What the houses mean

Because much of relocation astrology has to do with planets changing houses, it’s important to define what each of the 12 houses stands for. I’ve said that the houses are similar to the signs that they correspond with (e.g. 1st house/Aries, 2nd house/Taurus, etc.) But that’s only part of the story and only one interpretation (which I first saw from A.T. Mann’s The Round Art).

Let’s get started.

The first house, of which the cusp is the ascendant, has a lot to do with your basic identity. Your manner, temperament, likes and dislikes, appearance, and body. It can also have to do with your manner of expression, creativity, initiative, and leadership. It’s the “I Am” principle. It’s ruled by Mars.

The second house has to do with your money and what you own, resources as well as values, earning abilities, and material security. Material security does not only depend on money but can also depend on the stability of nature outside. The attachment to form and to things is an expression of a strong relationship to the earth. It’s ruled by Venus.

The third house has to do with communication, capacities for information gathering and sharing, knowledge, short journeys, and your immediate environment. It covers logic, memory, early education, and manual skills. It has to do with listening and perception. Learning at the social and intellectual level. Those with a strong third house emphasis would have a deep need to communicate with others, modulated by what planets are involved. It’s ruled by Mercury.

The fourth house, of which the cusp is the IC, or the ecliptic’s lowest point underneath the earth, traditionally has had to do with the home and family. It has to do with real estate. It’s the place where you feel you can be yourself, with your emotional underpinnings, insecurities, and your need for emotional security. It symbolizes the home as a source of renewal and nurturing (or the lack of it). People with strong fourth house tend to yearn for peace for the individual self and privacy. Ruled by the Moon.

The fifth house has traditionally been known as the house of creativity, as well as children, risk-taking, and romance. An urge toward significance and identity. We become more secure in our identity by being able to take risks. Ruled by the Sun.

The sixth house is somewhat like the tenth house (they are both earth houses). It is the house of service and involves both service and health. Your daily responsibilities, co-workers, gaining skills that are of value to others and how you help and and are of service to others. If you are not fulfilled through your work, you tend to have health problems. It’s about accepting your limitations, understanding our motivations, and taking responsibility for our state of health, both physical and mental. Ruled by Mercury.

The seventh house, whose cusp is the Descendant, has been called the house of Partnership and Marriage. It is where you put your interests aside for the sake of your primary relationships. If the house is handled successfully it means that your understand shared goals and commitment. It can include your soul mate. In general, it is the place where you cooperate and share with others. It’s very one-to-one. Ruled by Venus.

The eighth house has to do with emotional security and soul security. It’s about shared resources, inheritance, and marrying for money. It concerns itself with sex, birth, death, the afterlife, transformation, power, psychic knowledge, the occult. The state of emotional peace can be arrived out only by growing free from desires and compulsive willfulness. The urge to be reborn through union with a greater power than the isolated self. Ruled by both Mars and Pluto.

The ninth house has to do with learning who one really is. Widening one’s horizons of self-awareness, enlarging the scope of one’s understanding, and gaining a perspective of human nature and the broadest possible overview of the universe. So it has to do with beliefs, philosophies, higher education, travel. Ruled by Jupiter.

The tenth house is about your reputation and career — profession, community standing, social role and what others think of you. It’s the house of ambition, aspiration, and attainment, authority, your dominant parent. Actions taken in the sixth house can help lead to a greater fulfillment of your tenth house. What is it that we feel called to contribute to society? Destiny beyond personal ambition. Ruled by Saturn.

The eleventh house is about groups who will help you achieve your goals, your group involvements. “The house of Friends, Hopes, and Wishes” — about long-term dreams and goals, as well as the people who share your interests and objectives. Your send of future direction and purpose, your idealism and vision — intellectual growth for collective good. Intellectual security. To not only fulfill your personal needs but the needs of society as a whole. Ruled by Saturn and Uranus.

The twelfth house desires to seek peace for the soul through surrender to a higher unity, devotion to a transcendent ideal, and freedom from the ghosts of past thoughts and actions. Consciousness, where ego can merge into spirit. The mystical, the subconscious, and the unknown. Successful navigation will allow you to transcend your everyday worries, and learn lessons that free you from past destructive patterns. Unsuccessful navigation would result in a self-image that is blurry, and self-destruction. Ruled by Jupiter and Neptune.

Hopefully this is a helpful primer for you. Credit goes to both “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Astrology” and Stephen Arroyo’s Chart Interpretation Handbook.


The Basics

I am here going to re-post an article I submitted for publication to last year. This is somewhat redundant to my article last month called “What is Relocation Astrology, anyway?” I’ll be adding some commentary afterward.

What is Relocation Astrology?

Details, Facts and Myths You Need to Know.

If you’ve ever had a birth chart done, you probably know where your Ascendant and Midheaven are.  Your Ascendant being your astrological “mask” (according to the author Jeanne Avery) – the face you show to the world, and the cusp of your 1st house.  The Midheaven being the cusp of your 10th house – the house of career, role or “station” in life.  All the 12 Houses proceed from the 1st house in an orderly manner, although they’re not exactly the same number of degrees per house (unless you live next to the Equator).

Your Ascendant is the point on the horizon where the Sun would be rising if it were rising, at the time of your birth.  Your Midheaven is the point in the sky that the Sun would be at its highest point that day.  It wouldn’t be directly overhead – at a latitude of 40 degrees North it would be to the South, 50 degrees above the horizon at both vernal and autumnal equinoxes, and ranging from 26½ to 73½ degrees above the horizon throughout the year, from solstice to solstice.

Have you ever spent a significant period of time away from your place of birth?  Or, have you lived in different parts of the country or world?  Then you may have observed the effects of having your chart “shift.”  If you were born 2 hours before sunrise in New York City, your going to Denver, CO would shift the chart to being about 4 hours before sunrise, as you move backward 2 time zones and about 30 degrees west longitude across the Earth.  4:42 AM in New York is 2:42 AM in Denver, and New York’s 74 degrees’ west becomes Denver’s 105 degrees west.

Because it’s the same time of year, 30 degrees to the west is likely to move your Ascendant backwards one sign – say, from Scorpio to Libra – and your Midheaven will almost definitely move it backwards one sign.  (The Midheaven moves exactly with longitude).  30 degrees move means that your Ascendant might move backwards, say, 26 or 34 degrees, but your Midheaven moves backwards exactly 30 degrees.  The difference has a lot to do with the 23½ degree tilt of the Earth and the fact that certain Ascendants are more common, the further away from the equator you go.  In the Northern Hemisphere, the most common Ascendants are Leo, Virgo, Libra and Scorpio.  In the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite – Aquarius, Pisces, Aries and Taurus.

If your Ascendant shifts backwards somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees, then each of your 12 house cusps will also shift backwards somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 degrees.  And since the planets stay exactly where they are in the zodiac, then what’s likely to happen is most of your planets will move forward one house.

The difference between the birth chart and relocated chart can be seen in these images.  (*)  Because each of the 12 houses comprises a different “theme” – like, the 2nd house has to do with possessions, property, and values and the 7th house has to do with marriage and partnership – a planet’s moving from one house to another means that a whole new set of themes for that planet are activated.  On top of that, any movement and change of the degree and sign of each of the houses means that planets will make a whole new set of aspects to the Ascendant or Midheaven, and aspects to Ascendant and Midheaven of the prior (or birth) location are no longer there.

You can see where this is leading so at this point it is very important to state here that you do not ever “lose” the birth chart, wherever you go.  Your birth chart is an imprint that stays with you, but the influence does diminish somewhat as your new location adds new overtones.  We all have free will, and your new location allows you to make new choices as to how to implement new energies and character traits, that didn’t exist before.

I’ve mostly been talking about changes in longitude making the difference.  It’s true that changes in longitude are more likely to make a difference than changes in latitude.  But not entirely!  The same tilt of the Earth that makes our noon Sun so much higher in the sky in the late spring and early summer also makes the rising and setting signs of each of the planets are not a straight up-and-down longitudinal line, but move at something of a diagonal.  The farther away from the equator, the more diagonal so that changes in latitude can make more of a difference. 

This can be seen on a local space map.  Space maps are related to relocation astrology, but are a whole different type of inquiry, in terms of whether you’d want to have a planet on its own rising line, setting line, midheaven or nadir.  It’s intriguing and helpful (entire books have been written on what local space maps show, and what it means for a planet to be near a “line”), but in a different way than what house a planet is in.  Both are ways to learn more about better or more interesting locations, where you can weigh the pros and cons of somewhere that intrigues you.

I’ve been in a Vibrational Astrology course with David Cochrane that’s been going on for two years and will end in a few months. I’ve always liked astronomy, though certain things I knew about like gravitational pull or the chemical physics of stars or relativity don’t directly have to do much with astrology. He went over a sky-map which shows the planets and their positions in the sky (or underneath the earth).

He used that as a springboard to discuss different house systems, of which there are many. I use Placidus because it accurately mirrors where planets are on the ecliptic — the ecliptic changes in the sky as time goes by. I’ve written a paper on this which I may share at some point, though one illustration has to do with the summer solstice, which at 40 degrees north has a 15 hour day and a 9 hour night.

That 15 hour day corresponds with 180 degrees, since the ascendant is opposite the descendant. The 9 hour night also corresponds with 180 degrees. It is only explained by where the planets happen to be on the ecliptic and how the ecliptic shifts during a 24 hour day. This is one major piece of evidence that explains my personal disagreement with the Equal House system.

It’ll be necessary at some point for me to discuss what each planet means on or near each of the angles, the angles being the cusps of the angular houses, which are houses 1, 4, 7, and 10, or otherwise said the ascendant, IC, descendant, and midheaven. Since there are 10 or more planets (including some asteroids) and the North Node, there are at least 44 opportunities for interpretation. It’ll be a lot to write about, and will likely take several of these posts.


“I don’t know if I believe in that, tbh.”

That was something that someone I just met on social media and corresponded with recently said. She then moved on to talking about planets near or on cusps and how the planets took on the characteristics of both signs.

Most of my planets are pretty close to cusps, so I should have been receptive to this topic. But I still was stuck on someone saying that they don’t know that they believe in relocation astrology. And why is it that I do “believe” in it?

This was somebody who is involved in the astrological community, offers esoteric services like tarot and astrology chart readings. She’s also someone who has never relocated.

I can’t say that I “believe” in astrology so much as I observe it. Many people might not be ‘receptive’ to observing changes that might be happening to them if they end up living in another place. (And if they don’t relocate at all, they’ll never get the chance.) Others are finely attuned to changes that might be happening if they relocate.

I, myself, spent months before my relocation looking at every interpretation that I could find for the new location as compared to the old, and considering all the pluses and minuses of the new location (and there will be both) before picking up and leaving from a place that I’d lived over a quarter century. My own observation has been that 80 percent of it has come to pass. That’s not perfect, but it’s pretty good.

At the time I moved, I didn’t know everything, as I found out later. But I learned that it was the best decision I made to leave Pittsburgh. For two more reasons:

My Friendship and Family, Detailed Map. This is a map that shows comfort zones, where you feel like home. Most of the places in a Friendship and Family map will be filled in for one reason or another. Notably, the area surrounding Pittsburgh, conspicuously, is not. Credit: Serius III software
My Excitement and Instability map. Lines on this map always have something to do with the planet Uranus, which lends itself to instabilty. They’re the kind of places that most people would want to avoid. The Pittsburgh area is most definitely one of the hottest spots for this characteristic.

Pittsburgh was also pretty close to my Mars IC line, which is a different map entirely. I’ve been told that my feeling that I was sinking, especially toward the end, had something to do with that.

But enough about me. I wanted to post some other people’s personal experiences with their own relocations so that you’d have an idea of what people are seeing. Looking for forums, I found some things worth pondering:

Yes, it was nice being a Leo Rising for a couple of years! 

It sounds weird, but perception people had on me truly changed. Maybe it was I was able to interact with them more freely.

Live in LA – which Sun/ASC crossed through –  Hate it, but had the most achievement and success here. Found myself. Formed my own opinions.

Born in Florida – This area is wedged between my Neptune/DSC and Mars/ASC opp

This place… is strange. There’s nostalgia and anger. There’s a distinct insecurity that surfaces every time I went home.

I am currently back to my birth place aka Saturn/IC line… Ewwwww. Saturn only makes negative aspect. No wonder it’s all depressions and financial struggles. From my previous experiences, Jupiter/IC place made me feel at home, but I wasn’t so career oriented, didn’t go out that much and preferred to stay in and enjoy quiet home life. Uranus/MC places were lots of fun even though kinda too unpredictable and unstable but in terms of recognition and publicity I was doing really well. Sun/Asc made me quite popular and people flooded toward me somehow but with sun square saturn in my natal chart, the experiences were difficult too. I’m thinking about going to my Jupiter/MC place to look for career success, as being stuck here in Saturn/IC line makes me depressed and everything is hard, delayed, not working out. I’ve had enough. 

I grew up in an area with Mars crossing Pluto, and looking back, can say that the stress and tension that comes with those lines played a big part in my life. This was especially true in my work/career. I would work very hard, but the pay was never commensurate with my skills . Then, 18 years ago I moved to the suburbs of NYC which has a Jupiter/MC line. According to Astrodienst, there is no better place for advancement, and good fortune in my career. When I moved, I found a position doing the same job as what I had left behind, but from that point on, I continued to move up in pay and positions. 18 years later, I am at the top of my game and am financially and materially secure. Is this a coincidence – I don’t know. But, it definitely is food for thought!

I lived in Sydney Australia previously and had Pluto on dc. When I first learned Astro I went to an astrologer he kept saying how bad it was having Pluto on my dc because I kept meeting people that treats me cruel or mean. He’s right to an extent I guess. And kept going on about how Melbourne us the best place for me when I moved here cuz it moved Pluto away and up the horizon.

Melbourne is a great place to live but not too great for me. I recently realised that it puts Saturn on my dc 🙄 great astrologer huh? Apparently Pluto on the dc is a no no but Saturn is ok lol.

I found Melbourne people to be quite distant and cold to me no one wants to date me. Yet lots of people in Sydney do.

So I ordered that chart and it confirmed what I knew to be true in these exact words: “Home away from home” “If you relocate permanently anywhere, it would be here” “Comfort, joy, and financial ease”. It was basically a bunch of Venus and Jupiter aspects and I totally felt it, even under the horrendous transits. We had actually planned on moving there but we were in school and I’m so bad with money, so we had to move back so I can finish school here in my home city. After I graduate we’ll be moving back to Japan, aka Venus and Jupiter land 🙂

So then I go to read my home city chart and — oh my god. Chiron. Just Chiron. The mortal wound of my life with nothing but relationship trauma and misery (I mean it could be Pluto, but still). If you knew my life story, you’d understand how perfectly true Chiron going STRAIGHT THROUGH the city and area that’s caused me to never want to come back here again is. Anyone I say it to says, “You need to get OUT and MOVE” haha!

We might wonder about confirmation bias in our reading these accounts, but it’s also a decent set of examples that you can pattern for how to observe how you’re doing in another place.


Local Space Maps

Another element of astrocartography, the mapping part of relocation astrology is the local space map. We’ll be looking at more traditional Astro Maps in the coming weeks and months, but the local space map is certainly different, even though it uses the same geography.

This is the local space map of a client I worked with several months ago.

A local space map for someone born in Detroit, MI

This person was born in Detroit, MI and has lived in multiple locations in her life, including Los Angeles and Pittsburgh.

What do these somewhat curved lines mean?

You can see the glyphs of planets on the red lines as well as yellow lines denoted by numbers. The yellow lines are where the house cusps exist. This might be hard to wrap your head around, since we don’t think of house cusps as depending on geographic proximity like that. Or at least, not intuitively.

You can see the yellow line labeled “1” heading almost directly to the east, although it starts to dip south the further east you go. That’s the cusp of the first house — the ascendant. The ascendant is where planets rise and is always somewhere on the eastern horizon, even though it is not usually directly east. So it makes sense — the sun, if it were rising, would be near that line. (It isn’t, as we’ll get into in a bit).

That line cuts directly through Detroit, as all the lines do, and shoots left, west to southwest, ending in number 7 — the cusp of the 7th house. That’s the descendant line — where planets would be setting.

You can see the sun going in two directions — between the numbers “8” and “9” and between the “2” and “3”. All planetary lines go in both directions in between opposite house numbers. Let’s say your Sun is 30 degrees above the horizon and directly southeast. The Sun line goes from where you are, directly at the zenith of the sky, directly toward where the Sun happens to be, southeast.

The line continues, wrapping all the way around the sky — basically what is known as a “great circle” from your vantage point. All lines southeast from the top of the sky to the Sun, then continuing to the horizon, going below the horizon until they are directly under your feet, than wrapping back to the horizon and going up the sky to the zenith, this time directly northwest, on the other side.

All local space lines wrap 360 degrees across the earth like that, depending on where they happen to be in the sky or underneath the earth.

In the northern hemisphere, the majority of the time (although not nearly all the time) planets are south of your vantage point if they’re in the sky (maybe southeast or west, but still south), and north of your vantage point if they’re underneath the earth. At 40 degrees north, if I had to guess an actual figure, each planet has a 70-80 percent chance of ending up this way.

Local space lines can be very powerful. From where I was born to where I live now, I am pretty much directly on my Sun line. That lends itself, according to one source, to creative purpose, vitality, fame, popularity.

According to the same source, the other lines are as follows:

  • Moon – emotional sensitivity, rootedness, hearth and home, family themes
  • Mercury – ideas and information, ideal for education, networking, business
  • Venus – concern with recreation, beauty, and the arts, an enhanced enjoyment of life, possibility of earning more money, attraction of relationships and the feminine, possible vanity
  • Mars – energized, motivated, passionate, driven, defensive, territorial, battleground, conflict
  • Jupiter – embodying the teacher, inspired optimism, synchronistic flow, opportunity, expansion, overindulgence, exaggeration
  • Saturn – hard work, discipline, maturity, seriousness, professionalism, responsibility, pressure
  • Uranus – desire for freedom, rebellious, inventive, original, unexpected surprises, sudden changes, themes around technology
  • Neptune – dreamy, poetic, mystical, contemplative, myth and story, the imagination and arts, confusion, deception, depression, idealism, disappointment
  • Pluto – intensity, drama, empowerment and power struggles, control issues, resistance and release, shamanic work, the unconsious, shadow emotions, hidden agendas in self and other
  • Chiron – recognition of woundedness, stories of victimization, opportunities to heal, mentors, coaches, guidance
  • Juno – issues of fairness and equality, soul-contracts, balance in relationship, marriage partner


This is just one interpretation, but it indicates the strengths that will occur if you live on one of these lines.

In the above graphic you can see this client’s Sun line heading northeast through Ontario, Canada, and also southwest going right through Indianapolis and through eastern Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas and getting very close to Houston and Corpus Christi, TX. Living on this Sun line allows the person to strengthen their very essence and their vitality.

This client lived in Los Angeles near her Ceres line. Ceres is not in the above list I posted, but according to David Cochrane, Ceres can indicate:

“attempts to bring a healthy, humanitarian way of life to our complex biological and social situation… Ceres brings a desire to bring decency, honesty, support, and a reasonable philosophical perspective to our lives and especially to the difficulties we face.

“Ceres does not simply want to nurture and feed. Ceres acknowledges complex realities and seeks healthy, honest, mature. Ceres provides ideas that are more realistic and pragmatic rather than idealistic.”

Try to contemplate how this might manifest in the location. She was about 50 miles south of her Ceres line, so it wasn’t the strongest of influences.

More interestingly, the client has Jupiter conjunct Saturn to within less than a degree orb (very strong!) and the lines, right next to each other, go right through Pittsburgh. We see the Jupiter and Saturn influence as combining seemly contradictory impulses that translate to a desire for controlled growth. Jupiter wants to make everything bigger but Saturn (in its effort to focus on what’s real and important and lasting, without all the frills) asks, “what are we growing for? What’s important here? What’s going to last beyond our lifetime?”

I can definitely see the client as making the right choice by moving to Pittsburgh, and creating something large and of lasting value. It isn’t the only reason I recommended the location for her (and we haven’t even gotten into the backstory), but it is a major reason.

Local space maps tell us a lot as one element of a larger survey of both a more normal Astro Map, and are available in many astrological charting programs.

The same client’s more traditional Astro Map


Perhaps the biggest reason I moved from Pittsburgh to Colorado was my Jupiter moving from the 12th house to the 1st house, only 5 1/2 degrees from my Ascendant. (It also became square my Midheaven, which is a different matter.)

I first relied on an interpretation, from Mapping Your Travels and Relocation, that I had brought with me during a visit. For moving Jupiter into the first house, it said:

If more optimism, self-confidence, or vitality is your quest, you could fulfill your desire with Jupiter in the relocated first house. You may become more interested in a religion, philosophy, belief system, or set of ideals, and expand yourself personally and physically (weight gain is possible). More faith and a willingness to risk for greater gain also are possible.

That was enough for me. (And, with four years here now, I can say that most of this has come true).

Traditional astrology has considered Jupiter the great benefic, for good fortune, good luck, and just generally, gain. It can also lead to excess. David Cochrane determined through his research that “it blows everything up, makes it bigger.”

I have Jupiter on the Libra/Scorpio cusp (29 degrees Libra) which is an interesting placement for such good fortune. The Secret Language of Luck indicates that my greatest ability to manifest such luck is by “evaluating.”

After my Colorado visit, but before moving here for good, I did some soul-searching and looked up every interpretation I could find. I gravitated to The Round Art, by A.T. Mann, almost immediately. I had Jupiter on my 12th house for all of my life until 2016. Jupiter rules the 12th house (and the 9th house). The 12th house interpretation is as follows:

altruism, contentment, solitude, tolerance, capacity for enjoyment; compassionate, generous, selfless, imaginative, beneficent, charitable, visionary, indolent, wasteful.

Not bad, right? The 1st house placement is why I was willing to give this up, even though it was no longer in rulership:

frankness, honesty, leadership, travel; generous, optimistic, self-sufficient, speculative, aspiring, capable, ambitious, noble, adventurous.

The three things that were most important on that list were self-sufficient, capable, and noble. Having seen evidence of them in a seven-day visit, I realized that I wanted those things.

This was an opportunity to change, or add to, my character. I’d love to hear from you if you’ve either come from or moved to someplace where your Jupiter is in your 1st house (or if your Jupiter is in Aries). It’s the sort of thing I’d promote — why not move to Jupiter in your first house?

There are two problems — maybe somebody wants something else more. So I’m going to post houses 2 through 11. These are all The Round Art (A.T. Mann) interpretations.

2nd house Jupiter: good humor, wealth, hedonism, gluttony, comfort, trusteeship; generous, liberal, good-hearted, wasteful, over-indulgent, exploitative, jovial.

3rd house Jupiter: popularity, sociability, tact, charm, many contacts, travel; carefree, mannered, conceited, hypocritical, superficial, empty, obliging, sweet.

4th house Jupiter: receptivity, abundance of feeling, attachment, contentment, quiet pleasures, good humour; religious, prolific, just, good-natured, charitable, kindly, sociable, relaxed, intuitive.

5th house Jupiter: self-confidence, optimism, big ideas, speculation, benevolence, prestige, grandeur, prominence; lofty, vain, pretentious, wasteful, spendthrift, inflated.

6th house Jupiter: urge to learn, organization, teaching, teamwork, medicine, ambition; ethical, moral, upstanding, prudent, philosophical, discriminating, materialistic, honest, professional, thorough.

7th house Jupiter: enjoyment of social contact, justice, the Law, public work, conversation, happy marriage, reliance on others; temperate, mild, charitable, well-meaning, philanthropic, cultured, benign.

8th house Jupiter: striving for possessions and pleasures, money from partner and from others, conceit, peaceful death, sex life; pleasure-loving, self-indulgent, materialistic, subtle, proud, emotional.

9th house Jupiter: nobility, tolerance, religious and moral aspirations, broad plans, foresight; humanitarian, just, expansive, positive, good-humoured, philosophical, speculative, wasteful, extravagant, kindly.

10th house Jupiter: leadership, responsibility, material stability, good birth, authority, government and industry, correctness; constructive, capable, organized, egocentric, esteemed.

11th house Jupiter: prominent friends, patronage, help from others, good-fellowship, liberality; congenial, good humoured, humanitarian, sympathetic, philanthropic, genteel, obliging, curious.

Jupiter is in rulership in the 9th and 12th houses, in detriment in the 3rd and 6th houses, exalted in the 4th house and in fall in the 10th house. Please know that this is only ONE interpretation in one type of relocation analysis; and, although it’s worked for me about 80 percent so far, does not guarantee anything for you (e.g. just because you’re speculative doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily going to win at your speculations.)

In general, be careful and visit someplace long before you move there and try to observe things accurately. And get a good relocation astrologer to cast your chart, since there’s a whole other side to astrocartography than what I post here. But this is a good survey of overtones that are likely to color your experience.

The other problem is that most people are probably not willing to move outside their country. I personally consider it to be a bridge too far for now, and possibly ever. In the contintental United States (excluding Hawaii and Alaska) there can be a maximum of a three-house range for any planet, and often only two. My Jupiter ascending line (the cusp of the first house) cuts straight through the middle of the country — the 1st house to the west, and the 12th house to the east.

(Addendum: my Jupiter ascending line is parallel and about 150 miles west of my Saturn descending line — I have Jupiter opposite Saturn with about a 3 1/2 degree orb. If I wanted to move near my Jupiter line, I’d have to contend with my Saturn line. That doesn’t apply to you, but it’s an example of the trade-offs you might need to make or decide if they’re worth it.)

It goes without saying, “Be Safe.” In these times of COVID-19, and in general. Most people aren’t quite thinking about moving right now, but information is there for if and when you’re interested and willing.


Planetary degrees

And now for something completely different, and something that has absolutely nothing to do with relocation astrology or astrocartography:

What degrees your planets are in.

It has nothing to do with relocation astrology because literally the planets are in the same part of the zodiac no matter where you were born or where you moved to. They only change direction in the sky.

I became very interested in this because I am kind of unique: Most of my planets are in either very high degrees or very low degrees. I’ll list those specific planets here.

  • Moon — 2 degrees Capricorn
  • Mercury — 1 degree Capricorn
  • Mars — 26 degrees Aquarius
  • Jupiter — 29 degrees Libra
  • Saturn — 3 degrees Taurus
  • Neptune — 29 degrees Scorpio
  • Pluto — 27 degrees Virgo

(Planets are rounded up or down to the nearest degree.)

This is rather uncommon, but what does it mean?

Many astrologers (or those who decide this is important) have come to the conclusion that the degree of the planet, how high or low it is, expresses what we might be called the maturity of the expression of the planet. The higher the degree, the more mature the planet is expressed. The sign might even be thought of as secondary, and just the ‘how’ it is expressed.

This is arguably controversial, and you can take it with a grain of salt, although I personally don’t. Definitions of the planets are debatable, but here are the ones I use as a rule of thumb:

  • Sun — your basic essence
  • Moon — your emotions
  • Mercury — ability to handle complexity of technical details, like science or engineering
  • Venus — how you love
  • Mars — your ego
  • Jupiter — sense of high concepts, like philosophy or different philosophies, and perhaps how they might manifest in the world
  • Saturn — self-discipline
  • Uranus — sense of revolution (admittedly, this is the one I have the least confidence in right now)
  • Neptune — mysticism, spirituality, how you dream
  • Pluto — transformation, chthnoic forces, mass level forces, life and death

So I spend some time on thinking about how these planets might manifest in my own life and others’.

I think of my Mercury manifesting on a very basic level when I was a freshman in college with this idea that I was going to study engineering, but then barely passing Physics (which was graded on a curve!) and failing more advanced Calculus, even though I came in very good at math. And having no ability to put it all together, something that engineering majors absolutely have to do. I was completely out of my depth.

I went into the humanities the next year which, at its best, is a good expression of Jupiter, although I didn’t go to a university that valued higher concepts in places like philosophy — they were a technical school through and through. It was the second time I went to college literally decades later that things like high concepts were fulfilled for me.

I think of my Moon as lacking in emotional maturity but my Mars lending itself to a very mature ego (which I am grateful for). Then Saturn, with the self-discipline problems. We all have our strengths and weaknesses.

Neptune and Pluto for me were in high degrees as well; how did that work? I was once called spiritually advanced, and tend to think about both mystical experiences I’ve had as well as how it might manifest. Transformation is something that comes to mind for me; and most definitely issues of life and death, to the extent that many people aren’t even comfortable talking about. Neptune and Pluto, as generational planets, sometimes come across a little less clear, since they are all about the ‘outer limits’ and we spend much of our days dealing with the more mundane.

One good example is the chart of presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar. When I looked at her chart, I saw her Venus in a very high degree:

Politicians are some of the easier people to study if you want to know their manner and if you like watching debates, which can be entertaining, also. I think it is worth reflecting on how Klobuchar’s ‘mature love,’ shall we say, manifested and came out during the debates. I felt I saw it. Her genuine way of ‘bringing people with her,’ as she put it, makes her very popular in Minnesota. There were more examples that are worth looking at that I won’t go into here. (She dropped out by the time our state got around to voting.)

It has nothing to do with relocation astrology, but it’s something that is on my mind a lot. I welcome all respectful discussion on this topic.


The North Node, part 2

Following the logic of the first North Node/relocation post from early in the week, I wanted to explore whether the 4th house manifests more in my being, or rather, since I’ve relocated, the 5th house.

Starting with Jan Spiller’s Astrology for the Soul and its interpretations, which are 39 and 42 pages respectively for the 4th and 5th house:

North Node in Cancer: Attributes To Develop

Work in these areas can help uncover hidden gifts and talents

  • Noticing and validating feelings
  • Empathy
  • Nurturing and supporting others
  • Building one’s own foundation and security
  • Honest disclosure of feelings and insecurities
  • Humility
  • Accepting others’ foibles and fluctuating moods without judgment
  • Staying centered in one’s own feelings

Tendencies to Leave Behind

Working to reduce the influence of these tendencies can help make life easier and more enjoyable

  • Needing to control everything and everyone
  • Compulsion to take charge without fully understanding the situation
  • Ignoring the process: being too focused on the goal
  • Feeling completely responsible for everything
  • Hiding feelings and fears in intimate relationships
  • Doing things to gain respect or admiration from others
  • Taking care of others’ feelings and neglecting one’s own
  • Doing what is “socially acceptable” rather than what is totally honest
  • Thinking that things have to be difficult in order to be important

And, for Leo/5th house:

North Node in Leo: Attributes To Develop

Work in these areas can help uncover hidden gifts and talents

  • Individuality
  • Willingness to take “center stage”
  • Following one’s heart’s desires
  • Strengthening one’s willpower
  • Enthusiasm
  • Self-confidence
  • Taking risks
  • Relating to the childlike quality in others
  • Enjoying life-having fun
  • Looking at life as a game
  • Developing an “it’s up to me” attitude

Tendencies to leave behind

Working to reduce the influence of these tendencies can hep make life easier and more enjoyable

  • Yielding to peer pressure in order to “belong”
  • Detaching from emotional situations
  • Aloofness
  • Waiting for others to prompt one’s own action
  • “Overlooking” what’s really going on
  • Waiting for more knowledge before taking action
  • Excessive daydreaming
  • Running away from confrontations

In Cancer/4th house, I can definitely see the Empathy part shining through. My empathic response to people and interest in their lives is also based on at least one other factor, which has to do with Vibrational Astrology — it would be a long digression but it’s worth covering later. Humility is a ideal and worth pursuing on its own. Is it something I achieve every day? Probably not. Nurturing and supporting others — at this point it would probably be good to go down the list and ask to what degree these are less of a factor they are than they were when I lived in Pittsburgh? And the answer is, probably some!

But it’s also situation-dependent. As an astrologer who counsels people, many of these 4th house traits are needed, and used, in my practice. If we understand, as I do, that moving to a new location allows you to “add” new traits to your character rather than replacing them, it’s possible to summon up these old traits if we want to based on the fact that these are partially based in learned behaviors.

That being said, the Leo/5th house does seem prominent and very “new”, and seems more influential with each passing year (I’ve been here for four) — not everything on that list, but: like following my heart’s desire, self-confidence, taking risks, and strengthening willpower; and, also needing to deal with the “excessive daydreaming” and waiting for more knowledge before taking action.

(In a different interpretation, that of Time Passages, North Node in 5th house allows us to “make our dreams come true,” and truly manifest things that we were only dealing with in a theoretical way earlier in life. I will say that this interpretation had some bearing on whether I would move, since I read it back in 2015. Do not only rely on one interpretation).

This is just a summary, a shortcut. The rest of these pages for these, or any of the houses your North Node might relocate in, you too can look at your own houses and not only the summary, but the rest of the pages that follow — Jan Spiller is very profound throughout, so you can weigh what she writes in the pages.

We are really dealing with karmic stuff that we dealt with in past lives. Many astrologers in particular do not allow for the North Node to relocate because of the thorny ethical issues that come with changing karma. It helps to read widely and come up with the things that you, in your own wisdom, think will help your soul’s journey in this life.


The North Node

The North Node, like any planet, is in some sign on the date of your birth and in some house at the time of your birth.

But what is the North Node? Basically, it works like this.

The Moon revolves around the Earth in a plane. The Earth revolves around the Sun in a plane. The Moon’s orbit is slightly tilted relative to the Earth’s orbit — about 5 degrees.

A typical tilt of the Moon’s orbit

If it wasn’t, we’d have a solar eclipse every month and a lunar eclipse every month. It ends up that we usually have at least a partial solar eclipse once per year and a lunar eclipse once per year.

The points where the Moon’s orbit intersects with the Earth’s orbit are called the Nodes. There is a North Node and a South Node, and they are always opposite each other in the zodiac. If your South Node is 15 degrees Scorpio, then your North Node will be 15 degrees Taurus.

The Nodes move backwards through the zodiac taking roughly 19 years to go full circle. What you might not know is that the speed of the Node procession is not uniform or constant. There is even the rare occurance where the Node moves forward. That’s why we use the terms “true node” and “mean node” — the latter operates on the assumption that the speed is constant, when it actually is not. But it will usually spend about a year and a half in each sign, before moving backwards to the last one.

What we know about the nodes is that our South Node is what we already came into this lifetime with. These are things we’ve learned in past lives and that we’re already good at. We use these in our current life, too; but we’re not amply rewarded for it.

The North Node is what we came into this lifetime to do. It is karmic in that sense. We learn these new things (that don’t come naturally) and not only are we fulfilling our karma, it is also how we get recognized and rewarded. There are many interpretations of how the North Node is defined in each house, and they’re not hard to find. (If you’re at least an intermediate astrologer, you may kind of know them already).

But the North Node is also in a specific house when we’re born. And if you believe A.T. Mann and other astrologers, that house is equivalent to the sign that it corresponds with. So if you have North Node in the 7th house, that’s like having North Node in Libra.

And if we move thirty degrees across the earth, or sixty, or ninety, that Node is likely to move one, or two, or three houses.

I really appreciate Jan Spiller’s Astrology for the Soul, which gives roughly forty pages for the North Node for each sign or house. And she also accepts the idea that the sign is equivalent to each house. My North Node is in Pisces, but by birth it’s in the fourth house. Where I relocated, though, it’s in the fifth house.

This is where it gets confusing. We’ve got Pisces nailed down, but which interpretation should I read — node in Cancer/4th house chapter, or node in Leo/5th house chapter? It kind of begs the question because we’re asked to fulfill a karmic requirement, and what that book says for 4th house is very different for what it says for 5th house. Do we just declare that our karmic requirements are almost arbitary and we choose what they are based on where we happen to live? Or do I just stick with Pisces/12th and then ignore the house part?

If Astrology schools offered PhDs (and they should), this would be a great topic for a dissertation to be done about where the truth lies as to what is a valid interpretation and why. Okay, maybe a masters’ thesis will suffice, but it’s very easy to see how this could be handled both scientifically AND intutively.

In future posts I’ll be discussing in my case, the North Node in Pisces/12th, Cancer/4th, and Leo/5th. Which one is more relevant to my life, and how I might change it. I’ll draw on my own experiences. You probably don’t have North Node in 4th or 5th house, although you might — the odds are 1 in 6. But you can draw on this analysis to experience it yourself when you read Jan Spiller’s book — assuming you moved, and even if you didn’t. Like I said, it’s a great book.


How does relocation astrology work, anyway?

I have friends who know very little about astrology. (I tend to think I don’t have friends who know nothing about astrology, or at least very few.) Friends may have had a birth chart done by me or by someone else in the past, and they may know, or vaguely recall, their rising sign as being Scorpio or some other sign.

I talked to a friend like that on the phone today. She didn’t know what it meant to have Scorpio on the ascendant. So this post is meant just as a review, or primer, for what an ascendant (rising sign) is, what the midheaven is, and why planets can change their character depending on where you move even when these planets stay in the same signs.

Your ascendant, or rising sign, is the point on the horizon where the sun would be rising that day at the time of your birth. At the equinox that’s directly east; in the fall and winter months it’s somewhat south of east, and in the spring and summer months it’s somewhat north of east. If you were born at sunrise, your ascendant would be exactly the same sign and degree as your Sun sign. I was born roughly two hours before sunrise, so my ascendant is one sign earlier than my Sun sign (Sun sign Sagittarius, Ascendant Scorpio).

Your Midheaven is the point in the sky where the Sun would be at its highest point that day. That is never directly overhead unless you were born in between the tropics. In the winter, it can be quite low in the sky. That might be between noon or 1:30pm, depending on what time of year. If you were born at the highest time of the day, your Midheaven would be exactly the same sign and degree as your Sun sign.

Your ascendant is the cusp of the 1st house and shows up on the left side of your chart wheel. It’s considered your astrological mask, or the face you show to the world. Your Midheaven is the cusp of the 10th house and has to do with your career or place in society. Depending on what sign your ascendant or midheaven are in, they are expressed by the qualities of that sign — so a Leo Midheaven is very different than a Cancer Midheaven.

So, what does it mean when you move? It is very important to remember that you do not ever “lose” the birth chart, wherever you go.  Your birth chart is an imprint that stays with you, but the influence does diminish somewhat as your new location adds new overtones. 

I was born at 4:42am in the Eastern Time Zone. I relocated to the Mountain Time Zone later on in life. That’s two time zones to the west. The relocated chart acts as though I was born at 2:42am in the Mountain Time Zone. My sun sign is the same, as are all the planets. But my relocated ascendant moved back about 24 degrees, from 17 degrees Scorpio to 23 degrees Libra. And my Midheaven moved back about 31 degrees, from 28 degrees Leo to 27 degrees Cancer. And although the planets don’t change signs, they move to different positions in the sky (or different places underneath the earth).

The birth chart
The relocated chart

The difference between the birth chart and relocated chart can be seen in the images I’m providing.  Because each of the 12 houses comprises a different “theme” – like, the 2nd house has to do with possessions, property, and values and the 7th house has to do with marriage and partnership – a planet’s moving from one house to another means that a whole new set of themes for that planet are activated.  (On top of that, any movement and change of the degree and sign of each of the houses means that planets will make a whole new set of aspects to the Ascendant or Midheaven, and aspects to Ascendant and Midheaven of the prior (or birth) location are no longer there.)

In my case, every one of my planets moved one house, except for one — Saturn from the 6th to the 7th house, Venus from the 1st house to the 2nd house, etc. (In my case, the Sun was the planet that didn’t move, staying in the 2nd house. Maybe that was fortuitous!)

We all have free will, and your new location allows you to make new choices as to how to implement new energies and character traits, that didn’t exist before. I’d also add that what I’ve written in this post is only one aspect of relocation astrology. I might consider it the most important building block (and I do) so it’s worth digesting this for a while before moving to the next stage.


Looking for more relocation stories

As we are going to endure one of the most devastating public health crises in the world’s history, and with the United States due to our lacking (to say the least) response is going to be hit especially hard, it’s not easy to even contemplate the idea of moving to another part of the country or another part of the world. Many of us have been ordered to stay in our homes.

I’m following this crisis quite closely using media sources like the New York Times, Washington Post, Vox, etc. While I know that things will look quite different two weeks from now than they do now, I know that things will eventually pass, though it might be more than a year from now, and people will then be more able to contemplate things that others would consider “frivolous”.

Relocation astrology, of course, is not frivolous, despite what others might say. I went to the local facility that I have storage in (Public Storage) yesterday, as I’m arranging getting my elliptical moved from there back to me! I struck up a conversation with the young woman behind the desk that ended up lasting quite a while.

Because of the economic crisis being brought on by the coronavirus, her father had lost his job, and most of her family had as well. We are in Colorado, and she had just relocated from Texas. With the circumstances being what they were, she said that it was likely that she would have to leave Colorado and end up in Arizona not long from now. I eventually told her that I was an astrologer, and her ears perked up. She’d been studying it since 2015, she said.

She was looking into other things like compatibility, which I don’t specialize in although I have some knowledge of how it works. I told her my specialty of relocation astrology. It was so apt for what she was about to go through, and given how young she was, how she had a good bit of opportunity to use to her advantage. It definitely interested her.

We exchanged contact information and it looks pretty likely I’ll be doing her chart for at least three locations. If I do, I’ll share it on these pages. Since this blog is new, I may create some comment area where you can share your relocation stories or birth information.

Please be safe out there and stay home as much as possible. Wash your hands thoroughly at every opportunity, especially when out. We’ll get through this.