The Grand Sextile

This configuration is not a common one to come across in natal charts.  It must involve at least six planets found at six different points in the chart.  All of them must first and foremost sextile each other, which tends to create a chain-effect reaction. The Grand Sextile then creates a large hexagram pattern across the chart.  Within this configuration are actually two Grand Trines and three oppositions. Considering the presence of multiple Grand Trines, the saving grace of the Grand Sextile is its three oppositions. They stimulate an awareness that we need to give back out to the environment what we readily develop here within us if we are to use such a plentitude of opportunities in a balanced, constructive manner. Because of the grandness of this configuration, we best use it when supporting the growth of a social cause that drives us to make use of the full range of our talents and skills.  It can denote an above-average degree of versatility.  Aid and assistance come from many varied areas in our environment as long as we remain open, cooperative, and able to meet the needs of others.  These oppositions also remind us to consciously coordinate our activities and direct them towards external objectives, rather than contain them for our self-centered advantage. We are stimulated to creatively mobilize our forces here and reach out towards the world.

With two Grand Trines involved here, the creative resources are abundant and need to be actively tapped.  Here exists an enormous overload of capacity which demands to be actively exploited.  If diffusion or stagnation is allowed to develop (prompted by passivity or multiple Grand Trines), this condition is very much like the spoilage of ripened fruit.  Talents that are in their peak of expression then begin to diminish due to their lack of activation.  The temptation to procrastinate, become lazy or indifferent to the powers of this configuration should be avoided at all cost.  This individual normally exudes a special magnetism that could have a beneficial, charismatic influence over others.  He seems to do more favorably when allowing himself to spread out in a variety of experiences in life (due to the branching effect of the six sextiles).

However, with at least six of the ten normally used planets tied into this configuration, the chart as a whole is likely to have few squares. Therefore, the Grand Sextile may require that we make a special, conscious effort to work harder in developing inner discipline, greater endurance, patience, and the inner drive it takes to insure a fuller utilization of our gifts here. Otherwise, lacking the drive and impetus of squares, we might merely become privileged, gifted dilettantes who are nevertheless too restless and over-stimulated to ever master any of our skills.


With all the receptive, in-drawing signs represented here, the normal tendency is to approach all of the areas of creative potential with more conservatism, greater industriousness, and a sense of careful organization.  Staying power is stronger, giving this type of Grand Sextile a highly productive power that can realistically benefit many areas of the individual’s life.  Talents and opportunities indicated are pursued with a desire for practical application, as well as emotional gratification and material security.  With this configuration, the individual is motivated to retain the fruits of his efforts, unlike the Fire-air Grand Sextile, which rarely seems to possess what it creates or initiates.  The stability and purposefulness of the sensible air signs minimizes the danger of this grand sextile swinging off into too many scattered directions at once.  Social activities emphasized here usually coordinate better with each other.

The three oppositions will require that the individual interact with the social environment with more flexibility. In general, earth and water signs adapt more poorly to changes and alterations in the outer world than do fire and air signs.  They are geared toward preserving and securing rather than expanding and releasing.  Thus, one with this configuration is often less willing to innovate, experiment, or follow through with sudden impulses.  He is also likely to actively pursue less interests and therefore does not tend to spread himself too thin.  The expression of nervous energy here is less sporadic, temperamental, and unevenly modulated.  Because of the presence of both a Grand Earth Trine and a Grand Water Trine, the sensual nature is apt to be very well developed and able to be channeled in highly imaginative ways.  Whatever routines are necessary for the thorough development of creative enterprise are more easily accepted and undertaken by this individual.  But due to the somewhat unenergetic nature of these elements, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus involved in this type of grand trine benefits it’s expression andkeeps it vital.

 Tierney’s text was written in 1975, prior to the discovery of Chiron.  In a private communication with Johnny Mirehiel, Bil says: “…today’s astrologers would certainly want to include Chiron in any meaningful configuration.”

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