Looking Again at the Astrological Houses:
The Sixth House (H6)
The Sixth House (H6), the House of Virgo, tends to suffer, as the sign Virgo itself suffers, from being misunderstood by popular astrology. Mostly, it is trivialised. For the pre-War astrologers, H6 was the house of work, service, craftsmen and servants, a cadent house which weakened the body, mind and prospects.
All astrologers need to look at this house again. For spiritual aspirants, H6 is a hugely important house, and with an adequate understanding of the developmental possibilities of this house, they stand to get the best out of it, and avoid at least some of the pit falls.
The pit falls are those of becoming burdened with responsibilities, undervalued by others, ill and impoverished.
H6 is one of the Relating houses. In these houses, we reference others constantly, anxious to gauge their reaction to us and to our actions.
In H6, a person looks to see if he or she has merit in the eye of another. Has the right thing been done well? Has enough effort gone into it? There is often a moral dimension to this and so the ‘right thing’ is that which is considered spiritually sound.
In this house we learn to pay attention to detail, to ground our efforts, and learn how to use and take care of our physical being so that it serves us as we pursue what truly matters to us. Desire underpins H6, the house that rules the solar plexus centre: the desire to have good health, the desire to serve, the desire to make physicality useful drive the H6 person, but not always consciously and not always appropriately. Yet this is so often overlooked by astrologers who assign arid, material motives to H6 people.
In H6 there is not the showcasing in evidence in H5, nor the intelligent strategising of H7 (which is coming up next in this series of articles). There is simply a desire to help, and it is from this earnest desire to do a good job that so much of the exploitation and imbalance in H6 relationships comes. Those with the Sun or inner planets in H6 will always try to be helpful, but in certain kinds of relationship, this willingness to do the chores and the menial jobs can be inappropriate because it erodes equality.
When dealing with animals, which H6 people, generally, love, they are inclined to fuss and fret around them and not give animals the space they need to do certain essentials in their own way.
Nearly all H6 people have to learn the hard way that less is often more. Over-work and stress are likely to lead to intestinal disorders and arthritic conditions. Their bodies are often small and thin. They do not readily absorb nourishment and this problem with acceptance affects their financial health too. Eating disorders are a common form of self-punishment. Anorexia which is associated with H6, is often an unconscious self-punishment for taking up space without giving anything back
The best that those with Sun in H6 can do for themselves is choose a vocation, because the responsibilities of this will help regulate their energy expenditure, confer self-worth and improve their personal relationships. Often the vocation will be some form of healing or service.
Many H6 people who find vocations, start life with poor health which forces them to take a different route from that for which family conditioning was equipping them, and they develop a precocious awareness of the value of time
Illness is the likely consequence in adult life of not having anything worthwhile to do, and becoming worn down spiritually by jobs which are unfulfilling, spilling out energy like a sandbag with a leak.
The relatively few H6 Suns who becomes famous will eschew the limelight as far as possible, and get down to the job. President Obama is a H6 Sun (although his mathematically rectified birth time shows that his Sun is close enough to the Descendent to bring in the influence of H7.)
The higher climbs the monkey, the more you see his bum, so runs an Iranian saying. Those with Sun and inner planets in H6 know this, and in the house of the critical sign Virgo, they do not seek to draw attention to themselves. Their wish is to do a job well, make themselves useful, and earn some respect.
There are more jobs done well by H6 people than ever there is respect given to them, because it is human nature not to value those who do not value themselves. This hard lesson too is part of the learning of those with Sun in H6.
- The Sun confers an identity as a vocational individual. The house position of the Moon will contain the clues as to why this kind of experience is going to take new ground for consciousness. Look out for those charts in which Sun is in H6 and the Moon in H9, H10, and H11, and remember Yogananda’s observation that there are many holy men in India who will have to come back as humble householders.
- The inner planets confer an attention to detail, and a liking for routine.
- Jupiter creates a relaxed and flexible attitude to work, and a person with this placement will be prepared to turn his or her hand to different kinds of work in the course of their lives, enjoying the freedom of not being tied to a specific profession.
- Saturn in this house confers a grinding sense of duty which gives rise to a sense of guilt if there is not work to do. They hate to waste time. People with his placement tend to drive themselves to the limit, confuse busyness with productivity, and restrict themselves still more with their responsibilities to animals.
- Uranus in H6 gives an intolerance to stress that makes working in a large organisations undesirable. Those with this placement are generally best working for themselves, at their own pace. At its best, Uranus can inspire a new way of approaching a conventional working situation.
- Neptune confers a vocational urge that will turn into hypochondria, drug reliance and other neurotic illness, if it is not recognised and honoured.
- Pluto bring serious health challenges, often related to digestive system that force a person to take stock of what is driving his or her working life and use of physicality generally. It is a placement associated with work-related illness and accidents.
- The orthodox planetary ruler of H6 is Mercury.
- The esoteric planetary ruler of H6 is the Moon. In our time, the Moon being on Ray 4 creates a link between H6 and healing.
Qualities of Sun in H6
Inner planets in H6
Outer planets In H6
Qualities of Uranus in H6
Moon in H6
The vocational self
Part of body:
Left hand side in man;
To develop a capacity for physical work and service.
Hard-working, willing but often lacking in initiative, humble, dutiful.
Give an attention to detail, a liking for good order, useful work and fondness for animals.
Challenge the individual to question the way physical energy is used, and arrive to a new under-standing.
Easily stressed in working environment.
Rejects the routines and structures of others; wishes to customise the structures in order to suit personal creative capacity
Holds a memory of a past life of service and a focus upon physical realities. Those with this placement often experience poor health in childhood.
Looking Again at the Astrological Houses