The planets in your birth chart are alive and active. They represent urges and needs and are like actors in a theatre production. Angles on the other hand are sensitive points in your birth chart. Various astrologers have compared them to doors or windows so I'm going to stick with that analogy.
The Ascendant is the sign that was rising over the eastern horizon at the time of your birth. It’s the first impression you make on other people. If you were to imagine a house, the Ascendant is the front door. If you play a game of asking people to guess your Sun sign, they’ll more often than not guess your Ascendant.
Let’s explore this analogy of the Ascendant as the front door of your house. Depending on your Rising Sign here’s what you’re hoping for each time you open the front door:
Aries: A fight. A business opportunity. An opportunity to win something (or someone).Taurus: Money. Freshly baked goods. A pot plant.Gemini: A delicious bit of gossip. Exciting news.Cancer: A hug. Food delivery. Gifts of food (especially baked goods).Leo: Praise. Gifts of appreciation.Virgo: Personal Trainer. Tools or craft supplies. Books. Libra: Beauty products. An endorsement deal. Another mirror.Scorpio: Very close friends or immediate family. A black box of secrets.Sagittarius: An invitation to explore the world. Books.Capricorn: Security Personnel. The camera installation guy. Accolades. Expensive wine.Aquarius: Friends. Electrifying news. Books.Pisces: Crystals. A unicorn. Tarot reading friends.
In Ancient times, the Ascendant was considered more important than your Sun sign. This makes sense when you consider that the Ascendant is the sign of Self. It reveals your self-awareness as well as your creative urges and goals.
The Ascendant also reveals your physical appearance.
Aries: Strong, muscular body. Angular features.Taurus: Broad shoulders. Prominent forehead, lips, eyebrows or nose.Gemini: Flexible, slim build and long fingers. Cancer: Round face. Stout body.Leo: Strong chin. Lots of hair or Big Hair.Virgo: Dark eyes. Smartly dressed.Libra: Usually very attractive. Dimples. Slender.Scorpio: Penetrating gaze. Sharp nose. Sagittarius: Often very tall. Thick hair.Capricorn: Usually short. Deep set dark eyes. Serious appearance.Aquarius: Usually tall and slim they have unusual looks or a large face.Pisces: Beautiful dreamy eyes. A very soft appearance.
The Descendant is the back door that the people closest to us use to get into the house. The Descendant is the opposite of the Ascendant and is associated with the 7th House which is the house of relationships. The Ascendant is always the 1st House which is the House of ‘Me” and the Descendant is in the House of the “Other”. The sign on the descendant suggests the type of partner you are attracted to.
MC (Medium Coeli)
The MC or Midheaven is the rooftop of the house. Medium Coeli means “middle of the sky” in Latin. It’s where we are most visible to the world. It’s related to the 10th House and pertains to all matters outside the home. The Midheaven reveals what you are admired for. In other words the esteem with which you are held by others. The MC also reveals important information regarding your vocation. (Although aligning with your vocation depends on a lot more factors in your chart. You have to look at your chart holistically). The MC symbolizes the future in your chart.
IC (Imum Coeli)
The IC is opposite the MC. Imum Coeli means ‘bottom of the sky” and using the same analogy is the door to the basement. This is Shadow terrain (along with the 8th and 12th houses). The IC is related to the 4th House of Home and reveals what kind of home you had as a child and also the kind of home you make for yourself. It is the house of repression and heritage.
The four angles orient you in the world and create what is referred to as the Cross of Matter (The Angular Houses). To manifest your potential in this lifetime you have to consciously respond to your angle placements.