I’m writing this article during the second Mercury Retrograde of 2021. Just last week, my Human Design mentor and I giggled over whether Mercury Retrograde hype was a marketing ploy from our metaphysical cousins in astrology or if there really is a correlation between poor communication and Mercury Retrograde.

In 3/5 true Martyr Heretic, I struggle to accept anything as the ultimate truth. I was the student in class who would raise her hand and ask, “What about…?” I wasn’t trying to be facetious, I was genuinely curious about alternative approaches.

As I poked and prodded the phenomenon called Mercury Retrograde, I thought it would be a fun time to write an article on being a 3/5.

What the human being is best at doing is interpreting all new information so that their prior conclusions remain intact. – Warren Buffet
Except 3/5’s. – Fiona Wong

Let's start by talking about the 3/5 child who is an incredible bundle of mischief

3/5 children don’t understand limitations. They don’t exist for them.

They are also deeply unsatisfied with answers like, “Because I told you so.”

In a 3/5, you’ll find the child who gets told that rain is evaporated water so they’ll stick a bucket of water outside just to see if it’ll rain the next day.

But a curious child is guaranteed to run into trouble. They need a hands-off guardian who can honor their experimental process while ensuring their safety.

Too many guardians of 3/5’s project their own insecurities and fears onto the 3/5 child.

A healthy guardian acts as a guide. To control a 3/5 child is to encourage defiance. They will eventually break the bond of trust with that guardian.

There’s no need to fight the nature of the 3/5 child. It’s quite simple to create environments that stimulate a 3/5’s need for discovery.

Both of my children are line 6’s. Until they’re in their late 20’s, when Saturn Return happens, they will experience life like a Line 3 Martyr.

I remember my older son’s obsession with water. When he was a one-year-old, he took a glass cup, dipped it in the dog’s water bowl, and made a slippery mess throughout the kitchen. This could have quickly become dangerous, between a protective dog and broken glass on water.

I could’ve yelled at my son and broken his experimental spirit.

But it was amusing. I saw a younger version of my Line 3 in his joyful eyes. That evening, I found a water table and had it delivered to my apartment. Water tables have a shallow basin that you can fill up. Inside, you can add bath toys, small buckets, and other forms of play. For a child, this is an endless experimental table, much like a baby scientist’s lab.

I watched my son babble to himself and giggle as he filled up the tiny buckets with water and dump it back into the basin. He poked and pressed on his toy boat, trying to make it sink. He even splashed and made “whirlpools” in the water in an effort to challenge the concept of floating.

3/5 children need environments where they can stimulate their need for experimentation while ensuring they don’t hurt themselves in life-threatening ways. The 3/5 profile is considered the most resilient of all. They collect bumps and bruises like badges of honor.

Experimental 3/5 children eventually enter the moody years of being a teenager. To be fair, we’re asking children to commit to eight hours of school, two hours of extracurriculars, maintain a social life, and take standardized tests. They’re pressured to select a major that determines the career field they enter.

Most teenagers are influenced by a world that rarely rewards anything less than success. Their experiments, once adorable when they were children, are subject to shame and humiliation when they do not provide desired results.

3/5 teenagers are subjected to the words failure and mistake. The ones who live in households that prize academic excellence over experimentation can find themselves in a vicious cycle of depression.

I’ve written about the Line 3 Martyr aspect of this profile, but let’s give some love to Line 5.

The Line 5 Heretic is constantly projected upon by their environments

They are held up as idols, whether they asked for it or not.

I experienced this pressure throughout high school. My parents are Malaysian immigrants and often reminded me that they came to this country with nothing but borrowed money and the clothes on their backs. They labored for well below minimum wage and deliberately birthed me in the USA in hopes of citizenship by default.

That’s quite the projection to place on a baby, but that’s how it goes with the Line 5’s.

I’ve also seen this projection on 3/5’s who have academically successful family members. They are asked, “Why can’t you be more like your sibling/cousin?” Or, if the family went into debt for the 3/5’s education, “We took out such a big loan for you. How dare you not succeed?”

We see these 3/5 teenagers forced into fixating on the end goal rather than do what is natural for them: experiment and discover.

Yet, I wrote of the resiliency in the 3/5. They cannot be stopped.

The 3/5’s who are unable to find an outlet for their need to experiment will create their own.

Here, we find the self-taught [insert any title here]. They reverse engineer what they enjoy but can’t have. They find stimulation in adrenaline-fueled video games that give them room to experiment.

The first time I learned html/css is because I played a game called Neopets and I wanted a fancy-looking profile. I didn’t understand the language so I looked at the source code for profiles I liked and started ripping them to pieces. Little did I know that this skill set would help me build basic websites where I’d run my future online businesses.

3/5’S and their loved ones need to learn the art of positive reinforcement

My partner is a 2/4 Hermit/Opportunist and a permanent optimist. He knows one of my favorite places to experiment is in our dinky, electric stove apartment kitchen.

A common scenario is for me to declare I’m going to make a new dish – for example, balsamic steak.

I drag Mr. 2/4 to the local butcher to get a flat iron steak. At home, I follow parts of the recipe and throw the steak on my cast iron.

The first time I tried this recipe, the steak was so tough to eat, there was an audible jaw pop when I tried to chew it. This is what happens when you question a recipe on the first try, instead of following the instructions.

Of course, I collapse into self-pity and ramble about how bad of a cook I am. In his soothing nature, he tells me how delicious the marinade was, how beautiful the char was, and how honored he is that I’m willing to learn a new recipe for him.

Through this positive reinforcement, I am reminded that I am designed for the process, not the end goal.

— P.S. I’ve decided to stick to ribeye, though I’ve kept my variation of balsamic marinade! Always 3/5’ing.

Marvel's Tony Star “Iron Man” is a great personification of the 3/5 profile

Mr. 2/4 and I are such nerds that when we took our first vacation together, we spent every evening binge-watching the Marvel movies. Tony “I am Iron Man” Stark definitely caught my eye.

There is something seducing about Tony Stark, as it goes with 3/5’s. Perhaps it’s the money. Perhaps it’s his air of carelessness.

It’s important to remember that part of this seduction is peoples’ projections on him of what they expected.

Tony Stark started out with an Iron Man suit he created out of scrap metal. Had he ever created a suit like this with limited supplies before? No. However, through his previous trial and error processes, he figured it out.

Since his original Iron Man suit was far from perfect, he took the time to continue experimenting and tweaking what wasn’t working. In each Marvel movie, you see a new variation of his iconic suit.

Note that 3/5’s are not fixers. They are discoverers who will often martyr themselves to see their experiment through. We know that his love interest always expressed displeasure of his obsession with improvements. (Ah, how Line 3).

We also witnessed Tony Stark get called upon by everyone from the military to the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D to come and help them. Spoiler: These projections, even if he got close, are impossible to live up to. (As it goes for Line 5’s).

Tony Stark also had a tendency to be blunt and direct. It is difficult for the 3/5 to speak anything but the truth – regardless of what you want the 3/5 to say. He couldn't shake his intuition about danger incoming. He was celebrated as a hero but also a menace. Bonds were made with the other Avengers – and broken – and rebuilt – and broken again.

The life of a 3/5 can be a thankless one, but regardless of other people's perceptions of mistakes, he kept experimenting.

Your fellow passenger,
Fiona Wong