In most books we learn that the fifth house is from the navel to the lungs, namely the stomach and heart. The sixth house, we are told, is from the navel to just above the reproductive organs. That is to say, it consists of the organs required for all important digestion.
However, in my recent papers on the astrology of Diabetes and Cystic Fibrosis, where the pancreas is involved in both, I use different houses to describe the pancreas.
In Diabetes, which is well known to originate in the pancreatic Islets of Langerhans, I looked to the fifth house for insight. In studying the clogged pancreatic ducts of Cystic Fibrosis, I primarily focused on the natural and actual sixth houses.
Why the split?
I think it has everything to do with the pancreas being the only place that is both an endocrine and an exocrine gland.
The Islets of Langerhans are composed of endocrine cells.
According to the volume The Body, by Alan E. Nourse, “the islets are “busily manufacturing their hormone and generally disregarding the pancreatic cells all around them, as though they were located in some completely different part of the body.”
Since the pancreas is still above the navel and still tucked under the stomach, and since the islets’ hormone is used firstly within the pancreas itself, I think the pancreatic endocrine functions count as fifth house in the astrology chart.
Compare that with the terrible complications of Cystic Fibrosis on the pancreas, where the acinar cells of the pancreatic ducts, and hence its exocrine function, are affected.
In contrast to the endocrine pancreas, which secretes hormones into the blood, the exocrine pancreas produces digestive enzymes and an alkaline fluid, and secretes them into the small intestine through a system of exocrine ducts. Digestive enzymes include trypsin,chymotrypsin, pancreatic lipase, and pancreatic amylase, and are produced and secreted by acinar cells of the exocrine pancreas. Specific cells that line the pancreatic ducts, called centroacinar cells, secrete a bicarbonate- and salt-rich solution into the small intestine.
This has everything to do with the digestive system and hence the sixth house.
So, the fifth house for endocrine and the sixth house for exocrine.
Renay Oshop - teacher, searcher, researcher, immerser, rejoicer, enjoying the interstices between Twitter, Facebook, and journals.