It’s my opinion that most of the houses in astrology are not exactly the same as their ruling planet. Even though the house and the planet work similarly, there are usually subtle nuances and differences between the two. For instance, I don’t think the 4th House is your soul. The Moon is your soul. Your 4th House is just what makes you comfortable and secure in private, which relates to the Moon, which is also private and comfort-seeking. However, I think that the 3rd House is the one of the houses that’s just like it’s ruling planet, Mercury. Both represent the ways in which you speak and comprehend things. However, the really subtle difference, I think, is the 3rd House is more so about how you learn while Mercury is about how far your learning process gets you.
And however you learn is however you teach. So, when we’re trying to teach people things, we’re in our 3rd House’s mode. Therefore, this house is certainly a big influence in how you communicate and process. But, I think that the 3rd House has more of an objective goal, looking to give or get something intellectually, while Mercury is more so about the process of gaining those results. Otherwise, they’re a lot alike, especially if you’re one of those people who have Mercury in the 3rd House, which pretty much means that your mind never stops.
As I always say, empty houses are just as important. Look at the sign in your 3rd House, if you have no planets there. And I emphasize looking at the sign more than the ruling planet of the 3rd. Doing that is important but I think it’s cooler to consider the sign because it forces you to open up your mind. You can’t complain so much about Sagittarians if you have the 3rd House in Sagittarius, can you? That is, if you ever want to learn something important or teach someone something important. If so, you’ve got to stretch yourself and access that bit of Sagittarius in you. Now, planets in the 3rd will be more strongly felt and a stellium there obviously make it a focus point in your life.
How does the 3rd House work exactly? It’s the opposite house of the 9th and even though the 9th House is always associated with “teaching”, I don’t think that’s the case. In the 9th House, you guide. This is why the 9th House is college. College professors are way more hands-off. They want to guide you toward the right information to help expand your mind and open your possibilities. You’ve spent several years being logically taught things through the 3rd House. But, in the University of the 9th House, you’re just being shown the way. There are fewer tests in college and more essays because your professors are more eager for your views, instead of just expecting you to spit out the facts. That’s why students who’ve spent their lives as serial crammers, stuffing all that information in their heads only to get an A, can surprisingly struggle in college.
That can work in the 3rd House, however. These are the years of kindergarten through 12th grade, where all you have to do is read and memorize and know the facts. And in the first few years of schooling, it’s where you learn everything you need to learn just to make it through life: reading, writing, basic math. So, your 3rd House sign and/or planet tell you how you took to this whole process. All children do learn differently and that’s, unfortunately, something that’s not recognized as much as it should be. Maybe it’s because all teachers teach differently and can often see their logic as everyone’s logic. And if the student isn’t getting the lesson the way it’s being taught, then they think that maybe there’s something wrong with the way the student learns.
That’s not true but we’ve all been guilty of thinking like this because there’s a teacher-side to everyone’s 3rd House. This is the house of duality, after all, so you’re always going to get both sides of the coin. So, our internalized 3rd House logic is projected on to everyone else. With the 3rd House in Taurus, you might wonder why people lack the common sense you have. With a 3rd House Jupiter, you’re puzzled when you encounter the small-minded thinking of others. Yet, we’re willing, in this house, to help people see this logic. We don’t take it personally and get self-righteous about it, unlike in the 9th House. A person’s beliefs are personal, so this is the inevitable downside of the 9th. Meanwhile, the facts that lie in our 3rd House are just about the lesson plan, not us.
I have the 3rd House in Aries and I do constantly feel ahead of other people in conversations. It’s a placement that means that a person learns things very quickly, almost immediately. I instantly grasp the facts in a situation and that kind of processing is just logical to me. My mind works at a rapid-fire pace yet that’s just the way I learn. So, whenever I’m showing other people the things that I’ve already noticed and realized before they did, I feel like I’m helping them to be more rational. Aries in the 3rd House is a very “get to the point” influence. “What’s supposed to be learned here?”, I always think. It’s a mental goal I aggressively pursue, which is what makes me quick.
The 3rd House is constantly referred to as the house of siblings as well as your neighborhood. This is something that I find really interesting about this house. It does make sense because, more than anyone, we learn the most from our siblings. Your brother or sister act as your mirror growing up because they aren’t the grown-ups in the situation. Kids look up at adults in awe while they treat fellow kids as one of their own. And you naturally learn a lot from someone on your level. That’s why we’re the same age as our classmates! And like we can copy a classmate’s homework, we can mimic, imitate, or assimilate different things about how our siblings act to learn more, in general.
People with 3rd House planets tend to have very special relationships with their siblings, more than the next person. There’s usually a really powerful bond with a 3rd House person and a certain brother or sister. It feels like a real friendship, instead of just two people who love each other but just happen to be related. There can be a closeness and an understanding there unlike with anyone else in the family, even the mother or father. And these siblings will really influence each other, to the point of being very involved in each others’ lives, doing everything together, or being the final say in each others’ decisions. The 3rd House is naturally ruled by Gemini, the sign of the Twins, and if you have a planet in the 3rd, you and your sibling can seem truly separated at birth.
The specifics of the sibling relationship depend on the 3rd House planet or sign, showing what you learned, thanks to them. Venus in the 3rd House people usually have very creative siblings, which made you feel like you always had to find beauty and grace in your environment to learn things. With the 3rd House in Leo, the relationship with the siblings is about self-expression, as you learn to pick up on information from them by figuring out how it relates to you and what’s special about you.
Now, if you have the 3rd House in Aries, like me, you were on your own. This is often the placement of someone who’s significantly the youngest. There was no one on my developmental level, growing up. I was the only little kid in the house, with siblings several years older. So, I always felt like I had to catch up to everyone. I had this impatience to hurry up and get smarter, as a kid, until it gave me a brain that just burns through information. I also learned to think very much for myself because I had no one else to “cheat” off of. Mental independence is the focus of Aries in the 3rd and it makes for a relationship with one’s siblings that’s pretty every-man-for-himself. I was the only one in the house going to elementary school, then middle school, etc. So, my attitude toward my siblings was always, “Do whatever you want because it has nothing to do with me, anyway.”
Of course, there are people who don’t have brothers or sisters. Only children tend to feel their 3rd House differently, because of this. It’s said that an only child will relate more to adults than to kids. So, if you don’t have siblings, your 3rd House self learned from the grown-ups around you, meaning you assumed to be a grown-up yourself. Therefore, the teacher-aspect of an only child’s 3rd House is way more pronounced than the student-side. You related to kids growing up by telling them what you thought they needed to know. With a 3rd House Moon, you taught them how to understand their feelings. With the 3rd House in Virgo, you taught them to be more efficient. And you wonder why only children are seen as know-it-alls. You still have plenty to learn, though, as we all do. So watch out for instructing more than you listen.
This translates into the neighborhood aspect of the 3rd House. How you relate to your neighborhood is very interesting and starts as a kid. This is the area of our life that our parents really cannot control, unlike the home environment of the 4th. The 3rd is what happened near the home but outside of it. And very often, you went off with your siblings (3rd House) to play with the other kids in the neighborhood or to get into whatever childish mischief you wanted to. After all, these little impish explorations are another way to learn. For instance, if you accidentally fell into that lake in your neighborhood when you were six, you then learned to be more careful around water.
If you’re an only child, you probably still played through the neighborhood. Yet, because you learned so much from adults, you definitely could’ve been that child who was telling everyone how they should be playing. And as you grow into an adult, the 3rd House still describes the way you play in your neighborhood. But, now, you’re getting into mischief with adults: going over to their houses or apartments, checking out their yard sales, chatting with them by the pool, setting play dates with your own kids, etc. Just how and why you meet up with Anne across the street for a coffee is defined by what’s going on in your 3rd House.
After thinking about this, I realized that I don’t really care about what my neighbors do, thanks to having Aries in the 3rd House. I’m nice enough to wave and say hi if I pass them by. But, I have little curiosity about them. Whatever house you have Aries is in is the place where you get to be selfish, within reason. Healthy selfishness is good. And like I did with my siblings and eventually the other kids in my neighborhood, I just do my own thing and let everyone else do theirs. I’m just happy focusing on myself and treating my neighborhood like my own personal playground to do as I please. And I only care about what happens on my turf if it affects me.
I suspect that this attitude will keep me away from the gossip as I get older. I won’t be interested in talking about what’s-his-name who lives three doors down and his personal life over dinner. The 3rd House does represent gossip, after all. I won’t say that gossip is entirely bad. It is another way of both teaching and learning. And I do think that everyone has at least a fleeting interest in it because of that. But, your 3rd House tells you the reason why you do or don’t want to gossip. Is it none of your business? Are you just bored? Do you want to test the person to see if they’re a real friend? This is where those social motivations lie.
Gossip is often seen as two-faced yet everyone’s 3rd House has two faces, in many different ways. That’s because it’s so full of changing ideas and objectives. There’s a real flip side here; another person who emerges in communication. Your 3rd House can mess with people’s heads. At the same time, it can also mess with your head. It’s as unpredictable and tricky as it is intellectual and communicative. There’s always so much going in this house and that’s why it never fails to be interesting; just the way it likes it.