Astrocartography Is the Key to Planning Dream Vacations and Making Fulfilling Moves
You already know astrology can be an indispensable tool for bolstering self-awareness, learning more about the people you love, and understanding why the vibe of a moment may feel jubilant, intense, or just plain off. But there are practically endless applications of the language of the sky, and one of them is getting read on how you'll feel and fare when you're in a particular location on the globe.
Yep, astrology can allow you to gauge how your energy could shift depending on where you travel or move. You could pinpoint where you might feel at your most creative or where you could be challenged to do deeper self-work. The system that can help you do this: astrocartography, or locational astrology, a system that was pioneered in the 1970s by astrologer Jim Lewis that involves comparing your astrological birth chart to a map of the globe.
Here's what you need to know to get started.
It All Begins With Your Birth Chart
As long as you know the precise time and location you came into the world, you can create an accurate snapshot of the sky at the time of your birth. And from that info, you can cast — generally via software these days, but it can also be done by hand — what's referred to as a natal, or birth, chart which will show not only what signs the planets and luminaries (the sun and the moon) were in when you were born, but other information that offers even more insight into your astrological wiring, like houses, degrees, and the relationships between the planets and luminaries. (There are a ton of free sites out there, like cafeastrology.com or astrology.com, where you can plug in your info and receive your birth chart in seconds.)
Once you have your birth chart, you're ready to dip your toe into astrocartography, which involves taking your natal info and comparing to the location of the sun, the moon, and the planets relative to the Earth when you were born.
The Basics of an Astrocartography Map
Before computers were a household item, astrologers would draw charts and astrocartography maps by hand. Now, in order to get your very own unique astrocartography map — which is a combination of your natal chart details and a world map — you can just head to a site like astro.com, which offers an AstroClick Travel feature, or see a professional astrologer, like Ralph MacIntyre, who specializes in astrocartography.
When you look at your astrocartography map, you'll see it looks like a series of lines that run vertically up and down over continents and oceans. On astro.com's AstroClick Travel feature, they're color-coded, and you can actually click on them to get detailed info on what they mean. Each line corresponds to a planet and its position in the sky when you were born, and each planetary line offers its own unique energy that you'd experience when you're near that line geographically.
A quick rundown:
Sun: Visiting or living near this line will lead to greater confidence, a brighter mood, and a sense that you're comfier than usual in your skin.
Moon: Because the moon is all about emotions, you could feel especially sensitive when you're near this line.
Mercury: Being near the line of the messenger planet could boost your ability to think and communicate.
Venus: Being near the line of the planet of love, beauty, and money can make you extra attractive, charming, and a bit of a magnet for romantic and creative pursuits.
Mars: Because Mars rules action, energy, and sex, being near its line can make you braver, bolder, and perhaps also a bit more argumentative.
Jupiter: Living or visiting the line associated with the magnifying, fortune-boosting planet can bring lots of luck and abundance.
Saturn: The taskmaster planet is all about putting your nose to the grindstone, setting boundaries, accepting limitations, and committing fully — basically, being a grown-up. (Hello, Saturn return.) For that reason, living or visiting near this line could promote maturity but feel like a bit of a downer at times.
Uranus: Being near the line of the rebellious planet, which brings sudden change, can inspire you to strike out against convention.
Neptune: Being near the line of this dreamy, rational thought-hazing planet could bolster your imagination but also make you more susceptible to illusion and escapism.
Pluto: Proximity to the line associated with the planet of transformation, power, death, and rebirth could require you to burn it all down and start again.
Chiron: Being near the line of this comet, referred to as the "Wounded Healer" in astrology, can help you care for others.
North and south nodes (lunar nodes): The lines associated with these mathematical points (versus actual celestial bodies) speak to your destiny (north node) and karmic past (south node).
Additionally, there are four angles or cardinal points — just like in your natal chart — to pay attention to when you're working with astrocartography. You'll notice on your astrocartography map that there are four Jupiter lines, four sun lines, four moon lines, et al. Basically, each planet pairs with each of these angles to offer multi-layered intel. The angles are:
- Rising or Ascendant (AC): Just like your rising or ascendant in your natal chart, your rising or ascendant here represents the mask you wear out in the world. An example of how this might manifest in your astrocartography chart: If you travel or move to your moon AC line, you might be extra emotional, sensitive, or nurturing in a public-facing way, inspired to volunteer or become a nurse or caregiver.
- The Descendant (DC): The descendant line is associated with the seventh house of partnership, so it reflects one-on-one relationships. Find your Venus descendant line to get a sense of where you might meet your soulmate.
- The Imuni Coeli (IC): The IC line, also known as the cusp of the fourth house of home life, speaks to your family and roots. You'll be more meditative and internally focused when you're near your IC lines.
- The Medi-Coeli/Midheaven (MC): The MC line, or cusp of the tenth house of career, has to do with public image and success. So if you're hanging out near your Jupiter MC line, you can pretty much guarantee you'll enjoy some major luck related to your professional path.
What to Know About Using Astrocartography for Travel or Relocation
For some people, it could feel daunting to find out that the town in which you just bought a house isn't the most fortunate spot on the planet for you. Or you may fear you'll look at your astrocartography chart and feel like you have to high-tail it to the U.K. because you're certain your Uranus MC line there could bring about the professional change you've been wanting. On the flip side, you could be so ready for something new, lucky, or exciting that you're fired up to go wherever your strongest lines might fall, practicality be damned. But just as with all astrological concepts, practical application of astrocartography is nuanced.
"It's not always practical to move to your strongest astrocartography places," acknowledges my mentor April Elliott Kent of Big Sky Astrology. "But sometimes you can benefit from those places anyway."
For example, you might sign onto LinkedIn only to find out you've been messaged by a potential, thrilling client who lives in a faraway destination where one of your strongest, most positive lines falls. Or in the midst of using Tinder Passport, you match with someone who's based where you have a sexy Mars or romantic Venus DC line.
As Kent notes, "Surprising offers can come to you from a city where positive planets are strong in your astrocartography."
The bottom line: Although astrocartography may make it seem as though your fate has already been written in the stars, you can think of it more as a weather forecast — helpful insight on what you could expect to be working with when you travel or move to a certain location. Ultimately, how you choose to apply the knowledge offered up by your unique map is entirely up to you.