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“It changes things, but it doesn’t change things that much.”

When I was in my Vibrational Astrology program, which went on from June 2018 through September 2020, I was expecting some alienation regarding my practice. I had done my second website, relocation-astrology.com, in late 2017. The domain relocationastrology.com (which would apparently get you more readers, I’m told) is on sale for something like $1800; when I was first building this website, it was more like $5000. I don’t feel compelled to spend that kind of money.

The Vibrational Astrology program hadn’t started yet, and I got some pushback in a workshop that he did that I first met David Cochrane in Gainesville, FL in April 2016. The pushback I got from somebody was, “You are a Scorpio ascendant. Your ascendant doesn’t change. You will always be a Scorpio Ascendant.” This was upsetting.

(It was an online friend who talked with me on the phone after I moved to Colorado, observing me, who said, “You don’t seem like a Scorpio rising to me.” She had Scorpio on the Ascendant herself, so she has some idea wherein she speaks.)

David Cochrane is a veritable genius; I told him once “You are deserving of several lifetime awards.” I’m trying to reconcile my view of relocation astrology with his; whether my own observations disagree with his views and how much. I tend to prioritize different interpretations, which I’ll get to — this is normal; as he said himself, “Each of us takes a small slice of the astrology field; it is impossible to know everything.”

I know, for example, that my focus on the degree of a sign that a planet is in and its indicated the maturity of the planet’s expression is not something that David has considered. This is a digression — I’m here to focus on relocation astrology. But it indicates that even the best among us have certain either blind spots or just areas that they choose not to cover for whatever reason. So much of this is about ‘what you choose to cover’ and why. It’s the same thing with the journalism field — if a major publication chooses not to cover a labor strike, that makes a difference in our understanding.

When we finally covered ‘relocational astrology’ as the unit about halfway through the course, I ended up learning a lot. From Astro Maps/Treasure Maps, to Local Space, to parans. His quote, the headline (which I’m recalling from memory), “It changes things, but it doesn’t change things that much,” stuck with me and still sticks with me.

We need to explain ourselves fully when we tell a client what a location will do and what it won’t do. Many of our personal characteristics do not depend on the ascendant or midheaven, because they only involve planets or the North Node and these things do not change in our birth chart no matter where we go. It’s a good idea to be very firm and clear about this.

A lot, of course, has to do with ridding ourselves of the negative. People have lived in a place so long (and still live there) without even realizing it was disservicing themselves in some profound way. This was my own life experience and I have noticed it in a number of clients. That often comes out in the Treasure Maps, but it can come out in other ways, like the planetary midpoints.

Midpoints. Parker’s Astrology does them so well, and I have personally gotten a huge amount of mileage out of them in my own life. There is the risky chance of confirmation bias, but once you’ve relocated, you can notice certain characteristics disappearing. That’s a lot harder to call confirmation bias when you see something that was there but is no longer there, and a relocation adds bricks, if you will, to the structure — the credibility — of one’s understanding of one’s experience in each location.

Getting back to “It changes things, but it doesn’t change things that much.” I have to ask myself, what in me or outside me hasn’t changed? Because a lot of things have. This move to Denver, now nearly 5 years, has been a great experiment in what in relocation astrology has changed, but what hasn’t?

I think it is congruent with the things that do not involve the ascendant and midheaven. My moon/Mercury conjunction at 2 and 1 degrees Capricorn, will augur characteristics that will not change. The low degrees point to a lack of maturity in the characteristics that these planets cover, such as emotional maturity or mental/technical maturity. This will stay with me throughout my life.

The conjunction between Moon and Mercury, of course, is very positive and powerful, and I appreciate having both of these planets in Capricorn, as the Mercury in Capricorn indicates shrewdness (among other things) and the Moon makes me more responsible and committed, etc. than I would be otherwise. None of these things change if I move to another location.

This also begs the question. I spoke briefly with another astrologer (relatively locally — it was a woman on a dating site) and she suggested that we need to try to experience people as they are without putting the filters of astrology onto them before you get to know them. It’s a fair point. And if you’re dating, you probably don’t want to do too much hocus-pocus astrology on them. This is a digression, but I have wanted to make this point, as men who are astrologers might make more of the astrology than women, at first. You don’t want to pidgeonhole somebody.

However, I have found that the astrology, and the interpretations I fall back on, rarely lie.

Because of that, I’ve concluded that a lot of what ‘doesn’t change’ does involve patterns where the ascendant and midheaven are not involve and a lot of what does, does involve the ascendant and midheaven. It’s shorthand, to be sure. If my clients didn’t find it rewarding I would be thinking about other approaches.

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Pluto lines

Please note — once we’re done with Pluto, that wraps up the 10 major planets. However, as relates to Chiron, both Time Passages and Dan Furst have interpretations of Chiron, on the ‘lines’ analysis of each planet. On the other hand, when it comes to house placements and aspects to the Ascendant and Midheaven, the Round Art and Mapping Your Travels and Relocation do not have entries for Chiron. It would make sense for me to find other sources for that, and it’s the kind of thing that would help clients anyway especially since Chiron is an important thing to discuss.

Let’s review:

  • The ascending line is the location on the earth where the planet is rising. (As a corollary, the ascendant is the point on the horizon — northeast, southeast, or anywhere in between — where the sun would be rising at the time of birth). A planetary ascending line is the planet on the cusp of the first house.
  • The descending line is the location on the earth where the planet is setting. (The descendant is the point on the horizon — northwest, southwest, or anywhere in between — where the Sun would be setting at the time of birth). A planetary descending line is the planet on the cusp of the 7th house.
  • The MC lines are where a planet would be at its highest point of the day in the sky, or essentially on the prime meridiem. They will be directly south above the Tropic of Cancer, directly north below the Tropic of Capricorn, or overhead (the possibility for being overhead only exists between the tropics). A planetary midheaven line is the planet on the cusp of the 10th house.
  • The IC lines are where a planet would be at its lowest point of the day underneath the earth. A planetary IC line is the planet on the cusp of the 4th house.

It should be emphasized again, that you should spend some time on or near a line before taking the plunge, picking up, and starting over. As would also be true for analyzing a planet in a house at a new location.

I discussed what astrologers think Pluto is in the January 22 post, so check for that. Pluto is a fascinating and powerful planet, and the interpretations you’ll see below help you get a sense of how that power manifests.

I’ll be using the Time Passages astrological software as well as Dan Furst’s Finding Your Best Places – Using Astrocartography to Navigate Your Life. (Furst’s book came out in 2015 and is essential). Furst’s interpretation is (arguably) more “negative” than the Time Passages interpretation; we need to take ALL of it in.

Here’s someone’s Astro Map of the whole Earth:

As I’ve done with every planet up to now, I’ve posted the Astro Map of the entire Earth for someone. You can see Ascending and Descending lines — the more diagonal lines — coming from the left side of the screen and crossing nearly all together as a ‘singularity’ both in that area west of South America and north of Antarctica, as well as on the opposite side of the earth in northern Russia. Near each singularity, planets’ lowest point in longitude (or, conversely, highest) there will either be a Midheaven (MC) line or a Nadir (IC) line. If the line coming from the west of the peak or trough is a Descending line, it will be an IC line; if it is an Ascending line, it will be an MC line. Conversely, Ascending lines coming from the east peak at an IC line and Descending lines from the east peak at an MC line.

The map is pretty hard to see in terms of the symbols; for example, you can see the North Node descending line in light blue and the Mercury ascending line in yellow, but we need to blow up the maps to see them better; something I’ll do anyway as I want to focus on each of the four lines for Pluto in an actual case setting.

Here’s the Pluto Ascending line for this person:

The Pluto Ascending line cuts through Northern Alaska and then meanders a bit off the west coast of the United States — the closest it gets to any population centers. There could potentially be some influence in northern California, the Bay Area, or Juneau, AK, but it would be relatively weak.

Here’s what Time Passages has to say about a Pluto Ascending line:
With Pluto on the Ascendant, you are likely to find that this location serves as a personal “power spot,” a place where you experience tremendous transformation. Here, the force is with you. You find that you can tap into greater reserves of endurance and concentration. You will also discover that this place engenders sweeping changes in you. This place has the uncanny ability to draw forth previously unknown aspects of yourself, so that you and your shadow side will likely get to know each other more intimately. Sexual desires could become central here. Passion and obsession runs high. Repressed feelings could explode into consciousness. Whatever stressful events do actually manifest might become profound catalysts. You will find that this place provides the backdrop for a dramatic self-actualization that comes from learning to plumb yourself to the depths. A bad attitude in this locale intensifies the presence of seemingly insurmountable forces. In the highest, you receive the opportunity to truly let die that which no longer serves you so that you become like a Phoenix rising from the flames.

Here’s Dan Furst:
Pluto on the Ascendant is also often a power-seeker, though not so much in wanting public office as in projecting his energy with force toward getting what he wants. The secretive side of Scorpio especially manifests here, and we keep our secrets close, so that others then naturally become more curious about us. Life is passionate here, and competition and powerplaying can get heavy in business and personal life. Here you may find that, as the Romance of the Rose puts it, “.. kings are like paintings .. they please us when we do not come too close to them, but the pleasure disappears at close quarters.”

Here’s the Pluto MC (Midheaven) line:

In this case the Pluto Midheaven (MC) line hits western Iceland, pretty close to Reykjavík. As it crosses in between Alaska and South America, it comes close to some islands off the coast of Africa. That’s about it.

Here’s Pluto on the Midheaven, per Time Passages:
With Pluto on the Midheaven in this location, you will likely meet with sweeping change in your professional life and with regard to your role in the outer world in general. You could find that here you have a deep urge to experience a sense of power and authority that does not easily find its resolution. If you push against your deeper sense of self, experiences here may lead you down the path of crisis. A job could end, the market could change, or perhaps a crisis of spirit comes over you that leaves you uninspired about your gifts. You benefit when, rather than seeing these episodes as signs of failure, you take the opportunity to delve deeply within yourself and get in touch with what really matters to you in this lifetime. If you can align with your deeper calling while in this part of the world, you may find you activate enormous energies which become the jet fuel propelling you to into the life of your dreams.

Per Dan Furst:
Pluto on the MC in a birth chart often shows a person hungry for power in politics and government, religion or big business, so the same planet’s map line means a competitive, driving quest to claim one’s personal power while covertly gaming the system to yield power through indirect means, so the inner emotional games can get thrilling and deadly, now or in time, as the power and success that can come under this line can become even more corrupting than money, and goals of celebrity, mass appeal and sexual excitement can go well on whatever scale one aims to hit. Burnout from the heat of intense effort is possible under this line, where “The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom,” as William Blake wrote — if, that is, we survive the road. Not for the faint-hearted.

Moving on to the Pluto descending line:

The Pluto descending line in this case crosses northeasternly through parts of western India, no doubt near some major population centers. It then runs through parts of central Asia, western China, and, again, Russia. (A lot of lines for most people’s charts will go through some part of Russia, since, to quote Negativland: Q: “How many time zones are there in the Soviet Union?” A: “Eleven.”)

Here’s the Time Passages interpretation for Pluto:
With Pluto on the Descendent, relationships formed in this location feel fated and may have a tendency to lead you into powerful death-rebirth experiences. Existing partnerships are likely to undergo significant changes once you arrive here. Your very concept of relationship could transform as you go through passionate exchanges that help you break away from outmoded ways of relating. You could find yourself drawn to share sexuality, deep emotional intimacy and other depth-oriented practices in new ways. Here, the underworld of connection is culled and secrets surface. You may find that while in this place, you attract partners who attempt to manipulate you, emotionally explode, or engage you in power struggles. At its best, this location will bring you into contact with significant people for your journey toward wholeness, who catalyze important and needed changes that arise from the very depths of your experience.

Dan Furst’s take:
Pluto on the Descendant is aimed at our relatioships, and may involve power struggles, and a longing to get the upper hand in work or sexual relationships. Here you may feel that the world is determined to push back against you or draw away from relationship with you, so this line can be a struggle for survival within our love unions and in our relationships with everything else, so locations under this line can be physically and emotionally dangerous. Living under this line for longer than we absolutely must is not the most wholesome and brilliant idea we have ever had. Indeed, life has a way of being shorter under this line than it would be in other places.

Here’s the Pluto Nadir line:

You can barely see the line; it looks fainter as IC (Nadir) lines are a dashed blue line in this software program. You can, however, see the symbol for Pluto on the bottom of the screen, where IC lines originate. This doesn’t hit much land, it crosses between Australia and New Zealand, hits some islands east of Indonesia, and hits Siberia east of Japan. From looking at this person’s four pictures, this person’s most obvious Pluto placement might be in Reykjavík. Luckily, Reykjavik is on an MC line.

Here’s the Time Passages interpretation:
With Pluto on the Nadir, in these parts you experience deep underground stirrings in your personal life as your inner world calls for your attention in profound and sometimes disruptive ways. These inward challenges could affect your sense of security, comfort and tradition. While in this place you may find that you begin to question your values at the deepest level. If you do need to break away from old habits and leave family and home behind, you may also find that it serves you to do so. When you devote your energy to your inner world while you are here – and you may not have a choice – you could discover an important opportunity to plumb yourself to the depths. Whether you begin some kind of personal therapy, immerse yourself in art, or find some other way to dive in, you may discover much untapped psychological richness and a deep connection to your inner source. This may also be a good place for you to get in touch with your ancestry.

Here’s Dan Furst:
Pluto on the Nadir is the line that most embodies the fixed quality of Scorpio, the zodiac sign that Pluto rules. Here this sign’s loyality is admirable and his tenacity commits to jobs and relationships so fervently than we can get stuck in them, and hang on much too long to jobs, places and inimacies that are not working and will not improve. Matters of home, property and wealth go through upheavals under this line, and as the line’s energy draws us down into the Earth, the taste of mortality is strong under it. We can survive and prevail here with immense effort, though the price may be heavier than expected.

Again, see the January 22 post for the other half of the planetary observation (house placements and aspects).

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Confirmation bias

(We’ll get to the Pluto lines soon, if you were waiting for that — since Pluto is such an important planet).

When giving reasons, what I usually tell clients is something called the “80 percent rule.” 80 percent of what is predicted to come true at a given (new) location will come true. 80 percent is not 100 percent, and there may (or may not) be good reasons for some of that — e.g. there may be a stronger astrological influence contradicting the one you’re looking, “canceling it out.” That would be the rational conclusion we might make.

But rationalism is not empiricism, and astrology does depend on empiricism — we look for evidence of something rather than try to discern cause-and-effect with what logically might follow from something. Logically, we wouldn’t expect planets to project perpendicularly onto the ecliptic (especially with Pluto, a planet that is often way off the ecliptic). But it appears quite certain that they do.

The 80 percent applies to my move, as well — and I’m going to delineate at least four situations where it does, and at least one situation where it doesn’t. I’m going to focus on my midpoint report for one thing.

First, one that doesn’t. Here where I live now, I have a Mars as a midpoint between Pluto and my relocated Midheaven. It’s a direct midpiont (180 degrees), with a 1.2 degree orb. So, being direct, it should be pretty strong. Parker’s Astrology says,

  • The need to be in a powerful position.  The armed forces.  Bravery.

It’s unclear to me whether I need to be in a powerful position here. I suspect that I don’t, although there could be many reasons for that — 1st house Libra Jupiter comes to mind, and that may or may not be true. “The armed forces” is a complete non-starter for me, although maybe it’s because my personality is massively unsuitable for the military to begin with. Bravery — I’m not particularly aware of this happening here.

Let me list four that do apply.

  • Jupiter = Saturn/Ascendant (90, 0.9) – The tendency to “bury the head in the sand”, ignoring problems.
  • Neptune = Moon/Midheaven (45, 0.6) – Difficulty in keeping in touch with the rat race.  Tendency to worry extensively over work/career.
  • Midheaven = Jupiter/Ascendant (90, 1.2) – A psychologically well-integrated individual.  Balance is kept between personal life and ambitions and aspirations.  An optimistic outlook.
  • Moon = Venus/Midheaven (90, 0.2) – The individual will be kind and warm-hearted and have a flair for caring.  Moodiness could cause difficulties with colleagues.  Sometimes an indication of fame.

I tried to pick two “positive” ones and two “negative” ones. All of it is dead-on (for this location).

Anyway, enough about me. I do this same midpoint analysis as part of a consultation, so it ends up in a report, if you’re interested in a consultation. I have more to say about that, a little later in this article.

Astrology has been accused of running — some would even say entirely — on “confirmation bias.” So, what is that? Let’s look at the Wikipedia definition:

  • Confirmation bias is the tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports one’s prior beliefs or values.”

It’s true. There is a huge risk of an astrological consultation being laced with confirmation bias on the part of a client — or even someone doing it to themselves. The following comes from a professor of psychology at Cornell University, writing in the New York Times in 2015:

  • “Some of our most pronounced intellectual weaknesses are the by-product of our greatest intellectual strengths. Many perceptual illusions, for example, are the result of the brain’s remarkable facility for organizing incoming sensations into meaningful units.
  • “The widespread acceptance of astrological claims, although misguided in light of empirical evidence on the subject, can likewise be traced to one of the mind’s most remarkable faculties. The brain’s job is to make sense of the world, and it does so — easily, rapidly and generally accurately — by finding connections between things.
  • “And those connections can be easy to find. If you know a bit about astrology and learn that a friend is a Libra, you may identify, automatically and effortlessly, parts of your friend’s personality that are said to be characteristic of Libras. Most people have multifaceted personalities and Libras are thought to have a variety of traits, so some notable matches are inevitable.”

It goes on, of course — I’m tempted to paste more here, but you get the idea. You can just Google “confirmation bias astrology” if you want to find it. This is a very typical take, and, to engage in a bit of hyperbole and wit, makes me glad that I didn’t get into any of the Ivy League schools that I applied to, so long ago. I certainly would find it tedious and oppressive to attend his class, knowing what I know now.

The fact that it was written by someone so high up on the totem pole begs the question. Many astrology adherents do not have college degrees, although some do. There are even fewer astrology adherents among those with advanced degrees, the credentialed class. When I put together my business plan for The Evening Shift Astrology, I specifically wrote that I would market my services for those with a variety of levels of education, but the median point would be “some college.” College degrees were welcome, but also those with associate degrees or the high school educated.

(Full disclosure: In terms of accredited, traditional schools, I have a B.A. in Liberal Studies which I achieved relatively late in life, nine years ago. Graduate school appealed to me — I have interests in sociology, economics, theology/divinity — and on a more directly practical level, an M.A. in psychology or counseling is supposed to be what makes an astrologer better at what they do. And I considered library science a couple of years ago. The only thing stopping me is the expense. The costs of higher education are ridiculous and unjust — if you’re a Boomer, have some appreciation or gratitude about how cheap education was for you.)

There is a good deal of snobbery going on here, and this has been a bit of a digression, since I was looking for some easy-to-find examples of someone talking about confirmation bias in astrology. In our astrological program that ended last year, David Cochrane addressed “confirmation bias” about a dozen times and tried to prepare us to avoid situations where the client would just agree with what we were telling them because they were looking for it, or it said something positive about them that they wanted to believe. There is a real danger here and every astrologer who’s practicing has to address it fully and be completely aware (and self aware) about what’s going on here.

(This is also a bit of a digression, but because David Cochrane is a researcher, he has come up with a multitude of research practices that allow him to come up with more accurate causation. One of these is “extreme case sampling.” For example, if you wanted to learn about the characteristics of Aquarius, look at the famous people with the strongest, most extreme amount of Aquarius — the most planets, the most inner planets in Aquarius. There are people out there with seven planets in Aquarius! Find out about them!)

What I try to do is this. When I read an influence to someone, like any of the midpoints I mentioned above, I tell them to really look in their own self and ask, “Is this really true?” When I effectively tell someone something about themselves, I ask, “How does this land?” (Do not just agree with me, please.) Some clients are naturally skeptical. In a way, they are the best clients to have.

It helps if the client is self-aware. And it helps if the astrologer is self-aware, but also ethically aware. Many astrologers because experts (and are effective in general) because of their high levels of intuition, but always ask the client to be a honest about themselves as possible.

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Pluto house placements

Most astrologers consider Pluto to be one of the most challenging planets — Mapping Your Travels and Relocation has it as their third most challenging planet, after Saturn and Neptune. Other astrologers would tend to disagree — perhaps designating Mars and Uranus, which can both be problematic, as malefics that might be more problematic than Pluto.

Because I was living with my Mars near my IC line (which went right through Philadelphia — and I grew up in New York and lived in Pittsburgh, so it definitely affected me — and because Mars is still in my 4th house (thus in fall), for better or worse, I am sympathetic to calling it a malefic, but that’s because of my personal experience with it.

Pluto somehow seems less problematic to me. But it’s a very weird, powerful planet that needs to be explained, thoroughly.

Gary Goldschneider referred to Pluto as governing “Money, Sexuality, and the Dark Side.” That’s an interesting take.

Jeanne Avery got a little harsher when she identified Pluto as pertaining to underhanded activity, manipulation, revenge — even such things as gang warfare, the Mafia, bootlegging, and black market activities. On the positive side, many powerful world leaders have/had this ascendant, lending itself to working for the good of all, not forcing it, bringing together the right people and situations, and shining a light through a powerful personal example. (As Pluto is the co-ruler of Scorpio, there is an association, and Gandhi had a Scorpio ascendant).

David Cochrane refers to Pluto as having to do with obsession, compulsion, and pulling from forces deep within the earth, even as far in as the occult and spiritual forces and energies from deep within the past, and past lives. There is no logic or reasoning for the passion that Pluto brings forth.

The Idiot’s Guide (Madeline Gerwick-Brodeur and Lisa Lenard) has Pluto as representing the soul’s journey, its evolutionary intent or person, and what the soul has chosen to learn throughout the entire life. Pluto operates on a mass level, both generationally (since Pluto moves so slowly, it spends many years in a sign) as well as on the level of transits bringing forth deep, powerful (and having a hidden origin) forces that seem to affect all of society in profound and very public ways.

I want to take note of the generational part. I am of the Pluto in Virgo generation (1956/58-1971/72). I identify with this generation strongly. When I do these planetary write-ups, you should take note that what it has to say about 6th house Pluto (since we’re primarily concerned with houses changing insofar as this is relocation astrology) also applies to Pluto in Virgo, especially when I use the Round Art source.

So use this opportunity to cheat and learn about your generation as well as gaining more insight into what houses you think are possible you can move to, to get Pluto in.

Many people still in power are of the Pluto in Leo generation (1937/39-1956/58). What the Round Art will say about this pertains to both Pluto in Leo and Pluto in the 5th house.

My Pluto is in the 10th house by birth, so equivalent to Capricorn (At least according to the Round Art). It relocated early in life to my 11th house, equivalent to Aquarius.

Besides the Round Art (A.T. Mann), I will be quoting from Mapping Your Travels & Relocation (Maritha Pottenger & Kris Brandt Riske MA). Mapping Your Travels will come first

Pluto in the 1st house:
With Pluto in the relocated first house, you can increase your physical stamina or develop more self-discipline and inner mastery. In this location it’s easier to transform yourself, to turn negative habits into positive ones. However, expect power issues to emerge, both in yourself and others.

power drive, extraordinary energy, self-assertion, rage, fury, destruction, sub-conscious urges; domineering, insatiable, compulsive, violent, maladjusted.

Pluto in the 2nd house:
If you want to use money to make money, establish a consulting or freelance income, or earn money through therapy, life-and-death issues, or any vocation that focuses on intense emotions or delves beneath the surface of life, Pluto in the relocated second house can be helpful. Major earnings are possible, but so is financial loss.

great gains and losses, dependency on money and property, acquisition, economics, finances determine destiny; exploitative, materialistic, lascivious, insatiable.
(Pluto is in detriment in Taurus.)

Pluto in the 3rd house:
When Pluto is in the relocated third house, you want more intensity and focus in your intellectual life. Research skills, concentration, and analytical ability are strengthened, and mental tenacity helps you see projects through to completion. Be cautious, though, of tunnel vision and obsessive thinking.

ingeniousness, speicalized writing, plagiarism, socially ruthless, organization, oratory, mass suggestion; brilliant, witty, critical, subversive, magnetic, adventurous, hateful.

Pluto in the 4th house:
With Pluto in the relocated fourth house, major renovations or transformations within the domestic arena are likely. Possibilities include refurbishing old homes, or emotional upheavals and radical shifts within the family. In this location you also could work through childhood issues or research your roots.

heredity moulds destiny, unusual task, solitary research, emotions squandered; magnetic, contemplative, fated, destructive, insatiable, dominating, possessive, melodramatic.

Pluto in the 5th house:
A stronger sexual focus and an intense approach to love and romance are likely when Pluto is in the relocated fifth house. In this location you also could delve deeply into the entertainment world (amateur or professional), recreation, or creative self-expression, which could help you access subconscious desires and needs.

dynamic emotions, authority, despotism, prominence, will to power, rule by force, extraordinary achievements; aggressive, tactless, brutal, powerful, boisterous.
(Pluto is in fall in the 5th house.)

Pluto in the 6th house:
When Pluto is in the relocated sixth house, you desire more focus, concentration, and perseverance in your work life. Here, determination and the ability to complete major projects are enhanced. Keep a close eye on your work habits, however. In this location it’s easy to push yourself too hard and to become obsessive.

inquisitive mind, fanatical zeal, accumulated detail, scientific objectives; brilliant, incisive, ascerbic, hyper-critical, investigative, profound, impossible.

Pluto in the 7th house:
Pluto in the relocated seventh house accents strong reactions and interaction within partnerships, and highlights loyalty and commitment. Sensual and sexual gratification may become more important, but manipulation and power struggles concerning sex and money are highly possible.

fated partnerships, celebrities, fame, extraordinary power of assertion, personal magnetism, manifestation of genius; seductive, fascinating, disruptive, ruthless.

Pluto in the 8th house:
When Pluto is in the relocated eighth house, intense emotions may dominate nearly every facet of your life. Extremes and a “do or die” attitude are probable, and “feast or famine” experiences concerning food, sexuality, money, and resources are possible. Willpower and strength of purpose are accentuated.

fanaticism, tragic events, record achievements and endurance, rage, fury of destruction; transforming, maniacal, daemonic, homicidal, inspired, explosive, influential, subversive.
(Pluto is the ruler of Scorpio.)

Pluto in the 9th house:
Pluto in the relocated ninth house is likely to trigger intense emotions concerning philosophy, religion, the meaning of life, or truth seeking. In this location you question beliefs and values, and dig deeply to find the life philosophy that works for you. This location also can be positive for research projects and higher education because it aids concentration.

higher knowledge, spiritual pioneering, revolutionary ideas, striving for the unattainable, love of travel; fervid, iconoclastic, reforming, progressive, brilliant, uncontrollable.

Pluto in the 10th house:
With Pluto in the relocated tenth house, you seek mastery and control within your career and may eliminate certain aspects of your professional life. A vocation involving therapy, joint resources, money, metaphysics, or areas that arouse intense emotion is possible. If you have power issues with bosses, this placement is inadvisable.

untiring struggle for recognition, power-mania, end justifies means, independence, dangerous positions; dictatorial, successfu, inventive, single-minded, fanatical, isolated.

Pluto in the 11th house:
If you seek a stronger, deeper commitment to friends, humanitarian causes, or the wider world, Pluto in the relocated eleventh house can help you achieve your aim. You could turn friends into mates and partners (and vice versa). But expect some tension when freedom urges and intimacy instincts clash.

strongly communal, revolutionary activities, political involvements, advance through others, popularity, exaggerated plans; exploitative, dynamic, organized, rebellious.
(Pluto is exalted in the 11th house.)

Pluto in the 12th house:
When Pluto is in the relocated twelfth house, you seek more privacy and time alone, and the urge to explore your subconscious is likely. In this location the tendency is to delve more and more deeply into yourself and mystical, transcendent realms. Cathartic artistic and personal experiences are possible.

desire for seclusion, universalism, volcanic emotions, self-destruction, revelations, longing for death, withstanding temptation, epidemic diseases; metaphysical, secretive, extravagant, profound, apocalyptic.

I take with a grain of salt the Round Art interpretations, but they are illustrative about potential characteristics in a person.

Pluto conjunct the Ascendant:
You could strengthen your physical body in this locale or do endurance or resistance training. Self-control and self-mastery move up on the priority list, and you might decide to stop smoking or drinking, improve your eating habits, or make other major transformations that require much concentration, discipline, and follow-through. Sexual issues could move into higher focus, as could sharing resources (money, possessions, pleasures) with an intimate partner. You could become personally involved with occult studies, life-and-death matters, or exploring the dark side and taboo areas. Therapy is an option. On the downside, ruthlessness and relentless behavior are possible. Being able to forgive, forget, and move on is apt to be somewhat challenging. Releasing and letting go may require extra effort. A do-or-die determination is likely.

a fascinating personality, power and authority, domination of others, ruthlessness, egomania; unscrupulous, magnetic, autocratic, merciless, indomitable, destructive, violent, dramatic.

Pluto opposite the Ascendant:
Relationships are apt to be extra intense in this location, which means they can be very, very good or very, very bad. Emotional blackmail, manipulation, intimidation, and power struggles (particularly over sex and money) are possible. You might feel used and abused, or be inclined to do the same to others. On the positive side, you could attract individuals who operate like skilled therapists, encouraging you to know yourself more deeply and transform negative habit patterns into positive ones. You could build stamina and self-mastery through interactions with others.

Covering opposition, square, and quincunx:
repulsive behavior, accidents, injuries, drastic changes in circumstances, violent disputes, fanatical urge to dominate; insatiable, brutal, crude, ruthless.

Pluto sextile or trine Ascendant:
You may find it easier to share power, possessions, and pleasures with others in this locale, and intense emotions could become a positive rather than a problem. Your powers of transformation, particularly to replace negative habit patterns with positive ones, prove useful. Sexual intensity could increase, and you might find it easier to balance intimacy and a desire for independence. Your courage is tested and refined by exploring hidden areas and having the grit and determination to see things through, no matter how difficult, as endurance and perseverance are accentuated.

driving ambition, the exercise of power, unusual contacts, magical or psychic powers, control over the environment; influential, magnetic, compelling, peculiar, entertaining.

Pluto square or quincunx Ascendant:
Power is in high focus in this location, where you’re challenged to work on owning your personal power and sharing it wisely with others. Therefore, issues of earning and owning are apt to be emphasized, and you may struggle over the partnership questions of who brings in the income or who calls the shots in terms of money, sexuality, and possessions. Intimacy instincts are stimulated, but so is the desire for independence, so compromises are essential. Emotions are likely to be intense in this locale, especially anger and resentment, which require extra care and handling. Being able to forgive and forget (yourself as well as others) is vital. In extreme cases, violence is possible. Your challenge is to develop your strong, forceful, tenacious side while respecting the rights of others.
(See above).

Pluto conjunct the Midheaven:
Power issues are front and center. You could be drawn to professions that involve joint resources (money, investments, etc.), intense emotions, life-and-death circumstances, or hidden matters, or those that require great forcefulness, concentration, and self-control. Business partnerships are quite possible. A practical attitude toward financial matters is likely. This combination can be rather compulsive, and you may have trouble letting go and moving on (tenacity could be overdone). If self-discipline is carried to the extreme, even reasonable indulgences may be eschewed. Self-denial is possible and could affect sensual and sexual interactions. Being your own boss or a mover, shaker, and doer is more important to you in this locale.

fame, great professional success, exalted view of self, power-mania, dictatorship, expertise, specialization; individualistic, obsessive, single-minded, irresistable, indomitable, highly fated.

Pluto opposite the Midheaven:
Your feelings could be more intense in this area, where you may have to deal with life-and-death matters in your domestic environment. You could become more secretive or hermitlike, retreating inside your own psyche and into the nest. A desire for control probably will be channeled toward your home, and could be directed toward family members. Power struggles, particularly over money, sexuality, possessions, and questions of who is in charge, are a possibility. On the downside, manipulation, emotional blackmail, and intimidation are all possible. (They might be directed toward you or your loved ones.) On the positive side, you may delve more deeply into occult studies, research, therapy, or ways and means to gain more self-mastery and self-control. Intense emotional bonds could form with family members or in a familial-type setting. Major emotional transformations are possible.

Covering opposition, square, and quincunx:
abuse of power, alienating others, ruin, disasters, many crises in life, sudden turns of fate; liscentious, foolhardy, danger-loving, anti-social, outspoken.

Pluto sextile or trine Midheaven:
Organizational abilities, perseverance, concentration, self-control, and endurance are likely to contribute to your vocational success in this locale. Research abilities may be enhanced, and your dedication and thoroughness could impress authority figures. Loyalty is apt to be a major issue, and you are capable of making a strong commitment. On the downside, power struggles are possible with bosses, family members, and just about anyone. A spouse or mate may contribute to your success in the material world, and your ability to read nonverbal cues and look beneath the surface of life will help you in making pragmatic business decisions. You may find it easier to do fundraising, get loans, or use money to make money (investments). Business partnerships are possible. Counseling and consulting talents are probable.

desire for importance, attainment of succes, organizing ability, recognition, independence, acceptance of an important task; enterprising, visionary, authoritative, revolutionary.

Pluto square or quincunx Midheaven:
This location may accent power struggles, and the struggle for control is quite possible. Arguments or strife may develop over issues of sex, joint resources (especially money), addictions, intense emotional reactions, secrets, or manipulative actions. You also could feel torn between professional responsibilities and the urge for intimacy, yet the potential for self-discipline is strong. It’s also likely that you can unearth hidden factors and might receive a negative reaction when delivering unpalatable facts. Compromise is not easy with this combination, and the practice of forgiving and forgetting is important. You can hang on too long, particularly to negative emotions, and become obsessive. Learn to cleanse, release, and move on.
(See above.)

***

So hopefully, besides this being useful for you, it illustrates just how Pluto acts and affects us. It is a powerful planet, regardless of how astronomers have designated it. I do not consider it a malefic in my own life (at least as it stands now in my current location), but your mileage may vary.

Remember, there are two components to the relocation reading. One is the actual angular lines — ascendant, nadir, descendant, and midheaven — for each planet. The other is that houses that planets migrate into based on location. We covered the latter today. It’s just a reminder that you don’t have to live near a line to get positive changes.

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What is your tolerance for picking up and starting over?

I remember doing some temporary work in late 1999 or early 2000. This was only months after I had my very first Astro Map produced for me (just the map, and it was $90 — those were the days). At the time I had lived in Pittsburgh for more than 11 years, and I wanted out. Or I wanted something I didn’t have — wealth.

I wanted out in part because something in Pittsburgh was missing, and I didn’t know what it was, although I wasn’t developing the friendships that I thought I was entitled to. Or a relationship. I was pretty much indigent at that point (that was about to change, but it hadn’t, yet).

I had just joined a research study that would last the better part of three years. As I was told, it was a research and treatment study called EPICS. I don’t remember what the acronym stood for, but I did know this acronym — CET.

CET stood for Cognitive Enhancement Therapy. It was the method of treatment used in the experimental group in this study. The control group would get something called Personal Therapy, as denoted by the designer of the study, the late Gerry Hogarty. He had a Masters in Social Work, but he was also very self-taught, intelligent enough to conceptualize a method of treatment for schizophrenics that was shown to increase the amount of gray matter in the brain.

When I agreed to be in the study, the psychiatric nurse, Ann-Louise DiBarry, went into the other room to flip a coin. It went my way — it put me in the experimental group. (It is entirely possible they may have cheated because they liked me and wanted me in the experimental group, because they already knew how efficacious it was. That is just speculation on my part, but it’s speculation I’ve had since the very beginning).

I had not been diagnosed schizophrenic, but I was diagnosed with schizo-affective disorder, bipolar type earlier in the year. That enough qualified me. I would not be diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome for another 7 years. But I suspect that the study really helped this writer on that basis as well.

The study involved us playing computer games that would exercise the brain and cause our brains to work better. They involved reaction time, timing, and memory. The one game I particularly remember was called Trail Trace. We would be given a certain number of steps — say, 4, and would have to guess the directions of the steps of the trail (up, down, left, right).

In the end we would have to get the trail perfect before moving on to the next trail, which involved one more step (in this example, 5). And once that was done we’d move on to 6, and 7, and 8 — as far as we could go. This definitely worked out our brains. I remember the weekly therapy sessions where I would play this and other games.

After the computer exercises, we were put into our weekly group. This had seven ‘students’ — myself included; it was not a support group in the traditional sense. In fact it was a group where we would practice stretching our brains, but in a social context. The support we would give each other involved support for each of us to be better. We were helping each other grow.

I have most of the fifty lesson plans for the group, but they are probably in storage somewhere, so not available right now. Yes, fifty lessons. These groups started in June 2000 and lasted more than a year. The lessons are telling — because this was still a research study at the time and included mostly intelligent people, we were given homework assignments that were advanced relative to what most people got after the research study was over, deemed successful, and put into practice.

I can tell you it improved my outcome.

With all that in mind, let’s get back to the temporary work, remembering that I wanted out and noting that my parents would never have supported me in my move away from Pittsburgh, nor did I have the means (although they certainly had the means to help me do this, should they have chosen this).

I saw an older man carry a book entitled “A Bridge Too Far.” This was written by Cornelius Ryan, but I didn’t know that and I never read the book. It is apparently a nonfiction book telling the story of an operation among Allied forces during World War Two.

All I looked at was the title. And it resonated with me. My moving away was a bridge too far. Or, I had the capability to go so far in my change of residence, but no farther. Given my current example, it might have meant I could have gone as far as Colorado, but not as far as Hawaii.

In 2016 I moved to Colorado and now that it’s 2021 I’m considering Hawaii. Once I got to Colorado, I made some friends — real ones, for the first time in my life. One of my friends — an older woman — considered what I had done brave.

It was brave to a point. The issue here was that I received an inheritance, which was given in stages between May 2014 and October 2015 — enough to make me worth about $370,000 at one point. I had the means (and, especially, the time) to do what I did, which was quit my job and then wait a whole year before relocating, because I had to find out where I wanted to relocate to and then do a LOT of soul searching, and looking at my astrological interpretation, the same way I look at with my clients, and weigh the positives and the negatives, and take a calculated risk.

When I left Pittsburgh, I had been there for 28 years — after wanting to leave in 1999 (or earlier), it took another 17 years before I could do so. I am occasionally bitter about the lack of opportunity I had for so long. But I was also brave — just not as brave as my friend said I was.

Truly hardcore brave would have been picking up and starting over without any money.

Every relocation astrologer has to be mindful that each of their clients has a unique situation and varying degrees of comfort with the idea of moving. Many people live in one place for their entire lives, and couldn’t even think about moving elsewhere. Others have no problem with picking up and starting over. Still others are more inclined to pick up and take a job in another city — the conventional path.

Some people are comfortable with the idea of moving 50 miles, some 200 or 400 miles (the latter was my official move from the New York suburbs to Pittsburgh to enter college in 1988). Some people are comfortable moving halfway across the country, as I finally did in 2016. And — this is especially poignant — there is a minority of people, but a significant number, who are worldly (if that’s even the right word) enough to move to foreign country, or many foreign countries.

I know someone on Facebook who is from Ohio and lives in Memphis, TN. He is highly articulate, intelligent and youthful and when I finally found out he was in his 60s, I was very surprised (perhaps his youthful bent is because his Sun sign is Gemini — Gemini III to be exact, per the Secret Language series).

The idea of moving a significant distance across the country scares him. For whatever his situation (I don’t fully know his situation) it might be a bridge too far. I don’t know if it’s about money. Maybe it’s just about unease at the unfamiliar. Maybe it’s a subtle and subconscious love of where it is, or he’s just set in his ways, or a combination of most of these things.

It goes without saying that a relocation astrologer needs to be highly sensitive to the differing needs of their different clients, and that they’ll encounter situations like that of my friend in Memphis. You cannot demand courage of your clients or friends.

After I had gotten to Colorado I was having lunch in the lunch area of the local IKEA. I had a brief conversation with the cashier and told her where I was from. She remarked that Pittsburgh was a violent place. I had never expected to hear something like that. She clarified that her husband was Latino and there was a great deal of hostility toward Latinos there. But the violence could apply to anyone living there.

In the late ’90s, I was on a public bus and had a conversation with a man who had left Pittsburgh in 1959 and returned in 1991 and was struck by how xenophobic people were when he came back.

You might attribute that to the fact that in Pittsburgh, almost all the steel mills had closed, hundreds if not thousands were out of work, and the businesses they supported had to close, the economy was depressed in entire neighborhoods (though other neighborhoods were spared). In short, a dying Rust Belt town (although, it turned out, a town that managed to reinvent itself more than most other Rust Belt towns). Perhaps the xenophobia had to do with all that.

Someone passing through Pittsburgh who lived in Chicago called Pittsburgh ‘weird.’ Another person I overheard on a bus said Pittsburgh was just ‘old.’ Truly, most of the housing stock is literally a century old, yet at this point of gentrification, the prices of a typical house have been bid up from $15,000 to $30,000 to $110,000.

All of this was all I knew, for 28 years.

I had made it to Colorado and it wasn’t all that long before I successfully flipped a condominium. Not super-successfully — with all costs incurred, I made a profit of about $3,000 in a rising market — but my flip allowed me to manage people, contractors, difficult people. I did what I had to do to get this done, even though twice the place was at risk of flooding and the only reason it didn’t was because I was there.

I cannot emphasize enough that I would never have been able to do this in Pittsburgh. Not even remotely close. The 1st house Jupiter makes one capable. In Pittsburgh it was still in my 12th house, as it was at birth. No way would I have been able to flip anything there, though I so much wanted to.

As I learned, being capable does not necessarily mean you can pay the bills, but it doesn’t hurt. Having faith that the astrology works still requires knowledge of what is the scope of a planetary position. What it affects and what it doesn’t affect. If I tell people they are going to be ‘capable’ in this location, I don’t want to oversell it. But I want them to have faith in the process — so much depends on faith.

One of the reasons I enjoyed and appreciated studying under David Cochrane so much was the fact that he is a very realistic man. This makes his astrology practice and his teaching so much more credible. What it also means is that he set a tone in each and every class, and my personal encounters with him (we had lunch once, and a lot of conversation online) reinforced this. The tone he set in class affected me greatly, as I respond to changes in tone. I hope it affected the other students as well.

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Repost: Joanna, part 2

This post is here to “finish up” the reading I did for Joanna earlier this year. Hopefully this will give you a picture of what a successful reading amounts to.

Joanna had, in particular, lived under three different Midheavens. Her birthplace in Detroit has a Leo Midheaven. In Los Angeles it relocates to Cancer, and in Pittsburgh it relocates to Virgo. Her birth ascendant is Scorpio for both Detroit and Pittsburgh and Libra for Los Angeles. The descriptions, per Round Art, are as follows.

  • Scorpio ascendant (Detroit and Pittsburgh): aggressive environment, passion, industry, reserve, caution, quick decision, violence; hot-blooded, secretive, magnetic, sexual, conservative, willful, brutal, untiring, impulsive.
  • Libra ascendant (Los Angeles): harmonious environment, attractive appearance, charm, flattery, work aversion, vanity, craves approval; agreeable, sociable, indolent, meddlesome, pleasure-loving, saccharine, relaxed, gushing.
  • Virgo midheaven (Pittsburgh):  striving for a secure livelihood, tidiness, organization, dissatisfaction, intellectual professions, susceptible to flattery; hypersensitive, petty, conservative, unspontaneous, moral.
  • Cancer midheaven (Los Angeles): simplicity, tactfulness, modesty, thrift; responsible, concerned, conservative, dedicated, emotional, slow, clinging, avaricious.
  • Leo midheaven (Detroit): self-confidence, social climbing, optimism, egotism; organized, ambitious, generous, proud, domineering, rigid, selfish, aspiring.

Some astrologers will tell you that each new location allows you to add characteristics to your personality. This school of thought implies that growing up in Detroit and starting with Leo Midheaven characteristics, then adding Cancer Midheaven characteristics in Los Angeles, then adding Virgo Midheaven characteristics in Pittsburgh allows you to use these characteristics as well.

In my view this can only be pulled off if the client has a great deal of constant self-awareness, as in, significantly more self-awareness and self-knowledge than even a fairly self-aware person. And some characteristics don’t translate over. One great interpretation came from Jeanne Avery in her book, “The Rising Sign, Your Astrological Mask”:

[Libra’s] psychic awareness or perceptions can be quite acute, coming to him on a plane of “knowingness.” He doesn’t receive flashes of inspiration, he simply “knows.”

The idea of the “epiphany” was my reality for the first 46 years of my life. That is a Scorpio rising trait. That literally changed for me on the third and final day of my drive from Pittsburgh to Colorado. My ascendant line changing from Scorpio to Libra occurred in eastern Nebraska. By the time I made it to Boulder, I noticed it — the “it” being the “just knowing”. The epiphanies were gone.

Relating to other people I knew back in Pittsburgh who had Scorpio rising like me and who weren’t into astrology, I explained that characteristic, and they found it interesting. The basic point is that the change from the epiphany to just knowing was out of my control. It’s worth exploring what other things are out of one’s control and what things can be controlled.

Here’s a graph of Joanna’s planetary positions in houses based on location:

Planet               Pittsburgh, Detroit                 Los Angeles

  • Sun                         3rd                                            4th
  • Moon                    12th                                           1st
  • Mercury                3rd (ruler)                                 4th
  • Venus                     2nd (ruler)                                3rd
  • Mars                       3rd                                           4th (fall)
  • Jupiter                11th                                         12th (ruler)
  • Saturn                    11th (ruler)                               12th
  • Uranus                   1st                                            2nd
  • Neptune               2nd                                           3rd
  • Pluto                    11th (exalted)                           1st
  • Chiron          6th                                           7th         
  • North Node           9th (fall)                                   10th

All of Joanna’s planets were in the same houses in Pittsburgh and Detroit. All of her planets moved one house, except for Pluto, which moved two houses (unless you agree with the In Mundo interpretation that Time Passages uses).

Notably, Joanna has three planets in rulerships and an exalted planet as well back east. This is often very helpful. Venus in the 2nd house, per Mapping Your Travels, goes as follows:
If you want to attract more from the material world, including money and possessions, Venus in the relocated second house can ease your way. You may generate income through beauty, relationships, or work you enjoy, and comfort is highlighted. You could meet someone special in a bank, where you earn money, or at an arts event.

Joanna has already found someone special, but having the ability to attract more from the material world is huge. The Round Art says, for Venus:
physical beauty, personal attraction, need to be loved, good taste, luxury; affectionate, faithful, conservative, artistic, precious, grasping, indolent, materialistic.

Mercury in the third house:
You’re apt to be more verbal and versatile when Mercury is in your relocated third house. Mercury here also can help you become more articulate and multitalented, with a broader range of interests. Your curiosity and lightheartedness could rise.

The Round Art for Mercury in the 3rd house says:
versatility, inquiring mind, wide reading, speaking and writing, business talent, lack of thoroughness; witty, naughty, facile, articulate, intellectual, flippant, inquisitive, clever.

Saturn is also in rulership in the 11th house:
When Saturn is in the relocated eleventh house, you incorporate more common sense into friendships and associations. You may initiate change and take charge in groups or use technology and new concepts in practical ways. If your originality is usually stifled, this is a placement to avoid.

The Round Art says:
realization of plans, practical idealism, false friends, impressive speech, faithfulness, quiet determination; affable but detached, thoughtful, humane, reasonable, deliberate, organized.

But for her Saturn in Los Angeles, it’s in the 12th house. Per the Round Art:
difficult work in seclusion, struggles, timidity, isolation, melancholia, fear of failure, inferiority complex; modest, self-underrating, depressed, ungratified, serious, retiring.

Saturn in the 12th house is equivalent to Saturn in Pisces. It can be somewhat problematic.

Her Jupiter moves out of rulership, but it’s notable where it is in the 11th house. Per the Round Art:
prominent friends, patronage, help from others, good-fellowship, liberality; congenial, good-humoured, humanitarian, sympathethic, philanthropic, genteel, obliging, curious.

Mapping Your Travels has it as:
Intellectual sharpness and progressive ideas are featured when Jupiter is in the relocated eleventh house, as is increasing your circle of friends and increased activity in an organization or humanitarian cause. Your desire for independence is likely to increase, and networking brings you closer to your personal and professional goals.

That’s pretty big and will serve her well should she move to Pittsburgh, and did serve her well during the time she was there.

Her Mars is the last thing I’d like to focus on:

  • Mars in 4th house (LA): intense emotions, temper tantrums, troubled home-life, lacks persistence, accidents; impulsive, instinctual, bold, ambitious, irritable, sensuous.
  • Mars in 3rd house (Det, Pgh): mobility, mental energy, biting criticism, sarcasm, scattered energy, mockery; hasty, nervous, talkative, mischievous, restless, quarrelsome, cynical, irreverent.

Mapping Your Travels has Mars in the third house as:
With Mars in the relocated third house, you can sharpen your wits, develop a comedic bent, become more active in the neighborhood, declare your independence from siblings, or encourage physical dexterity and flexibility. Be cautious, though; in this location your words can become weapons-biting, ironic, sarcastic, and hurtful to others.

If anyone disagrees that based on the information I’ve given you about Joanna in the last two posts things are overall going to be far more favorable, I’d like to hear your rationale. Because to me this is one of the most clear-cut situations where Pittsburgh is more advantageous in many ways.

Last, but not least, there are the Treasure Maps to look at (David Cochrane’s Sirius III astrological program). The first one I’m going to look at is the Excitement and Instability, because it’s very telling.

Joanna’s Excitement and Instability map. Look at Detroit. There’s a Uranus line going right through it.

We were taught early and often that Uranus square Midheaven lends itself to (usually) problematic conditions. I was quite clear to Joanna that it was good that she got out of Detroit, as the saying goes. Neither Pittsburgh nor Los Angeles causes any such problems. David Cochrane implies in his teaching that Uranus is more likely to act as a malefic than Saturn is.

Her Love and Romance Astro Map was one of the most important revelations I found in this consultation:

Wow. Look at Pittsburgh.

Joanna told me she met her partner during the two years that she lived in Pittsburgh. Having Venus sextile her ascendant here, with, according to Time Passages, a three minute orb (!), brought a LOT of beauty in her life, including finding her partner, who is hopefully a life partner (and appears to be).

Those were the most telling Treasure Maps.

Though Pittsburgh is a lot more favorable for Joanna, she still resides in Los Angeles presently. It’s never that simple when you’re with somebody else who might have a completely different chart than you. She wrote to me in an email:

After your reading I had the talk with my boyfriend about where he wanted to be right now, I was so focused on us moving back to Pittsburgh, I hadn’t stopped and asked the question of “right now” to see what he wanted.. he said that he had been trying to leave Pitts for a while, and while he couldn’t see himself growing old in Los Angeles, he did feel that there was opportunity here that he would not have back home. So, we agreed that we would stay here for a while, so he can figure out where in this business he wants to be.

After that conversation, things opened up for me here that I never thought possible. I was open with the fact that we had been looking for a place and let’s say an earth angel helped us get into a property that is twice as big as our place now, big enough to have guests stay over from out of town, and was exactly what I wanted in a place… bigger and same style as the place I have now but with a bigger closet for two : ). We move in two weeks!

Also, after that decision, my boyfriend also got an extra part in our movie and it rekindled his passion for being on screen. He was a child actor and gave that dream up in high school because of the kids that surrounded him who made fun of him. I didn’t know how much that meant to him until he came to me crying about how this dream of his had resurfaced.

The complexity that many astrologers encounter can often include situations where the client has a partner who has completely different and conflicting needs. Joanna asked me if I could do a compatibility chart for her her and her boyfriend. Although it’s not my specialty, I agreed to give it a game try based on training I’ve had. Once COVID becomes less dangerous and she doesn’t have to worry about income, we’ll likely follow up on this. It will be interesting to see what compromises are made and how they serve both Joanna and her partner.

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Repost: A Case Study — Joanna (part 1)

(This was the first post about a client named Joanna, which came out on June 6 of last year. Part 2 came out on June 9.)

***

I do relocation consultations with people. Occasionally, I do one where the conclusions are so clear that the location the client should go to is obvious. So it was with Joanna, a woman in midlife who worked in the television and film industry in Los Angeles but had worked on location in Pittsburgh (a fairly good place for the film industry, actually) for roughly two years. She never felt that Los Angeles was really “home” and wanted to explore what locations were good for her. She was originally from Detroit, MI.

I did the consultation, and this Astro Map below did not tell me a whole lot.

Time Passages’ version of the Astro Map. There’s not a lot to see here, since the locations Joanna’s lived in were Detroit, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.

Her chart was as follows:

Joanna’s birth chart

She was easy to relate to as she and I shared an Aquarius Mars, a Jupiter Libra; we’d also lived exclusively with either a Libra Ascendant or a Scorpio ascendant, and her Saturn was in Libra as my Saturn is currently in the equivalent 7th house. It’s uncommon to have so many things in common and that makes the reading easier than most.

There are several areas that we can use to determine suitability of a location. These include:

  • Midpoint analysis, per Parker’s Astrology
  • Planetary aspects to the relocated Ascendant or Midheaven, per Round Art AND per Mapping Your Travels and Relocation
  • Houses the planets are in, per Round Art AND per Mapping Your Travels
  • Astro Maps, including Treasure Maps (a Sirius mapping tool) and Astro Maps in Time Passages

Other astrologers use different criteria than I do.

Again, the Time Passages Astro Map doesn’t have any lines near any of her locations. Detroit was at least a couple of degrees east of her Mercury IC line (thus, in the 3rd house) and Los Angeles is at least a couple of degrees east of her Pluto Ascending line. Wait, actually now I’m noticing a contradiction. Here’s her Astro Map in Sirius.

Joanna’s Pluto line is actually to the east of Los Angeles in Sirius!

Now, why would that be? Why is her Pluto line so much farther east of her Pluto line in Time Passages?

Pluto is an interesting planet. Its orbit, besides being far more elliptical than the orbits of any of the other planets, is in fact tilted relative to the rest of the planets as well, which generally revolve around the Sun in a fairly flat plane. Pluto’s orbit is tilted about 15 degrees — ‘declination’ and ‘latitude’ are terms astrologers use to describe this. Here’s a graphic:

Pluto’s orbit, not only highly elliptical but also tilted.

Research done by David Cochrane and others has shown, counterintuitively, that planetary positions are more accurate when they are projected onto the ecliptic plane, which is the path of the Sun (and which is always a flat plane). With Pluto as much as 15 degrees from that plane, the projection is often far away from where Pluto actually is.

Zodiac longitude is the method used in this Sirius image, which shows Pluto to the east of Los Angeles. Time Passages is using the In Mundo method, which has to do with where the planet actually is.

Using Zodiac longitude indicates that, among other things, Pluto is in Joanna’s 1st house in Los Angeles — her only planet that is two houses away from her easternmost location, Pittsburgh. (All the other planets are one house away).

Joanna’s chart relocated to Los Angeles, with Pluto in her first house, conjunct the Ascendant to within 2 degrees.

There are many things one could say about having Pluto conjunct the Ascendant and in the first house. Interpretations abound and generally agree that it’s a powerful placement that can be overwhelming. Based on my getting to know Joanna, however, I decided that it wasn’t the most important thing.

The most important thing was the midpoints. Not entirely, but that’s where I got the most relevant information to her situation.

And it was just a matter of asking her about her life and what she wanted and then applying the interpretations, asking her whether they were relevant, true, or important and then giving her an idea of what she could expect in her new location.

I did conclude that Pittsburgh was going to be a good location adding a number of strengths to her chart that she could sense already as she spent two years there. There were also those things that could potentially become problems, that she would need to understand so that she could counter them if they came up. (Along with all such things that she’d be happy to leave behind).

I’ll just lay it all out here, since looking at it verbatim would allow you to relate to whether a location is ‘worth it’ or not. Midpoints that are in bold are either direct midpoints (0 or 180 degrees away from the midpoint) or are less than 1/2 degrees from the midpoint, or both. (Indirect midpoints are 45, 90, or 135 degrees from the midpoint, i.e. semisquare, square, or sesquiquadrate. There are astrologers who discount indirect midpoints, but I have seen them work well enough that they carry at least some weight.)

Los Angeles location, Midpoints

  • Sun = Mars/Ascendant (45, 0.9) – A brave individual will will not take no for answer!  Tendency to risk-taking.
  • Sun = Mars/Midheaven (90, 0.3) – A strong will and determination to get ahead in the world.
  • Sun = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 0.7) – Easily angered.  Will fall into arguments and disputes.  Quick mind.
  • Sun = Mercury/Midheaven (90, 1.9) – The ability to cope with a changing career scene and to like things that way.
  • Moon = Mars/Midheaven (180, 1.0) – Impulsiveness leads to periods of stress and overwork.
  • Moon = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 0.6) – Decisions made, and opinions formed, will be influenced by intuition and instinct.
  • Moon = Mercury/Midheaven (180, 0.6) – The ability to work well with others, but sometimes moodiness when things go wrong.  The caring professions might be suitable.
  • Moon = Uranus/Ascendant (0, 1.4) – Above-average reliance on the mother or having to take responsibility for her.
  • Mercury = Neptune/Midheaven (135, 1.1) – A teller of tales.  Imaginative salesmanship.
  • Mars = Neptune/Ascendant (90, 0.8) – The need for a colorful, escapist lifestyle.  Poor energy and laziness.
  • Jupiter = Neptune/Midheaven (0, 1.0) – The individual will be something of a prophet.  Teaching.  The ability to inspire students.
  • Saturn = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.5) – The tendency to “give in” when under stress, due to lack of self- confidence.
  • Saturn = Neptune/Midheaven (0, 0.3) – Lack of confidence and feelings of insecurity in the working life.
  • Uranus = Saturn/Ascendant (45, 1.5) – The inability to recognize when one is wrong.  Blind persistence of effort.
  • Uranus = Jupiter/Ascendant (45, 1.9) – Originality combines with enthusiasm. A brilliant intellect.
  • Neptune = Mars/Ascendant (0, 1.6) – A poor energy level.  The tendency not to care about practicalities, and to fall into negative escapism.
  • Neptune = Mercury/Ascendant (0, 0.0) – Overly high hopes can result in above-average disappointment.  Lack of perspective on life.
  • Neptune = Mercury/Midheaven (135, 1.2) – A varied and fascinating career, which may never end.  When one ambition is achieved, it’s time to move on to the next.
  • Pluto = Venus/Midheaven (0, 1.3) – The subject would do well working in banking or the money markets.  A fanatical partner or colleague. 
  • Pluto = Ascendant/Midheaven (45, 0.7) – The need to be totally psychologically involved in the career, or inner discontent and restless will mar progress and personal life.
  • North Node = Mercury/Ascendant (135, 1.9) – Friendship and good rapport with like-minded beings is essential.
  • North Node = Mercury/Midheaven (90, 0.8) – An easy mixer, great conversationalist.  Will ask many questions.
  • North Node = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 0.1) – A friendly, if somewhat eccentric quality is expressed when in company with other people.
  • North Node = Mercury/Midheaven (45, 1.2) – The ability to goad people into action with dynamic appeal.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Pluto (45, 0.4) – A wealth of emotion will need expression through love and sex, and color the qualities of the Ascending sign.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Midheaven (0, 0.6) – The individual would do well to form a working relationship with the loved one.  Joint objectives and ambitions will be achieved.
  • Ascendant = Mars/Neptune (90, 0.7) – A liking for all colorful elements of life; an attraction to drug culture.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Saturn (45, 1.5) – Shyness, lack of confidence.  Problems with the father or older relatives.  Slow, sound development.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Jupiter (45, 1.9) – A happy and philosophical attitude to life.  Success without ruthlessness.
  • Midheaven = Venus/Pluto (135, 2.0) – A love of materialistic progress and ambition will often inhibit the expression of love for a partner.
  • Midheaven = Mars/Neptune (180, 1.6) – A liking for an identification with the exotic in lifestyle and fashion.
  • Midheaven = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 1.4) – The individual will act ruthlessly to achieve objectives.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Saturn (135, 0.8) – A solitary person.  No time for idle gossip.  Will carry the heavy burden of responsibility.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Jupiter (135, 0.5) – A happy and fulfilled individual.  Success in the career.  Perhaps acting/dramatic ability.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Saturn (90, 0.2) – Sense of duty and slavish adherence to routine can become obsessional.  Over-concern with achievement, ambitions.
  • Midheaven = Mercury/Neptune (180, 0.0) – A career where sympathy and understanding of other people is paramount.  A good listener.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Jupiter (90, 0.2) – A considerate and kind person who is a good help-mate and colleague.  A sympathetic and understanding boss.
  • Midheaven = Saturn/North Node (45, 0.5) – The need to take action, unassisted by friends or friendly – simply having to go it alone.
  • Midheaven = Jupiter/North Node (45, 0.9) – Popularity at work.  A good boss who has a great sense of humor under all situations.
  • Midheaven = Uranus/Neptune (135, 2.0) – Wild, impractical ambitions and aspirations.  A typical “wannabe” – who usually won’t become anything much!

Pittsburgh location, Midpoints

  • Sun = Saturn/Midheaven (135, 1.9) – Success will come only when the individual is a hard and persistent worker who will overcome all setbacks.
  • Sun = Jupiter/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A happy, carefree person – often talent for acting.
  • Sun = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 0.5) – This influence will add compulsiveness and dogged persistence to the characteristics of the Ascending sign.
  • Moon = Pluto/Ascendant (0, 1.8) – The influence will heighten the emotional level, so the indvidiual will be prone to outbursts.  Will need conscious controlling.
  • Mercury = Uranus/Ascendant (90, 0.1) – A brilliant, inventive but inflexible mind.  Originality.  Critical acumen.
  • Mercury = Ascendant/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A lively individual with a good mind that works in harmony with the personality and objectives.
  • Venus = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.3) – A hopeless romantic.  Difficulty in keeping both feet on the ground.  No financial acumen.  Creative ability.
  • Mars = Sun/Midheaven (90, 1.7) – A hard-working and very energetic individual, with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.
  • Mars = Moon/Midheaven (135, 1.1) – A hard-working person, tending to be pushy.  Brave, assertive action taken at a moment’s notice.
  • Mars = North Node/Midheaven (180, 0.4) — A bit of a “troublemaker.”  One who will not rest content and get on with the job at hand.
  • Mars = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 1.0) – Will talk assertively, be determined and ambitious.  High level of nervous and physical energy, rather restless.
  • Jupiter = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 2.0) – Not the person to let grass grow under their feet!  Bold, but sincere.  A lively, optimistic mind.
  • Jupiter = Uranus/Ascendant (45, 0.0) – The natural ability to express enthusiasm for others’ efforts or kindnesses.  A lively, somewhat unpredictable but lovable person.
  • Jupiter = Ascendant/Midheaven (0, 1.8) – A big, generous, fun-loving personality with a philosophical attitude to all aspects of live – especially career and finances.
  • Saturn = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 1.3) – An over-serious attitude and outlook on life.  Caution and common sense, perhaps stabilizing the Ascending sign characteristics.
  • Saturn = Uranus/Ascendant (45, 0.7) – Personal development will be hindered by feelings of oppression.
  • Uranus = Mars/Midheaven (0, 1.8) – A worker for workers’ rights.  A union member.
  • Uranus = Mercury/Midheaven (0, 0.3) – The need for change of direction to avoid boredom.  Ambitions may not be achieved due to stress.
  • Neptune = Pluto/Ascendant (45, 1.2) – Attractions to unusual interests and occult disciplines.  Possibly hypnotic powers.
  • Pluto = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.7) – The influence will tend to cramp the more go-ahead qualities of the Ascending sign.
  • North Node = Venus/Midheaven (90, 1.2) – A friendly and caring colleague who will enjoy mixing business and pleasure.  Good for the human resources department.
  • Ascendant = Moon/Uranus (0, 1.7) – Nervous tension and highly strung tendencies.  Unpredictable changes of mood and action.  Subject could be own worst enemy.
  • Ascendant = Uranus/North Node (45, 1.0) – This person will have a great many friends and acquaintances who will never really know him or her.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Midheaven (0, 0.6) – The personality and objectives/aspirations are as one – no conflict here.
  • Ascendant = Moon/Midheaven (45, 0.1) – A positive response to outside influences and prevailing conditions.
  • Ascendant = Midheaven/Node (90, 0.7) – The individual is very easy-going and easy to get along with – a friendly soul.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Neptune (45, 1.4) – The creative qualities of Venus and Neptune will enhance or soften the Ascending sign traits.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Neptune (135, 1.9) – Changes of direction in career, which must be carefully considered, otherwise the subject will simply drift.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Neptune (135, 1.9) – A strong natural instinct for dance, ice skating and movement generally.  Imagination.  Successful artistic expression.
  • Midheaven = Saturn/Pluto (45, 1.0) – Powerful endurance and tenacity to make a success, but a difficult workmate.
  • Midheaven = Jupiter/Pluto (45, 0.7) – Ambition and strong aspirations.  The need to make progress and to be noticed by superiors.
  • Midheaven = Neptune/North Node (45, 0.6) – The need to develop more self-sufficiency.

I will also say that there were a few indirect midpoints that did not seem to be all that strong, but which I found very relevant. In Pittsburgh, these included:

  • Sun = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 0.5) – This influence will add compulsiveness and dogged persistence to the characteristics of the Ascending sign.
  • Mercury = Ascendant/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A lively individual with a good mind that works in harmony with the personality and objectives.
  • Mars = Sun/Midheaven (90, 1.7) – A hard-working and very energetic individual, with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.
  • Jupiter = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 2.0) – Not the person to let grass grow under their feet!  Bold, but sincere.  A lively, optimistic mind.
  • Ascendant = Uranus/North Node (45, 1.0) – This person will have a great many friends and acquaintances who will never really know him or her.

That last one was one I knew well when I lived in Pittsburgh, coincidentally. I was able to counsel Joanna on this one in particular because I had lived it for many years.

This is a lot to read, and I’ve left out both the Treasure Maps and the planets in houses and aspecting the Ascendant and Midheaven (as noted on my criteria). There’s a lot there, too. If this post interested you, I’ll discuss these in the next blog post.

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Neptune lines

It’s time to do Neptune lines. I’m going to repeat the following information here:

  • The ascending line is the location on the earth where the planet is rising. (As a corollary, the ascendant is the point on the horizon — northeast, southeast, or anywhere in between — where the sun would be rising at the time of birth). A planetary ascending line is the planet on the cusp of the first house.
  • The descending line is the location on the earth where the planet is setting. (The descendant is the point on the horizon — northwest, southwest, or anywhere in between — where the Sun would be setting at the time of birth). A planetary descending line is the planet on the cusp of the 7th house.
  • The MC lines are where a planet would be at its highest point of the day in the sky, or essentially on the prime meridiem. They will be directly south above the Tropic of Cancer, directly north below the Tropic of Capricorn, or overhead (the possibility for being overhead only exists between the tropics). A planetary midheaven line is the planet on the cusp of the 10th house.
  • The IC lines are where a planet would be at its lowest point of the day underneath the earth. A planetary IC line is the planet on the cusp of the 4th house.

It should be emphasized again, that you should spend some time on or near a line before taking the plunge, picking up, and starting over.

I’ll be using the Time Passages astrological software as well as Dan Furst’s Finding Your Best Places – Using Astrocartography to Navigate Your Life. (Furst’s book came out in 2015 and is essential).

Here’s someone’s Astro Map of the whole Earth:

As I’ve done with every planet up to now, I’ve posted the Astro Map of the entire Earth for someone. This is a little hard to see, but Neptune is a dark blue line; you see the symbol for Neptune Ascending line on the left side of the screen, and the Midheaven and Nadir lines, which are vertical and 180 degrees from each other on the earth.

Looking at a close-up where we can see the Neptune Ascending line, it looks like this for this particular person:

This is the Neptune Ascending line touching the western tip of Australia and meandering N-NE through Indonesia and the southeast Asia archepelago. It doesn’t necessarily hit any cities, in this case.

Here’s the Time Passages interpretation of the Neptune Ascending line:
With Neptune on the Ascendant, you experience the mystical side of life strongly in this location. Your psychic sensitivity increases along with your desire for the attainment of beauty and grace, and for experiences that are literally out of this world. When you are in this place you tend to feel ‘dreamlike’ and somehow removed. You may experience a great deal of artistic sensitivity in your pursuits. You will also get in closer touch with your ideals while you are here. In this part of the world you tend to relate to others you encounter with compassion and empathy, and could find that in turn, people cast you into a savior role. You might discover a heightened sense of romance and emotionality in yourself as well. It is also said that Neptunian energy wants to merge with the divine, but will settle for any substitute. Thus, you want to carefully navigate through subtle fogs of confusion or self-deception that may tempt you in this region. It benefits you to engage in grounding spiritual practices that can help you make the most out of the subtle energies you will access as you move through this part of the world.

Here’s Dan Furst’s take:
Under Neptune on the Ascendant lines, the same fantasy-object outcomes can be even mroe dramatic in every sense. Others who see us as intriguing and beautiful may not see us at all — Marilyn Monroe said, “They don’t see me, the only see thier own desires” — but may only see us as a mirror or remedy for their own sad self-image. We are likely to be hypersensitive here, especially if substance use, even addiction, opens our emotional field to any and all illusions and temptations. While we may pursue spiritual paths here, and identify ourselves as “spiritual people,” we may invest a guru, even one teacher after another, with expectations that are sure to be disappointed, with depressing results when the balloon bursts. We can become self-sufficient in time, but at a painful price.

Looking at the Neptune IC (Nadir) line:

This person’s Neptune IC line is very hard to see as IC lines are dashed vertical lines and Neptune’s is blue. It goes through eastern Africa, Israel, Iraq, Turkey, one of the former Soviet republics and northwestern Russia. There may be places for this person to live close to this line, if the Neptune IC line appeals to them.

Here’s the Time Passages interpretation:
With Neptune on the Nadir, while here you tune in deeply to your inner world, as well as to your family and home environment. Your focus tends to turn away from the mundane and instead toward the vastness of your inner life. Your intuition can open wide, giving you an almost psychic sixth sense. You benefit from paying close attention to the dreams and visions you have while in this place. You may become musically or artistically inspired while you are residing here, or find yourself in retreat mode with a desire to explore nature. While Neptune strengthens your imaginative and transcendental powers, it can also cloud your sense of reality and clarity of judgment as it applies to the routine world. You may feel lost or confused here, especially when it comes to finding your way with regard to home and family matters. You have to trust in the divine. It benefits you to let go of making sense of the three dimensional world and to instead be prepared to make your home in the cosmos.

Here’s Dan Furst’s interpretation:
On Neptune on the Nadir lines, we often suffer from false hope and delusion in the areas of home and livelihood, and we may be prone to disappointment from business associates who are either actively dishonest, or are ethical enough, and have the best of intentions, but seem to live in a Neptunian fog, unable to deliver what we’ve agreed. The unreliability of othres around us may force us to become more inventive and resourceful, yet a reliable, predictable way of making a living can still be very hard to create here, to the point that we may contemplate communal, even monastic living. Life here is built on “foundations of sand,” as Jim Lewis put it, but deep spiritual rewards may still come from all the slippery dreams.

Here’s the map with the Neptune Descending line:

It’s a little hard to see, but this person’s Neptune descending line goes right through New York City. It also touches the eastern Caribbean, and slices through Brazil, touching some cities close to the eastern coast.

For the Neptune Descending line, here’s Time Passages interpretation:
With Neptune on the Descendent, the mystery of relationship is featured for you in this part of the world. You may find yourself strongly attracted to artists, healers and other highly sensitive types of people. You are closer in touch with the divine in this locale and may forge significant bonds with like-minded others that you meet here. Private concerns and worldly issues could take a back seat with regard to interpersonal relationships that you focus on cultivating. You also may find you are unusually attuned to your partner or significant other while here and tend to see them in the most positive of lights. You have more compassion in general and may form relationships that allow you to express your need to serve and to honor the sacred. If your Neptune is challenged, you may find yourself becoming involved with addicts or victims. At its best, you create partnerships here that honor and value sensitivity, celebrate beauty and bring more love and a sense of universal oneness to the larger world.

Here’s Dan Furst’s interpretation:
Neptune on the Descendant lines may be the most agonizing of all, as they raising possibilities of love unions that are based on pure fantasy, or that subject us to love swindlers and people who lose themselves completely in the beloved, so that all their self-esteem depends on their partner’s love, or at the very least they are too emotionally dependent to love from a position of clarity and strength. Similar outcomes can apply to other relationships too, especially with spiritual friends and teachers, so we may come to believe that all, not just some of the people we meet here are spiritual scam artists. Checking perceptions with truthful friends, and being open to what they really say, is essential.

Looking at the Neptune Midheaven line:

The Neptune Midheaven line goes through rural Alaska east of Anchorage. That’s it.

Here’s Time Passages:
With Neptune on the Midheaven in this locale, you will find that your ambition transforms and your worldly life takes on a sense of mystery. Status and salary take a back seat to a larger sense of purpose and meaning. Here you are able to recognize and give priority to the spiritual component of your work in the world, fueled by strong sense of idealism. An increased sensitivity to suffering could add a whole new dimension to your life. You may find you develop an interest in fields involving art, spiritual healing, entertainment, or film. Since these feelings and realizations run counter to the ordinary way of seeing things, there is also the possibility that confusion will overtake you in pursuing your perceived mission. In order to stay out of the fogginess or escapism that can accompany you in these parts, go with your deepest inspiration and give it a constructive, creative outlet. You feel best in this region when you get in touch with your highest ideals and find a way creatively share them.

Here’s Dan Furst:
Neptune on the MC lines can apply to both professional and spiritual paths, and can certainly yield impressive successes in art-related field, especially performing arts — for Neptune rules music, theatre and dance — and creative work in the realm of fantasy. We may also find that we have become objects of fantasy to others, who wish to cast us as characters in their fantasy linves. This line is sometimes called the Hollywood Line, for the thousands of people who go there every year hoping to be Brad Pitt or Nicole Kidman, only to find that their dream is far tougher than they thought, if it’s realizable at all.

Well, we can dream, right? That’s Neptune in a nutshell.

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How to interpret an astrological map

I’ll be focusing today on what an Astro Map looks like — using Time Passages software for sure, but going further than that by using David Cochrane’s Sirius III software, which does a lot more than a typical Astro Map does.

First of all: What is an Astro Map?

This is what an Astro Map looks like, though the lines will be in different places for different people.

Astrocartography depends on these Astro Maps. It’s not the only thing I do to do a relocation workup on a client, but it is at least as important as anything else I do.

There are different types of lines here. Some are straight up-and-down lines, and others are curved and somewhat diagonal (though some are more diagonal than others). I enlarged this map so that you can see the symbols on each side of the map, although they are a bit blurry.

A somewhat zoomed-in Astro Map; the symbols are a little easier to see.

When you get your Astro Map from me, you’ll be able to see the symbols. Anyway, what do they mean?

Lines with symbols on on the top of the page indicate Midheaven lines. They are bright symbols and indicate where the particular planet is at its highest point for that latitude. That does not mean overhead unless you are within the tropics, and usually not even then. But it is the place where the planet was at its highest point at the time of your birth. That’s why it’s called the Midheaven, and that’s why it’s a straight line, because it’s true for that longitude, no matter how far north or south.

If you’re living on or visiting someplace on that line, that particular planet is conjunct your Midheaven. This is important.

And if you’re looking at that very strong green line with the symbol for Venus at the top, Venus is conjunct the Midheaven all the way down that line — through Alberta, Idaho, the Nevada/Utah border, and coming pretty close to Phoenix. Likewise, you can see the bright red line a bit to the east of that, and the symbol for the Sun — the line where the Sun is conjunct your Midheaven, or the cusp of your 10th house.

Vertical dotted lines with corresponding symbols at the bottom of the page are known as IC, or Nadir lines. This is the point where the particular planet is as far underneath the earth as it’s going to go — the lowest position under the earth, though almost always not directly underneath the earth.

There are no dotted IC lines crossing the United States, except for a dark blue line bisecting Alaska and going just east of Hawaii — that’s the client’s Moon IC line, where the Moon was at its lowest point underneath the earth at the time of the person’s birth.

The diagonal lines get their representation on the left and right sides of the image. On this most recent image, you can see I snipped a picture without showing the right side of the map. The higher, harder to read map is more representative of what this will look like.

The diagonal lines are either ascending or descending lines. On an ascending line, the planet is rising — in other words, somewhere right on the eastern horizon — and only directly east if the planet is at 0 degrees Aries or 0 degrees Libra. (Much like the Sun only rises directly east on the spring or fall equinox, when it’s at 0 degrees Aries or 0 degrees Libra). The planet will usually be somewhat north or south of east, but always will be on the horizon, rising.

The descending line is the place where the planet would be setting at the time of the person’s birth. Again, only directly to the west when the planet’s at 0 degrees Aries or 0 degrees Libra, but always somewhere on the western horizon, setting.

On this particular map it’s hard to make out which planet is which on the area in the lower left of the picture, with all the planets seeming to converge in that area of Antarctica, but we can see the strong green Venus line — ascending on the left side of the image as it meanders southeast, crossing through the Venus Midheaven line, and then descending as it meanders northeast. For this particular software, the Descending line will always be fainter than the Ascending line — that’s one way to make it out.

There are many interpretations possible, although there is usually some similarity on how astrologers will interpret being on a particular line. For each planet, the Ascending line, Descending line, Midheaven line, and IC/Nadir line, will have its own unique interpretation. For example, for this software clicking on the Pluto Ascending line will give an interpretation as follows:

“With Pluto on the Ascendant, you are likely to find that this location serves as a personal “power spot,” a place where you experience tremendous transformation. Here, the force is with you. You find that you can tap into greater reserves of endurance and concentration. You will also discover that this place engenders sweeping changes in you. This place has the uncanny ability to draw forth previously unknown aspects of yourself, so that you and your shadow side will likely get to know each other more intimately. Sexual desires could become central here. Passion and obsession runs high. Repressed feelings could explode into consciousness. Whatever stressful events do actually manifest might become profound catalysts. You will find that this place provides the backdrop for a dramatic self-actualization that comes from learning to plumb yourself to the depths. A bad attitude in this locale intensifies the presence of seemingly insurmountable forces. In the highest, you receive the opportunity to truly let die that which no longer serves you so that you become like a Phoenix rising from the flames.”

And so on, 10 or 11 planets and the North Node, and four lines for each. The closer you are to a line, the stronger that influence is.

So that’s a typical Astro Map in a nutshell. But I want to move on to what an Astro Map can look like in Sirius III, because that’s a lot more …. advanced? Well, it has a lot more possibilities.

Clicking on the Map function brings us to this window:

One type of setting for a Sirius III Astro Map, though the map isn’t being shown yet. This is on the Treasure Maps setting; if I were to click OK, it would show the Treasure Map for the Imagination & Inspiration category, which will involve Neptune lines.

I use these Treasure Maps extensively when I do consultations for clients. Clicking OK on the map brings us here:

These Treasure Maps take a conglomerate view of the planets appropriate to it. This particular one is under Imagination & Inspiration and involve Neptune aspects to the four angles or “lines” — Ascendant, Nadir, Descendant, & Midheaven. There’s a lot more information here, more than just the four lines.

This particular map has a lot more detail. You can see near the middle of the USA map — a vertical line designated Neptune 108 degrees, and to the west of that, a vertical line designated Neptune with a triangle (that means Neptune trine the Midheaven). In the mapping part of this software, vertical lines aspecting the Midheaven (or Nadir) are designated at the top, while diagonal lines aspecting the Ascendant (or Descendant) are designated at the bottom.

So, on the bottom you can see a variety of lines, including a Neptune/Pluto midpoint the Ascendant line, starting south of west Texas, and originating from the aforementioned Neptune trine line. You can see on these Treasure maps a lot of the map is covered by some line or other.

Again, I use these Treasure Maps extensively in my work. But, working backwards, they originate from lines that can be viewed in a variety of ways.

This is arguably the default setting. You can see ‘No Orbs, Just Lines, & Flexible Asteroid Map. You can also see that it’s on setting #1, Basic Map, which is fairly appropriate for a map covering this much area.
There’s not a whole lot to see here, although you can see the Jupiter Ascending and Saturn Descending cutting through the middle of the country (they form a weak opposition).
This is the Detail Map, setting #2. This is a bit much but works very well on more zoomed in maps.

This Detail Map, setting #2, uses major aspects to the Ascendant & Midheaven. So that includes 8th harmonic aspects like squares, sesquiquadrates, and semi-squares; also sextiles, trines, quincunx, and semi-sextile. And, of course, conjunctions and oppositions, which are already on the Basic Map.

This is the second-most detailed setting, “Very Detailed,” but in this case zoomed into Colorado. (Disclosure — this is my location and my chart).

The Very Detailed map works pretty well when zooming into Colorado. Here’s the Extremely Detailed map:

This is perhaps a bit much, but can be useful if you zoom in even closer.

I would like to emphasize that I use Treasure Maps, covered earlier, in both my Basic Astro Maps as well as the detailed consultations. The Treasure Maps encompass the following:

  • Love & Romance
  • Vocation & Career
  • Friendship & Family
  • Imagination & Inspiration
  • Excitement & Instability
  • Friendship & Family, detailed
  • Education & Communication
  • Culture & Creativity
  • Optimism & Opportunity
  • Responsibility & Focus

In consultations, I automatically cover all of the first six by default except for Imagination & Inspiration, at a bare minimum. I cover any of the other ones when it is or seems warranted based on the situation that the client presents.

We don’t just take Treasure Maps at face value. We try to understand the “why” — what planets are involved and therefore how do these positive (or negative, in the case of the Excitement & Instability Treasure map) manifest on the map, specifically.

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Pluto transiting one’s Venus

I’ve written something like 1100 pages of memoirs. I may be a very good writer, but when I write memoirs (and I haven’t, really, since 2014) it tends to be a memory dump and does not necessarily make for very good literature, unlike the writing I do here and elsewhere. It’s like if I have a focal point for my writing, it ends up being very good; if not, then it’s a bit less so.

But is that really right? I mean, I haven’t looked at my writing in ages, either. I’m usually surprised when I pull it out and I think, “You should be writing again.” On some level a memory dump works if your memory is very good. And my memory is or at least was very good.

On that sentiment, I took a memoir writing course while at Carlow getting my bachelor’s degree. So this would have been in the fall of 2010. I had done some of the writing I would eventually do, but by no means most of it. What was observed among many writers and that we discussed in class is, ‘if you write your memory on paper, you’re likely to forget it.’ I have found this to be true, too.

While working a 9-5 between 2012 and 2015 I would often spend my weekends doing nothing but writing. I did not have much of a life, so that’s what I spent it doing, up until about August 2014. I can very much say there are at least three chapters, the most recent chapters, of my life that have not been written yet. First, the federal government job, 2012 to 2015. Secondly, what came before it — working for a call center and getting my degree. (So maybe starting around 2007 or 2008). Thirdly, what came after it — my deciding to pick up and move, a year after I quit the job. The year of preparation followed by the actual move and the experiences I had after I moved — so, covering 2015 to 2021. (This could actually be two chapters).

But the chapter I want to highlight here is called “Psychosis.” It covers a period from about October 1998 through June 2000. It was about my falling into psychosis and then recovery. It was one of five psychiatric hospitalizations I had in my life, all in the ’90s, all in my 20s. My writing on this matter is incomplete, but it does include a lot — about being indigent, more or less, and what that actually meant.

The chapter about my psychosis ‘peaked’ a day before the summer solstice, 1999, when I checked myself into Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic — my decision, as I had decompensated to the point where I knew it was in my best interest to sign on the dotted line when a psychiatrist who evaluated me and didn’t know what to do with me until he finally figured it out, shoved the paper with the signature line toward me.

The chapter is 210 pages long. I have a point to make — not only that I was psychotic, but that the world — my environment, my community — had been getting VERY weird up to that point, and there is an astrological basis for that, which I didn’t realize until recently.

But there was something about the environment I was in that was also very weird. That part of it wasn’t me. But what was it?

I didn’t learn the first part of what it was until sometime late in 2019 as I was learning the Relocational Astrology part of the Vibrational program that I graduated from recently. And this has to do with a set of two Treasure Maps that covered Pittsburgh. I’ll post them:

My own “Excitement and Instability” map, peaking in Western Pennsylvania.
My Friendship & Family, Detailed map. Western Pennsylvania (and Appalachia in general) is one of the few places on the map where there is no comfort zone for me.

These two influences are the first two influences that I highlight in my own bio on the main page, so if you’ve been paying attention, you’ve seen them. I dealt with this energy or lack of energy for 28 years. But there was something about 1999, besides the biblical pronouncement that it was the end times, that was especially… intense.

Pluto is conjunct my natal Venus

I am not the best at interpreting transits so it had to be pointed out to me that transiting Pluto conjunct my natal Venus, with a 1 degree 18 second orb on the day I checked myself in, is a pretty profound thing. Some of you reading this have gone through the same thing.

As the author John Sandbach noted,

“The Moon crosses your Venus every 28 days, but if Pluto ever does it, it will be ONCE IN A LIFETIME, and believe me YOU WILL FEEL IT.”

You can see too that Pluto is retrograde. It actually peaked as a conjunct to my natal Venus in November the preceding year which was probably the first time something exciting happened that ended up becoming something very surreal. I’m not going to relate the story here (it would take up too much space), and it is in the Psychosis chapter of the memoir, so please contact me if you would like to know more. It does involve unrequited love, in a sense — a younger woman I was interested in before things got really intense and weird.

(Pluto gets within a half degree of Venus in August of that year, before turning direct and eventually disappearing as an influence.)

I tell this whole story not only because it is interesting but could teach you a few details about what would make an experience more bizarre.