Your IC is the bottom of your boat, hidden under the water. All boats are built from the bottom up, it is your past. It is the structure that carries you along.
I read an analogy a while ago that helped me.
Your chart ruler is the captain of your ship! What state is he in? Is he restricted by Saturn or amped out by a rowdy mars? Is he in a great position to see the instructions the ship is headed? Is he shining in exaltation or hindered by detriment? His house placement tells us from what area of your life does he command the ship. Aspects to other planets tell us what crew members assist or hinder his rulership. The zodiac indication tells us how he expresses himself.
Your asc would be the bow of the ship, and represent the direction you are heading. Your chart ruler is the captain of your ship! Is he in a good position to see the instructions the ship is headed? His house positioning informs us from what area of your life does he command the ship.
Imagine your chart is like a ship. Your asc would be the bow of the ship, and represent the direction you are heading. Yes, how the world sees you is colored by your asc, but your asc likewise informs how you see the world.
Your descendant resembles the deck of your ship, where individuals come aboard.
Every other planet near a key point of your “ship” carries additional significance. A fallen moon near your IC makes the bottom of your boat dripping, an exalted Venus at the Midheaven fills your sails with appeal.
I am a visual person so this analogy really assisted me comprehend how my chart collaborates as a whole, and it also assisted me figure out what my essential planets are.
Anyway, back to the ship, your Midheaven is your ships mast, it is the very first part of your ship individuals might see showing up over the horizon, this is where your flag waves to announce to the world “this is who I am” and where the wind fulfills your sails to bring you forward.