We astrologers take the universe and all its possibilities that have ever existed or ever will exist, then we divide that huge pie into twelve slices. Each house of the horoscope represents an archetypal field of such epic proportions that it would require an infinite number of astrologers writing an infinite number of articles in an infinite number of Mountain Astrologer magazines to thoroughly explore any one of them. When Tem Tarriktar invited me to write an article about houses three and six, I breathed a sigh of relief — ah, only 1/6th of all infinity!
My aim here in this brief article is not to offer an exhaustive analysis of these two vast subjects. Instead, I aim to explore the curious, awkward linkages between the two of them. Underlying everything is the fundamental paradox that both merges and divides houses three and six: They are forever joined at the hip by their common association with Mercury, while they are simultaneously forever at loggerheads via the fact that they square each other.
“Rulership” is a fraught question in the modern astrological world, with many arguments about modern versus classical rulerships. Some astrologers object to the notion of specific planets intrinsically ruling specific houses. To my way of thinking, rulership is essentially about an energetic affinity. In my own practice and teaching, I employ (for example) the notion of Mars being the natural ruler of both Aries and the 1st house; Venus, of Taurus and the 2nd house; and so on. From this perspective, Mercury, as the ruler of Gemini and Virgo, also “rules” houses three and six. Semantic arguments aside, the foundation of what I want to present here is that there is an underlying pattern of common astrological DNA linking the 3rd house to the 6th via their shared symbolic association with Mercury.