Copyright © 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 Cross--the 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 lives--the 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 world--from 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.
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 consciousness--revealing 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 world--a 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.
In contrast to counter-clockwise house rotation, which is fitting to the aspiring personality looking upward, seeking soul-level awareness, clockwise house rotation is far more fitting if we are exploring soul-level sidereal astrology, as we are looking down from soul-level awareness upon incarnate life. With clockwise house rotation we are facing the movement of the planets, embracing their energetics, 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.
A few Options here:
If you have a Personalized Astronomical Star Chart, you can use a ruler and draw a vertical line through your Personal Cross nodes and through the planets in your star chart to see the stars they conjoin. The ecliptical latitude of a star does not change how influential it is.
If you have a sidereal astrology chart and you know the sidereal placement (sidereal signs and degrees) of your Personal Cross angles and of the other points and planets in your chart, and you knwo which stars conjoin those points in your chart, you can search for the star names and/or sidereal sign names using the search feature on the Lunar Planner Home Page to find articles or monthly lunar planner archives where I may have written about them. Explore the stellar themes, where they express in your chart, and contemplate how what you explore fits (or doesn't) with your life experience. Start with your personal Cross stars, and then explore the star alignments with your planets. As you explore the stellar details of your chart, a picture will start to emerge that provides detailed insight into your life experience and what you are doing on Earth from your soul's perspective.
It you do not have a sidereal astrology chart or are unable to make one, you can get a free one from astro.com. Go to their site, select "Free Charts" under the "Astrodienst Services" menu. Be sure to enter your birth data first, and then select the "Extended Chart Selection." There you can select the "Fagan/Bradley Geocentric Sidereal" chart option in the zodiak dropdown menu. You can also add asteroids and dwarf planets of your choice.
Note that the longitudes in a sidereal chart calculated with the Fagan/Bradley Ayanamsa will differ by 0° 14' from the star longitudes in my Star Catalog (if you are using it to get star longitudes)--which are based on the "Galactic Ayanamsa." To correct for this, subtract 0° 14' from the longitudes in the Fagan/Bradley sidereal chart. You can then use Star Catalog to find the stars that conjoin the planets and personal points in your sidereal astrology chart.
Example: if your Venus is at 10° 30' sidereal Virgo using the Fagan/Bradley yanamsa, then 10° 30' - 00° 14' = 10° 16' Virgo. Or if your Venus is at 10° 04', then 10° 04' - 00° 14' = 09° 50'. More info about Ayanamsas can be found on the Sidereal Astrology web page.
Of course if you prefer the Fagan/Bradley Ayanamsa, you can add 00°14' to my Star Catalog longitudes.
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.
Copyright © 2009 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved