I like to answer questions that come in from the newsletter or via social, and this one has come up a few times in the last couple of months.
Locational astrology, or relocation astrology, is the process of looking at the birth or natal data in relationship to a specific location. There are a few methods that astrologers use. I’ll review the main ones and weigh in on my personal experience with using relocation astro-data.
This was the first form that I was exposed to, and one that is widely used but hotly disputed as to actual accuracy. Developed by Jim Lewis, the method calculates and projects where 12 planets/bodies (includes the Nodes and Chiron) are in relation to the angles (Asc/Dsc, MC/IC) onto a world map, for any time. Each line is associated with an angle and a planet, and describes certain qualities, challenges, or talents that may be emphasized in that location.
If you want to move somewhere where you might have better success in business, for example, you would look to where the rulers of your MC, 2nd and 6th houses have the most emphasis. It’s not as simple as it looks, because you must take into consideration where you are in development of particular elements of your natal chart. Just moving to a “favorable” location doesn’t mean that magically something will happen … although it might be easier to manifest the business goal in a location that is aligned with that energy.
Local Space/Horizon Charts
Local space charts are cast not using the ecliptic—or the band of the zodiac around the earth—but the horizon. Planetary positions are calculated relative to where they are on the horizon, and the result is a chart that is earth-based, with the planets found encircling the location of birth. Lines of energy spread out horizontally across a map and our “local” surroundings, and manifest in different areas. It’s a system that brings the planets down to earth, so to speak, and shows us where we can find the various planetary energies.
You can also use this system to determine planetary energies in spaces as intimate as your home or town, like an astro feng shui, though I don’t know how to do this and haven’t tried it. Perhaps you lay the chart upon your house like a bagua? If any readers have done this, let me know!
Some astrologers favor this long-disused system because it is earth-centric … and we live on the earth! Many locational astrologers use a combination of Local Space with Astro*Carto*Graphy to create a synthesis of energies for their clients to respond to geographically.
This system places house cusps around the globe, in 30 degree increments, starting with Aries at Greenwich mean time. Personal charts can be inserted into the world map. This map does not correlate to the actual zodiac, and is fixed, unlike the maps above. Therefore different sign energies are fixed and unchanging on various places on the globe, i.e the east coast of the US is under the sign of Capricorn, the west under Sag and Scorpio and so on. I’m the least familiar with this system, though the locational astrologer I’ve used (Scott Wolfram of The Traveler’s Well) used a combo of all three of these systems to create a synthesis for me when I was consulting him about a major move (nb: this was several years ago, I don’t know if he uses the same systems now).
Basic Natal Chart Relocation
This system is the easiest to understand and use if you have a basic grasp of astrology. You can even calculate a chart on astro.com. You simply choose the location you are interested in moving to, and cast your birth chart for that place. This chart will be similar to your natal, but key points like the ASC, MC and house cusps may change. This is the system I use casually for questions about location, because you can just use your regular software, and you don’t have to learn a whole other method of astrology! But–it’s not as specific as the methods above.
Does Relocational Astrology Work?
I moved to my current location in part based on my locational reading. I had wanted to move to the mountain west for literally 20 years, and finally was trying to pinpoint the best spot. So I already had an attraction to the area (the locational energies at work). I tried out various points within the radius recommended and decided that Boulder was the best choice, even though it wasn’t the “best” in terms of the relocation charts (I just wasn’t ready to move to South Dakota).
The maps revealed other points in Europe that I had already lived in and had been powerful for me (in fact, quite “karmic” feeling), as well as the particular levels of (uncomfortable) process work and healing I did in Hawaii.
I found quite a fascinating an accurate correlation of some periods of my life and some energies as revealed by the combo of maps that Scott used. But—has Boulder proved to be the place where my life became a fairy story?
Uh, no. Many wonderful things have happened and continue to unfold here, but many difficult things too. I have not had the development in parts of my life (yet) that the planetary energies were supposed to deliver, yet other areas have benefitted more than I anticipated. I definitely feel a resonance to this area on a deep spiritual level (Neptune on the IC here), which is fine for this time of my life but could have been disastrous during my younger days when I was less spiritually grounded.
If I had just placed a simple natal relocation chart here, I probably could have figured out much of what was gleaned from the other combination of methods. But–it’s great to get someone to look at your chart objectively, and the reading was definitely helpful.
I do think that if you have the inclination and desire, it’s worth getting a locational reading. But, “wherever you go, there you are” as they say, and you can’t make something happen somewhere if you aren’t ready on the inner. Could I make more of the energies available here for me—probably! Am I glad I moved here? Yes! Am I curious about life in South Dakota—the number one power spot on the planet for me (besides south eastern Australia)? Hell, yes. But I don’t want to live in SD … though it’s curious that the only astrology teacher I’ve studied with lives in Rapid City.
There are plenty of resources on the internet that describe these locational forms in great detail. And there are astrologers that declaim all these methods and have developed their own. I think you can live a fine life without ever looking at a relocation chart, but if you find that you are having real challenges in a location, it might be worth it to check things out—especially if you can’t move but want to understand what is going on and mitigate challenging energies.
At the end of the day, I still maintain that the most effective and useful astrological tool is a thorough and basic understanding of your natal chart. If you want help with that, I’m here 🙂 Give me a call.