If you are studying astrology or doing a chart reading for someone else, the AC and MC are 2 of the most important points on the chart, and you should definitely know where they are and what they represent.
In short, the AC in astrology is the furthest point left on the chart (also called the “ascendant”) and the start of the 1st house. The MC is the highest point in the chart (also called the “midheaven”). These 2 points represent (respectively) the identity and career of the individual, and on a compass would be West and North.
However, like most other parts of astrology AND life, there can be many differentials. Let me explain:
The AC and MC are angles or points, not actual objects.
We often talk about signs and houses in astrology, and far less often about angles. The angles on a chart are the 4 furthest points in each direction, set up like a compass, pointing in the 4 cardinal directions.
These “points” are not actual objects, such as a planet, which we know is made of matter and has a mass, circumference etc. Rather, they are locations on the chart which are used to orient around the chart.
These angles are necessary because the perspective of the heavens changes based on where on earth you are located. Consider that the earth is not a perfect sphere, which affects the latitudinal measurements. The earth is also always spinning, with the sun rising always from the east. These differences that are based on location are taken into consideration when creating a birth chart. This is why someone can be born on the same day at the same time as another person, but in a different place, and the result is natal charts that look very different!
Because the planets are “out there” and “above us”, you can consider the very centre of the chart to be you, on earth. Your chart is created from the perspective of where you were, on earth, at the time of your birth.
The angles are especially significant in an astrology chart because they build a frame for the rest of the houses to fit into, and they determine the 4 most significant parts of a person’s life. Those parts are identity/ body, family/ emotional roots, relationships/ shadow self, career/ place in the world.
Zodiac angles, houses, areas of life and psyche, and correlating locations on a compass
|Angle||Area of life and psyche||House||Correlating compass location|
|AC (Ascendant)||Identity/ body||1st house||West|
|IC (Imum Coeli)||Family/ emotional roots||4th house||South|
|Dsc (Descendant)||Relationships/ Shadow self||7th house||East|
|MC (Midheaven)||Career/ place in the world||10th house||North|
The sign on the MC (and the IC too!) can change based on the house system that is used.
Sometimes in a chart, because of the way the houses fall and the house system being used, the 10th house does not fall in the midheaven, and the IC is not in the 4th house!
For example, when using a Whole House System for astrology, the Ascendant and Descendant are always fixed at the beginning of the 1st and 7th houses. However, the IC (4th house) can fall anywhere between house 2 and house 6. The 10th house can fall anywhere between house 8 and 11.
This is very different from the Placidus house system where the MC is always marked by the beginning of the 10th house, and the IC by the beginning of the 4th.
Because there are so many different house systems in astrology, there are almost always changes to the chart based on the house system being used. The job of the astrologer is to determine the energetic objectives of each archetype, and if looking at several house systems, to understand how that energy is expressed differently through a different house system.
Here is a list of the major house systems used in astrology:
- Equal house system
- Whole sign system
The way that the sign on the AC and MC will express themselves depends on the placement of the dispositor of that sign.
Each sign has assigned to it a dispositor, which is the planet that moves and makes happen the intentions of the sign ruling it. The dispositing planet carries the same archetype of the sign, so in order to effectively synthesize the totality of an archetype, one must look at both the sign, the dispositing planet, and the correlating house.
I’ve created a handy chart for you (below) to know which planet is the dispositor for your IC and MC, as well as what house that archetype is correlated with.
To use this table, you’ll need to know the signs on the IC and MC of your birth chart. If you don’t already have one, you can go here to get one for free.
When looking at your chart, you will see that there is a line dividing your chart from top to bottom (going from the 1st house to the 7th house). There will also be another line dividing the chart vertically, that is from left to right. The very top of that dividing line will be your MC, and the very bottom of that line will be your IC. You can use this zodiac wheel below as a reference guide for you.
*Remember that depending on the house system that you are using, your “vertical dividing line” may not go straight up and down, it may look more like an X than a cross.
The 4 Angles in the astrology zodiac chart infographic
Zodiac Signs, Dispositing planets and correlating houses in astrology
Maybe you want to know what your own IC and MC have to say about your earth journey?
If that’s the case, get in touch with me now and let’s get your astrology reading booked.
In simple terms, the AC in astrology is the ascendant and represents the identity and body of the individual. The MC in astrology is the Midheaven or Medium Coeli, and represents the individual’s career and place in the world.
These 2 important points are the polarity points for the DSC (descendant, which represents relationships and shadow self) and the IC (Imum coeli, which represents the family and emotional roots of the individual).
When learning astrology, and especially when doing a chart reading, these 4 points are of utmost significance and will give you profound insight into the soul journey of the person you are helping.
In my own studies, grasping the concept of how the earth location affects the perspective and therefore the whole balance of the chart brought up another important question: Where else in my life am I perceiving from an earth perspective?
And, consequently and even more importantly, would looking at my life from a soul perspective change anything.
You tell me.
If you enjoyed this article and are interested in booking an astrological consultation with me, it would be my pleasure to use both my intuitive and astrology skills to help support you on your life journey. Feel free to contact me at Info@ThatZoiLife.com and I’ll get back to you very shortly with more details and booking information.
Aja Celeste is a mom to 6 beautiful children and a twin mom! She is also creator and writer of That Zoi Life and a professionally trained Evolutionary Astrologer who has been doing astrology for 7 years. She is also a health care assistant, has a Bachelor of Ministry Degree, and is passionate about supporting people in conscious parenting. She also does Psychosomatics using Recall Healing.
Please contact her at [info@ThatZoiLife.com] if you would like to find out more about working with her.