At life’s crossroads, unsure which way to turn? Well, before choosing between an astrological forecast and compass, remember both possess four important points, which if followed correctly will send you heading in the right direction!
Unlike North, South, East and West on a compass though, an astrological Birth Chart consists of the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven and Immum Coeli. With the Ascendant and Midheaven considered the more influential two.
Although, all four angles on a birth chart are of extreme significance in Astrology, as when these points are triggered by other transiting planets they highlight and almost instantly bring change into your life for better or worse. While, action concerning the Ascendant and Midheaven may be more outwardly obvious, as the Descendent and Immum Coeli are viewed more as reflections of the Ascendant and Midheaven. However, all play a tremendous part throughout an individual’s life, particularly for individuals who have personal planets positioned close to these angles.
It seems only fitting to begin with the Ascendant, as this point literally marks the beginning, accepted as the most important angle. Also commonly referred to as the Rising Sign, as it is the Zodiac degree rising on the Eastern horizon the moment the chart is cast. Therefore, for a person’s birth this forms a highly individual point, based on the exact time, date and place of birth. While the fact that it moves on another degree every four minutes means that even twins may have different degrees or even Zodiac Signs on their Ascendant.
You could say the Ascendant is essentially ‘the meeting point’, as people’s first impressions on meeting are usually due to your Ascendant. For it represents our appearance and the way we initially appear to others. Many view the Ascendant as the gateway to the birth chart. However, some gateways can be more difficult to cross than others, depending upon the Zodiac Sign an individual has on the Ascendant. For a cautious Capricorn Ascendant may appear less friendly than a lively Leo Ascendant, but it is only the camouflage we wear, and once past the gateway we may find someone entirely different inside.
The Ascendant is often referred to as the window to our soul and is thought to be the gifts we bring with us into this lifetime, whereas looking opposite to the Descendant, we discover the qualities we lack, seeking them instead from partnerships. Therefore, our Ascendant is also our window to the outside world. So, by positively utilising the traits of your Ascendant Sign you can reach your true destination in the wider world, your Midheaven.
As the Midheaven or Medium Coeli (MC) is the highest point on a birth chart and therefore where we are literally at our most visible. So, it represents our social standing, worldly accomplishments and highest ambitions. It forms the cusp of the Tenth house and the Zodiac Sign, and any Planets located here are good indicators of an individual’s ideal career. A lucky few are aware of their inner desires and follow this correct pathway straight away, but most go around the block a few times first. It is only after continually feeling unfulfilled that we eventually head towards our personal MC. This may be due in part to the fact that the MC is untested ground to us. Therefore, unfamiliar and harder to master naturally, so we find it difficult to achieve in this direction. Instead it unnerves us, sending us retreating back to the opposing IC. As the IC is thought to be the gifts we have learned and accumulated in past lives, which come easily to us and where we feel most comfortable. So, when we are feeling stressed and pressured we crave this familiarity.
Transits to the Ascendant and MC through aspect or progression are major life moments. Transits to the Ascendant may bring new opportunities if beneficial, such as travel, marriage or a fresh beginning or partnership. However, malefic transits may bring about sudden illness, hardships or other difficulties, eventually helping us to grow spiritually. Transits to our MC may see us thrown into the spotlight or advance professionally, especially with Jupiter’s involvement. However, they can spell your downfall if Pluto or Saturn features, as often murderers are captured when difficult aspects reach their MC. That being said, not all Jupiter or Venus aspects are wonderful, as not all harsh planets are detrimental. Although, no planet will reward you more than Saturn on your MC, if you deserve it, but this may take a long, hard slog!
In essence, you could say the Ascendant is how others see us, while the MC is how we wish to be seen, but really we are neither of these points, en-compassing many facets!