The Sixth House: Introduction

The sixth house in astrology is often one of the least understood. When you discover you have an emphasis on this house in your chart it’s not unusual to feel slighted by the Gods. Why do you feel so unfortunate when your major planets have been assigned to one of the least exciting houses in your natal chart? Are you doomed to a life of service and hypochondria? The prospect of being dull and dutiful is not a thrilling one.

In this section, I’m going to set out all you need to know about astrology’s house of hard work. If you have the Sun, Moon, chart ruler or a stellium of planets in the sixth house, its presence cannot be avoided as it’s such an intrinsic part of your astrological make up. Prominent houses in your natal chart show where there is a real focus of energy; you may not like it, but the activities associated with this house are your route to personal growth – especially if it contains the Sun.

Some of you who are not sixth house ‘natives’ may also experience living in this sector on a temporary basis. Planets may transit and station in your sixth house. You may experience an emphasis on this house in your solar returns and transits. Planets may land there by progression. Solar and lunar eclipses may take place in this house, thus highlighting the affairs of the house when they do. There is no escape from it; many of us will experience life in the sixth house even if temporarily.

So, I’m also going to explain how the sixth house functions in predictive astrological charts and provide you with the essential keywords associated with this house to help you make your own chart analysis a little easier. However, I’m going to start with the basics to give this much overlooked astrological house some context.

The Sixth House : Key Qualities


The sixth house in astrology is a cadent house. Cadent houses are the last houses in each quadrant of the astrological chart and they generally show where we need to pause and think before we act. The sixth house is where we assimilate information and in so doing learn to organise and plan – refining our skills, resources, time and energy in order to be more productive and efficient. We develop routines in the sixth house – and ‘routine’ means that we learn to synthesise and organise our thoughts and actions.


The Sixth House an earth house and is associated with the Virgo. Some people consider Virgo to be analytical and others would say nit-picking, however, the qualities of the sign of Virgo associated with the sixth house are those which prompt us to be productive, practical, purposeful and useful. This house is, therefore, concerned with order, systems and functions – and that applies to the body as well as daily life. Through Virgo’s influence – to improve and perfect – the sixth house is concerned with ‘process’ or actions taken to achieve a particular and specific objective.

The Sixth House: Ruler

The sixth house is ruled by Mercury – and it is Mercury’s earthy qualities that influence this house. Much more than simply the flighty messenger of the Gods, Mercury in a sixth house context is an editor or curator – one who organises, prioritise, corrects and categorises. Earth Mercury knows the devil is in the detail – and without working out the details nothing will ever be done. There are no idle hands in the sixth house.

The Sixth House: Natal Astrology

How do you experience life if you have a prominent sixth house in your natal chart? Essentially, this house represents daily life and the jobs and routines we devise to keep it in good working order. It;s concerned with the large and small matters of personal organisation – like remembering to pay bills or get up for work on time – but it’s also about maintaining physical health and fitness and mental and emotional well-being. Taken as a whole, this is a big task, but there are two things that stop it from being overwhelming; making the connection between mind and body and breaking down tasks into manageable or component parts.

With this house prominent in your natal chart, you feel at home with an ordered environment – and you are happy to work hard to make it so – and to keep it that way. You may have a daily routine at the core of your life – and you may consider that to be a form of spiritual practice if that’s your thing. You compartmentalise things – physically and emotionally – and you may live your life to a schedule. You may put yourself under pressure or feel as if you have an obligation to fill your day and in consequence you may find it hard to relax. Small animals seem to fit into your life one way or another.

A key skill you will find in many people who have an emphasis on this house, is the ability not just to work hard work but to work efficiently. They know that the more efficient you are, the fewer problems you encounter – and those problems that do occur are easier to resolve. It’s easy to see how this applies to health matters too. Knowing how things work, and maintaining them to ensure they keep on working – those are the principles at the heart of the sixth house. And that’s fortunate because the houses that are lit up in your chart are where you will encounter most of your life’s major challenges.

This is especially so if you have stressed or difficult planetary placements in this house. When this happens, you may experience this house is an uncomfortable place. So, it’s not unusual to find those with challenging sixth house placements to struggle with the very issues that are a core part of their astrological make-up. Disordered living, physical and mental health issues and poor lifestyle choices can all be found in sixth house subjects. Some of those who have responded positively to the ‘sixth house challenge’ can be found in the caring and service professions – often dealing with those difficult issues in a professional capacity.

The Sixth House: Keywords

Analysis, Animal Welfare, Coaching, Competence, Civil Service, Clothing, Daily life, Diet, Discipline, Duty, Emergency Services, Employment, Employees, Fitness, Habits, Health, Health care, Hygiene, Hypochondria, Illness, Improvement, Lifestyle, Organisation, Personal Development, Pets, Preparation, Responsibilities, Rituals, Routines, Service, Skills, Tidiness, Time Management, Training, Well-being, Work.

The Sixth House: Predictive Astrology

The sixth house in predictive astrology shares the fundamental qualities of the natal sixth house, However, there are a couple of basic matters you need to be aware of when analysing a predictive chart. First, predictive charts and the issues they raise are often temporary in nature and may represent particular challenges to be met in connection with a specific event. Second, those who are dealing with sixth house issues in a predictive chart are not necessarily natal sixth house subjects and will not necessarily be familiar with the experiences associated with this house.

So, with a sixth house emphasis in a predictive chart, you are likely to be alerted to illness and health issues, a need to improve your daily routines, issues with your mental or emotional well-being or being more efficient with your efforts. Essentially, this house in predictive astrology shows you need to attend to your work/life balance and start looking after yourself more effectively. Often this will be event driven – health or work issues may affect you directly or you may have to change your attitudes or routines because your responsibilities change either at work or in your personal life.

A sixth house emphasis in a predictive chart can indicate issues – such as a reorganisation or relocation – with your job or paid employment – but usually this will be in the context of your overall wellness and lifestyle. Significant shifts in career matters are usually found in the tenth house. The sixth house also concerns your pets – so pay them extra attention if this house in emphasised in a predictive chart. The health and wellbeing of others – as well as your own lifestyle choices – may come under scrutiny when there is a sixth house emphasis in a predictive chart.

Next: 7th House | 8th House | 9th House | 10th House | 11th House | 12th House | 1st House | 2nd House | 3rd House | 4th House | 5th House

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@ Sara Shipman

Picture Credit: Image by F. Muhammad from Pixabay 

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