The nadir, or Imum Coeli (IC), Latin for “bottom of the sky,” is one of the four major angles in an astrological birth chart, and definitely the least talked about.
It lies opposite the Midheaven—a point on our chart that represents our public life and persona, which gets a lot of attention. Our nadir (IC) signifies our depth and needs, a part of us that we often don’t share with others. While the rising and descendant axis of our charts navigates the relationship between self and others, the Midheaven and nadir showcases the polarity of our outer and inner worlds.
The IC sits on the cusp of the fourth house associated with family lineage, home environment, and family influences. Similarly to the moon, our nadir shows us our needs and emotional tendencies, though it's much more than that. When you looking at your birth chart, the nadir is below the horizon line of the ascendant and is the lowest place in our chart, therefore representing our foundation and roots. In this way, the IC also reveals the type of environment best for our physical well-being.
A History of the Nadir
In ancient Greece the IC was considered to be our underworld. Psychologically speaking, it can reveal our unconscious self and what ancestral wounds we came here to heal. It is the point of our chart that we turn to for self-examination and propels us into personal evolution. Like the projections of our descendent, the nadir houses the parts of us we may have disowned. Until we are able to reclaim these parts, we often cannot manifest the divine aspirations of our Midheaven. Many times the skills we learn through our IC struggles are the strengths that propel us into our destiny.
Nadir By Sign
Here are some possible needs, family patterns, and unconscious behaviors by sign to begin your deep dive:
Aries: Need for independence and freedom. Family was very active or extremely ambitious. Unconsciously aggressive or combative
Taurus: Need for security or physical pleasures. Family was stable or materialistic. Unconsciously inflexible or possessive.
Gemini: Need for understanding themselves and world around them. Family was self-expressive or hyper-intellectually focused. Unconsciously erratic or two-faced.
Cancer: Need to seek and give nurturance. Family was co-dependent or critical. Unconsciously needy or guarded.
Leo: Need for creative self-expression and connections with other people. Family was self-involved or warm-hearted. Unconsciously may have a lot of self-doubt.
Virgo: Need for efficiency. Family or parent was hyper-critical. Unconsciously nagging or control freak.
Libra: Need for harmony, though possibly difficulty in knowing needs with too much vacillation. Family was social or superficial. Unconsciously coy or difficulty looking at the shadow.
Scorpio: Need for emotional depth and understanding. Family was secretive or powerful Unconsciously involved in power dynamics
Sagittarius: Need to discover their own truth. Family was hyper-ethical or adventurous. Unconsciously status-seeker or judgmental.
Capricorn: Need for reliability and order. Family was traditional or repressed emotions. Possibly unconsciously self-repressing or pessimistic.
Aquarius: Need for unconventional and individual stance. Family was non-traditional or unavailable. Unconsciously somewhat detached from others.
Pisces: Need for wandering or mysticism. Family roots of unclear boundaries. Unconsciously over-sensitive or flaky.
Understanding the patterns and energy of the IC brings balance to our lives as it teaches us how to embrace our past and move forward into our future. There is an inevitable sense of karma and destiny associated with the angles of our charts, and the IC is no different.
Knowing the patterns of the nadir brings consciousness to our underworld. In many ways, I consider it the most important part of our entire chart—because of the depth of understanding it gives us. By utilizing the skills and shortcomings of our family origin, we are propelled to our individual destinies.