Whether Astrology is science or magic, we’re open to most things, if they may be of benefit. ~ Ed.
As someone living outside my country of birth for more than a decade, I’ve progressively grown interested in the astrological analysis of geo-relocation, or astrocartography.
The idea is simple: the focal points of soul work change when our location on Earth does. So while the natal chart is a blueprint for reading our soul’s deeper energetic patterns and personal growth trajectory, the “dial” around its edge rotates as a person moves anywhere beyond their place of birth.
We retain our blueprint, regardless of where we are physically, but the areas of life in which soul lessons and growth play out can shift.
In astrological terms, when we move far enough, our rising sign changes, the activity in houses changes, our descendent changes, and our midheaven emphasis changes. This means that the way we interact with and make first impressions on others changes, as well as our priorities, lessons, and potential to master certain areas of life. For short stays, this may feel like we’re pressing the reset button and embracing a refreshing getaway from the lot we usually have in our permanent dwelling space. The longer we stay in a new place, however, the more the aforementioned changes take hold.
When we tune into this idea, we might notice that, for instance, a particular location is super crappy for having a long-term relationship but bang-on for career advancement and making some extra bucks—this was my experience in Doha, Qatar, for seven years. The key words here are “particular location.” We can also find that moving locations leads us to meeting our domestic partner but struggling to find a career in that place—this may or may not still be me…haha.
We might also notice that we become hyper-focused on health or a certain type of exercise in one place and then “fall off the wagon” in another. There are certain planet-house combinations that indicate a more intense focus on these things. Blaming ourselves for focusing on one thing when energy is drawn elsewhere might come second to finding a balance of moderate activity and living out our location-based purpose in this case.
Superficially, relocation is a bit like wearing a different pair of shoes. We feel different and carry ourselves differently. Some shoes might be uncomfortable for any number of reasons, even if they look great, and yet this metaphor only gets us as far as how it feels. How it plays out deserves more attention.
A few personal anecdotes
In Lima, my Chiron sat right square on my midheaven. For those not familiar with Chiron, it is the position of our personal weakness or wound. It is a great potential point for self-healing. And yet the midheaven is a place that is very exposed—very much under a spotlight—which left me feeling like a walking wounded person.
I went to Lima knowing full-well where my Chiron would relocate, thinking, “This could be nothing or this could really be something!” I felt raw, vulnerable, and reclusive the entire time I was there, but as I settled into the place, I started to see how my wound could become a strength. I started to visit art museums and connect with particular struggles within artists. I started to create more striking art as well.
In Koh Samui, Surat Thani, in Thailand—a place where I have collectively spent about a year and a half in the past eight—my Uranus goes right up to my midheaven. Uranus is a planet signifying flash insight as well as sudden and radical shifts, so it’s like a lightening bolt of information designed to jog a person out of the mundane and prepare them for the future. Twice in Surat Thani I have brushed shoulders with death itself—and I’m not exaggerating. I’ve traveled to precarious places, even Nairobi for months and months, but something about my energy in Surat Thani means a likely visit to an emergency room or some kind of shakeup from the outside, from my midheaven, that leaves me rearranged.
In Bali, my rising shifts from Cancer to Aquarius and my Mercury energy shifts into the second house, which means my mind literally moves to money. I count pennies and budget. I find myself clinging to more stable modes of operation, one step at a time. Saturn goes into my sixth house here as well, a house that, among other things, implies a lot of criticism. Nothing can ever be perfect enough so I have to hold my tongue in Bali—and yet this is not a place to expect efficiency or routine. My rising Aquarius leads me to deep and well-timed spiritual experiences at temples, which helps me feel some semblance of a comfort zone. Yet my energy really tilts back to analyzing and seeing how things work. I find myself kneeling in front of Ganesha and asking for grace each morning. In the end, I don’t spend too long there.
Some places are much easier to be in than others, relative to various sectors of life. But something will always be called out a bit more depending on where we are. In Doha, where I mentioned I lived for seven years, Saturn was in the eighth house of transformation and loss, yielding to new beginnings. Lesson after lesson, I was stripped again and again of my own rules—humbled. I hobbled away a lot wiser but quite beaten up for it!
There are four ways that tuning into geo-relocation can benefit us:
- Our “lot in life” takes on a whole new meaning.
People used to think that infection was just inevitable with surgeries, until someone invented soap back at the turn of last century. That person was probably ridiculed, but somehow, people started to catch on and now soap saves lives every single day! Becoming more aware of how a location can impact what is emphasized in our lives can revolutionize the way we think about how much of our situation is actually our fault and how much is part of our soul’s course in a particular location.
- When a lesson isn’t teaching anything anymore, moving can become a priority.
How many friends I have listened to who cry about their circumstances and ignore me when I suggest, “Maybe you should move and see if your life picks up somehow.”
- We don’t have to move, but we can travel to see if things feel different.
I knew someone who was practicing Buddhism and somehow got tangled in the idea that he had to “find joy right where he was.” I don’t argue with that idea, but he was trying to avoid taking anti-anxiety medication at the time and failing. I asked him if he might want to try moving to a different city. He refuted, clinging to ideals. Then, within that same year, he met a woman and fell in love. She took him to another city. Today, he is happily married to her with two kids. Where he was was not his future.
- The whole world is available to those who prioritize their energy alignment in ways that work with them.
For some, this is a mega-tall order—their “home” is their home. But as we awaken to the patterns in our lives, the power and responsibility increasingly rests in our hands to situate ourselves to our own personal evolutionary advantage.
- Our “lot in life” takes on a whole new meaning.
If we are in a luxury position—able to read this article and even consider what it says—may these words be vital food for thought and thriving.
Author’s Note: to be clear, it’s not that the position of the Earth “causes” anything, or that these planets and their positions rain a cascade of “energy” down on us. It’s that those who study astrology can read where they are (relative to each other, because that is key to a retrograde) and what that means according to countless years of people witnessing patterns in human development.