Books by Stefan Stenudd:
Sextile Aspects in the Horoscope
Cooperating Inner Forces in Classical Astrology
The creative energy
of things inspiring one another
into pleasant initiatives.
Sextile is the aspect (special angle) where planets or other horoscope points are about 60° apart in the Zodiac circle.
The classical astrology meaning of a sextile is that the powers involved cooperate smoothly, so that they encourage and inspire one another. So, both sides of the sextile gain by the aspect between them. This mutual stimulation is usually very creative, on a daily basis.
The sextile can be regarded as sort of a lesser trine. Where the latter signifies a kind of harmony that does not necessarily lead to concrete results but is present and helpful anyway, the sextile is often evident and leads to intensified activity as well as palpable results.
It is the weakest of the five major aspects (conjunction, opposition, trine, square, and sextile), but it still enhances the planets involved somewhat, compared to what their importance would be without that aspect. The closer the sextile is to 60°, the stronger the aspect is, and the more it enhances the planets involved.
In some cases, there can be three or more planets or other points in a sextile, if one or both sides of it has a conjunction. Of course, such a sextile is even more important.
OriginThe origin of the astrological significance of the sextile is from the Zodiac: it is the aspect that connects Zodiac signs of the same charge - positive or negative. Air and fire signs are positive, whereas arth and water signs are negative. It's a charge, not a value. It can be compared to the Chinese concepts yin and yang. The positive signs are outward and upward, but the negative signs are inward and downward. The former are also warm, and the latter cold in their natural state. So forces within signws of the same charge have the same direction, which makes them stimulate one another. Also, there is math in the aspect: the circle's 360° divided by six is 60.
KeywordsThere is no room here to describe all the possible sextiles and how they should be interpreted. Instead, see the keywords for the planets below, and you will probably figure out what their sextiles will signify. Also take into consideration the Zodiac sign each planet is in, which tells you more about the nature of that planet's influence - and even more so the Houses of the planets, which inform you of where in your life the sextile is mainly active. Here are the keywords for the planets and other points that form aspects:
Sun basic drive
Ascendant, AC attitude
Medium Coeli, MC self-image
For example, the moon in sextile with Mercury means that your longing and your curiosity cooperate, so that you find it easy to satisfy both - often in the same time and activity. The House of the moon will tell you what you long for the most, and the House of Mercury will tell you what you are the most curious about.
Here are the twelve Houses, and keywords for what part of life they describe:
1st House Identity
2nd House Resources
3rd House Communication
4th House Home
5th House Pastime
6th House Work
7th House Partners
8th House Unknown
9th House Travel
10th House Career
11th House Ideals
12th House Shortcomings
So, the 1st House is always in sextile with the 3rd House, since one's personality is what one expresses when presenting oneself to others. The 2nd House is always in sextile to the 4th House, since one's personal resources are often willingly spent on family and home. And so on.
Also the twelve signs of the Zodiac have natural sextiles, as mentioned and seen on the illustration above.
Native sextilesSextiles in a birth chart never change. They show characteristics that you are born with and will keep all through your life. Pay attention to what Houses they are in. That shows in what area of your life the sextiles mostly express themselves.
Also, consider how long the sextile lasted in the sky, at the time of your birth: Some come and go very quickly, so they are quite personal, whereas others (those of the outer planets) remain for years, so they are shared by a whole generation.
Transit sextilesTransit sextiles are those formed by the planets up in the sky to the points in your complete horoscope chart. It happens twice during each planet's orbit around the sun - once when approaching the transited planet or point in your horoscope, and once when moving away from it. For example, every year the sun forms two sextile aspects with each of the points in your horoscope, four months apart. For the moon, this is done in just a month. The slowest planet Pluto takes 248 years to complete its orbit, so you may reach old age without experiencing its sextile with all of the points in your horoscope.
Here are the times it takes for the planets and other points to make one rotation around the Zodiac, in round numbers - from a geocentric perspective, ie. as seen from the earth.
Sun 1 year
Moon 1 month
Mercury 1 year
Venus 1 year
Mars 2 years
Jupiter 12 years
Saturn 29 years
Uranus 84 years
Neptune 164 years
Pluto 248 years
Ascendant, AC 1 day
Medium Coeli, MC 1 day
The frequency of a transit sextile decides how important it is in your life. So, Pluto causes big and lasting changes, whereas the moon does little more than influence your mood at the moment.
ProgressionsProgressions are aspects formed by imaginary movement of the planets and other points in the birth chart. They don't correspond to any actual movement of the planets. Therefore, they should be used with care. But many astrologers regularly consider progressions, so you may want to try it. I rarely do it, which is why I don't present it further here. Transits make much more sense to me.
OrbOrb is the measure of what angle is to be regarded as an aspect. For transit aspects of any kind, I would not recommend an orb grater than 1°, so that a transit sextile is active when the transiting planet is 59°-61° from the natal point. That usually takes more than a year for Pluto, but no more than about four hours for the moon.
Be aware that some transit aspects return once or twice, because of the retrograde movements of the planets, as seen from the Earth. So, usually a transit passing is followed by a retrograde passing, and then finished with a third passing when the planet resumes its forward movement. That means the event triggered by the transit tends to announce itself, then seem not to happen, but then finish by happening pretty much as it was originally announced. That's how much in life works, because of this stellar rhythm.
In the case of aspects in your complete native horoscope chart, orbs vary according to aspects. For the sextile I recommend an orb of about 2°, i.e. from 58°-62°, but most astrologers actually use a slightly bigger orb, some as much as 5°. You can also allow the orb to vary according to what planets are involved, but that should be done moderately.
I'm a Swedish writer and astrologer. Apart from fiction, I've written several books about astrology and spirituality. I'm also a historian of ideas, researching the thought patterns in creation myths. Google Profile. Here's my personal website: stenudd.com
Classical astrology is according to the age old astrological principles, which are just as relevant today. The complete horoscope chart consists of many more components than your star sign (where the sun was at your birth). The latter has quite limited applications, which should be respected. This website deals mainly with the complete horoscope, and states clearly when that's not the case.
About This WebsiteWelcome to the world of astrology and horoscopes! Here you find an introduction to the basics of astrology, in-depth presentations of the Zodiac and your sun sign, astrological predictions based on the outer planets, famous horoscopes and elaborate forecasts.
Mundane AstrologyHere are also several examples of mundane astrology - astrological principles applied to institutions, countries and the whole world. This way of using astrology was in the past much more common than personal horoscopes.
Astrology BasicsThe astrology basics present the astrological components and their significance in the personal horoscope. They are the twelve Zodiac signs, the twelve planets, the twelve Houses, and the five aspects.
There are astrologers who use additional celestial bodies, as well as additional aspects. I stick to the horoscope fundamentals specified by Ptolemy, the Greek mathematician of the 2nd century CE, in his classic on astrology: Tetrabiblos. It's the primary source to western astrology.