shatrooMsh caiva vraNadikaam
Maatula – maternal uncle, or snakes who live in thatched mats; antaka – boundaries, limits, causes of endings, causes of death; shaMkaaNaM – alarms, fears, apprehensions, anxieties, suspicious, doubt, distrust and uncertainty; shatrooM – rivals, enemies, those who would overthrow us; ca – and; eva – certainly, mainly; vraNa-adikaam – things like wounds, sores, tumors, cancers, flaws, blemishes, cracks, etc.; sapatnii-maataraM – step-parents; ca – and; api – even; ShaShTha-bhaavaan – the Sixth House; niriikShayet – should examine.
The Sixth House [“House of Enemies”] reveals all the things which go against us: our enemies, our doubts and fears, our limitations, and our flaws and diseases. It also reveals our maternal uncle, and can even tell about step-parents.
We previously understood Houses 1, 7 and 2. We learned that the First House concerns the self directly while the opposite house, the Seventh House, concerns everyone besides ourselves – all other people. Then we learned that the Second House is physically below the First House and thus supports it like a basement foundation supports a building. Now we will look at the Sixth House.
The Sixth House is physically below the Western Horizon. It is the supporting foundation of the Seventh House. So just as the Second House concerned all the things which support the self, the Sixth House reveals all the things which do not support us, but support other people instead of us.
To find the most important signification in a Sanskrit verse, one can look for the word eva. This emphatic word means “certainly” or “mainly.” We find that word in this verse in connection with the word shatroo, which means “enemies.” In this way we know that the main theme of the sixth house is “enemies.”
Shatroo does not just refer to unfriendly people, it refers to people who actively want to cut us down and overthrow us. Our true rivals and foes who are “out to get us” are revealed by the 6th House. This is different from the enemies we previously learned could be revealed in the Second House. Those Second House enemies are actually just “unfriendly” people (amitra) – people who should be friendly and supportive of us, but who fail to be. The Sixth House reveals a whole different sort of creature – the active rival and foe (shatroo) who is dedicated to “putting us in our place” and “cutting us down to size.”
VraNa: Besides people who are out to get us there are also things that are our enemies. These are the bacteria and virus who cause our sickness, weakness and the blemishes and flaws in our physical self.
ShaMkaa: Besides people and things who oppose us, we are also often our own worst enemy. The Sixth House also reveals this aspect of what truly challenges and opposes us in life – our own fears, doubts, anxieties, suspicions and mistrusts.
Antaka: Even when we escape the above three opponents, we run into the realities of the limitations of the very world we live in. The Sixth House reveals how we are confronted with insurmountable limitations, boundaries, and obstacles.
All these are facets of the main theme that the Sixth House reveals our “enemies.” There are four types of enemies in life:
- People who are against us
- Things that are against us – bacteria, etc.
- Enemies within us – our fears, etc.
- Natural limitations
Besides this theme of enemies, the Sixth House also reveals some other aspects of life. One interesting thing is maatula – the brothers of your mother, your maternal uncles. This is because the Fourth House of the horoscope pertains to one’s mother, while the 3rd House pertains to one’s brothers (or siblings in general). The Sixth House, would be the Third House if the Fourth House were the First. That may sound like a puzzle at first, but it is fairly simple. Put your finger on the Fourth House, and count it as “1”. The next house is the Fifth House, which you should then count as “2”, and after the Fifth comes the Sixth House, which you will count as “3”. So you have counted that the Sixth House is the Third House from the Fourth House. Since the Fourth House is the mother, and Third House the brother, it follows that the Third House from the Fourth House is the brother of the mother, i.e. your maternal uncle(s).
Another interesting meaning of the word maatula does tie it in to the theme of the sixth house being a dangerous place of enemies, because the word can also mean “serpents, who live in thatched mats.”
The most obscure thing that the author, Parashara, says the Sixth House reveals is step-parents. He uses the word api in this connection, which means “even.” So he is saying that the Sixth House can stretch to even reveal one’s step-parents when appropriate. The logic behind this could possibly be that the Sixth House is the supporting foundation of the Seventh. So it pertains to one who becomes “family” (a signification of the supportive houses, like the Second) by way of marriage only (a signification of the Seventh).
There is an interesting way to read the word for “step-parents” where it can instead indicate those who are of the servile class in society. This is in keeping with the theme that the Sixth House is the home of those who support society. They serve others. Thus the house also reveals servants and service in general. But this is a more obscure revelation.
The main thing to find in the Sixth House of a horoscope is your enemy. You will find here all the things which oppose and limit and confound you.
©2010 Vic DiCara – All Rights Reserved.
– Vic DiCara