After the wild (mis)adventures of the romantic fifth house, the sensible sixth house brings us back down to earth to clean up our messes and reclaim our time
Okay, okay, it’s time to settle down, folks. Some might consider this realm a bit boring, but in fact, it’s one of the most liberating zodiac zones.
The meaning of the 6th house in astrology
As the second of the zodiac’s three “earth houses,” you discover the sweetness of simplicity in the 6th house—but in a nuanced way. This zone helps you geek out over things like “design thinking” or “neurodiversity,” tapping into the latest shortcodes and lifehacks for becoming a smarter human.
The 6th house house is the second of the four cadent houses, along with the 3rd, 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 research and analysis.
Minimalism can be a blessing, allowing us the clear space to do the analytical thinking and strategizing the 6th house is known for. We refine our values here, become tasteful, discerning curators who know quality from trash. Perfectionism is the shadow of 6th house matters. Here’s where you may strive a little too hard to get it “right” and could benefit from embracing the Japanese concept of wabi sabi, which finds beauty in the “flaws” of hand- and nature-made “flaws,” like rusted patinas and uneven cobblestones. Speaking of which, this crafty house reveals our hobbies and where you may have skills as a DIY artist or maker!
Daily routines—like schedules and the systems we utilize to manage the flow of our responsibilities—are governed by the 6th house. Work and wellness also live here, underscoring the importance of stress management through fitness and healthy eating. Since this realm rules digestion, what we take in matters too, so be sensitive to all sorts of input from food to sounds to ideas.
This is the “service sector” of the chart, motivating your dutiful nature. Where are you willing to volunteer a pro-bono hand or serve up random acts of kindness? Service providers also live here: from babysitters to office assistants, what sorts of folks you should be tapping for support? Beloved pets are ruled by the 6th house, both for their loyal service and the routines they keep us on with their clockwork needs to be walked, brushed and fed. Set those reminder alarms and free up some mental space!
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 sixth 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 6th 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:
Example birth chart: Jennifer Aniston
Jennifer Aniston has Venus, Saturn and her lunar North Node in the 6th House.
The meaning of the planets in the sixth house
Which planets do you have in the 6th house? Here’s what each planet means in that position.
You are here to bring structure to chaos. First step? Dive into the “mess” for a thorough analysis. With your steel-trap mind, you need to understand all the moving parts. How can you design a proper system without being intimately acquainted with all the details?
Read more about the Sun in the 6th house
You love finding out what makes people tick. Solicited or not, you’ll always have feedback! But the person you’re hardest on is yourself. It’s great to keep a high bar raised, but try not to set impossible standards. As you lighten up on yourself, your relationships will improve.
Read more about the Moon in the 6th house
With this inquisitive Mercury placement, you have an inborn journalistic curiosity. Conversations are information-gathering missions where you pepper people with questions—and might have to remind yourself to share more personal data so people don’t feel interrogated.
Read more about Mercury in the 6th house
A discerning dater, you would rather be single than waste time on someone whose values you don’t respect. Along your romantic flight path you may fall for a few wounded birds. Alas, these romantic rescue missions can throw you off your game for months, even years!
Read more about Venus in the 6th house
You’re a keen and critical thinker on a permanent “make better” mission. Everything can and should be improved as far as you’re concerned! But you’re not trying to be fussy or difficult. Learning to “keep it moving” after a so-called fail can bring you major serenity.
Read more about Mars in the 6th house
With maximizer Jupiter in the helpful, industrious 6th house, your supportive nature knows no bounds. But you push yourself into “noble suffering” territory at times. Find that healthy work-life balance! If you don’t literally burn out, your work can suffer as a result of exhaustion.
Read more about Jupiter in the 6th house
Saturn is the ruler of time, and you have an interesting relationship with the clock. While the 6th house is naturally vigilant about punctuality and scheduling, you’re not always on time for every appointment. The reason may stem from this: You are wired to be of service to others.
Read more about Saturn in the 6th house
You worry incessantly when anything feels out of order. You’re the “canary in the coal mine” chirping warnings of what portends. While you’re rarely wrong, your panicked approach can be counterproductive, especially if you resort to fear mongering.
Read more about Uranus in the 6th house
Neptune is dreamy and idealistic, while the 6th house is precise and rational. At best, you have a gift for balancing fantasy and reality. At worst, you may wind up with a raging case of analysis paralysis. One of your great lessons is to give up worrying about what the neighbors will think.
Read more about Neptune in the 6th house
With the obsessive planet in this detail-driven position, nothing escapes your exacting eye. At best, this can make you a true master who will work tirelessly to hone your craft. At worst, you may be perpetually dissatisfied, never feeling like you can do, have or be enough.
Read more about Pluto in the 6th 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 sixth house?
If you were born with any planet in your 6th house, it will influence the following areas of life:
- How you organize and systematize
- Analytical abilities
- Everyday work and tasks
- Being of service
- Service providers
- Wellness: fitness routines
- Dietary needs and digestion
- Health and healing
- Medical health and help
- Where you may be anxious
- Rules: how you follow them
- Pets and animal rights
When a planet is transiting (orbiting) through your 6th house, these subjects will likely arise.
These areas of life are thoroughly described in the 6th place planet links above.
Another example using Jennifer Aniston’s birth chart
With beauty planet Venus in the 6th house of wellness, Aniston is the poster child for a natural, inside-out glow, which she attributes to her self-care routines. Disciplined Saturn here has no doubt helped the megastar remain devoted to yoga and her 16/8 Intermittent Fasting regimens.
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 Jennifer Aniston, both people-pleasing Venus and regimented Saturn are in competitive, trailblazing Aries. Aniston’s self-deprecating humor may smack of 6th house neuroses, but in truth, it takes that Ram-tough confidence to own your issues and laugh at yourself—something the Friends icon does in real life and through the most famous on-screen roles.
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 6th 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, vitality-boosting Jupiter transiting through your 6th house can motivate you to join a gym and clean up your diet. Unpredictable Uranus moving through the 6th house can bring chaos to your work life that forces you to adopt new systems and technology in order to stay relevant.