The Basics of Astrocartography
Have you ever traveled to a place you’ve never been to and feel like you just belong there? It could be tied to your birth chart!
While most followers of astrology are comfortable with the classic methods of zodiac alignment, natal charts, and their influence on the spiritual self, those interested in other branches of the metaphysical sciences that have delved deeper know there are varying ways to read a chart - or perhaps not even use a chart of the heavens at all, by looking a little closer to home.
Today we are going to take a look at something completely different - if you’ve never heard of astrocartography, now is a great time to learn!
What Is Astrocartography?
Astrocartography, which can also be referred to as locational astrology or astrogeography, is a type of astrology popularized between the 1930s to the 1960s that factors in the influence of specific locations on Earth as they correspond to your astrological chart.
While the concept predates that time, it really gained attention in the late ’70s, when the technology to overlay astrological charts with parallel maps of Earth became more easily accessible. One of the pioneers of astrogeography, American astrologer Jim Lewis, created over forty such maps that are still used by practitioners of the science today.
The principle belief behind astrocartography is that our lives are more likely to be influenced by the planet we reside on, with added importance from planetary alignments at the date and time of our birth, rather than just our zodiac sign.
Some interpretations of the art suggest we may be drawn to certain places at specific times in our lives, or that they’ll provoke a meaningful emotional response, based on astrological placements in our natal chart. That time you went to Denmark and felt right at home? Perhaps it’s a key location on your chart!
How Exactly Does Astrocartography Work?
The fundamentals of locational astrology are deceptively simple, since all you need are a map and a guide of the planetary lines at your time of birth. While some practitioners use a complete world map, others prefer to use a map of each hemisphere, in order to see more accurate detail in locational placement.
The guide of planetary lines can get a little more complicated with over 40 lines present to account for the planets, Moon & Sun, but the most important thing to know is the four positions of each planetary line on the chart - ascendant, descendant, imuni coeli, and medi coeli.
For an accurate interpretation, each line should carry a notation depicting the placement of the planet as it resides on your natal chart. Referred to as the ‘cardinal points’ on your locational astrology chart, each line has a specific correlation to your spiritual self.
- The ascendant line is your personal expression, and planetary energy will influence you most strongly while on the ascendant
- The descendant line carries external influence and correlates how you interact with others
- If you are seeking knowledge of your true self and searching for a connection, this aspect will be most closely tied to the imuni coeli
- The medi-coeli, or Midheaven line, is our self-perception - how we see ourselves in the world through the characteristics of the aligned planet
- While the ascendant and descendant lines run from the North to South poles, the imuni coeli and medi coeli lines run East to West
One of the cornerstones of this branch of astrology is that it seeks to remove the mystical element out of the practice, and relies more heavily on the scientific aspects of astronomy and geography - thus, it is less dedicated to the feelings and emotions of our day to day lives, and focuses more on places of significant impact that may occur in our lifetime.
So while astrocartography may not be the right fit if you’re looking to know if you should pursue the dreamy new love interest in your life, or hold back on pushing for a promotion at work right now, it can have a much more meaningful and far-reaching impact on our whole self.
What Can I Learn From Astrocartography?
There is no doubt that travel changes us; there is a reason so many people turn to relocating to a new city or exploring a foreign country during meaningful periods in their life, such as graduation, divorce or a death in the family. Leaving our old life behind, even for a short period of time, allows us to grow beyond the limitations of it & the patterns we were stuck in.
The experiences we can encounter when we are pushed outside of our comfort zone shape and redefine the way we see ourselves. By using locational astrology, we can maximize the influence and definition these locations will have on our lives because they are tailored to our personalities and place in the world.
For example, finding the location of your Sun ascendant on the map would be a great place for a recent high school graduate to look for universities to apply to; a placement here indicates the discovery of self, of growing emotionally and feeling comfortable in their own skin.
Success, prosperity, and acceptance reside under the influence of Jupiter, so ensuring that you don’t permanently relocate to a city under your imuni coeli in Jupiter won’t lead to feeling stifled or disconnected from your new community.
If you’re suffering from a creative block, it could be beneficial to find an artist’s retreat in a city that aligns with your Mercury descendant, as this environment would stimulate you mentally and allow you better self-expression.
If you’re looking for a fresh start at a pivotal moment in your life, or perhaps just want to reinvigorate certain aspects of it, astrocartography may be an avenue you’d like to pursue.
Knowing more about your planetary guidance could lead to you moving to a promising new city, enrolling in an institution that allows you to flourish, or even simply taking a trip that shifts your perspective on facets of your life you’ve been neglecting.
As with all forms of metaphysical sciences, astrocartography is yet another tool at your disposal in your journey of self-discovery - only this one may take you on an actual journey. Hope your passport is up to date!