The function of the sextile and trine aspects is to reveal relative degrees of the regenerate consciousness of humanity. They are our points of enlightenment; our "urgings toward greater Good" (sextile) and "realization of unfolded Good" (trine). The sextile is the process by which the trine is created.
The philosophically minded astrologer never thinks of or refers to the sextile and the trine as "lucky" aspects because he knows that every factor in a horoscope is an effect of a specific cause; the original cause was, of course, an expression--in action--of a particular level of consciousness in the past. He recognizes that every sextile in a chart out- pictures a certain work of regeneration which, started in the past, was brought to such a point of efficiency that it now registers as a dynamo for the releasement of further and greater regenerative power in this incarnation. He recognizes that every trine is a registration of equilibriated relationship between two planetary factors; a trine is always a result of regeneration of consciousness--it is never a fortunate "accident of heredity" in any way or on any level of development.
By many, the sextile aspect is considered a "minor" or "small" aspect; perhaps this interpretation is made because the aspect involves only sixty degrees--half a trine. When we study the sextile symbol we are alerted to the fact that the sextile is as "major" as any other aspect; when we recognize its significance as a picturing of the dynamic phases of evolution we realize that it is one of the most important of all astrological symbols and is one by which the astrologer, in understanding it, can render great service to those who are seeking greater awareness of their own source of Light.
The essential geometric form of the sextile aspect symbol is the hexagonal--a figure of six equal sides which rests, as do the square and trine symbols, on a horizontal base. The cyclic starting points of the square and trine are the midpoint and the cusp of the second house, respectively; the sextile "starts" at the Ascendant--the first factor which reveals the essential dynamic quality and significance of the aspect. As with the trine, progress around the hexagonal is made by diagonals at the turning points; a diagonal composite of horizontal and vertical implies an abstraction of "upward and onward forever"--the symbol of spiritualized evolution.
The first diagonal of the hexagon cuts across the first and second houses and establishes contact with the cusp of the third house. In other words, it takes a short cut across the desire potential of the second house and directly connects the "I AM" of the Ascendant with the "I Think" of the third house. Following around the hexagon we see that the other five lines cut across the houses which are abstractly related to the earth and water signs and that the entire symbol has, as its structure points, the houses related to the fire-signs (Spirit) and the air signs (Mind). (These houses are also identifiable as the two pairs of "parallel relationship"-- first and seventh, third and ninth--plus the two houses of Love power potential--the fifth, and its spiritualized polarity, the eleventh.) The symbol tells us that the sextile aspect represents the dynamic, positive, propelling agencies of the human consciousness--it cuts through the levels of desire and instinct--pulling into expression those factors of consciousness which neutralize the miasmas in the subconscious resources of intense feeling.
The square and trine symbols are "enclosed," representing a stage of consciousness in which something definite has been arrived at. The square is unregeneracy which has become "lockjawed"--it must be pried loose by regenerative agencies so that evolution can be continued; the trine is a specific level of flowering--a level of inner synchronization and equilibrium. It will, in due time, be decrystallized just as a flower is decrystallized in its own timing so that the new life processes of the plant may be inaugurated. The two planets involved in trine aspect to each other are destined to come into trine relationship with other planets in the future, so the "static" quality of their present relationship will, in right timing, become subject to evolutionary forces for the creation of new patterns of experience out of which new trines may result.
In human experience we see this decrystallization of trines represented when we consider that those things which represent happiness, harmony, and contentment to a child of six do not bring satisfaction to a man of forty. That which may represent a flowering of culture to an aborigine in the jungle may appear as child's play to a person who is manifesting as a member of a truly cultured society. "Any planet trine to any other planet" represents, essentially, a flowering of consciousness; but, the manifestations of trines are relative to evolutionary development.
When we consider the sextile symbol we are looking at a picture of "lines of force." This symbol is, unlike the other aspect symbols, open--a picture of radiations from a center. Since it is open there is an implication of indefiniteness of shape. It is in fact, process at work rather than thing accomplished. The six lines--cusps of the fire and air houses--represent the charging of new light and warmth from the center; not the center itself but that which emanates from it.
The sextile aspect is the principle of leverage and counter-thrust. It has to have something to work against and, in reference to levels of human consciousness, the thing it works against is always a state of unregeneracy. We cannot remain in a specific or composite level indefinitely; to do so would be to insure stagnation. (Translate "stagnation" to mean "death.") The sextile aspect then is the mechanism by which Cosmic Progress expresses through us for decrystallization of congestion and makes possible the great alchemical changes of transmutation and regenerated releasement of potentials.
Two planets in square aspect to each other depict a state of inertia through unregeneracy; these forces must, if Life is to express progressively through the person, be decrystallized so that the soul energies may be redistributed and thus make possible an eventual harmonious relationship as trine. A planet which sextiles one of two squared planets is the alchemical agency--counter-thrusting against the inertia of the square. The vibrational exchange between that planet and the one it sextiles is the de crystallizing potential for re-directing the energies of the squared planet. It is like a chemical which, when put into water, softens the water so that the work of cleansing is made easier and more thorough, or the liquid which loosens up the grease in a drain pipe so that the drain may more efficiently dispose of the waste water. When the two planets of an opposition aspect are, respectively, trined and sextiled by a third planet, the sextiled planet is the one that is being worked on by the regenerating agency. If you have occasion to study a chart one planet of which registers only by the sextile aspect to other planets, give very careful attention to that planet; on its cultivation depends much of the person's spiritual on-going; such a planet provides a very significant counter-thrust against much that may represent unregeneracy.
Two planets registering as an otherwise unaspected sextile tell the story that, in their evolutionary inter-relationship, these two have been allowed to get off to a good start--an indication of direct awareness of regenerative expression and a fair promise that flowering into trine relationship is not too far in the future. However, the regenerative work must be expressed continually to make this flowering possible; complications by unregenerate patterns can result in a "gumming up of the works." Help such a client to understand the principles of two such planets so that he will know how to put to work these particular expressions of his consciousness as neutralizers for other vibrations of an unregenerate kind, and to develop their potentials in relationship to each other. We must give very careful study to the sextiles and semi-sextiles that we find in any chart; we recognize that they are the workings of the regenerate consciousness to decrystallize and redistribute energy-patterns which have become stagnated in unregeneracy.
The symbol for the trine aspect, when related to the abstract wheel, coincides with the cusps of the second, sixth, and tenth houses--an equilateral triangle resting on a horizontal base. Symmetrical as is the water-trine, the Earth trine also represents, by its horizontal base, a peacefulness--a "perfect resting." In this symbol we see the human consciousness enjoying the fruits of constructive effort; after a phase of redirection has been made, the full flowering of the experience is realized and enjoyed--either at points during an incarnation or during a cycle of incarnation.
Some astrologers co-relate the symbol for the trine aspect with the essential meaning of the planet Jupiter--due, it may be supposed, to the "happiness" or "good fortune" by which they identify that benevolent vibration. Actually, such an interpretation does not coincide with the meaning of the trine. Jupiter, with all due respect to his manifold virtues, is a dynamic vibration; the trine is equilibriated, poised, an indication of inner harmony, a flowering of spiritualized consciousness, an awareness of the Higher Self--all the results of transmutative efforts.
Apply the horizontally-based triangle to the twelve- housed wheel and perceive that, cyclically, it starts at the cusp of the second house; it travels across to the cusp of the sixth house, then directly to the cusp of the tenth. The wheel is the picturing of the evolution of human consciousness through experience patterns so the inner meaning of the trine must be found in consideration of the houses that it abstractly represents, and from that may be deduced the planetary vibration to which it most closely corresponds. Since the trine represents regenerated result let us apply regenerate key-words to the three houses involved:
Second House: "possession and desire for possession" has been transmuted into consciousness of right exchange of money and materials, perfect stewardship and the resultant regeneration of relationships, between people who have learned to direct finance-exchange through right feeling toward each other.
Sixth house: the consciousness of "Labor" is regenerated into an expression of Love-Service as a releasement of fifth-house potentials; as an extension of regenerated second house, people who work and people who are worked for are in sympathetic and equilibriated relationship to each other; exchange in money and commodities is balanced by exchange in work- value; the right consciousness of money-exchange correlates with the best expression of work potential. "Capital versus Labor" is transmuted into "Capital and Labor" harmoniously integrated as a base--the horizontal line--for the vertical structure to the third point which is:
The tenth house: the achievement of a perfected Society, including and enclosing the best expressions of all classes and evolutionary levels of humanity. Since the earth-houses succeed the fire- houses, the picture is shown that perfected society is a manifestation of the powers of self-awareness, love and wisdom of all people. The single trine aspect in an individual horoscope represents an attained awareness of some level or phase, of right relationship of the individual to the world at large; the symbol itself, as an abstraction of the Great Horoscope, represents the spiritual, cultural, and economic flowerings of humanity, as an entity, on its evolutionary Path.
Civilizations rise, flower, and fall; individuals rise to, pass through, and transcend "points of rest" in their individual experience but the trine symbol is the apex, the "perfected achievement"--the blossoming of the best in individual or collective consciousness. Its planetary correlative is not Jupiter but Venus, the arch-symbol of the feminine essence of consciousness--Harmony, Love, and Beauty distilled from the strivings and growings of all people; honey distilled from the nectar of flowers; the perfection of line, structure, and color of the cultivated human body; the gleam and sparkle of meticulously cut jewelry: culture that represents the best of mankind's realizations.
Through your trine aspects you are aware of your God- consciousness--you are "in tune" with your best: the amplitude, beauty, and harmony of your outer conditions are the reflections of your regenerated consciousness. Do more than just enjoy your trines--share them with all people you contact by keeping your "trined consciousness" alive and expressive always. In this way you not only share your treasures but, by the power of sympathetic vibrations, you "ignite" other people to a greater awareness of their inner Good, and thereby stimulate the good aspects in their charts.