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 Leo Midheaven.
Janet: So let's take a look at the Leo Midheaven. Barry, how would this placement express itself in an individual's life?
Barry: Leo MC people feel, instinctively, that they have a ‘special destiny’ to fulfill. They feel that they are slated to do something outstanding, remarkable and to some degree, attain a level of acknowledgement in the social sphere that has been destined to them from birth. And that’s really the key word here, ‘acknowledgement’. Now, someone can achieve a degree of fame and actually make a significant contributory role within society. But from a developmental point of view if they felt that they did not get the degree of attention or recognition that they in fact had a right to have –then no matter how much they do or how high they climb, you have a pretty miserable Lion. So one of the core dynamics of Leo is positive acknowledgement. This is so important for Leo MC people to experience.
To understand the dynamics of Leo, picture an image of the Sun in the middle of the solar system and all Moons and planets revolving around it. Naturally, the Sun feels special, important or indispensable for everything to run smoothly. But on the other hand if certain early parental dynamics were set up in which the authority figure in question (MC is symbolic of the role of any authority figure in the person’s life) was lees than supportive, or in extreme cases living through the child’s creativity, looks, intelligence or anything else the child is capable of, then you have a unique opportunity to know the basis for feelings of specialness that don’t ever seem to get fulfilled not matter how professionally successful such a person would become in adult life. So this is the set up that we need to know about if we are to actualize the Leo MC’s social role.
So with Leo MC’s it’s also about their ability to share what they know with others (to not keep it to themselves, or hoard their knowledge and experience) so that others can gain a sense of being strong enough and confident enough within themselves to break away from and in a sense, achieve their own orbits in life. A Leo MC person is attracted to strong and vibrant types. They themselves wish for some of that fire and energy. But the Leo MC person also needs to find their own way and in other cases to help people define and create their own create centers. For some Leo MC people this is a tough and often life-long teaching. You could say that he or she has become a positive authority, and would begin to attract people who would not allow the Leo MC person to cower (like the cowardly Lion!) from their own creative nature. Leo MC people can be very generous. But they can also be very stingy to others (based on their own insecurities) for the reasons stated above.
By contrast, a person who is ‘full’--who is extremely generous and giving, especially when it comes to helping others achieve their goals and aspirations--can become historically great. More commonly however, the Leo MC person needs to acknowledge themselves and what they know in their hearts so that they can begin to make their own contributions to the world. It’s just that Leo MC people have this strange propensity to attract more powerful people who tend to ‘reign in’ the strength, power and confidence that Leo MC people already have, but may not yet know it. In these cases, they have lessons to begin to accept their own power, strength and self-confidence.
In this case, they have evolved beyond ‘attention getting’ behaviors, as if they are always seeing themselves through the eyes others, to a more self-centered, authentic or heart centered person.
Janet: The South Node is where a person is "coming from"...often a past life influence. What would be the differences between a SN Leo (which I am) and a MC Leo (which I am not)? They sound rather similar.
Barry: Yes, the South Node is often seen as the 'facilitator' to one's soul purpose. Somewhat like a butler or maid helping the master or lady of the house helping things to run smoothly. The South Node is both a point of security (it's the node of the moon herself of course) and a point at which a person can evolve and grow as they bring the skills and talents of the past into the present. But as with all South Nodes what we are most comfortable with can also be our own prison, as we often tend to repeat and recreate the past in the present. This is why we often grow only a little bit each life, because we are usually recreating our lives through old habits and responding the same way over and over.
The MC is not as attached to our navels as is the south node. The MC is more about how we are able (or not) to integrate our own personal lives into a larger social context. Or in some cases, not to integrate much at all. The MC is about our lives as we relate (or not) to the powers that be. To integrate our own way or doing things into the way things have been done or are being done. This can be difficult for many. Some signs are better at this than others! The SN is about our lives as we relate (or not) to our own personal or trans-historical lives, or past lives, and how much we are able to bring that past into the present without recreating the past in the present.
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