They drank up the wine and they got to talking…
They now had more important things to say
And when the car broke down they started walking…
Where were they going without ever knowing the way? ~ Fastball, The Way
In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at astrology’s Third House. Naturally ruled by airy, restless, communicative Gemini which is ruled by the airy, restless, communicative planet Mercury, it should come as no surprise that the Third House governs communication in all forms: written, verbal, email, text — including the cell phones we attach to ourselves like magnets and all its capabilities. Its placement tells us about how we tend to communicate as well as how adept we are at it. As discussed several times on the awesomely hilarious 1990s sitcom Seinfeld, it can reveal if you are — among other things — a high talker, a low talker, or a close talker. It can indicate if you are more of an observer than a commentator, or if you’re so annoyingly chatty that everyone silently (if you’re lucky) wishes you would shut the hell up already, and you would undoubtedly bring home the gold in the Talking Olympics.
But communication isn’t the only focus of the Third House. This House also covers short trips (in astrology, these are trips that don’t require an overnight stay), relationships with any siblings you might have, how well (or not) you get along with your neighbors, and early education, as in your formative years as a wee tot in preschool and elementary school.
Just for fun, let’s say you’re looking at your natal chart, scratching your head in confusion because — gasp! — your Third House is empty, meaning it is completely devoid of any planets, asteroids, or nodes. Does this make you an uneducated, illiterate, kindergarten flunk-out mute? If you do in fact have siblings, does this indicate they are figments of your imagination and don’t actually exist? Are you destined to live in solitude on a desert island without neighbors? Will every short trip you embark upon be fraught with flat tires, blown head gaskets, fender-benders (or worse!), leaving you standing on the side of the road next to your disabled vehicle so frequently that the AAA operator recognizes your voice when you call for assistance?
Not. At. All. As I’ve previously mentioned, everyone’s chart will have a minimum of two empty Houses (ten planets and twelve Houses = you do the math), and in all probability, you will have more than two vacant Houses. There are a few ways we can interpret an empty Third House. It might be that you’re not much of a conversationalist who doesn’t consider communication important enough to make it a priority, or maybe the other areas of focus of the Third House — short trips, early education, or relationships with siblings and/or neighbors — aren’t a major theme in your life. And there’s nothing wrong with that. Furthermore, we can look at which sign rules your chart’s Third House and that will give us at least some insight into how you handle such matters. For example, let’s assume Aquarius is your chart’s Third House ruler. Aquarius is an easy-breezy, go-with-the-flow air sign with the enviable ability to easily adapt to new situations and people from all walks of life. They’re also somewhat emotionally detached and tend to take matters of love more lightly than others. This being the hypothetical case, it would likely indicate that when it comes to communication, you are able to communicate easily with many different kinds of folks in any given situation. In romantic relationships, perhaps you don’t say “I love you” too often…at least not verbally. These are only a few of several possibilities, as what it specifically means depends on many other factors and aspects in your chart.
But for those of us who do have planets in the Third House, let’s examine how each one’s placement affects you.
Sun in the Third House
A Third House Sun native is someone who craves attention for the way they communicate. They’re pretty proud of their speaking and/or writing style, which probably is quite witty, and they’ll let you know about it. This person is extraordinarily ambitious and uses their strong communication skills as a tool when meeting influential people, hoping it will give rise to an opportunity of some kind, perhaps to climb the elite social ladder but more likely the career ladder to eventual business success. The Third House Sun probably began talking earlier than most children, has an extensive, well-developed vocabulary, and many of them are fluent in two or more languages. If the native has a sibling or siblings, there is definitely rivalry with at least one of them due to the sibling being a show-off or attention whore. This individual is generally quite restless and loves spontaneous short trips.
Moon in the Third House
When the sensitive Moon is in the Third House of communication, it is virtually guaranteed that the individual with this placement will have no trouble sharing their feelings. In fact, they might tend to share too much, often becoming hyper-emotional when doing so. The lesson here is for the native to realize that although communicating their emotions is a wonderful thing, there is such a thing as TMI. They need to learn that they don’t have to share everything. This one particularly enjoys reminiscing about the past, as the Moon is highly sentimental, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will either be a Cancer or have Cancer-like traits (prone to moodiness, easily offended, nurturing.) The Third House Moon individual usually has a very good memory and enjoys trips to places of which they have fond memories. Others feel comfortable opening up to this person because they are so open themselves and frequently have valuable insight to offer.
Mercury in the Third House
Ohhhh boy. Mercury, the planet of communication, rules Gemini, the sign of communication, which is the natural ruler of the Third House, and this is tantamount to one hell of a talkative native, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will be equally chatty. Ironically, the native might experience difficulties communicating with any siblings. Communication skills in this one are highly developed and the chances for a successful career in writing, publishing, journalism, speaking, traveling, or anything else involving communication or trips is excellent. Mercury is restless, and a Third House Mercurian loves, loves, loves traveling and seizes any opportunity to do so, yet they tend to take impulsive detours while en route to their eventual destination. To illustrate this, do you remember the movie National Lampoon’s Vacation? Sure you do, unless you’ve been living in a cave somewhere deep in the bowels of the earth. Anyway, in this classic comedy, Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) is hauling his brood cross-country to their eventual destination, Wally World. In the meantime during their extended road trip, Clark constantly wants to stop at cheesy, touristy places like “the house of mud” or “the world’s largest ball of twine which is only four short hours away, muahaha,” much to the chagrin of his wife and kids who just want to get to Wally World already. If he were an actual person, good ol’ Clark Griswold would probably have this Mercury placement. The native’s mental energy can be somewhat scattered due to a wide variety of interests; therefore, they usually know a little about everything but not a lot about anything. A Third House Mercurian is extremely analytical yet quick to make decisions. Depending on other chart aspects and influences, this one is sometimes prone to speeding tickets or other relatively minor brushes with the law.
Venus in the Third House
A Third House Venusian is often an intriguing, persuasive communicator who, in affairs of the heart, can let their partner’s less-than-stellar looks slide in exchange for truly good, quality conversation and exchange of ideas. In fact, if a potential love interest can’t communicate interestingly, well, and often, that’s a deal breaker for the native. This is a person who likely changes addresses frequently, and if they have a sibling or siblings, one of them will likely be involved in artistic pursuits. Oftentimes, the native will meet a significant other or spouse through a sibling. A Third House Venusian loves all forms of communication, and they have an uncanny knack for expressing themselves beautifully, painting a virtual picture for others when describing a situation or telling a story. I have this Venus placement (and no, that is not why I described all those lovely Third House Venusian traits!) and when I was in the third grade and had completed a creative writing assignment, my teacher told me, “You are going to be an author one day, little lady!” I never took that too seriously; I thought she was saying that because she was my teacher and it was just one of those things she had to say. Today at age 41, I’m not an author, but writing has always been one of my lifelong passions and (half-assed) pursuits and I would love nothing more than to do it professionally…but for now, this blog you’re reading is pretty much it (unless you count one letter to the editor of a popular women’s magazine that was published and two articles I wrote in my high school journalism class for the yearbook, which I don’t.) I’m also infamous for moving a lot (just ask my kids about growing up with their gypsy-ish mother.) Other points of interest relating to siblings: one of my sisters has a degree in art history and is an unbelievably talented interior decorator (though not professionally…but she could be if she wanted to.) Furthermore, I met my first husband, a now-deceased Sadge who is the father of my three now-adult children, through my also now-deceased lifelong best friend, who was more like a sister to me than my own biological sisters were, and as a result she became my sister in-law. Does “sister-like” count? Yeah. I think it does.
Mars in the Third House
Mars is the planet of aggression and assertiveness, and believe me when I tell you, this is a person who will speak without thinking. Things reflexively fly right out of their mouths unfiltered and unedited, their diarrhea of the mouth often (unintentionally) causing hurt feelings. This one says what they mean and means what they say…well, sometimes they mean it. They have a razor-sharp tongue and know exactly what to say to cut the object of their aggression to the quick, whether there is any truth behind it or not. When there’s not, they experience quite a bit of regret after the fact, but it’s difficult — though not unheard of — for them to apologize for their words. If they have any siblings, one of them likely has an aggressive nature. The native is impulsive and likes to take spontaneous road trips. This is a very knowledgeable individual and they love few things more than sharing everything they know with anyone within earshot. A Third House Martian loves a good debate but they have a tendency to get fired up over trivialities. They are so confident in their convictions that they might be perceived as arrogant. The lesson for the native here is to recognize this when it happens and try to dial it down a notch.
Jupiter in the Third House
The planet of abundance in the Third House of communication = obviously, abundant communication. In fact, sometimes the native doesn’t understand when to stop communicating. They will tell you things which you probably could have happily gone the rest of your life without knowing. This is similar to the Third House Moon and their TMI problem, but that one is more of an over-communicator when it comes to emotions and feelings, while the Third House Jupiter native communicates about anything and everything. When imagine a person with this Jupiter placement, I am reminded of a scene from the 1987 comedy Raising Arizona in which H.I. (Nicolas Cage) is walking in the desert with his boss Glen (Sam McMurray), the poster boy for Jupiter in the Third House (“say, that reminds me!” — that guy), and who just will not shut up already, and finally gets a well-deserved punch in the face. In any event, this one is forward-thinking and loves to plan ahead. They are curious about what others think and love to bounce their ideas off other folks, and people will turn to them for advice on just about anything. This is a cheerful, upbeat, positive individual; so much so in fact, that even when they’re in a foul mood, they are able to disguise it like a pro.
Saturn in the Third House
The schoolyard bully of planets is back, placing obstacles in the path of those with this Saturn placement. Third House Saturnians are often perceived as cold or reserved, as they don’t always say much. Social situations where communication is required can cause them to feel uncomfortable. However, because the native doesn’t always say much, they tend to be great listeners. And it’s not that the individual wants to feel this way, not at all! It’s that damn Saturn influence, sapping the native’s confidence and increasing feelings of vulnerability. Public speaking? Fuhgeddaboudit! But because Third House Saturn is quiet, they are able to develop keen observational skills which can lead to success, preferably working behind the scenes in careers such as journalism and science. The native is disciplined and organized, and they find talkative, unorganized folks annoying. The native likely felt discouraged from speaking out in childhood, perhaps because the parents deemed certain subjects as taboo. If they have a sibling or siblings, the native probably felt as though they were forever in their shadow and perhaps were even picked on by them. As far as traveling is concerned, the Third House Saturnian probably has had more than their fair share of trip-related calamities including flat tires, fender-benders, running out of gas, blown fan belts, and pretty much anything else you can think of that could leave them stranded and delay travel plans. Take my advice: if you have this Saturn placement, you need a AAA membership. If you don’t already have one, get one. Today. It’s not a matter of if you’ll ever need it, it’s when. You will.
Uranus in the Third House
The planet of all things unorthodox and downright strange in the Third House of communication gives us a native who gets a kick out of saying or writing things for shock value. Others typically perceive the individual as crazy or eccentric but in actuality, the Third House Uranian is borderline genius (as the saying goes, there’s a fine line between genius and madness!) This person is wickedly funny and witty, and if you are in their company, you will never be bored. They’ll keep you on your toes because you can expect the unexpected to come out of their mouths at any given moment in any given situation. You are an honest communicator, which some people appreciate while others are annoyed by it. Your childhood was probably quite different from those of your peers, and if you have a sibling or siblings, one of them is probably at least as eccentric as you are. When traveling, you have a tendency to encounter stranger-than-fiction situations that couldn’t possibly be fabricated. You are the one who comes home with some ridiculous, yet true story that usually begins with something along the lines of “you’re never gonna believe this!”
It looks as though you’re letting go…
And if it’s real, well I don’t want to know
Don’t speak, I know what you’re thinking…
I don’t need your reasons
Don’t tell me ’cause it hurts. ~ No Doubt, Don’t Speak
Neptune in the Third House
Damn Neptune, the planet of illusions, strikes again with its rose-colored glasses, this time in the Third House of communications, where its effect on the native is to discourage them from facing uncomfortable truths head-on and hearing only what they want to hear. Actually, the Third House Neptunian hears what you’re saying just fine, but they avoid fully absorbing it at all costs, particularly if it’s painful. Why? Because that might hurt. This dreamy native is notorious for being habitually late for just about everything and even forgetting dates or appointments altogether. However, the individual is a charming, creative communicator with a brilliant imagination and they can find great success in endeavors such as the arts, journalism or writing, and even the theater or acting. If they have a sibling or siblings, it’s likely that one of them is somewhat scatterbrained and/or has a problem with substance abuse. There might have been difficulties with school in early childhood, not because of any kind of learning disability, but because the native’s head is so often in the clouds that it’s hard to keep their attention on one thing, especially if it isn’t intriguing or interesting to them. This is a highly intuitive individual with uncanny insight and this can bring comfort to others when they need it most. When taking trips, the native has a tendency to get lost easily. My suggestion, if you don’t already have one? Get yourself a GPS, immediately if not sooner.
Reason will not reach a solution, I will end up lost in confusion…
I don’t care if you don’t really care as long as you don’t go
So I cry, I pray, and I beg…
Love me, love me, say that you love me…
Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me
Love me, love me, pretend that you love me…
Leave me, leave me, just say that you need me. ~ The Cardigans, Lovefool
Pluto in the Third House
Remember, Pluto is the planet of extreme highs and lows. The bipolar planet, if you will. In the Third House of communication, its effect is the same: all or nothing. There’s no happy medium here. When a Third House Pluto communicates, it’s either extremely informative, encouraging, helpful, or otherwise positive or it’s extremely harsh, cruel, hurtful, or otherwise negative. Nothing whatsoever in-between. If the individual has a sibling or siblings, the relationships with them are either very loving or very volatile and rocky. When the native develops an interest in someone or something, regardless of what or who it is, it can quickly become an unhealthy obsession. When this one goes on a trip, everything is either 100 percent smooth sailing, or nearly everything that can go wrong does go wrong. All this aside, Third House Plutonians are powerful, persuasive communicators who tend to challenge others’ ways of thinking and they make fantastic salespeople or even motivational speakers.