©4-17-11 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
We’ve already talked about the way people with a planet closely conjunct the Ascendant are bound to be noticed by those in their immediate environment. What observers see isn’t necessarily the real person—they generally notice the qualities of that 1st house planet, strongly projected at the cost of seeing the whole person. (How Does your First House Give the Wrong Impression?)
The same is true of a planet conjunct the Midheaven within a 10° range on either the 10th house or 9th house side, except that it covers a much wider arena. The Midheaven shows your impact on the public at large, even people who may never meet you or see you in person.
It’s what gets written up in the local newspaper or the alumni newsletter or featured on the corporate website. It’s you as an officer in your club, showing up at the annual fundraiser, resplendent with a new hairdo and a killer outfit. It’s you as the CEO of a corporation that has factories in Costa Rica that you’ve never visited, yet the policies you make impact the lives of the workers there.
When the Midheaven is involved rather than the Ascendant, in short, what you are known for is the role you play in your career or your community, rather than your personality or physical attributes.
Living up to—or Living Down the Dominant Parent
One of the things your Midheaven represents is the dominant parent, whether it’s Mom or Dad, and what kind of a role model they were in pursuing a career. It describes their effect on your career choice and on your success potential.
The effect becomes more complicated when there’s a planet conjunct the Midheaven, because this often shows a parent who was a larger than life figure with a recognizable name in the community.
They may have been notable for their accomplishments, in which case, you’d feel you had to live up to them. Or, they have been notorious for their worst characteristics, in which case, you’d have to live them down. In either case, that planet on the Midheaven puts you in the public eye, and people expect you’ll take after your parent.
High School Heroes and Hotties–How They Fit into the Mix
High school is often the stage of life when our identity starts to emerge and when future career choices and potentials begin to be noticeable. It’s also when we struggle with our relationships with authority figures, trying to establish our separateness and independence.
Since students with planets conjunct the Midheaven are often among the most visible, I’ve also suggested below which roles in the high school hierarchy that each inner planet conjunction to the Midheaven might be assigned. (Some of the same patterns and roles may carry forward into our college experience as well. )
What an Inner Planet on the Midheaven Shows about the Career
Below are some—but by no means all—of the typical scenarios for each of the innermost planets from the Sun to Jupiter. If the description doesn’t ring true, look at the scenarios for other planets that form squares, oppositions, or trines to the Midheaven.
For instance, if you have Mercury conjunct the Midheaven but Mars squares it, you may have some of the traits described under Mars. If you have the Sun on the Midheaven, that’s usually a good thing, UNLESS THE PLANET IS BADLY ASPECTED OR POORLY PLACED in a sign that doesn’t suit it well.
UPBAPP—there, I’ve just made up an abbreviation to use so I don’t have to repeat it for each example, because it’s an important consideration for each of these placements. (You’ll see why UPBAPP is so important when you read some of the stories in the comment section.)
Sun conjunct the Midheaven: UPBAPP, you have a strong presence, and it’s impossible to ignore you. Your natural confidence and poise inspires trust and marks you as the unquestioned person in charge, so you are likely to be promoted into an executive position.
Who were you in High School? Class President, Most Likely to Succeed, Homecoming King.
Who did you have to live up to or live down? Dad, his public persona, CEO of the company, Employee of the year, Lifetime Achievement Award.
Mercury conjunct the Midheaven: UPBAPP, you are a disseminator of information, writer, speaker, the person who knows the newest thing first, and the last person people would be advised to confide their secrets to.
Since Mercury can represent either words or hands, you might also be very skilled in some craft that requires great dexterity, like a master carpenter. Another asset in any field is your salesmanship and ability to talk to anybody about anything.
Who were you in High School? Debate team captain, reporter or gossip columnist for the school paper, class clown.
Who did you have to live up to or live down? A sister or brother who was a big deal in your school and your family and that everyone compared you to. Or, one of your siblings may have taken on some of the parental responsibility for you.
Venus conjunct the Midheaven: UPBAPP, your warmth, charm, and striking appearance make people gravitate to you. Using your social network, you can have lucky breaks based on who you know.
You’d do well in fields where people skills are emphasized, like fashion, modeling, matchmaking, wedding planner, mediator, event coordinator, or hair stylist.
Who were you in High School? Prom Queen or King, Most Popular Girl or Guy.
Who did you have to live up to or live down? Your gorgeous Mom, older sister, aunt or cousin who wore the tiara on the homecoming float. Talented artist or performer.
Mars conjunct the Midheaven: UPBAPP, you are driven, competitive, a natural leader—maybe even the Alpha dog type. You’re happier in physically demanding work than in the drudgery of a desk job.
Who were you in High School? Track star, football captain, MVP, head cheerleader, bully, hunka hunka burnin’ love.
Who did you have to live up to or live down? A competitive, testosterone-oozing male authority figure; a sports champion, gun-collecting hunter, or war hero in the family. An Alpha Dog type, adventurer, or pioneer in some field.
Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven: Like the Sun conjunct the Midheaven, UPBAPP, you have a presence that’s hard to ignore.
Unlike the Sun, people don’t see you as only out for yourself, but instead as someone trying to improve life for others, too, by sharing your faith and wisdom. With an upbeat, positive attitude, you’re highly likely to succeed. You could be a lawyer, teacher, or a motivational speaker, traveling the world.
Who were you in High School? Class Vice President, Editor of the School Paper, Merit Scholar, Valedictorian.
Who did you have to live up to or live down? A parent who was a teacher or lawyer or who, though self-taught, placed a high value on education and self-improvement. A favorite teacher or minister. A metaphysical/spiritual author or guru whose teachings inspired you and changed your life.
A Case Example—the Moon Conjunct the Midheaven
You may have noticed that Moon conjunct the Midheaven wasn’t included in the list above. Astrologers can have blind spots for placements in their own charts, and this, apparently is one of mine, because I do have the Moon close to the Midheaven. It’s in the 9th in Aries, and it tightly squares my 12th house Sun.
I tried to recall who I was in high school, and the simple answer was NOBODY! I did well enough to win a full scholarship to college, but wasn’t the Valedictorian or Salutatorian. Maybe in the top 10, but who remembers even #3 in the class?
I wasn’t President of anything, and my only extracurricular activity was Latin Club. I wasn’t in any of the popular cliques—my friends and I were a bunch of nerds who worked to earn Campfire Girls badges and good grades. For sure, I wasn’t on any sports teams. I was first runner-up for Class Poet—big whoop!
So who was I—and how was I lunar? I was terribly shy and tended to stay in the background.
We were very poor, a fact that seemed to have been readily apparent to my classmates and teachers. I had an early career that was lunar–I babysat about 4 nights a week to pay for my clothing and a bit of fun.
My mother dominated our dysfunctional family, and when she said jump, I said, yes, ma’am, how high? So I didn’t work to live up to her or live her down, I just struggled to find a way to live WITH her until I was old enough to leave home.
So, no, I didn’t stand out, not to my classmates anyway. Maybe the teens are too early an age to be a standout as a lunar type. A lunar standout might be Mother of the Year, or Betty Crocker Bakeoff Winner. Or a feminist pioneer or advice columnist for family problems.
But it’s a 9th house Moon, and from the 3rd grade on, I stood out to my teachers, mainly women, and idolized them. They could see how hard I worked and how determined I was to go to college. They encouraged and supported me, fondly, and I don’t know what would have become of me without their kindness. So, yes, I guess I was lunar.
But What About….
I can almost anticipate some of your questions, so let me answer you now.
You’re probably asking, “What does it mean if an inner planet is in the 10th but not conjunct the Midheaven? Does it mean the same thing? “
I’d say, no, not to such a marked degree. It’s more of a pure vocational indicator—with the same type of careers listed above—but it’s less likely that either you or your parents would be called larger than life figures.
Or, you may want to know, “What if I relocate to a place where an inner planet like Jupiter or Venus is on the Midheaven? Does that ensure my success?”
My answer is: UPBAPP. It depends on what Venus or Jupiter or the Sun is like in your birth chart, because the same pattern will come out in the new location, but in a much higher profile way.
Wherever you go, you take yourself along. A great Venus is a great Venus, and a crappy Venus is a crappy Venus, no matter where you wind up. (A miniseries on relocation astrology starts here: Chart Patterns for Relocation—What’s Yours?)
And, finally, I hear you clamoring, “What about Outer Planets on the Midheaven?” Well, folks, I wrote a whole book on the outer planets in career positions, including detailed consideration of their aspects to the Midheaven. It’s The Outer Planets and Inner Life, Volume One—Outer Planets as Vocational Indicators. It would be well worth a $15 investment. (Moon Maven Publications) I’m just sayin’.
Readers, do you have an inner planet conjunct the Midheaven or know someone who does? Would larger than life describe what it’s like? Tell us about it in the comment section so we can all learn more about how these placements show up in our lives.
Other Articles in the Midheaven Miniseries:
- Midheaven 101—What the 10th House Cusp Shows about You
- Readers Ask—Q & A about the Midheaven
- Readers Ask—Q & A about the 10th House
- The Midheaven/IC Axis: Who Wore the Pants in your Family?
- The Midheaven in Synastry—Meaningful Career Connections
- Neptune Squaring the Midheaven—How It Affects your Career
- Research Question—What did You Want to Be when You Grew Up?
- Career Quiz—Guess the Chart Placements
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