Ascendant and Midheaven

This post will be an exclusive look at the Round Art’s interpretations of the Ascendant and Midheaven. This is particularly poignant in the context of relocation astrology because if you relocated a significant distance from your birthplace, your Ascendant and Midheaven are more likely to change.

Someone who I’m seeing has a Leo rising and an Aries midheaven relocated about the same distance as me — from the East Coast to the front range of Colorado. It’s about thirty degress from her birthplace, like me, and every single one of her planets moved one house, but, just as importantly, her ascendant relocated to Cancer and her midheaven relocated to Pisces.

Let’s define the ascendant and midheaven before we proceed. The ascendant is the point on the horizon where the Sun would be rising, at the time of your birth, that day; it isn’t going to be directly east unless we’re at the equinox. In the spring and summer, it will be north of east, especially at the summer solstice; in the fall and winter, it will be south of east, especially at the winter solstice.

The midheaven is the point in the sky where the Sun would be at its highest point. Unless we’re in the tropics, that won’t be directly overhead; north of the tropic of Cancer it’s going to be directly south. And if it’s near the winter solstice it could be very low in the sky. The planets mostly follow pretty close to the ecliptic (the path of the Sun) and the midheaven is a significant point.

The ascendant is the cusp of the 1st house, and the midheaven is the cusp of the 10th house. The ascendant has been likened to our “astrological mask,” the face we put out to the world. Some cultures (like Vedic astrologers) have prioritized the ascendant as more important than the Sun sign, and as the “real you,” rather than the mask. And as the 1st house corresponds with Aries, that might make sense.

In any case, in the interpretations that I use, having a Pisces sun but a Leo rising creates quite a dichotomy, as this person is able to exhibit individuality, dominance and strength, hiding the dreamy, poetic, intuitive person within. The woman who I know who has that combination was able to build a successful business, not the stereotype of Pisces; she would tend to reveal herself in personal matters to be a very different and tender person.

The midheaven, being the cusp of the 10th house, is the house of career and social station in life, the house of ambition; the tenth house corresponds with Capricorn and it has everything to do with how we gain success.

Bearing that in mind, I’m going to quote from the Round Art (A.T. Mann) which is one of my favorite sources and one I draw on quite a bit at this blog. You should not overlook Jeanne Avery’s “The Rising Sign, Your Astrological Mask,” a book which discusses each rising sign through full prose, as opposed to the adjectives A.T. Mann uses (some of which come across very bluntly).

Rising signs (Ascendants):

  • Aries: restless environment, assertive power, ambition, ardour, quick temper, forceful speaker; rash, fanatical, independent, versatile, quarrelsome, aggressive, violent.
  • Taurus: love of beauty, harmonious environment, land, security, domesticity, obstinacy, avarice; practical, self-reliant, sensual, depressive, indulgent, dogmatic, prejudiced, egotistical, taciturn, magnetic.
  • Gemini: quick responses, versatility, vivaciousness; adaptable, mobile, talkative, inconstant, communicative, artistic, superficial, highly-strung, restless.
  • Cancer: sensitivity, rich home life, dependency, shyness; mediumistic, impressionable, moody, changeable, sympathetic, protective, humble, dedicated, affectionate, gentle, introverted.
  • Leo: self-glorification, leadership, courage, extroversion, hedonism, generosity, nobility; impressive, fun-loving, confident, magnetic, dignified, open, fair, motivated, pretentious, arrogant, pushy.
  • Virgo: discretion, stability, caution, reserve; observant, critical, shy, articulate, precise, painstaking, hygenic, pedantic, prejudiced, tidy, anxious.
  • Libra: harmonious environment, attractive appearance, charm, flattery, work aversion, vanity, craves approval; agreeable, sociable, indolent, meddlesome, pleasure-loving, saccharine, relaxed, gushing.
  • Scorpio: aggressive environment, passion, industry, reserve, caution, quick decision, violence; hot-blooded, secretive, magnetic, sexual, conservative, wilful, brutal, untiring, impulsive.
  • Sagittarius: enthusiasm, joie-de-vivre, broad aims, good humour, expansiveness, independence, travel, love of nature; sporting, garrulous, haphazard, social, gentlemanly, messy, lively, adventurous, articulate.
  • Capricorn: concentration, tenacity, expediency, seriousness, inhibition, work capacity, bad humour; goal-conscious, reserved, hard-working, ambitious, unhappy, pragmatic, unspontaneous, anxious.
  • Aquarius: reforms environment, communal sense, sociableness, group-orientated, friendly, reasonable, progressive, sympathetic, good-hearted, pleasant, intellectual, inventive, radical, eccentric.
  • Pisces: self-sacrifice, lack of self-confidence, determined by external influences, depression, vagueness, laziness, quiet comforts; receptive, peculiar, lonely, simple, passive, weak, sympathetic, gentle.


  • Aries: established individuality, awareness of objectives, ambition, confidence; precipitate, conceited, optimistic, domineering.
  • Taurus: persistent pursuit of aims, striving for security, slow development, difficult to please, strong will; tenacious, stubborn, artistic, conservative, plodding, patient.
  • Gemini: manifold aims, periodic creativity, changing goals, multiple professions; indecisive, talented, facile, unstable, dilatory, eclectic.
  • Cancer: simplicity, tactfulness, modesty, thrift; responsible, concerned, conservative, dedicated, emotional, slow, clinging, avaricious.
  • Leo: self-confidence, social climbing, optimism, egotism; organized, ambitious, generous, proud, domineering, rigid, selfish, aspiring.
  • Virgo: striving for a secure livelihood, tidiness, organization, dissatisfaction, intellectual professions, susceptible to flattery; hypersensitive, petty, conservative, unspontaneous, moral.
  • Libra: advancement through others, fortunate connections, cooperation, craves recognition, shared enterprises; harmonious, reliant, diplomatic, exploitative, artistic, fortunate, manipulating.
  • Scorpio: perseverance, industry, independence, ambition, self-willed, acquisitive, energetic, ruthless, compulsive, destructive, domineering, purposeful.
  • Sagittarius: aspiration, idealism, high standards, planning power, extended thought, spiritual growth; ambitious, noble, changeable, future-orientated, utopian, optimistic, impractical, undependable.
  • Capricorn: self-confidence, loneliness, tenacity, overwork, ambition, selfishness; self-centered, sober, prosaic, unimaginative, conscientious, driven, ungratified, reliable.
  • Aquarius: mania for innovations, many plans, scattered energies, humanitarianism, vague ideas; modern, aspiring, unrealistic, undisciplined, hopeful, future-orientated, unrealized.
  • Pisces: waiting and hoping, passive attitude, advance through luck, lack of clarity, lack of goal-consciousness; unambitious, impressionable, philosophical, procrastinating, tolerant, kindly.

Keep in mind that in the majority of cases, the midheaven is three signs behind the ascendant. If the ascendant is close to the Gemini-Cancer cusp it might be four; if the ascendant is close to the Sagittarius-Capricorn cusp it might be two. But in the majority it is three and that indicates signs in opposite polarity to each other. Having a Pisces rising with a Sagittarius midheaven, or a Libra rising with a Cancer midheaven, presents unique situations and opposites in one’s character.

I cannot recommend Jeanne Avery’s The Rising Sign enough. It’s a 1982 book that discusses each ascendant in prose, or essay form, making some of the most insightful description of a person’s character or being, filling out the descriptors above. It’s also interesting in how it describes the process of how you get an astrological chart done via computer, in 1982!

By David Muir

David Muir recieved his PAC as a 2020 graduate of the Avalon School in Vibrational Astrology. He has been a practicing astrologer having studied astrology since 1997. He specializes in relocation astrology, particularly in terms of how both one's character and external influences change in a new location. He has interests in compatibility, and just generally “getting the necessary information out there for you,” which can entail personology as well as different interpretations in general. David writes a 2x/weekly blog in both relocation astrology and other astrological topics of interest, on

David received a BA from Carlow University in 2011 with concentrations in philosophy, writing, and political science. He does a 2x/month radio show and has lived in Denver, CO since 2016.

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