The Sixth House: Introduction
The sixth house in astrology is often one of the least understood. There is almost an audible groan when you discover you have an emphasis on this house in your chart. In fact, it is 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 less exciting houses in the Zodiac Wheel? Are you doomed for ever more to a life of servitude, worthy dullness and hypochondria?
Fear not. In this section, I’m going to set out all you need to know about this house in your astrological chart. If you have the Sun, Moon, Chart Ruler or a stellium of planets in this house, you will have a life where sixth house associations simply cannot be avoided as they are an intrinsic part of your astrological make up.
However, 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. Solar and lunar eclipses may take place in this house thus highlighting the affairs of the house when they do.
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 in so doing learn to synthesise thought and action.
The Sixth House an earth house and is associated with the Zodiac sign Virgo. Some would call Virgo 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.
The Sixth House: Rulership
The sixth house is ruled by Mercury – and it is Mercury’s earthy Virgoan qualities that influence this house. Much more than simply the flighty messenger of the Gods, Mercury in a sixth house context is your life editor – the one who organises, prioritises 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
So, what can you expect to experience if you have a prominent sixth house in your natal chart? Essentially, this house represents daily life and the jobs and routines we do to keep it running on rails. This is not just about personal organisation like remembering to pay bills or get up for work on time, but also about maintaining physical health and fitness and mental and emotional well-being. This is a big ask, but what stops it from being an overwhelming job is the ability to make the connection between the mind and body and break down tasks into manageable component parts.
So, with this house prominent in your natal chart, you can expect to feel at home with an ordered environment – and are happy to work to make it so. You may have a daily routine at the core of you life – which you consider a form of spiritual practice if that’s your thing. You compartmentalise things – physically and emotionally – and will rarely over-schedule. Yet, you may also feel obliged to fill your day and find it hard to relax. And small animals seem to fit into your life one way or another.
A key skill you will find in many with this house emphasised in the natal chart is not so much hard work but efficient work. They instinctively get that the more efficiently you work the fewer problems you encounter and those that do crop up are easier to resolve. It’s easy to see how this applies to health matters too. This seems ideal – however one of the principles of natal chart Astrology is that the houses that are lit up in your chart are where you will encounter most of your life’s more taxing issues.
This is especially so if you have planets in this house that are stressed by challenging aspects from the outer planets. When this happens, you may find 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. Disorder, bad habits, health issues and poor lifestyle choices can all be found in sixth house subjects. Equally, those who’ve responded positively to challenging aspects can be found in the caring and service professions – often dealing with such issues in a professional capacity.
The Sixth House: Predictive Astrology
The sixth house in predictive astrology shares the fundamental qualities of the natal sixth house, However, there are essential differences you need to be aware of when analysing a predictive chart. These usually fall into two categories. First, predictive charts and the issues they raise are often temporary. Second, those who are dealing with sixth house issues in a predictive chart are not necessarily natal sixth house subjects and will not necessarily possess the traits 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.
A sixth house emphasis in a predictive chart can also indicate issues with your job or paid employment – but usually this will be in the context of your overall wellness and lifestyle as 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 Sixth House: Keywords
Analysis, Animal Welfare, Coaching, Civil Service, Clothing, Daily life, Diet, Discipline, Duty, Emergency Services, Employment, Employees, Fitness, Habits, Health, Health care, Hygiene, Hypochondria, Illness, Lifestyle, Organisation, Personal Development, Pets, Preparation, Responsibilities, Rituals, Routines, Service, Skills, Tidiness, Time Management, Training, Well-being, Work.
@ Sara Shipman