3rd House Astrology: The Complete Guide

The third house is where we “discover” other people

After indulging in the self-focused energy of the first two houses, we yearn to explore who else is out there. Language lives here, which holds the key to accelerated human development.

The meaning of the 3rd house in astrology

Since this is the first of the communicative “air houses,” followed by the 7th and 11th, it rules the lexicon of discovery: How we flirt, banter and make small talk with strangers. We crave the novelty of fresh faces, new dialogues and the discovery of the next fascinating person. There’s a fickle quality to these interactions as we may bore easily and be on to the next thing.  

That’s not to say we won’t make lasting connections with this energy! Pairing is caring in this cooperative chart zone, which shares similar traits to Gemini, the 3rd sign. True, these partnerships may be short-term or more loosely defined in terms or exclusivity. Platonic bonds with siblings, neighbors friends and coworkers live here, inviting us to unite our talents in a playful and productive way such as organizing a block party or teaming up for a collab product drop with an industry peer. 

The 3rd house house is the first of the four cadent houses, along with the 6th, 9th and 12th houses. These sit in-between the results-driven succedent houses and the trailblazing angular houses. Cadent houses are a lot like the mutable zodiac signs. They help us synthesize reliable data with novel concepts—in this case through brainstorming and testing concepts. 

3rd House: Communication, Cooperation, Mobility

This chart zone rules the hands, arms and lungs—which all come in twos. Fittingly, the 3rd house reveals the “by hand” activities we embrace from homebrewing to tinkering with classic cars. Speaking of vehicles, mobility is a must where the fast-moving 3rd house is concerned! This zone covers our on-the-go gadgets from cell phones to hoverboards to our commuter vehicles. Neighborhood activity is highlighted by this house. While lit inspires us to “act locally” it also inspires short journeys such as weekend trips and staycations. You might adopt bi-city living as a result of these adventures. 

Thanks to the light and playful nature of the 3rd house wordplay is insanely entertaining. If you have a message to share, your 3rd house placements provide clues about the right medium and timing for putting the word out from podcasting to blogging to publishing a documentary.  The 3rd house blesses us with a treasure trove of charisma; a power to use with great care. Sure, you could sell lattes to a Starbucks barista, but you may also manipulate people for your own selfish gain—or start a Twitter war and get canceled. Use the pause button liberally here and try to think before you speak, post or hit send.

the 12 houses of the zodiac in astrology
The houses of the zodiac wheel

What are the houses in astrology?

The zodiac wheel is a 360-degree circle, divided into 12 segments, or houses. Each house represents a different essential aspect of our lives. In the Movie of You, the houses are like the different sets or stages where the planets (actors) play out their roles (given by the zodiac signs).

You must know your time of birth to accurately determine the houses in your chart. If it wasn’t recorded on your birth certificate, you may have to work with an approximation, as in “My mom says it was sometime right around 4:30.” Or find an astrologer who does rectified charts. This intuitive, investigative reading can suss out what your closest birth time may be.

If you use the Placidus method (which we prefer and recommend), you may notice that the houses of your chart are different sizes. This takes into account the Earth’s tilt. The further from the equator you were born, the more unequal your houses will be in size.

How do you know which planets are in your third house?

Each house is like a movie set of your life where different types of action are taking place. When a planet is in that house, it’s like an actor on that set. To find out if you were born with planets in your 3rd house, run a free birth chart here on our site. Then, look to see if there are any planet glyphs occupying that segment. 

Here’s a handy guide to the planet glyphs for checking out your own chart:

Planet glyphs found in birth charts

Example birth chart: Tina Fey

Tina has Neptune, transformational Pluto and irreverent Uranus in her 3rd house of communication.

Tina Fey’s birth chart

The meaning of the planets in the third house

Which planets do you have in the 3rd house? Here’s what each planet means in that position.

Sun in the 3rd House

Part of the fun (and curse) of this Sun placement is that you’re never quite sure which personality you’re going to feel like expressing on any given day. Your duality can be confusing to friends and lovers. As you mature, you can take responsibility for the impact of your “split personality.”

Read more about the Sun in the 3rd house

Moon in the 3rd House

Communication is the pathway to connection for those born with the moon in the articulate 3rd house. Thoughtful and cerebral, you process feelings through words. At times, you may experience difficulty in truly feeling your emotions. It can be messy work to just feel, deal and heal.

Read more about the Moon in the 3rd house

Mercury in the 3rd House

You’re a quick talker and thinker, “languaging” every word with a clever and creative edge. While it’s great to cultivate your interests and satisfy your appetite for variety, watch your tendency to turn every hobby or interest into a career. Allow yourself to dabble instead.

Read more about Mercury in the 3rd house

Venus in the 3rd House

If you were born with Venus in the curious, communicative 3rd house, you’re a pro-level flirt who needs tons of variety to stay interested. The perfect partner for you must be a multidimensional “renaissance romantic” who has major range and interests outside the relationship.

Read more about Venus in the 3rd house

Mars in the 3rd House

If you were born with Mars in the 3rd house, the way to your heart (and bed!) is through the mind. You may actually get aroused by a heated debate. But to keep the fires burning for the long haul, there must also be plenty of common ground.

Read more about Mars in the 3rd house

Jupiter in the 3rd House

A born seeker, you’re endlessly curious about life.  You may be an avid reader, devouring books about history, philosophy and world cultures. You’re an ideal teammate for trivia night, but your communication style can give friends mental whiplash.

Read more about Jupiter in the 3rd house

Saturn in the 3rd House

You have a keen intellect and an undeniable way with words! However, Saturn’s suppressive powers make you shy about communicating your thoughts. Before you form a judgment, you like to think things through, seeing a situation from multiple angles.

Read more about Saturn in the 3rd house

Uranus in the 3rd House

Nothing turns you on quite like a rich conversation, and you never shy away from a good debate. While no subject is off-limits for you, you approach conversations with a cool detachment. This objectivity can come in handy, but don’t forget to let your feelings have a say!

Read more about Uranus in the 3rd house

Neptune in the 3rd House

You’re a compassionate communicator who exudes genuine charm. People love talking to you! You may process information more intuitively and need support with things like reading comprehension.

Read more about Neptune in the 3rd house

Pluto in the 3rd House

This Pluto placement makes you a masterful flirt, and you may have a roving eye to match. Settling down can be challenging, since you’re always hunting for the next best thing. Once you decide to commit, however, you can be a loyal friend and mate.

Read more about Pluto in the 3rd house

What do the planets mean in the houses?

First and foremost, there is no “right answer” to this question. In fact, you could speculate on at least ten ways a planet is influencing a house at any given moment. This impact will also evolve over time. 

To get you started on reflecting, below are some key words for each planet. 

  • Sun: Self-expression, ego, creativity, vitality, leadership, passion, what excites you
  • Moon: Needs, desires, intuition, what comforts you
  • Ascendant/Rising: The first impression you make, initial instincts, appearance, attractions
  • Mercury: Communication, curiosity, thought processes, what you like to talk and learn about 
  • Venus: Romance, seduction, fashion sense, what brings you pleasure, what you’ll spend money on 
  • Mars: Instincts, turn-ons, lust, drive, motivation, pursuits, what you’ll fight for (and about) 
  • Jupiter: Luck, inspiration, adventure, risk-taking, travel style, expansion, what you like learning about 
  • Saturn: Time and karma, caution, challenges and struggles, boundaries, what you learn the hard way 
  • Uranus: Innovation, originality, idealism, where you’re a rebel and a revolutionary
  • Neptune: Dreams, the subconscious, fantasy, glamor, addiction, healing, boundless imagination
  • Pluto: Secrets, wealth transformation, evolution, the unconscious, power (struggles)
  • North Node: Destiny, soul evolution, dharma, the new “language” you are learning to speak

How does each planet influence my 3rd house?

If you were born with any planet in your 3rd house, it will influence the following areas of life:

  • Communication
  • Peers: friends and siblings
  • Everyday interactions: neighbors, coworkers
  • Short trips
  • Ideas
  • Local events
  • Variety
  • Cooperation 
  • Kindred spirits
  • Synergistic partners 

When a planet is transiting (orbiting) through your 3rd house, these subjects will likely arise.

These areas of life are thoroughly described in the 3rd place planet links above.

Another example using Tina Fey’s birth chart

With piercing Pluto and savvy Uranus in her 3rd house of communication and media, writer Tina Fey knows how to capture a cultural moment and turn it into a meme worthy SNL sketch, sitcom or feature film. In fact, some of Fey’s most legendary characters resonate with these planetary themes. The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt is a sitcom about a woman released after 15 of imprisonment in a doomsday cult leader’s bunker. This might as well be a modern-day story of underworld-ruler Pluto who is the mythological kidnapper of Persephone. Mean Girls is the primer of cruel popularity politics, drawing on Plutonian power struggles and the Uranian quest to belong.

Planets in the Zodiac Signs

There’s one more layer to this! The zodiac sign that the planet is in directs the role that it plays in your life. For example, if motivational Mars was Lady Gaga (the “actor”), Mars in dreamy, artistic Pisces would cast her— far from the shallow—as Ally in A Star Is Born. Mars in calculating, status-hungry Capricorn could turn her into Patrizia Reggiani in House of Gucci.

Or in the case of Tina Fey, powerhouse Pluto is in finicky Virgo, which may have helped earn Fey her “Bossypants” status. With revolutionary Uranus in partnership-oriented Libra, Fey teams up regularly with Amy Poehler, breaking ground for female comedians and bringing the stories of women onto our screens.

Keywords for the zodiac signs that appear in your chart

  • Aries: independence, assertiveness, gutsiness, self-direction, novelty, trailblazing
  • Taurus: stability, tenacity, values and ethics, routines, material comfort, sensuality, luxury, tradition
  • Gemini: communication, curiosity, dynamic duos, variety, mobility, ingenuity
  • Cancer: nurturing, sensitivity, emotions, home, family, roots, children, security
  • Leo: passion, romance, self-expression, courage, loyalty, charisma, childlike spirit
  • Virgo: wellness, efficiency, service, systems, organization, common sense, innocence, cleanliness
  • Libra: commitment, partnership, equality, balance, mutuality, fairness, give and take
  • Scorpio: intimacy, sex, secrecy, power, control, intensity, depth, obsessiveness, wealth, joint ventures
  • Sagittarius: adventure, travel, expansion, wisdom, entrepreneurship, cross-cultural relationships
  • Capricorn: ambition, structure, goals, long-term plans, achievements, prestige, status, time
  • Aquarius: teamwork, originality, social justice, the future, technology, community, society, ideals
  • Pisces: healing, dreams, fantasy, intuition, artistic ability, mystery, psychic abilities, compassion 

What if my 3rd house is empty, has no planets in it?

Empty houses still play a role—and we think of them like blank canvases where you might even have a little more freedom to say what goes. In some ways, this might even be a relief!

But no house will ever stay empty for long. The moon transits (orbits) through all 12 houses in the span of a month. The Sun visits each throughout one year. When a planet transits through a house, it lights it up with its energy. That area of your life will feel the influence!

For example, when buzzy Mercury wings through your 3rd house, you crave novelty and love mingling with new people. When the moon visits here, you’ll crave intimate hangouts and may be inspired to put feelings into words.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

AstroTwins

Identical twin sisters Ophira and Tali Edut, known as The AstroTwins, are the founders of Astrostyle.com and the authors of multiple bestselling astrology books. Their horoscopes reach millions here and through their resident astrologer column at ELLE Magazine.