Vedic astrologers usually lump the third house into younger siblings, artistic expression, and communication, but it has deeper spiritual and psychological depths that are not discussed enough. John Frawley writes of the 3rd house:
“Of all the houses of the astrological chart, it is probably the third house that arouses the least interest. In most birth-chart readings it will be quietly skated over, as the astrologer can usually find nothing there that warrants closer examination.”
Yet the third house is very profound. It is mostly connected to Mars and it is where we find our courage to express our self-willed interests and move toward our individuality. It is a kama house, a house of desire, where we sometimes exert our raucous sexual energies and fight with our siblings to exert our Martian prowess and exert our ego. It helps us develop and establish our integrity and personal strength. The 3rd house enables us to exert our will to shape our world, to move forth, and to conquer while exerting our ingenuity. It supports us with the courage to go forth in the world, to communicate, be curious, and to dance in the complex world of human development. It is a place where we learn to live in the world.
The karaka for the third house is Mars, which is connected to courage, siblings, and adventure. It is through sibling rivalry and fighting with our brothers and sisters that we learn to exert our individuality, individuate our egos, and become who we are. The third house is a growth house because it tests our drive to fight for who we are and what we believe; to stand up for ourselves – to move forth in the world.
The third house is also connected to kama, desire, and fun hence it is connected to casinos, boudoirs, bars, workshops and includes the athletic playing field where we go to have a good time.
It is a place of raw energy where “boys will be boys.” It is a place where we love games, the joy of writing, celebrate learning, finding new interests, and expanding our Martian search for adventure and recreation. It is a place of adolescent fun and youthful folly wherein we may get into trouble while satisfying our momentary desires. In a sense, it is a very immature place, but it forces us to test who we are and to find our place in the world. When it is afflicted, it can bring out selfishness, lust, and aggression – the dark side of Mars.
The third house has an important Mercurial component where we love to debate and get into arguments. It also hosts our expression and individuality in writing. It is a place of creativity where we can explore the beauty of language and the wonder of making words and acquire new mastery of expression.
In the third house, self-expression and excellent mastery may manifest through singing, dancing, painting, playing of instruments, the domains of performance, and fine arts and so the 3rd house is also celebrated as a house of creativity and the artist.
The 3rd-house is a place of neighbors and the neighborhood. Sometimes we have to fight for our territory and our rights as I remember all too well when I lived in Sedona and the neighbors would report us if we left our garbage can on the curb an extra day or had too many friends over in the house and created parking problems. With a positive 3rd house, we learn and grow from our neighbors and they contribute much to our life by sharing their gifts with us providing friendship, and being there for us in times of need. Mastering the 3rd house of neighbors means turning our enemies into our friends.
Planets in the 3rd house:
- The Sun in the 3rd house loves sports and competition and derives great satisfaction by doing and achieving.
- The Moon in the 3rd house brings emotional restlessness if afflicted and an inability to focus on action as the fickle mind wanders.
- Mars can be too strong in the 3rd house and may create major problems with siblings and ruthlessness. 3rd house Mars may instill a love of sports and competition while leading to major clashes of ego.
- Mercury in the 3rd house brings greatness with communication, great intelligence, but the inability to focus, as one flits from problem to problem.
- Jupiter in the 3rd house loses its spiritual and religious imperative and gets lost at the party.
- Venus in the third house shows interest in art, dance, creativity, relationships, and beauty. With the 3rd house being a desire house and a place of sexual expression, Venus can also get lost here in too much recreation and sexual self-indulgence. Venus may create people who are too nice and unable to stand up and fight for themselves or hold their ground.
- Saturn in the 3rd house may create people who are too practical and conservative and not able to venture forth with Martian adventure – fearing conflict and embarrassment.
- Rahu does well in the third house where it enhances creativity and gusto for life through play and experimentation.
- Ketu in the 3rd house brings an urge to present ideas to others in ways that fascinate and creates great influence around them. Politicians often have this placement like Bill Clinton.
The cure for problems with the 3rd house is that we have to nourish it regularly, clean and refresh it, block the chatter and gossip of neighbors, exert our power, and rediscover our sense of adventure.
The third house teaches us to fight, stand up for what is right and move with the courage to learn, to grow, and to experience personal joy. There is a great celebration of adolescent youth here when Mars expresses itself into the world, which leads to a trajectory of adventure and pleasure.
It reminds me of one of my favorite novels by Saul Bellow, Henderson the Rain King. In the novel, a Connecticut millionaire realized the fruitlessness of his life and collecting material things and goes off on a quest to discover himself. He helps a tribe in Africa and becomes “lionized” and when he returns he feels like a changed man. As he lands in Newfoundland at the airport, he proclaims – “I felt like running, running, leaping through cool arctic airs of silence.” This is the kind of joy that 3rd house adventure can bring – a sense of bravo, gusto, and joy in living if we complete our quests.
End part 1