What Does "IC" In Astrology Mean? It Represents Your Inner World

"The imum coeli represents your personal views and emotions."

Olena Ruban/Moment/Getty Images

Diving deeper into the realm of your astrological birth chart can produce all kinds of exciting perspectives and revelations about different aspects of your life. And once you dive in, you'll find that it's not just the planets in astrology that influence things in a meaningful way — there are also some really important points in an astrological chart that represent significant pieces of your cosmic puzzle, too. One of these points is referred to as the imum coeli in astrology (often abbreviated as IC), which is Latin for "bottom of the sky." This angle is also known as the "midnight point," as it's tucked away at the very bottom of your birth chart. The meaning of the IC in astrology focuses on our private lives, personal foundations, and roots, and it can tell us lots about our inner world.

The IC on the birth chart is placed exactly opposite to your Midheaven sign. The Midheaven point is located at the very top of your birth chart, on the cusp of the tenth house of public affairs, and it illustrates the most powerful contributions you'll make to the world through your career and public image. Conversely, the IC is located on the cusp of the fourth house of your birth chart, which represents your home, family, and foundation. Unlike the public-facing, legacy-building energy of the Midheaven, the IC speaks to the inward-focused energy of our private lives, as well the roots and foundations of who we are — including our past memories, our childhoods, and our family lives.

If you know a bit about the what the planets represent astrologically, you'll notice that the I.C. shares a bit of thematic overlap with the meaning of the moon in astrology, too. That's because the fourth house is naturally associated with the sign of Cancer, which is the one zodiac sign ruled by the moon. Of course, that doesn't mean your IC falls into the sign of Cancer, or that it's anywhere near the moon in your birth chart. If you want more insight into how the IC manifests in your life, check the zodiac sign that the fourth house cusp falls into, which is located at the very base of the chart. That zodiac sign's energy will flavor your IC and speak to the foundations of who you are, as well as your relationship to your home, family, and private side.

Here's the scoop on what the IC represents in astrology and how you can make more sense of yours.


It's The Foundation Of Who You Are

It's no coincidence that the IC is placed at the very bottom of your birth chart. This is because it represents your roots and personal foundations — the lessons you learned, patterns you created, and early life experiences that shaped who you are today. "The IC represents your personal views and emotions," astrologer Lisa Stardust tells Bustle. It speaks to the pieces of your soul and psychology upon which your identity was built — the pieces that come together to make up who you are at your very core, on an unconscious level. While the outside world may not always see these more subterranean parts of you, they can still drive your emotions, views, and other aspects of who you are. Understanding your IC sign can help you get in touch with those things.

The IC Tells You How To Feel Comfy & Cozy

Want to ground yourself and make yourself feel at home, wherever you are? Let your hair down, carve out some space for privacy, and lean into the energy of your IC sign — then watch yourself relax. The IC represents our inner world and the foundations on which we build our public-facing identities and goals, so it's an important place in our chart to manifest a feeling of safety and security, emotionally and otherwise. Let your IC sign lead the way when you're looking to fully relax and be yourself, without worrying about anyone else seeing or judging you.

The IC Gives Insight Into Your Family Life & Childhood

The fourth house is all about our home, family life, and even our childhoods, so the IC represents the way these elements of our lives are felt and expressed. "It is our home and relationship with our family, particularly the maternal," Stardust says of the IC's meaning. This point can shed light on the dynamics within our family lives growing up, as well as the families we've created for ourselves in adulthood. Some astrologers believe the IC qualities get activated when we take on a maternal role for someone else in our lives, too. Obviously we're able to outgrow things, evolve ourselves, and break free from patterns created by our early life circumstances, but the growth that comes with learning lessons through formative experience is what your IC is all about. You need a solid foundation under your feet in order to launch yourself off the ground, after all.

It's The Most Private Part Of Your Birth Chart

"The IC is the part of the chart that we hold private, don’t share with anyone, and hold dear," says Stardust. Because it's also known as the "midnight point" of your chart, you may associate it with sleep — which sounds relaxing, cozy, and comfortable. And the IC can certainly be that! But sleep is also the time when our bodies go into full-restoration mode — and the IC reflects this side of the coin, too. Growth is necessary, but it's also full of awkward stages and growing pains that we'd probably rather experience in the privacy of our own home. The IC is the space in which we retreat to do our behind-the-scenes restorative work, and that's why we're less inclined to show it off to the world. It's our cuddly little cosmic safety zone.

We Might Try To Hide Our IC From The World

Given that the IC represents such personal, vulnerable, formative pieces of our soul, mind, and past, it's a really vulnerable aspect in our chart — and one of the most intimate and private, as mentioned above. That said, it's likely that the qualities of our IC zodiac sign align with personality traits that we're more private about. The qualities of the zodiac sign your IC falls into might be qualities that you tend to repress, find undesirable or too vulnerable to share, or that you simply don't strive toward — and that's totally OK. While you should look to your Midheaven sign (the direct opposite of the IC) to highlight your public-facing persona, don't forget the importance of the IC as your jumping off point. The traits of your IC sign are still very much a part of you, even if you keep them hidden from view. Don't be afraid to acknowledge them, even if you don't show them off.