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Progressed Moon in the 6th House
This is a post about a topic within Western Astrology, and as a result, I am writing for people who have a limited to moderate understanding of Western Astrology. Without such a background, you will still get something out of reading this, but you may not grok the slightly technical language. Specifically this post is about the Progressed Moon, which moves through the chart at approximately one degree per month, meaning it is in an Astrological House for an average of 26 – 30 months. Therefore we have small two plus year cycles as the Progressed Moon moves from sign to sign and from house to house.
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The sign does make a difference. However, some of what I am about to describe will pertain to anyone’s Pr. Moon in the 6th House, no matter what sign it is in. There will be a recognizable difference though between a Pr. Moon in an earth sign (Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn) which resonates with the earthy 6th house, versus being in a less grounded sign like Pisces, Sagittarius or Gemini for instance.
So what does the Pr. Moon in the 6th house mean? Remember the Pr. Moon will be in the 6th house for at least two years and possibly closer to three years. It is a time of preparation. It is a time of completion. It is a time of increased self-discipline. And it is a time to relish resting in the discomfort of appropriate growth. In the following paragraphs, I will unpack each of these concepts further. A) Preparation, B) Completion, C) Self-discipline, and D) the Discomfort of Appropriate Growth.
It turns out that A) and C) go quite well together, and while we are at it, we should probably throw D) in that same mix as well. What do I mean? Well think about the Astrology Chart from a larger perspective. The 1st house through the 5th house reflects a time (or essence or energy) of Self-Orientation. And then, the 7th through 11th houses have to do with a more public, other-orientation if not community-oriented perspective (or energy or essence).
So where do we transition from a Self-Oriented perspective to a more community / other / public perspective? Well of course, the House of Bridging-Consciousness, and Maturity, and Discipline: the 6th house.
And then we can also take a more focused glimpse of the Astrology Chart, and compare the 5th house with the 7th house. Because, like it or not, the 6th house is intimately connected to both of these fun-loving houses. Unfortunately, in order to get from the 5th house to the 7th house, we must go through some significant changes… Ugh! Right?!
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[By the way, the following description of the 5th and 7th houses, along with the succeeding discussion on Neptune, is overly simplified and drastically exaggerated to make a point. In reality, Western Astrology is a very complex subject and you should investigate it thoroughly if you are interested. Please don’t read this post out of the context of the larger astrological understanding and start making judgments about Astrology, your chart or others’ charts.]
The 5th house is the house of FUN. It represents Creativity – Artistic, Theatrical, along with Procreation (it is the house of children nonetheless – and making children can definitely be fun!). The 5th house also has to do with Gambling or Speculation – Love Affairs, that is the early stages of a romantic relationship; Having Children, as we never quite know to whom we are going to give birth; and of course Taking Risks – gambling with our body or with our money (or emotions), it all falls under this house’s influence. Basically the 5th house is the house of partying and living it up. It represents some of the best traits of Leo (fun-loving fire). The 5th house, like the lower frequencies of Leo, can be a very Self-Oriented house – how much money can “I” make with this risk? This love affair is fun (for me)! “I” am going to stay with it. But if it gets serious or dry, responsible and deeply-committed, forget it!
Then we have the 7th house, which, in some ways, is a polar opposite of the 5th. The 7th house is the house of Compromise, Union, Negotiation and being a mature, participating partner in a dyad (Partnering). Many astrologers, both traditional and contemporary call this the House of Marriage, with good reason. Because maintaining a marriage takes work (not that I know from personal experience, but I have closely observed healthy marriages – and they are not all ease and grace!), it takes maturity and the humility to admit that we make mistakes and taking responsibility – all the stuff the childish 5th house type detests! Making repair is a part of living. Expressing your boundaries is necessary in a healthy relationship, and when they are violated, repair is necessary!
So how do we get from this adolescent 5th house to the mature, responsible, vow-taking 7th? Well, yet again, I don’t have to tell you – we go through the nitty gritty process of growth and maturation in the 6th house. And when I say that you need to get used to the discomfort of growth, you may want to pay attention. And not only get used to, rather, we must start to relish the discomfort, sit in the flames of wisdom fire and allow the Creative to shape and mold us into a mature, responsible (hopefully wiser) being.
Refining is a good word to describe what is happening to the soul during this period, but I feel it is too graceful or soft a word to touch on the depth of angst and the death-struggle of wrestling with our ego that is possible when the Progressed Moon tenants the 6th house. And it may need to be intense to kick us out of our old, childish habits.
That is why people talk about the 6th house in a slightly dry or possibly dreadful way. It is not a bad thing to grow, but it is rarely ever comfortable! And if it is, either you started with incredibly positive karma or you are grossly deceiving yourself, and as a result you are setting yourself up for a series of nasty disillusionments as we speak. (Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…) But in reality, becoming more responsible, more reliable, more attentive to details and more mature are never bad traits. It just depends on where we are starting from as to how difficult a journey it is.
If we are younger when the Pr. Moon enters the 6th house, say between 18 and 30, then this could be the time of preparation for our first serious committed emotional / romantic relationship (or possibly our first and hopefully only marriage). And many of us are not that aware of who we truly are at this point, which means there might be additional relationships coming up in the future. But, if we seek out and listen to the advice which is readily available when the Pr. Moon is in the 6th house, then we have a chance to grow in many positive directions.
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If we are more Neptunian types (lots of planets in Pisces, or in the 12th house, or if Neptune is making Hard Aspects to the natal Sun, Moon or Mercury), then the journey to become Grounded, Responsible, Reliable, and Mature in a worldly (positive connotation) sort of way will be more difficult. Because which planet detests being structured and contained? Think the foggy, watery essence of Neptune – it is the one planet that prefers to be in any other Creative World besides this one. Not to leave you Neptunian types in a lurch, I myself have heavy Neptune aspects (and Pisces Sun) in my chart, and through diligent work and with alert / relaxed awareness, one can become more embodied in the present, and more grounded in the world. It is possible! (See my previous posts for more.) But don’t expect it to magically happen on its own – you must put some effort into grounding and do your personal growth work, as no one else can do it for you.
Therefore, before we try to decipher what the Pr. Moon in the 6th house will mean, we must discern where we are coming from. How attached are we to our “me-first” ego (5th house)? Are relationships easier for us – can we be practical and express our needs with ease within them (some of the best traits of the 7th house)? Are we more at home in a creative timeless possibly substance filled evening (Neptune) or are we naturally more practical and responsible? And don’t get me wrong – there are people who need to get more in touch with their Neptunian sides (emotional intelligence, creativity, intuition, psychic abilities, compassion, empathy, etc). But there are people who err on the side of all of the above traits and who seem to be light-years away from pragmatic conduct. So discover who you are, where you are on your path, and then start to peel away the layers of the Progressed Chart and its interpretations.
[Edited Nov 2017: Reading through this post, I wonder how I did not mention the following about the Progressed Moon in the 6th house: if there is one Astrological house where you will clean up your act as it were, become more active in your lifestyle – go to the gym, start hiking, join a biking club, pick up that river kayak that has been sitting in your shed for 5 years, etc; this is a time when you will probably clean up your diet – you might start reading books on healthy bioflora, you might do a specific diet, but you will probably be more aware that you want to tidy up your eating habits, and you may even do a cleanse (see my posts about this topic however); and you might also add some other healthy habits of self-care during this time – maybe you will pick up yoga, qigong, tai chi, martial arts, walking daily, receiving a monthly massage or bodywork session etc. It is a time of moving toward health when Progressed Moon (or Sun or Mercury) pass through this area of the chart.]