Wednesday, April 5

Ascendant and Midheaven

Ascendant and Midheaven

* Key Concepts for the Ascendant :-

The Ascendant (or “Rising Sign”) is almost impossible to sum up. It is many things at once: a symbol of how one acts in the world, the “mask” or “image of the personality" that others see, and a spontaneous energy and attitude toward life that pervades the entire being. Although in some people it is quite obvious. 

It can be the face a man wears whilst he projects himself into his business and social activities. concealing much of his true character that only his intimates-and often not even they-know exists.

And yet. this “image of the personality" that others see is not intentionally projected; it is automatic. Furthermore. neither is it superficial in the sense that many astrological writings imply. The Ascendant always indicates something essential about the person that is at once deeply inner and also outer. It is virtually impossible for a person to act in the world or express himself or herself without bringing the Ascendant into play. In many ways, it is the gate through which we most directly confront the outer world. It symbolizes our individual approach to life itself. It represents the way one actively merges with life in the outer world when one’s energy is flowing spontaneously.

The Ascendant reveals the way we feel ourselves to be uniquely ourselves. It always denotes something essential about the individual’s personality and approach to life. but it may appear more dominant and authentic when the rest of the chart supports and harmonizes with it. When the rest of the chart is not particularly attuned to the qualities and energy of the Ascendant. the ASC may then appear more superficial, a relatively artificial mask that may be quite at odds with the rest of the person’s nature.

* The Element of the Ascendant :-

The element of the Ascendant reveals the quality of energy flow directly vitalizing the physical body and the overall approach to life? Fire or Air signs rising tend to conduct energy. encouraging active self-expression and dynamic expenditure of energy. Earth or Water signs rising tend to conserve and resist the flow of vital energies. and hence indicate self-containment (sometimes self-repression) and the tendency of living within oneself.

Fire Signs Rising (Aries, Leo & Sagittarius): Great vitality. physically energetic. beams energy outward into the world. Marked by a positive. optimistic outlook on life and a confident. bluntly honest demeanor. Active. wants to make a mark on life and see the results of one's efforts manifested in the world. Action-orientation can lead to wasteful excesses and less awareness of the subtler needs of self and others.

Air Signs Rising (Gemini. Libra. & Aquarius): Mentally quick and active: inquisitive. social. friendly. verbal. Often clever. with rapid perceptions. Can be overly intellectual to the point of chronically debating everything inwardly without taking action. Wants to understand everything; lives a lot in the world of concepts. Has a natural facility for communication and perceiving others' viewpoints.

Earth Signs Rising (Taurus. Virgo & Capricorn): A matter-of-fact outlook. Focus on the material world and conservative attitudes can inhibit imagination. which is then allowed to limit the person's options and/or restrain spontaneous self-expression. Steadiness and reliability are often well-developed and highly valued by self and others. Practicality and inborn patience give more tolerance for routine than other Ascendants show. A systematic approach. usually along established channels, is the most common method of expressing oneself.

Water Signs Rising (Cancer, Scorpio & Pisces): Most easily influenced by the environment and by other people. Sensitive, moody, wary because of a strong feeling of vulnerability and likelihood of being hurt. Protective of self but also of others one canes about. Sympathetic. feels others' emotions immediately and forcefully. Very private. lives deeply within oneself.

* The Ruler of the Ascendant :-

The planet that is associated with the Rising Sign is so important that it has been known traditionally as the “Ruler of the Chart” or the birth chart’s “Ruling Planet.” By its sign and house position, it invariably colors the individual's entire approach to life. Once you have tuned in on and accepted the field of experience and the type of enemy represented by the ruling planet and its house and sign, you begin to feel more alive, more motivated to express yourself. and more inwardly secure and true to yourself.

Ruling Planet’s Sign Position: Reveals an energy attunement and specific qualities that are powerfully important and even dominant in many cases. This sign shows a primary motivating energy in the person's actions and self-expression.

Ruling Planet’s House Position: Shows a field of experience where much of one's life energy and effort manifest. and where one will encounter life activities and issues that are deeply important. One must be active in this area of life in order to express and stimulate many essential energies and abilities.

Actually. the ASC and its ruling planet must always be considered together. as one interpretive unit. For example, a Gemini Rising with Ruling Planet Mercury in Pisces will usually be more imaginative, psychically sensitive. and absent-mindedly confused than a Gemini Rising with Mercury in Taurus. where the mind will function more slowly and practically. [I call these Gemini Rising with a Pisces “Subtone” and Gemini Rising with a Taurus “Subtone."] For another example, a Cancer Rising with Ruling Planet Moon in Libra is likely to be move detached and mom diplomatic than Cancer Rising with Moon in Aries. which is so impulsive and often tactless. (I would call these two exarhples a Cancer Rising with a Libra ”Subtone" and a Cancer Rising with an Aries “Subtone.")

* Aspects to the Ascendant :-

(NOTE: The birth time must be reliable to use these aspects.)

The Ascendant’s tone is modified not only by the position of its ruling planet, but also by any close 30°-multiple angle (01' “aspect") to the Ascendant by any planet.‘ The planet aspecting the Ascendant always makes a dynamic impact and always affects the image of the personality that is projected and the entire mode of self-expression. Any such planet strongly colors the person's energy field and attitude toward life itself.

a) Conjunctions to the Ascendant. within 6°. are the most powerful of these aspects and the most immediately noticeable qualities in the person’s personality.

b) Conjunctions to the Descendant, within 6° (that is. oppositions to the Ascendant), are the second most powerful of these aspects. Since the ASC shows the most immediate image a person projects. whereas the DSC and planets near it show qualities that especially emerge in relationships and may be contrary to the person's image, these aspects can sometimes indicate an inner division in the individual, wherein the person alternately manifests two different modes of being that seem completely opposite, symbolized by the ASC and the planet opposite it. In other cases. there seems to be simply a strong coloration of the personality by that planet. particularly seen in the area of personal relationships. with no significant opposite or contradictory problems being felt.

c) Square aspects to the Ascendant are often among the most frustrating or challenging of aspects to the ASC. They sometimes symbolize pressures from the person’s early environment, manifesting as a type of oppression or inhibition (especially when the planet involved is in the 4th house). or

as a pressure toward achievement or recognition (especially when the planet involved is in the 10th house). However, like all such challenging aspects. these squares can also show where the greatest effort toward growth may take place.

d) Any planet closely aspecting the Ascendant adds its quality to your consciousness, starting at an early age.‘ You have it within you and at your disposal automatically, although you may have to learn to acknowledge or integrate it. In other words. you can consciously develop that quality further as time goes by. It can be a major source of energy for you once you learn to tap it.

e) Even if the Sun and Moon make no close aspect with the Ascendant, and even if the birth time is slightly in doubt, it is still very important to understand how the elements of these three dominant factors blend within the individual. This will clarify how the essential energies of life flow together and to what extent the Ascendant encourages or restrains the expression of the Sun and Moon energies.

* The Midheaven :-

Aging and maturing often mean reaching for and concretizing the goals and dreams that we envision when we are young. The Midheaven's sign. the placement of its ruler, and planets in the 10th house symbolize this process. Although the Midheaven sign is not always obvious in an outward way. it is always an important part of the birth chart, since it describes the manifestation and development of one’s vocation and standing in the world. Almost all astrological texts describe the Midheaven (or MC as it is often abbreviated) as representing one’s “career” or “place in the world.” It is those things. as well as a few others. When young. 8 person does not usually identify with the type of energy represented by the sign on the MC, unless one or more of the personal planets are in that sign also. The Midheaven symbolizes qualities that we spontaneously grow toward as we get older. qualities that require effort to attain. It represents achievement. authority. your potential social contribution, and your vocation or “calling." Fulfillment comes through learning to express the energy represented by the sign on the MC.

* The Ruling Planet of the Midheaven :-

The ruling planet of the Midheaven sign is important not only due to its general symbolic meaning. but also due to the fact that its house position so often shows where your real vocation comes into clearest focus. That house represents a field of experience which feels like your true calling at a very deep level. If your Midheaven is in a sign that has a traditional ruler and a modern ruler. the house position of both can be important. However. the sign position of the traditional ruler is usually more important than that of the modern ruler.

* Planets in the 10th House & Aspects to the Midheaven :-

Planets in the 10th house, especially those that conjunct the MC (on either side of the MC], represent ways of being, qualities, and types of activity that are extremely important to the individual and which he or she respects. Due to this feeling of respect. people will often exhibit these qualities or express these energies publicly in order that others might think well of them.

Other than the conjunction, other close aspects to the Midheaven can be considered almost equal in effect. The type of aspect is much less important than the specific planet making that aspect. and the exactitude of the aspect. Traditionally. these aspects are correlated with your public self-expression. career. and vocational goals. Any planet in close aspect with the Midheaven indicates a type of energy and orientation which is essential in the achievement of your position in the world and instrumental in what you will contribute to society.

For example. with Venus closely aspecting the Midheaven. it is important to contribute something artistic or beautiful to society. One-to-one interactions are likely to be important to one's public self-expression, and the person is likely to be concerned with making a pleasant and cooperative contribution to society.

As another example. in the charts of three publishers I can think of off hand. Jupiter is in a very close aspect to the MC in all three charts: the conjunction in one and the sextile in the other two. And traditionally. Jupiter is the planet of publishing.