Don't Know Where to Live Next? Astrocartography Can Help You Make Your Next Move
You already get your daily notifications from the astrology app Co-Star and know exactly when Mercury will be in retrograde, but there's a lesser-known piece of astrology that you might want to look into. It's called astrocartography—or astrogeography—and it might just change the way you travel or decide where to move to.
What is astrocartography?
Essentially, astrocartography is how the placements of the planets affect the energies we feel in certain places we live or visit, depending on when and where we were born. While the idea of locational astrology was not new, in the 1970s astrologer Jim Lewis took these complex theories and boiled them down into a map of locations by working with angular planets. These are planets located along the axis and fall between two houses. Astrocartography could explain why you're dying to take a solo trip to Bali or were drawn to Florence when you chose to study abroad. For example, where the 12th house joins the 1st house—aka rising planets—and why you'd be a rising Aquarius if Uranus appears here during your birth.
According to astrologer and astrocartography expert Elizabeth Smith, in addition to showing one's angular planets and aspects, astrocartography uses something called parans or crossings, which is information on how we're astrologically affected by places that are at the same latitude as wherever we are in the world that affects the energies we feel. For instance, the rising Aquarius mentioned earlier would feel the energy of Uranus and will often make more spontaneous choices as part of their personality.
"Astrocartography is the only form of astrology that you can find these parans—and they're spot on. It's like the missing link [to what you're looking for]," she says. "In addition to being a fabulous relocation tool, it's a great healing tool for whatever people are being forced to deal with in their present location."
If you've been feeling stuck in your career, you could use astrocartography to find a line that hones in on your ambition, like a Mars midheaven line (more on that later). Likewise, if you find that you live somewhere with negative energy like one that could leave with a disruption of family (the Saturn lower midheaven line), you can use this information to work through any struggles you're currently having—or plan to move if it permits.
How does astrocartography work?
Before Lewis developed the art of astrocartography, astrologers would create maps by hand. These days, you just need to input your birth date, time, and location to get your basic map and see your lines across the globe.
When you first see your map, it might look like a series of confusing lines—but trust me, they all mean something. If you want to get into the nitty-gritty of what everything means, it's best to see an astrocartographer who can give you deeper insights and help you map out a game plan on how to incorporate it into your life. Otherwise, you could be wasting a ton of time and money moving to a line you thought looked appealing on your chart.
"If you're going to use it, you need to have a holistic understanding—astrologically speaking—of that place," Smith says "You use the line [you want] to get you started and then you zoom in. There's a lot more going on there than what you see."
Each line links up with a certain celestial body that brings out certain qualities like love, creativity, and growth within up to 700 miles of that line. According to Smith, this is known as the orb of influence. Keep in mind that every planet has a dark or light potential energy, depending on other aspects of your personal chart. To get an idea of what you're seeking out, here's the gist of the energy each planet brings out:
- Sun: This line is essentially your ego and self-realization, where you can truly find your best self.
- Moon: You can get more in touch with your emotions, instincts, and divine feminine energy here, feeling more sensitive or nurturing to others.
- Mercury: This is the place where thoughts thrive and communication is heightened, which is ideal for writing a book or honing in on your career.
- Venus: Still looking for the love of your life? Venus draws in love and beauty, meaning this line could be a great place to define the relationship (DTR).
- Mars: This is where competition and passion lie, and to the opposite of the Moon line, it’s where your masculine energy is.
- Jupiter: Luck tends to be more abundant around here, as Jupiter is the planet of fortune, joy, and abundance.
- Saturn: Challenges may arise near here as Saturn is all about structure, but it’s also an opportunity to learn and grow.
- Uranus: Uranus tends to bring upon more rebellious energy—possibly a great spot for your next girls’ trip.
- Neptune: The spiritual energy from Neptune could open your eyes to something, though you wouldn’t want to spend too much time here.
- Pluto: Pluto’s lines have some of the greatest concentration of energy, which can lead to some pretty big changes and growth.
- Chiron: This comet brings upon deep healing and can help you learn how to care for others.
- North and south nodes: Like the tides of the moon, the nodes ebb and flow with your life. The north brings fate and destiny, while the south calls to your karmic past.
Four lines represent each planet's energy with a slight twist: Midheaven (MC), Lower Midheaven (IC), Point of Ascendant (AC), and Point of Descent (DC). The midheaven line has some of the strongest influence to impact you socially and in your career, while the lower midheaven brings your sense of belonging to the world impacting home, family, and community relationships. Similarly, the Ascendant is how you present yourself whereas the Descendant is what you attract and experience through others.
For example, my Venus midheaven line goes right through Maine, which is good for honing in on my creative energy, manifesting fame, and receiving financial rewards. I could potentially become a wilderness influencer here or rent a cabin to write the next Great American Novel. I'm fine with either option.
For most people looking for ease, pleasure, and low-stress levels, Smith says to look at the Sun, Jupiter, and Venus points as they tend to bring harmony or ease into our lives. She does warn that just because a line looks ideal on paper, doesn't mean it's exactly what it seems, as other negative energies nearby could outweigh the benefits. For example, my Saturn Descendant, which typically leads to a reevaluation of relationship, meets my Chiron Ascendant, an area where one typically understands themselves, in Michigan. While both changes could be good for me in the long run, together it could be too much stress and change for me to handle. It varies from chart to chart, so you're going to want to study yours closely.
How to harness a line's energy without traveling:
While determining where you should travel to is all fine and dandy, these days, most of us aren't going anywhere. But thankfully, as Smith explains, unlike physical form, energy is not limited to space and can be felt remotely. This means you can feel the energy of the planet if you get close to someone who was born in the location.
"In other words, your astrocartography line in Paris will come to you by being in Paris, but it will oftentimes come to you if you start working in a cubicle next to someone who was born in Paris because your energetic fields are intertwined," Smith says.
This could also be a new way to approach dating, as Smith explained that one of her clients whose Venus Descendant was through London but had no desire to move there. But she met her now-husband who was born in the city on a dating website. It makes you rethink what your current location is set as on Bumble.
Aside from people, Smith believes empathic or sensitive individuals can feel these energies through objects like having pottery from Morocco or listening to music from Spain. You can also pull energies from more prosperous lines like a Sun Midheaven line that brings good fortune to your career by doing business with those who live there.
But if you're currently feeling stuck at where you are in life (both physically and emotionally), astrocartography could be a great way to manifest new joy in your life and plan for the future. It gives a chance to work with the energy you're currently dealing with and is a great addition to your astrology repertoire.