The Midheaven – just like the Ascendant – is not a planet but a mathematical point in your birth-chart. Another name for the Midheaven is MC or Medium Coeli, meaning “middle of the heavens”. As the word suggests, the Midheaven is the highest point in the sky along the ecliptic – the point where the apparent path of the sun crosses the meridian at the precise location of our birth. If you are born at noon, then the Sun finds itself in the highest point in the sky. Then you have your Sun conjunct your Midheaven.
Just as you have a high point in your chart, so you have a low point. That is called the IC, or Imum Coeli, meaning “deepest of the heavens” or “low point of the heavens”. The IC is the lowest point of the ecliptic (the path of the sun) relative to our particular place of birth – the point where we would find the sun at midnight, all the way on the opposite side of the earth.
In symbolic terms, the Midheaven is where you want to shine like the sun at noon – your public outer self – and the IC is where you go deep within to draw nourishment and find your centre – your private or innermost self. Taken as an axis, the IC-MC shows life direction: the IC represents where you are coming from and the MC where you are going.
In practical terms, your MC denotes your career, vocation and how you want to be seen in the world. (It is often associated with the 10th house in your chart.) The IC symbolises your home, family and overall private life. (It is often associated with the 4th house in your chart.) Just like we are normally sustained by our home and family in order to venture out and take our place in the world, so can we think of the MC-IC axis like a tree: we draw nourishment from the hidden roots of the tree at the IC and bloom in the uppermost and most visible branches of the tree at the MC. The MC-IC is also often called the ‘parental axis’ as it encapsulates your experience of your mother and father as early role models of inner and outer identity.
What is the difference between the Ascendant and the Midheaven or MC? The Ascendant shows us the window through which we see the world and through which others see us. It is how we happen to meet the world. The Midheaven, on the other hand, shows us who we strive or aspire to be in the eyes of the world. It is the public image that we construct and how we want others to see us in our highest possible manifestation.
If we put the MC-IC and the Ascendant-Descendant axes together, the two tend to form a cross in the chart. This cross is often taken to signify the “cross of matter” – the four points where we are pinned down in the physical world of incarnation. The Ascendant-Descendant axis fixes ‘self’ and ‘other’, whilst the MC-IC axis fixes inner – subjective – and outer – objective – reality.
A Brief Look At The Midheaven Through The Signs
So who do you want to be in the world? And how is this image sustained by how you feel deep inside? Looking at the Zodiac Signs on your MC and IC will show you what kind of tree you are, what sustenance you seek and what fruit you want to bear on the world stage. Check out your free birth-chart here! (As the MC is often found on the cusp of the 10th house and the IC n the cusp of the 4th house, check the signs next to the roman symbols ‘X’ and ‘IV’.)
Here is a brief look at the twelve possible combinations. If you want to know more, stay tuned!
An Aries MC wants to be a bold and dynamic pioneer in the world, whilst being nourished from their relationships with others (Libra IC).
A Taurus MC wants to showcase their ability to shape the material world, drawing nourishment from their powerful instincts (Scorpio IC).
A Gemini MC wants to be a leading disseminator of ideas, rooted in a deep sense of vision (Sagittarius IC).
A Cancer MC wants to emerge as a leading defender of tradition and for those who need help, care and attention, rooted in a deep sense of responsibility towards others (Capricorn IC).
A Leo MC has a powerful need to take a risk, express itself and shine, whilst drawing nourishment from a sense of brotherhood with a greater whole (Aquarius IC).
A Virgo MC wants to be recognised for their problem-solving abilities and their practical contribution to the world, drawing from a deep sense of inspiration and spiritual connection (Pisces IC).
A Libra MC seeks recognition for their beauty, harmony and aesthetic style, whilst being driven by a childlike faith in themselves and their abilities (Aries IC).
A Scorpio MC seeks to be a worldly agent for change and transformation, drawing sustenance for this task from a deep inner sense of permanence and stability (Taurus IC).
A Sagittarius MC wants to be seen as seeker, a teacher and a visionary, rooted in a deep inner sense of curiosity and thirst for knowledge (Gemini IC).
A Capricorn MC seeks to grow into a position of responsibility, worldly power and respect, whilst rooted in the loving care and support provided by family structures (Cancer IC).
An Aquarius MC seeks to be seen as an innovator and humanitarian, rooted in their own abundant creativity (Leo IC).
Lastly a Pisces MC wants to be recognised as a dreamer and for their imaginative, creative or philanthropic work, drawing on their ability for discipline and hard work (Virgo IC).