All good stories have a challenge that needs to be resolved, and the astrological chart gives us a very simple way of sorting out those challenges. It all comes down to the opposition. What’s the 3-9 challenge?
Seeing the Forest and the Trees
The 3rd House / 9th House axis is about knowledge, among other things. The 3rd House is about the details, the facts, the data, the trivia, the gossip. The 9th House is about the meaning, the concept, the philosophy, and Truth with a capital T.
We hear the expression, “You can’t see the forest for the trees.” But sometimes the reverse is the problem: “You can’t see the trees for the forest.” These two dilemmas are classic challenges indicating a story striving to balance the 3rd House and 9th House.
Both the 3rd House and the 9th House have to do with journeys. The 3rd House — in traditional astrology, where the Moon has its joy — is about short journeys. If you think of it this way, the Moon comes full circle in just one month. Short journeys are often those around the neighbourhood or within one’s own community — journeys that don’t require a suitcase.
The 9th House was seen traditionally as the place where the Sun has its joy, so was given the association with long journeys. It takes a year for the Sun to make its full trip around the zodiac. Journeys that take us to other countries, or even to Halifax from Vancouver — journeys that require a suitcase — are considered to be associated with the 9th House.
So what’s the story here? Is it really the suitcase that’s the problem?
There are benefits to staying within your own community. You get to know your neighbours. You get to support one another through your various trades, occupations, services or professions. You can build a strong network when you know you can rely on one another. The Amish, for example, have such respect for their community that they will not embrace any form of technology if it takes them away from family and community.
Yet reaching out into the 9th House of long-distance travel extends our experience into that of other cultures. It makes us view life from a different perspective and gets us to question our own practices. It challenges us to grow. The 9th House is one of the places where the search for meaning can take us into spiritual practices, hopefully helping to guide us through life’s many ‘forests’.
Not seeing the forest for the trees is a situation where a person gets stuck in the 3rd House details and doesn’t see the 9th house bigger picture. This also relates to being too trapped in one’s own patterns and not being open to other possibilities.
Not seeing the trees for the forest is the story where the person sees only the bigger concept of the 9th House and has little sense of the 3rd House steps to getting there. Could too much 9th House reflect the syndrome that is developing where we tend to shop online — things are cheaper and we have infinitely more choice — rather than supporting our local businesses?
If you have an opposition across the 3rd and 9th Houses, if you have one or more planets in Gemini opposite one or more planets in Sagittarius, or if the nodal axis falls through these houses or signs, you may be especially tasked to work out some issues regarding the forest and the trees.
Here’s to finding the proper balance.
Want to be notified whenever I make a new blog post? Scroll to the very bottom and click on the floating ‘Follow’ button.
Want to hear about astrology classes, workshops, and events in Vancouver? Subscribe to my mailing list here.