Where in the World, Why in the World?

…some speculations on what makes locality astrology tick…

 Relocation astrology is simple. You cast a chart for someplace else other than your birthplace but for the same instant in time to see where the planets fall by house and find out if some of your planets are more emphasized by the new coordinates. And AstroCartography is simply a map that allows you to spot where certain of your planets would be on an angle. It’s kind of like picking a good solar return. You can’t change the overall planetary relationships of the instant, but you can go somewhere for your birthday to get them in better relationship to the houses and angles. 

But why does that mean anything? After all, unlike a solar return, where you can actually be there for the event, you were in one place and one place only at your birth, and travel doesn’t change that. Your real Ascendant will never change, wherever you go, so what’s the deal? Within the normal principles of astrology, why would going somewhere else affect your chart? If you knew why, you might be able to do much more with it. Most astrologers seem to think that relocation seems to work – I do, I can palpably feel it in some strong locations – but based on what principle? No one, to my knowledge, has suggested an answer to that.

The Why in the Where

So here’s one, and it’s directly related to the solar return comparison, and simply based on the presumption that astrological effects are not only natal (where the principle of the evolution of initial conditions applies) but behavioral and are learned and increase over time. As we experience each planetary cycle (diurnal, lunar, solar) we become increasingly entrained by the experience, with each cycle repeat bringing reinforcement of the last and anticipation of the next. This is perhaps the bottom-line principle upon which return charts are based – the patterns surrounding each of these cycle re-beginnings (returns) gives an overlay of indicators about the coming cycle period, be that a day, a month, or a year (or longer for other planetary returns). 

Now, you can affect the patterns of a solar or lunar return by going someplace where the planetary pattern best fits the angles. But how about a diurnal return – the instant each day you’re exactly one sidereal day older, functionally defined by the moment your precise angles reappear at the place of your birth? You can’t exactly go rushing about to get each diurnal return optimized every twenty-four hours to improve each day’s outlook. But as it so happens if you go to someplace where, say, your “relocated” Mars is on the Ascendant, you’ll find that there the degree of your Mars is the Ascendant of every day’s diurnal return chart. You are, by daily repetition, having your Mars degree reemphasized every day, with each diurnal return. No wonder you can feel it! Your most fundamental and frequently-reinforced cycle has a natal Mars overlay, strengthened each day you’re at that location. The longer you stay, the greater the emphasis – it’s cumulative.

This is also a part of the larger picture of recurring degree areas and how critical they are on a moment-to-moment basis. When the degree of your Sun rises each day, your personality is emphasized, when your Saturn degree culminates you run into small but creeping roadblocks and restrictions, and so on. You can even rectify your chart by it. You may travel to get this phenomenon strengthened for the year on your birthday or for the month on your lunar return. But where you reside tells the story about the emphasis of the chart for the day, each day, and that is depicted by the simply-recast relocation chart – which by itself is a mathematical shortcut with no intrinsic meaning except that it conveniently tells you what happens there every day at your diurnal return. It doesn’t mean you have a new chart, only that this location affects your real chart selectively through daily repetitive occurrences.

Other Possibilities

Of course, AstroCartography maps can give you an even better shortcut by showing all possible locations where your angles will match certain planetary degrees in your diurnal return. It’s great to know where you have both your Mars rising and your Jupiter at the MC. Most, however, still leave out the Vertex, the third angle. It would be nice to know, for instance, where three planetary degrees would be featured, all in the same spot. It would also be nice to mix and match the degrees of the angles themselves. Where, for instance, could I go where the degree of my Ascendant is on the MC while the degree of my Vertex rises and my MC is the degree of the Vertex – and other like combinations including natal planetary degrees. Places like that are the hotbeds of your creativity and fated connections, but so far you have to do much of that by hand or come upon it by chance.


**Want to read a good book on a variety of approaches to relocation astrology, from the sublime to the ridiculous? Try From Here To There edited by Martin Davis. A fun read, if you know the basics already. For those new to the technique, he’s written several other excellent introductory books on the subject, as well.**


2 Responses to Where in the World, Why in the World?

  1. sasastro says:

    Interesting article, I think you explained the subject very well indeed. Your theory certainly makes sense.

  2. […] Where in the World, Why in the World?  John Townley is in his usual good form as he explains how traveling for a solar return works.  […]

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