What it is and how to find it

What are we made of and meant for?

Not just a question to ponder while smoking DMT on your parent’s porch. Nay my babies, a query to be answered by the midheaven in astrology. A defining point in the birth chart, the midheaven is also known as the MC, an abbreviation of medium coreli and Latin for “middle of the sky.”

Where to find the midheaven

The midheaven is positioned opposite the IC, imum coeli, or “bottom of the sky.” Along with the ascendant, or rising sign and the descendant, the MC and IC are the four most important angles in the birth chart. Both the midheaven sign and the rising sign determine how we outwardly express our energies.

The rising sign indicates how we are immediately perceived by others. By contrast, the midheaven is concerned with ego identity and ideals, the reputation that precedes us and how we respond to, and are viewed by, the world at large. Something of a goal post, it reflects aspirations, ideals, our sense of purpose and our visible accomplishments.

To calculate your midheaven you will need your exact birth time and a birth chart generating website like this or a midheaven specific calculator like this

Meaning of the midheaven

Charles Bukowski drinks a bottle of wine in a tan jacket.
A one time postal employee, Charles Bukowksi is proof that vocation and purpose are often misaligned.
Ron Galella Collection via Getty

It’s no coincidence that the midheaven is located at the very top of the birth chart. It represents the highest horizon point any planet can reach and in turn relates to the sights we set and heights we seek. In most house systems the midheaven is located on the cusp of the tenth house, or the house of public image. Because of this, it is often associated with career paths, an undue oversimplification.

Astrologer Elise Wells of Planet Poetica describes the midheaven as ,“a place of visibility, one that doesn’t ever disconnect from the root, or the IC. The IC is the taproot and the MC is the bloom. The IC is associated with germination, intention, distilling and funneling, and the MC is action, viewpoint, and fruition. It is more than just the career you choose. It is about and more about locating yourself as a placeholder in society. Are you a healer? A teacher? A craftsman? A leader? An organizer? A hermit? A judge? These are roles you assume regardless of culture or status. They have more to do with how YOU place yourself in the whole of the group rather than anyone else putting you there.”

As Elise notes, the midheaven is not limited to labor, because what we do is never the whole of who we are. Case in point, Kafka owned an asbestos manufacturing company and Charles Bukowski was a writer at heart but a postal employee by trade. In this way, the midheaven is aligned more closely with ultimate purpose, and true role fulfillment rather than a specific vocation.

The midheaven is not limited to labor as what we do is never the whole of who we are.

Purpose and potential

Relative to themes of lineage and familial baggage, the sign of the midheaven often describes or is shared with the parent or parental figure that provided discipline, status or guidance. On a broader scale, the Midheaven is connected to authority figures including but not limited to dads, prison guards, hall monitors, Clint Eastwood types, rule enforcers, employers, gatekeepers or the ruling government. In this sense, the midheaven is tied to our understanding of societal expectations and the ways in which we have been conditioned and repressed by those expectations.

Astrologer Stephanie Jean Clement defines the midheaven as “ego consciousness,” and the belief that as we understand ourselves more authentically we can respond thoughtfully rather than react rashly to the world we move through. Self-awareness, guided by the energy of the midheaven helps us to understand our motivations, question our conditioning, unlearn our limitations and hopefully claim our potential. With that in mind, read on to learn more about the meaning of your midheaven.

ARIES Midheaven

A profile shot of Angelina Jolie wearing a black blazer and white pearls.
Actress and activist Angelina Jolie has her midheaven in the bold, brave, impulse prone sign of Aries.
Los Angeles Times via Getty Imag

Less fearful of initiating action or having that action be recognized. Aries midheaven operates swiftly and instinctually though may faltering on followthrough. Aries midheaven makes for a better boss than an underling and their warrior energy is best expressed through humanitarian pursuits and bringing issues of life and death and urgent innovation into the light of public consciousness, exemplified by Aries midheaven actress and activist, Angelina Jolie.

TAURUS Midheaven

Actress Marilyn Monroe poses for a portrait in circa 1953.
Midheaven in Taurus Marilyn Monroe created a legacy based on the Venusian qualities of beauty and decadence.
Michael Ochs Archives

Taurus is ruled by Venus, planet of love and beauty. Work minimally, enjoy fully is the modality of this midheaven. These folks are bent on creating or obtaining something tangible, valuable, beautiful and lasting. In the case of Taurus midheaven Marilyn Monroe, her own iconic, enduring aesthetic itself became the source of lasting value. 

GEMINI Midheaven

Jay-Z onstage in a tuxedo.
Gemini midheavens like Jay-Z fare best when they can transmute their myriad interests into bankable pursuits.
Getty Images for The Rock and Ro

With this midheaven public perception of the individual takes on the quality of Gemini, curious, quick witted, communicable with a wide array of interests and the ability to influence or inspire with the written word. The archetype here is the maverick messenger, able to synthesize passions and messages into a multi faceted career like that of Gemini Midheaven and media mogul Jay-Z or multidisciplinary artist Leonard Cohen.

CANCER Midheaven

Beyoncé accepts an award onstage in a black dress with a plunging neckline.
Beyoncé has her midheaven in Cancer, suggesting her role is that of the collective mother.
Getty Images for The Recording A

An abundance of intuition and an impulse to nurture and protect are the hallmarks of the Cancer midheaven. Caregiving is an obvious outlet for this but often empathy is so acutely felt by these folks that they repress their emotional nature or need to find less intimate and more creative expressions for it. This midheaven is about applying sensitivity and tenacity. The archetype here is the mother who is able to foster or reimagine notions of home and origin. Enter Beyoncé whose midheaven in Cancer supports her birthing of a new world order and reflects her regal, maternal nickname.

LEO Midheaven

Gloria Steinem in a brown serape cape.
Leo midheaven Gloria Steinem uses her public platform to promote peace and support political progress.
Getty Images

You will need to lead and be seen with a Leo midheaven. Galvanizing and ambitious, these people can sway a crowd or be unmade by their arrogance. Light finds and follows them and they are often cast in the role of public speaking, suggesting that pause and self reflection are of the utmost importance. It is imperative that they use their platform for progress rather than hate speech, a point made clear and polarized by Gloria Steinem and Adolf Hitler who share this midheaven.

VIRGO Midheaven

Bob Marley signs records in 1979.
Bob Marley exhibited the hermetic, healing through language modalities of a Virgo midheaven.

The archetype of the Virgo midheaven is the hermit, the figure that retreats into the wilderness to discover, gather and disperse cures for the benefit of mankind. The influence of Mercury suggests these cures will take the form of information or the written word. There’s a danger of being obsessive, stubborn and highly critical of the self and others, a standard that just as often, gives way to genius, as was the case for song singing, balm bringing Virgo midheaven Bob Marley.

LIBRA Midheaven

Civil right activist Malcolm X is seen speaking in an undated photo.
Civil right activist Malcolm X had his midheaven in balance seeking, socially reforming Libra.
Robert Parent/Getty Images

The mark of this midheaven is the pursuit of balance. The influence of Venus, planet of love and beauty, implies that this can take the form of aesthetic expression or social justice. Designer and Libra midheaven Coco Chanel is a clear example of the former while Libra midheaven Malcolm X exemplifies the latter. Being the sign of partnership, a Libra midheaven suggests that partnerships, both in business and in personal relations will bring benefit to those with this placement.

SCORPIO Midheaven

Carl Jung seated in a chair.
One of the forefathers of analytical psychology, Scorpio midheaven Carl Jung shed light on the unconscious mind.
Popperfoto via Getty Images

A Scorpio midheaven reveals what is hidden. Obsessively curious, they are ever seeking to drag the dark heart of truth into the light of collective consciousness. These people don’t shy away from shadow work or emotional depths and gravitate towards themes of birth, death, regeneration, sexuality and psychology. For evidence look no further than OG womanizing psych daddy and Scorpio midheaven ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Carl Jung.


David Bowie onstage in a red suit.
Experimentation and expansion are the modalities of David Bowie, his shoulder pads and his Sagittarius midheaven.

Sagittarius midheaven lives boldly and approaches life unquenchable. Ruled by lucky, buoyant planet Jupiter, their motto is“more” and their direction is “further.” More knowledge, more travel, more truth, more life in all its messy, myriad glory. The purpose of these pursuits is to learn so that they may disperse and educate with certainty and enthusiasm. A prime example of this experiment, expand, educate modality can be found in the life and lyrics of Sagittarius midheaven David Bowie.


Jeff Bezos onstage in a silver suit.
Pioneering and punishing are themes consistent with Jeff Bezos and his Capricorn midheaven.
Getty Images for DJ

Steadfast with an air of authority, no one builds or manages more effectively than a Capricorn midheaven, though they are more comfortable in a supportive rather than starring role. Success is ensured but hard won with this midheaven and a considerable amount of energy is spent advancing towards the status of security and the security of status. What they lack in experimentation and compassion they compensate for in strategy and execution, a combo exemplified by Capricorn midheaven Jeff Bezos.

AQUARIUS Midheaven

Jared Leto onstage with a bare chest and a beard.
Weird is the only way for Aquarius midheavens like Jared Leto.
Getty Images for The Recording A

Weird is the only way for Aquarius midheavens. Insular and suspicious with odd habits they prefer to work alone but must stave off total isolation lest they lose touch with reality, a serious concern. Lauded for walking, and often blurring the line between madness and genius they run the gamut between humanitarians and cult leaders, qualities alive and well in unapologetically strange and utterly messianic Aquarius midheaven Jared Leto.

PISCES Midheaven

RuPaul in a colorful suit and glasses.
For a Pisces midheaven like RuPaul, purpose takes the form of healing the self so that others may follow suit.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Image

The archetype here is the healer and the best way to provide relief for others is to suffer and then suture the self. Highly intuitive, Pisces midheavens do well when they are able to use their psychic and creative abilities to support others. We see this modality expressed in Pisces midheavens RuPaul and Steven Spielberg. The spiritual supersedes the tangible for this ilk and their personal and professional lives are prone to mixing, often for their benefit. Never lacking inspiration they fall prey to distraction, preferring the promise of a daydream or day drinking to concentrated effort.

Astrology 101: Your guide to the stars

Astrologer Reda Wigle researches and irreverently reports back on planetary configurations and their effect on each zodiac sign. Her horoscopes integrate history, poetry, pop culture and personal experience. She is also an accomplished writer who has profiled a variety of artists and performers, as well as extensively chronicled her experiences while traveling. Among the many intriguing topics she has tackled are cemetery etiquette, her love for dive bars, Cuban Airbnbs, a “girls guide” to strip clubs and the “weirdest” foods available abroad. What it is and how to find it


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