The Daily Astro for July 29, 2013: The Grand Sextile


The Daily Astro for July 29, 2013: 

The Grand Sextile

by Valerie Sylvester




Today’s the big day of the Grand Sextile/Merkaba/Star of David/hexagram pattern, so I suppose I need to address it. There’s been quite a lot of “woo-woo-etry” floating around on the internet about this configuration. This Mercury in Taurus-bearing individual needed some time to ruminate before putting anything in writing. And I’m still not quite sure what I think. I know there are some astrologers who feel that today’s line-up is “almost” a Grand Sextile but not quite.  In addition, there are several other configurations that intertwine with this Grand Sextile, so it’s not occurring in a planetary vacuum, but operates more like a pinball machine, with balls hitting flippers and ricocheting off to the next adventure.

Strange claims are being made about this pattern. Do I think we’re all going to become ascended beings and float up into space to align with a horde of angelic hosts today? No. Will things change in the blink of an eye, without our having to lift a finger? I doubt it.

Let’s take a look at this Grand Sextile.  It consists of two Grand Trines, which look  like two triangles on top of each other, with one pointing up and the other pointing down. One points to the heavens, the other points to the earth. One is in water signs, the other in earth. So we’re looking for the connection between heaven and earth, grounding and release, flowing and holding patterns. The elements, water and earth are  traditionally referred to as “feminine” energy patterns. In the tarot realm, we’re throwing down all Cups and Pentacles.

The Water Grand Trine consists of Jupiter/Mars/Mercury in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces.  I’ve talked about this one before as it’s been in operation during these summer months. The Earth Grand Trine features the Moon in Taurus, Venus in Virgo and Pluto in Capricorn. These two formations include just about every planet (plus a luminary, the Moon) in the sky right now. If we break it down to some keywords, it goes like this:

Moon in Taurus: security, solidity, groundedness, being at home in the body, emotional values, self-worth issues, enjoying our physicality.

Venus in Virgo:  Being of service, doing work that we love, expressing our values in daily life, realizing the importance of small things, routine and ritual, working well with others, transcending the mundane with love. (Venus is opposite Neptune in Pisces in the Grand Water Trine.)

Pluto in Capricorn: The consequences of use and abuse of power and authority, “how the cookie crumbles” (think of the Tower card in the Tarot), “too big to fail”, earth changes, major structures and hierarchies undergo massive transformations, a period of intense and deep social change.

Mars and Jupiter in Cancer:  Fighting for the rights of our “family” (i.e. human rights), establishing a new home/homeland, anthropology or archaeology (studying the family of humanity), “new frontiers”, learning to be comfortable outside of our normal comfort zone.

(Both Jupiter and Mars are opposite Pluto in Capricorn, which is part of the Earth Grand Trine.)

Saturn in Scorpio:  “Purging and merging”, how we use resources, the law of karma, a need to establish limits or release what’s not working, the law of transformation is inescapable, judgment calls, getting serious, going deep beneath the foundations.

Neptune in Pisces: realizing our potential for healing, expressing compassion for all beings, opening to spirituality, psychic experiences, transcending boundaries, universal love.

These are some of the areas of life and issues that may be activated by The Grand Sextile.    You can see above the variety of  themes that are playing out at this time–and the intricacy of the connections. Sextiles, in astrology, show areas of opportunity. Usually sextiles delineate natural or innate talents, and show forces working in relative harmony. There’s opportunity here, if you put some effort into using your talents. There’s an easy flow, and the planets connected “talk” to each other. So the Moon in Taurus sextiles Jupiter and Mars, the Jupiter/Mars in Cancer combo sextiles Venus in Virgo, Venus sextiles Saturn in Scorpio, and Saturn sextiles Pluto in Capricorn, then Pluto sextiles Neptune in Pisces, which then sextiles the Moon in Taurus.  It’s an energetic loop, like a planetary Mobius strip, constantly flowing, recharging.

Today’s  Last Quarter Taurus Moon is activating the whole shebang, and not only is it central to the Grand Sextile, but it also fits into another pattern, a T-square (it’s opposite Saturn in Scorpio and square the Sun in Leo). A second T-square forms between Mars/Jupiter in Cancer, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Capricorn. What this means is there’s a little friction on offer to jump start some of the energies circling through the Grand Sextile. So there may be more impetus to DO something rather than sit back and relax all day.  There may be a “last call” feel, as though we’re being pushed to finish something so we can move on. As the Moon moves out of range quickly, today is the time to get things moving if you feel the call.  Those of you with planets or chart points at around 4 degrees Taurus may feel the pull more intensely.  If you know what house in your birth chart contains 4 degrees of Taurus, that’s the area that’s “lighting up”  for you right now.

The whole scenario feels to me as though we’re being forced to awaken from a complacent dream only to discover that things are falling apart in the real world as we’ve been snoozing away comfortably. It’s time to wake up. It’s also like the Chariot card in the Tarot. The double T-square setup is one horse, the double Grand Trines are the other, and it’s a delicate balance when we grab the reins and try to coordinate the energies, but it’s essential to master this dance. Go too slow, and you never reach the destination; go too fast and you risk a catastrophic accident. You can see this force at work in the news—a high-speed train wreck in Spain, followed by a tour bus plunging into a ravine in Italy. Losing/gaining control of the “vehicle” is our theme. Serious skills are necessary now as we learn how to integrate the strong energies swirling around us.

Mary Fortier Shea, who has studied this configuration for many years, has a page of commentary on today’s Grand Sextile/Star of David formation as it relates to mundane issues, and it’s well worth reading:

Today’s aspects are keyed into the planetary patterns discussed above. The day gets off to a lazy start as the Moon sextiles Neptune in Pisces at 9:45 EDT;  we’re still in weekend/vacation ass-dragging mode and may need a boost  to get outselves in gear.

We hit our first obstacles at 10:41 AM EDT as the Moon opposes Saturn—maybe we’re overwhelmed by this week’s upcoming deadlines and/or feel we’ll never get the work done in time. Slow and steady is the way to go here. Don’t give yourself too much time to worry or doubt your abilities, especially as the Moon squares the Sun in Leo at 1:43 PM EDT.  Time to put on the Manager Hat, roll up your sleeves, and channel that Leo firepower and charisma towards practical ends—you can bask in the praise later. Watch tendencies towards stubbornness or truculence—it will only inspire resistance. We may find we have to deal with joint finances or enterprises, banking matters, inheritance issues, and anything on the value/reward/investment continuum.

 Later in the afternoon it’s all trines and sextiles, so take a breath or a break and enjoy the flow. The Moon sextiles Jupiter in Cancer at 3:12 PM EDT and trines Venus in Virgo at 5:48 PM EDT, so it’s “whistle while you work” time. A word of encouragement goes a long way; people are happy to cooperate if approached in the right spirit. At 7:17 PM EDT a Moon/Pluto trine, followed by a Moon/Mars sextile at 10:09 PM EDT is good for research, digging deep, making new discoveries  and cementing alliances or discovering people who are emotionally “simpatico”.


Since today’s the Last Quarter Moon, the Symbols will relate to today’s Moon position:

Sabian Symbol for today’s MOON:  “A woman of Samaria.”

Kozminsky Symbol for today’s MOON: “A beautiful white swan swimming on a smooth lake edged by lilies and grasses and pretty little wild flowers.”

The Keyword for the Sabian Symbol is: “Awakening. ”

The Keyword for the Kozminsky Symbol is: “Tranquillity.”

The Sabian Symbol, “A woman of Samaria” relates to the Biblical story of Jesus appearing to an “outsider/outcast”, someone not recognized or valued by those in the local community.  It’s about spiritual transcendence, recognizing the divinity in the “ordinary” (Venus is in Virgo today), and being open to others. Reaching out to others is a theme today. We make connections with those outside the usual realm of experience. Take time to include others today—lend a hand. Inspiration and assistance arrives from “out of the blue”. It’s time to take a look at the limits you place on yourself ; examine preconceived notions. You can get more accomplished by joining with others than by isolating yourself. On the down side, “don’t give away the farm” or overextend yourself beyond sensible limits. Establish boundaries that benefit you but don’t imprison.

The Kozminsky Symbol ties in well with the flowing energies of today’s Grand Trines/Grand Sextile pattern. A peaceful swan swims on a smooth lake, at one with nature. This is how it works when you’re in tune with the cosmos—the lake is tranquil, the swan unruffled, the lilies bob and float in rhythm with the moving water. Imagine life with less impediments. What would happen if you could “go with the flow”? The Moon in Taurus tells us to relish life and enjoy just inhabiting our own skin. There’s no separation; we’re part of this idyllic scene. Romance goes smoothly if you remember to appreciate the beauty found in your own environment.

And, just as an aside, I like the two Keywords put together:  “Awakening Tranquility”. 


7 of Pentacles /King of Pentacles

“The Midas Touch”. Two Pentacles, Earth energy cards, keying into today’s Moon in Taurus and the Grand Trine in Earth.  It’s all about resources today, and the struggle between hanging on to what we’ve got and taking a risk. There may be uncomfortable levels of tension as we find we’re afraid to release the old in order to allow room for new things to enter. Where’s your Achilles heel in relation to possessions, money, and value judgments? Holding on too tight blocks the energy flow. A challenge to our values can make us nervous. If “it’s always been done that way”, does that make it right? Don’t wall yourself up in your fortress.  As noted in today’s Sabian Symbol, it’s time to step out of the comfort zone. Take a chance –never say never!


–July 29, 2013

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