What are the angles in astrology ?
The angles in astrology refer to the thicker lines through your chart that divide it in half vertically and horizontally or into different hemispheres.
Whilst the houses (the pie-shaped sections in your chart labelled 1-12) are not entirely rooted in scientific reality the angles represent real placements that can be measured based on the horizon at the time of your birth.
The angles are also known as the Natal Cross, Incarnation Cross, or the Cross of Matter. The study of Human Design also gives these angles prominence.
Where are the angles in your chart?
The angles are generally placed at approximately 3,6,9 and 12 o’clock however, depending on where you were born it can appear to be a bit less centred in the chart circle.
The Ascendant (also known as AC, ASC or your rising) divides the chart in half horizontally and stretches across to the Descendant (DC or DSC) and represents Self vs. Other or how you balance your need to individuate with cooperating with others.
The Mid-Heaven (also known as Medium Coeli or MC) divides the chart in half vertically down to the Immum Coeli (also known as IC or nadir) and represents your personal integration vs social function or how your home base supports your professional expression.
Each angle point (AC, IC, DC & MC) represents a specific aspect of your life and the sign that each of the angles is in tells us something about you.
How to find your angles
The AC or Ascendant Angle – I am
This point determines your “Rising sign” and tells us a lot about your self-awareness and identity – in other words, how you appear to the world, how others perceive you, the social mask you wear, and what attracts others to you.
Many astrologers give the sign at this point more credence or prominence than the sign of your sun.
As an example, if you have Aries on the AC (in other words are an Aries rising) you might appear very brave, bold, and fiery to others but this might be a mask of confidence that hides your true nature.
My Ascendant is in Virgo and what people tend to notice about me is my organisation and planning ability as well as a fairly classic style, however, all this planning and organisation can mask an underlying lack of confidence and a need to “control”.
The IC or Imum Coeli Angle – I function within
Imum Coeli means “bottom of the sky” and this point tells us about your ancestry, your early family life and your sense of security, roots and foundations.
Often known as your home point or home line as it marks the beginning of the 4th house of Home and Family. It represents the most private part of your chart.
It tells us about the environment that you learnt to function within, the boundaries, the norms, the rules and culture.
This point is very important when looking at your natal chart and also for karmic and ancestral readings.
As an example, if you have Cancer on the IC you are likely someone who is a homebody, feels a need to create a nurturing and secure home environment and you likely had a strong mother figure.
My IC is in Sagittarius and this speaks to my ancestry of philosophical, wise seekers but also in the current day a family who love to learn, be educated and travel. I can also draw connections to the blunt nature of family dynamics and also a sense of inner security that is never quite stable – despite the fact my parents have been in the same house since I was 2 years old. There is definitely the fire element to my family of origin!
The DC or Descendant Angle – I relate
The Descendant tells us about how you relate to others and the types of people that you are attracted to and are compatible with.
It tells us about your emotional intelligence in relationships and what you are like and what you seek in relationships.
This angle is also known as the love point or love line because it intersects and marks the beginning of the 7th House of Marriage and Partnership.
As an example, if you have Libra on the DC you are likely someone who looks for harmony and beauty in relationships. You are likely attracted to “beautiful people” and value someone’s sense of style and the way they look after themselves. Ultimately you want harmony in relationships – you don’t want the passion fuelled relationship that perhaps a Scorpio DC person might! Make love not war might be your relationship mantra!
My DC is in Pisces and this helped me to understand why as I went through my spiritual awakening I was feeling really drawn to highly Pisces Types – spiritual, soulful, sensitive and creative people are the types of people I admire and desire to be like. Looking at my own relationship – my husband is quite a sensitive person, easily hurt and he attaches meaning to everything – very Piscean!
The MC or Mid-Heaven Angle – I function in society
Medium Coeli or Mid-Heaven means “middle of the sky” and this point tells us about your public self. The AC is how others see you but the MC is about how you want others to see you and the public persona that you actively put out into the world.
Also known as your career zone as it intersects the 10th House of Career and Public Recognition the sign of the MC tells us a lot about your ideal business or career and the ways in which you can gain prominence and recognition.
The MC also tells us about your place or position in society and your reputation more generally because of-course not everyone works in a business or career or is working all of their lives!
As an example, if you have Leo on your MC you might be quite outgoing in your career or business and feel comfortable being visible. You might have a career as a musician or actor as recognition and entertaining others is likely important to you. You are meant to shine not be behind the scenes and I hate to say it but you likely have quite the ego!
My MC is in Gemini, and what I have learned about Gemini MC people is that they are usually multi-passionate, can have multiple strengths and offerings, and tend to get bored easily. Gemini MC types are often found in careers relating to marketing, branding and design and PR, or as public speakers or writers. Embracing my Gemini MC meant embracing my multi-passionate nature and my call to work which utilises various forms of communication. It meant embracing being quite out there in my business even though on a personal level I am quite an introvert.
What does it mean when I have a planet on an angle?
If you have a planet conjunct (within 0-5 degrees) of one of the angles then the way this angle plays out in your life will be coloured by the nature of this planet. The closer the conjunction the stronger the influence.
In other words they add another layer of meaning to the angle in question.
As an example I have Neptune approx 3-4 degrees from my IC line. Neptune brings a haze or disillusionment to whatever it touches and there can be the potential for addictive behaviours and escapism. It can also indicate spiritual or creative gifts.
I have always felt a little bit like the odd one out in my family (I’m one of 5 kids), as a kid I always felt sad about my lack of relationship with my older siblings and as an adult I feel disillusioned and disheartened by the family dynamics.
There is absolutely a tendency for escapist and addictive behaviours in my family of origin and mental health issues are also quite prominent.
My uncle actually had paranoid schizophrenia triggered by drug use whilst traveling (Very Neptune on the IC in Sagittarius!). I also think for all of us travel is a way of escaping the mundane in our lives.
How to interpret your angles
- First write down each angle and the sign they are in and apply the personality of the sign to the focus or domain of each angle. For help with descriptions of each sign download my astrology basics guide below. Think about what your angle signs might mean about your identity, home, relationships and career.
- Look to see whether you have any planets within 5 degrees of your angles and think about what the domain of that planet might mean for this part of your life. For help with descriptions of each planet download my astrology basics guide below.
If you enjoyed learning about the angles you will love my Foundations of Astrology course over at the Embodied Soul Astrology Academy – click here to find out more.