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The Grand Sextile: Is this the Holy Grail of Astrology?

by Steven Shroyer, Seattle Astrology USA

Last Quarter Moon July 2013There’s a lot of excitement about next week’s astrological pattern called the “Grand Sextile,” which will be appearing on July 29, 2013. This article takes a deeper look at the meaning and relevance of the Grand Sextile formation. (Please see The Lunar Matrix for the July 29 Astrology Guide.)

I have always looked at this cosmic pattern with great curiosity and I love its symmetry. The Grand Sextile looks spectacular, with the shape of a perfect hexagon, or a perfect six-sided star.

The energy associated with a Grand Sextile is stable and balanced, allowing for the free flow of life’s vital forces. The result is the opportunity to feel an almost perfect flow of harmonizing energy. Through its symmetry, the Grand Sextile holds a grid of harmony and balance. It also provides a superior level of organization that can be used in multiple ways, especially in various types of management.

What is the Meaning and Significance of a Sextile?

A Grand Sextile is a pattern of six individual sextiles (60° each) linked together to form a circle of 360°. To understand the meaning of a Grand Sextile it’s helpful to understand the significance of a single sextile pattern.

A single sextile is created when a distance of 60° separates two planets. Whenever it occurs this is considered an important accent within an astrology chart. In the most general sense, sextiles indicate a function of management and organization.

There are two types of sextiles, and each one indicates a particular type of organization.
The first type is a separating sextile where the faster moving planet has moved 60° away from the slower planet. A separating sextile indicates a new style of organization, for the purpose of inspiration and momentum. The driving dynamic is creating new structure that can be built on.

The second type is an applying sextile where the faster moving planet has almost completed its cycle and is only 60° away from its next conjunction. (In this case, it is actually 300° away from the slower moving planet.) An applying sextile indicates management that is focused on re-organization or re-orientation. The driving dynamic is centered around adapting to changing values.

The main difference between the two types of sextiles is that one creates new momentum and the other creates change. In other words, the “separating sextiles” are based on creating structure around new values, and the “applying sextiles” are more of a reaction to what’s not working.

The Challenge of a Grand Sextile

A Grand Sextile always contains both types of sextiles. These two types are working together to support the larger pattern. By reading the pattern of individual sextiles and their accompanying planets, you can identify strengths and see different ways that management and organization can be applied to different situations.

While the overall form contains dynamic elements, at the same time, because of its almost perfect symmetry, it also inherently lacks the dynamic interaction or tension needed to spur growth and transformation. In other words, an individual sextile holds tension and the potential for growth, However, once six sextiles are joined, the overall pattern of harmony stabilizes and neutralized the expressions of the individual sextiles. They lose their emphasis and their individual accent in favor of the larger pattern of harmony.

The challenge of a Grand Sextile chart is to find the creative outlet that provides enough tension to allow for the expression of all of the harmonized energies. The opportunities for growth in a chart are always identified by the patterns that create dynamic tension. In the Grand Sextile chart this pattern, the “accent,” must be found outside of the sextile itself.

What is an Astrological Accent?

An astrological accent is what is emphasized or what stands out in a chart. For example, the accent could be a planet isolated and standing by itself in a hemisphere. It could be the 90° angle between two planets that forms what astrologer’s call a square. It could be a group of planets (usually 4 or more) bunched tightly together forming a stellium. In a Grand Sextile, it could be the planet (or planets) not part of the pattern. In the case of the July 29, 2013, Grand Sextile, there is only ONE planet (the Sun) not included in the pattern so this creates the clear accent.

Accents are important in a chart because they create a dynamic quality which provides the catalyst for personal growth. Accents define creative purpose or tension in a chart and this tension is the builder of character and maturity. Their specific meanings and roles depend on the type of accent involved.

With a grand sextile, the accent is often the planet which is “not” included as one of the six points of the hexagon. Being separate creates a type of dynamic tension and channels extra energy into that planets force for growth and transformation. This is precisely the situation we have with the July 29, 2013 grand sextile formation (read article). The Sun isn’t part of the Grand Sextile formation and thus it channels all the free-flowing energy which would otherwise be stuck and spinning within the hexagon with no place to go.

Real-Life Analysis – Grand Sextile in a Birth Chart

Let’s take a brief look at how the Grand Sextile is expressed in a natal birth chart.

I’m familiar with the birth charts of two people with this beautiful Grand Sextile pattern. Relying on the analysis of the original astrologer, Leyla Rael, their lives were smooth sailing, with no drama, and no extra excitement. There was nothing particular to point to as being dramatic or challenging. Rael noted that they were both great managers, however they were so good at keeping everything running smoothly that they didn’t receive the recognition of the great job they were doing.

What surprised me the most, after reviewing what was said about these individuals, was how uneventful their lives were. My analysis is that with nothing or no one to push against, their lives flowed with stable, balanced energy that was almost unnoticed. This is similar to a perfectly round ball rolling along on a smooth surface. After all, in most cases it’s the sharp edges and bumps in the road that build our character and make life interesting.

The challenge of this cosmic formation in a birth chart is finding the opportunity for growth, in the face of such strong balance and harmony. Both of these charts had accents, but the overall dynamic was so stable and harmonious perhaps there wasn’t enough tension to create personal motivation for change or growth.

The Grand Sextile in a Transit

Transits are the passing formations in the sky that appear daily throughout our lives. Because of the rarity of a Grand Sextile, the most common scenario for experiencing one is as a transit. For example, those who are born on July 29, 2013 between 8 am and 1 pm will experience a Grand Sextile birth chart. The rest of us will experience the form as a transit.

Whenever a transit appears, it represents an opportunity for growth. The challenge of experiencing the Grand Sextile as a transit in your life centers around recognizing your personal opportunity for growth. You can recognize this opportunity by working with the accent in the chart. There is an opportunity for growth, however experiencing a Grand Sextile will most of all feel wonderful because of it’s stability and balanced flow of energy. It may feel so good that you may lack the extra motivation to do anything but enjoy it. Perhaps that is OK!

I believe the natural tendency will be to get immersed in feeling the incredible stability and balanced flow of energy it provides. Because of its dramatic flow of harmonizing energy it is much easier to sit back during a Grand Sextile and feel how good life is, thinking to yourself, “Wow, life’s great. I’m so blessed.” Perhaps this feeling of appreciation for the blessings of life, is its greatest gift. Maybe you will experience the Grand Sextile as a much needed Cosmic break. Maybe you will seize the opportunity for growth by working with the accent. Either way life is good.

About Author

Steven ShroyerSteven Shroyer is the author of the Lunar Esoteric Journal and is based out of Seattle, USA. He's committed to helping individuals discover their life's work through purposeful action. He uses astrology, a gift of past live vision, and a compassionate esoteric outlook to help others expand their own intuition.View all posts by Steven Shroyer →

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