About that Grand Sextile

How are you doing coming out of Mercury retrograde? I’ve noticed that I’m still reassembling the bits of what went a little wonky, got neglected or went underground. I suggest you do a checkover of all such projects, and think back to what you were doing at the time the retrograde stated in late June just to make sure you catch all the stray kittens.

Chart for last quarter Moon, which sort of lines up with the grand sextile, Monday at 1:43 pm EDT.

Meanwhile, this is the week of the grand sextile. A grand sextile is planets arranged in every other sign, forming a Star of David. This one takes place in the earth and water signs. It’s not very clear in the full chart on this page, but you can see it more clearly in the simplified version of the chart here.]

You can see it with the green lines at the center of the wheel, which are trines (120-degree aspects), or the blue lines, which are sextiles (60-degree aspects). The red lines represent the T-square between the Moon, the Sun and Saturn that is happening at the same time. That T-square is as significant as the grand sextile — its message is ‘don’t take forever to do what you’re here to do. Time is of the essence’.

The grand sextile aspect pattern, for its part, is being touted around the Internet as a new Harmonic Convergence. We get these aspects from time to time and some astrologers get some buzz going. I keep reading that this pattern is completed by the presence of the Moon and the Sun, however, the Sun is in a fire signs, and not part of the grand sextile. The Moon comes sweeping by in a matter of a few hours, though its South Node — that little orange horse shoe on the left side of the page — stays where it is for a while. As for the Sun, it too aspects all of these planets, though the geometry is different; instead of a lot of trines and sextiles, the Sun makes squares, semi-sextiles and quincunxes.

I think this is a cool aspect pattern. If nothing else, it represents a moment of stability (the grand sextile), and some tension (the Sun’s various aspects) and some opportunity to weave together the pattern of your life in a conscious way. It’s very nice to see all the earth and water signs — the feminine signs — in the ‘on’ position.

For those who are hoping against hope that this is the moment we’ve all been waiting for, I will only say this: if we want to make change, then it is change we have to make. No planetary configuration does that for us. It only shows what is possible. Aspects, like talents, exist as potentials. It’s what we do with them that counts.

In light of that, I propose you scan your life for what you really want to get done. Have a new go at the things that have put up resistance, or that you have resisted. There are some cool aspects to Uranus that we’ll cover later in the week — these could spark some innovation and an opportunity to express your individualism in a group context.

As weeks come, this is one of the friendlier ones of the year — make the most of it.

As for the Harmonic Convergence: that event in 1987 was not based on an astrological alignment, contrary to the popular rewriting of history. It was a human event, participated in by people in a great many cities and countries. You can read more about it in the first chapter of this pdf.

10 thoughts on “About that Grand Sextile”

  1. Hi Eric! May be im in wrong post but I need to ask. Capricorn and Pisces are sextile signs but in synastry compatibility these two suns is square. What that’s meen when square in sextile sign???

  2. len — i, too, appreciated the nod to Mercury’s shadow/echo. for me, it has felt more like a retrograde than the retrograde did. the Rx itself was fairly uneventful, though i *think* i recall a little quirkiness during the first shadow/echo phase. so i suppose it fits that i’d be revisiting that sensation now.

  3. well, I could use a “friendly week” after this last one. Not that it was “bad”, but it was lots of little explosions here and there and I even did one myself, though it wasn’t an angry one, just something that had been bothering me for a long time that I had to get off my chest. And it’s off and life goes on, but I feel funny about it still. Hoping that water energy helps me, being a water sign person, I could do with a nice float downriver looking at the sky.

  4. bodymindalchemy: Yesssss! Thank you for contributing two thrilling and evocative pieces of art to supplement your own cogent contributions. You are appreciated.

  5. I had been rather looking forward to this grand sextile, but it really hasn’t been shaping up like ‘easy aspects’ at all. (Gee, thought I’d get to cruise along…) Instead, I found myself feeling unusually rattled, unfocused, worried, just plain cranky, & not sleeping well, wondering where my serenity went.

    Thanks so much for this post, Eric! When I looked at the bare-bones simplified chart of the sextile participants, it hit me: the earth & water planets are forming quite precise inconjuncts to my sun, Mars/Pluto, Uranus & Neptune. All that earth (I have no earth placements natally) & water (which I do have) are pointed to my air & fire placements, & it’s not energy with which I am consciously familiar, having no yods in my chart. No doubt I’ve experienced previous transiting ones, but this particular grouping seems quite pressing & intense. The disparate natures of the elements involved are really hard to reconcile.

    Clearly I need to do some homework, consult my textbooks, be willing to “sit” in this until I can make some more coherent sense of it. My internal advice thus far has been along the lines of “Go slow, & feel your way through this.” I’m bearing that in mind as I go about my gardening & homekeeping & other tasks. Often I find that occupied hands can set the mind free, & sometimes gifts of insight arrive.

    “I propose that you scan your life for what you really want to get done. Have a new go at the things which have put up resistance or that you have resisted.” Yes! Definitely that’s part of what I’m feeling. Perhaps one of challenges that is emerging will say, “Okay – so pick one!”

    I’m interested in hearing how others are experiencing the current sky. I’m also looking forward to future discussions of the Uranus aspects, & the ongoing squares to Pluto. Having been one of the 60’s idealists who came into adulthood during the conjunction, it’s nostalgic, & often bittersweet.

  6. Eric: Thank you for a grounded and timely reminder that astrology does no happen to us, rather we make it happen – or not. Human beings have an extraordinary capacity to be agents of change. It’s a matter of whether the change wrought henceforth can take into account something beyond self-interest. It’s a step we are capable of taking, individually, and as a whole.

    Thank you also for a useful and insightful protocol to employ in the last week of Mercury’s second echo phase.

    Finally, thank you for the instructive charts that supplement your thoughtful words today.

  7. As Jupiter approaches its exact conjunction with the Uranian point, Kronos (7 cn 58’20″ – 31 July, 22:51:51 UT), one may embrace a tide of magnanimity or submerge in a swell of grandiosity.


    Lord, said David, since you do not need us,
    why did you create these two worlds?

    Reality replied: O prisoner of time,
    I was a secret treasure of kindness and generosity,
    and I wished this treasure to be known,
    so I created a mirror: its shining face, the heart;
    its darkened back, the world;
    The back would please you if you’ve never seen the face.

    Has anyone ever produced a mirror out of mud and straw?
    Yet clean away the mud and straw,
    and a mirror might be revealed.

    Until the juice ferments a while in the cask,
    it isn’t wine. If you wish your heart to be bright,
    you must do a little work.

    My King addressed the soul of my flesh:
    You return just as you left.
    Where are the traces of my gifts?

    We know that alchemy transforms copper into gold.
    This Sun doesn’t want a crown or robe from God’s grace.
    He is a hat to a hundred bald men,
    a covering for ten who were naked.

    Jesus sat humbly on the back of an ass, my child!
    How could a zephyr ride an ass?
    Spirit, find your way, in seeking lowness like a stream.
    Reason, tread the path of selflessness into eternity.

    Remember God so much that you are forgotten.
    Let the caller and the called disappear;
    be lost in the Call.

    – Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī
    translation by Kabir Helminski in “Love is a Stranger” (Threshold Books, 1993)

  8. Good morning brothers and sisters!

    Geeez…talk about mercury retrograde…I feel like Im on planet dumb dumb!!!
    However there is fate…not fucking faith (ha ha…i had to write that…its marilyn mansons new song)
    anywho..trying to put my body back together…its been centuries!

    Peace and love

    Patricia Louise

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