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Want to learn more about how to do astrology? You've come to the right place!

The THIRD House

Ashley Thiessen

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The 3rd House represents those youngest years, when your parents waited with bated breath for all your first milestones. Your motor and language skills started small, with emotional shrieks and flailing limbs that left your parents guessing what could possibly be wrong. Then you began to grasp things in your tiny fingers, push the buttons on a remote, dish food into your mouth with a spoon, colour with crayons, and splash toys in the tub. Rolling over turned to crawling, which turned to wobbly steps along the couch and coffee table, which turned to full, confident steps. Everything got put up a shelf higher. And as your eyes found new things, you proudly pointed and named things with an ever-growing vocabulary. Finally, your parents didn't have to fumble and guess what it was that you wanted. You could tell them yourself, and explain all your thoughts, feelings, motivations, and ideas to another person, and understand what they had to tell you in return.

Each step took you further out and away from your parents, further into independence. With other kids your own age, you ran through backyards filled with dirt and grass, where crawling bugs spewed out of every tipped-over rock you peeked under. You ran in front yards with whizzing traffic and a sidewalk painted with chalk, and in elementary playgrounds that tested your balance and climbing skills against the other children. Everything was a new and exciting exploration of the natural world, as you saw things and went places for the very first time, all on your own.

 

IF YOUR CHART WERE AN ACTUAL HOUSE

The 3rd House would be all the lines of communication feeding in and out of the house, be it phone, internet, or television, connecting the inner world to the exterior one. It would be the office with a computer in it, or the living room where you gathered to watch TV. It's the conversations had around the dinner table, whispers down the halls, or singing in the shower. It is also the view of the neighbourhood, and all the people in it, from the front steps of your lawn.

 

DOMAIN OF THE 3RD HOUSE

  • Learning (reading, listening, studying, researching, analyzing) and communication of your first language (writing, speaking, signing, singing)

  • Motor skills, such as running, walking, crawling, and dancing (anything involving dexterity and coordination, really)

  • “Short-distance travel”, meaning travel around familiar environments or close to home

  • Logical challenges: taking things apart and putting them back together, puzzles, and games that require mental skill

  • Children your age; siblings, cousins, and neighbourhood, daycare, or elementary school companions

  • Early childhood environment from birth to the toddler years, and your earliest memories


planets in the third house
 

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You were born in the very early hours of morning, shortly after midnight had passed. The former day had gone, and while the town was sleeping you had finally awoken into the world. There was no light of day on either horizon. There was only the inky blackness of night draped over the sky, filled with thousands of tiny pinhole stars.Born at this hour, you are a highly social, communication-oriented person. You found your self-worth lied in being smart and well-spoken, and in doing so found power in being intelligent. Speaking, reading, writing, teaching, learning, and listening all become you, as the exchange of information is a large part of who you are as a person. Your mind is active and very easily bored, and so is always looking for something mentally stimulating to latch onto.

Aside from communication, you also do well in fields where you work with your hands. You don’t just talk the talk – you have plenty of practical skills to back it up too. Stereo-typically, women with this placement tend to be more communication-oriented, while men tend to be more trade-oriented. But that has more to do with how our culture teaches each sex to behave more than it does inherent qualities of Sun in the 3rd House. Both men and women alike can enjoy writing stories, poetry, song lyrics, essays, speeches, jokes. And both men and women can make a living for themselves in mechanics, computers, video games, electrical, carpentry, cooking, crafts, and other trades. 

 
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At the moment you were born, the moon had recently passed the lowest point in your chart and was tipping back around, now looking to ascend back over the eastern horizon and up into the world. Her luminous face was pointed towards the dawn, though she was still set under the earth and far out of sight. Suspended in the darkness of your inner world yet facing the light of the outer world, your Moon peers out with curiosity and eagerness. Your emotions reside in this restless place, pulled to socialize and learn by various moods milling about. You want to tell people about how you feel and listen to them tell you, thus opening up winding paths of back-and-forth, intuitive conversation. 

Many astrologers see the Moon as representing the mother-figure, or the most nurturing parent. Having your moon placed in the third house indicates that you saw your mother more like a big-sister than as a parent herself. Often this placement is given to the most responsible child which is closest to the parents. Taking on a parental role yourself (such as the oldest sibling looking after their younger ones, or the only child who sees their parents more like roommates than actual authorities) you sit on equal terms with your mother, seldom looking to her for emotional comfort or security. But this aloof detachment from your nurturing caregiver can lead to problems in your intimate relationships later on in life. Being rational, logical, and intellectual is not a bad thing, certainly! But as Judith Bennett once wrote, “Theoretical principles and ideas are the tools for a better future, but concrete acts of closeness, sharing, and intimacy are the things people are made of.

 
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Mercury functions very well within this house. It is it's most comfortable here, taking information in from the outside world and piecing related things together. Your brain is very good at absorbing a multitude of things at once, allowing you to change from one thing to the next without missing a beat. You are a collector of facts and figures, the type of person that likes to know a little bit about everything. Nothing escapes the grasp of your curiosity. Your attention span may not be very long, but it is long enough to get the basic idea before continuing on. You pick up on things quickly, after all, and you do not waste time studying once you understand. In turn you may become fickle and finicky with boredom when forced into patience. It is not your fault for wanting to keep moving forward in search of more exciting activities! And it isn’t your fault that you have a lot of interesting things to say and you want to say all of it right now! But, you could still stand to settle, meditate for a moment, and focus on one task at a time. After all, how can you apply your mind constructively if you refuse to listen and build your skills?

The best route for you is to exploit your mind’s capacity for taking in and expelling information. There are several different ways you can do this, beginning with communication. You love to talk. You always want to chat about the things you know and have others tell you their thoughts in exchange. An element of performance can make it all the better, especially when combined with some speaking role. This can make for exciting work as a writer, journalist, speaker, host, educator, or even different kinds of customer service. Of course, spending all day every day around people may or may not be your favourite thing. So you may instead look for work where you are doing something, uniting your brain with your body and producing some set of manual skills. Singing, acting, dancing, and playing music are all examples where breath meets self. Sports and crafts are two examples of coordinated movement. There is a recurring correlation between the people who need lots of mental stimulation and the playing of games, particularly video games and puzzles. You can be any of these, or all of them. The basic fact that unites all of these activities is this: You need to connect with other people by communicating with them, and you need to figure things out.

 
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This is a highly social placement for relationship-oriented Venus to be in. Regardless of what other areas of your chart might say, this part of your personality is highly extroverted. You love to be around groups of people and take pleasure in feeding off the energy in a crowded atmosphere. Conversation keeps you alive – deep, thought-provoking conversation, light-hearted discussions, hearty debates, casual small-talk. Sometimes you prefer to just stick close to your partner or your best friend. Other times you may gather around a group of friends and family and mingle from one person to another. If you thoroughly enjoy people, you can be found chatting up strangers in crowded streets, clubs, pubs, or big social events. Your relationships take you travelling on trips both long and short, and love seems to find you when you leave home and venture out into the world. And both love and friendship find you often when you travel away from home. You tend to be attracted to other Gemini-types of people who love to talk, learn new things, and who think intellectually about the world. You find yourself drawn to mentally alert, logical, rational people with enough wit and charm to get away with saying anything.

Venus in the 3rd is also highly centred around learning and communication, as these are the basic tenets of this house. When gentle, beautiful, beauty-loving Venus dances here, she gifts you with eloquent speech. You can be a bit of a flirt, of course. You take pleasure in reading, writing, and speaking to people. Nothing pleases you more than time by yourself with a book, writing down a story that has been stuck in your head, crafting poems or songs, or visiting with loved ones. The underside of Venus’ can be seen in the other Venusian ways that your mind sometimes works. You can be mentally lazy, easily swayed from logic by passionate emotions, a focus on materialism and superficiality. You may use your power with words to seduce or manipulate your audiences into seeing things as you please, painting beautiful pictures too good to be real. When information is charged through rose-coloured glasses as it is, your judgement can be clouded by a mind occupied by emotional wiles. It is up to you to see reality for what it is rather an idealized version of what you would like it to be.

 
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Children like to say whatever comes to mind. They express themselves so honestly, lacking any sort of tact, that it sounds almost comical. As we grow up we are conditioned to say certain things and not others, to hold our tongues so as not to offend our peers, and in doing so we lose much of our own honestly in favour of our own little deceptions. But some of us (like you) fight the premise that we need to censor our expression or condition our minds to think a certain way.

As a younger child, there was conflict between yourself and your siblings, cousins, neighbours, and other school children your own age. Sometimes it was competitive, sometimes it was defiance, sometimes it may even have been violence. Other times it was you being valiantly protective of them. This was your first testing ground for flexing your Mars inhibitions, strength, and aggression. Later, Mars comes out in others ways. You drive too fast and too recklessly, too impatient when you want to get somewhere. Your thoughts are consumed by sex and anger alike. You take many trips to new cities and back, likely making these short travels a part of your life. Disagreements with teachers, debates, rebelling against the rules, and challenging conventional thought have always been your ways of expressing your own thoughts and ideas about the world. You have always had a strong, wilful mind and your own way of thinking, and for those who sought to mould you into a certain type of thinker you proved challenging. Perhaps this is why you have always been attracted to Gemini-types of people. They talk a lot, have just as short of an attention span, are mentally and physically always on the move. You can verbally spar with one another and then suddenly move onto a conversation about something else. They make excellent lovers and companions for you.

 
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This area of your birth chart contains those precious first years of childhood and your early relationships with children your age: siblings, cousins, neighbours, and schoolmates among them. There was a very close, familial love that existed between the lot of you. As an older sibling you loved and doted upon your younger brothers and sisters like a parent would, babysitting and taking care of them throughout your young lives. As the younger sibling you looked up to your older relatives to nurture you, being taken care of by them when your own mother and father were not around. An only child with this placement may have filled that parent/child dichotomy with cousins or other peers; you may have been mother hen to group of younger kids, or else the youngest following older ones around. As you grew older this only happened more, as more of your family members gave you cousins and nieces and nephews to look after in their stead. A large circle of extended family and friends meant that there was never a shortage of variety in your caregivers, or the ones receiving care. You all looked after one another.

You felt best taken care of when you were engaged with other people – seeing, learning, talking, making, and doing freely all at once. As an adult you return to the things that comforted you as a child when you need to relax, unwind, or otherwise make you feel better. Your 3rd House is the “womb” you retreat into when the world outside gets too heavy. For recreation you enjoy mental pursuits like puzzles and games, which give you something fun and interesting to do without being to demanding. You also like to read and write, which you find relaxing. Tinkering, building, and things to do with mechanics or technology all occupy your mind with activity, distracting you just long enough to wind you down. Your Ceres comforts are all still mentally stimulating enough to keep your attention without becoming too much a project on your shoulders. Another thing that makes you feel better is communicating. When you have memories or emotions bubbling up inside you should talk about them to a journal or people you trust. Whether the conversation is deep and meaningful or light and in passing, discussing your thoughts openly is the surest way to quell any discomfort in your life.

 
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Whereas Jupiter’s sign placement shows what comes most easily to you, what you believe to be true, and what you seek to teach others, his house placement is indicative of where in your life you express these talents, where you find truth, and where you will teach others in this lifetime. Jovial Jupiter finds humour in this world, is a larger-than-life entertainer, and enlightens the masses through his spiritual and philosophical insights. As a young child you likely travelled or moved often and changed schools frequently, which further spurred your tendency to flirt with several disciplines at once but quickly move onto the next thing soon after. You also have good relationships with your siblings and your cousins. But the main point of Jupiter in this house is for you to use the power of words to communicate Jupiter to the rest of the word. It is not easy, as you will read here, but it is your higher purpose.

Jupiter and its 3rd House home are uncomfortable with one another, each one hindering the other. For example, you tend to exaggerate when you communicate. Important facts and details are glossed over so you can bend the rules to fit with your expanding mind, giving rise to impractical ideas and reckless reasoning. You are also cursed with a mind that is all over the place trying to contain an abundance of thoughts, both big picture and small. Always busy with several intellectual interests at once, your energies are left scattered and restless. Your thirst for learning is never quenched, and since you are forever learning and seldom doing, your efforts are basically unproductive. You may even feel as though you are the perpetual student. When will you finally know enough? How do you marry abstract ideas to logical reasoning?  How do you communicate with flair while still sticking to the facts? These are questions you must harmonize with in your lifetime. What remains true is your incredibly optimistic outlook and your openness to understanding. These two items are what will carry you through on your journey to personal enlightenment, wherever that journey may go.

 
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Saturn here is a weight placed upon your young shoulders, signalling difficulties in school and conflict with other children. Those younger than you were a burden, a responsibility you did not want, a chore you had to look after and play with. Those older than you were cold, strict, and unloving. If you had brothers and sisters your relationship with your siblings was “limited” or “restricted” in some way, either due to divorce, death, physical separation, or emotional barriers erected between you. If you were an only child growing up you likewise felt lonely being in your family all by yourself. Regardless of whichever category you fall under, you felt isolated, lonesome, and burdened by your solitude. Likewise in school you had problems learning and studying at pace with the other students in class. You may have been mislabelled as stupid or accuse of having a learning difficulty when things took you longer to do. But while getting yourself an education was difficult, it was not because you were unintelligent. In fact, as time would tell, you were actually quite the opposite.

Saturn, wherever it is placed, forces you to slow down, set a goal, and work towards it gradually. It is a planet of security and safety, of work ethic and achievement, of being grounded and taking things seriously. Your mind mirrors the way Saturn works. You think very deeply about a limited number of subjects, becoming an expert on a handful of things. On those things you achieve practical intelligence, accumulating a wealth of knowledge that can be put to good use. Contemplative, thoughtful, conscientiousness, and observational – these are the qualities that help you to think deeply and seriously about the world around you. It is true that put off decision making as much as you can, procrastinating to make sure you pick the right one, as if you don’t trust yourself and need to make sure. Insecurity in your own intelligence has forced you to become a hard-lined intellectual (or else, alternatively, to reject intellectualism altogether). And at times, it has cost you. In trying to be realistic, you have become pessimistic. The cold hard facts, so unforgiving and dispassionate, colour your vision in shades of grey. The heart of Saturn in the 3rd House is that when you are exploring, relating to, and engaging with your surrounding environment, you are apprehensive at every moment. Fear is what keeps you quiet with your nose in your studies, ever doubting your own intelligence.

 
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Chiron does not do well when placed in the 3rd House. Beginning in early childhood and stretching forth into adulthood, you have been criticized for the way you express yourself. You have dealt with communication problems and difficulty being understood by other people, largely because of the unique way you speak and act. Possibly due to some learning or speaking difficulty, or possibly just because of how you naturally are, people have labelled you as unintelligent, stupid, or not worth listening to. It is not your fault people have thought of you this way. Yet the end result is still a lack of confidence in yourself. You have been shy, quiet, reserved, and even anti-social since being made to feel this way. As much as you want people to listen to you, you sit back and listen to others, being very careful to choose your words so as not to make some fatal mistake. Feeling alienated from your peers has also made you a pessimistic and cynical person, one who is far more critical of things than you would otherwise be. It is difficult for you to be yourself when everything you say and do comes under the magnifying glass. And it is even harder to love the parts of you that are different when nobody takes you seriously.

Chiron is a wound in your mind, a lesion in the way you think about the world. When you process information and when you relay it, your words drip with venomous insight. When you look to society and the social structures within – the people, country, and cultures around you – you view them as oppressive and flawed. You view people’s minds as in desperate need of fixing, of feeding off twisted information and missing critical honesty. When you were a child you were “oppressed” by those who told you you were flawed, and now you come to see the world through their diminished vantage point. Something that may appeal to you is a style called Literary Realism, one that implores documenting the grim realities of life in an attempt to present things more truthfully. You are no stranger to difficult truths. You see suffering everywhere: poverty, war, the plights of the lower class, crime, relationships gone wrong, corruption and greed. And it all seems to stem from misinformation and a lack of real understanding.

 
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This is a fascinating placement for Uranus. Your liberal mind is always open and you never shut yourself off to great ideas. The way you look at the world is so vastly different from anybody else it is no wonder you often feel that nobody understands you. Your intellect is a combination of intuition and invention. Unlike other people who may use only logic or only emotion to decide what it right and what is true, you are able to blend your thoughts and feelings together. This is the stem from which your insight sprouts its leaves and your creativity blossoms. You emerge with a very different way of processing the world, and end up with a very original personal style at the end of it. You are constantly reorienting your view of the information in front of you, looking at items from every possible angle and dissecting every little thought to its core. You come up with new and enlightened ways of understanding every time you learn something. Every new fact you uncover, every new opinion you discover, every new point of view leads to you drastically change the way you see the world.

But your intelligence does come with its own kind of moody eccentricity, as it often does. In early education you sat, slumped in your desk, bored and unable to concentrate. Dry academics left you no room to be creative, no room to add your own unique twist. And purely creative subjects gave you no structure to tear down and change. Uninspired, restless, and wanting more from life, you got distracted easily and struggled to focus in your studies. Having a strong, independent mind and rebellious attitude towards your learning also do not help your relationship with teachers. You got into trouble with authority for what you said and what you thought, especially when you demanded equality, spoke out during class, and tried to shake up your learning environment to make it more interesting. You are always on the lookout for fresh and exciting experiences; your inability to be bored means that you always leap from one interesting discussion to the next. All your life you keep encountering similar struggles when pitted against a person that tells you how to think. But as you get older the tension that exists between you and other people is more to do with your unconventional ideas, “weird” personal tastes, and your failure to focus on one thing at a time.

 
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The 3rd House is symbolic of early child development when you begin to walk and talk all by yourself. In that early environment we find other children close in age to learn beside – siblings, cousins, neighbours, even other children we know in school or daycare. The nature of Neptune, unfortunately, breeds some difficulties in these early relationships. Exactly what that means for you depends on your family structure. If you had brothers and sisters growing up it may have been that one of them was a “difficult” child (having some behavioural problem or a disability of some kind). In this case, you had to sacrifice some degree of your own happiness to adjust to them. If you had a sibling which died, you may carry some sort of guilt or responsibility for what happened and how it affected your parents. Alternatively, you may have been separated from your siblings through divorce, physical distance, or emotional severance, forcing you to give up your relationship with them. If you did not have siblings you still shared the loneliness in regards to your peers. Neptune in the 3rd inevitably concludes with personal distance between you and others, as if you are contained within your own personal bubble of fog.

In response to this early distance from others your own age, you retreated inward, into the comforting chaos of your own mind. On the outside it seemed as though you were shy when you in class; teachers may have even though you suffered from learning disabilities from the confusing way your mind seemed to work. Others see you as delusional, confused, gullible, easily impressed upon, and unrealistic in your expectations. Some may even accuse you of being mentally unwell or unstable. They see you as far too emotional and not logical enough. Being so empathetic, their words come to you as truth, and you begin to believe them. For much of your life you are pressured to favour hard science, logic, rationality, and dry intellect, and forced to learn and speak the way people think you should. You may even come to worship knowledge and science as if it were an unquestionable religion. But at some point in your life curiosity is bound to overtake to, and you will fall deep into your fascination with spirituality, magic, fantasy, the occult, and other ancient practices. The intellectuals of the world will tell you believe in these things is foolish. But to you and the way you drink in the world, they are as real as anything, and they explain so much.

 
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Your mind is easily the most powerful tool at your disposal. It is built with gifts of obsessive curiosity and good concentration. Threaded together with a strong suspicious attitude and guarded by deep mistrust, and your mind comes together like cogs and spurs in a clock. You were made for penetrative research and investigation into the unknown, for your mind sneaks into the darkness of a person’s emotional mind and pulls out truths one at a time. You have a knack for sniffing out secrets. Everybody has a sore spot – abuse, trauma, loss, sex, death, births, relationships gone bad. You have a hungry need for knowing the underlying psychology of every person you meet, and you will not rest until you’ve “figured them out”. Often you fall into the trap of thinking people are more deadly, more secretive, and more complex than they actually are. You come at them with invasive questions like a prosecutor examining a criminal, hoping to get everything out of them over the course of your relationship. Your intentions of exposing a person’s worst qualities and darkest secrets right off the bat is a testament not only to your paranoia, but to the negative way in which you view the world.

Your mind can turn against you in the way it works sometimes. You may be one of many who suffer from some sort of mental illness or instability, which you know about but try to hide from other people. Intrusive thoughts which are obsessive, anxious, angry, destructive, or sexual turn over in your mind incessantly. Resentment which should have cooled long ago still burns inside of your heart, and you dwell in violent fantasies whenever your darker emotions are stirred. None of these patterns of thought are healthy, nor are they constructive uses for the mind. A surprising way you can turn your outlook around? Travelling. Each trip you take marks a specific turning point in your life. By forcing you out of your comfort zone and surrounding you with new cultures, new foods, new people, and new experiences, your mind can renew itself in a new place. Perhaps you get out of a slump by moving away to a new city and leaving behind an old environment that was detrimental to your mental health. Maybe you revitalize a tired mind by picking up a book or a new area of study, going back to school, or taking a short trip to clear your head. Travelling near and far and frequently does wonders for a 3rd House Pluto, which festers in stagnant waters. Your mind contains far too much ambition and energy to be kept bound up all the time. You need to give your mind work to do!