What Your Astrological Midheaven Says About How You Show Up In Work & Life
Ever heard of the astrological midheaven? This lofty aspect of your birth chart speaks to your goals, dreams, and natural inclinations in your professional life. It can also offer a lot of insight into your life path more generally.
Here's what the midheaven is all about, how to calculate where yours falls, and what it means for your career and life path.
What your midheaven means.
The midheaven rules your 10th house, which deals with the legacy you're meant to leave behind. On your birth chart, it's symbolized by "MC," which stands for Medium Coeli (or "middle of heaven"). The placement is determined by the highest point in your chart when you were born—so it's not actually a planet or even a constellation.
As the AstroTwins explain, this portion of the chart is all about your "career, worldly ambitions, public image, and status." It's the most public part of your personality out in the greater world, and it can lend some insight into what career path you might want to pursue, what you'll be known for, or where you could succeed professionally.
Why it's important.
When thinking about the midheaven, not only can it help guide you in your career, but as astrologer Molly Pennington Ph.D. tells mbg, understanding yours can clue you into what kind of reputation you're really meant to leave behind.
Whenever the AstroTwins offer career readings or classes, for instance, they note that what people "really long to do—their secret wish if they had a million dollars and could start tomorrow—is what their midheaven shows."
And while both your midheaven and rising sign are similar to an extent, as they're both outer-facing aspects of one's personality, the rising sign is more about first impressions and interpersonal aspects of your personality, while the midheaven is much more about public image and legacy.
How to calculate your midheaven
- Use your birth date, time, and location to calculate your natal chart.
- In your chart, look for a vertical line marked by an "MC."
- Whichever sign the line intersects with is your midheaven, as it's the sign that was in the midheaven (directly above you) when you were born.
Aries is a cardinal fire sign ruled by Mars. According to Pennington, this midheaven placement makes for someone who really likes to take initiative professionally. "Their careers can range from something very physical, like an athlete or a coach, to something like teaching, or even sales or leadership," she says, adding, "It's going to be broad but the key things that we're looking at are a sense of fiery energy, initiative, and courage."
As astrologer and author of Cosmic Health Jennifer Racioppi explains to mbg, it's also a good idea to take note of where Mars is in your chart, since it rules the Aries midheaven. "Understanding your Mars sign is a great thing for anyone with Aries on the midheaven because they'll need to access a healthy version of their Mars to move forward in the ways they want to impact in the world," she says.
Taurus is a fixed Earth sign ruled by Venus. Being the planet of beauty and pleasure, those are important themes when thinking about the Taurus midheaven, Racioppi explains. "If you're a Taurus midheaven it's really important to have a value-based career—and also relate to beauty as well," she notes.
And as Pennington explains, this placement also wants a career that's grounding, so probably not idea-based, but rather tangible, such as something you can do with your hands or body. "I think of things like cooking, even something like party planning—things that are very pleasurable and have to do with the senses, so even a musician, arborist, or interior designer," she tells mbg.
Gemini is a mutable air sign ruled by Mercury. Pennington notes the name of the game here is both variety and communication. And because Gemini is symbolized by the twins, this midheaven could have a career that has two distinct sides, such as acting or even a translator. Technology and media will also appeal to this placement, she adds.
Racioppi notes if you have a Gemini midheaven, you'll want to find Mercury in your chart and figure out how you best communicate, as it'll be important for your public life. "It's really important that they're doing something that allows them to excel in communication. Anyone with a Gemini midheaven is somewhat of a linguist—but that's really for them to define [in their own way]," she says.
Cancer is a cardinal water sign, and it's the only sign ruled by the moon, which deals with emotions. According to Pennington, those with a Cancer midheaven will likely be attracted to careers in which they can nurture or be caregivers. And this can look like a lot of different jobs or paths, but one in which they can empathize and do something with heart behind it is ideal.
"There's something about providing a service that allows people to feel cared for when it comes to how you show up in the world and what you're known for," Racioppi explains, adding, "Don't be afraid to work from home, because Cancer is [all about] the home, and you may be your most famous self from your couch."
Leo is a fixed fire sign, and the only sign ruled by the Sun. When thinking about a Leo midheaven, think big, bold, and shiny—just like the Sun that rules it. "These people are truly here to shine in their profession and in their life—to own their identity, be a leader, and uplift others," Racioppi says.
Whether it's being on a stage, or performing in any way, really, that's where this placement will thrive. This could also mean leaders or managers of some kind, as they like to be "out in front," Pennington adds. "So people who are in charge of a lot of other people, performers, or even teaching others to be on stage too," she explains, adding, "I would associate this with someone who is in front of the camera, rather than behind the scenes."
Virgo is a mutable Earth sign, and is the other sign (along with Gemini) ruled by Mercury. "It's a different version of Mercury than Gemini," Racioppi explains, adding, "Gemini is about communication, while Virgo is about distilling information at its most refined. As a Virgo midheaven you're best at really amplifying your ability to work in details of precision and strategy."
That precision and attention to detail makes this placement great for fields like science, medicine, design—really anything where they can get down to the nitty-gritty and work with things that are grounded or material, according to Pennington. "The Virgo mindset is going to see the bigger picture, all the way down to the kind of granular or cellular level of things. They're going to be able to put the time and care into it—and Virgo kind of sees things that that others don't," she adds.
Libra is a cardinal air sign, and the other sign (along with Taurus) ruled by Venus. But where Taurus is more concerned with beauty, pleasure, and sensuality, Libra relates to the side of Venus that's about justice, fairness, and balance. "It's the version of Venus that's gonna fight for the underdog," as Racioppi puts it.
Pennington notes that Libra has strong listening skills and a sense of justice, as well as an ability to be empathetic and create a safe space for people. With that in mind, she says, they make great mediators, judges, therapists, or anything that otherwise brings people together. "They're really able to put themselves in another person's position and that's why they're good at socializing and listening," she adds.
Scorpio is a fixed water sign ruled by both Mars and Pluto. Pennington notes that this is a pretty intense midheaven to have, as Scorpio is really not afraid to dive into the depths and explore the darker sides of life. A Scorpio midheaven, then, will reflect this, she says. Being a detective, forensic scientist, archeologist, or even the owner of a spooky occult shop would all be up a Scorpio midheaven's alley, she says.
Funny enough, Racioppi also notes the detective route makes sense for this placement, and adds it ultimately comes down to their ability "hold space for the dark, the ugly, the bereaved—all the darkness—and bring wisdom to the table." This is a complicated placement, she adds, "because the midheaven is really where you shine, and Scorpio is where you're private—so Scorpio midheaven really has to reconcile the need to be seen and the need to be of service with their own inner guidance."
Sagittarius is a mutable fire sign ruled by Jupiter. According to Pennington, this is a sign that loves to philosophize, travel, explore, and expand—so any career involving those things is a good fit. "There's an optimism with Sagittarius as well," she notes, adding, jobs where you can keep exploring new themes and new ideas are ideal. "There's a sense of a real adventurous, exploratory kind of joy that's able to change course," she explains.
Racioppi adds that a Sagittarius midheaven makes for someone who's here to inspire and uplift others, as well, such as a coach, clergyman or woman, or professor. "It's someone whose purpose in this lifetime is to inspire us to get up off the couch and out into the world," she notes.
Capricorn is a cardinal earth sign ruled by Saturn. According to Racioppi, when you think Saturn, think hard work and discipline—which is what you'll get with a Capricorn midheaven. Pennington jokes that many of the Capricorn rising and MC's she's known have designed chairs at one point or another—which is a good analogy for what this placement is all about.
The midheaven here will enjoy careers with a good amount of structure and tradition, potentially even opting for institutional jobs such as within the law or banking. This placement makes a hard worker who wants to get the job done right the first time, for results that last, Pennington explains. "There's a sense of wanting it to be good and right—to be the best that something can be—but it has to be done right and you have to go slow, so nothing quick and sloppy," she adds.
Aquarius is a fixed air sign ruled by Uranus (and Saturn, depending who you ask). Pennington explains this placement can lend itself to a variety of fields, from tech, to research, to even politics or community organization. This is a future-oriented and humanity-oriented placement, so those are the kinds of careers best suited for an Aquarius midheaven. The energy of this sign is almost always unconventional, too, which is worth keeping in mind.
"These are people who are here to do it differently," Racioppi explains, adding, "Because they're answering to Uranus, and Uranus is out-of-the-box thinking, think careers in broadcasting, astrology, humanitarian services—they want to conceptualize how to solve problems," she explains. "But Aquarius is the designer, the engineer—not the actual person digging the ditch," she adds.
And last but not least, we have Pisces, which is a mutable water sign ruled by Neptune. "These are artists, feelers, mystics, or dreamers," Racioppi tells mbg. "Pisces on the midheaven is a deep invitation to express and truly love—accessing love and being a conduit for that," she explains.
Pennington adds you can think about things like music, art, poetry, film, fashion—anything along those lines. "There's a real artistic bent to this sign, and to me, that lets you 'tip things upside down,' or see things from a completely different perspective," she explains, adding, "Whatever career the Pisces midheaven takes, there's a sense of artistry, flow, and lyricism in whatever they're doing."
We've all checked our daily horoscopes, and maybe even tried to figure out our astrological compatibility with a crush—but how often do we turn to astrology for actionable insight into our life path? By taking a look at your midheaven, you may be surprised (or unsurprised) by how much your MC resonates with your deepest wishes and your true purpose here on Earth.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.