Day 3: Sextiles and Trines
The other main aspects which make up and complement a planets journey are the sextile and the trine which are the 60° and 120° marks. They are the aspects which go between the conjunction, and the square, and the opposition in the separating half of the cycle and the 30° mark between the opposition and the applying square and the end of the cycle where returns back to the conjunction. Traditionally, these two aspect types are regarded as times of flow, and ease, however they are best looked at in terms of assessment and opportunity in how they can be utilised to build up and strengthen what needs to be done in order to prepare and compliment the squares and oppositions, so that everything is consolidated in each part of the cycle. In other words then the sextiles and trines will tend to lend support to the squares and the oppositions and vice versa making the planets whole cycle a productive blend of balance and re-balancing of the different aspect forces that produces results.
The sextile is the 60° mark from the 00° conjunction. You could say it corresponds to the crescent phase in a monthly moon cycle. Both the separating and applying sextiles are ideal times for assessment and taking stock of things. They are a good time to look back at projects started and the type of events that took place at the conjunction to see how things are going for the separating sextile and at the oncoming finish of the whole cycle at the conjunction for the applying sextile. In both cases sextiles are a good window of opportunity to see more clearly and gauge the things one needs to do by determining what exactly needs doing and making allowances and adjustments and perhaps revising plans to better suit. Sextile energies are not so much tests in so far as they don't challenge, however they still need to be recognized and made use of to gain maximum benefit from them.
The Separating Sextile
The separating sextile is the first real point of clarity. It allows one to be in the position where you can see both backwards and forwards. Looking back at what’s taken place since the conjunction one is able to then take certain measures to further implement strategies on what needs to be done between the sextile and the oncoming square. The separating sextile is the first stage in the initiation of the project for the whole cycle. So it can be fairly new experiences getting used of the incoming energies or rays of the separating sextile. This sextile indicates the stage for further development in growth where it will reach its culmination in connection with the trine which is a stronger version of 60° or if you like two sextiles together, and also to some degree the separating square which this sextile contributes to in terms of further growth and maturity that gets reassessed and tested at the square stage. At this stage of the planets journey it is helpful to look at the type of things the planet represents and the area of life it’s in relation to the house where the conjunction took place and the houses in between during that time. As a help jotting down a simple note in your astrology diary of the planets movement when it enters a new house each time, or makes aspects to the other planets in between its main aspects is very handy to see how the events each time unfold over its cycle.
Also other aspects which may be applying or separating to the same planet—meaning the planet maybe forming a sextile from when it last left the conjunction with one planet or house cusp, and at the same time it may be forming a trine or square opposition to another planet in the chart in which case these variables must be taken into consideration as well in regards to other influences coming from other areas of the chart.
The Applying Sextile
The applying sextile comes up at the 300° mark from when the planet first made the conjunction. This is the 60° mark before the end of the cycle when it returns back to the conjunction again. At this point the planet has come into its last aspect from the applying square, and in a sense it's another opportune time to make assessment of the past challenges and also the applying trine, which is the next main aspect one after the opposition. This is a time whereby the energies from the cycle are being released and transformed even to the point where they can be dissolved altogether with just the essence remaining of the experiences gained from the whole cycle, during this last phase between the applying sextile and the conjunction. In a way it corresponds to the balsamic phase in a monthly moon cycle.
The sextile at this point also is a good time to ascertain what's ahead in terms of the things one has already cultivated and what can be done in utilizing that knowledge and planning for the next new cycle ahead. It's time to even look back over the whole cycle and perhaps if you've kept a record track to the events from the conjunction through each aspect as the separating sextile allows for insight and ease to gauge and really sum up the cycle stages of unfoldment and growth. This can be done quite easily with the transits of the quicker planets, with the slower moving planets however it’s a matter of planning out a cycle in terms of their transits over quite a number of years.
If you take advantage of the applying sextile time it can really help to bring about a series of positive events that can be implemented and get underway at the start of the next new conjunction. So it's a matter of looking at the planets involved once again and then determining how they relate to what you're doing and your plans, or goals, and how you can improve upon it, and in addition even having a look further ahead at the time of the next conjunction and after when the planet is on another of its cycles, and a new level and turn of the spiral can be insightful as well.
* Note: To see the time when a planet makes different aspects on its cycle. All you need to do is go to the “extended chart section” in “my astro” of Astro.com and scroll down to the date window of the “options part”, and there you can put any date in that you want—then in the “chart method section” select the “natal and progressed” and or “ natal and transits chart” for the type of chart you want or another, and then when the chart comes up you will have the position of the planets for any given day, month and year of your choosing. This is a very effective way for setting stages up and planning out one’s life and helps in producing beneficial outcomes for future trends. It’s not a 100% perfect however nothing is in astrology or life for that matter anyway as there is always so many different other factors to consider, but it certainly will make a difference to your life purpose and things you want to do in life. All it takes is to play around with your chart, create and work out the cycles of the planets and with that information make your life into what you want it to be.
The trine aspect is the 120° mark both in the separating and applying halves and is the aspect symbol of a triangle in the aspect grid. If we took it in terms of the moon’s monthly cycle it would correspond roughly with the culminating phase before and the disseminating phase after the full moon.
Trines are considered an aspect of ease and flow as well however they are not without their challenges also. The deeper one goes into life the more one sees the two unifying principles of the forces of challenge and ease bound up together. As the saying goes, “no real worthwhile accomplishment comes without not having had its challenges” and it could be said that “challenges also have their rewards.” So this applies to the trine in the sense that it embodies the type of energies where the challenge is not so obvious and yet it’s looked favorably upon. The key to trines are not to overlook or overstate the harmony and lackadaisical type of energy they can represent. The best times to use trines are when there are challenges ahead or there are challenges happening in one's life at the time.
When it comes to aspects its always helpful if it happens to be a square or opposition of the type that’s challenging, to look around the chart and see where a trines energy can be employed to instill a current of ease and balance the aspect out, and the same goes for a trine, if it’s one that is not producing a satisfactory result, then to get it up and running well, look for a square or an accompanying sextile, or an opposition say, from somewhere else in the chart that can be used for strengthening the aspects involved.
The Separating Trine
The separating trine is an accumulating type of energy that has its rewards. In a sense it’s a plateau stage that can give a good view back and forward to the halfway mark at the opposition. At this point there’s an accomplishment of a sorts due to the experiences gone through at the separating sextile and the square. It’s again useful to note the particular planets involved in the trine aspect in the transit when they activate the trine in the chart and the events in the areas of life involved, along with any other aspects by transit at the time to other planets which are in the pattern as it will give a broader scope to the energies of the trine.
Needless to say not all trines are harmonious and a lot can go unnoticed and unutilised if it is not put to determining just exactly how the energies flow and harmonise and a way created to make those energies work for greater benefit—as the time is good for moving forward and any resistance is more due to not taking action and just sitting back and waiting for things to happen as it can all seem to easy when a trine is at its high point. The separating trine is like a new lease of life that can invigorate the last main stage before the end of the journey at the opposition at the halfway mark.
The Applying Trine
The applying trine comes as the next aspect after the opposition. It's more or less corresponds with the disseminating phase of the moons monthly cycle. However it's not the same type of energy. All the planets in their phases by the way are not in any way suggesting they are the same type of energy as the moon phase on its monthly journey. The analogy of a moon phase is being used as a reference point to connect with in terms of how a planetary aspect cycle unfolds. The monthly phases of the sun/moon cycle are different and have different interpretations which we will be covering in a later module.
So the applying trine occurs after the halfway mark at the opposition and before the oncoming applying square. At this point you’ll notice in your table of aspects there is a trine either side of the opposition. It may be that at the opposition there was a new beginning started of a sort however the trine becomes further growth of the type of energy which is still actively progressing from the 1st half of the cycle. The best use of the energies in this case then is to further increase and go for it more as it can take you to an even higher point at the end of the whole cycle where it ends and a new one begins.
On the other hand, if it's an entire new beginning where something has been discarded or culminated in an ending at the opposition then the applying trine can indicate a fresh time where vision is used and plans can be made again comfortably and things are put into action that will work themselves out throughout the rest of the journey and complete at the next conjunction. With the applying trine one gets to look at the oncoming square and perhaps the challenges one can see ahead and therefore is able to plan beforehand. The value of the applying trine is that it is a strong enough power to produce results which can set you on your way and serve you in the challenges to come, plus build upon from those experiences. And again it’s a matter of looking at the planets involved, the areas of life and the transits which we will also be covering in a separate module later on.