sixth houseJeffrey Kishner has a great article up today that illustrates the flexibility of house rulership in the astrological world of symbols.  It’s easy when we’re studying astrology to become rigid about certain things, like house rulers.  For example, we tend to always put relationships in the seventh house of marriage and partnership.  But relationships can fall under quite a few houses:  casual romances in the fifth house, making a home together in the fourth, sexual intimacy and joint financial ventures in the eighth, creating a business together in the tenth, and developing a solid friendship in the eleventh.

But when we’re living with someone else, the mundane realities that we find in the sixth house come into play.  As Jeff writes:

So much of a long-term relationship is the sharing of life on a day-to-day basis. The mundane, daily activities — grocery shopping, fixing up the house or apartment, taking the kids to soccer, reading the paper — are 6th house activities. They’re routine.

The routine can be comforting — it is often what draws people into relationships (e.g., “I want someone with whom I can share my bed every night”) — but it can also be stifling. Perhaps the question of whether an affair is “real” is whether this relationship can survive the 6th house experience. If you leave your boyfriend/husband for your lover and move in together, the habits might be different, but this is also when many of his flaws become apparent — those habits that annoy you.

The little details can be endearing, or they can drive you crazy.

Of course, you don’t have to live together if you are in a long-term relationship, even if you’re married. There are couples who choose to stay in separate residences so that the passion of their relationship isn’t weighed down by the humdrum routine of daily life. But most couples choose to live together. An affair is appealing because the romance exists on another plane, in which you don’t have to see each other brush teeth, wake up with bad hair, go through the stomach flu. Yet, could it be that as long as you haven’t integrated the romance into your 6th house, you cannot know if it can move “to the next level?

I like Jeffrey’s later analysis that we fall in love in the 5th, and have to manage the day-to-day details of living together in the 6th before we can really establish the partnership of the 7th.

Anything that falls under the realm of human life can be experienced through the lenses of different houses.  Our job may be a career and the expression of Self through dharma in the tenth house, or it can be just a job in the sixth house of the mundane details of life.  Children are usually found in the fifth house of creative self expression, but they may also be soulmates in the seventh or friends in the eleventh.

These subtle nuances are what makes astrology and all study of human behavior an art, rather than a science!!

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