The sextile is a misunderstood aspect in synastry. It’s considered by some to be interchangeable with the trine, but so “soft” that it doesn’t have much impact in the connection between two people. But the fact remains that sextiles are one of the Ptolemaic aspects. To ignore them is to overlook part of the relationship’s story. Having said that, how much weight do they actually carry? Not all aspects are created equal, and it would be a mistake to assign sextiles the same amount of strength as a conjunction (or a trine).
First, let’s look at what a sextile actually is. This 60 degree-angle describes the connection between complementary signs — different elements that harmonize (like Earth and Water). It is considered harmonious by everyone, but that’s where opinions diverge. One school of thought considers the sextile to be nothing more than a watered-down trine. Another theory is that it represents creativity and excitement. Generally, it’s accepted by most that its harmony is suggested, but does not flow as naturally as the trine. Therefore, a sextile requires a push to get anything out of it. The trine’s flow of energy is a given. With a sextile, the potential is there, but you need to activate it. Perhaps this is why some people view the sextile as creative opportunity. In my experience, a trine will always be felt more strongly than a sextile. The orb of allowance for sextiles in synastry is quite tight. Everyone has their personal preference, but I use 3 degrees max.
Here are the signs that sextile each other:
- Aries sextiles Gemini and Aquarius
- Taurus sextiles Cancer and Pisces
- Gemini sextiles Aries and Leo
- Cancer sextiles Taurus and Virgo
- Leo sextiles Gemini and Libra
- Virgo sextiles Cancer and Scorpio
- Libra sextiles Leo and Sagittarius
- Scorpio sextiles Virgo and Capricorn
- Sagittarius sextiles Libra and Aquarius
- Capricorn sextiles Scorpio and Pisces
- Aquarius sextiles Aries and Sagittarius
- Pisces sextiles Taurus and Capricorn
Let’s say a couple has a trine between his Mars and her Venus. His actions blend perfectly with her receptiveness. He asserts himself, and she responds in a way that keeps him feeling manly. Their chemistry is warm, easy and there’s no effort required. There was attraction from the start, but it wasn’t crazy-electric passion.
Now, change that trine to a sextile. Was there attraction from the start? Maybe a sniff of interest, but Mars had to make an effort to grab Venus’ attention. And he may not have done that unless there were other, stronger connections between them. Once he got the ball rolling, they both found it easy to be together. But, the caveat is that they both have to keep putting effort into their connection to maintain the flow of energy. Unlike the never-ending abundance of the trine, the sextile’s small flame requires constant feeding. Occasionally, Mars may need to remind Venus that he thinks she’s sexy, and Venus may need to remind Mars that she is sexy.
All it takes is a slight nudge, and things are rolling again. But because of this aspect’s quiet energy, it’s easy to overlook. If you and your partner have sextiles in your synastry, these are areas worth investigating. Are you ignoring areas of possibility? What happens if you give those planets (that sextile each other) a nudge? Sextiles are like small boxes of happiness, but you need to open them.
Having said this, a sextile is not strong enough to upgrade a connection from so-so to soulmate. Maybe you’re digging into the synastry between you and potential Mr. Right. You want to know if things will progress from flirting to full-on, but there’s a lack of heavy aspects. Then, you spy a sextile between your South Node and his Venus. That’s a past life connection, right? Yes, it is. So that means there’s some serious karmic glue, maybe enough for the two of you to be pulled together again in this life.
Sorry, but no. There probably was a past-life relationship, but if the sextile is the only Nodal aspect between you, there’s simply not enough draw. If his Venus conjuncted your South Node, that energy of fusion might be strong enough to draw you together to continue that past-life relationship. But the sextile is more of a whisper, a suggestion of what once was. Sextiles are not magnetic (no matter what planets or points are involved). When combined with stronger aspects, they can work beautifully as areas where you and your partner meet and enjoy each other. But by themselves, they only suggest what could be.
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