6th House: Social Service & Humanitarian Activism

6th house in astrology

6th house is opposite from the 12th house

12th house rules prisoners, poor and the downtrodden.

In the outer world, 12th house represents beings that have fallen into society’s blind spots – those that suffer daily without a voice. (In our internal world, 12th house represents our personal blind spots.)

6th house, being the opposite of the 12th, represents people with awareness of the silent suffering that goes on behind the scenes.

6th house activities may involve doing something about those suffering quietly

Protecting small animals, speaking up for the rights of the abused.  Serving the needy.

When Mars is involved with 6th house, there may be an urge to right a social wrong, to fight for those that cannot protect themselves.  When Moon is connected to the 6th house, the urge  might be to protect the weak and feed the hungry.

The activation of 6th house in your horoscope could give you profound cause for wanting to contribute in easing the suffering of others.  If you have natal planets in the 6th house, you may feel the impulse to help others on a frequent basis.

6th House Example: Bob Barker (Long time animal rights activist)

In Bob Barker’s natal chart Mars ruling his 6th house is exactly on his Ascendant (fighting for animal rights).  Chiron the healer is also in the 6th.  Barker is well known for his animal rights activism.

His Moon in Aquarius (usually a strong indicator of humanitarianism) is strongly positioned on the MC-IC axis in opposition with Neptune, which signifies both his TV career and the awareness of suffering.  Improving lives for animals is central to this man’s motivation, and his horoscope clearly reflects that fact.

6th House Example: Angelina Jolie (Human rights activist)

In Angelina Jolie’s horoscope, Jupiter ruling her 6th house is exactly on her Midheaven (philanthropy).  According to this Time article she first started to become aware of the suffering of refugees in war-torn countries while she was shooting Lara Croft: The Tomb Raider in Cambodia in 2001.

Her Moon and Mars in Aries are both conjunct this Jupiter from the international 9th house (international humanitarianism).  Here again we see Mars’ “fighting spirit” that seems essential in going from awareness to taking action.

Do You Have Planets in 6th House?  How Do You Experience It?

You may identify with this theme of social activism if you have natal planets in the 6th house, or a 6th house ruler prominently placed in your horoscope like the above examples.  What kind of awareness does it create?  Do you feel the need to take action to help other people or animals?  Feel free to share your thoughts and experience in the comment section.


photo: flickr

About Hiroki Niizato

Hiroki Niizato is a professional consulting astrologer in Florida, serving clients in US and abroad. He has been practicing astrology professionally since 2001. Hiroki is a highest honor graduate of the demanding Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology by Noel Tyl.

You can contact Hiroki via email at: Hiroki@hniizato.com or schedule a consultation.


  1. Hi, I really like your insights into the houses. I am an aquarius sun, libra ascendant, with my moon and Venus in pisces in the 6th house. I do energy work and tarot and work in a natural health clinic.

    I’ve always been relatively healthy but health has often been a place of paranoia or worry. I have recently been feeling that being of service isn’t holding me and my needs and am feeling a huge shift towards living as an example and giving to myself first to echo out what is important to me. I feel called to shed light on ethics of how people do spiritual work, psychology and want to speak about my insights hoping to give people greater self understanding and breaking down illusions of glamor and falsities especially in the digital world. Does it sound like I’m up to it? Haha
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Angela, thank you for sharing your experience with Moon and Venus in 6th house. Yes, too much service can lead to self sacrifice (especially with that Pisces energy), so the shift you’re experiencing seems to be very positive.

  2. Tomas de santis says

    NorthNode, Fortuna, Vertex, Pluto and Uranus in the 6th house. I founded a Sanctuary for disabled animals; as of right now we house 120 dogs, 50 cats and several other small animals.

  3. Hey Hiroki! Thank You for sharing your knowledge and kindness!
    I have Saturn in the 6th House at 5 degrees (Pisces), and I have found that having a structured work-style in Humanitarian Work to be a very healthy calling, and the source of my responsible motivations usually come from the mental ideas of needing to get my life together in order to be a supportive teacher and volunteer for Earth/Human liberation. I have many squares I need to work through in my natal chart, however, I luckily have a trine with my Stationed Venus (Scorpio 3rd House) and Saturn.

  4. Cristal taYlor says

    6th House Pluto in Scorpio

    Pluto squares my Venus and mars
    Pluto trines my sun
    Pluto opposes my ascendant
    Pluto aspects 9 of my planets actually so I’m very influenced by its energies..

    I also have a Virgo moon so 6th house energy is familiar to me.

    I am a vegetarian and am highly sensitive to animal abuse. In fact if I see anyone treating their pets like they are below them (instead of with respect and equality) I instantly feel scared of that person and don’t trust them.

    I am a sucker for charities but have grown wiser and don’t often donate money now. I’m very picky about this due to past over giving and over helping. I realise now the importance of balanced give and take.

    I have also transformed my views on how I am of service to others. Before I would feel guilty if I didn’t help others on the deepest level possible, always caring too much and accidentally interfering as if others “needed” my help. Kinda like a codependent.. if they were sad I felt like I was sad and like it was my responsibility to fix their life for them. Now I realise that the best way to help people is to just empower yourself and be an example, I hardly ever wish to interfere with others lives as I feel they have the power within themselves to do it. A lot of people used to leach off me (I allowed this and set up the dynamic unconsciously) but not anymore. Helping people means that sometimes you must allow them the opportunity to do things themselves so they learn life skills and not use you as a door mat as this doesn’t actually help them, you just think it does because you have poor boundaries and are emotionally dependant on others to be happy before you can be happy. I can be happy regardless of others suffering however that was a long and hard lesson.

    Also I am obsessed with my health and routine and have control issues in these areas. I am obsessed with serving humanity to the point that I look deep into what actually helps others, and implement those strategies even if society has not yet understood my ways. I am obsessed with becoming pure, purifying my habits and daily routine. Crazy loyal work ethic and used to have u healthy workoholic tendencies. Power issues in daily life. Transforming daily life body and health. Was so obsessed with my health and being healthy that I accidentally made myself unhealthy and undernourished. All or nothing. Great talent at being addicted to drugs and escapes however also really good at quitting things and detoxing. Powerful mind body connection. I tell my body what to do and it does it.

  5. I have sun, saturn, mercury, Uranus and part of fortune in the 6th and moon and Chiron in the 12th. I am an environmentalist, vegan, spiritual person who dreams of helping people. I applied or the peace corps twice (didn’t finish school) and write and do yoga (ryt 200). Not sure how I can help the masses but it is a dream of mine to :)

    • Hi Tara, thank you for sharing your experience with the 6th house stellium. The health oriented diet and yoga lifestyle fit quite well with this house’s image, and seem like a natural foundation for helping others to find health. Good for you!

  6. Harrilyn Goumaz says

    Venus 25 degrees & Mars 18 Libra 6th house.Passionate about Animals Rights.
    2017 makes 2 yrs since I’ve decided to go vegan.Btw,does the 6th house rule Veganism as well as other Astrological signs and houses?

    • Hi Harrilyn, thank you for sharing your 6th house experience! Veganism certainly has a flavor of Virgo/6th house about it, both from the dietary adjustment and the humanitarian angle. Thanks for the thought!

  7. I have 6th house Neptune and I feel the suffering of animals on a profound level and terribly sensitive to what they’re going through/feeling. The ruler of my 6th house is Jupiter and is placed my 3rd house. I don’t know if I qualify as an activist but I’m always actively on social media promoting causes and sharing all I know about the cruelty of the world towards animals. I also care passionately about our planet. Mars is placed also in my 3rd house but rules my 11th house where I have my moon so I find a lot of satisfaction donating money to Animal Activist Groups, including PETA.

    I really love this article, thanks for sharing it with us.

  8. Hello thanks for this article well written. Well my north node is in Leo it’s in the 6th house with cancer in my moon also in the 6th house. I’m a Sagittarius. I love animals. However I care more about nature and humans. I’m the most unselfish person and I hate that I am because I never treat myself good. All I think of is the people I love deserve everything what I have. If the poor don’t have food then why do I deserve food etc. You get the idea. I’m just not confident enough to share my dreams. I want to help everyone I want to change the world I want to leave a better future. I want to lead and speak public to the whole world. I want to create ,explore, design, communicate, live etc. I have been mostly been inspire by my culture and religion. It’s weird being a Guatemalan and Jewish and living in a small county in US where our history is fading. Well G-d bless you and thank you for this!

  9. Yes, I have Mars in Capricorn in the 6th house and last year was interviewed by a local newspaper for my work in association with volunteering for the Meow Foundation in Calgary, Alberta. I employed a handyman in 2015, to convert a wooden garbage bin in the back alley, into the “Meow Hotel” which provides both a covered shelter and feeding station for stray feral cats in my neighbourhood. I have expanded this operation to include an indoor garage pen with access to the outdoors where there is a heat lamp and plugged in water bowls and heating pads for the ferals in the winter. My Mars is trine Jupiter and has other aspects not so positive but at this point in time, Pluto is conjunct my Mars and trine my Jupiter in the 10th, probably bringing me favourable publicity. I have taken care of animals since childhood.

    • Hi Mini,

      Thank you for sharing your experience with Capricorn Mars in 6th house! It really fits the “make things happen” drive of Mars in Capricorn applied to the area of service toward small animals (6th house). Excellent example.

  10. Kshitij more says

    Hi hiroki,
    I am a cancer ascendant and I have Moon and Jupiter in 6th house in Sagittarius. I have love for animals and I suffer from environment changes as well

  11. I have Uranus, Pluto, Fortuna and the North Node in the 6th house (Libra). The latter 3 in a very tight conjunction of 0.30 orb.

    I happen to run a Sanctuary for disabled animals.
    Pretty spot on astrology.

  12. I have Mars in Gemini in the 6th house, and my 6th house ruler (Venus) is in the 3rd house and I’ve traveled to Thailand and Philippines to volunteer, and currently I feed the homeless on Skid Row every week here in LA :) I have so much energy when it comes to helping others, more so than I have for myself. I prefer to put myself in the commotion and partake in the action more than sitting behind a desk. My Mars makes a trine to my Sun and Saturn in the 2nd house but I’m not sure if that’s relevant.

    • Hi Kay, thank you for commenting and sharing your experience! Great example of Mars in 6th house leading to humanitarian activity. Trine to Sun and Saturn ensures a smooth energy flow between your ego and actions (also, humanitarian service leading to stronger self-confidence, etc.)

  13. hI Hiroki,
    how do I recognize what is ruling my 6 th house? for example if cancer is on the 6 th house cusp of the 6 th house, do I then look for the moon and if the moon is in the 5 th, then that points to wanting to help children?

    Also, with saturn in Leo in the 6 th opp sun in Aquarius in 12 th, does that point to helping children?

    learning every day, thanks for your patience :)

    • The ruler of the house is a ruler of the sign on the cusp of that house – so in your case, yes, Moon is the 6th house ruler. That’s a good reasoning about helping children, etc, but vocational astrology goes much deeper than that and must always consider the Midheaven (please schedule a private consultation if you’d like me to take a closer look at your horoscope). For now we can say that 6th house generally points to wanting to help others.

  14. I got full moon and jupiter conjunct in piscies, with ketu in the 6th.
    I also got sun in virgo with rahu. I am very much into meditation and that sort of thing, and the sun in the twelfth I think shows that. With my sixth house I think that has to do with is a need to serve others with seeing the greater whole. Objective check anyone :) ?

  15. Wow… I have 6 planets sitting in my 6th house…. 6 of them.. (a bit too many, if you ask me)
    Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Uranus and Neptune. Yes I am very concerned with protecting the weaker (children and animals in particular) and I feel like throughout my life my single biggest dream was fighting for the protection of species that are close to endangerment.

  16. Hello,
    I am Aquarius sun conjunct Mercury 8th, with moon conjunct Mars in 6th house withSagittarius as the sign…Neptune is also in 6th house,,……All 3 are the backbone in kite pattern opposing saturn in Gemini in the12th house…I am vegetarian for 20 years only because of my love for animals (not for any nutritional concerns). I feel deeply for all animals….I feel that it our responsibility as humans to protect and care for them…and to never harm… I also feel my pets are family members. I only know the bare minimum about astrology and thought it meant something else…..I don’t feel I can help any animals….I am not well spoken, nor very good at communicating at all and somewhat shy…I just don’t want to be contributing to their suffering. I also feel God sends me animals to help….newborn doves, motherless animals or lost animals…animals with broken bones. I have no talent that will help any animal that I am aware of.

    • Hello Susan, thank you for sharing your experience with Moon and Mars in the 6th house. Seems like it’s very important for you to help small animals and doing what you can to ease their suffering.

  17. Hello Hiroki,
    Lovely to find your site and to be looking at the 6 th house, thankyou:)

    I have saturn in Leo (16) in the 6th -opposite my sun in Aquarius at 12 degrees in the 12 th. Venus Retrograde ( as well as mars) is currently conjuncting the saturn. I have really enjoyed recently doing other’s charts and helping them. I am looking at a project management course to set up a project for people to be able to study in a school ( mc sag) and the funds will go to stopping child sex slavery. Someone has come into my life and triggered all of this new idea and we are putting it into action, building it slowly ( her saturn is in leo in 12th)
    I used to study Japanese Acupuncture:).
    Yes, the daily routein has been a joy lately ( I can struggle with this ;)


    • Hello Tashi,

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience with Saturn in 6th house opposing your Aquarius Sun. Your humanitarian project for children certainly seems to reflect this particular placement.

  18. This is such a fresh perspective. You’ve connected some important dots for me yet again!
    I have Mars in Gemini 6th
    I also have a big part of my chart focused on a Pisces / Virgo opposition;
    Moon tightly conjunct Midheaven in 10th house Virgo
    Moon tightly square Neptune 12th house Sag
    Moon opposite Mercury in Pisces 3rd [So a T-square with Neptune/12th at apex]
    Venus & Sun also in 3rd / 4th Pisces
    I also have Uranus conjunct north node in 11th

    I’m typically Pisces sensitive & although very aware of the suffering of refugees [including volunteer work with], i’m even more aware of the lack of protection for animals
    I grew up on a farm and couldn’t handle the everyday suffering at all. It was like being inside a mob & feeling the suffering of a 1000 sheep at once
    I’m at the point of a career change and i’m starting to suspect that where i’m heading is towards some kind of environmental protection / public awareness raising role…

  19. Great post, Hiroki.:) Insightful as always. My 6th house Chiron in Aquarius is opposite my 12th house Uranus in Leo, ruler of my 6th house cusp, Chiron, Moon and Vertex in Aquarius. My Chiron placement is a bit complicated, since it’s the midpoint of my Neptune/Mars.

    My 2H Scorpio Neptune is connected to the 3rd via its close conjunction to both my Mercury and Jupiter in Scorpio 3H (I do a lot of advocating, in my own small way). Neptune is also quincunx my 9H retrograde Gemini Mars (I’m a hands-on healer), which is square my 12H Pluto in Virgo, which is sextile and in mutual reception with my Mercury in Scorpio (conjunct Neptune).

    If you managed to follow that astrological trail, my hat’s off to you.:) The point is, I need to talk about and do something about the invisible suffering and dark truths most would rather not face. The older I get, the more I learn and more I want to change *my* way of being in the world, without causing harm and without making the (apparent) hypocrisy and pretense of others the focus of my energies. I try to share what I know, hoping to inform and encourage others, knowing they may not agree or care to see. There are so many layers to peel back; most of us remain unaware of how our choices contribute to the suffering and exploitation.

    • Hi lb, thank you for your comment! Makes sense – Sounds like your 6th & 12th house energy is reaching out to the mental axis of 3-9th houses, very much a part of your perception.

  20. Hi Hiroki, thanks for the insights. Concise and pointed as always. I have Mo ruling 6, with Mo conj Mer in Aq in 12. I use astrology, meditation and (soon) journalling to help people reveal and learn to love their the blind spots.
    I agree wholeheartedly with the idea of the 12th house and an inner secret life, I live it daily with my Sun in 12 as well! In my own spiritual beliefs I also feel that the 12th house is a doorway to the higher self – a handy tool for managing blind spots! Thanks for your work :)

    • Hi Carole,

      Thank you for commenting! Your 12th house Sun’s expression makes me think of the idea of enriching the soul, as discussed by writers like James Hillman and Thomas Moore. Keep up the great work!

  21. Colleen Wood says

    Hi there

    thank you for your insights. My 6th house is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, being Pisces and I have the the North node there at one degree. I am an Aquarian sun and have always had a tremendous affinity with animals. I have in small ways become involved with movements to protect animals, sharks, lions, birds of prey, elephants and domestic animals. Was just curious to know if the North Node is significant with regards to this perspective as well, perhaps?

    • Hi Colleen,

      Thank you for commenting. Regarding North Node in the 6th house, I think it’s significant, since it places your South Node in the 12th house. This kind of Nodal axis placement (in 6-12th house) suggests (if you enjoy a karmic astrology perspective) past life awareness of such sufferings in people that motivates you to do something to help them in this life.

  22. Hi Hiroki
    I have just recently, finally got it!1 The Ahah moment
    By doing chart in the whole house system
    My first house Aquarius ascendant ruler Saturn is in the third @ 2 deg Aries.
    Ruler of my 12th house is Saturn,in Fall
    Jupiter Ruler of MC Retrograde in 12th & in Fall at 17 Capricorn.
    Put all that together and, despite the 6th house Venus in Leo, which gives me a little help, I am doing Mental Health work. About which I am passionate.
    The lower class & others of like mind ( no pun intended)who are disadvantaged etc. etc.

    • Hi Annie,

      Thanks for commenting. I couldn’t quite follow your logic but there are probably quite a few factors in your natal chart confirming your career direction as a mental health professional.

  23. Natal Venus at 0AQ, 6th house and Uranus at 8 Leo, conjunct my AC (orb of 2 degrees) but still officially the 12th house.
    I find myself assisting the less fortunate in off-beat ways, and this essential and integral part of my being emanates strong feminine qualities. My definition of “less fortunate” is often different than mainstream perspective.
    Thanks for your wisdom.

    • Hi Sarah,

      Thank you for commenting. With Venus in 6th house opposing Uranus in 12th, it makes sense some individualistic quality enters into the idea of serving the less fortunate!

  24. Thank you so much for this article.

    My son turns 20 next month, he has Cancer Sun and Venus in his 6th house.
    Sun trines Midhaven, Saturn and Pluto. Venus trines his 9th house N.N.
    He has a Grand Cross and Pluto in the 10th is conjunct his MC.

    He took French in 8th grade and continued on until graduation. He received a full ride scholarship after he told the scholarship committee during his interview that he took French so he would have the language skills for refugee
    aid work. He decided he did not want to join the military as he did not want to hurt people. Representing his country as a refugee aid worker was made more sense to him, and he stated “Refugees are the most under represented people in a society”.

    He is now considered a fluent speaker and plans on joining the Peace Corps upon graduation. I see how his chart is the perfect example of the calling of a 6th house Sun.

  25. Nadia palkiewicz says

    Hi Hiroki,
    Thank you for this fresh perspective on 6th house dynamics. In my chart, Pluto rules the 6th, and is exactly conjunct the IC and square the Sun in the 12th. With this configuration, I am highly sensitive and feel the suffering of others, animals and humans. I work part-time as an hypnotherapist, where this sensitivity is an asset; and, as much as I would like to be an animal rights activist, I can’t, because the images make me physically sick for weeks. So I help animals on a “personal” basis, feeding feral cats and taking care of them.

  26. Very informative & insightful article, thank you Hiroki!

    Ruler of my 6th (Sun) house is in the 6th, conjunct Pluto. When I have been in situations where I can’t contribute to others, I have felt lost and not grounded. I feel best when my sights are on helping as many people as possible without to much regard to the results.

    Also, I have always been prone to be ultra-sensitive and aware of the sufferings of others, but sometimes not equipped to emotionally handle this awareness.

    • Hi Melissa,

      Thank you for commenting! Yes, with awareness of suffering there tends to be a need to be doing something, even a little bit, to contribute in some way. It’s good for the soul to follow the instinct.

  27. What an interesting perspective!
    I have a packed 6th House – Saturn/Uranus conj. + Neptune in Capricorn, with 6th House ruler Jupiter contacting my Chart ruler [Moon], and I’m very concerned with animal rights and animal abuse in the industry. I wasn’t originally intending to become an “activist” in that sense… but with Uranus transiting my personal Libra planets, this side of me has awakened.
    Love your articles.

    • Hello Æterna,

      Thank you for commenting and sharing your experience! Sounds like you have a very active 6th house. Caring and speaking up for abused animals, etc, seem to be very important activities for this house, so it’s probably “good for the soul” to follow this instinct.

  28. Hi Hiroki,

    I especially love your insights. You offer a unique perspective each and every time I’ve stopped by. As I considered what you were saying in re to the 6th house, you offered yet one more turn of the prism in a completely different way than many often think about doing: the art of seva, service, to others and how that might be channeled through the chart. You offered Angelina Jolie’s Jupiter conjunction to the MC and Bob Barker’s Mars rulership of the 6th house from its perspective conjunct the ASC. So I thought about it, and son of a gun, my Mars, ruler of my 6th, conjuncts my 4th house Mercury, and I speak about seva in re to animals, people, and social issues that need to be brought to people’s attention!

    Great new post! I’m sharing it with my FB KISS (Keep It Simply Serious) Astrology group. Thank you!

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