a transit to yours.

The Major Aspects Symbols and Key Words

Aspects_sm

 

 

 

 

 

Find out more about Aspect Patternsa pattern that ties together three or more planets into a geometrical shape. They are CONNECTED to each other. Scripted to interact.

Comments welcome, or join us on the GVA forum.