ASTROCARTOGRAPHY: LESSON ONE

by Betsi Sites.


ASTROCARTOGRAPHY is the study of where-in-the-world the planets of your birth affect you most strongly, how you may experience those effects and for how long. It is based on the work of Jim Lewis, the founder of Astro*Carto*Graphy and Michael Gaugelin before him, whose statistical research proved that planets are strongest when they are positioned close to one of the 4 Angles of an Astrological chart, whether natal or relocated.

The Angles are the Ascendant or cusp of the 1st house, the I.C. or cusp of the 4th house, the Descendant or cusp of the 7th house and the Midheaven or cusp of the 10th house. The strongest position for these planets is within 8 degrees of the Angle. With this statistical observation, the concept for Astro*Carto*Graphy was born.

Jim Lewis was the first person to graph planets in these angular positions onto a world map. He created a software program that would translate the angular positioning of a planet in a chart to a line on a map. Midheaven and I.C. lines tend to run pretty much north and south on a map, except at the poles, but Ascendant and Descendant lines form a wavy line across the map.

Each planet carries a certain vibration which becomes accentuated or exaggerated when it lies near an Angle of a chart. When you have natal planets in this zone, they will affect your basic character quite strongly. However, when you move to another place, you will feel the planetary effects somewhat differently - in effect, you experience a rectified birth chart for that location. An astrocartography map is a quick way to see at a glance, where the planets in your birth chart are Angular. By picking a planet that expresses a particular trait you desire to express or experience, you can examine several potential places where that planet is angular. You might benefit from that planet's increased energetic input into how you live your life.

One of the basic exercises in Astrocartography is to understand how a planet "behaves" or is experienced when it is Angular, then to apply that understanding to the area of one's life that the particular Angle rules.

First let's look at the different Angles and the areas of our lives that they rule. Next we'll examine the nature of the planets and luminaries.

If you know something about what each house traditionally stands for in western astrology, this will give you clues as to the nature of the Angles. For instance, the Ascendant has alot to do with how we experience ourselves, express ourselves, our image, and our ego. It's a very personal expression, although it can refer to how others see us - not always what we imagine, especially if our Ascendant and our Sun sign are in incompatible elements, such as Water and Fire. The first house is all about the Self and the conflicts within ourself. The Ascendant is also known as our "rising sign" because it signifies the sign that was rising on the eastern horizon when we were born. (Two hours later another sign is on the horizon, and so it goes throughout the day - 12 signs rotating in 24 hours.)

Think about dawn and the beginning of a new day. Something that was hidden but hours before, now becomes revealed in the light of the morning sun. It is energized and alive as it comes into the light. It has a whole day ahead of it to manifest itself. It is young and strong. That is the essence of a planet on the Ascendant - it is being noticed for the first time, is just coming into view, and it is "rising" in power, yet it is still "new," untested and usually fairly idealistic and pure in expression.

There is a difference, however, on each side of that Ascendant. A 12th house planet "on the Ascendant" signifies an energy that is covertly held, secretive, or subconscious, still quietly hidden from view, but is none-the-less growing in strength getting ready for its coming-out party, which may become evident later in the course of the individual's life. The planet on the other side of the Ascendant in the first house is already "out", happening and expressing itself overtly. The First house represents The Self and self-expression. Both represent placements where a planet's innate powers will be felt strongly in that person's life. This placement sometimes reflects energies that were experienced around the time of birth. On the Ascendant, the planet's expression will be personal, internally or externally directed and may be a trait that identifies that personality. It may represent a life-long theme of self expression for that particular individual.

The I.C. (Imum Coeli) is the cusp of the 4th house. Planets here will affect you at the core of your being or in your home. Here too we can find planets that represent our childhood, it's joys or traumas. They may indicate issues that affect your roots, your geneology, your genetic heritage, such as trans-generational patterns and inherited deseases. Planets here will be felt internally also, especially if they conjunct the IC, and most likely they will denote the tone of life in your home, security issues, relations with family members (the 3rd house side is more likely to represent sibling issues). Planets here reflect the energies that center you and make you feel comfortably "at home." This placement corresponds to the midnight of your chart, where you are snuggled in your bed. Night dreaming may be affected by planets on the I.C. as well. For instance, Neptune conjunct the IC can indicate uncertain parenthood, hard to diagnose genetic carriers, deep dreaming abilities, confusion about who you really are, etc.

The Descendant rules the 7th house, the house of relationships, partnerships, marriage and social interaction in general. Planets here will reflect how you relate to others and they relate to you, how you are perceived, and how you perceive society in general, whether you are socially gracious or awkward, a joiner or an outcast. It also rules how you handle long-term committments and what you might bring to or expect out of a marriage. It can indicate the type of people you attract, and business partners. Planets here will also draw to you what you are unconsciously attracting so that if a planet here is ill-aspected in your natal chart, it can lead to co-dependent relationships and sometimes dangerous liasons. Since we rarely know what our own subconscious holds, the results of going where a planet is on the Descendant can be deceptive. Rather than the perfect relationship, we may draw a strongly karmic mate in order to work out some unfinished business that may not be so pleasant, but may be necessary to clear before an ideal relationship is even possible. This placement corresponds to dusk, that romantic, magical time of transcendent beauty when all is not as it seems.

The remaining Angle is the Midheaven, the cusp of the 10th house. This corresponds to high noon, when we are manifesting our goals and seeking higher attainment. Planets here represent what we are known for by the outer world. It is an external expression of our public self, such as at our jobs or how we manage our businesses, as well as how we function in the limelight, etc. Famous people often (but not always) have planets on the Midheaven. Martin Luther King had his Sun there. Goldie Hawn has Jupiter, Muhammed Ali has Mars and Ghandi had Uranus on the Midheaven. Others may have planets prominently on the Midheaven at the places where they became famous. If a person has a reputation, bad or good, there may be an indication of the nature of their renown, infamy or obscurity in accordance with the nature of the planets on the Midheaven. Planets in this sector express themselves in a rather "exalted" fashion and are considered to be in the strongest part of the chart. Just as the Sun is strongest at high noon, so a planet on the Midheaven carries a certain weight in a person's chart. Whereas on the Ascendant the planet's energy is just rising, here it has come into it's full power where it can mature into success and achievement (under favorable circumstances), or notoriety and shame (if ill-aspected).

The placement of a planet on an Angle does not alone determine its prominence, however. The birth chart holds many keys as to how a certain planet will express itself. The aspects to that planet in the natal chart often reveal its true character. If a planet in the birth chart is harmoniously aspected by trines and sextiles, especially to planets that are compatible by nature or sign, this has alot to do with its "success". If, however, that planet is "afflicted" with squares and oppositions (often semisquares, sesquisquares and inconjuncts as well), these are called "hard" aspects and may bring out a harder or meaner side of the Angular planet's energy.

For instance, a well-aspected Mars on an Angle, may express itself as a motivated, competitive, athletic and/or goal-oriented person with a strong sex drive. However, in some cases a planet on an Angle can be too much of a good thing, becoming excessive, overbearing or even dangerous. An "afflicted" Mars on an Angle under certain circumstances may be boisterous, aggressive, brutally blunt, self-centered or possibly violent. Or the energy, especially in Retrograde Mars, may be blocked or mis-directed. On the Descendant, it may draw people to you who have these qualities if your Mars is "afflicted." In the latter case, it would be better to move away from a place where Mars is accentuated. For someone who is quiet and unassuming, lacking self-confidence, devitalized or unmotivated, moving to a place where Mars is Angular may bring positive energy as the best solution to their problems. So you see, it is critical to take into consideration the entire natal chart, and an individual's expression there of, when counseling a person or recommending a particular location.

We also have to remember that expectations can often exceed reality and that we always take ourselves where ever we go. Some problems can't be cured by moving to another place. They simply have to be faced and corrected from within. Denial can't be cured by beautiful surroundings! Also some of the most "difficult" experiences are exactly what we need to get ourselves and our lives back on track. So when we decide to consider the alternatives that Astrocartography can offer, we must first honestly and thoroughly appraise our personal situation in order to determine our priorities, our responsibilities, our intrinsic gifts, our shortcomings and our intentions. With all this in mind, Seek BALANCE.... Too much of even a "good thing" can destroy us as surely as excessive hardship. On the other hand, Life is to be Experienced. Yet "Change for Change's sake" doesn't always turn out as we had hoped. There are no Guarantees in Life! But you'll never know unless you give a new set of parameters in a new place a try. Life is to be experienced after all!

NEXT LESSON

I invite you to consider ordering an Astrocartography Map or two (World, US, Europe or any particular region) to take a look at... They only cost $5.00 each. Location Reports for where you live now, or where you think you might like to live, are also just $5.00.

You may order any combination of 5 Maps and Reports for the discounted price of
ONLY $20!

We hope to hear from you soon!

Simply contact Astrology 2000 at (303) 546-9119 or print a copy of our order form and send it filled in with a check to: Betsi Sites, PO Box 274, Crestone, CO 81131 Remember to include your birth date, birth place and time of birth along with a check!

"May the Rhythm of the Heavens Guide your Path!"

NEXT LESSON