Introduction To The Nadir

“Home, home is where you wear your hat. I feel so break up I wanna go home.”
–Lord John Whorfin, Buckaroo Banzai

The nadir, or Imum Coeli (IC), is one of the four angles of the chart, and probably the one least referenced. I tend to think that is because it is so internal and personal that it is the toughest to put into words. As the midheaven is the point of representation of the public part of the chart and the nadir the private, they represent the axis of inner to outer, just as the ascendant/descendant delineates self to other. Aspects to the IC are referenced as aspects to the midheaven (MC). Anything that conjuncts the IC is categorized as an opposition to the MC. The IC is hidden, even in “cookbook” explanations.

The IC angle “hidden” is different from the 12th house hidden. In the 12th house energies are obscured in general, often even from the native. The IC energy is known to the native, only hidden in the fact that it is not obvious.

The IC relates to the fourth house and the moon. Depending on the house system it may be the fourth house cusp. Like the moon it relates to inner needs and the home. How it differs from the moon is in depth. The nadir IS the deepest part of the chart. The moon is more the emotional body; the nadir is the foundation of the entire individual.

If you are familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, the nadir is analogous to the base of Maslow’s pyramid. Very basic needs, first physical, then emotional/psychological, are represented here. While it is often overlooked, in my opinion the IC is the rock on which the natal chart is built. I read where someone likened it to the belly button of the chart. Nadir/Navel, I like that.

Where is your IC and how is it aspected? Do you feel it reflects your inner self, inner needs?




Introduction To The Nadir — 86 Comments

  1. I usually use equal houses (though I sometimes use placidus or koch) so I see them as inseparable but not necessarily the cusp.

    someone quoted me on a thread (I hadn’t remembered it till they did) about the mc and the tenth house, being like the president and the white house. well here it’s like the archetypal “Mom” and the home. Mom may not always be in the house but it’s still All About Her at home. 😉 or maybe that’s just MY home!

  2. Satori – thank you SO much for this. I have been reading so much lately about how significant the IC is in synastry and compatibility, particularly of a karmic/fated variety. And yet, thousands of words later, I still could not really get what the IC actually signified.

    NOW I know. Thanks to your explanation. This is brilliant; it’s getting printed out right now to go in my dog-eared golden handbook of need-to-know astrology knowledge.

    Thanks again!!!!!

  3. hey, thanks for the inspiration! I’ve almost written it before but it’s hard to pin down. the putting words to the meaning of the nadir is like explaining the tao, “the tao that can be spoken is not the tao.” it feels that internal.

  4. Sag on the cusp of the 4th here…with moon in it…double whammy!!!and you are right about the fact that that part of you is invisible to the people around you…including sometimes your closest friends!!! Most people only see my mars in the 10th (in cancer) and most of the time my moon feels neglected…working very hard on changing that…thanks for this excellent explanation of the Nadir…

  5. Aquarius IC….pluto is not done with me yet. I wish I could figure out what I did to piss him off.

    Never felt close to my family. There was always some kind of criticism which is the fastest way to alienate me.
    Add in me and my mom both have Saturn opposite venus and that pluto crossed my ascendant (thank goodness)when I was young. My mom out of love( over protection) used to abuse (mostly verbal) me (poor sensitive picses moon trine cancer saturn) when I was about maybe 14 or so I had to get very plutonian on her. I just basically laid down the law, if you hit me again it wont be a parent disciplining a child it will be all out WAR and I do not plan to loose. I was very convincing.
    Funny thing is to this day I don’t think she knows what she did to alienate me. I can think of so many embarrassing incidents. (Mom Aries sun and moon)

  6. i have chiron on my taurus ic and uranus on my scorpio mc. love my family and we’re very close even though my childhood wasn’t easy. i’ve traveled far and put a lot of work into my career and in some ways it freed me. but i miss my home a lot too. never more apparent than this weekend when my favorite uncle is sick. i came home to see him but i have to go back soon and it makes me sad. i wish i could stay with him =( sorry got off track there.

  7. I have the nadir at 29 pisces, with both Saturn and Chiron cojunct natally. Of course, Juputer and uranus are both there too right now.. interesting times..

    • Interesting indeed. That 29 degrees of Pisces is supposed to be a malific place and saturn is just such hard work, Chiron obviously is the ouch area of your chart so altogether you have a very sensitive point here. Like is this area scabbed (saturn) over with some sort of defensive tactic….even drink virtue of its placement in Pisces. Or is it the place where you just cant heal? I had an encounter with this degree two years back and it was the ugliest part of my life but so liberating in that all the unresolved junk came up and I survived it. That your Nadir is there makes me feel like there is a little chrystaline baby forming there that may emerge one day like some sort of unwanted child that turns out to be the saving grace of your life.

  8. I have a Libra IC, by the way – which explains, among many other things, my karmic-feeling connection to my cat! He’s a Libra boy and because I don’t have a spot of Libra anywhere in any placement, I always wondered why the extreme closeness to this little guy. I know he was put here on Earth to be a backbone/foundation for me; he’s 18, which is really old for a cat, and he toughs it out nonetheless because he knows I need him. He really feels like he was sent here for me. Kinda “crazy cat lady” sounding, no doubt, but I just can’t deny it!

  9. Wow once again satori you nailed it and sent me off on a flurry of investigations – thanks for your spot-on insight and concise writing!

    I have IC in Aqua with tightly (2 deg) conjunct Aqua Chiron in 4th H. The first thing I did was to add up all the houses I’ve lived in: 39! I’m one of those who never feel quite ‘at home’ anywhere, though I now live in the place where I was born and (mostly) grew up. I finally understand why.

  10. My lc is 4 leo my south node is 3 leo. My moon at 29 scorp is trine lc but is the orb to far 4 degrees?

    @von Leo around the home is the mama lion holding court in her den.

    That hit me I kinda get it! I am very protective in my home and of my family. Was as a child and am as a mother. I am generally a quiet disiplinarian..(asc gemini) I talk to the kids and tried same with EX. BUT push TO far and BOOM.. where the hell did that come from? Raaarrrr LOL

    I dont change residence well. from birth to age 4 We lived in seattle then renton till graduation/marriage 1 elementary, 1 middle school, 1 highschool. I want to move east over the mountains I LOVE it over there but every part of me says not till kids are grown and in reality I dont want to be that far from my mom and family though that has been changing some.

  11. Aquarius conjunct Jupiter, opposite Uranus, it’s actually one of my favorite placements/aspects in my chart. I’ve moved often as well- in seven different states (2 islands). Thanks Satori for reminding me what an excellent foundation I have!

  12. I always thought my Sun and Merc, were in my 4th house Scorpio, but in the equal house system, they are in the 3rd house, with nothing in the fourth. I, too, lived many different places. Neptune and N. Node about 30 degrees away, in Virgo, don’t know if that explains it.

  13. IC In Saggitarius, no planets nearby (just Pallas).

    Someone remarked when I first came on here that I’m very adventurous for a Cap (esp with all that Earth in my chart) – maybe that’s where my questing dissatisfied restless and somewhat risk-taking nature stems from!

    I think if I’d had a happy childhood, or even if permitted to make a career with horses which is what I yearned as a child to do, I might have ended up a very different person. Result was I rebelled and ran as soon as I was able – 18/19.

  14. IC at 2 degrees Libra with Uranus conjunct it (from the 3rd at 29 Virgo). South node at 22 degrees Libra in the 4th.
    I have Cancer rising.

    Despite the cusp being in Libra, I feel the Uranus strongly. I mostly equate it with Restlessness, being easily bored throughout my life, the internal feeling of being unusual and different growing up. Interests that for the time, place and family were “out there”.

    I felt like an alien. a stranger in a strange land. I would often say “I want to go home” even though I was physically in my birth home/house.
    I didn’t identify with either parent and I always felt like I was born in the wrong country/culture or on the wrong planet.

    In childhood I didn’t live in different places, but the atmosphere was definitely one of “walking on eggshells”–sudden emotional shifts and so forth–so, not an emotionally safe or stable environment.

    I would like to think that uranus conj my IC does not mean that I am personally unstable. 🙂

    I rebelled, I am still a rebel I guess (internally), but rebelling made my north node in Aries harder to manifest. but I also have Saturn in the 10th, plus the laziness of south node in the 4th, so the SN sometimes sort of snapped me back like a rubber band. that is probably why the delay as well. that’s all I can think of right now…..

  15. Scorpio on the IC, with Neptune 5 degrees earlier in the 3rd. My progressed Venus just conjoined my IC in the past few days! Plus my pMercury, pSun and pJupiter are there. So I’ve been very interested in finding out what the IC means. I moved to my current apartment 2 years ago when my pSun exactly conjoined my IC. Wish I had more money to feather my nest now!

  16. 0’Capricorn IC with Sun and SN in 4th. Pluto has been going over it in the last couple of years and the thought occurred to me recently that it’s only now I think my Cap is really being activated. Really starting to explore who and what I am and building a firm foundation after years of being nomadic. Amazing. Thanks Satori!

  17. IC 11 degrees Gemini with moon/mars conjunction opposite Jupiter. Moon trine asc, moon sq venus/pluto, moon sextile merc, sun, uranus. Too complicated for my liking. Lost count of homes. Very close to my mum.

  18. wow. this actually makes it make sense

    sag. conjunct neptune. square pisces mars. see a theme?

    and, yeh, my psychological grounding is built on a spiritual set of stones that are very fluid and very fire….. fluid fire sag always perplexes me :/

    and i tend to keep it to myself, for the most part. it’s a little too out there for the plublic persona (all that hyper rational geminini midheaven….)

  19. Pluto exactly conjunct IC in Virgo — very strong bond with nature, environmentalist. Mars and Uranus also within a few degrees — bunch of mean, power-tripping family members, but we’re all pretty good with details. Moved way too much as a kid. Self-employed now, issues with authority at work. Aspire to be ‘the deep and strong, the straight and true.’ (Dire Straits)

  20. jup conjuncts my IC at 5’aquarius, sat at 29’cap in 3rd not far off either. I assume it has indicated my good fortune in this life is related to philosophy for the inner self (merc in 9th cancer too) plus ethics is a huge issue for me which i assume is the saturn backing up the authenticity of the philophy?

  21. also, with Uranus on the IC, I have exclusively been a city dweller. although with Jupiter conj my moon all in Virgo(plus water energy), I would love to live in a place where there is a vista overlooking nature–particuarly the ocean, actually. Couldn’t imagine not living in a city though–although I don’t like the frenetic energy, I require diversity. I once lived in a town abutted by 2 cities, but it was so homogeneous I nearly lost my mind. Mundane. monotonous.

  22. hi amandapm, can i ask you where you’ve been reading up on the significance of ic aspects in synastry? i can’t find anything on the subject! thanks 🙂

    btw brilliant explanation satori 😀

    my ic cusp is in capricorn, widely conjunct my 3rd house sagittarius moon. the only way that i can explain this influence is by saying that i like having a stable base to go home to, otherwise i don’t feel comfortable traveling… also i don’t know whether or not other people see my emotional side; but i also have sun sesquiquadrate moon, so maybe even i don’t see my own emotional side! hmmmm….

  23. My IC is in Virgo 11’21.

    My Moon in Virgo 3rd house is conjunct it. I also have Pluto semisextile Nadir,Venus trine Nadir,Sun Quintile Nadir,Mars Quintile Nadir,Chiron sesquiquadrate Nadir,Uranus sextile Nadir,Neptune square Nadir

    I got all these aspect from

    I seem to express myself and my creativity best in an environment I can feel at home in. If what I consider my home environment isn’t suitable to my personality/personal needs, it effects me in many negative ways.

  24. Mine’s in Taurus in the 3rd, whether I use Placidus or Equal (did I miss something about the house system?). I don’t have anything else in Taurus. My dearest people are all Taureans, they feel like home to me.

  25. Libra 25Degrees. I want everything to be balanced and fair. Actually Saturn transit there made me start to feel better about things.

  26. When I have done my chart it doesn’t show up. My MC is in the 10th which is also conjunct my moon. So I’m guessing that my IC is in the 4th which is also where I have Saturn. My 4th house is Sagittarius. Is the cusp the beginning of the 4th, the middle or the end? I have never identified with my MC or really with my moon which is in Gemini and I am a Virgo. This post has been helpful to me, thanks so much! 🙂

  27. Hey @Satori, did you mean (in post #4), that your SN was beside your IC? If so, this were to be the cause of you moving a lot?

    Because I *almost* have that – I have SN in the 4th.

    I just always thought of this as my soul’s journey having been intimately familiar with family or home issues, and that in this life time I should devote more time and energy to the outer, career stuff (10th).

  28. IC conjunct Ceres and Part of Fortune in Aries. First thing Satori asked me when she did my reading was “Planning on having kids?” After contemplating this, maybe I’m supposed to have kids to get rich, lol.

  29. My IC is in Leo in my third house.

    I don’t know if I feel the Leo or not. I would like to further understand it, because some friends I have loved the best have been Leo’s.

  30. kr, I was just about to post here reading your post. Interesting, since my IC is very close to yours, 19’22 Scorpio. The only real aspects to it are sextiles to Mercury and Moon (my MC trines both of them, forming an unofficial Grand Trine).

  31. I had a reading done a while ago and I was told that my Part of Fortune (happiness of the soul) is conjunct my IC (in the fourth). I don’t know how do interpret this or what it means and I don’t see it when I run my chart.

  32. Libra I find this fascination because libra at the cusp of the 4th and scorio midway. my mom is libra and my dad is scorpio. As you can imagine, manners were very impt to my mother. I consider it one of her greatest legacies to me. For me, my IC represents my private life with friends and family. While the world might see me as a warrior with my aries MC, I actually have a very peacefully loving family life. We treat each other with respect.

  33. Aquariums at home represent!
    To me, it manifests as feeling culture shock in my home town. Also my home is my lab. (Only metaphorically, sadly, I’m not too good at math.)

  34. I have Virgo IC, maybe that’s why I love Virgos :). I did grow up with a bunch of picky persnickety curmudgeons who all had different sets of rules for me to follow and would criticize constantly. My grandmother was basically straight off the boat from Germany and had a very German sensibility about raising kids, which I experienced, and her husband, my grandfather I never met, was a parole officer. The other side of my family were school teachers and principals so I could not escape that type of energy. Growing up, I took it (my experience in my family) to mean that I was just a bad person. Was an only child too, the first and only grandchild on both sides for many years. Did extremely well in school and played sports and had high expectations put on me when I was young. Empty 4th house, mostly good aspects, but, I just realized, square Chiron. Explains a lot. I also was a chubby kid and due to my family making comments ended up being bulimic and anorexic and emaciated underweight from age 11 to 18. Also was a vegetarian for many of the same years. I had to look and be perfect. How very Virgo is that.

    • I have Pluto conjunct IC in Virgo. I feel like I fell far short of my parents’ expectations. With a corresponding Chiron conjunct my Pisces MC, there was no way I was going to be the focused, ambitious, and accomplished person they hoped I would be. ?

  35. IC in Sag with Mars conjunct, also Cap Sun, North Node, Uranus and Neptune. I was born overseas, and traveled back there a few times growing up. As for the rest, I’m not too sure. I struggle understanding this part of my chart the most.

  36. I have Saturn exactly on my Nadir. I haven’t decided if it’s good or bad. I have a lot of inner strength, but unfortunately it’s because I’ve needed it.

  37. IC/Chiron conjunct, trine Moon. Square Saturn. I do feel this placement and the aspects reflect my inner self and inner needs. I am really sensitive and lately I’ve been feeling like I’m too sensitive. I don’t know what to do about it. Tune out? Turn off? How do you turn your soul off?

  38. I’ve always thought as the IC as the “soul”? Is that what you kind of mean Satori? The moon being the emotional part of you, and the IC being the deepest part of you, or what I’d like to call, your soul? lol IDK just pondering.

  39. Neptune on the IC in Scorpio widely conj Venus. Opposite Jupiter. Yes, people see the buoyant Jupiter on the MC but miss the depth of Neptune/Venus on the IC.

  40. Hi Satori,
    You raised an interesting subject, indirectly with this post, which is the choice of house system. I’ve just started working with the equal house system because it is how my astrology school works (after always relying on Placidus up till then) and I’m blown away by the new insight. I was wondering if you’d write a little something about house systems for us, if I asked really nicely?
    I’ve gone from Venus in Taurus in the 3rd, to Venus in the 4th on the cusp, with the equal house system, which really works for me (as do many other changes).

  41. Hi Satori
    When I started out on my astrology studies over 30 years ago someone told me that my 29 Scorpio IC exactly on the South Node indicated my having been burned as a witch in a previous life. Now I am by nature a sceptic so took this with several buckets of salt. Anyone else out there heard this one?

  42. This is fascinating. The only other useful thing I’ve read about the IC/4th house was Dana Gerhardt. I had to check my chart but got some interesting insight: Aries IC conjunct Chiron, trine mars in Leo (8th) & N.N. in Sag (12th) and opposite Uranus in libra. I had a very hard childhood/adolescence but I am very close to my family. I’m the oldest of 4 sisters & 22 1st cousins and they are my favorite people. I used to think this was mostly to do with a stellium in cancer but it doesn’t feel like cancer/water energy. It feels more like I never outgrew being their leader, protector, confidante. Could be cap asc 😉 -thanks for this.

  43. Thank you for your article, Satori.
    I really needed some information on the nadir. In my chart, I have a stellium of three planets in the third house and another stellium of four planets in the fourth house. Five of these planets are conjunct my nadir. So obviously, I have a pretty packed IC!

  44. Very cool article, I like the way you describe this angle.

    Considering your knowledge about the IC and how it relates to the moon… I’d love to know your opinion about a chart with a Chiron conjunct IC with a 12th house Moon. Just anything that pops out of mind will be highly appreciated. Thanks in advance!

  45. Nadir Sun here!
    I’m a rather reserved person, and it’s unlikely one is ever getting to know me deeply unless I let him or her in myself. I either go to exotic, thrilling places or seclude myself at home if I can’t. I don’t really like to go out unless it’s REALLY worth it. If it’s about seeing the same places I already know then I’ll most likely cave in and read a book or browse the net. The roots of my being are extremely idealistic, peace-loving and concerned with harmony and Balance (Libra).

  46. IC is 2° Sagittarius in 3H in equal houses. I really do desire freedom. And I love to know what’s going on and what makes people tick. Also, I never feel like like I have a true home.

  47. why so many chiron conjunct IC above ? I am looking at two charts with this conjunction right now. One who was sent to boarding school.And my own where my home life was taken away from me when I was 8 years old. I was looking at the post above where someone likened the nadir to the soul. My soul wasnt in my body for years. It was too frightened. Its called disociation.

  48. Hi! So, I’m not sure if my IC is 90 degrees to my ascendant or opposite my MC.(MC is 20* Libra ).
    My ascendant is 18 * SAg, Sun 18* Cancer, the rulers of both at 18* pisces.
    So if 18* pisces is my IC then I’m coming up for a neptune transit hitting a major angle and both my chart and sun ruler!
    Or not,
    which is it?
    I’m thinking the best way to go through this transit- rulers, angles, pisces represented by both neptune and jupiter- by making space for god… any other insights as to what this transit may be about?

  49. I have the Nadir in Scorpio with conjunct Saturn in Scorpio. Saturn conjuncts Pluto in Libra 29*, but Pluto might be considered a little too far in orb to also conjunct the IC, although Pluto amd Saturn work together, as a unit, in my chart, so might as well say they both conjunct my IC.

    Its so true that its almost impossible to put the Nadar into words. Especially with Saturn there…. One thing I’ve observed throughout my life is with Saturn conjunct my IC, my feelings are almost impossible to verbalize. I used to try *overly* hard to verbalize them, especially as an adolescent and throughout most of my 20s, because I felt deeply isolated at the core… I think this might be something common in others as well with saturn conjunct the IC. You know….yearning to be validated, so out of some unconscious insecurity, over compensating with expression which seems forced. Some sort of under-developed, dramatized, even corney at times kind of emotion…

    My Saturn return forced me to realize if *I* understand me, if I stop wishing others would, the empty feeling goes away. I had to lower my expectations of both others and myself. It made me very self-reliant in an emotional sense.

  50. Since Saturn started working it’s way through my 4th, (still there) I’ve started collecting all sorts of moon related things. I’ve become obsessed with little trinkets and tiny heart-shaped boxes…jewelry with hearts or pearls…I wear moon related clothing, like lace and silk, flowers, etc. Feminine stuff… I feel more complete with these items around. I also framed pictures of my grand parents… I framed a picture of my maternal line of 5 generations- me my sis, my mom, my grandmother and great grandmother with my baby niece… Etc…

  51. beautiful writing satori- thank you!

    …how would you view a ic /venus to ascendant /chiron conjunction in synastry?… could it mean a healing relationship?

  52. Is the MC or IC always square the ascendant. Im starting to realize now why I absolutely need to travel to feel at peace in this world (Sag IC) and why sometimes I talk too much and spurt out tons of information at some people (Gemini MC) Reading this is really eye opening. Thanks so much!

  53. This is fascinating, reading everyone’s take on this. Capricorn Nadir with Mercury in 3rd (Sag) conjuncting Nadir at 28 degrees. Mars in 4th (Cap) conjunct Nadir at 3 degrees. Sun in 4th (Cap) at 22 degrees.
    I’ve moved nearly every year since I left my grandparents house (they raised me.) And have lived in over 15 places. Every move was due to either theft/robbery, fear of crime, personal harm, getting away from family invading my space, stalkerish exes, etc.
    I tend to live in my head (Mercury conjunction IC) and nobody is really aware of the mental depth I have (been accused of “sitting on my brains” and people are quite shocked when I whip out the inner “armchair philosopher.” I tend to do a lot of psychological profiling and am eerily spot on nearly every time. I feel other people’s auras/electrical fields and emotions as a very physical thing, to the point I need to back away from them.

    I’m very much a homebody despite all the moving. Hubby is going into real estate (convenient for me, huh?) and we plan to finally buy our first house this coming autumn.

    With Mars in cap conjunct my IC, my energy is low, physically, but it lends great immediate physical gains when I do utilize it. And it gives me a good steady pace with lots of staying power, long after everyone else is exhausted. I have a marked soldier-like gait, full of purpose when I walk, lol. It’s an unconscious thing, but I laugh when I or others notice it.

    My mind is usually racing 24/7 and doesn’t match my physical energy levels at all. And I’m usually swinging from concrete rationale to abstract theories and philosophies on a regular basis.

  54. How would neptune opposite nadir manifest please with north node in 4th in cancer? My soon to be husband has this and his Scorpio moon is conjunct saturn and pluto..
    Thank you

  55. Nadir is not the same as the Imum Coeli.

    Midheaven aka Medium Coeli and Imum Coeli are points that are opposite
    Zenith and Nadir are points that are opposite

    I don’t know why some astrologers refer to the Imum Coeli as Nadir.
    They definitely don’t refer to Midheaven as Zenith.

    Some astrologers point out that the Zenith/Nadir axis is exactly square the Ascendant/Descendant axis.

    Zenith is the point directly above a particular location
    Nadir is the point directly below a particular location

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