I have been spending a lot of time lately staring, contemplating, and meditating on my relocation chart. Considering that, by the time this article is published, I will have relocated to another continent, it seemed that learning about this form of chart casting and interpretation was a natural area of curiosity for me.
Relocation charts are helpful not only when considering a move to another city, but also in considering a vacation. By considering how a location will interact with you, we can make guided choices based on what aspects of us we desire to learn more about.
One way to understand relocation charts is to consider that they are cast by reformulating your natal chart. Your natal chart is calculated based on the exact time, date, and place of birth. In this way, an astrologer is able to consider the relationship of the planets at the exact time of your birth, and this relationship to you at the moment you took your first breath. It is in that moment of first breath that some say this celestial conversation integrates as a composition of one’s soul. Since we are connected to everything and everyone, this would be true when in consideration of the energy that is inherent in the planets and our environment.
We are all born into an environment. There is, of course, the immediate familial environment. Our societal environment can be our immediate locale, our country, and even the wider culture we are a part of. Then there is our cosmic environment. All these are spaces we interact with throughout our lives. These spaces each have an energy, or another way to say it is that they each have a soul, that is uniquely their own. With this in mind, charts can and are cast for cities, countries, events, and eras to examine their unique soul.
At the moment of our birth, and the moment of our first breath, we begin an interaction with our various environments. Perhaps to be a magical person means, in part, that we recognize this interaction. Life becomes less a need to push our individual and lonely will onto the external environment, and instead becomes more evocative through interacting with our environment and learning to interpret its signals as a dialogue that is meaningful and ultimately loving.
In a relocation chart, the geographic place of birth is replaced by the coordinates of the location you desire to learn more about. The energy of the place is considered in its interaction with you. The simplest way to do this is to replace the place of birth and cast a standard natal chart. This allows a person to see how those planetary conversations, which are already a part of you, are still active but now in a different context. You will want to adjust according to the new time zone. Remember, it is the same moment you took your first breath, just placed on another part of the planet. Make sure the time adjustment speaks to the same moment. You can confirm this by checking the degree and minute of the Moon. It should be identical in both the natal and the relocated chart, even if the chart points have changed.
Depending on how far away your new locale is from your place of birth, radical shifts can take place in the key points in a chart. This method of calculating relocation is significant in that it supposes that a new environment will emphasize certain aspects of you. This method considers your personal growth and learning.
Some key points to consider within a relocation chart are the ascendant, the descendant, the midhaven, and the IC. The explanations of these key points can vary significantly based on the form, method, or school of astrological interpretation. These points can be explained in depth, and perhaps I will do that in a future article. But for now I will offer very simplistic explanations that are most relevant to a relocation chart.
The ascendant is what you project out onto the world. The descendant is the type of people you tend to attract. The ascendant and descendant work together in some respects. They are at opposite polarity in a chart. Where the ascendant is the mask you wear, which is still a part of you even though it is a mask, it is also others perceptions of you. The sign placement and conversations the ascendant is having with other planets can reveal characteristics of your mask. Some say it is “survival mode” behavior, or behavior you naturally default into.
The descendant then becomes the mirror. You attract based on what you project, and what we attract is what we need to see within ourselves more clearly. Mirrors often take the form of people who come into our lives to help us learn more about us. We may find ourselves attracted to people who display characteristics of the sign that is the polarity of our ascendant. The descendant shows us how we will perceive people and the kinds of people we will attract into our experience so that we may learn more about who we are, and how we are seen, in the world.
The midhaven and IC work together as well. The midhaven is the highest point in a chart, and thus rules our public reputation. It rules how we go about cultivating and approaching our career, making a contribution in the world, and ultimately in the process of creating a contribution we are led to creating a destiny. The IC, as its polarity, is the most hidden part of us. It is our family origin, our cultural roots, and our home. When the sign that falls on the midhaven changes drastically in a relocation chart from our natal chart, we may find ourselves motivated to approach our career in a whole new way. Aspects of our contribution and ambitions begin to manifest in innovative ways. We become known for things within us that we may not have previously identified with. When the sign that the IC falls in changes, we begin to live our lives at home differently, take a different take on our cultural origin, and perhaps see our childhood and out parents differently as well. Out relationship with our parents can go through major changes when the IC is affected or activated.
When considering a relocation chart, it is important to consider if there are any planets that are in aspect to these points. A conjunction is when a planet sits right on top one of these points. If that is the case, then the characteristics of this planet will become powerful indicators of the characteristics we are likely to display in the area that the point rules. We also what to consider soft aspects, like trines and sextiles, that are likely to reveal easy energy and manifestation of talents coming forth in the new locale. Harder aspects, like squares, quincunxes, and oppositions will reveal growth opportunities that present themselves as challenges. These can create difficulties, but when channeled correctly, can be used to increase our motivation, learn more about what we are really made of, and lead to tremendous self-respect that results from our willingness to learn through effort.
Midpoints are also considered. Put simply, a midpoint is considered is when two planets are in conversation on either side of a point in the chart. Midpoints can represent how that point will be influenced with this shared planetary energy.
Some locations will be more fun, some more growth based, and others will just be difficult. Anyone who has traveled extensively can testify to the fact that you always learn something new about yourself whenever you take a trip. Perhaps that is why we travel, because it is a way to learn more about ourselves. In exploring a new geographic place, we actually end up exploring another place with us. As within, so with out.
Our journey to another land isn’t only about seeing famous works of art or taking a moment of rest, but can become an expedition into parts of ourselves that we may not readily acknowledge, but perhaps deserve our appreciation. A relocation chart can give us greater clarity into the spiritual lessons that are possible in a new place.
Originally published in “Midheaven” Oct/Nov 2010 * Vol.21 No.4