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The Four Angles

The Four Angles of an Astrology Chart

Athen Chimenti

24 March 2024

Fantasy Landscape with Woman Performing Magic

An astrological chart displays the planets not just through the houses, but through the four axis of the chart known as the angles. You may have heard of your ascendant, or rising sign, and in addition, there are three other foundational points on any astrological chart. The four angles of a chart include the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven, and Imum Coeli. These cardinal points in an astrology chart are pivotal in shaping a chart’s narrative. They mark beginnings and ends, and each angle offers a distinct perspective on our journey through life.

The Ascendant: Dawn of the Self

Layered Reflections of a Mysterious Person

The Ascendant, or Rising Sign, is the zodiacal sign that was ascending on the eastern horizon at the moment of one's birth. The ascendant is where the chart "begins," at the start of the first house. It represents the dawn of our identity, the person we are becoming. It represents what qualities life is helping us develop. The Ascendant sign shows the primary experiences we will have in this life which shape our personality through time.

Consider a Scorpio Ascendant: this indicates a chart where life is helping the person develop depth, rawness and realness in life. Through time this person exudes more intensity, candidness, and a penetrating view of life. A Scorpio Rising can shape the individual's approach to new experiences with a continued propensity for depth, transformation, and resilience. Alternatively, a Gemini Ascendant may present an increasingly curious life journey, where the person is increasingly seeking information, and engaging with the environment through a Mercurial perspective.

When a planet forms an aspect to one of the chart's angles, either natally or in transit, it infuses that angle’s area of life with that planet’s energy and characteristics. For example, having Mars in a square aspect to the Ascendant can inject a dose of assertiveness, or even aggression, into one's life experiences. This individual might come across as dynamic and forthright, but they could also struggle with impulsiveness or confrontational behavior.

The Descendant: The Horizon of the Other

Couples Sitting Beneath the Moon

Directly opposite the Ascendant, at the start of the seventh house, is the Descendant, which is the point setting in the west at birth. This angle delineates the nature of our partnerships, the qualities life is helping us seek in others, and often, the characteristics we project onto them. The Descendant speaks to the kind of harmony—or discord—we may encounter in our close relationships, including marriages or close business partnerships.

For an individual with an Aries Ascendant, their Descendant will fall in Libra. Life is helping this person seek balance, diplomacy, and a sense of fairness within their relationships, which are qualities they might feel are missing within themselves. They could be attracted to partners who embody these Libran traits, finding a sense of completion through the other.

Another example is relationship-oriented Venus forming a trine to the Descendant, which could have the effect of sweetening one's approach to relationships, offering harmonious and affectionate interactions with partners. This aspect suggests an ease in forming connections, where life helps the individual attract others through charm and a sense of diplomacy.

The Midheaven (MC): The Summit of Aspiration

Mountain Peak Shrouded in Clouds

Towards the top of the chart, we find the Midheaven or MC, representing True South for those born in the Northern Hemisphere and True North for those born in the Southern. It is the highest point that the Sun reaches on the day of our birth. It's the zenith of the sky at noon, akin to the peak of a mountain we are all climbing. The MC is synonymous with our highest goals in life and our legacy. It is the manifestation of our highest aspirations and the qualities life wants us to leave behind in this life.

A Capricorn Midheaven might suggest an individual whose legacy is marked by ambition, structure, and a drive towards success. Life is helping them strive to attain positions of responsibility, management, and governance. In contrast, a Pisces Midheaven could indicate a vocational path filled with creativity, compassion, and a drive to serve others, potentially through the arts or healing professions.

If Jupiter is conjunct the Midheaven, it expands one's professional aspirations and often brings opportunities for growth and success in the public sphere. This placement can indicate a career marked by optimism, a sense of adventure, or involvement in fields such as travel, education, or philosophy.

The Imum Coeli (IC): Foundations and Roots

Family Silhouette at Dawn

Opposite the Midheaven, the Imum Coeli, or IC, lies at the bottom of the chart, hidden from view like the roots of a tree. This nadir represents our inner world, the private self, our heritage, and our foundations. It is the most personal point in our chart, often associated with our early home life, family, and our subconscious conditioning.

An individual with an IC in Cancer might find that their personal security and sense of belonging stem from deep family connections and traditions. Their sense of comfort may be tied to the past, and their inner sanctuary may be rich with sentimentality or nostalgia. The IC informs our sense of inner stability, from which we draw strength to rise towards our MC ambitions.

With Saturn in opposition to the Imum Coeli, there might be a sense of restriction or responsibility tied to one's roots or family. This aspect could reflect challenges in the early home life that have led to a serious or disciplined approach to personal security. It may also suggest a person who seeks to build a solid foundation for their life, often through hard work and perseverance.

To see your true sidereal angles use our true sidereal chart calculator. The calculator uses the actual size of the constellations at birth to give you the exact signs of your four angles.

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