This is often called the rising sign. It lies between the 12th and 1st house. It is the point of the rising Sun on the horizon and thusly the house of the rising self. The rising sign is the I AM of the native. I like to explain the Ascendant as the the moment where the self comes from the deepest trench (12th house) and Ascends into the heavens (1st house). It’s direction is East. The rising sign communicates who we are to the world. It’s the face we present. The person we are deduced to be by others. It’s ourself, our persona and our self expression. The Ascendant will greatly influence the native’s personality. The Ascendant point will progress counter clockwise through the Zodiac wheel at an average rate of one degree per 1.25 years.
This is often called the DC or the descending sign. It lies between the 6th and the 7th house. It is the point opposite the ascending Sun and represents partnerships, relationships of all kinds, enemies, contracts and legal matters. It’s direction is West. In Karmic based Astrology it often signifies where the native has most recently traveled from. . It could also be used during transit readings regarding career or contractual issues. In predictive Astrology many of life’s lessons may lie on the DC. It can be thought of as the doorway you’ve just walked through. The Descendant moves opposite the Ascendant in the same counter clockwise manner.
Almost always called the MC, the Midheaven is a very important point in the wheel. It lies between the 9th and 10th houses. It rotates counter clockwise and represents the highest point the in sky. The Midheaven represents spiritual goals, values, career dreams, fame, aspirations, success and the highest self. It’s direction is North. The MC could be called the crown of the native’s chart. It relates to Spiritual exploration and the success of the soul. But it also is tied to the successes of the career. Those with stellums surrounding the MC may be greatly admired or even famous. A transit over the MC is said to effect the career depending on the planetary body or bodies involved. The MC trails the Ascendent and sits between the AC/DC lines opposite the IC.
The Imum Coeli
Typically only referred to as the IC this point lies between the 3rd and the 4th house. The name Imum Coeli is latin for bottom of the sky. The IC represents the lowest point where the ecliptic crosses the horizon to the North. It literally lies beneath the Midheaven. It’s associated with the hidden self, unknown emotions and the underworld. Some Astrologers use the IC as a point for Mother or Father in the chart. Yet other Astrologers use it to determine the shadow self. Regardless of opinion the IC is associated with family life, the home and the inner desires of the Ego. In Karmic Astrology is is tied to the Moon and creation.
While these points are typically seen in as an X or cross style formation it’s notable that often times, depending on location especially, there may be great gaps in that expectation. Often an expanded house will push or pull any of these points forward or backwards depending on the horizon line. But as a usual guide, it’s safe to say they’re usually 3 zodiac signs apart.