Icarus in the Birth Chart

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Icarus by sign can show which qualities we should develop in our risk taking ventures and those traits that might lead to our downfall.

Icarus in Aries

icarusRisk it all by being courageous and being the first to try something new. Come crashing down by being selfish and self-centered in pursuit of your dreams

Icarus in Taurus

Risk it all by simplifying, and creating beautiful objects that are made to last. Come crashing down by being stubborn and complacent.

Icarus in Gemini

Risk it all by staying connected, and being hyper-vigilant in your communication. Come crashing down through lack of focus.

Icarus in Cancer

Risk it all by caring, and daring to show your sensitivity. Come crashing down by being moody and defensive.

Icarus in Leo

Risk it all with dramatic self-expression. Come crashing down with vanity and haughtiness.

Icarus in Virgo

Risk it all by being true to your specific vision. Come crashing down through obsession with petty details and the quest for perfection.

Icarus in Libra

Risk it all by being the most charming graceful person in sight. Come crashing down when the gap between sweetness and manipulation closes.

Icarus in Scorpio

Risk it all by diving in deep and accepting the highs as well as the lows. Come crashing down when your quest for extreme experiences leads to destructive behavior.

Icarus in Sagittarius

Risk it all by opting for optimism and expanding your worldview. Come crashing down by being self-righteous and irresponsible.

Icarus in Capricorn

Risk it all by having goals and achieving them methodically. Come crashing down by being rigid and calculating.

Icarus in Aquarius

Risk it all by being original, inventive and humanitarian. Come crashing down through crankiness, rebelliousness, and inconsistency.

Icarus in Pisces

Risk it all with imagination, empathy, and poetry. Come crashing down down when you become vague, elusive, and unrealistic.


Icarus by house can show where should you take a risk, where are you likely to fail by flying too high. Where do you need to balance the urge for freedom with a healthy respect for advice and self-discipline?

Icarus in the 1st house

Image, the way you present yourself, physical appearance

Icarus in the 2nd house

Personal finances, possessions, spending habits

Icarus in the 3rd house

Communication (writing, journal keeping, teaching), sibling and neighbor relationships, mental activity

Icarus in the 4th house

Foundation, security, roots, personal private life

Icarus in the 5th house

Hobbies, sports, children, recreation, romance, personal expression personal love, gambling

Icarus in the 6th house

Work, health, analytical introspection, small animals

Icarus in the 7th house

The other, bosses, equal partnerships, close friends, contractual relationships

Icarus in the 8th house

Intimate relationships, intense interactions, peak experiences, life after death experiences, psychology, debt, support from others

Icarus in the 9th house

The search for meaning, personal philosophy and belief system, travel, publishing, religion, higher education

Icarus in the 10th house

Reputation, vocation, social recognition, authority

Icarus in the 11th house

Acquaintances, groups of like-minded people, hope and wishes, humanitarian causes

Icarus in the 12th house

Solitude, meditation, spiritual retreats, transcending cumulative family karma, dreams

Events in the Icarus myth

  • Imprisonment
  • Fear
  • Risk
  • Freedom
  • Exhilaration
  • Inflation (over estimation of abilities)
  • Defiance (denial, and not heeding advice)
  • The Fall (burn out)
  • Death

The myth

Icarus and his father Daedalus were imprisoned in a tower by King Minos because they gave the king’s daughter string. She then used that string to help Theseus find his way out of the labyrinth. Imprisoned in Crete, Daedalus, a master craftsman (responsible for building the labyrinth), constructed wings for he and his son to escape with. At first Icarus was afraid to fly. Later, exhilarated by the sense of flight, Icarus flew closer and closer to the sun. Despite his father’s warnings Icarus continued until the wax that held his wings together melted. Icarus plummeted to his death in what is now the Icarian Sea.

Icarus glyphthe glyph for Icarus (asteroid 1566 on astro.com)

the fall of icarusIn Asteroid Goddesses: The Mythology, Psychology, and Astrology of the Re-Emerging Feminine, Demetra George and Douglas Bloch call Icarus “the capacity for liberation and risk taking.” Icarus in the birth chart shows how and where we seek to be free of constraints. We will want to liberate ourselves from limiting mental (in air signs), emotional (in water), physical (in earth) or creative (fire) boundaries wherever Icarus is placed. The house position of Icarus shows the area of life where we seek to reach beyond our limits, positively or negatively.

On one hand it’s important to take risks in order to free ourselves from limiting habits, learned behaviors, and constrictive relationships, situations or attitudes. On the other hand, we have to be careful not to get carried away by momentary success. There is a need to exercise caution and listen to guidance as we seek to expand our boundaries. Because it is the Sun that melts Icarus’s wings, and the Sun in astrology shows the ego, we have to be careful not to get too full of ourselves in the process or we will come crashing to the ground. Icarus’s ascent to the Sun could be a metaphor for being too high on oneself.

We also need to recognize what we’re working with. Icarus forgot that he was flying with wings made of bird feathers and wax- not real wings. We need to have a grounded understanding of our own abilities and current level of mastery. It’s Daedalus, the creator of the wings, who truly understands the limitations of his own work. Although he is a master craftsman, he recognizes the inherent limits of his skills- but Icarus did not. Once the wax melted Icarus was left flapping only his arms in a vain attempt to keep flying.
The Icarus myth demonstrates that we have to takes risks, but that we also have to work with what we have- the skill set, available materials and current situation. Daedalus made those wings from what he had on hand. We can achieve great things with what we have, but we have to be careful not to overestimate our own abilities. We must tread a fine line between soaring and crashing. The person who does not recognize his own limitations may take unnecessary and foolish risks against the advice of people who have more experience and his own best interests at heart.

With Icarus there is also the possibility that the person never takes the leap in the first place, remaining imprisoned by fear- “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” In this capacity Icarus can show an area of life where we do need to take a risk if we ever want to move beyond limiting patterns indicated by its house and sign placement.

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  • ewelina

    hi Michelle,
    Nice to find this post,I remember that myth from my youth,it stuck in my mind somehow.At the moment,i’m learning about the nodes of the moon,and just playing around with asteroids for clues.Icarus conjuncts my south node in Aries (11th house),opposite moon,semi-square ascendant.Also it’s retrogate,have you come across this asteroid in retrogate motion?And yes,I can see this myth play out in my life big time,I came down hard a couple of times already,tried both ends of the stick (Aries-Libra),and now I am looking for the middle point.Hope it exists.I enjoy your writing style very much,thanx for sharing.

  • Ananya Chatterjee

    hi
    I WENT TO ASTRO.COM TO FIND MY ICARUS… BUT THERE WAS AN ORCUS..ARE THEY SAME??

    • If you go the asteroid drop down list Icarus is there. You can just enter 1566 into the additional objects box on the bottom of the extended chart selection page.

  • Atlast

    wow, how i never read this before? Icarus used to be one of my favourites myths, and now I discover that this asteroid is 3 degrees away from my sun.

    “The Icarus myth demonstrates that we have to takes risks, but that we also have to work with what we have- the skill set”

    I feel that in my whole life I’ve been learning this. There were lots of times where I found myself going too far and wanting things that aren’t avaliable, and then I stoped and noticed that I even haven’t tryied using what’s around me – I uderstimated thoose stuff -, and then I realised that I first needed to use them and after that going more far.

    • Michelle

      I love that Icarus is conjunct your Sun since it is one of the myths that you have probably identified with – and the Sun is very much about forging your identity.

      You probably hadn’t seen this post because it is an older one – I wrote it back in 2009 🙂

  • Susangaura41

    Significant as my chart rests on it conjunct my IC. No wonder I am constantly trying to escape my restraints, brave the elements, and be free. And I always turn in and ask myself what part I played in any failure or success. Fascinating. I love when I find an asteroid that really really plays a part in my life. One never knows which one will figure heavily until one sees it explained well in an article such as this.

    • Michelle

      Thank you for reading Susangaura41.

  • I’ve thought about your question all day and I don’t have a good response. I don’t know if there is an easy way to describe that there is more to astrology than Sun signs. I think it depends on how open the person is.

  • I agree. The asteroids provide extra “ahhh” moments. I haven’t yet checked out Ravenesque, but I will now!

    Do you have any suggestions on how to quickly explain to interested people that astrology is beyond Sun signs (without overwhelming them)?

  • This is very enlightening for me. I love the story of Icarus for all of the reasons that you mentioned here, yet I didn’t give much thought to Daedalus’ part in the lesson.

    I’m a Cancer with Icarus in Cancer in the house of one-to-one relationships. What I’m MOST afraid of is showing my sensitivity and making legal commitments to people. I always thought that was because Cancer was on the cusp of my 8th house, but…this brings up a new possibility. Thanks.

    • I think the asteroids help provide specific information so that we don’t try to overreach the symbolism of the signs and planets. They really help fine tune the horoscope. Have you been over to Ravenesque.net?