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ASC. vs. M.C.

Aside from the Sun and the Moon, the two most important points in any horoscope are the Ascendant and the Midheaven, or Medium Coeli (M.C.). The first reveals the person’s “outer” personality, the version of him or herself that is projected out into the world. The latter show us the identity that is projected onto that person by the outside world. In other words, the Ascendant is how we wish to be seen and the Midheaven is how we are seen.

What makes the distinction between these two points so important is the fact that in most horoscopes the sign ruling the Ascendant is going to be in a square aspect to the sign ruling the Ascendant. That means that the two sigsn are going to of the same Quality but of different Elements. This implies different aims, conflict and a general lack of agreement.

Take for example a person with Aries on the Ascendant. Depending on where and when the person was born, it is likely that his or her Midheaven will be in Capricorn. With Aries on the Ascendant the person will want to project the image of a leader, an individualist and, generally, an exciting person to be around. However, with Capricorn on the Midheaven people will be inclined to see the person as hard working and reliable, a person who always plays it safe and is actually pretty boring.

This conflict can be modified when there are planets in the First House (ruled by the Ascendant) or in the Ten House (ruled by the M.C.)For example, Donald Trump has Leo on his Ascendant. He wants to project an image that is gloriously heroic and maybe a little pompous. His Midheaven is ruled by Taurus, a sign that is too practical for heroics. But Trump’s Sun is placed in the Tenth House and, since the Sun rules Leo, that brings some of Leo’s golden glow (and pomposity) to the image the public projects on him.

Barack Obama, on the other hand, has Aquarius on his Ascendant. He seeks to project the image of a cool intellectual, a man who understands the “big” ideas. However his M.C. is in Scorpio so it was easy for the Republican Party to cast him as a man with deep, dark secrets, regarding his place of birth, his religion and his how he used the power of his office. Even people who supported Obama were critical of his failure to close Guantanamo, his deportation of illegal immigrants and his use of drones to conduct what amounted to political assassinations.

Of course, all of this is influenced by other factors in the horoscope. Along with planets placed in the First and Tenth houses, we also have to consider aspects to those planets and aspects to the rulers of the Ascendant and Midheaven. However, in many cases, a simple examination of the difference between the sign on the Ascendant and the sign on the M.C. can tell us a lot about why the image a person seeks to project in to the world fails to match the image the world projects on him or her.