From July 22 to 31, 2013, we have the forming of a very rare aspect pattern. It's called a Grand Sextile or sometimes a Star of David. Cirque du Soleil.)Let's call this the Cirque du Sextile! (...in the spirit of the truly legendary
This particular configuration starts with the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune Grand Trine (see Jun.01-Aug.12). Mars is thrown in for good measure, still being within orb to conjoin Jupiter.
Then a second Grand Trine forms with Moon, Venus and Pluto. This pattern also consists of 3 pairs of oppositions, as well as 2 interlocking Grand Trines. In this case, the oppositions are: Jupiter-Pluto, Venus-Uranus and Moon-Saturn.
The Moon moves into position on July 29, plus or minus a day (depending on where you are). At that time, all 6 planets are distributed throughout the Water and Earth signs at roughly 60-degree intervals around the zodiac, and voilà! A Grand Sextile!
To get that many planets to line up like that and keep them all within a reasonable orb is no small feat! At its peak, these planets are within just less than 5 degrees at their widest orb.
Since one of the points is the very fast moving Moon, it only lasts for about a day. It reaches its closest point at around Noon EDT (Eastern Daylight Time). (Note: add 5 hours for GMT; add 14 hours for AEST. The box at left shows, in 3 time zones, when the Moon completes the aspect pattern within a 6° orb.)
Venus forms the 5th point of the 6-pointed Grand Sextile from July 22-31, beginning the transformation of the Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune Grand Trine. The Moon is the last one to the party and the first to leave, starting her first aspect in the configuration (sextile to Neptune) at around 9:30pm July 28th, EDT, and finishing her last aspect (sextile to Mars) at around 11:30am July 30th, EDT.
Grand Sextiles, although rare, do happen occasionally. There were 14 of them in the 20th century, although only 8 in the 21st century. The last one was in 2003 and the next will be in 2025. They typically include several fast moving planets that quickly move out of orb, so holding the entire 6-pointed pattern together beyond a couple of days is extremely rare. The last time we had one that lasted more than 48 hours was 1594, and the next one isn't until 2298!
So: what does it all mean? Sextiles (60°) are all about creative cooperation. They join signs that share the same polarity (Yang/Masculine/Positive versus Yin/Feminine/Negative) and therefore have compatible elements (Earth and Water, or Fire and Air).
Like all sextile aspects, bringing out the potential requires a bit of effort to combine the harmonious energies together – kind of like bringing apples and oranges together to make a fruit salad or a fruit punch. So right now there is greater than usual ability to discover and create increased potential with what you already have in your life (or have access to). It's easier to find ways to combine things so that they become greater than the sum of their parts.
Here's the thing: like all aspects, the sextile has its less-than-stellar side too. Manipulation or even trickery could be included in the sextile's potential. When you have a talent for mixing similar but separate energies, you have some control over which way the result emerges. On one hand that can be a good thing, but it also means you could slant the outcome in a way that is laden with your own bias or hidden agendas. Is that good or bad? Yes. Maybe. Since creativity means you have the ability to come up with something completely new, who's to say if what you create is good or bad, or is made of integrity or biased distortion? The sextile can easily become an exercise in self-justification and spin-doctoring.
With a Grand Sextile, you have all the beneficial and all the questionable potential of the sextile—times 6! Like all things in astrology, what is projected outward onto the manifest world tends to vary according to the wattage of the light shining through the chart. The Grand Sextile grants you amplified ability to be creative, inventive, innovative and perhaps visionary.
So how will you use it? What obstructions in your life could benefit from some creative problem-solving? How could you set your mind free to see the potential beyond the barriers that hold you back? By the same token, you might do well to ask yourself if there might be a hidden advantage to being held back. As strange as that might sound, we sometimes stay where we are because we fear that changes could bring a disadvantage that we don't want.
For example, say you are frustrated from being in a low-paying job. Although that's a disadvantage, perhaps it has low expectations and is therefore relatively low-stress, which is a priority for you. The Grand Sextile energy could be used to improve your financial situation in some way other than finding a higher paying, and therefore more demanding, job. Maybe overtime pay at your current job is an option, or you might find ways to reduce your expenses, or you might hold a garage sale that will both clear out a lot of old stuff you don't need and bring in some extra cash you didn't think you had.
Perhaps you need money to buy something, and you realize you can get what you need in another form without having to spend as much money. An example might be that you want to hire someone to do housework once every couple of weeks, but you come across someone who will do it as a trade for something you can provide to them on a regular basis. Or you might hire someone who can help you reorganize so that the housework itself is made much easier.
Do you see how this can work? It's about flexibility that can bring together seemingly separate or disconnected resources that create a whole new solution, or even a range of possible solutions. Just be careful that the one you pick is above board and doesn't create as many problems as it solves.
© Wendy Guy 2013, all right reserved. Beyond brief quotes or strictly personal purposes, please obtain written permission from the author before reproducing this article or using images.