April 18, 2024

Illuminating the 6th House

Illuminating the 6th House

I find understanding and managing the 6th House in analysis more difficult than dealing with any other House reference. I sense that it has always been problematic to astrologers, judging from the feeble labels frequently put on the 6th House for teaching and analytical guidance, old and new. We see “Servants, Pets, Health”; then, later, we see ”Service to others, Job conditions, Health”, and still later, “Cooperation dynamics, Employment, Dietary concerns and Health.” –There’s clear improvement, but the terms are still vague. What does “Cooperation Dynamics” really mean? What does “Employment” mean in relation to the 10th House? “Health” in relation to the 12th? And isn’t “Dietary concerns” the province of a Sign rather than a House?

These guideline labels are anything but exciting –or even clear. I’m the theorist who added the concept of “Cooperation Dynamics” to the modern 6th House reference, but I’m still not completely pleased with it. Let’s dig into the 6th House and learn more about it; it will do us good!

Cooperation Dynamics Five considerations came together to suggest this observation related to the 6th House –and probably this is what was being referred to for so long as “servants”.

First, we easily see that the 6th House can operate, in the inter-related horoscope hologram of experience zones, in terms of the twelfth dynamic of the 7th. This is the potential undoing of relationships, or, favorably, the support into relationships (just as the 12th House issues into the Ascendant, channeling all that has been learned in a cycle of societal experience into rebirth).

Second, we see the 6th as the experiential zone trine to the 10th, our profession. It has as much an experiential tie to the 10th as exists between the 2nd (self-worth, money) and the 10th. The three –the 10th, 2nd and 6th—sing together in life. Their harmony says we are helped to feel good about ourselves psychologically and monetarily through our job, which makes us easier to live with, cooperative, supporting our spouse and the relationship dynamics of union seen in the 7th.

Third, we see that the 6th is also the 9th House dynamic of the 10th, experience of the “laws of the profession”, how we’re expected to behave on the job, how we do behave.

Fourth, we see the 6th always square (in terms of zones of experience) with the 3rd, our mind-set, our way of expressing ourselves. What does this tell us? If this tension is not resolved, if we are at odds with our associates on the job, or with the job itself, we become frustrated, we become sick, in a way. We must toe the line, be cooperative, to support the growth of relationship. If you and I disagree constantly, that’s an end to possible relationship, and probably an end to the job we do together. –It is fascinating, then, to see that the 3rd –our mindset—is in sixth dynamic to the 10th! Our mind-set determines much about our job, how much we get in “synch” with it. [Note as well that the 2nd is the twelfth dynamic of the 3rd: if we have a poor self-worth profile, our mind-set will be limited and affect the job. The cooperation dynamic breaks down in many ways.]

And fifth: the 6th House zone is quincunx to the Ascendant: there must be an ego adjustment to support relationship, on the job or in life.

It stands to reason then –and it is backed up empirically—that an obstreperous 6th House reference is going to suggest a disruption in the job atmosphere or a personal antipathy with the job, perhaps with any organized job, and it will be part of the mind-set of the individual! –I’m a case in point: Pluto rules my Scorpio 6th, and my Pluto is opposed Mercury and that axis is squared by Mars. This promises enormously active perception and tremendous communication power, yes, but it also promises disruptive behavior in a formalized setting. I have rarely, rarely, rarely ever worked for anyone, within a corporate circumstance (unless it was my own). I have always been the soloist; the person who pushes the boundaries of expectations. This is clear. In my professions, this positioning has always been at a premium. My Moon is in the 3rd in Leo; “Why should I be in a meeting?”

Jackie Onassis had a Mars-ruled 6th with Mars square Jupiter and trine the Node, promising strong application of expansive energies that would set many examples of productive behavior for others.

Prince Charles fits into his heavy-lidded pressure cooker eternally well: Saturn rules his 6th and is trine his Moon, his Jupiter, and his Node. He accepts the laws of job-behavior, the mindset (Mercury ruling the 3rd is sextile the Saturn, conjunct the Nodal axis: mother prevailing).

Princess Diana has her Mercury-rx, ruler of her 6th and her 7th, in the 7th exactly quindecile her Ascendant! This was a major statement of self-willed opinions and action. Its retrogradation introduced the counterpoint of royal do’s and don’ts.

Daredevil Evil Knievel has a Cancer 6th House, with the Moon squared by Uranus!

Arnold Schwarzenegger has Jupiter ruling his 6th squared by Pluto. What does that tell you about establishing new perspectives for himself, feeling personal power and resourcefulness, building the big picture through his job performance, his competitive nature in circumstances requiring cooperation?

The Health Issue? Throughout all the research I did into the natal disposition to ill-health and into the concomitants of the onslaught of critical illness [See The Astrological Timing of Critical Illness, the 6th House –the House always perfunctorily referred to as “health”— simply did not play any role of any importance.

It feels like heresy to say this, but it is true. The anxiety simply shows how unthinkingly we accept the traditionally perpetuated.

I think I can accept and probably validate malaise or illness with the 6th, but even this is an uneasy bow to convention.

Yes, I’ve discovered that, too often, Neptune in the 6th can suggest an inherited blood disorder … but I can not explain why. I find myself thinking that perhaps the 6th House is a spill-over area from the 12th , after all the continua between opposing Houses are not lines, they are circles (where does one end and the next begin?).

I don’t know.

I think it is a non-issue, but I can’t shake loose from a kind of guilt in saying that so strongly. But I can’t remember, over so many thousands of cases, ever mentioning to a client a health matter related to the 6th House.

There’s this woman with Uranus-Pluto-Moon-Venus stellium in Virgo in the 6th. Her field of study in college was “public health”; she is in another field now, but wants so much to return to that field; she has had pets uninterruptedly for thirty years. Her 6th House describes a dimension of her job, the sense of the job into which she fits, management of complex details and data. Saturn her MC ruler is in Aquarius, completing the public-health “caring” dimension that interests her so much..

General Norman Schwarzkopf has Saturn ruling his 6th House just as Prince Charles does, but the General’s Saturn opposes his Sun and Mercury and is exactly quindecile his Ascendant. No push-over here; cooperation dynamics are on his terms, especially with the Moon in the 6th in Capricorn.

It is interesting to note that the General was visiting an Army hospital back in 1994 for a knee problem (Health?, Capricorn, 6th House). During that visit, his Prostate Cancer was discovered, a giant reference to his 12th House condition, ruled by the Moon, natally opposed to Pluto-Mars in the 12th.

So a bottom-line consideration of this “health” issue is that is may be a faint registration of difficulty, enough to keep you off the job a bit, but not enough to land you into the hospital or a burial vault. I ignore even this in my practice, but my eyes and ears are open to something that might solve our problem for us. I can not yet accept “health” as the province of the 6th House.

I accept concerns of nutrition NOT as a House matter, but as a matter of Sign emphasis (see the lady above with the Moon-strong Virgo emphasis).

Conclusion We have five dimensions that articulate the 6th House in terms of “Cooperation Dynamics” to support our working attitude and conditions requirements on a job and to show how we efficiently or inefficiently support relationships. –The 6th House carries with it the sense and social mechanics of compliance with the reward expectation being relationship productivity in any life experience.