Astrocartography Illustration

Your Next Travel Destination Is Written In The Stars

Astrocartography paints a map of how your life, love, and career would fare in a new location without the need to travel there – just yet.

I’m a Pisces sun, Gemini moon, Virgo rising. I’ve known for a long time that I’m a Pisces because I hate confrontation and I cry while watching reality television. Classic Pisces. Three years ago, I learned that other aspects of my natal chart — which is an astrological map of all the planets in the sky at the exact date, time, and location of a person’s birth — can provide even deeper insight into why I am the way that I am. Studying astrology has become my own mode of self-care; astrology is like a tool, perfectly crafted with my own mind in mind, helping me on a path of understanding yourself and purpose. And while I’ve read all the basics in astrology books, or at least the ones you can find in the Home section of Urban Outfitters, I’ve never actually received professional astrological guidance, but maybe now is the right time. As a senior graduating college in a matter of weeks, I wince every time someone asks me, “Where are you going after graduation?” The answer? I have no idea, but maybe astrology does.

By reading this map, a person can uncover cities that possibly offer career success, where they will experience challenging transformations, and where love awaits.

Last April I had my first ever astrological reading, over Facetime, by a psychic named Gina from Rochester, NY. Gina was friendly and insightful, with curly brown hair and a silver gem on her tooth that would peek out of her mouth every time she spoke. I felt comfortable with Gina — almost like your single aunt in her 50s who rambles about her trip to Italy and then slides you a $20 bill when your mom isn’t looking. The reviews on her website seemed credible too: “She blew me away with descriptions about each person in my life,” says Lindsey M. or “This lady is so profound and on the money,” from Matthew P. With my limited budget, and with Gina’s reasonable price range, I booked my first reading immediately. Gina told me many things about my future, like how I will have both a daughter and a son (which is daunting for a 22-year-old to even think about). But I didn’t want to know the what — what job I’ll be working, what my finances will be like in the future, what my circle of friends will look like. I wanted to know the where.

Astrocartography, or relocation astrology, lets someone imagine their life in a new location without needing to move, or just not yet at least. Known as a mapping method, it takes the information from a person’s natal chart and projects an array of crisscrossing lines, known as planetary lines, over a map of the world. By reading this map, a person can uncover cities that possibly offer career success, where they will experience challenging transformations, and where love awaits.


As a global pandemic left so many people feeling uncertain and disconnected from each other, astrology became a tool of reassurance and interaction for Millennials and Generation Z. Google searches for “astrology” and “birth chart” hit its highest peak in 2020, compared to the last five years. Astrology has seen mainstream acceptance in the past decade and became what is now a $2.1 billion dollar industry, much thanks to the internet age paving the way for highly personalized horoscopes and astrology memes. Apps like Co–Sta combine natal charts with a social media-friendly interface that allows users to see just how compatible they are with their friends. Instagram meme account @notallgeminis boasts almost 600k followers and posts iconic pop culture images of celebrities like Britney Spears paired with characteristics of the zodiac (because wearing a shirt that reads “DUMP HIM” is so Aries). Now, almost 30% of Americans believe in astrology, but with the Covid-19 pandemic, this belief has only strengthened.

As lockdown orders hit New York state in March 2020, I was forced to return home from London and quarantine with my 25-year-old sister at our aunt’s house in Westchester, NY. The last time we lived together was when families still had “computer rooms,” so you could imagine my excitement. We were two 20-something-year-olds at different stages in our lives; my sister moving out of her apartment and working remotely for a local news channel and me, attempting the Chloe Ting 30-day ab workout challenge and failing after the second day. One night, after copious amounts of white wine and binging new episodes of The Real Housewives of New York City’s 12th season (as one does during “quar”), I arranged an astrology reading over FaceTime for my sister with my close friend, Lindsay, who was living in Los Angeles. Lindsay, like me, regularly studies the stars and was just as bored in lockdown as we were. What started out as an informal birth chart reading quickly became three old friends catching up — although, when we get together the talking sounds more like squealing — until 5 in the morning. In a wave of such disconnection, bonding over astrology with familiar faces was enough to make such an uncertain time feel somewhat less intimidating. If anything, that explains astrology’s appeal for me. It’s fun, it’s relatable, it connects people, and it can provide at least a semblance of an answer to life’s looming questions. For me, that question was, “Is New York the right place for me?” To answer it right this time, I needed an astrocartographer.

Astrocartography takes a snapshot of the sky at the exact moment a person is born and superimposes the data onto other locations throughout the world. An astrocartography map appears like a game of Tic-tac-toe — each of the crossing lines represents a planet or a celestial body like the sun or the moon. Now, this all may seem confusing at first — ascendent lines, descendent lines, and a midheaven line — but using an online map simulator like AstroClick Travel provides at least an introduction to the intricacies of locational astrology.

“In order to understand your map, you have to understand all the multiple influences,” says Elizabeth Smith, an astrocartographer from North Carolina who’s given readings for the past 40 years. According to Smith, astrocartography allows us to see how we are affected by different places on Earth. “Astrology covers everything that we experience in life. It's the cosmic intelligence that is running the show on our planet,” Smith says. In searching for an astrocartography reading that could let me in on some of this cosmic intelligence that was also within my budget — some virtual readings ranged from $100 to $300 for just one hour — a quick Google search for an astrocartographer led me to Julian Lee, a locational astrologer living in Missoula, Montana.

What I learned from 2020, and I’m sure many other people did too, is that things don’t always go the way we plan them.


Each line on the astrocartography map represents a different planet at a particular angle over Earth. For example, the Mercury line, which represents mental activity and communication, runs through New York State and the eastern U.S. Courtesy of Meredith Clark.

Professional astrologers, psychics, and even doctors and therapists fit 2020’s virtual demands by holding appointments over Zoom, but I never saw Julian’s face during our reading. When we spoke over the phone, his voice was low and silvery, with an indiscernible and slight drawl that evolves with every new environment. He began our reading with a disclaimer: “These opinions come from experience, just a lot of watching charts of so many people. It's not a psychic thing.” The fact that Julian wasn’t a psychic, compared to my previous reading, was exactly the kind of grounding experience that I was searching for, one that is based on research and technique. In fact, Julian completely advises against anyone using an astrocartography map to plan their future.

Even though astrocartography works in ironic ways, that doesn’t mean it needs to dictate every aspect of a person’s life.

Julian compares an astrocartography map to an image of Brad Pitt, or at least a semblance of what used to be Brad Pitt. If he were to take that picture of him, tear it up into a hundred pieces, and hand it back so all a person could make out is a piece of hair or a nostril, that is what an astrocartography map does to a person’s relocated natal chart — which is his preferred method of locational astrology. When Jim Lewis, the pioneer of astrocartography or as he referred to it Astro*Carto*Graphy, developed one of the first maps in the 1970s, he failed to consider astrological houses and the planetary rulers of each house, says Julian. “To do location right, you look at the entire relocated natal chart, not just pieces of it.” Lewis and I have the same birth location of Yonkers, N.Y., and when Lewis moved to Australia to live on his Mars Ascending line, a vehicle hit and killed him. Here’s hoping our natal charts don’t align.

Cindy Mckean — Taurus sun, Sagittarius moon, rising Leo — has lived in New York, Kansas City, Chicago, the Caribbean, and even Cairo, Egypt. For every sojourn Cindy’s taken, she’s used astrocartography. When Cindy began reading her astrocartography map as a university student in Cairo more than 20 years ago, her travel experiences from country to country perfectly lined up with what her map predicted. “So, I mean, there was no way I could be a skeptic after that, right?” Cindy says. Astrocartography can point out positive and life-changing locations, but it can also determine what places to avoid.

The Sun Line

The Sun represents your most essential self. The locations that line up with your Sun line on an astrocartography map are the places where you will gain self-confidence and a renewed creativity.

The Moon Line

The Moon in astrology affects your moods and emotions. When living on a Moon line, we become aware of our past and tend to feel nostalgic, almost dreamy. Here, you are vulnerable, sensitive, and comfortable.

The Mars Line

On the Mars line, you will experience a competitive and independent energy at this location.

The Mercury Line

Living under a Mercury line, you can expect to feel a sense of mental restlessness. Here, you will feel very communicative and extroverted.

The Venus Line

The Venus line is one of the more desirable locations to live under. It represents love, visual beauty, relationships and affection. Here, life can feel more relaxed and enjoyable.

The Jupiter Line

The Jupiter line is all about success and prosperity. Life is lucky on a Jupiter line, and you will feel mentally and intellectually stimulated.

The Saturn Line

Saturn is one of the more difficult lines to live under on an astrocartography map. On this line, the hard knocks of life will come at you like a ton of bricks. You will feel a heavy burden of responsi-bility, but will ultimately feel accomplished from all the challenges you will overcome.

The Uranus Line

Living on a Uranus line is similar to Mars. The Uranus line has a strong sense of rebellion, creativity, energy, and inspiration. If you are young and striving for ~adventure~, living on your Uranus line would be a perfect fit.

The Neptune Line

The Neptune line represents spirituality and solitude, but you may also feel spacey and even a lack of motivation. A location on a Neptune line is where you can get away from it all. And if you are a Pisces like me, every day is like living on a Neptune line.

The Pluto Line

Living under the energy of a Pluto line can feel debilitating, but ultimately freeing. Here, there will be heavy issues that come to the forefront and intense mental and emotional processes. However, each of these challenges will leave you with a sense of growth.

When Cindy and her husband planned to move for medical school, they landed on her Pluto line in Kansas City, Missouri. “Pluto is all about power plays, it's about painful transformations,” she says. “It forces you to change not just as a personality or a character, but on the soul level. Once you get out of that Pluto line, you emerge from that underground hole that it pulled you into.” And Cindy was literally pulled into a hole. When she and her husband moved to Kansas City in 2014, the foundation of their house fell into a sinkhole, with foundational cracks and insect infestations. “This is literally your house being pulled underground. I mean, how much more literal can it get?” Even though astrocartography works in ironic ways, that doesn’t mean it needs to dictate every aspect of a person’s life. But for major decisions and life-changing plans, it can definitely provide a sense of comfort. “I don't live it day to day. I don't check my horoscope and say, ‘Oh, no, Mars is in Gemini right now making an opposition to Venus and I have to watch out for that,” Cindy says. “But I do look at the bigger picture to know what to expect. And it really does help handle life a lot easier. At least for me, it does. It gives me some peace.”


As a senior in my last five weeks of college, I feel both exhilarated and anxious to leave this glorified bubble of late-night library cram sessions, frisbees on the quad, and football games I only pretend to care about. Speaking with Julian about the astrological influences on my current location helped to alleviate some of this stress. “Your mind tends to revolve around other people, in conversation and communication with other people,” he says. “You’d be a natural interviewer here.” Finally, the thousands of dollars of student debt I’ve acquired from attending journalism school will start to pay off, but who knows how long that will take? Well, actually, Julian does. “I'm not saying you'll have trouble paying them off,” he says, “But that worries you, and there is a chance they would get out of control. The kind of lack of money most of your life came from this Saturn progression, where Saturn was beating up on your money ruler. That's weakening now, separating and going away.” Be gone, Saturn.

What I learned from 2020, and I’m sure many other people did too, is that things don’t always go the way we plan them. A summer that I thought would be full of internship opportunities in some unaffordable city turned out to be one spent in my college town, working a mindless desk job in customer service. Even though astrocartography makes promising predictions about my future here in New York – increased creativity, lessening financial burdens, and a strong community network – I still don’t know exactly where 2021 leads me. Although, I’m quite certain that if I didn’t have an astrocartography reading, I wouldn’t be feeling as calm about this next chapter. Astrology is like the friendly hand on my shoulder saying, “Don’t worry. Everything will be okay.”

Land Acknowledgement

Our pursuit of outdoor joy is remiss without the acknowledgement of the occupation of unceded Indigenous land. We are students and journalists working, writing, and living on the land of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, comprising the Six Nations made up of the Mohawk, Onondaga, Oneida, Cayuga, Seneca, and Tuscarora nations. However, acknowledgement is not enough. Read More.