The Third House: Introduction

One thing is for sure. Life would be dull without the third house. No gossip, information, contacts, or curiosity. We would exist in ignorance – and that is not a blissful state. We take our third house interactions for granted as it’s so difficult to imagine a life without thoughts, ideas and communication. So, is that all there is to the third house?

In this section I’m going to tell you about the third house in your astrological chart. If you have the Sun, Moon, Chart Ruler or a stellium of planets in this house in your natal (birth) chart, you will find it hard to avoid the third house and those matters associated with it being a prominent feature in your life.

However, even if this house is not prominent in your natal chart, some of you may find yourselves living here from time to time. Planets may transit and station in your third house. You may experience a third house emphasis in your Solar Returns or Transits. Solar and Lunar Eclipses may take place in this house thus highlighting the affairs of this house when they do.

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

The Third House: Key Qualities


The third 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. This house is where we learn to engage with the world. Without knowledge and ideas we are nothing and in this house we learn, absorb information and impart it to others. We learn to process here – both our own ideas and the information we take in from our immediate surroundings. We set things in motion in the third house – and are often physically in motion too.


Air houses are often the intellectual hot houses of the zodiac as they are concerned with the mind. However, the third house is often accused of holding too much hot air. Associated with the sign of Gemini, the third house can seem superficial, the place of the dilettante rather than the expert. However, no-one becomes an expert without education and information and the this house is where we acquire both. We can sharpen our minds and our tongues in this house – though whether we use that information well is another matter entirely.

The Third House: Ruler

The third house is ruled by Mercury, the messenger of the gods – and it’s Mercury’s airy, connective qualities that are emphasised in this house. Mercury here has a need to know – and a need to tell. So in this house communications of all types are emphasised, from speech, writing, mobility – even our own thought processes, the ability to make mental connections. Mercury’s influence here is about making contacts and disseminating goods and information – and that can happen in many different guises.

The Third House: Natal Astrology

So, what’s it like having the this house emphasised in your natal chart? As you will have see from the keywords list below, this is the first house where we begin to engage with the world – largely through the medium of the mind. You may be bookish or love a good gossip – and through the duality of Mercury and Gemini, it’s likely you will be both. With an emphasis on contacts, the third house is not a place for the loner – yet contacts, though many, may be fleeting or shallow.

An emphasis on the third house is likely to indicate someone who is busy – often because they have many interests. This house is filled with people who need to know and are comfortable in a world of information. Even before the IT revolution, the this house was where we found our clerks and our postmen, newspaper delivery boys and the journalists who wrote the news. And like news, you may find it hard to retain an interest for more than one day. That may sound harsh but the third house is mobile – and anything static is quickly left behind.

However, a key skill enjoyed by third house natives is that of flexibility. You are rarely weighed down by detail but have the ability to adapt to prevailing circumstances. This means you are not averse to changing your timetable, your opinions or your hairstyle as you are a person who likes to keep up to date. It’s that third house information thing again. In this house you’re willing to take things on board that others would reject because of the fear of learning something new would make them uncomfortable. The third house is receptive to new ideas – in fact third house natives thrive on them.

So, the versatile third house is essential to human progress. It’s the place where we learn to learn. We learn to think and communicate effectively in all contexts. Whether it’s between siblings or schoolmates, in the workplace or the marketplace, the third house is where you learn the verbal and mental skills to engage with the wider world. Can you imagine a world without language? We would be nothing but dumb beasts.

The Third House: Predictive Astrology

In predictive astrology, the third house shares the fundamental qualities of the natal third 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 third house issues in a predictive chart are not necessarily natal third house subjects and will not necessarily possess the traits associated with this house.

When the third house ins emphasised in a predictive chart it is often a sign you will have a busy year – though you may feel that you’re busy achieving nothing. It can be that your energies are frittered away because you’re being subject to multiple competing demands on your time. You may even be the instigator of this by over-scheduling your diary such is your need to keep busy – as the third house is a busy place. There may be more meetings or short distance travel and you may even look to buy a new car or a new phone or laptop as communication becomes important to you.

A third house emphasis by transit, eclipse or solar return can also indicate issues with siblings. You may spend more time with them or in contact with them. You may have issues with your neighbours or become more involved in your neighbourhood. The school run, volunteering to help children read or acting a secretary for the PTA all come under the third house roof. This all sounds relatively light stuff but the third house can also indicate issues with mental stress and mental health. If your mind is racing? Take that time out and use it to write that book…

The Third House: Keywords

Books, Business, Busyness, Communications, Contacts, Contracts, Conversation, Documents, Dexterity, Early Years Education, Emails, Exchange, Gossip, Hands, Ideas, Information, Language, Libraries, Media, Mental Activity, Mental Dexterity, Messages, Mind, Motion, Neighbours, Neighbourhood, News, Nerves, Phones, Reading, Short Journeys, Siblings, Speaking, Speeches, Thoughts, Thought Processes, Trade, Transport, Visits, Walking, Writing.

Next: 4th House | 5th House | 6th House | 7th House | 8th House | 9th House | 10th House | 11th House | 12th House | 1st House | 2nd House

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© Sara Shipman

Picture Credit: Image by S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay