And explanations for both are in the wonderful book I recommend to all beginners based on how comprehensie yet easy it is: The Idiot’s Guide To Astrology (Madeline Gerwick-Bordeur and Lisa Lenard).
I read this book more than two decades ago early on in my astrological education. One thing that stuck with me is its explanation of a sowing vs. reaping lifetime. These are our karmic instructions.
- If you have more planets in the eastern side of the chart (houses 10, 11, 12, 1, 2, and 3) you are experiencing a sowing lifetime.
- If we have more planets in the western side of the chart (houses 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9) you are experiencing a reaping lifetime.
(I have 9 out of 10 planets on the eastern side of my chart).
I think it’s highly interesting that astrologers who study house pattern systems (the bucket, the splay, the locomotive etc.) don’t even bother with this aspect of chart wheel analysis.
I’m going to quote directly from the book:
- “If there are more planets in the east than the west, then this lifetime is a sowing lifetime, and you’ll have a great deal of freedom and choices about what you do. Things won’t usually fall in your lap from others, but anything you work toward consistently can work out. You’ll have to put in a lot of energy to make things work, but you will have lots of choices as to what you can work on. This time around, you’re sowing your seeds and creating your own opportunities.
- “On the other hand, if there are more planets in the west than the east, you’re in a reaping lifetime, and will have less freedom. However, you could say your life is set up for you to walk through — you’ll usually find that it opens up to new opportunities from others just when you need it to do so.”
And of course, with relocation astrology this begs the question. If I moved to Sydney, Australia, all of a sudden I have 7 planets on the west side of my chart. Even moving to Kauai puts either 5 or 6 planets on the west side of my chart. (It’s right on my Venus IC line.)
Does our life reason simply alter like that? That’s quite a heady thing to think. Maybe internally we were dealing with some karma that made our birthplace a mismatch for something that I would call fairly profound. Just one detail of astrology, but one that’s overlooked.
Many astrologers disagree that your relocated chart is a ‘real chart.’ Thus, if they acknowledge sowing and reaping lifetimes, they’re going to say that doesn’t change. Maybe the change, if it does occur, happens to me as I have a very weak sense of identity (strong 43 harmonic, for those who are keeping score), and maybe this is going to be less operable for someone with a stronger sense of identity. Otherwise, it is, arguably, as I’d put it, karmic cheating. Maybe.
As for me, I’m interested in case studies — so if you’ve moved FAR from your birthplace, I want to hear from you.