The Astrology Podcast
Transcript of Episode 422, titled:
With Chris Brennan and guest Helena Woods
Episode originally released on October 10, 2023
Note: This is a transcript of a spoken word podcast. If possible, we encourage you to listen to the audio or video version, since they include inflections that may not translate well when written out. Our transcripts are created by human transcribers, and the text may contain errors and differences from the spoken audio. If you find any errors then please send them to us by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Transcribed by Andrea Johnson
Transcription released October 13th, 2023
Copyright © 2023 TheAstrologyPodcast.com
CHRIS BRENNAN: Hey, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. Today I’m gonna be talking with astrologer Helena Woods and we’re going to be talking about astrocartography, which is a form of relocational astrology which allows you to use astrology to find the best place to live. So, hey, Helena, thanks for joining me.
HELENA WOODS: Yeah, such a magical opportunity to speak with you, Chris.
CB: Yeah, I really like your work. You’ve been really killing it with a YouTube channel over the past while where you really focus specializing on astrocartography and relocational astrology, and I really love your work. So I thought it would be a great opportunity to collaborate and put together an episode on this topic together.
HW: Yeah! Oh, this is so exciting. I’m so passionate about this. And this work is so valuable and such an important tool and I’m excited to share this with your community.
CB: Cool. All right, so to give people the highlights of what we’re gonna be talking about in this let’s say two-hour episode really quickly, did I describe it correctly? We’re talking about astrocartography which is a form of relocational astrology. And the basic premise is that there’s different places on Earth that are going to accent your chart, your birth chart, in different ways.
HW: Yeah, Jim Lewis created this maps system, and basically it’s this idea of we’re existing everywhere all at once in the world and by moving you connect and bring to light an aspect of consciousness that’s in your birth chart. And so, by traveling or moving or going to these different places we’re really connecting with the same essence of us but in a new way. We’re exploring it in a new way.
CB: That’s brilliant. I love that. So there’s this idea that there’s some parts of our chart that aren’t as prominent in our birth chart itself, but depending on where you move in different parts in the world, you can actually change your chart and change the birth location to whatever that new city is in the world, and it will turn the chart and turn the houses and put different planets on the angles of the chart, which is the ascendant and midheaven and descendant and IC.
HW: Yeah. Yeah, and it’s all based on angles. The entire map that he created was based on which planets were on which angle; when the Sun was rising where was that happening in the world at birth versus where was the Sun setting at a different part in the world. And so, instead of looking at charts, which we look at relocated charts as well, it’s based on a visual map showing where the planets were angular in the different parts of the world.
CB: Okay, awesome. So just to give people a visual preview, here’s the chart from astro.com, which you can find for free by going to their AstroClick Travel section, and it will just show you these planet lines that run through different cities or different parts of the world. And it’s really cool ‘cause you can use it to study how your chart changes and shifts in different parts of the world or how it emphasizes different parts of the chart in different ways.
HW: Yeah, it’s such an amazing tool. And it really can shift life—exploring different aspects of the life and connecting with different people in parts of the world, or having opportunities with different careers. There’s so many things you can activate just by traveling to places.
CB: Cool. All right, so let’s maybe introduce you to my audience—this is your first time on the podcast—and talk a little bit about your background. You’re so passionate about this topic that you’ve actually been traveling around the world to different astrocartography lines to see how different lines work for you in different places, right?
HW: Yeah, it’s amazing. So I moved to France five years ago. And I’ve always loved astrology, but it was in France—when I moved from the US to France—that I learned about astrocartography, and I saw and experienced in my own life how the experience can be so different and how you activate certain themes in your life that you maybe wouldn’t have if you had stayed in the same place. And so, I started exploring this and traveling a lot. And now I’m on a mission to explore all of my lines and timing it with transits and progressions for the next few years to see what is coming, what is bringing to light the external but also the internal. And, yeah, so I’m living this now. I’m currently in Tallinn, Estonia at the moment, exactly on my Jupiter descendant line. And I’m on a cool writing latitude at the moment, so I’ve been really utilizing the energy well here. And I live on a great line in France. I found my home in France on a beautiful home line. And, yeah, so I’m excited to see where my travels take me and what comes to light with all of these places.
CB: Brilliant. That sounds like so much fun. And, yeah, from a very early stage in my studies, I studied astrology for a few years as well and then I started moving around, first, to go to school, and then to study at a translation project and I ended up jumping from major line to major line in my chart. Eventually once I started lecturing and stuff I started traveling to different parts of the world I always found my astrocartography lines to be very descriptive of the types of experiences I would have in those locations, but also the types of like people that I would meet sometimes or at least interactions that I would have with like major relationships or business things and other things like that, so it’s always been a really compelling technique to me. And I think that’s most people’s experience, that this actually works surprisingly well. Not that you wouldn’t think that it would at first, but it’s actually striking once you try it out on your own chart and see some of those major lines and like how compelling it is.
HW: Oh, yeah. I mean, you can see that for people who find their spouse or their best friends or their clients. A lot of their clients, people who have businesses, they’ll come from a certain descendant line or a certain area. And so, relationships are a big thing, connecting with people, also exploring the sense of self. Yeah, there’s so many ways that you can use this.
CB: For sure, for sure. All right, well, let’s talk a little bit first at the very beginning, which you already touched on, about the history and some of the basic premise. So at some point like I was rereading one of the primary textbooks for this. Really the main astrologer who originated the technique in the 1970s was an astrologer named Jim Lewis, and he wrote a book titled The Psychology of Astro*Carto*Graphy. And it seems like that’s really one of the main books on this topic, right?
HW: Yeah, yeah. It’s kind of like a cookbook style of what does it mean when you go to certain lines on certain angles, whether it relocates to a certain house. It’s an amazing book. It’s kind of like a go-to book for anyone who wants to dive into this. It’s like a manual to tell you what each thing means.
CB: Okay, brilliant. And it seems like, from what I was reading the book, he developed the technique originally in the 1970s, and he was actually drawing out these lines by hand on charts back then manually, and it was something that people could write in for to get their astrocartography chart. And it slowly sort of took off as a technique until the late 20th century, like the 1990s and 2000s. I know it was integrated into astro.com where everybody could use it for free, and it seemed like everyone became very familiar with it from that point forward.
HW: Yeah, yeah. And it’s interesting ‘cause Jim Lewis, he created the maps in the ‘70s, but he was really inspired by Donald Bradley in the 1950s, Donald Bradley was making charts on political and mundane astrology. And so, Jim Lewis met him and was really inspired and then he experiences in his own life going to a Mars line and having certain themes keep coming up for him, and he was like, “There’s something to this.” And so, in the ‘70s he created the maps.
CB: Okay, brilliant. And that’s something I was curious about, a little bit of the history. In the forward to the book that Ken Irving wrote for Jim Lewis’s book, they said that there were some earlier traces of this that Jim Lewis may not have been fully aware of, like Bradley’s work on it; it wasn’t necessarily clear. But really Jim Lewis was the one who pioneered it and sort of made it a popularized technique, or he popularized the technique for sure as well as—
CB: —innovated some of the application of it to natal charts and using it in that way so that people could study their personal lines all over the world.
HW: Yeah, it’s brilliant, brilliant.
CB: Cool, all right. And Jim Lewis unfortunately, sadly passed away prematurely in the 1990s. He died in 1995, but that book was then published by Kenneth Irving, by his friend Kenneth Irving, as well as Erin Sullivan who was editing a series of books for Penguin Arkana at the time, which was like a big publisher when they were still publishing really major astrology works. And they published that book in 1997, so just a couple of years after he passed away.
HW: Wow. Yeah, yeah, wow.
CB: Yeah, so that’s really important and notable. And that book’s still in print so people should check that out. And then other than that, in terms of the conceptual premise of this, I think the first starting point is just the idea that you can relocate a birth chart and what relocating a birth chart looks like and what that means. So everybody has their normal birth chart where you have those three pieces of data, where you have the date, you have the time, and you have the place you were born and that creates the sort of static birth chart that astrologers have been using for over 2,000 years now. But what astrologers learned at some point—I’m not exactly clear but certainly over the past century—was that if you changed the location to whatever your current location is that there’s something about that relocated chart, that relocated birth chart, that actually does speak to your experience of that location.
HW: Yeah. And it’s interesting ‘cause it’s the idea that your chart is what it is, but when you locate to a new place it’s what it is here. So in this location there’s a shift. So, for example, your Mars, your natal Mars, will always be your natal Mars, but it’s exploring a different area of life when you relocate the chart to a new area. So it moves house-wise and then the angles move as well. And so, yeah, that’s the relocated chart, which you can see the changes just by moving.
CB: Okay. Well, let’s show what that looks like. I’ll use my chart. And then you’re comfortable sharing your chart as well, right?
HW: Oh, totally, yeah.
CB: Okay, cool. So just to give people an example of what this looks like, here is my basic birth chart. This is cast using whole sign houses, but we’re gonna pay attention to the degrees of the angles still. even though it’s within a whole sign context. So my ascendant is at 17° of Aquarius and my midheaven is at 5° of Sagittarius. And that naturally means in my birth location there’s certain planets that are really angular in my chart according to the degrees. Like the Moon is almost right on the ascendant natally and Uranus is almost right on the midheaven—it’s just like 5° or 6° off of the midheaven—and those are the most active planets in my chart in some sense, in a dynamic sense based on the proximity to the degrees of the angles.
HW: Yeah, yeah. And you’ll see that on your map. So when you pull up your astro map, like on astro.com, you’ll see that Uranus MC line, you’ll see that Moon ascendant, the Moon rising line there on the map as well because those planets are on angles. So it’s a really cool visual representation of what’s happening on your map.
CB: So here’s what you’re talking about. For those watching the video version—people can listen to the audio but this is probably gonna be a visually-intensive episode, so we’ll do our best to describe what we’re looking at. But for the most part this is probably one of those ones people will want to watch on YouTube.
CB: So here is the astrocartography map and it shows my birth location there in Denver; that’s the red mark basically.
CB: And then, yeah, you see the ascendant Moon line, which is where the ascendant exactly would meet the Moon. Basically the city or the locations in the United States or in the world where the Moon would come to the exact degree of the ascendant and that’s what that’s representing.
HW: Yeah, yeah. The Moon was rising exactly at that point.
CB: Got it, okay. And that’s because it was like 4° or 5° off from being exact in my actual birth chart itself.
HW: Yeah. And this is based on degrees. Jim Lewis used 8° orbs, 7° orbs, so we’re looking at 700 miles of a distance. So the closer you are to a degree on an angle with a planet, the closer that line would be, and the more active and potent that energy would be the closer you are to it.
CB: Okay. So there’s a proximity effect and it gets more intense the closer you get to the exact line.
HW: Oh, yeah. And that’s a big thing I see. A lot of people think, “I don’t have a line here, so that means there’s no energy here. This isn’t an important place for me in the world because there’s not a line going exactly through this area.” But in actuality you just have to measure it. You still have those lines influencing you within hundreds of miles, but the closer you are the more intense it is. And it’s like turning up the power all the way up on a planet, but you’re still with an orb even if you don’t have that line directly. Even within a 100 miles 200 miles, you’re still with an orb.
CB: Got it, okay. So going back to this map we also see my Uranus midheaven line, because we saw that Uranus was very close to my midheaven in my birth chart. It was like 5° or 6° off.
CB: If you were to move east of Denver basically that’s where you would hit the exact Uranus midheaven line. It runs through basically Kansas, which is the state just adjacent to Colorado.
CB: Cool. All right, so there’s the Uranus MC. And then one last thing I wanted to show also is there’s other lines of course, when you start getting further away from your birth location, which start bringing planets that were not natally very close to angles in the birth chart. It brings them right to the degrees of the angles and that’s what the rest of the lines are basically indicating in the chart. So, for example, one of my lines that I moved to when I first left home, I moved to Seattle to go to school, to go to Kepler College basically to study astrology. And my Saturn midheaven line runs right through Seattle.
HW: Wow, wow. And how did you feel when you were there at school? Was it very studious, I’m guessing with Saturn?
CB: Yeah. Well, ironically what’s funny about that was it was actually a very isolating, sort of lonely year in this like rainy city ‘cause it was during the winter in Seattle, so it’s like very overcast. I didn’t have a lot of social connections out there because it was like an online school, and I went there to have access to the library. So it was a very Saturn-type year in terms of being isolated from my family or friends I grew up with for the first time, moving to a different city for the first time. And I was also like very broke and like scraping by, and sometimes I would like have to choose between like getting dinner that night—or buying groceries versus there was this really good ibn Ezra book that I wanted to buy one time that was like $20 at the local astrology bookstore, and I like got the book instead of the food. So that was like a negative Saturn experience.
But then interestingly that was when I also—famously at Kepler College, in the second year—took 202, where Demetra George and Dennis Harness were teaching an introduction to Hellenistic and Vedic astrology at the same time, and I famously protested ‘cause I didn’t want to take it. I went there to study modern astrology and study astrocartography and outer planets and other stuff like that and I didn’t want to study ancient astrology ‘cause I thought it was outdated and not useful. But then they basically said, “Tough, you can’t get out of it, take the course,” so I did and I ended up loving it and then famously became super fascinated with ancient astrology at that point. And that became my thing which I found on my Saturn MC line, so that’s pretty good. It was pretty good.
HW: Oh, and Saturn’s so enduring. It’s like when I see clients who live on a Saturn MC it’s like the work they do there can have such longevity. It’s enduring work. It stands the test of time; it’s something that they do 20 years from now. Or if they make investments or start a business on a Saturn MC, it’s like that thing that they started they’ll still be doing it 30 years from now, and there’s still the rewards that come from the time element of putting in the time and the dedication to something. That is so cool. Saturn MC lines can be very successful for people, but there is that isolation, the hard work. There’s a lot of that coldness of Saturn too.
CB: Yeah, for sure. So in terms of the relocated chart, what we’re doing there is we’re basically using my same date and time but we’re just setting the location for Seattle, right?
HW: Yeah. And so, you’re changing the location. And you can do that in software like Astro Gold, any software, even astro.com. And when you adjust the location, the time will shift too. So Seattle, that time zone will shift. So the time will shift and the location will shift, and when you do that there should be a lot of changes with the angles and then the houses can shift as well.
CB: So do you know where that setting is? So to do a relocated chart is there a specific setting, or do you just like recast the chart for that location?
HW: In astro.com you can go down to ‘Chart Type’ and then there’s a relocated chart feature, a relocated chart button in the drop-down menu. In Astro Gold there is a relocation option as well. But all software will have a relocation subsidiary chart that you can use and it’ll automatically adjust all the time and everything.
CB: So I just went ahead and did that. So there’s the natal chart, again, using whole sign houses just to show people. And then here is the relocated chart for Seattle and we can just see that it shifts everything over, and all of a sudden this Saturn placement in my chart, which is at 7 Scorpio, is suddenly on the midheaven in that chart, just so much more prominent. And that’s so important because in the natal chart itself Saturn is the ruler of my ascendant it, and it’s in the 10th whole sign house, the place of career and reputation and overall life direction. So it was almost as if finding that place would unlock that placement in my chart where like the potential was there. It’s almost like by going to that place, that was where I would discover the potential of that placement in my birth chart.
HW: Exactly. It’s amazing. It’s unlocking potential, unlocking aspects of consciousness, unlocking parts of self—the natal promise. It’s amazing. It’s so cool, yeah.
CB: Yeah, the natal promise. I love that phrase. That was like a phrase I picked up I think originally from Indian astrologers in the mid-2000s, but it’s such a good phrase, the idea that the birth chart promises certain things. But there’s certain timing techniques or other techniques—like potentially this one, locational astrology—that will tell you when that natal promise that was made in the birth chart will actually be delivered.
HW: Yeah. And there’s a great quote from Jim Lewis. There’s a clip of it on YouTube somewhere—it’s only like a minute long—but he says something like astrology is fairly fatalistic in a way in the sense that there’s a lot of things that have to do with timing and things being timed. But the thing about astrocartography and locational astrology is that you can choose to be in a new location, and you can choose to feel a different way. And a big thing about these lines is they really affect our quality of life and how we feel. So regardless of if you have a hard transit or you’re going through a hard time in life, when something is timed you can put yourself in a place where there’s more resilience or there’s an ability to get through it with ease rather than being in a harder place, like a Saturn Line when you have your Saturn return, for instance. I mean, there’s ways that you can really help your life in some way, which that’s the cool thing that Jim Lewis was really passionate about.
CB: Yeah. As astrologers we’re so used to dealing with time and time is our major currency; it’s a major tool that we have to work with. But what’s interesting about this is it’s bringing a completely different component that we don’t often get to work with which is space and location. And time, time is tricky because time is not as malleable. There’s some parts of time, like the past and the present, that you can’t always control or do a lot about. You can’t change even some things about the future, at least in terms of you know that a certain transit is gonna be happening on this day, 20 years from now. And that’s gonna happen one way or another, that transit, because the planets are on that course and they can’t really be moved, at least from an astronomical standpoint. But space is really interesting ‘cause that is something that we have a little bit more control over in terms of where we are at certain points of time and how that might change, or if not change, at least accentuate the birth chart differently.
HW: Exactly, yeah.
HW: I love that.
CB: And that’s actually an interesting point about accentuation. One of the things astrocartography does is it seems like it accentuates different parts of the chart in different ways, but it seems like it doesn’t really override or completely change the basic birth chart itself, right?
HW: Yeah, the birth chart is always fixed, but we can bring in other elements within the birth chart to prominence so other pieces of our natal promise, they’re more direct, they’re more kind of in-your-face, they come up to light in a way. And there’s that freedom of choice in choosing which planetary archetype, which theme in the birth chart we want to bring more out.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. Well, that’s good to know just in terms of setting expectations. All right, I mean, I have a couple other parts of how my other lines have worked out, but I don’t know whether to go into that to wrap that up in terms of my story or whether to talk about other examples or talk about your experiences so far.
HW: Oh, yeah, I’d love to share my story ‘cause it’s so specific and literal.
HW: Yeah, so I was born on a Leo Moon MC line. So right on a Moon MC line.
CB: What’s your birth data?
HW: Oh, my birth information?
CB: Just for the record.
HW: Oh, yeah, May 17, 1994, 6:32 PM, Poway, California.
CB: Okay. So you have 13 Scorpio rising?
CB: Cool. All right, so 13 Scorpio rising. Your Jupiter’s at like 7 Scorpio, near the ascendant, just for the audio listeners. The Sun is at 26 Taurus, and the Moon is at 21 Leo.
HW: Yeah. And so, I was born smack dab on that Moon MC line, right through my town where I was born in the San Diego area. And so, that Leo Moon—I grew up an actress. I grew up an entertainer. I had this deep desire, this emotional need to be on stage, to be an actress, to be seen. And you could see Leo Moon on the MC. We’re connecting the Moon story of needs, desires, emotional nourishment, what you need to receive, and it’s on the MC which is a high point of visibility, the desire to be public, and then the Leo element flavoring that. And then the Jupiter on the ascendant, I mean, the main story is really that Moon MC because it was going straight through my town. So when we’re seeing a line going right through a place, that energy is magnified as kind of like the main thing. But then we also have the Jupiter ascendant coming through, which is just Jupiter in Scorpio on the ascendant. The desire to seek truth, to seek knowledge and something deeper, the spiritual quest that I was on as a teenager, so that was a big theme. When I moved to New York, I moved to New York City. Oh, yeah, there’s the map so that they can see.
CB: So here’s your astrocartography map and there’s the Moon MC line which runs right through the southern part of California.
HW: Yeah. And so, that Moon MC was big. The Jupiter ascendant, I’m getting hints of that. Even though the Jupiter ascendant, the Jupiter rising line is going through San Jose, I’m still getting that in San Diego. But when I was 18, I packed my bags and I moved to New York City to try acting and to do the whole New York City stage thing. I lived there for 5 years and it was actually a year or two in that I realized I didn’t want to do acting anymore. And a big story of my life when I was in New York was relationships and dating and my social life and my friendships. I ended up meeting my husband there in New York City. And it’s so interesting ‘cause he has his Mercury ascendant line going right through that area. So my Mercury descendant’s there: descendant being others, what comes from projections of others, reflections of others. There’s a theme of other people, the descendant coming into focus, and Mercury. And he’s got Mercury on the ascendant in his chart and it’s going through there. So a big part of my story of New York was meeting my husband and connections with people. I built a client business, so that was a big part of my story there. I also had a book published by a publisher there.
CB: So your husband has Mercury on the ascendant.
CB: That’s a really good and striking point ‘cause that’s something I see come up a lot as well, that sometimes when you move to a line, you’ll meet people that actually have that planet prominent in their chart in some way.
HW: Yeah, yeah.
CB: So that’s a common thing.
HW: Yeah, I see that all the time with client charts. One person will have that descendant line going through an area and then the other person will have the same planet but on the ascendant.
CB: Right. That’s wild. That’s really magical. It gets to be sort of a trippy part of astrology at that point when you start seeing that stuff happen. And then you said you also got a book published there?
HW: Yeah, in Florida, that Mercury descendant is going straight through Florida. And at that point in the Miami area, I had just a publisher reach out and publish a book of mine called Slow Living, and it was, yeah, right there, Mercury on the descendant. I think of Mercury (writing, communication, ideas, thoughts) on the descendant, which relocated to the 7th house in the relocated chart (publishers or collaborations), so that was a big thing that was activated there.
CB: Wow, that’s amazing.
CB: Okay, so that was your Mercury. So you did one coast—you started on the West Coast—then you moved to the East Coast and you got some of the Mercury action going on. Let’s do your relocated chart, just so people can visualize what that looks like. So I’m just gonna go to Solar Fire, and I’m gonna go to ‘Locality’, and then click ‘Relocated Chart’. And I’ll just change it to New York.
HW: Yeah, solar fire is great for astro maps. The Solar Maps feature is so cool.
CB: Yeah. And I’m using astro.com just to show people what that looks like since that’s the free resource that everyone starts with.
HW: Oh, yeah.
CB: But a big thing is that you really recommend using software, and Solar Fire’s got a pretty big component for locational astrology in it.
HW: Totally. Especially when we’re looking at timing; so when’s the right time to go to a place.
CB: Got it, okay. So here’s your relocated chart. Yeah, so it changes your ascendant in New York to like 14° of Sagittarius. So that’s radically different from your Scorpio ascendant. And we see Mercury right there at 15° of Gemini like right on your descendant.
CB: I know the exact Venus line is a ways off into the Atlantic, but it’s like I can’t help but notice also how it moves Venus as well, and Venus starts getting in proximity to that descendant as well.
HW: Yeah, Venus—oh, my gosh, Venus stories with relationships are such a key thing. So many cool examples like when the other person in the relationship has that Venus line where that person was born, like John Lennon and Yoko Ono. They each were born with the other person’s Venus line. So cool. So cool to see Venus placements in relationship with astrocartography.
CB: For sure. All right, and then you got the book deal. So what was your next thing? Or do you have other lines after that that have been notable?
HW: Yeah. Well, the book deal happened a lot later, just this year. But I moved to France, Strasbourg, France. I moved to Strasbourg and that was where life shifted again in a huge way, and I’ve lived in this area for five years in France; and so the relocated chart was the same for the last five years. I mean, this chart is becoming more my life than my natal chart, which is bizarre. The transits too on the relocated chart have just manifested in such a weird way. But there’s that Venus IC; it’s going right through Strasbourg, France. And that was a place where I really learned to slow down my life and connect with the culture, the traditions of France, French culture. I learned a lot about enjoying the simple joys of my life and slowing down and finding beauty in the ordinary and that Venusian. Oh, my gosh, I felt so at home, and it’s my home in the world, and that Venus relocates the 4th house of the land and the home. But I also have Saturn on the ascendant there, and there is that isolation of being away from friends and family. It’s definitely not a social place for me in the world, but Saturn has actually been a benefit for me. The thinking of time, the thinking of getting my life in order, routines, rituals, all of those things, that Saturn ascendant has really helped me mature in my life that I don’t think I otherwise would have experienced, being so close to that Saturn line.
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant. And I noticed in your birth chart itself that you have Saturn at 11° of Pisces. So you’re actually in your Saturn return right now, and you’re living like on your Saturn ascendant line or very close to it.
CB: That’s pretty cool.
HW: Yeah. I probably don’t want to be here exactly when that Saturn transit’s going right over my location on the map, so I might go see somewhere a little bit more enjoyable, but, yeah.
CB: Sure. Well, that’s pretty cool. Okay, so Venus IC and a pretty good living situation. Where is Strasbourg located in France roughly?
HW: Yeah, it’s right below Luxembourg.
HW: Right on the border of Germany.
CB: Got it. So there’s Luxembourg. So it’s up in northeastern France. So it really is right on your Venus IC line.
HW: Yeah. And it’s home. It’s my favorite place in the world. I’ve never had a sense of home before, and it’s, yeah, right there on the IC.
CB: Was that deliberate, or did you just end up there on your IC line accidentally?
HW: Yeah, I ended up there ‘cause my husband got a job teaching English there in Strasbourg, and so it took us there. And then I learned about astrocartography actually and got more deeply into astrology since moving here. And it’s interesting ‘cause the ruler of myself and the ruler of my career are all connected to the 9th house when we relocate that chart. So a lot of things got activated just by moving here.
CB: Okay, let me relocate that just to see. I’ve got to see this. Okay, there it is. Sorry, I was not expecting—okay, there we go. So this is your relocated chart. Does this look right?
HW: Yep, that’s right.
CB: Okay, so there’s Venus right there at 26° of Gemini, and there’s the IC that’s right there. And then it’s also opposing the midheaven, which is pretty good. And we see Saturn is above the ascendant quite a bit ‘cause you’re not exactly on the Saturn line, but your new ascendant is at 22 Pisces and your Saturn is at 11 Pisces.
HW: Yeah. And the thing about this chart is that 9th house Scorpio with Jupiter there, in the 9th in my birth chart that is a part of my career story but I’ve never activated it until I moved here because the ruler of the ascendant and the ruler of the midheaven all point back to that 9th house where Jupiter is now placed. And so, that’s where I’m going back to that idea of you can look at your birth chart and see what are the stories that are happening within your chart, and then by moving you can then get activity into that area of life.
CB: Sure. Even areas that weren’t otherwise active previously.
HW: Exactly, yeah.
CB: Okay, that’s really cool. All right, have you had any other line stories in your travels? Or—
HW: Oh, yeah.
CB: —are those your
main ones so far?
HW: I mean, I’m on my Jupiter descendant now and that’s been incredible. Just so many contacts, people I’ve connected with. You—connecting with you and the podcast, so many other people reaching out. Like a lot of help and benevolence and just help from other people has really come my way since coming here when Jupiter relocates to the 7th house. But my Mars ascendant is my hardest place I’ve ever been to. I went on my honeymoon to Egypt, and my Mars ascendant is going right through Egypt, and it was a really hard place for me. And that’s when we kind of go into more detail of what is your natal Mars, what is your natal Saturn ‘cause you’re getting more of that story. For instance, my Mars is squaring Uranus. My Mars square Uranus being on that Mars line, it was a very eruptive, unhappy, combative, argumentative place for me. Not an easy place for me, and that Mars ascendant energy was really active there.
CB: I noticed you have a day chart just natally. And that probably makes a big difference in terms of the sect of the chart and which benefic is the best one for you—like in a day chart that would be Jupiter or in a night chart that would be Venus—and also which malefic. For day chart people like yourself, your Mars placement is gonna be the more challenging one, whereas for night chart people Saturn is more challenging natally, and that sometimes does transfer over to the astrocartography lines as well.
HW: Absolutely. I love my Saturn ascendant line and I hate my Mars ascendant line. It’s so wild.
CB: I am actually the same way. So in your chart you have Mars at 25 Aries, and your Uranus is at 26 Capricorn, and Neptune’s at 23 Capricorn. So that’s the square you were talking about; it becomes much more prominent and becomes kind of unlocked in that location.
CB: Okay, so let me relocate that just to show people visually. We won’t do this for the entire episode, but just to get people oriented.
HW: Yeah. And it was a place of if I saw something that was not really nice on the street, I would get mad or things like that. Like just this simmering anger that would come out of my environment. What I saw in my environment would provoke that Mars. And so, that was a big part of the story there and it was really challenging for me.
CB: Yeah, I think that’s really interesting. And I had similar experiences with a Mars line. Conflicts with others on my Mars descendant line have been with people weirdly in or from the location of that Mars line, which is really weird thinking about that, but just like running into conflict with certain people or having certain types of relationships that are more combative on your Mars line basically.
HW: Oh, yeah, it happens a lot. Conflict, breakups can happen on Mars lines. Mars loves to sever, there’s that theme that comes up a lot for people. Another thing—talking about history and what happens in the world—Jim Lewis has talked about that in the book, about how presidents, US presidents, there’s a lot of war themes when they have Mar lines in different parts of the world. So Truman, the Mars line in Korea, there’s lots of different presidents that have Mars lines and there have been themes that are in these patterns, these correlations with US presidents and their Mars lines in the world.
CB: So the Truman one, was it that his Mars line ran through Korea? And then after World War II, the Korean War took place basically?
HW: Yeah, the Mars IC line. And he also has Pluto crossing Saturn, I believe on the ascendant, right in Hiroshima in Japan where the bomb was dropped. And Pluto is another thing. Jim Lewis talks about Pluto, and Pluto lines for presidents can be deaths, assassination attempts. Like Ford had an assassination attempt, JFK was assassinated in Dallas on his Pluto line, and Truman has his Pluto line right over there in Hiroshima where the bomb was dropped.
CB: Wow, okay. That is pretty crazy. So I pulled up Truman’s chart on astro.com. And I didn’t glance at the time but here’s his lines, different things like that. So, yeah, like you were saying, the ascendant and the Pluto lines we can see running right through the lower parts of Japan.
HW: Yeah, yeah. And Pluto, some astrologers say it’s like a higher octave of Mars: Pluto ruling death and Mars being conflict or war. And that’s right on the IC, the land, and that’s going right close to Korea there.
CB: And that brings up another point that maybe we’ll get into in a little bit, but he has two lines running through this area, so that Mars comes to the IC and Pluto comes to the ascendant. So that’s actually something as well when either lines cross. When you get one planet coming to one angle and another planet simultaneously coming to another angle that’s a special category.
HW: Oh, yeah, ‘cause that creates a paran, and it creates a latitude line. And that latitude, when those lines cross, they create another line at a latitude and that tells another story. But that’s, yeah, a secondary influence to the maps but very important.
CB: Okay, nice. All right, well, yeah, that’s something I want to get into. Have you had any other lines that were notable besides that, just yourself?
HW: Let’s see. I mean, I mean, paran-wise, I have a lot of paran stories. Local space, I have a lot of local space stories; that’s a separate thing though. But, yeah, those were the main ones. Those were the main stories I have for my map.
CB: Okay, cool. And for mine, just to round out my personal story, the first place I moved to was Seattle to go to school and that was my MC line. And then after that, when I got into Hellenistic astrology, I ended up moving to Cumberland, Maryland to live at Project Hindsight for two years. And what was weird about that is that Cumberland falls exactly on my Neptune midheaven line.
CB: So that ended up being pretty wild just because it was a very Neptunian sort of situation for that two-year period. Everybody there had Neptune very prominent in their chart; like Schmidt had Neptune square Mercury and other people had Neptune prominent. And there were very cool mystical things going on, but then there was also sometimes weird Neptunian stuff going on in terms of not-good communication or not-clear communication or deadlines and things like that. And it was definitely an intense sort of Neptune transit during that time that I then like came out of eventually after two years, and left and went elsewhere to pursue my own research in Hellenistic astrology and do it outside of that. But it was interesting having that experience of going from like a Saturn midheaven line all the way to a Neptune midheaven line and just like the contrast.
HW: So different, I know. Like when you were on that Neptune line, did you feel a sense of fogginess or the cloudiness, or like a sense of dissolving boundaries? Anything like that in just your day-to-day life/mindset, things like that?
CB: Yeah, I have this funny anecdote I’ve told a few times in the podcast before, but I just remember picking up my friend Nick Dagan Best from the airport one time and we were driving back to Cumberland, and I was like, “Yeah, I don’t know what this Neptune transit is about right now,” ‘cause Neptune was also transiting over my ascendant at the time. And he burst out laughing ‘cause like we were driving like in a fog storm, and we could barely see as we’re driving back into Cumberland, and it was just a perfect metaphor for that. There were definitely some very good things, but there were also some kind of culty-type things at the same time. And it’s only sometimes once you come out the other side of Neptune transits that you sort of see more clearly the things that were good or the things that were a little bit illusory about what was going on, and I think that was part of it for me as well.
HW: Oh, that is so cool. Wow, that’s so literal.
CB: Yeah, it’s very literal. So that’s why I’ve always been a big fan of astrocartography lines just because I’ve had those personal experiences that were very visceral at very distinctive points in my life where my memory of those places actually matches archetypally like what those lines are supposed to symbolize.
CB: So, yeah, I think both of us have really good personal examples then, so that’s pretty good and I’m glad we did that. Where should we move on from here? Are there any other like foundational things we haven’t set up? Or do you want to jump into other concepts or specific example charts?
HW: Yeah, I’d love to talk about Kim Kardashian’s chart, but I do want to discuss parans a little bit ‘cause that’s such a huge make-it-or-break-it kind of thing when we’re talking about place. And you can’t really see them on astro.com, they’re invisible. You have to click around, or click the little ‘Show Details’ on the upper right-hand corner on astro.com and that I’ll show you the latitude crossings which are parans. And latitude crossings are latitude lines. They’re basically lines that go across the globe at a latitude, at exactly that point of intersection when two angular lines cross, and they have a radius of about 70 miles. So 70 miles north and 70 miles south. But that’s when we’re getting a combination of two planets. When those two lines cross, they create a paran, and then we’re getting that story of those two planets at that exact point of latitude.
CB: Where’s the button you were talking about on astro.com?
HW: Yeah, so when you go to astro.com, on the maps feature, if you scroll down a little bit—actually click on a point on the map somewhere. Just click some random point. And then if you scroll up a little bit there’s like a ‘Show Details’ right there.
CB: Oh, there it is, okay.
HW: Yeah. It’s kind of hidden, which is why I do like other software ‘cause you can see it visibly on Solar Fire. But on astro.com you can pull them up, it’ll be right there. And so, you can see Mars and Chiron were crossing at a certain part in the world, and so that line is then going through that area at a latitude. So you’re feeling not only those planetary lines, but you’re also, depending on where you are on a latitude, you’re getting Mars and Chiron too.
CB: Okay. This is Truman’s chart again.
HW: Yeah, yeah. The thing with parans is they really affect how we feel. So it’s a bit easier with personal anecdotes or clients because you can ask them, “How were you feeling here emotionally?”
HW: But certain parans are really hard, like Saturn-Moon, Mars-Uranus, Mars-Pluto. Certain parans at a latitude can be difficult. So even if you’re on a great line, even if you’ve got a great Venus line, that one paran can offset how you’re feeling somewhere.
CB: And did you say you had a paran story again? Or one of the cities that we talked about for you, was that a paran?
HW: Yeah, one of them is in New York. I had a Venus-Chiron paran going through New York. Do you use Chiron, by chance?
CB: Yes, I do very reluctantly. I’m very annoyed that it works. But I have to very reluctantly admit that Chiron does work and it does signify exactly what it’s supposed to, which is often not pleasant. Unfortunately it can be so loud sometimes when that happens that you can’t help but acknowledge it.
HW: Oh, yeah. And like healing and disappointment, rejection, and all of those themes. When I was in New York I had a Venus-Chiron going through New York City. There was a lot of rejection, there was a lot of heartbreak there. It was a sadder time relationally. But I’ll give another example ‘cause there’s definitely a better one in Strasbourg, if you go to the map. Yeah, so going back to Strasbourg, on that Venus IC line in Strasbourg exactly, I have a Sun-Uranus paran, and I have Sun trine Uranus in my chart. And so, it starts from the chart and it’s showing on the map. And so, that Sun-Uranus story is going right through Strasbourg exactly.
CB: I’ll show your relocated chart because it can be visualized there essentially, right?
HW: Yeah, yeah. But the paran is a latitude line, and so that goes straight across the map, right in Strasbourg.
HW: And it was a place of discovering my authenticity, discovering who I am, discovering themes around rebellion and being true to self. The Sun-Uranus story came out at that latitude. Whereas going to other places, like I lived on a Sun-Saturn paran: very restrictive, very isolating, but very focused on work. So even though I’m close to the same line, same relocated charts, the experience was different being at different latitudes.
CB: Okay, got it. So this wasn’t necessarily the case here, but sometimes a paran is like one planet rising and another culminating, or one planet culminating and another setting and different things like that.
CB: Okay. So there’s certain places just where certain planets are gonna hit angles at the same time, and that’s gonna be really hyper unique to that specific location in the world.
HW: Yeah. And that energy, where that crossing is, is the most powerful. But then that latitude continues around the globe, the story of that combination of planets. And so, that’s the amazing thing about this work. You don’t have to move across the country or across the globe to change how you feel. Just moving 30 miles south, an hour north, can drastically dramatically affect how you’re feeling. And so, parans have that 70-mile radius north and south of those lines.
CB: Okay, got it. All right, so in terms of examples, do you want to jump into any example charts here?
HW: Oh, yeah. Let’s talk about Kim Kardashian. She has a really interesting chart.
CB: Okay, awesome. So here is her timed birth chart just on its own. So she has Sagittarius rising, 13 sag rising. Neptune’s near the ascendant at 20 Sag. Her midheaven natally is at 28 Virgo, and Jupiter is like right directly on it in a day chart, and Venus is on the other side about 9° off at 19 Virgo.
HW: Wow, yeah. And that’s gonna pull up on the map in LA. She’s gonna have that Jupiter and that Moon come up because it’s so right on the angle, so it’s very powerful for her.
CB: Give me just a second. Is there anything else, while I’m pulling this up, about her natal chart that’s kind of striking? I’ve always used her as a good example of like the 11th house ‘cause she has 11th house placements, and originally she was like a friend of Paris Hilton and how she kind of parlayed that into a larger career.
HW: I believe the ruler of her 4th is in her 10th, so there’s a connection with family being part of the career. And she’s got that Moon IC going right through LA, the family. And then the Jupiter MC, that good luck with career, that 4th house is connected to the 10th House of career. Jupiter MC can be very successful, very lucky places for people. And Moon-Jupiter—I think about Moon-Jupiter, I mean, it’s optimistic, it’s hopeful. It’s that indulgence. It’s a really lovely combination of energies, and they’re right there, so that was really interesting. I mean, she’s obviously had a lot of success involving her family. Another really cool example with her—
CB: And her mother specifically as well and just the role her mom has played in sort of managing the family and everything.
HW: Yeah, totally. Really cool though about Paris. I don’t know if you remember, she was robbed in Paris, and she’s got some striking lines going through that area—for Paris—for her. So first off, yeah—
CB: So here it is. So here’s the astrocartography chart for Europe for her.
HW: Yeah, this is really interesting. I believe it was Paris where she was robbed in her hotel room. But that Uranus descendant is going right through Paris. Uranus bringing erratic, out-of-nowhere things happening involving others, or external events coming out to light; that Uranus being very sudden, out of nowhere. She also has Chiron on the ascendant here. So I think of the body, the self, the woundedness. I think of safety things. But then what’s also really interesting is Mars and Pluto are crossing over near Frankfurt, and at that point of crossing is where that Mars-Pluto pairing is forming there, which I think it would be within orb of Paris as well.
HW: So Mars-Pluto is violence or destruction. And that energy, that latitude would be very close to Paris as well.
CB: Yeah, like Mars-Pluto conjunct descendant, that’s like a great metaphor or archetype for an armed robbery, where literally people are compelling you to do something you don’t want to do, and they’re snatching, they’re taking something from you. You’re having your possessions severed under compulsion, which is a very Pluto thing.
HW: Yeah, totally. And then that Uranus going right through Paris too, the volatility of that as well. So it’s like this whole area doesn’t look easy for her at all, and I thought that was such an interesting literal example of what happened to her, that being a story for her there.
CB: Yeah, let me relocate her chart just to see that visually. ‘Cause if we relocate it, I’m sure we’ll see how the Mars-Pluto is actually very close to that.
CB: For some reason this isn’t coming up well. Does this look right, relocated for Paris, France?
HW: Yeah, that looks good.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so there’s the Uranus descendant right on the descendant.
CB: Got it, okay.
HW: Yeah, it’s right there. So it’s very exact because that Uranus is right on the descendant at that angle, so that’s showing up on the map. Chiron’s on her ascendant.
CB: Yeah, so that’s pretty striking.
CB: So it’s just like sometimes difficult experiences you have in different parts of the world. And that doesn’t mean that it’s always across-the-board negative experiences or that you can’t go to certain parts of the world, I don’t think necessarily, it just means sometimes the archetype of that planet will be more prominent. And if that’s a challenging part of your chart then sometimes that can lend itself to sometimes challenging experiences.
HW: Yeah, especially with timing, that’s the other component. When you’ve got a hard transit, or it’s a hard time in your chart, and then you go to a hard line on top of that or a difficult area, it’s just bringing that more.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. Okay, so that’s a good example for her. Did you have anything else for Kim Kardashian’s chart?
HW: That was it for Kim Kardashian, yeah.
CB: Okay, cool. Didn’t you say Hillary Clinton had a good one?
HW: Yeah, Hillary Clinton, she has her Jupiter descendant going right through where she married Bill.
HW: Jupiter descendant, yeah. I see so often with clients descendant lines, Jupiter descendant, big for marriage, big for ceremonies involving others, Jupiter descendant lines. But Hillary Clinton has a Jupiter descendant going right through where she got married, yeah.
CB: Let me pull that up. So here’s what that looks like on astro.com. And, yeah, we just see that Jupiter line, Jupiter descendant line, which is pink on astro.com, just like running through this whole part of the country.
HW: Yeah. Really interesting.
CB: Were they married in Arkansas?
HW: Yeah, I believe it was. I was just looking up to see where it was that she got married. Yeah, in their living room in Arkansas.
CB: Nice. Yeah, we just see it running right through Arkansas.
HW: Mm-hmm. A common thing I see a lot for people is that descendant line, specifically Jupiter descendant.
CB: Okay, that’s super cool. So that’s obviously romantically really important for her, but even in terms of her career and stuff and just like the work they did together politically, first, with him in the White House, then eventually her pursuing her career after he was President. That’s really striking.
HW: Yeah, yeah, definitely.
CB: Cool. All right, what are some other good examples?
HW: Well, Olivia Rodrigo, she has a Moon on her MC going right through LA. She also has an interesting Venus-Chiron paran there, which is dealing with heartbreak, relationship wounds. That’s a big part of her story, being known for that—the heart, the emotions really being seen by the public in that light in LA.
CB: Here we go. This is her chart. And she was born—I’m not sure. What was her location again? Oh, she was born in Los Angeles.
HW: Yeah, I think it was Murrieta, California.
CB: Got it, okay. There it is. And what were the lines we were talking about again?
HW: Yeah, well, she’s on the Moon MC. I believe she’s a Libra Moon. And then she has a Venus-Chiron paran that’s just right within orb of LA. I believe if you go a little—I think it’s a little bit north of LA. So if you click around and then add that ‘Show Details’, you’ll be able to see it pop up. The thing about astro.com is you can’t measure the distance, like there’s no measurement tool, and a measurement tool is so important for getting the precision of the distance. But, yeah, she does have that Venus-Chiron within orb. I think it’s like 40 miles off of LA.
CB: There it is. ‘Crossing Venus/Chiron’ is what it comes up as. Then you can click it and it has a little delineation.
CB: Okay. It says, “This crossing confronts you with profound questions about partnerships and love.” For those not familiar with her, how does that match her again?
HW: Yeah, well, she’s really known in the public for just singing, and her lyrics, her writing, her career, her persona is all about heartbreak and being emotional and vulnerable in terms of relationships. A lot of her love songs are about heartbreak and getting rejected or problems with that, and she’s created this mass following of people who love what she does. And so, that vulnerability of leading with the heart openly in the public eye, and then also the wounds that come from love themes, it’s a huge part of her career and her music.
CB: Okay, that’s really cool. So I’m just looking at our list and some of the other examples that we meant to go through today. Are there any that are good demonstrations of themes that we haven’t talked about yet?
HW: Well, Donald Trump was a good example of the Mars ascendant line, the Mars line in DC. He’s got that going right through Washington DC, but we’ve already talked about the Mars lines. I’m trying to think of some other people that are really interesting. Oh, Zelda Fitzgerald.
CB: What was Trump’s thing? Just that his Mars descendant line goes through Washington DC?
HW: I think it was his Mars ascendant. Mars is rising in the DC area.
CB: Got it. So it brings that Mars, which is already super close to the ascendant, like right to the degree of the ascendant.
CB: Okay, that’s interesting.
HW: Yeah. And he also has a Mars lunar node in DC as well. So it’s so Martian in that area for him.
CB: Okay, nice. And then what was the other one you mentioned? Zelda Fitzgerald?
HW: Yeah, Zelda Fitzgerald. She was an author and she was the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald who was the famous author who wrote Great Gatsby and—what else did he write? Yeah, bunch of books, amazing books, but she was his wife. When she moved to Paris, she activated a lot of career themes for her there. She was always kind of known as his wife and kind of behind the scenes. She was the original flapper in the Jazz Age in the 1920s. But moving to Paris was really big for her because she became an author, she started working professionally as a writer, and she also became really obsessed with becoming a ballet dancer when she was 27. That solar energy of the Sun, our willpower, our vitality, our goals, our aspirations, but also our mission statement on the MC at the highest point of visibility—I mean, this was a place where she got really into her career and she became obsessed with being public and being a career-minded person, it was in Paris. And I thought that was really interesting.
CB: Wow, that’s brilliant, yeah. And we see Paris is right there, and we see that Sun MC line. So that’s a really good illustration also. There’s been a few of those so far, but it just gives you an illustration that—like in my instance or some of your instances—if there’s a city that’s like right on a line, that can be peak intensity. Even being in the vicinity of a line means that that planet is coming into prominence in your chart, and you’re still gonna feel that line even if the city is not like directly on it.
HW: Exactly, yeah. That looks about medium strength. About 150 miles is an intense strength. And then 150 to about 300 is like a medium orb. And then um once we get to like 350, it starts weakening a lot.
CB: Got it, okay. So that’s good to know that there’s sort of orbs of intensity for these lines, just like aspect lines.
HW: Like I see online some people will be like, “Oh, but I don’t want to move to the middle of the ocean ‘cause I’ve got a line in the middle of the Atlantic.” And it’s like, “Oh, no, you’ll still feel it in Portugal. It’s just medium strength.”
CB: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense. All right, was there anything else with her chart or was that good for her?
HW: Yeah, that was good for her.
CB: Okay, cool. And you had one for either Walt Disney or F. Scott Fitzgerald himself.
HW: Yeah, F. Scott Fitzgerald. Yeah, he was in New York. He has an interesting story. His Jupiter and Pluto are crossing in New York, which Jupiter-Pluto can be success, and he has that energy there. He also has a Neptune line close by. Obviously, a big part of you know F. Scott Fitzgerald’s life was addiction and alcoholism and abuse of alcohol, and a lot of that was a big part of the story for him in New York, and he lived in Connecticut as well. But there’s that Jupiter and that Pluto crossing over in Syracuse, so there’s a paran up there, but that Pluto and Jupiter story is within orb in New York. And Jupiter on the descendant, I think of publishers, I think of publishing houses. I think of people who come into the life of the native to help them; Jupiter becoming an active externalized manifestation unconsciously to the person. And so, that Jupiter (publishing traditionally) crossing Pluto (power, influence, charisma, wealth)— Jupiter-Pluto can be a wealth symbol. And so, he was very wealthy living in New York City, a very extravagant, over-the-top lifestyle. But that Neptune so close by uh Cape Cod, there is that story of Neptune on the IC with Mars, that kind of muddled, stuck-in-the-mud energy that’s also in the orb there living in New York.
CB: Yeah, so that Mars-Neptune Line running right up there. So that’s interesting ‘cause with all of this falling in between these, they’re all kind of tied in or kind of relevant in this area of the world for him.
HW: Yeah. So he doesn’t have any lines directly going through New York, but there’s still a lot of stories with all of these lines here.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Okay, that makes sense. And then one last one was Walt Disney.
HW: Oh, yeah, Walt Disney.
CB: Let me pull up his chart. What’s good about Walt Disney’s chart?
HW: Yeah, well, he lived on a Pluto MC line for a long time, and I think of one of the themes of Pluto being myth or the darkness of fairy tales; the darker lessons in mythology and fairy tales. And he lived on that Pluto MC in Kansas City and Marceline, Missouri, which is actually what Main Street, USA in Disneyland is based off of, his childhood there in Marceline. But that Pluto MC, he was a daydreamer. He was so fascinated by myth and fairy tales. And that Pluto, the transformation, it was a very hard place for him to live, a hard place in his life, his parents. He had Uranus on the IC, so there is some sort of rebellion with the parents or the family or traditions or roots. There can be a restlessness or a break out of tradition being in the lower part of the chart. But then he moved to LA, and he started Walt Disney with his brother Roy, and that Mercury IC is there. And the IC has to do with the land, and Mercury, ideas and stories and messages coming out.
And the interesting thing about Anaheim, where he built Disneyland, he has a Sun-Pluto paran going right through Anaheim, which has to deal with creative expression or self-expression; how you’re alchemizing or transforming the abuse of power or the abuse of corruption or myth and fairy tale into something creative or expressive. And so, that power/energy of leadership and confidence and empowerment, but also the breakdown of myth and story, that’s going through the Anaheim areas, that latitude is there. But then also the Mercury on the IC, there’s a story with family, with the land, and he’s famous for creating Disneyland. One of his legacies was creating something for families. That Mercury line—the ideas, stories are going right through that area, so I thought that was really cool.
CB: Yeah, that’s brilliant. And animators. I mean, having that as a location and setting up Disney, which is primarily like an animation studio initially, and having that Mercury line right there I think is brilliant.
HW: Yeah, yeah.
CB: But then I’m noticing also the other major line, which is this Neptune MC line runs right through Florida. That’s really funny and it’s making me laugh because I just watched a documentary on YouTube about the creation of Disney World in Florida and how they bought up the land there but it was like a swamp and some of the things surrounding that. And of course we’ve seen some of that recently with fights in Florida over Disney World and some of the political stuff that’s happening there. But it’s interesting, it’s like he started Disneyland in California but then he wanted to create the ideal city of the future or something in Disney World, here where his Neptune MC line is.
HW: And Neptune, I think of Neptune as like a dream or like this vision of something dreamy or ethereal or something imaginative, and it’s on the MC at the highest point of the chart. So there’s something big there about the public with that dream. That’s so cool. I didn’t even look at that. That’s so wild. That’s so cool you picked up on that.
CB: Yeah, I’ll have to find the documentary, but it was actually really good. It was really interesting just the creation of Disney World, and you see the idealism; he had this vision for it. And it’s interesting in some ways how Disney World ended up meeting that to some extent in some ways and being like the city of the future, but then in other ways how some parts of the vision failed to materialize or were too ambitious or too lofty where the reality didn’t quite hit the ideal.
HW: Oh, yeah, totally. Oh, wow, yeah, absolutely.
CB: Cool. That’s really cool. I like that. That’s a good example.
CB: The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at astrogold.io, and you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.
[end of break]
CB: All right, we’re back from a break. So where should we move into next now that we’ve covered most of the basics?
HW: Yeah, I think we should talk a bit about the angles, the four angles in astrocartography and astrology and what they represent. We know like if you go to a certain planet you’re activating that planetary archetype. But what happens with an MC line versus an IC line, or an ascendant versus a descendant line? How are they different? And how can we use them effectively in our lives to activate certain themes?
CB: Okay, cool. Which angle should we start with?
HW: Let’s start with the ascendant, the self. Going to these lines is really about you expressing that planetary archetype. So you’re exuding that energy of what that planet represents in your chart. And so, it’s coming from you rather than to you, as opposed to the descendant, which is about coming to you, things coming to you from the external reality. It’s also about receptivity, influences from outside of you, as well as relationships with people. So we can kind of unconsciously bring about themes, or there can be stories of projections from others, or you projecting onto others the story, the archetype, that theme of that planet in relation to your day-to-day life with others. So it kind of is a more external version rather than an internal coming from the self. And then we have the two other angles, which is the MC, the midheaven, so it’s a place of visibility, career, being publicly known for social status; it’s the highest point in the chart. And then the IC is the most foundational: the roots, the tradition, and it has to do with family as well as the home. So like the literal home life, the personal life, the domestic life, what’s happening in a private sense. We’re activating one of those angles when we go to one of these angular lines on the map.
CB: Brilliant, okay. So it’s carrying forward all the basic meanings of the four angles and those four angular houses but just concentrating it as a point of power. Especially when certain planets are brought to those, the planets are gonna manifest oftentimes in those areas of life that match those significations of the angles.
CB: Okay, cool. So that’s good to know in terms of just the differentiation that we’re looking at for major lines depending on what the nature of the line is. A Saturn midheaven line is gonna be different than like a Saturn descendant line, where like Saturn midheaven could be a period that’s a little bit more isolated for career or there’s some challenges with career versus Saturn descendant could be a little bit more of a cooling effect of relationships or something like that.
HW: Exactly, yeah. Or the IC being like parents or the family life. Yeah, they’re so different. It’s kind of like the navigational coordinates or the orientation of your life, that’s what the angles are, yeah.
CB: Let’s actually give some delineations of that, of what Saturn would be like on the ascendant versus the midheaven versus the descendant versus the IC. A funny thing could be like living in an old, dilapidated house with the Saturn IC line.
HW: Exactly, or like home maintenance being a drag. There’s a lot of commitment to a home project. I’ve seen a lot of clients where the home literally sucks their money in terms of maintenance or renovations. Also, another thing I see a lot is taking care of parents in old age. The obligation, the duty, the responsibility to take care of the family, even though you might not want to, right? Or that Saturnian isolation with that experience, that’s another thing with Saturn IC.
CB: Okay. What would the Saturn ascendant be like?
HW: Saturn ascendant is the energy of you emanating Saturn themes, so thinking about a ticking clock or thinking about time. There’s also the sense physically it can be bones or issues with bones and teeth and the body and age. And there’s also that sense of you’re embodying Saturn. You’re seeing the world through a Saturn lens, which is time and responsibility. So it’s like you’re embodying that. You’re seeing life through a filter, those sunglasses. The Saturnian energy is kind of coming through from what you’re seeing.
CB: Yeah, like a place where you’re suddenly more aware of your age and you’re aware of the process of aging. Or even if you were put in a mentorship role over somebody else who’s younger and then your age and experience and the wisdom that you’ve accumulated for that is somehow more prominent for you in that area of the world. That would be another good like Saturn-type manifestation.
HW: Yeah. And I believe it was Jim Lewis that said something like older people tend to do better on Saturn lines ‘cause there’s that kind of embracing of Saturn, or stepping into maturity and fully being able to embrace that, whereas a young person in their early 20s or college might have a harder time on a Saturn line
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Saturn MC. I talked about that I discovered ancient astrology there and had a sort of isolated period. So it can be a period where maybe there’s some challenges in terms of one’s career or public reputation or social standing, but also a period where you put in maybe hard work and make slow incremental progress in terms of your career as well.
HW: Oh, definitely, yeah. People tend to get stuck on Saturn lines for some reason. Like if you move there it can be hard to get off. But people who are starting a business on a Saturn MC line, there’s that longevity, that enduring work that pays dividends years from now.
CB: Okay, brilliant. And then finally Saturn descendant.
HW: Yeah, Saturn descendant can be a coldness from others, but also serious long-term partnerships. I see marriages can happen a lot on Saturn descendant. It can be an older person, being around older people in the life, but also the energy of coldness, or, yeah, that mentorship/authority energy coming from other people. And your relationships and the influences that you’re receiving in your life externally have that kind of Saturnian energy in interactions with people.
CB: Okay, that makes sense. This is actually fun and illustrative ‘cause this actually makes me want to go through like all of the planets and all of the angles, but I know that would take us a long time if we attempted to do that.
HW: Yeah, but there’s some literal ones like Uranus IC. I think of electricity outages or issues with the home in the sense of things going erratically wrong, or travel plans always changing when someone goes to a Uranus line. Or like Neptune lines I see a lot of themes around like plumbing issues or water damage. Or sometimes Neptune ascendant, for instance, can be an invisible illness or a misdiagnosis with something that’s kind of invisible on the body, on the self. It doesn’t have to literally be that but that is something that can come up, and it’s so interesting how it can be that literal.
CB: Yeah, just like nebulousness surrounding whatever angle that Neptune is on. And then the ascendant, it could be the body, MC, it could be the career, descendant, it could be relationships, or IC, it could be like your living situation.
CB: Okay, that’s good. And then Uranus is like something unexpected, something eccentric or that’s not typical, that goes against the norm in some way.
HW: Yeah. Rebellious, innovative, entrepreneurial, I see a lot for Uranus MC lines. I’ve heard stories from people where they moved to a Uranus MC line and like a job falls into their lap and suddenly they have a career, a new career in their life that just comes out of nowhere. Or an entrepreneurial person or an innovator, someone in tech—there can be that using Uranus in a supportive way. Uranus ascendant people tend to love. It’s that liberation, that free-spiritedness, the authenticity of self. But, yeah, there is that kind of it’s hard to settle down on a Uranus line typically. People don’t usually live long term on a Uranus line.
CB: Yeah, that can be kind of too frenetic or have this too-energetic quality where things don’t rest, but everything is constantly moving, and that can be a little bit hard.
HW: Yeah, definitely.
CB: All right, I kind of want to keep going through more, but I know one of the things you brought up is the condition of a planet in a chart. We’ve talked a little bit about how sect is relevant. You’ve also mentioned debilitations or other types of ways that planets are situated in a chart.
HW: Yeah. One of the first things I look at is squares from outer planets, like tight squares, tight aspects, like an opposition or a square. Like Mars squaring Uranus, or Venus squaring Saturn within 1°, or Pluto opposing Venus very tightly within a few degrees, 1° to 2°. Because the thing about astrocartography is when you go to a line, you’re not just going to that planet, you’re also going to the planet within your chart. So going to a Moon line, if you have a Leo Moon, you’re not just going to a Moon line, you’re going to a Leo Moon line. You’re going to a Leo trine Mercury line, you know, it’s your chart. It’s the map of your birth chart. And so, looking at aspects is really big. Tight aspects to Neptune, Uranus, Pluto, and then Saturn I’m looking at. And then the other thing is fallen planets. Fallen planets can be challenging for people. For some reason I find a lot of Libras don’t tend to love their Sun lines. It’s not a hard-and-fast rule but it is something I take note of a lot. Fallen planets can be more of a place of integration and working with that energy. And it can be a little bit more frustrating but there is a potential to utilize that energy. So looking at the essential dignity is important, the aspects. And, yeah, those are the main things I’m looking at, and sect is a big one.
CB: Okay. So the first thing you have to do is you need to delineate the birth chart itself and understand the basics. We’ve talked about like the natal promise, or another way of saying that is just the natal potential of certain placements. You need to understand that in detail first in order to understand what actually is gonna be unlocked when you go to certain lines that accentuate certain planets in the chart. And you have to be a little bit careful because sometimes there are lines that might sound good, like a benefic, but if that benefic’s not well-placed in your chart, it could be activating something there could be unexpected consequences from.
HW: Exactly, exactly. And I think that’s one of the biggest misconceptions, aside from having to be on a line. But the other misconception is a lot of people will think, ‘just go to a Venus line or a Jupiter line’, but it really depends on that person’s Venus and Jupiter specifically and the story of that theme within the planet and how it involves other planets. Yeah, so that’s really important.
CB: Okay, that’s really good. And that kind of brings up a point that you wanted to make at some point about the simplification of the techniques, because it’s become so popular in recent years, and maybe some things that are misconceptions that people had or ideas that maybe are not good that are in circulation.
HW: Yeah, absolutely. I think that’s just ‘cause of TikTok. TikTok has made astrocartography super popular in the last few years, and Instagram. But, yeah, going to a Moon line can feel very comfortable, very nourishing, very receptive, that homey feeling. But if you’ve got Moon squaring Pluto within a degree, it can be more themes of Pluto coming into the story. I think of fear, paranoia, obsession. That story of Pluto square Moon is gonna be that theme when you go to a Moon line. So that’s a big thing I see a lot on social media. Don’t go to a Venus or Jupiter line until you’ve looked at your natal planet in your chart; the sign placement, the aspects. And then also be sure to look at the latitude crossings or the parans because that can really make or break the energy of a place. And if you want to be happy there, the quality of life, a one-off paran can really offset even if you’re on a supportive Venus line. Just moving 30 miles south can really drastically alleviate the difficulty of a hard paran latitude crossing.
CB: Okay. It’s like people might have a tendency at the beginning just to look at the basic thing, which is just the astrocartography lines. But if they’re not paying attention to some of these other more complicated interactions then sometimes they could end up with a combination that’s a little bit not as ideal as they assumed.
HW: Exactly, yeah. And that’s the idea of when things become popular or trendy, they become simplified. When something is widespread and everyone’s jumping on it, “Oh, I want to go to my Venus line,” or “Oh, I don’t have anything there, that means there’s no story there,” there’s so much more to it. And that’s why reading literature on this—The Psychology of Astro*Carto*Graphy is a great book—there are so many amazing books on astrocartography. Taking classes, learning from people, or just doing it in your own life. Driving on a road trip for 30 minutes south. Going to a certain paran and really experiencing this, that is the best way to use this and really learn it and integrate it in an accurate way.
CB: Yeah, that’s such a crucial piece, and good advice about learning astrology and practicing astrology in general. It’s that empirical component of having a provisional idea of what you think something should mean or how it should work out in your chart, but then actually going and doing it and noting your experience and sometimes paying attention if your actual lived experience of something is slightly different than what you expected. Sometimes it can clue you into that there may be something happening that you weren’t paying attention to if you were just looking at it from a different perspective.
HW: Yeah. And there’s also that idea of being able to observe your map and your story and your lines from that neutral perspective of being open to receiving what that could be. For example, I’m here on a Jupiter line. I planned my trip with timing to make sure I went to this line at the right time, but I’m also receptive to it could be very different from what I’m expecting. And so, it’s having that kind of unbiased, open-minded perspective to ‘I don’t know what this could be. I’m anticipating it could be something to do with this, but I’m open and I’m gonna observe it and document and record the data’. That is such an incredible way to learn this effectively.
CB: Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And that kind of brings up that there’s other things that can be happening as well, in addition to or the sort of layered on top of the astrocartography lines and the relocational chart. And that has to do with things like timing that’s also relevant anytime you’re trying to do something or go somewhere, right?
HW: Absolutely. That’s when we’re adding the second layer. And it gets really magical when you combine the right place at the right time, that’s when magic happens. And it’s so cool to see how this works time and time again. When you time things precisely, it can be magical. And so, this is where we bring in cyclocartography, which is an added layer to astrocartography. It was trademarked and created by Jim Lewis, but it’s using transits of the inner planets and secondary progressions of the outer planets and seeing the theme and the story that’s activated in a certain part of the world based on where you have those lines.
CB: Okay. You mentioned the trademark thing, and I forgot that. That was actually something I meant to mention at some point, which is that Jim Lewis originally trademarked Astro*Carto*Graphy. It’s become such a common technique that I’m not sure how much that holds up anymore, and there’s been discussions about if you can really trademark an astrological technique.
HW: I know.
CB: But that’s why sometimes you see people still write it as ‘Astro*Carto*Graphy’ or whatever. That specific writing of it is part of what he trademarked essentially, right?
HW: Yeah, I know. I’m still confused about that whole thing, but he was a like a stickler for the name Astro*Carto*Graphy and him being this licensed person of that. Yeah, I mean, I feel like everyone says it at this point, but maybe if you’re selling something with the word ‘astrocartography’ that might be a fine line, I don’t know; but, yeah, he did trademark it. And I remember on your episode, your great episode that you had on the podcast recently with Michael Erlewine—
CB: Erlewine, yeah.
HW: —yeah, he was the creator of local space. I remember he mentioned—‘cause he knew Jim Lewis—he mentioned that he was really adamant about like, Don’t use the term. Don’t be doing this work.” So, yeah, I’m always kind of cautious because of the trust that Jim Lewis had in trademarking that.
CB: Yeah, just from an aesthetic standpoint, I refuse to write Astro*Carto*Graphy with the asterisks. That’s definitely where I draw the line. I just write it as ‘astrocartography’ at this point.
CB: But everyone, to each their own. But that is an interesting bit of the history that maybe I’ll get into talking to other people about at some point. ‘Cause an interesting thing about the 20th century is there’s such an explosion of innovation and techniques and like different ways of looking at things and different stuff like that. And it’s interesting to think about that idea of sometimes like developing a new technique, and if it’s something that can be proprietary or if it just like exists in nature, or if it just sort of exists out there. Yeah, maybe I’ll do an episode on that at some point.
HW: Yeah, yeah, totally.
CB: All right, so timing. What else do we need to know about timing when it comes to astrocartography? You mentioned being in the right place at the right time and that being the most ideal situation. I’m assuming, for example, hypothetically, like going somewhere to your Jupiter line, and you’re having a Jupiter transit through your 7th house at the exact same time.
HW: Exactly, exactly. And that’s how I timed my trip, going to Jupiter line when Jupiter was like crossing it. So in cyclocartography you can pull up Solar Maps or Solar Fire. I’m sure there’s other ways you could use this, but the maps feature is really cool because there’s an animate chart feature which allows you to pull up the cyclocartography specifically. You can also pull up transits or secondary progressions or both, which is what cyclocartography is, and you can animate the chart and press ‘play’, and it will show you the lines moving across the map. And when you see a planetary line or a transit or progression hit your natal line, it’s kind of like that line is always there and it never changes; it’s always permanently there as well as the parans.
But when that transit or progression hits it, it’s like it awakens. There’s an activation. There’s a hitting of a story or a theme that has to deal with that particular line. And so, an easy, obvious thing that you could use is looking at Jupiter transits. Jupiter transits are very short when they go over an area. About four to six months they’ll cross a specific area on the map. And so, going to a Jupiter line when you’ve got a Jupiter transit, even better if you’ve got a Jupiter return. That literal line is going back to that transit, going exact the same angle. The same planet is hitting that exact line. That can be a really special window of opportunity that you can kind of utilize. And so, yeah, it’s a fun way to use this to plan your life and travels.
CB: Nice. Okay, so then I guess that means by extension and conversely that there can be times where you go to the right place but you don’t there at the right time, you go at a bad time. Like let’s say you go to your Jupiter line, but you have transiting Mars like conjoining your descendant, or going retrograde on your descendant at the same time. That could be like a contrary or conflicting sort of indication.
HW: Oh, yeah. Like one thing I tend to see or I’ve seen several times with people is they’ll have like a nice Mercury descendant line going through an area, and they’ll have a family trip or a family vacation going there. But then they didn’t see that they had a Mars transit on the descendant crossing that exact point. They got into fights with their family. They got in arguments, there was tension within the family, so it wasn’t a great trip. Or, for example, someone recently had a great Venus line in the Canary Islands, but they had a Saturn ascendant transit going exactly where the Canary Islands were during those weeks that they were there. They were miserable. They described it as isolating, depressing, cold, lonely—that was their story of how they described it, and it was ‘cause Saturn ascendant transit was literally going right over where they were.
CB: Okay, so that’s crucial. So it’s really important to have the transits in alignment with things. And even though the premise of some of this looks relatively simple at first in terms of just looking at the planetary lines based on your astrocartography and your relocated chart, there’s actually a lot of different layers here, and it’s actually much more complex than people might realize at first.
HW: Yeah, yeah, for sure. And that’s kind of going more into intermediate or advanced, but, yeah, it’s looking at the timing. And you could also do this with your transits. Like even if you didn’t have a professional map software, you could pull up your transits for that relocated chart. So let’s say you’re going to Italy for your trip, and you want to pull up the relocated chart for Italy. You would then add the transits or the secondary progressions, and you could see what’s happening on those angles, so you can see a different way of viewing it as well as the maps.
CB: Okay, brilliant. So you brought up a client story that you were just talking about. And that brings me to wanting to ask more about working with clients and how do you work with clients when it comes to this technique and it comes to astrocartography in general.
HW: One of the most important things a lot of people want to know is, ‘where should I move, where should I live in the world?’ And having intention is very important because there there are so many things we could activate in our lives, but having some sort of idea of ‘I really want my career to go well’, ‘I want to be seen’, or ‘I want to build a family life’, ‘I want to meet the love of my life,’ ‘I want to meet a partner’—having some sort of direction of what it is that you want to activate in your life, that you want to be an important thing to come in your life literally. And how do you want to feel? Do you want to go to a place where it’s more ambitious and productive and energizing? We might look at Mars lines, we might look at Sun lines. If you want a more nourishing, peaceful life, we might look to Moon lines. So having an idea right off the bat, of going to an astrocartographer and asking, “What is my intention with what I want to bring into my life?” then we can relocate the chart and see. “Okay, let’s read the story of this location.” Your birth chart stays the same, but this location is gonna add more layers to it, so having some sort of intention is really important.
CB: Okay. And I guess that’s different ‘cause there’s different scenarios of how clients come to you. But that’s like one scenario if somebody has a lot of leeway, a lot of freedom to move around or go to different parts of the world, and they have like a blank slate that they’re working with in terms of moving to different places and having that sort of flexibility versus if somebody comes to you and they say, “I’m thinking about moving to this new city that’s really far away, what kind of experiences might I be looking at if I move to that part of the world?”
HW: Yeah, exactly. And, yeah, it’s really cool with people who are kind of traveling endlessly, like myself. It’s cool to just really look at the transits and really prioritize the transits and the progressions because then you can follow that; you can follow that timing. For example, if someone had a Pluto IC transit going right over their home—and they literally sold all their possessions and got an RV, and is now divorced, like moving on, and starting a new chapter of their life—they might want to know, “Where should I drive my RV? Which stops should I hit first? Should I go to the East Coast first? Should I do the Midwest first?” So there’s a way where it’s like if you’re traveling endlessly, there’s a cool way to kind of time this so that the direction you’re going in is gonna be just a more supportive energy for you.
CB: Right. Okay, that makes sense. What are some other considerations, either for you as a practicing astrologer when you’re meeting with clients and using astrocartography, or from a client perspective? Like clients approaching and looking to get work done for astrocartography. What are some things to know coming from either side?
HW: I would say the intention of like what the person wants is a big thing, or what they’re they’re looking for. For example, if someone wanted to be an artist or tap into creativity or writing, going into that reading and then looking for those spots where that theme is activated. But also, the other thing is looking at your chart and your transits. I use annual profections with the lord of the year, things like that, so I do look at that as well. Even going to someone, kind of knowing your transits or knowing, “Oh, this is a big theme in my life,” that’s a cool way to use this.
CB: Okay. Yeah, so having some level of self-knowledge. Or perhaps the more knowledge one has of their own chart, the better in terms of knowing what different potentials are gonna be unlocked in different places, or which ones are being unlocked for you right now in terms of the timing of transits or time-lord techniques.
HW: Yeah, yeah, totally.
CB: Okay, that’s good to know. So we’ve talked about using astro.com and how that’s like a free resource, using their AstroClick Travel thing. Basically you just go to astro.com, you go to ‘Charts and Calculations’, and then you—actually that’s not even the right page. But basically you just look for AstroClick Travel. I think that’s what they still call it, right?
HW: Yeah, AstroClick Travel. And that’s a great free option to just get started, pulling up the parans, looking at the lines. You can look up local space on astro.com too, which is very cool as well for locational astrology. But if you wanted to go a bit further, I recommend using a professional astrocartography software where there’s a lot more details that you can get that you can’t get on astro.com. Like one of the big things with professional software is they’ll often have a measurement tool. Like Astro Gold does have a measurement tool for their map software, they don’t have parans though. Which is for me personally, if you don’t have parans, I can’t look at the maps. So I don’t like Astro Gold software for specifically maps, but they do have a measurement tool which is really great for seeing the mileage, the distance away from planetary lines. Solar Fire is my favorite for maps specifically. I ended up getting a new computer just so I can use Windows to use Solar Fire because Solar Fire is that good and it’s worth it. If you want to plan your travels or plan your life with your map, it’s such great software for that. And so, with that it’s like you can measure it. They have a measurement tool. You can see the parans, local space, you can see aspects—there’s so much to it that you can add like all these layers as well as timing.
CB: Brilliant, okay. And Solar Fire is what I use as well. Let me see, I just remembered we had some slides, but it just shows a little image in one of the slides you made of what the parans look like. And this is what they look like in—
HW: Oh, yes!
CB: —in Solar Fire, right?
HW: Yes, that’s great. Oh, cool, yeah. There are the parans. There they are. You can see them in the yellow latitude lines. You can see, for example, Venus and Moon parans. So that Venus and that Moon, they were crossing at some point in the world and they created that latitude line. And so, regardless, they have a really strong effect; they can be really, really important. And so, yeah, it creates that energetic crossing of that influence.
CB: Got it, okay. So that’s really cool and that’s really useful. Everybody I think starts using free websites like astro.com or Astro-Seek, but everybody eventually has to invest in software, especially if you’re a serious student of astrology, or if you’re gonna start consulting eventually. ‘Cause it’s also useful to be able to build up a large database of obviously your client charts, but also case studies and different research and things like that, and that could be really useful for that as well.
HW: Totally, yeah. It’s really great, yeah.
CB: Cool. All right, I’m trying to look and see if there were other major topics that we meant to touch on in this episode that are core things when it comes to this topic, especially astrocartography. You mentioned there’s entirely other areas as well that are kind of tied in with this. Like local space is another sort of development in terms of locational astrology and just applying astrology to one’s space and one’s location.
HW: Yeah, and that’s really fascinating ‘cause you can trace those local space lines from your place of birth, and there’s that story of that planetary line running through your country or wherever you are. I’ve seen miraculous case studies of how these specific lines can manifest in someone’s life. And so, even just going in the direction of a local space line, there’s no mileage with local space, so just moving in the direction of a line can activate a lot of themes. And that brings up remote activation, which is such an important part of astrocartography, this idea that we exist everywhere all at once in the world, like there’s aspects of us in different parts of the world.
And so, using remote activation—which, Jim Lewis, is another term he made—you can utilize the energy where you are, you don’t have to move. You can utilize that energy of that particular planetary archetype, that line, by connecting with that energy in your home listening to music from a certain country where you have a beautiful Venus line. Or maybe you meet your best friend on a really cool Jupiter descendant line and they live in a certain part of the world. Or even just getting herbs, medicinal herbs from a specific part of the world, in Brazil. If you’ve got a really cool healing Chiron line going through, or Neptune or something magical going through Brazil, you might want to utilize the energy there without even going there. You could bring that energy into your life, whether it’s music, culture, feng shui.
A whole other aspect of astrocartography is using feng shui to design your home using local space and things like that. So there’s so many ways you can utilize this at home without traveling. Obviously traveling and moving is like the best way to really, really get this full effect in your own life and see it come out in a very active way. But just by being at home, by connecting with these energies if you’ve got a local space line, a Uranus local space line going through Denver, Colorado, you’re connecting with an astrology podcast, or you’re going to an astrology conference that’s in Denver. There’s a sense of Uranus themes going through that particular area. You could be at home listening to a podcast about astrology with a Uranus local space line going through that area where that podcast is being hosted or that YouTube channel is being filmed in that part of the world where you’ve got that amazing line. So it’s like you can utilize this energy at home. That is like one of the coolest ways to use this.
CB: Yeah, that’s really cool. And it just brings back that concept, like I said earlier, of how astrologers are usually dealing with time. But this is really bringing that element of space, and it’s showing that there can be a connection between space in ways that initially you shouldn’t think that there’s a connection. But looking at this through the lens of astrology you can see that it is sometimes connected in this very mysterious and interesting way.
HW: Yeah, yeah. And Jim Lewis, he quotes Carl Jung a lot in his Psychology of Astro*Carto*Graphy book. One of the quotes that Carl Jung says is, “Every part of the psyche seeks outer manifestation.” And so, bringing that home, there’s ways to take ownership of your life and your day-to-day life by infusing rituals and habits and different ways that you can utilize these archetypes, these planetary archetypes in your life. And that self-actualization, that individuation of self, can be explored through bringing that planet in your life.
CB: Yeah, that makes sense. Actually a really interesting thing rereading Jim Lewis’ book recently in preparation for this was how much he situated it in the context of late 20th century psychological, especially Jungian, astrology, and that most of his conceptualization of what the lines were doing was about activating parts of the person’s psyche, and sometimes that being like latent or hidden parts of the psyche being brought to the forefront and different things like that. But it’s interesting ‘cause that was, what, 30-something years ago when astrology was largely being seen through a purely psychological context. But more recently, with the revival of ancient astrology, there’s been more discussion about how sometimes there can be very concrete external manifestations of certain placements in the chart that manifest in events or people or things like that, and it seems like that’s another piece here. The lines—while there’s certainly a psychological component, it’s like sometimes you go to a Mars line and you you encounter some sort of Mars-type event or externalization of that that’s not just purely psychological or a projection, per se; sometimes that’s where you experience that event or that time period in your life in some some external way.
HW: Yeah, totally. Oh, that’s so cool.
CB: Yeah, so I was thinking in terms of that and the literal external manifestations of things versus the internal ones. And sometimes it’s a little hard to know the difference between the two or which it’s gonna be, but the archetype always manifests one way another in one of those realms.
HW: Oh, yeah. And they can manifest in a literal physical and external way, but also internally. I mean, like just in my own life, going to a Sun line and the theme of solar things being brought into my awareness. Nothing literally happened with Sun themes, but I experienced realization of self, about my goals and aspirations on a Sun local space line, for instance; and it could be something that’s happening within, that’s emerging from within. And he also talks a lot about ‘shadowed’ planets in his book, about how shadowed planets can be kind of almost like the repression or the denial of self, or the denial of that particular archetype and that planet in your chart. And so, going to a hard line there can be a sense of repressing or hiding from what that represents in the chart. And so, there’s a whole section on shadowed planets that he talks about in his book which is really interesting too.
CB: Yeah, I think you had a quote here—here it is—where it says, “Astro*Carto*Graphy shows us how certain places symbolize the accepted suppressed or protected parts of the self.” And that’s from the Jim Lewis book.
HW: Yeah, it’s very psychological. The book, you can find clips and stuff of what he said—the psychological approach to astrocartography is really big.
CB: Okay, interesting. Yeah, well, the title of the book was The Psychology Astro*Carto*Graphy, which is kind of interesting. In the forward, I forgot to mention that Erin Sullivan wrote that part of the genesis of the book was that at the 1986 United Astrology Conference she gave Jim Lewis for his birthday a fancy edition of his little printed booklet that used to come with astrocartography charts, and it was like a special, like fancy version of that that she got him as a gift. And that sort of set the ball rolling eventually to publish the larger book that eventually came out shortly after he passed away. But I thought that was notable because I actually just got some archival footage of the very first United Astrology Conference from 1986, and Jim Lewis actually is in it at one point. So I’ll be releasing that sometime this month, so people can check that out to get a little glimpse of him as the founder of this technique at some point.
HW: Oh, that’s neat. Nice.
CB: Yeah. All right, are there any other major topics that we haven’t covered, or things that we meant to talk about that we haven’t yet at this point in terms of this sort of broad introduction to astrocartography?
HW: Yeah, I guess the big thing is this is a magical tool that really can change people’s lives. It’s amazing how a move can really affect people’s quality of life, and I think that’s the big thing. It affects people’s quality of life, like our emotions, what we’re feeling in a place when we’re close to that particular planet—especially when we’re like a 100 miles off, 150 miles—and how this is such a valuable tool I think we should all use in our daily life. I think one of the really interesting things is a lot of people will say, “Oh, you should go to Cinque Terre, it’s so magical. You’ll love it.” And then someone will go to Cinque Terre and they’ll hate it. It’s like, well, let’s look at your astrocartography, right? And so, I think personally it’s a tool that we should use in our daily life, planning our trips, all of those things, and just having it for ourselves, like astro.com; using astro.com to plan our travels. Because it’s amazing how it will save you time, it will save you money, and just being able to plan things is really, really cool. That’s my planner coming out, but, yeah.
CB: Yeah, for sure. Obviously both of us have experienced very personally and directly like the power of the technique to describe themes that we’ve encountered in different parts of the world and in specific cities. Is there a way that you have to balance it in terms of managing expectations, in terms of not being able to erase a person’s birth chart or completely override some of those other factors that are not completely in a person’s control?
HW: Yeah, well, that’s that nice balance of living intuitively and just like listening to your inner voice and what you feel called to venture toward. Is that what you mean? Like kind of the striking the balance between—
CB: I guess I was more just thinking of like, on the one hand, it can be a very powerful and compelling and useful tool to integrate, but then at the same time maybe you can’t change everything about your birth chart. I’m just thinking of the managing of expectations. Like if a client says, “Tell me the best place in the world that will change my life and make me a millionaire and make me successful in career and in relationships and everything else, there’s still a level of management where it’s not a magic wand that you can wave that will make everything perfect, I don’t think necessarily.
HW: Oh, no, and that’s a big thing to point out. People often will ask, “What’s my perfect place? Where is everything gonna go well?”
HW: Not everything’s gonna go well. There’s always a part of the chart, there’s always something that’s going on. No place is perfect. There’s pros and cons to every place. And so, yeah, that’s always gonna be a thing. And I think a lot of people want to find the perfect place, but there is no perfect place.
CB: Right. ‘Cause it shifts the chart, turns the chart, and it brings certain planets to greater prominence, which can sometimes indicate things going better in some area of the life. But then naturally the other part of the equation is it’s gonna move the difficult parts of the chart to a different place as well and you’ve still got to experience those. It’s part of a package that comes with it.
HW: Exactly. And that’s amor fati, accept your fate, what that phrase means.
CB: Right, for sure. Okay, cool. All right, well, I think this was a really amazing introduction to the technique. It got me excited about astrocartography and looking at different examples and things like that. There’s so many different levels that you can go into in terms of the examples and in terms of people really meeting their fate or their destiny sometimes in different parts of the world and having that become more clear or having that really open up or unlocked. I think the other part of the technique that’s actually the most compelling and persuasive to me is just that idea of how fate gets woven into it, not just as a component of time but a component of place, and that sometimes you have to go to certain places in order to truly fulfill your destiny. And that’s ultimately the most mysterious but interesting part of the technique that it really gets into at the end of the day.
HW: Oh, yeah. And I’m a big believer that where you are, you’re meant to be there. So that’s the fated part of it. You’re gonna go where you’re supposed to go at the time you’re supposed to go, and there’s no worrying about it at all. Like you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.
CB: Right, for sure. All right, I like that. That might be a good note to end on. So tell me about your work, tell me about your YouTube channel and other things. You also teach classes and do consultations related to this, right?
HW: Yeah, I eat, breathe, and sleep this, it’s my biggest passion. I’m currently traveling the world. I’m writing a book about these experiences right now. And you can find me on my website helenawoods.com. I have readings, courses beginners course, a more seven-week in-depth program, and then I’m also on YouTube vlogging my journey in real-time as I’m traveling to these places, documenting it online on my YouTube channel, Astrocartography with Helena. And I also am on Instagram at ‘mshelenawoods’.
CB: Brilliant. Well, everybody should check out your YouTube channel for sure, which is youtube.com/@mshelenawoods, and I’ll put a link to your website below this. But I like how on the YouTube channel it’s like a blend between an astrology channel and like an astrocartography channel, but it’s also a travel vlog. And you’re like traveling around to different places and doing amazing cinematography and stuff with the video shots. So it’s a really cool and unique sort of blending of those two things which I really love.
HW: Yeah. And I also have a main channel and I make the artistic projects of these places, and that was all activated on the Venus IC line, which is so cool. But, yeah, like bringing in real-time the real experiences and seeing it—the documentation I think is so cool.
CB: Yeah, for sure. And I love, just as a final note in passing, that you have Scorpio rising, you have Cancer on your 9th whole sign house, and like the ruler of the 9th house is the Moon, which is that Leo Moon that’s like conjunct the degree of the midheaven in your 10th house. And you’re literally doing 9th house stuff in the context of your career, and I can’t think of a more brilliant kind of amazing manifestation of that placement.
HW: And it was all timed. That wasn’t my life for a long time, and then it was like suddenly everything activated and it was like that’s everything I’m going toward. And I’m going through my Saturn return at the moment in my 5th house, and it’s like projects. Yeah, it’s projects, and I’m like writing this book. Like that’s what my Saturn return—well, at least my intention for it is. I’m gonna write this book, just this massive project.
CB: Right. Well, the other thing about this, and why this will be a good Saturn return story at the end of this, is that Saturn is like ruling your 4th house of your home and living situation, and it’s also ruling your 3rd house of communication.
CB: So those like themes of 4th and 3rd house, you’re combining them perfectly during your Saturn return and that’s just really smart and really cool.
HW: And what’s insane is I didn’t plan this at all. Like it just came to me in meditation, “You need to write a book about this and go travel.” And I’m apart from my husband, which is so hard, but it’s like a calling, I have to do this, you know.
HW: And it feels like lightning. It feels really magical.
CB: Amazing. Well, I love the work you’re doing. Thanks for doing it and thanks for sharing it with us. I look forward to seeing the book. And, yeah, we’ll have to do this again sometime ‘cause I know there’s like tons of other example charts that we could have explored. So maybe we’ll do a follow-up at some point once the book comes out.
HW: Yeah. And what an honor to be able to speak to you. I have been a long-time, long-time fan. Truly, like this is such an honor to be able to have a conversation with you.
CB: Cool. Well, yeah, I really enjoyed it, so thanks a lot for joining me today.
HW: Yeah, thanks.
CB: All right, thanks everyone for watching or listening to this episode of The Astrology Podcast, and I’ll see you again next time.
Special thanks to all the patrons that helped to support the production of this episode of the podcast through our page on Patreon.com. In particular, a shoutout to the patrons on our Producers tier, including patrons Kristi Moe, Ariana Amour, Mandi Rae, Angelic Nambo, Issa Sabah, Jake Otero, Jeanne Marie Kaplan, and Melissa DeLano. If you appreciate the work I’m doing here on the podcast and you’d like to find a way to support it, then please consider becoming a patron through my page on Patreon.com. In exchange, you’ll get access to some great subscriber benefits, including early access to new episodes, the ability to attend the live recording of the monthly forecast episodes, our monthly Auspicious Elections Podcast, which is only available to patrons, a whole exclusive podcast series called The Casual Astrology Podcast that’s for patrons, or you can even get your name listed in the credits. You can find out more information at Patreon.com/AstrologyPodcast.
If you’re looking for a reliable astrologer to get an astrological consultation with, then we have a new list of astrologers on the podcast website that we recommend for readings. Most of the astrologers specialize in birth chart readings, although some also offer synastry, rectification, electional astrology, horary questions and more. Find out more information at TheAstrologyPodcast.com/Consultations.
The astrology software that we use and recommend here on the podcast is called Solar Fire for Windows, which is available for the PC at Alabe.com. Use the promo code ‘AP15’ to get a 15% discount. For Mac users we recommend a software program called Astro Gold for Mac OS, which is from the creators of Solar Fire for PC, and it includes both modern and traditional techniques. You can find out more information at AstroGold.io, and you can use the promo code ‘ASTROPODCAST15’ to get a 15% discount.
If you’d like to learn more about my approach to astrology then I’d recommend checking out my book titled Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune where I go over the history, philosophy, and techniques of ancient astrology, taking people from beginner up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. You can get a print copy of the book through Amazon or other online retailers, or there’s an e-book version available through Google Books.
If you’re really looking to expand your studies of astrology then I would recommend my Hellenistic astrology course, which is an online course on ancient astrology where I take people through basic concepts up through intermediate and advanced techniques for reading birth charts. There’s over 100 hours of video lectures, as well as guided readings of ancient texts, and by the time you finish the course you will have a strong foundation on how to read birth charts, as well as make predictions. You can find out more information at courses.TheAstrologySchool.com.
And finally, thanks to our sponsors, including The Mountain Astrologer Magazine, which is a quarterly astrology magazine which you can read in print or online at MountainAstrologer.com. And the Northwest Astrological Conference, which is happening both in person and online, May 23-27, 2024. You can find out more information at norwac.net.