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The Third House

The 12 houses can be subdivided into four groups. The strongest group is the angular houses (first, fourth, 7th and 10th houses) that fall counterclockwise away from the horizontal and vertical angles in the above model. The second strongest are the succedent houses (the 2nd, 5th, 8th and 11th). And the weakest group is the cadent houses (the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th) immediately clockwise of the angles; the third house is one of these. Cadent houses are mental in nature and less fertile or productive than the angular or succedent houses. As the last house in each of the four quadrants they are related to the dispersal of the energies initiated and consolidated in the preceding angular and succedent house in that quadrant.

The third house represents understanding through information, and what we know as a result of interactions within our community. "Community" here means neighbors, siblings, short journeys, letters, news and rumors. This house rules our rational thought and conscious mind, memory, speech, early education and environment, writing and communication, dexterity and taken-for-granted skills, explorations, investigations, inquiry, and research of all kinds. Planets in the third house describe the quality and quantity of our mental and nervous energy.

Mick Jagger and Phyllis Diller both have four planets in the third house. Other famous people with an emphasized third house (with both the Sun and Mercury—the natural ruler of the third house—in the third) are/were Hans Christian Anderson, James Arness, Burt Bacharach, Bono, Richard Carpenter, Paul Cezanne, John Cleese, Francis Ford Coppola, Walt Disney, Lawrence Durrell, Britt Ekland, A. J. Foyt, Cary Grant, Merle Haggard, Charles Lindbergh, Luciano Pavoritti, Puccini, Joan Rivers, Gene Roddenberry, Carlos Santana, Sting, Elizabeth Taylor, Arturo Toscanini, Tanya Tucker, Denzel Washington, Hank Williams and Andrew Wyeth.

A planet is said to rule a house when it is the ruler of the sign on the cusp or beginning of that house. Using this concept, locate the ruler of your third house, then notice the house it occupies. The house the third-house ruler is in holds experiences that can help you to develop your mind, communicate and relate more effectively, and improve your relationships with your siblings (third house). That's what the third-house ruler is doing in the house it occupies: gaining experience to fill the needs of the house it rules. The third-house ruler's aspects and sign show its ease or difficulty in fulfilling those third house needs. These principles are true of every house ruler and every planet. Oppositions between the rulers or occupants of the third and the ninth houses may highlight finding a balance or bridge between your spiritual understanding and your rational knowledge, or between your philosophy of life and the facts you know.

Astronomically speaking, the third house is that one-twelfth sector of the local sky (see above model) clockwise from the nadir occupied by planets in the two hours after they pass through the lowest point of the local sky.

This Third House of Astrology Houses page and much of this 600-page website are excerpted from the personalized Fine Art Book You and the Universe.

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