What is the Vertex?

The Vertex axis is the Electrical Axis of the chart. The Ascendant-Descendant is the Magnetic axis. The MC-IC is the gravity axis.

The Vertex axis is a point of energy derived from the intersection of the Prime  Vertical and the Ecliptic.  The West side of this point is called the Vertex, the East side is called the Anti-Vertex.

The Ascendant-Descendant axis is found by the points of intersection of the Great Circles of the Ecliptic and Horizon.

The MC-IC axis is found by the intersection of the Great Circles of the  Meridian and Ecliptic,

The Vertex axis functions as an angle, just like the Ascendant and the MC

In a Local Horizon Chart, the Vertex is the due West point and the Anti-vertex is due East,   the MC is due North and the IC is due South (reversed in the Northern Hemisphere).

Each Angle axis has a specific purpose.

The Ascendant axis describes the physical body and brain and the environment in which a child is reared. A child does not see herself or himself as an individual, but as a part of a family and the environment.

As this child grows into an adult, s/he develops a sense of self as an individual, and eventually moves into the world to “make a mark”. This process is described by the Midheaven axis, and in our cultures this process is mainly experienced through a career or avocation.

The Vertex axis stimulates Cosmic Awareness, an understanding that an  individual is an integral part of the Universe, not just an isolated, separate  entity.


When our human nature has evolved to a point where we can develop new realisations of reality we usually discover a planet that embodies that level of reality.

The angles and house cusps of a natal chart are your own personal  “mini zodiac” and map your personal energy field, so when a new “angle” (Vertex axis) is discovered it means that more human beings are becoming able to move through to the Cosmic Awareness level of reality.

The Vertex axis can be likened to a doorway that gives access to other realities. It is usually highly emphasised, with a planet conjunct (orb 8°), in the charts of people who have this ability. The doorway is of the nature of the sign and house where the Vertex resides and powerfully emphasises that sign, making it at least as important as that of the Ascendant and MC.

If the Vertex axis has a planet or Node conjunct, it often becomes an over-riding force that makes the Vertex and that planet stronger than anything else in the chart, including a planet conjunct the Ascendant or MC.

If The Vertex axis has a planet in close aspect it enhances that planet’s nature, its sign and house to a considerable degree, making that planet a very strong focus in the chart.

A planet conjunct or in a close to exact aspect to the Vertex tends to give a specific and often intense destiny – something the person is required to do or experience for greater soul development, or must do in order to find meaning in life – or both.

Therefore Vertex stimulation can have an almost compulsive effect that overrides all other considerations.

The Vertex axis has also been considered the axis of destined or fated encounters with others.

The sign and house in which the Vertex axis resides determines the type of doorway to other realities and Cosmic Awareness.

The sign and house in which the rulers of the Vertex axis reside are also very important.

If the Vertex is conjunct and/or parallel a fixed star it indicates a connection to the Galaxy through that Star system.

Copyright (c) Alice Portman 2009

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5 Responses to “What is the Vertex?”

  1. marion says:

    Thanks Alice, very interesting article!
    I’m curious about close natal oppositions to the Vertex. Could you direct me to some more information on these please?

  2. Alice says:

    Hi Marion

    An opposition to the Vertex means that a planet is conjunct the antiVertex. If you have a look at the charts I have used to illustrate how the Vertex axis works you will see the antiVertex marked as Ax.

    A conjunction to the antiVertex is just as powerful as to the Vertex. However, I think it feels a little less intense.


  3. Lillian says:

    Hello Alice,
    Would you please comment on the influence of the vertex in the relocation chart? I have moved a long way from my birth place and find that my vertex on my relocation chart is in semi-sextile to my mars and conjuncts the apex of one of my t-squares – that is, my moon which is in square to my sun and my saturn (while my vertex on my natal chart is in trine to my north node). Also, the placements of the vertex on these 2 charts are in different signs and houses.
    Kind regards,

  4. Alice says:

    Hi Lillian

    Check out the short article on Lillian’s Vertex Axis Natal and in Relocation.

    Please feel free to make comments at the bottom of the article.


  5. Martha says:

    Hi Alice,

    Your article about the Vertex/Antivertex is really enlightening. There is not to much information about it in books or websites, happy that I found your article. I have been interested in my natal Vertex but never found anything that could explain its meaning/role in my chart. It caught my attention that you wrote “The Vertex axis is the Electrical Axis of the chart.” I have Uranus(electricity) conj. Vertex (one degree orb) in Libra (intercepted) in the 6th house in opposition Sun-Chiron in the twelfth (this means the antiVertex is in conjunction between these two in Aries intercepted). I have a feeling it is quite intense and that has too much information and power to develop-discover. Could you help me giving me some information about my Vertex?

    Thanks and Best Regards