Midheaven's Ruler as a Life Guide

Compass on the ground at sunset
Carmen Martínez Torrón/Getty Images 

The birth chart is like a map, with pathways to the treasure of a fulfilled, happy life. "What's my purpose? What experiences signify my highest path?" The birth chart has clues to this treasure map—the way that's deeply right and satisfying. Some of the markers are:

  • Jupiter the lucky star, for energies that bring bonuses and awards, and a sense that you're walking the right path.
  • The Moon's North Node pulls us into our personal frontier—we're less sure of the way, but have angels and allies as guides.
  • The allure of Venus in the chart is to follow your bliss.

We'll be focusing on the Midheaven - the top of an individual's birth chart, the sign on the 10th house cusp. Stephen Arroyo writes in the Chart Interpretation Handbook that the Midheaven isn't always out there and visible, and when young, it's even hard to relate to the energies. He says, "the Midheaven symbolizes qualities that require effort to attain. It represents achievement, authority, your potential social contribution, and your vocation or 'calling.'"

Real People, Real Charts

The Midheaven can be a point to muse on, in stuck times, or when it seems you're resting on your laurels. Arroyo's suggestion to look at the ruling planet of the Midheaven and the house position of that planet in your birth chart. For example, if your Midheaven is Sagittarius, you'd look at Jupiter's place on the wheel, and its sign. It's important, says Arroyo, because the house position, "so often shows where your real vocation come into clearest focus."

Some signs have a traditional ruler and a modern ruler. Arroyo suggests we look at both. "However," he says, "the sign position of the traditional ruler is usually more important than that of the modern ruler."

Kind Lifer

As an example, let's look at actress Alicia Silverstone's birth chart. The time of birth available for Silverstone has an AA Rodden Rating—the highest—and this is important since the time sets the Midheaven.

She is a Libra (October 4th, 1976), with a Pisces Moon and Aquarius rising. She is known for her animal rights stance and has a house full of rescued dogs.

She's created a community based on her values at The Kind Life. With Aquarius rising, her way of engaging with the world is quirky, taboo-busting, ahead of its time, reform-minded and compassionate.

Her Midheaven is 24 degrees Scorpio—Silverstone has the courage to demonstrate a different way of living. She shares recipes and leading-edge news, as well as being an eco-entrepreneur. In a dead-end culture, she's inspiring others to embrace change.

Scorpio's traditional ruler is Mars; the modern ruler is Pluto. Both her Mars and Pluto are also in Libra, making her one motivated woman! Her Libra Mars is in the 9th house of traveling, teaching, and knowledge from hands-on experience. Her Libra Pluto (shared with her generation) is conjunct her Sun in the 8th house. This gives her a driving intensity to put her whole self into the art of transformation.

The overall chart shows a caring, visionary soul with an urgent drive to evoke and experience change. As an actress, she can experience the metamorphosis of taking on a character. And, as a socially engaged celebrity, she seems to invite a sense of community through her site, to break through anonymity and share experiences.

Another Libra/Pisces Moon celebrity, Gwyneth Paltrow, has a similar social newsletter and lifestyle site, featuring leading-edge ideas about healthy living. And yet, Silverstone hits on controversial topics, like advocating for the growing of hemp in the US as a sustainable material. Perhaps there, despite the glam Libra package, we see hints of the Scorpio wise use of directed power—at the right time—to push the envelope of change.