©2009 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved
The four primary points in an astrology chart are the ascendant (ASC), descendant (DSC) midheaven (media coeli - MC) and anti-midheaven (illium coeli - IC). The ASC-DCS axis and the MC-IC axis create our Natal Cross upon which you souls incarnate. The Natal Cross orients us in time and space. It is the underlying structure upon which the planets in the natal astrology chart nest. Exploring the individual star qualities surrounding and expressing through the four points of the Natal Cross (whether in the Astronomical Star Chart or in a sidereal astrological chart) is the first and primary step to gain an understanding of the sidereal start chart and of a person's soul-level expression on Earth. The Natal Cross is sometimes called our Personal Crossthe cross constructed at the time of birth. The four points (nodes) of the Natal Cross are commonly called the "four angles" in the sidereal chart.
Just as the planets nest upon the Natal Cross, the Natal Cross nests upon Earth's Precessional Cross. The Natal Cross defines the local space-time coordinates of the soul's punctual incarnate moment, while Earth's Precessional Cross defines the space-timing within in the greater evolutionary cycle of the entire soul collective on Earth.
Although we use a very tight orb for star alignments, within a degree or two, the themes of surrounding stars offer context to understand the stars in exact alignment with the points and planets in your chart.
However, unlike looking at star alignments with planets, where we use a very tight orb (±2°), the angles in your chart have an active orb of about ±7°. This active area around each angle is called the "immediate foreground." Stars and planets which lie outside of the immediate foregrounds are said to be in the "background." Planets conjoining the angles or within the immediate foreground of an angle (within the ±7° orb of an angle) are especially potentized in your chart, and their resonances in your makeup and life experience are of primary significance.
Due to the nature of the very tight orb used with individual stars, if the time of your birth is not accurate, the stars and planets exactly conjoining the angles will be off, and therefore interpretation of your Natal Cross may not be accurate.
The crossing of your "horizon plane" (which is your personal equatorial plane) and the "ecliptic plane" creates your ASC / DSC axis. This axis can be thought of as your horizontal axis of participation. The ASC-DSC axis reveals the experiential plane or playing field of our livesthe energetic through which we participate on Earth. Whenever considering the ASC and DSC (or the MC and IC), keep in mind that these are two points or nodes of one axis, they always function together in a complimentary fashion.
The Zenith-Nadir axis is our personal pole, and the Horizon plane is a plane bisecting the Earth that is perpendicular to that the Zenith-Nadir pole. The Horizon plane is our personal equator. To learn more about the various planes (great circles) and the nodes they create see: An Introduction to the Great Circles & Personal Points in Your Personalized Star Chart.
The stars surrounding your ascendant (ASC) are your "rising stars." Your rising stars reveal the nature of your soul expression on Earth, how your soul essence expresses through your physical body and into your experiential plane of participation. The Ascendant (and its rising stars) is one of the most important points in the sidereal chart. Unlike in tropical astrology, where emphasis is on the Sun's placement, the sidereal ascendant is far more revealing about a the nature of a person. In sidereal astrology, the ascendant reveals more of "who we are" and what we are expressing, while the sidereal Sun is more about "how we are," our role in the world, and the persona we identify with.
The stars and planets immediately below (east of) the ascendant reveal the nature of our physical selves, of what we embody, what we have under our belt, in a sense. It is this that we express through our physical self into the worldfrom the ascendant through the descendant. The stars and planets just above (west of) the ascendant reveal the nature of what we are learning anew in this incarnation. They indicate areas of new growth to be explored and cultivated.
The ascendant stars and the sidereal sign of the ASC are also strong indicators of a person's body type, augmented by the Moon's placement, and somewhat by the Sun (but which more so reveals our persona or the role we play in the world, our self identity or that with which we identify self).
The stars surrounding your descendant (DSC) are your "setting stars." They reveal the nature of the energetic through which you interrelate with significant others in your life. They, in a sense, create the stained glass window through which you express (your ascendant), and through which others see you. The descendant energetic draws the reflection of self, the reflection of the energetic we express. Thus, the people we draw to ourselves often reflect that which we are projecting. They, in a sense, not only lure us to express our ASC theme in its fullness but also invite us to observe our own expression. Note: The nature of our relationships is also strongly influenced by the Moon and Juno, and somewhat by Venus and Mars, as well as additional aspects to those planets and to the DSC.
The stars and planets immediately above (east of) the descendant reveal the dynamic of our personal relations, of how how we tend to interrelate with the significant others we draw into our lives. The stars and planets immediately below (west of) the descendant reveal facades of self no longer of value that need to be released. They can also indicate the nature of lingering tendencies in need of transformation. This is why this house is conventionally of unfinished work or that which we may give away in a service capacity to others.
The ascendant is a point of action and expression. The descendant is a point reception and change.
Properly speaking, and from an astronomical perspective, your rising stars are those rising above your horizon plane, these can be east of west of your ASC. Similarly, your setting stars are those setting below your horizon plane. This is often ignored, but should be take into account. To see your true rising stars (and planets), look at a horizon plane chart, or a star chart that shows your horizon plane (and all your great circles, as I offer. See: Personalized Star Charts.
The bisection of the natal meridian (the longitudinal plane on the Earth where a person is born) and the ecliptic plane creates the MC- IC axis of the Natal Cross. (The MC is also called the mid-heaven and IC is called the anti-midheaven.) The MC is the projection of our Zenith (the point in the heavens directly over the location of birth) through the Earth meridian (the Zenith's longitude) onto the ecliptic. Likewise the IC is the projection of the Nadir (opposite the Zenith) through the Nadir's longitude onto the ecliptic.
The Zenith-Nadir axis is our personal pole. All meridians of the Earth pass through Earth's poles. Thus the MC- IC nodes in the ecliptic are the result of translation of the pole of our personal sphere of consciousness (Zenith-Nadir) through the Earth's sphere of consciousness. The MC-IC axis is of the physical sphere of consciousnessrevealing the nature of the soul unique expression into and through the physical body. This is our vertical axis, equated with our spinal column or backbone. The MC / IC axis reveals how soul expresses through our genetic makeup and functions in the physical world.
The MC stars are our culminating stars. They reveal our day- to-day focus, what is always in our face, how we see or look at life. Understanding and mastering our MC energetic is key to our soul's physical fulfillment in life and to the accomplishment of soul's incarnational purpose. The MC stars articulate the nature of the culmination of our personal pursuit in the worlda point of achievement.
The IC stars are our anti-culminating stars. They reveal the nature of the foundation upon which we stand and from which we participate in the world. The IC stars also reveal the nature of the genetic patterning through which our soul manifests, and thus, also our inherent patterns we need to embrace and master. The IC stars and IC sidereal sign also reveals the type of environment best supportive for our physical well being. Understanding and integrating the IC energetic is essential for balance and support in our lives. This is about embracing our genetic patterning including the family scenario and blood line into which we were born. To fully infuse soul into the physical body is to fully incarnate, this the movement from MC to IC, and this is required to fully express soul level awareness in and through physical consciousness.
The advent of counter-clockwise house rotation, common to Western Astrology, began with Hellenistic astrology, as did the separation into the drifting tropical zodiak away from the true sidereal zodiak, which now articulates the weather of lost mass-consciousness and the disconnect from soul awareness, and which articulates the aspiring personality looking upward to the stars, wondering what they are really doing on Earth. Predating this, back to Egyptian and Babylonian times, clockwise house rotation and whole house signs was a natural part of sidereal astrology. If you are using sidereal astrology, considered using it, try it and your will see it works far more accurately.
Clockwise house rotation is far more fitting if we are exploring soul-level sidereal astrology. From this perspective, we are looking down from soul-level awareness upon incarnate life. This perspective upon incarnate life reveals what we are doing here on Earth from soul's vantage. With clockwise house rotation we are facing the movement of the planets, embracing their energetics, consciously evolving, rather than be blown around by them in circle, or worse yet running in reaction from the experrience they bring. Clockwise house rotation matches a day's unfoldment—as the Sun rises and the east (ASC) and sets in the west DSC): The IC is mid-night. The ASC (the eastern rising stars) is sunrise, day-break. The MC is noon, the day's culmination. The DSC (western setting stars) is sunset, days end. This east to west direction is also Earth's precessional direction, the opposite direction of planetary movement around our Sun. Precessional movement of Earth's pole (and the vernal axis) through heavens reveals the evolutionary cycle of the soul collective on Earth.
Consider first that soul descends from the MC to IC (actually from the Zenith, the location of birth, down through the Earth to the Nadir, (the opposite location)thus grounding, becoming fully incarnate. As explained above, the Zenith and Nadir projected through the birth meridian becomes the MC-IC axis in the ecliptic, with the MC-IC axis revealing the nature of soul's overlay upon the physical vessel through which soul expresses. This energetic then begins to express through chart in a clockwise direction, from the IC toward the ASC.
As we explore clockwise house rotation, we can see how the houses (life areas) naturally and smoothly progress from one to another, something that is not so obvious in counter-clockwise house rotation.
The IC stars reveal the nature of the infusion of soul awareness expressing through our genetic coding. This coding first expresses in thought, in our inherent neurological patterns. This is the conventional third house (in this discussion our clockwise first house). This is the house revealing how we think, how we mentalize.
Continuing in clockwise direction, we then further integrate soul awareness into and through the emotional aspect of self, the second house. Our thought patterns become feeling, passion and desire. This is the house of our personal values, of what we feel strongly about, of how we emote and how we feel about self. It also the house of our personal attributes and resources (generated by our passion).
We then move through the conventional first house (our clockwise third house) toward the ASC (daybreak). Here we solidify soul awareness into the physical corporeal body; now fully expressing our neurological pattering (IC) into physical expression. This is also why the sidereal ASC articulates the nature of our physical body type. Here at the ASC, we begin the morning or our life's day. The ASC stars, thus reveal the nature of our soul expression into the physical world, upon our horizontal experiential plane of participation.
The entire fist quadrant of the chart, from IC to ASC, is thus about the gestation and formation self, about our soul's infusion into and through incarnate self. It is about self-development and the nature of who we are.
Moving clockwise, as the sun rises, we begin our life's day, and we come to the house above (west of) the ASC, the conventional twelfth house (our clockwise forth house). Conventionally this the house of fear and the unknown to the unawakened personality. However, in clockwise direction and from a soul perspective, here we awake into a new day where we begin to apply all that is in the first quadrant (self / all that we are) in a new way. Thus we begin a fresh exploration of new territory, excited to find what life has to offer that we have not yet experienced.
Continuing clockwise, the next house is were we start to socially interact with our friends and peers in groups. This is the conventional eleventh house (our clockwise fifth house). This where we interact and communicate with our peers and continue to expand our understanding and awareness.
Moving toward the MC, the day's mid-point (high-noon), we start to professionalize our expression, what we are are applying in life. This is the house of our professional pursuits and its arena, revealing that which we are striving to achieve in our lives. It is the conventional tenth house (our clockwise sixth house).
The second quadrant of the chart, from ASC to MC, is thus about the application of the first quadrant, of applying that which we are, and bringing it to culmination. It is the quarter of personal action, pursuit and accomplishment. The entire first half of the chart (from IC to ASC to MC) is personally focused.
As we cross the MC we come to the conventional ninth house (our clockwise seventh house). Here we enter the third quadrant and second half of the chart the interpersonally focused half. This house is where we begin to offer to world that which we have learned and gained in the previous quadrant. This is the house of philosophy, teaching, academia, and publications; of colleges and universitiesthe arenas through which we formally express that which we have become and mastered through our professional pursuits.
The next house, the conventional eight house (also our clockwise eighth house), is where we move into world at large. This house is of the of global arena and its resources and hence of inheritance, investments and the such (in contrast to its opposite house of peronsal values and resources); It is the house of business; of application, manifestation and demonstration in the world of human affairs.
Moving toward the DSC, and approach the energetic of our personal ASC-DSC plane of participation, we come to the conventional seventh house (our clockwise ninth house). This the house of inter-personal relations; of significant others. It is of attraction, the types of relations we are attracted to, and it reveals how we tend to interelate in them.
The third quadrant of the chart, from MC to DSC, is about realization, manifestation and demonstrable interaction in the world, and our relations with others.
Crossing the DSC (day's end, sunset) we move into the fourth quarter of the chart, the evening of our life's day, a time of change and transformation. Here we enter the conventional sixth house (our clockwise tenth house). Being opposite the house of exploration just above the ASC, this house is of what is old, of what have already experienced with need to relinquish or give away. It is where we shed our external facades worn durring the light of day. It is of purification, clarification and transformationand hence also of health.
The next house, the conventional fifth house (our clockwise eleventh house) is of creative expression, conception and reproduction; of where we apply and impart our talents to others. It is also of family and children, and of intimacy and privacy.
The final house just before returning to the IC (midnight), the conventional fourth house (our clockwise twelfth house), reveals the nature of where we rest and retreat, our home, our domicile, where we let it all go, kick back and relax. This is why the IC stars, which are of our foundation, also indicates the nature of the environmental conditions most suitable and nurturing for living. (This environment is also augmented by the ASC and Moon's placement.) This house is of regeneration, death and rebirth, of family heritage.
The last quadrant is about integration, transformation and preparation for a new birth in consciousness.
Free your Natal Cross and let it reside where it should be.
Integrating the above perspective with the "whole sign houses" can bring an entirely new perspective to your life experience, one that may be far more fitting to your true nature. Whole sign houses are simply defined by the ASC's sidereal sign. For example, if you ASC is in Sidereal Capricorn, then your (conventional) first house is the entire sign of Capricorn, etc. In this approach you may notice that your MC-IC axis can reside in different houses altogether, revealing significant insights about the nature and area of life expression these points exemplify. You will also find that the placement of your planets also make much more sense and articulate your actual life experience.
To learn more about the spherical astronomy creating the angles of your astrology chart, visit:
An Introduction to the Great Circles & Personal Points in Your Personalized Star Chart.
©2009 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved