The 6th House signals the end of the first half of our rotation around the wheel, and so marks the end of our personal childhood development. Before we pivot across the DC and into our 7th House, however, we need to make sure we've grown into a sensible, responsible individual, capable of taking care of ourselves, before we invite a partner into our lives.
The 6th House is often skipped over, or missed altogether, because this is the House of the utterly mundane, and therefore very dull. But that isn't to say it's not incredibly important! This is the last phase of adolescence, where our maturity is tested not only by how well we take care of ourselves, but how selflessly we take care of others. It's cleaning our room, making our bed, getting our homework done, making our own appointments around our work schedule. It's cleaning our bathroom, cooking healthy meals, and tidying up the kitchen when we're done with it. And it's taking care of our siblings, our pets, our older family members, and lending a helping hand in the household we share with others. None of these things are particularly exciting, and it is easy enough to be lazy and leave it for someone else to do. But we need to overcome our reluctance to do boring things and be less selfish, in order to have healthy, functioning relationships with other people in the long-term.
IF YOUR CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE
The 6th House would be the multitude of chores that keep the home in working order. This is the house that is scrubbed, washed, polished, swept, mopped, and tidied up. Dinner is prepped and made, the table set, and the dishes done. Laundry is folded and neatly stacked. The bathroom is white, and spotless. The garbage is taken out, the lawn cut, the oil changed in the car. In the office, the calendar is marked with due dates and appointments, the bills scheduled for payment. Everything has its place, and everything is placed where it ought to be.
DOMAIN OF THE 6th HOUSE
Type of work you choose to do (occupation, profession, trade)
Job environment (employees, employers, coworkers, title or position)
Personal projects and responsibilities
Service, or taking care of yourself and others (children, pets, elderly, sick, etc.)
Health (mental and physical; includes sleep, nutrician, exercise, managing stress)
Cleanliness and hygiene
PLANETS IN THE SIXTH HOUSE
As your Sun is situated within the house of work, your ego is heavily invested in the kinds of work that you do. This includes your job and what you do to earn a living, of course, but also the projects that you work on in your spare time. You bring plenty of warmth and excitement in your workplace, where you function in service to other people. As you take great pride in your work, and because you have such a great need to excel here, you become known by the work that you do. The best job for you is a creative one, as you have plenty of opinions and ideas to offer up to those around you. You need to feel appreciated and loved for the work that you do, and you need to be able to express yourself freely within your work environment itself. This can lead to a promising career in any sort of creative or entertainment field. Your ambition and leadership abilities may mean that you work best either in charge, center stage, or alone. Others may find you fussy and difficult to work for. But in the right work situation you have the capacity to shine brightly. Many who have Sun in the 6th have risen to fame and prominence in their field – Michael Jackson, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Steven Spielberg, Steve Jobs, and Bob Dylan, among them – because they were in a working situation that allowed them copious amounts of creative freedom. Here is where you find and express your individual voice. Work is where you stand out from the crowd.
But this placement is not solely about work. The Sun placed in the 6th House also holds some sway over the health of your body, as that is another reality of life that requires care and attention. Looking at this from a holistic perspective, this includes physical, mental, and emotional health collectively. This is a very good placement to have the Sun in, for it bestows growth and good health. You are never sick for very long. Backed with optimism and vitality, you are sure to enjoy longevity in the long life that you have. A bit of caution is advised when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. You can handle a diet of rich foods and alcohol when you are young. But your indulgences will catch up to you when your metabolism slows down. You risk problems with your weight and your heart later on in life for this reason. As well, you regularly over exert yourself and need periods of play and rest. It is important for everyone to eat healthy foods, get plenty of exercise, sleep well, and make themselves happy. But it is even more so for you, as you are not only a work-oriented person, but a health-oriented one as well.
In many ways your mother had a strong hand in shaping your attitudes towards work and health. You say how she viewed work and work ethic, how she felt about her job, and how she took care of herself, and you modeled much of your behaviour after her. For many this is indicative of a difficult relationship with one’s own mother, although nobody really knows why. Perhaps she drove you very hard and you felt that how much she respected you derived from how much you could get done. Or perhaps she loaded you with chores and responsibilities as a child, and you felt her presence as cold and demanding. The house always had to be clean and meals were always cooked on time. She drove you towards school and work, and was very critical of what you did in trying to push you towards success. Early on you associated your mother with hard work and a high work ethic. As you got older and entered the workforce, you retained the memory of your mother’s teachings. The close association between your mother and work lends itself in others ways too, however, most notably in the way that you seek the same nurturing she gave you from your job.
Your Moon placement comes to affect certain aspects of your health as well, as your emotions are directly tied to your physical body. You are at risk for illnesses derived from tensions, anxieties, and emotional stresses. You may recognize these in abdominal or digestive problems most often; an upset or aching stomach is often a sign that stress is making you sick. As well you may be prone to emotional eating or seeking out comfort foods to make yourself feel better. You might want to go to your parent’s or grandparent’s house for dinner and indulge in the home-cooked meals you grew up on, enjoying the pampering that comes with the meal. The kitchen is, after all, the heart and soul of the home, and the foods you grew up on are very close to you. But a poor diet rich in fat, sugar, salt, or alcohol can make you feel worse, not better, in the long run. You may gain weight now that is hard to lose later on in life. And being that your emotional health goes hand in hand with your physical health, one is very much indicative of the other. A body worn thin and shaking with stress, or one that grows fat in loneliness, reveals a lot. As does one fit and healthy with care, or strong with determination, or ripe with happiness.
Mercury is productive and powerful within this house. Your mind is nothing if not useful, looking for ways in which to acquire knowledge that is relevant to what you want to do. When you look at the endless bounty of information in the world before you, you zero in on only that which can be used for your specific purpose. You then work on dissecting it: watching closely, observing every detail, and pulling everything apart to see each section individually. Once you have gathered some precise collection of information you begin to mimic. You start by copying the movements before you, or the notes you hear, or the techniques you are witnessing. And then you get into a sort of routine where you practice the same skills over and over again, training your mind and your motor skills to sync up to perform perfectly. Thus, you perform a very basic function in a beautiful way and excel in accomplishing any kind of task. You can specialize and learn a great deal about a small pool of things, preferring to focus your efforts on aptitude of ability rather than a general acquisition of knowledge.
To you this may sound exactly how every single mind works, but in your case it is especially prevalent in your personality, playing an important role in how you function day-to-day. You body and your mind both want to be engaged in activities of thinking and doing. And they want to be engaged all the time. You prefer to be working on something, like a project or a goal of yours, because your mind is best at concentrating at the task at hand. You are a problem solver and an analyst, and your mind works best when it is perfecting something. It is imperative to your success, however, that you do not fret nervously over the details too much. It is easy for you to be too hard on yourself, always trying to emulate those that are better without congratulating yourself at how good you are now. You mind will work against you when it picks things apart in search of flaws, mistakes, blemishes, and errors. Despair, procrastination, and anxiety eventually follow. Do yourself a favour and remind yourself that pulling things apart to better understand them is good, but dissection is akin to destruction when taken too far.
Venus being the planet of relationships and all of your feminine qualities, having this placement draws you into relationships with Virgo-types of people. You are attracted to a strong work ethic, intelligence, practicality, and a rational thinker. You enjoy people who are mentally very active, even it makes the neurotically so. In a partner you want somebody who is very much in touch with reality, who understands the minutiae of collective tasks one must perform everyday: daily chores, cleaning, cooking, taking out the trash, looking after pets and children, our regular 9 to 5 job, the repetitive tasks we drudge through every day on the way to our accomplishments; the importance of safety, of being prepared, of what it actually takes to realistically get from point A to point B. Let others fall for the sensitive artist or the absent-minded spiritualists. You want someone who works hard, who is committed to the task, one who looks at the world and sees exactly how it is. You show love by being helpful and serviceable to another. It is your duty, and it carries over into your working life.
Women especially (but also many men) with this placement place an emphasis on skin and hair care, exercise routines, make-up, fashion, and the joys of a balanced diet. And in turn, enjoy a sensuous body and good health. But Venus does not like to live such a strict and sterile life, for she joys of physical pleasure. Her natural feminine energies do not jive well with the reality encountered in the 6th House. Problems arise when Venus’s aptitude for vanity, indulgences, and laziness are allowed to steer you towards ill health. You may battle weight problems due to lack of exercise, a heavy diet of rich foods high in sugar, fat, and salt, smoking, or too much liquor. Back pain is another common complaint due to a sedentary lifestyle. To remedy this you must balance your inner goddess’ will to relax, indulge, eat delicious meals, and pamper herself, with her desire for a beautiful body and good health. The 6th House shows how we choose to deal with the realities of this world; you may choose to ignore ill health in favour of treating yourself to the cardinal comforts of life, or you can choose to see the truth of your situation and take steps towards discipline and hard work.
There are people who work hard, and there are workaholics. There are those who imagine a goal in their mind and delight in thinking about all they could accomplish, and there are those who work hard everyday to make their dreams a reality. There are people who make great leaders, and there are those who do not. And what separates all these people from one another is little more than a strong work ethic and goal-oriented drive for success. You know which half of the spectrum you fall on – you have mars in your 6th House in your natal chart, and you are one of the hardest working people you know. But before you get cocky in the knowledge that you are set to achieve more than anyone else, this house has crisis and illness to test you with. You have undeniable strengths, but you have weaknesses as well, and sometimes they can be one in the same. The 6th House will give you plenty of lessons in humility and how to be of service to others, lessons which you do not particularly want to learn. But should you be a healthy person with a success job, you must learn them.
You do well working with men as your clients, coworkers, employees, or management, or in male-dominated industries. These include all trades, sports, and executive business positions because you have what it takes to compete and win. Because Mars’ house position shows where there is conflict with others – and since this is the house of work, among other things – you do best when you can work independently or in a coveted leadership position. You are a highly ambitious, goal-driven person with a strong need for accomplishment. You drive yourself especially hard and take on much more than you can handle in order to get what you want. You are the type of person to come in early and leave late, to work long hours and not take any days off. You also expect others to perform at your level; if they can’t, you leave them behind and chalk it up to laziness on their part. In being so competitive with others you work with you can become dominant and aggressive towards those at your job. This can create tensions with management in particular when you believe that you know how to do their job better than they can. But you are also one of their best workers, one who does well in a busy, fast-paced, stressful work environment, and one who is most deserving of a promotion.
Ceres is particularly proficient when placed in this house. You have the ability to zero in and focus on the only two things that matter to you: your job and your family. You may even abandon the rest of your social life in favour of spending time on just those two things. While you may not be especially lovey-dovey in your affections (shrinking away from kisses in public or physical touching altogether) you care very deeply and show it by working hard and being a provider. You are always there, unfailingly modest and willing to put others and their needs above your own. This is especially prevalent when you are at work, where you feel like you need to become the parent-figure for everyone you work with. Because you assume responsibility for everything and are endlessly adapting to the needs of others, you seem to attract people who want to be nurtured, taken care of, and catered to. Your flexibility and willingness to accommodate everyone else (at your own expense) are your sources of both frustration and impressive customer service skills. You are ruefully accommodating to other people – just like a parent is for their child.
When it comes to comforting and nurturing yourself, however, you often neglect even your most basic needs. It isn’t uncommon for you to work 12-hour work days without breaks, nor is it rare that you cook and clean all day without eating or sitting down yourself. You make sure that everyone else is happy and well looked after at the expense of your own health and happiness. When it does come time for you to finally take care of yourself you do so either by working your body or by finding ways to make your job and family life easier to look after. The former may include cooking healthy foods, taking a relaxing bath or shower, exercising, going to a class, or even evaluating your personal goals. You feel relaxed when you work on perfecting yourself, even if it means blood, sweat, and tears are shed in the process. The latter could be anything from cleaning, making lists, organizing the family finances, and fixing up things around the house. Even in leisure, it seems, you are dedicated to working hard. Nothing comforts you quite like the knowledge that you are moving forward and making progress in some area of your life.
Jupiter is challenged in this placement. You believe that truth lies in the real, physical reality of our world - that which can be seen and proven by scientific advances, in other words. Real, tangible, facts only; none of that flimsy pseudoscience or metaphysical garbage. With no room for spirituality or philosophical enlightenment (only intellectual growth), Jupiter cannot expand in the way it naturally wants to. Jupiter wants to venture to the communes of Epicurus and the sacred Taoist mountains, gaining deep personal insight by thinking deeply and profoundly about the world and learning about one’s place in the world. But while the small and secluded tea houses of Rikyu may open grand doors for Jupiter, it is within the 6th House of Reality that he is truly confined. Instead he must learn to grow, flourish, learn and teach wisdom within our mundane real world. And so he within what has been proven to be true by the scientific method and what has proven to be more efficient and effectual so far.
Meaning is found within the work that you do. Honing and refining new skills, accomplishing new tasks, mastering new abilities, solving new puzzles, discovering new facts – all of these are ways you uncover personal enlightenment. These are what give you the greatest feelings of pleasure and satisfaction. Like an eager student you devour knowledge of the industry you work in and memorize every tedious detail. You are loyal to the duties you dedicate yourself to, working as if gold lies at the end of every chore, every job, and every work day. It very well might, too. Jupiter brings a fortune of opportunities and good luck into the jobs that you do. This includes chances for promotions, raises, travel, and additional training in related fields. Despite believing that your way of doing things is always best, and despite your someone candid remarks on the job, you get along very well with your coworkers, employers, customers, and clients, and you are universally loved and respected as an employee. What you need to watch for is hurrying through your work too quickly, taking on too much all at once, and failing to take care of yourself. Getting enough sleep, eating right, drinking water, breaking away and slowing down are all just as important.
Saturn’s drive to set and accomplish goals is nothing to take lightly. And placed in the house of work, your work ethic and will to succeed are certainly noteworthy. You are frequently admired by your clients, coworkers, employees, and by management for how dedicated and professional you are to the task. You especially enjoy jobs that are consistent and unchanging, with a set schedule and definite rank, working with the same people all the time, with room to move up if you work hard enough. Finding that your job is your greatest source of strength and security (your safety net, as it were) you take it very seriously and demand top performance from yourself in everything you do. You handle responsibility delegated to you very well. You are committed, reliable, and focused very much on long-term achievements. Some would say that you work too much and don’t take enough time off, and that what drives your ambition is actually a fear of failure. It is very easy for you to become stressed out and anxious about issues surrounding your work, partly because of you are scared of losing your job, partly because you put so much pressure on yourself to succeed. What you will find out as you get older is that you need to relax and enjoy the work you do, or else this part of your life becomes a chore. As well, you need to accept that there are limitations and obstacles that you can’t control.
This is particularly true of your health issues, which is another 6th House dominion. Your body is capable of withstanding a great amount of stress and illness, which is fortunate given how much you load onto yourself. But you should not neglect taking care of yourself in favor of your work or your goals. Saturn is a planet of constantly and limitation, of holding onto things for a long time and never letting go, and this is seen very much in the health of your physical body and mind. You gain weight and then find it very difficult to lose. You get into a habit about which foods you like and which you don’t; you eat the same things every day and find it very difficult to make changes to your diet and exercise routines. Mental and emotional problems seem to be chronic too. You are prone to depression, anxiety, and moodiness and these have a direct effect on your physical condition. You have trouble eating and trouble sleeping. You get general aches and pains, such as headaches, stomach aches, back pain, and joint problems. And should you develop alcoholism (as many with this position do) you suffer at the hands of that as well. This sounds like a lot of trouble, and it is. But the majority of your suffering happens when you are younger. Saturn in the 6th House also bestows longevity, and your health gets better as you get older. Like everything with Saturn, it just takes time.
Chiron placed in the 6th House can be an obstacle to overcome in the work that you do. The job that you are employed in, being in service to other people, routine chores you do in your daily life, and projects you are passionate about working on, all carry some element of this planet. You constantly encounter problems at work where you end up getting the short end of the stick. After being taken advantage of, failing, getting frustrated over and over again, and then giving up one too many times, work becomes associated with a lot of bad feelings you would rather not talk about. Perhaps you are ashamed of the amount of money you have to show for your years of labour, or perhaps you never felt as though you achieved as much as other people did. In being of service to other people, they may have beaten you down into a position of subservience and made you feel worse about yourself. These hard experiences, however, have served as valuable life lessons on the way to becoming who you are. And they have also become your greatest inspiration along the way.
The best lines of work for you allow you to express your Chiron in the most beneficial way. You have gone through a lot in your working life so far, and despite what you may think, you have plenty to show for it. You have gained enough compassion and wisdom from dealing with people and projects to last a lifetime. And in the 6th House, you are lucky enough to be able to use your working life to make this world a better place. The first avenue to do this is by teaching. The second, is by healing. Mahatma Gandhi, who also had this position, is an example of someone who could do both. The kind of work he is remembered for is that which touched the lives of so many in an effort to teach and heal his nation. After witnessing the way Indian people were treated under British rule in South Africa, he began his work in attempt to change the prejudice way the government treated Indian people. After moving back to India he worked through non-cooperation and peaceful protest, even united Muslims with Hindus in his efforts, to dismantle British rule. Chiron seeks to empower others, and positioned in the 6th, this can be a major theme in the work that you do as well.
This placement seems to indicate that you would not be suitable for a routine, ordinary, conventional workplace. Our society offers up many mundane lines of work sitting at a desk or serving customers, where every day and all the work you do is the same from dawn until dusk. You, however, are different – and you need to be different in the work that you do. As an individual with your own ideas, you need to be given freedom to innovate. There are many new and exciting ways you can think of to improve upon the work that you do, and you want to be able to build upon these ideas at your job. The best situation for you would be working (in some way) with science or technology, or in improving the lives of people around you. You do best with an unpredictable schedule or line of work where you can dictate when and where you get to do things. There has to be room for some spontaneity or change with Uranus in the 6th House. Stuck in a static 9am-5pm job with nowhere to go, you become insolent and rebellious against your superiors. Erratic, unreliable, and impatient, you do not achieve as much as others who are more dedicated to the task. With your own projects, however (which you work on at your own pace) you become completely immersed in what you are doing.
Health matters are also a way that you stand out. Usually, however, this planet is present more in the energies it sends through your body than it its “weirdness”. Because of this placement you are bound to feel wired, stressed, and high strung without a proper outlet for your copious amounts of energy. A sluggish or inactive lifestyle can result in a lot of discomfort in this way. This is where spontaneous changes occur and where you need the freedom to do as you please, or else you become frustrated in the stagnation. In your case, it is through work and health matters that you stand out the most. You are best suited for an unordinary job in an unusual line of work; something different than what everyone else does.
When it comes to responsibly grinding through the daily minutiae of life – basic chores like cooking and cleaning, looking after the health of your body, organization, and work – you tend to fall into lethargy. Helpless, swamped, overwhelmed, and confused by these matters, you look for an easy escape and find it in comfortable laziness. Even more so than most, you drift along aimlessly, avoiding or ignoring the pressing responsibilities at your back, and drift along without any set goals in mind. Procrastination is a common theme here. This is not to say that you are incapable of handling responsibility or that you lack work ethic. What it means is that when confronted with your daily list of things to do your eyes glaze over and you feel like going to sleep. It is extremely important, if you are to be successful anywhere, that you manage your Neptunian tendencies at work and in health matters. You cannot carry on glossing over the details of your day-to-day dealings. At some point, you will have to put your boundaries and build structures in this area of life.
A core problem here, particularly when it comes to your health and work that you do, is that your ideals are so high that you are bound to be let down and disappointed when you discover the reality of what that job entails. It is as if you have been wandering in a fog-like dream, and when you finally wake up the real world is not quite what you expected. You may have thought it would be more fun, more fulfilling, that you could support yourself financially, or that the people were nicer. You may have thought that your sensitive body was perfectly healthy. Your habits weren’t fully-blown addictions. The people you’re been helping were grateful; they weren’t taking advantage of you. And yet time and time again you come to realize that none of that was true. Neptune casts illusions and delusions here, making it difficult for you to see reality for what it actually is. When you come to the edge of finding out the truth, you try to blind your eyes and escape from what is real. But sooner or later the fog will be lifted and you will come to realize that what has actually been going on is much different than you thought. And that is a hard truth to swallow.
Pluto affects your work in many ways, including the kinds of work you do well, how you interact with others in the workplace, and your goals in this area of life. You have an inborn detective that investigates, researches, and uncovers secrets on the job. So you would do well bringing these talents into the workforce. You are an inborn reformer which seeks the transform the workforce, industry, or even the political a landscape and the economy you are a part of. Vladimir Lenin is an example of this. Emotional issues also deeply affect the work that you do in both positive and negative ways; you work with others in highly emotional ways, and so do well in any industry related to psychology or emotion. Sigmund Freud had this placement, for example, and he pioneered the entire branch of psychoanalysis in his field of work. The workforce is set up to challenge you, to change you, and to transform you into a wiser and more mature person. Working is what spurs your personal growth, and you will find that until that change takes place you will encounter difficulties both with the work itself and with others around you.
When Pluto, a planet of emotional extremes and personal transformation, falls inside the domain of the 6th House of work, health, and service towards others, you can feel strongly polarized about these issues. Pluto here bestows an incredibly powerful work ethic which can dominate your life in some ways; you tend to overwork yourself to the point of exhaustion and have your time, money, and energy all drained by the end of your project. On the other extreme, however, your work ethic dries up and you lack any motivation to get things done. You are an all or nothing worker who is either thoroughly dedicated, highly ambitious, and intensely passionate about the work that you do, or you do not care at all. Much of your drive and determination comes from what you get out of the work that you do. While money, power, and fame are all very high up on that list, you need to also have a very deep emotional connection to your task. Being so obsessive and purposeful at work is what gives you the strength and courage to move up in rank very quickly. But it is also what breeds the many power struggles and control issues you have with your clients, coworkers, employees, and employers. Pluto can bring a lot of emotional intensity into your 6th House.