Sextile - Aspect in the Chart

Zodiac detail of clock on the Torre dell' Orologio in St. Mark's Square in Venice
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The Sextile is harmonious, like the trine, and to reap its benefits, you've got to actively work it.

That's the take away from the Sextile, often referred to as a lesser Trine. 

The Sextile is an angle between planets that are 60 degrees from each other. The Zodiac signs that form a Sextile are in the same yin/yang polarity, also known as masculine and feminine. They are NOT in the same element or modality (cardinal, fixed, mutable).  

Zodiac Signs that Form Sextiles

Aries and Gemini - Novelty seekers, playful.

Taurus and Cancer - Comfort-lovers, home, and garden.

Gemini and Leo - Popular and boldly expressive.

Cancer and Virgo - Thoughtful and security-minded.

Leo and Libra - Charismatic leadership, haute culture.

Virgo and Scorpio - Investigative minds and quality control agents.

Libra and Sagittarius - Social charmers and conversationalists. 

Scorpio and Capricorn - Ambition and long-range visionaries.

Sagittarius and Aquarius - Scouts for the future.

Capricorn and Pisces - Tradition keepers, for now and all time.

Aquarius and Aries - The genius and renegades.

Pisces and Taurus - Abundance magnets and lovers.

All Those Blue Lines 

A birth chart is full of so-called hard aspects, marked in red, and soft aspects, in blue. The focus in a reading is often on the ordeals of the red lines, especially if someone is in crisis. 

In looking for the high drama of a birth chart, the Sextile can be overlooked. I have to confess I don't often think about the Sextiles in my own chart. The Sextile is subtle, but for the astro-aware, this is an area to mine for gold. And it's considered a Major aspect. 

They require activation, as astrologer Kevin Burk writes in Understanding the Birth Chart. From Burk: "The energy of Sextiles does not flow automatically, however, once the two planets are triggered, they discover that they do indeed work well with each other, in a very supportive and encouraging manner."

And April Elliot Kent adds to this, saying, "My teacher once described the Sextile as being like a cross between a Trine and a Square; it yields the gifts of a trine if you're willing to do the work of a Square." In her acclaimed book, Practical Astrology, she recommends a 5-degree orb for Sextiles. 

Openness to the New

Steven Arroyo writes in the Chart Interpretation Handbook, that the Sextile is a gateway to the new.

From Arroyo: "The Sextile seems to be an aspect of openness to the new: new people, new ideas, new attitudes; and it symbolizes the potential for making new connections with either people or ideas that can ultimately lead to new learning." 

Arroyo continues, "This aspect usually involves signs of harmonious elements and thus compatible energies. The sextile shows an area of life where one can cultivate not only a new level of understanding but also a greater degree of objectivity which can lead to a feeling of great freedom. It indicates an automatic, natural attunement and sometimes a definite skill."

This makes sense, as we look at the above list, and see a cheerful harmony in some sphere of life. The natural traits, that are there to be activated, then have the potential to be very creative.  

Urban Dictionary - Just for Fun

And in case you didn't know, a Sextile is: "Any item of clothing that is figure flattering and entices the opposite sex is a sextile." Or, "An individual who is versatile in the practice of sex."

That word Sextile relates to six in Latin. So in astrology, it signifies a Sixth-Harmonic Aspect.

What that means is that the circle of the chart has been divided into six parts, and they form 60 degree angles. 

Definition: The Sextile is an aspect formed when planets are two signs or about 60 degrees apart. It is a positive harmony between planets that opens up new pathways for growth. The sextile brings ease to that area of the chart, along with helpful people. Not quite as powerful as the trine, the other positive aspect.