This is a continuation of my interview with astrologer Barry Cowger as we discuss the purpose of the Midheaven (MC) in an astrological chart, as well as how each of the 12 signs expresses itself at the MC. This article addresses the Aries Midheaven.
Janet Lets start with the Aries Midheaven, Barry. How does Aries express itself in the MC?
Barry With the sign Aries on the MC, there is a natural square here, a stress that is inherent with this sign on the MC. On the one hand, the natural sign of the MC is Capricorn. Capricorn faces the past, metaphorically, and then look forward to bringing tradition, rules and norms of behavior and action into the world--in effect, to conform to whatever these have been in one's family or society or place of work. With Aries on the MC such a person feels the pull of the past, very acutely. They also feel the need to discover something for themselves...something that hasn't been done or that some people might have been afraid to do themselves. Aries on the MC can see themselves as a kind of Heroic figure, a challenger--a person who needs to find out things and go places that other have feared (Capricorn can be a bit fearful or at least more cautious than most) to go, be or actualize. So there are certainly leadership qualities that are in potential inside the person who has Aries on their MC.
Such a person needs to be very careful about taking in or taking on, as gospel, anybody else's view or experience of the 'real world' that the Aries MC person has not discovered for themselves. This does not mean that he or she has 'authority issues'. But it does mean that they are here in this life to form a relationship to their own instinctive, Aries selves. That there are some things that your gut will tell you, which may in fact be wrong. But the important thing here is experience, your experience. 'Wrong' experience is not as important as having the experience. And nobody can tell you about that but you. You can't talk about how an orange tastes until you've had one. Then we can talk. So Aries MC people must be very protective of what can turn out to be their path. There's all kind of people who will tell you this about that and so on.
The limitation with Aries is that it is so unformed so new you might say. As a result, the danger is that they will form relationships with authorities who seem to have a better formed philosophy about life and living. Here they are in danger of losing their own nascent identities in the worldly sense. We all need validation. And Aries on the MC needs very brief, positive reinforcements. But if you know such a person, after you've done so withdraw fairly quickly, lest you be accused of 'interfering' with them! Of trying to 'remake' them in your image. This is what they might be feeling anyhow. So if you know such a person, give them support, tell them to 'figure things out for themselves' and lots of room to make 'mistakes'. They'll love you for it later.
Janet Why do you say Aries is "so unformed...so new"?
Barry Aries is the first sign of the zodiac. Aries is like a new pair of pants that you just bought. You have not worn them before; they don't feel like your own pants. Aries is the 'emergence of identity' the first steps that we all take. This is Aries and it is the foundation of the beginning of experience.
Janet With the example you have given for Aries, how would the placement of Mars affect the MC? How would that look?
Barry For example if you had an Aries MH and Mars, the planetary ruler, was in the 4th house, there is still the need to break new ground (Aries)--to be an explorer, to challenge the status quo in some way. But since Mars is in the 4th House it would be done in ways that would not be so visible to the world. Whatever the person would be or do in the world there would have to be strong emotional, qualitative experience for such a person. In other words, such a person would not be looking for accolades from others or from the world. They would need to feel within themselves that whatever they are doing, career wise, they feel good about it, or that it feeds some deep inner part of their nature. In this way, they feel whole and complete. But such a person would not really care about what others think, or what the world thinks about what they are doing. Such a person is very emotionally inner-directed.
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