I feel like I broke a promise because I promised to do my article on the 8th House next. It’s coming, I swear. I just need a bit more time to ponder the 8th House. Meanwhile, I’m feeling more inspired to write about the 10th House. Now, no one should be complaining about having an empty 10th House. As I always say, empty houses are important, too! It’s just that you look at the sign on the house cusp, instead of the planets. And if it’s an empty angular house (the 1st, 4th, 7th, and 10th), it is of course important because these four houses are all a pretty big deal. So, if you have an empty 10th House, you’re going to consider the sign on the 10th House cusp aka the Midheaven.
I did a whole series on the Midheaven signs a while back. It’s why I don’t plan on doing my usual follow-up article about the signs and/or planets in the house. I pretty much already did it and in an in-depth fashion for all of the Midheaven placements. So, definitely read those. And if you have planets in the 10th House, then you should check out the article for the sign that is ruled by that planet (i.e. Mars in the 10th House – Aries Midheaven). For this article, I just want to talk more about what the 10th House means, in general. The 10th House is the commonly referred to as “the top of the chart.” It’s not too well-known of a fact but any energy in this part of the chart is called “culminating.” If you have the Sun in the 10th, you have the Sun culminating. If you have Gemini in the 10th (Gemini Midheaven), you have Gemini culminating in your chart.
It’s a nice way to put it, much like we use “Gemini Ascendant” and “Gemini Rising” interchangeably. Well, what is the difference between “rising” and “culminating”? Last month, in my 1st House article, I talked about the 1st House being the part you play in any given situation. It’s how you “rise” to any circumstance that comes your way. But, what does it mean to culminate? It’s more of a heightened form of rising. You’re not just meeting something head-on. You’re becoming bigger than you were before. The 10th House/Midheaven is at the top of our chart because it is a mountain that we climb. In the process of climbing it, we become stronger versions of ourselves. And when we reach the top, we experience an amazing sense of achievement. So, this is why we want to achieve whatever is in our 10th, while we just strive to “be” whatever is in our 1st.
And this is why we associate “career” so much with the 10th House. It is a go-to label for the Midheaven, even for me. “This is the kind of career you should have…” However, it’s not always going to be so cut-and-dry. Assuming that an Aries Midheaven should be a professional athlete and that a Cancer Midheaven should become a chef can become like that cliché cookbook astrology. There are so many different people with the same Midheaven who have so many different professions. So, my way of looking at the 10th House is that it’s not necessarily the exact profession you should have but what you seek to get out of your profession.
The Midheaven in Aries person does not have to be an athlete to experience the thrill of competition, assertiveness, and expressed aggression that they aim to find through their career, just like the Cancer Midheaven person can experience a feeling of meeting others’ needs and providing them comfort that doesn’t have to come from doing food service. Planets in the 10th House will operate in a similar fashion. Your career will be the ideal outlet for their expression, which is why Uranus in the 10th House people require such freedom and independence in their profession, possibly to the point where this line of work lets them get weird or wild. Maybe there’s also just a very intellectual, scientific, or experimental bent to what they do with their lives. Whatever the case, their profession has to allow them to accomplish and live out those Uranus principles.
One’s career offers them many different options, after all. There are many different ways to find satisfaction. It’s funny but I think that everyone, even the most accomplished and successful people or people who have found the right profession for them, has another “dream job” that is symbolized by their 10th House; another thing they could see themselves achieving. For me, I have Scorpio in the 10th, aka a Scorpio Midheaven. I do feel like I’m pursuing a career that really fits my Midheaven’s ideals. Acting and creative writing allow me to dig deep and explore the complexities of the human psyche (Scorpio/Pluto). I just know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.
However, I have also always said that I would really love to be a psychologist. That is the perfect dream career for Midheaven in Scorpio because it’s an intuitive, profound role that makes one get down to the nitty-gritty with another person. I don’t plan on pursuing a career in psychology. But, I can picture it, just like I can picture myself using my scarily perceptive, good-at-keeping-secrets Midheaven to be a detective or work in the CIA. I find the idea of that really cool and those are the kinds of careers that are typically recommended to Midheaven in Scorpio folks. At the same time, I don’t need to do that actual line of work. I can use the psychological awareness of my 10th House energy in the arts. Acting and writing is like a form of psychology. Also, the research and exploration of secrets and complexities that a detective or intelligence agent needs to do their job is also applicable in the performing arts, where you have to understand a character, inside and out, and not completely give away the process of how you came to understand them.
So, the 10th House works like that. It is also referred to as a “culminating” energy because we’re always going to be in the process of trying to achieve it, throughout our lives. It’s a running thread that never gives up. People change career paths all the time and the funny thing is that the skills used in one path can be readily translated into another. I think the 10th House is visible from one’s very first job. You can trace some sort of thread throughout the years to every public position you’ve undertaken. Leo Midheaven people are regularly in careers where they either have to lead or shine. Those with a Virgo Midheaven constantly fall into work that involves assisting others, serving others, or getting things exactly right. This leads to the widespread sense that Leo Midheaven folks are such superstars and leaders and that Virgo Midheaven people are more efficient and useful than most, as well as more humble about it. Eventually, you become aware of this image of yourself and it’s something that you feel is a constant part of your life’s work. The sign and/or planets in the 10th House describe who you feel like we need to be in society. It’s our place in our field and community and, subsequently, the way we get ahead.
This is why our 10th House energies are so exposed. The world is watching them play out! Not the whole world, of course, unless you’re a celebrity. Famous people are most known for whatever sign or planet is in their 10th House. But, in this day and age, it’s easy for anyone to sort of feel like a celebrity. And your 10th House is what’s most publicized about you. In a way, we do want these things to be publicized about us. We want to gain recognition for our 10th House placements. But, at the same time, I feel like a lot of it is out of our control. The 10th House is naturally ruled by Saturn, which is a planet of tests, challenges, and karma. There is something fateful about our Saturn, just like there’s something fateful about our 10th House. We end up in situations, roles, and paths in our public and professional lives that sometimes force our 10th House upon us.
Everyone experiences a definitive hurdle with their 10th House placements that eventually makes it a major focus in their lives. If you have Uranus in the 10th, something happens in your professional path that pushes you to not conform. Achieving our 10th House is not easy, particularly because it is opposed to the background we come from via our 4th House, which is who we’ve been since childhood. So, living out your 10th House is a challenge but if you answer the call, you will see it as a real responsibility to be that person. The 10th House Uranus person sees it as their duty to be nonconforming after having to overcome an attitude of conformity or a fear of other people’s judgment. The same applies for Aquarius Midheaven people. The Neptune in the 10th House person, as well as the Pisces Midheaven, has to overcome a feeling of being held back by a realistic, pragmatic attitude in order to reach those transcendent, blissful goals.
And we are constantly being watched. Not in a paranoid, Big-Brother way but in a sense that those in our community are always tracking our progress and achievements in the world. It’s been this way in society since the beginning. Everyone talks about everyone, positively or negatively. When they do, they are talking about your Midheaven and what you’ve achieved through it. And with the help of social media, people’s achievements and public selves are even more visible and discussed than ever before. Inevitably, we achieve the status of being whatever is in our 10th House when we meet those challenges and find our form of success through the placement. And success can vary, from person to person. For Midheaven in Aquarius/Uranus in the 10th, success can come from being this innovator, collaborator, and free spirit. Such a feeling of accomplishment cultivates the public image of you being so open-minded, collaborative, and free-spirited. Everyone will see, through your efforts in the world, just how unconventional you can be.
But, that’s also the thing about our 10th House. It’s what we turn on when the world is watching. It is the public self, while the 4th House is the private self that we’re rooted in. As a result, there’s not much that’s “personal” about our 10th House energies. People who have planets in the 10th and/or conjunct the Midheaven are going to feel this split more powerfully than those with an empty 10th House. But, everybody does it, to some degree. Again, these contradictions are not insincerities. It’s not fakeness. It’s just a matter of context. In the 4th House, we have nothing to achieve. We are just there to reflect, recharge, and get in touch with what comforts us. So, of course, the goals of our 10th House are going to turn us into a different person than the comfort zone of our 4th House.
For me, I have the perfect channel for my emotional intensity and obsession with what’s hidden through my work in the world. However, I am very much my Taurus Nadir in my personal life. I’m perfectly fine living with calm, ease, simplicity, and no drama whatsoever. On a personal level, I feel a lot less swayed by my emotions and manage these feelings in a practical, sensible way. Yet, the place I’m seeking to secure in the world is all about emotion. It gives me a wonderful outlet, in that regard. Your 4th House is what happens when you “come back to yourself” after all that work and effort in the world. So, my 10th House lets me get all that out and come back to myself in a very level-headed, balanced Taurus Nadir fashion.
I think this public/private split defines us more and more, as we get older. The 10th House is also naturally ruled by Capricorn, meaning that it increasingly emerges with maturity and age, which is the strength of the sign Capricorn. The older we become, the more we are like our Midheaven and widely recognized as such. It’s a process that begins in the teenage years It’s around 15 or 16, when we get that first taste of maturity, through being urged to get a job and figure out what we want to do with our lives, and when we become more aware of and also in control of what our peers and community thinks of us. It’s also when we yearn to stretch beyond the 4th House role we’ve been conditioned into. Our 4th House is who we’ve had to be for our family. Through the 10th House, we start to gain our autonomy and figure out who we need to be for the world.
People with a major 10th House emphasis, particularly planets conjunct the Midheaven, tend to have that “old soul” quality, as well as a premature sense of purpose and a real maturity for their age while growing up. They know that there is more in store for us and we are born with this powerful sense of destiny. As a result, they’re always a lot less casual about our careers than most of their peers. It’s very rare to see a 10th House person lack passion, ambition, and/or direction. While everyone else is so busy figuring out what they want to be, they’ve been aware of our purpose from an early age and are driven to fulfill it. It’s why those with a strongly occupied 10th House typically end up living up to the potential of their Midheaven in a major way.
But, it's everyone's mission to live up to the Midheaven. I remember always saying to myself, when I was growing up, that I would absolutely hate to be one of those adults who hates their job and has no passion for what they do. Even now, I get it. We all have to pay the bills. But, a part of me genuinely feels sorry for people who don’t deeply love what they do. With my Midheaven combination, that became my major goal in life: to wholeheartedly love my job, my path in life, and the place I was headed. It’s caused me to be kind of irrational, at times (Scorpio is this highly emotional energy). Yet, I also know that it’s clear to everyone that I’m an empowered person who pursues his goals in life with total passion. That’s who I’m supposed to be for the world. So, I’ll empower you by telling you to go out there and walk the path your 10th House intends you to, no matter how scary, uncomfortable, or foreign it is. In the end, you won’t regret it.