This house on the zodiacal wheel corresponds to the third sign, Gemini. It is the sign of the Twins and is a Mutable Cross Air sign. It is on the eastern half and the night of the chart. Each of these factors have been explained in previous articles, so that level of detail is not necessary here. In brief, eastern indicates self-initiative plus setting things in motion. Night points to inner processes, first and foremost one’s emotions and relating in all ways that the term can be understood. Air represents the intellect. It, like emotions or relating, is shared with all beings, so intellect should not be misunderstood as representing mental prowess or a particular ability of mind. Mutable Cross displays a flexible character, sometimes chameleon-like, or simply changeable. People with strong mutable cross can also be unpredictable. This is beneficial when flow with truth and life is best and it is troublesome when being lived as undependable or unreliable.
Ultimately, everything in the esoteric sciences points to the sublime, profound emptiness that is while also being commonly perceived existence. The mutable cross is almost comical in this regard. If one wants to understand the immense scope of mutability, read the spiritual biography of an enlightened being who demonstrated compassion-wisdom through “crazy wisdom.” Two examples are Divine Madman by Keith Dowman, the namtar of Drukpa Legpa Kunley and Enlightened Vagabond by Mattieu Richard, the namtar (spiritual biography) of Patrul Rinpoche. The former is bawdy, the latter is not. In both cases, these biographies illustrate emptiness, its wisdom and compassion, through being wandering yogis engaging anyone whom karma and merit magnetized to their unset path. Sword-like clarity and compassion presented not necessarily in comfortable or socially-correct ways was dished out to townspeople or fellow travelers. Changeable is existence; mobile and rich is Awareness. Humanity and animals cling to what was; our habits of consciousness are antithetical to the flowing and uncompounded nature of Awareness. To live the mutable cross esoterically runs counter to living this cross in a worldly, mundane way. It is to dutifully undo patterns and to recognize that chasing is the spinning of one’s wheels. Activity is simply that unless it is imbued with Awareness, compassion, and the wisdom that sees things as they are. Activity thus impregnated expresses Being though seems as doing.
As a mutable air sign, Gemini can trap the native as only a few other signs can. In each case, the native is beguiled by the mode of the cross and the temperament of the element. Gemini feeds the ego through the base-intellect and self-gratification of knowing or information for its own sake. Its polar opposite, Sagittarius, has the same challenge. Pride is often the downfall of this sign as it is with some others.
The third house presents as environments of learning, of getting familiar with people, places, or conditions, and of the twin aspects of human processing: emotions and the sensate equipment together with all the phases and types of human intelligence. The latter two are one set of twins represented by this sign. The third house, then, encompasses arenas and circumstances that foster, highlight, and potentially mature all of the above. As with all other houses, planets inhabiting said house are the decisive action of the incarnating soul/consciousness stream. Uninhabited houses are not less important, per se, but rather do not provide the precise tilling of personal ground, Path, and self-less-ness that the inhabited houses do for the wisdom-agenda determined for the incarnation. Next lifetime, different emphases.
Gemini, the Twins, indicates duality in all its expressions and perceived demonstrations. Representing duality, Gemini augers union, co-emergence, at-one-ment and inter-being. But, for these to be one’s experience or thought as possible, the Twins hold interdependence before us. Nothing is independent, nor could exist on Earth individuated from existence. For instance, our bones are from the mineral kingdom, most of our food, shelter, clothing, and fuel are from the plant kingdom, and no animal protein would be possible were it not, first, for the plant kingdom. Inter-being illustrates that causes and conditions are a vital pair that create the manifest world and our life situations. When the causes (the karma or merit of two people) magically find each other (conditions), then relationship results: friends or enemies, family or workplace, mentor or student. Such is also the third house. It’s an active house rather like an open-air market. There will be multiple peach sellers or fish mongers but you or I will purchase from only one. That is karma: causes, conditions, results that have brought the Twins of you and the merchant together. One will “think” (air sign) that the choice has been made by the look or smell of the merchandise but not so entirely.
The rulers of Gemini and the third house are Mercury traditionally, Venus esoterically, and Earth hierarchically.
Mercury rules traditionally
Mercury represent mental processes such as learning, linking, communicating, and basic analysis. Planets in the third house are to be used for these. Those planets will be involved in how one learns as well. Examples: people with non by-rote styles of learning will often have Uranus, Neptune, Moon, Venus, or Mars in the third house or in Gemini.
Also, what are we to learn through the planets of this house? Example, Mars in the third, one is to observe and recognize the quickness of one’s response or reaction to just about everything. Mundanely, Mars tends to be reactive, excitable, or argumentative. Turn the spiral, and Mars is about the energy that one puts into something; in this case learning and communicating. Turn the spiral again and Mars is about thoroughness, complete dedication, devotion, and diligence to the subject at hand plus integration of it into one’s life. So, learning is one third house focus through Mercury’s influence.
Mercury is changeable. The mineral can take many forms. Planets in the third house often demonstrate a chameleon quality. The planetary qualities will fluctuate with situations or differences of people or if one is in contemplation/meditation rather than making a purchase.
Mercury links, connects, intertwines, entangles, associates, bridges, and spans. Third house planets will be active in these processes in life including the spiritual path with its communal/interpersonal associations and contemplative/meditative inner processes.
Even on the traditional level, Mercury wants to link the higher and the lower, the expression and meaning, the in with the out. Mercury provides association for communication (mental word-search) as well as for relating to others and machinery. Using a credit card at a gas pump is Mercury just as is sitting and playing with a child or being with an elder. Third house planets will be active in all of these links or entanglements or bridging. The span of the planet’s qualities is accessible due to Mercury’s influence, also, on third house planets.
Venus rules esoterically
Venus indicates relational processes which is how Venus is involved in likes/dislikes, preferences, all manner of attraction/repulsion, personal relationships, and the spiritual Path as one teases out what supports Path and what distracts one from it. Any or all of these features will be overlaid onto third house planets and each should be considered with third house planets or those in Gemini. As stated in previous posts, there is so much to ponder in one’s chart: layers upon layers of influences and information. Yet, none is abstract; it all is you. Venus’ influence on the third house signals the source and potential outcome of all third house endeavors. In the end, everyone learns what they want to, what interests them. Children might or might not have much choice in this, but as young adults college/no college, where to live and how to live, how to demonstrate themselves among others will be their choice and due to what they like and have the interests in. Third house planets are used to accomplish one’s interests or are aligned with them. Furthermore, quite often the person with third house planets or planets in Gemini will look for the same qualities or attributes in other people. It’s the twin-thing: resonance. Equally possible is dissonance with someone who exhibits or mirrors qualities expressed through third house planets or planets in Gemini. Venus was clear in what she did not like but also a clear mirror to others regarding traits she expressed that others did as well.
Venus is one of two planets that represent the Soul. In Gemini, Venus represents the wisdom and clarity of the higher nature. On this turn of the spiral, Venus can be wrathful, pointed, uncompromising but all so that the native with Gemini or planets in the third house lay aside that which is not serving any truthful purpose. That which merely feeds the ego is a waste of time, and might also waste money, energy, authenticity, integrity, ethics, and truth. Planets in the third house, then, have a particular relation to the intentions of the Soul and to the Soul’s wisdom. Accessing both require the daring to act upon integrity as it is revealed, to let go of that which only binds one to comfort and complacence, and to relinquish that which erodes the efforts of the higher nature. Wherever Venus is or is influencing, choice and wisdom are being presented to the native.
Ultimately, Venus is Prajnaparamita – Perfect Wisdom; and Venus ruling in Gemini is illustrated over and over again in all the Prajnaparamita texts. Specifically, the Twin feature is stated through pairs that neither negate nor promote either of the pair, for example that that which one perceives is both apparent and non-apparent, is both existent and non-existent. One is then told by the Buddha or Manjushri or Avolokiteshvara that all perception is non-perception, in other words not being perceived correctly. Correct perception is also non-perception as in characteristics or distinctions are no longer being perceived as true/real. This might read as abstract or confusing, but Venus esoterically employed is never about the simplicity of have and have not, like or dislike. Venus is the very illustration of relation – of this to that – and, as the Buddha said, “Where there is this, there is that. Where no this exists, no that exists.”
Venus, then, is about projections and perceptions based upon all manner of pre-existing causes and conditioning in our emotion-mind ego complex. As a planet of the Soul or higher nature, Venus invites and even tempts us to go beyond the costuming born of the long past. Wisdom begin with this. Somehow, third house planets or those in Gemini are a ruse being artfully spun by one’s higher nature. For example, if Mars is in the third house, common Mars is not wisdom. What the wisdom of higher Mars is, one has to investigate within one’s self through noticing lower Mars in one’s expression. If Moon or Sun are in the third house, graduate from their common turn of the spiral into the exploration of who and what you are if you are not “this or that.”
Earth rules hierarchically
Earth ruling is only found in esoteric astrology, and it only rules in two signs: Gemini and Sagittarius. Please see the post on the 9th house for some thoughts. It also rules either esoterically (Sagittarius) or hierarchically (Gemini). These “facts” inform the student of astrology that a) Earth and its attributes should be looked at from the vantage point of the Soul or beyond, b) Earth rules in two signs endemic to key points along the spiritual Path, c) we are incarnate on Earth, part of this planetary purpose in the solar system and cosmos. One need not speculate as to what that inconceivable purpose might actually be, especially since humanity and one human being play only a part. Nonetheless, Earth’s local influence in how the zodiac plays out on Earth and upon factors of one’s chart should be contemplated for the illuminations that can be offered.
To understand Earth in esoteric astrology, one looks to the Earth herself and the complete inter-dependence, inter-connectedness, and inter-being that are the hallmarks of all that exists on Earth inclusive of elementals, devas, spirits of the natural world, and the untold numbers of bacteria and virus, protozoa and fungal filaments. Quintillions upon quintillions of these unseen beings provide the movement (mutable) and flow of life essence and life force from elementary life form to bigger ones. The Master DK tells us that these beings are within the category of a Creative Hierarchy called “the Basket of Nourishing Lives.” There is often substantial misunderstanding about involution and evolution; involution is negative, a lesser state, and evolution is positive and a better state. We are well served to remember that incarnation itself is involutionary regardless of if or how evolution transpires through that mechanism.
The Basket of Nourishing Lives literally makes all life possible on Earth. They liberate through breaking down and decomposition, they provide nutrition through themselves being food and, otherwise, through being involved in how nutrients are passed from one form to another, one state to another. The Basket of Nourishing Lives are not just a category of life forms but also are a function, as is the case with each of the Creative Hierarchies. The function is in the name: to produce and be the mechanisms that nourish all forms of life and existence on Earth. Basket is a word-veil for emptiness. Emptiness is all possibilities from the womb of no-thingness. As such, the mystery of nourishment is fulfilled at every level seen and unseen, perceived or not yet recognized. Anyone with extra sensory perception witnesses some of these beings, often through noticing the life essence that signals them and their work. This Creative Hierarchy is mentioned because a) Earth is a hierarchical ruler in Gemini thus this creative hierarchy finds place, b) though “nourishing” might sound like a Cancerian term, here is conveys inter of every kind, thus Twins, inseparable, born of one another, completely needing one another, and c) the hallmarks of ignorance are not knowing, not perceiving, and/or dismissing. In this sign of “mind” and intellect, humanity is well served to notice the usually not noticed, thus grow the intellect and mind. Bacteria and viruses, like the cockroach, will outlive humanity because these beings are part of life’s vibrancy. They provide that which we have no clue about yet. It is such considerations that are of the Earth’s hierarchical ruling in Gemini.
The third house, then, holds these mysteries as well. The Native acknowledgement, “Mitakoye Oya sin e” comes to mind, “All my relations.” It is literal and the third house offers this. Similarly, the Mahayana Buddhist teaching that all beings have been one’s mother, father, brother, sister, and significant presences through all our lives is represented by the third house. Planets there are how we are to “nourish” all our relations and provide for their well-being and development. This is one reason why early education and communication are third house arenas and endeavors.
Twins grew in the same womb nourished by the same placenta, made room for each other as they grew and stretched, embraced each other. To live this way with others of every kind and kingdom on Earth is behind Earth’s hierarchical rulership of Gemini, thus vicariously of the third house.
On Earth, before humanity’s current root race, all life forms were subsumed into the over-ethos of one-life. Individuation of the human sense of self is an experiment on Earth, one that has inconceivable goals and lots of temporary failures. The fact that humanity is still brutal to one another in thought, word, and deed, to other life forms, and to the planet we live upon and can’t live without points to a temporary failure. And, in each root race when humanity has devolved to the brutality of dualism and self-importance, it was a temporary failure then too. But, the eventual glorious outcome is witnessed in other kingdoms of Earth such as the mineral and plant kingdoms. Their entire life expression over billions of years has been to give, to provide, to sustain, to make form and life possible. A sacred Earth, esoterically understood, will be when all kingdoms express the same principle but do so in their particular way because all are related.
Planets in the third house or in Gemini, if lived at this hierarchical level, require that the self be subsumed to the higher nature which is ever one-with all existence. Because of that, there is no duality. Inseparable, indivisible, necessary to the whole is how those planets would be expressed. One would knowingly subordinate self-tendencies of those planets to the emptiness of self which those planets also provide.
These are deep considerations. Happy Christmas!