In older astrology texts the 6th House is referred to as the “House of Servants”. Today it is more commonly associated with the workplace as well as with endeavors that may as well be work even if they are not technically “jobs”.
Health, hygiene, and the care and feeding of the body are considered 6th house practices. So too are mundane responsibilities such as paying bills, changing the oil in your car, cleaning up around the house, and doing the laundry.
The housewife who dutifully gets her kids to school, prepares the family meals, goes grocery shopping, and attends to the daily needs of the household, for instance, is spending a lot of time in 6th House activities even though she is not technically in the workplace.
Both the Good Samaritan and Florence Nightingale likely had the 6th house emphasized in their birth charts. A disproportionate number of modern day social workers, homeless shelter workers, and people who work with physically challenged populations probably do as well.
South Node in the 6th: Past Lives Spent in Crucial but Unglamorous Roles
With your South Node in the 6th House, major themes for your past lives have been duty, self-sacrifice, mundane responsibilities, subordination to the needs of others, self-improvement through work, and detailed attention to a craft. You’ve likely spent past lives in crucial but unglamorous professions such as maid, cook, butler, chambermaid, plumber, stable-hand, launderer, milkman, mechanic, or animal-trainer.
You may also have spent past lives as a nurse, nun, dietician, doula or doctor if your lives emphasized the health, hygiene, and daily nutrition aspects of the 6th House. The personal training, physical therapy, and occupational rehabilitation professions did not exist until very recently but you may have been involved in their historical equivalents. While the spiritual side of a daily yogic practice is associated with the 12th House of Mysticism, the adherence to a strict daily routine of poses performed under the supervision of an instructor would be associated with themes of the 6th House. It may sound curious at first but yoga instructors, master carpenters, and drill sergeants can all be considered 6th House jobs as the objective of each is to make sure those under their supervision learn their respective crafts the right way. That’s the spirit of the 6th House: “get ‘er done and get ‘er done right.”
Labor Unions did not exist until recently but involvement in their historical equivalents (such as guilds in the medieval days) is another possibility as the 6th House is where we find our co-workers, employees, and bosses. This is particularly the case if the 11th House or the sign Aquarius are also emphasized in your chart.
At its best, a Sixth House South Node is indicative of somebody who has, over many incarnations, mastered the craft of mastering a craft. You’re not somebody who needs to be reminded of the importance of getting to work on time or staying late. The same goes for the daily feeding and caring of your body.
Dark Side of the 6th House: Humiliating Social Roles, Workaholism, Burnout
But it’s also within the 6th house terrain of work, service to others, and the daily care and feeding of your body where you’re now most likely to “overdo it”. Examples of overdoing the 6th House include: feeling compelled to serve others, feeling excessively-responsible for others, over-scheduling yourself, becoming obsessed with daily routines, being obsessed with exercise routines, finding yourself caught in humiliating social roles, perfectionism, workaholism, eating disorders, a never-ending focus on self-improvement, holding oneself to standards so exacting that even Genghis Khan would look at your daily planner and say, “damn woman, you need to take a vacation.”
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Copyright Matthew David Savinar 2011