Ab initio molecular orbital calculations at the MP2/6-31G* level of theory have been used to study the molecular geometry, electronic structure, and the thermal stability of six-membered phosphazene and heterophosphazene rings. The studies included the phosphazene ring [NPCl2]3, the carbophosphazene ring [(NCCl)(NPCl2)2], and three thionylphosphazene rings [(NSOX)(NPCl2)2] (X = F, Cl) and [(NSOF)(NPF2)2] and their cations [(NPCl)(NPCl2)2]+, [(NC)(NPCl2)2]+, and [(NSO)(NPY2)2]+ (Y = F, Cl). The ring skeleton of the phosphazene ring, the carbophosphazene ring and of all cation rings adopt a planar conformation; the ring skeletons of the thionylphosphazene rings adopt an envelope conformation. The valence electron charge density of the molecules indicates strong charge separations along their skeleton and is in agreement with Dewar's island delocalization model. The electrostatic potential in the vicinity of the neutral heterophosphazene rings which results from their electronic structure, and the position of the HOMO indicate that a heterolytic cleavage of a ligand and the opening of the ring involving a reaction with a electrophilic cation will most likely occur at the nitrogen atoms close to the heteroatom. The thermal stability of the phosphazene ring with respect to a cleavage of chlorine from phosphorus and the thermal stability of the heterophosphazene rings with respect to the cleavage of the halogen ligand bonded to the heteroatom were studied with several model reactions. Most of the reactions are exothermic. A comparison of isodesmic reactions shows that the thionylphosphazenes molecules are the least thermally stable rings with respect to ionization and that the carbophosphazene molecules are the most thermally stable rings with respect to ionization. The energy gains during the ionization reaction of the rings correlate well with the conformational changes which occur during the reactions.