The third house in astrology is known as “The House of Communication”. It is ruled by planet Mercury and the constellation, Gemini. Mercury is one of the more well-known planets because of the havoc it wreaks on communication, travel, and technology while stationing retrograde. If you have a general idea of the planet or zodiac that ‘rules’ a particular astrology house, you already have an idea of the aspect of life it involves. The third house is also a ‘Cadent’ house. Cadent houses mark the end of a quarter of the zodiac wheel, here we take the themes of the Angular and Succedent houses directly before it and process this information, and the best part is, we have no idea we are doing so.
Though the themes of the third house may seem different from each other, the underlining idea is how early interactions are used to form our perspective on reality and as a result, how we communicate with it. There is a general rule of thumb that houses 1–6 are more representative of the self and what is ‘below the surface’. Houses 7–12 are outside of ourselves, where we deal with life’s facets that are much grander and complicated than us. Each house directly across from the one being focused on will reflect this kind of mirroring.
The themes of the third house include, our early environment-including siblings and neighbors, early education, short-distant travel and all forms of communication (verbal, written, technological). Being ruled by Mercury this is a very mental/intellectual house. Our perception is so unique, it forms our own identity, that of others and even the level of courage we can attain.
It is through our early environment that we begin to perceive the world. Being ruled by Gemini, the third house is the first house of an Air element. Air symbolizes the mind, communication and relationships. The archetype of a sibling in youth or neighborhood you grew up in is your first experience of community. They may provide you with support and protection or they can be the cause of feelings of alienation. This also goes for early education and short distance travel or lack of. Whether we were taken out of our immediate surroundings and shown the world and under what pretense also lives here. What ‘world’ were we shown?
Early education and our personal experiences with it are stored in the third house. They also become part of our innate identity. How did you feel when you were young and in school, were you smart, a social butterfly, distracted? For some people the roles placed on them or observed in youth are carried with them for a good part of their lives. Dependent on planetary placements in this house and the transits they are involved in, you can determine your communication style and the role these early experiences play in your life. In your natal chart, if you do not have any planet’s in this house you can look to the zodiac sign in which the house begins. In more depth, you can look at what aspects the particular planet that rules that sign is involved in.
It is important to realize we are still sponges at this point on the astrology wheel; taking in how to best survive as ourselves, establishing our value, and now learning through our perception of our surroundings. This early environment is being recorded by the brain as it develops, it does not yet consider the environment we find ourselves in verse alternate ones. One’s construct of how society should behave is taught or observed. For this reason, constructs like gossip, prejudices, lying, imitation, manipulation, and jealousy can actually be picked up here all being dependent on what we encountered in our early environment.
Expression of intelligence, writing, editing, and speaking can be seen here with positive aspects in the natal chart. Ruled by mercury, communication also involves technology like telephones and the internet. That co-worker or family member who claims to be completely technologically inept regardless of their age is probably right, and it could be because an encounter regarding their third house. Utilizing technology is a form of communication in itself, there is a connection. ‘Telepathic communication’ whether it is between you and a sibling or you and electronic equipment is also a third house facet.
The parts of the body associated with the third house are the ears, shoulders, and hands. Placements here can represent on the positive-someone being good at working with their hands or the negative-carrying the burden of their childhood on their shoulders and refusing to hear the truth. Uncover what lies beneath your third house floorboards, is it filled with nostalgia of riding bikes with the neighborhood kids, repressed pain, or simply, misunderstandings? Would you say your earliest experiences have stayed with you? Reflecting on these parts of our lives can be immensely healing as we revisit them after attaining awareness. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the chart owner to evolve throughout their life and break the chains that bind them as a victim to a perception of fate.