Magic in the third house

In the first house we just are, like the biggest of a series a Russian dolls, showing up in the here and now!

In the second house we get established in the flesh. We suck, we incorporate, we absorb, we possess, we have...


In the third house we start asking questions. The first questions we ask are mute. They look like big eyes trying to seize the world as if its colours and shapes could be eaten... and in some way, they are. We absorb our environment; we take it all in!

The ears absorb sounds which the mouth will try to reproduce. The first words will be "Mum" and "Dad”

Maybe one day we will go to the ninth house, the house of higher learner, and study linguistics. We will learn that there is the "signifier" and the "signified". The signifier is the sound "Mum" and the signified is the actual Mum.

For now, in the third house, we are learning our first language. As soon as we can say "Mum" it becomes possible to call her when she is looking away, and speak about her in her absence.

From then on, we will live in two parallel worlds, which ideally should be twins: the map and the territory. The world of language will echo the world we touch, ear, feel, see, experiment... In case of discrepancies we will get anxious...or laugh at the good joke! It is now also possible to lie.

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These two worlds will from now on drift apart. A whole new life will colonize the new world. Talking becomes a universe in its own right: it is how human beings relate to one another.

At the same time, we keep exploring, walking on our hands and knees, on our two legs, we grab things and put them into our mouths, we grab words and put them out. We become mobile, deft, skilled, able to run away, able to climb, to crawl, to hide, to move, to laugh at pick a boo!

The third house is an Air house, analog to Gemini, sign of the twins, and with it we learn to live from a distance. In our environment, there are things and people. Mum, Dad... and others. Siblings. The neighbours' children. Schoolmates. At school we will keep perfecting our knowledge of the intellectual map of the world. Reading, writing, counting, reasoning, learning by heart, reciting...

Life is a school, that's why I think schools shouldn't take too much time in the life of children. We imitate, imitate, imitate... Imitating is knowing, little monkeys! That’s how we learn.

Can you do this? Can you walk on your hands? Can you pass the ball? Can you ride a bicycle? Can you hit the target? Can you climb trees? Look how I’m doing…

The psychologist Piaget, in his theory of cognitive development, called the first stage the sensorimotor stage, which means experimenting through our senses and movements. That’s the first steps of all knowledge on earth…

In the universe of language, children know a magic formula, which protects them against the spells that others sometimes cast on them: if someone says you are ugly or stupid, don't let the label stick onto your sensitive fledgling self esteem. Just answer:

What you say is what you are!

This protection is very important, because, Abracadabra, as we speak, we create. The twin universe of language doesn't reflect passively the objective world of experience, it is now taking control, shaping whatever is beyond objectivity. What is beautiful, what is ugly? Who is clever, who is stupid? That and those which are said to be so...

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The power of words and thoughts is so great that we believe in the power of making things appear and disappear in the universe of things form the twin universe of language with incantations and magic formulas.. and it’s even true…to some extent!

I believe that if we hold the two parallel worlds together with integrity, walking the talk and talking the walk so as to keep the twin worlds intertwined, our words have the greatest power.

Sometimes we say that Mercury - ruler of Gemini, natural ruler of this third house - represents the mind. In my view, it represents this side of the mind with uses words and language, names, talks, communicates and reasons logically. The mind is also symbolized by the Moon, as daydreaming or dreaming, feeling moved, using our imagination or conjuring up memories are happening in our minds. Jupiter represent the mind as well, especially when it works in a holistic way and confronts the great philosophical and religious questions which require our mental faculties to stretch beyond common sense, logic and everyday language...

Whatever self came up in the first house and added to self by eating and possessing in the second house is now interacting with the environment in the third house. Here we move, here we speak, here we meet peers, brothers and sisters, neighbours, schoolmates, here we imitate, learn, reason, think, communicate... The self that expresses itself from within, the biggest of the Russian dolls, is now shaped from outside.

As it interacts with it has to adapt to the environment, and I guess all the smaller Russian dolls inside have to adjust within as the process goes along...

Jean-Marc Pierson