The 6th House in Astrology

It is so easy to ignore the 6th house as it has a reputation of being a boring house.

To me it represents the salt of the earth. Regardless of our otherworldly pursuits – we all have to live on this earth in a semi-organized fashion. I think of the children’s story The Ant and the Grasshopper.

The ant prepared for the winter, gathered food for his pantry and wood for his fire, so that when the winter came he was prepared for it.

The grasshopper just played and played, so the ant ended up taking pity on the cold, hungry grasshopper standing at his doorstep.

That ant – isn’t that 6th house? I’ll let you draw the conclusions on the sign or the house of the grasshopper (did he get stuck in the 5th as he just wanted to play and have fun?) I only have my south node in the 6th – the understatement of the century.

It isn’t a glitz and glamour house rather it is a solid and grounded place. Isn’t this where we learn to tie our shoe-laces, to open up the box of cookies or can of soup?

This is where we learn to cope with daily chores, tasks that we need to perform in order to cope with life – the basics: eating, sleeping, working and not only surviving but thriving.

Both the third and sixth house are ruled by Mercury, but the quality of the houses and matters falling under the domain of each are unique and different.

I think of the 3rd house, as the place where we accumulate basic knowledge and information required for developing skills, and the 6th is where we apply that knowledge and develop those skills.

6th house is the house of routine, you are applying what you have learned and doing it over and over again – until you’ve honed it to perfection. These skills ultimately become chores as you could do them blindfolded and without thinking.

The inspiration of the 6th is watching or admiring your handy-work be it a poem or bookcase. The fruits of your labour can and do manifest here.

6th house is work – the “by rote” kind. Secretarial and clerical jobs fall here as you are applying someone else’s skills and knowledge and putting it on paper, on the computer or otherwise recording it. The health care profession is also a 6th house matter

. It may be chores, but by learning to automate tasks, so to speak, the mind is freed to pursue new skills. Skills are only the tools we use to perform a service or a job.

Becoming an astrologer is a lot of 3rd house effort initially, which when brought into the 6th becomes turning that which was learned into routine stuff: learning the symbols, the rules, calculating the charts, etc.

Only after we have acquired adequate skills can we start interpreting charts, applying both the reading and memorizing of the 3rd house and the honing of technical skills.

When you have learned how to do something so well that it has become routine, and you no longer have to focus your mind on performing the task or chore, the natural extension is to build upon those skills.

You are no longer an apprentice, but a jack of your trade, and in order to become a master you need to learn the next level.

I think the mastery of a skill or talent is perfected right here in the mundane, boring 6th house. And there is always something more to perfect in this not so boring house.

6th house is health matters – when we are unwell we usually have to “learn” about that which ails us so we can take “charge” of our own well-being.

Eating habits fall in the 6th, and thus health food and alternative medicine. Many planets here can create health problems but often those result in knowledge about healing.

Here we always learn to apply knowledge gained; at times it can be quite challenging.

6th house is about being of service to others; the Virgo trait is to analyze and categorize what it knows and then to apply that. Gemini would tend to just give the book knowledge or hearsay; Virgo takes it that one step further.

Virgo takes the theory and applies it to getting the job or task done, one tedious step after another, until the end “product” is worthy of exacting, thorough Virgo.

Virgo is about detail and Gemini is about gathering those details. Virgo is critical as it studies the facts behind the information.

To me, Virgo is the Consumer (Buyer’s) Guide or the stock market analysis. Gemini is more of the dictionary and the thesaurus. Virgo could also be the encyclopedia although I kind of think that Jupiter is involved as well.

6th house people are our co-workers and individuals we deal with on a daily basis, it is our habits and those dreaded schedules. 3rd house people include our neighbours, siblings thus the other part of our daily life -the everyday environment.

Planets in the 6th to me tend to describe people who are helpful. “What can I do for you?” is their motto. Feeling appreciated is important to them, but yet somehow not welcomed by them.

Perhaps the very reluctance to receive gratitude is the reason behind not being hearing the two little words – thank you. It is so easy to take what the 6th house has to offer for granted, be it your own or that of someone who is always willing to offer you help.

Having no planets in the 6th house does not mean that the house is insignificant, its ruler is floating around somewhere and communicating with other planetary energies. The house may be empty but it doesn’t mean nobody is home.

No planets here can be a blessing, because the ruler of the house can work with less collaboration or less interference from the vantage point of another house.

All of the mutable houses are knowledge and information houses; the 3rd and 6th are Mercury’s houses and the 9th and 12th belong to Jupiter.

With Jupiter it is less about the self, as Jupiter encompasses sharing and teaching, which would be difficult to do without putting in the effort at the 3rd and 6th house level.

The third house accomplishment is the things I have learned. The sixth house accomplishment is the skills and expertise I have acquired. The sixth house is the application of what I have learned becoming the skills and expertise I have acquired.

Read also: The Basic Meaning of the Astrological Houses