The Astrology of Place by Madalyn Hillis-Dineen
Locality astrology or astro-mapping, an astrological technique that seeks to discover the connection between geographical locations and planetary influences, is a uniquely 20th Century phenomenon. After all, for ancient astrologers, the idea of moving more than several hundred miles from one’s birthplace was as inconceivable as the automobile, the jet plane or space travel. At first, astro-maps were used for mundane astrology – the astrology of world events and the horoscopes of nations. It was the exceptionally gifted astrologer, Jim Lewis, who popularized the technique by applying it to the charts of individuals. Through his amazingly popular Astro*Carto*Graphy™ maps, Jim Lewis introduced a sophisticated astrological technique to the masses. Even a daytime soap opera character once went off to have her astro*carto*graphy map read to see if there was somewhere on earth where she could finally find true happiness. Though enduring contentment is not ever likely to happen on a soap opera, many thousands of people consult locality astrologers each year to help them find a favorable place for romance, career, retirement or a pleasurable vacation.
While the actual idea of creating astro-maps is relatively new, the theory upon which the maps are based is really quite old. Since time immemorial, astrologers have placed great significance on the rising and setting of the planets, believing that when planets are on these “angles,” their influence is most powerful. In addition to the angles of rising and setting, astrologers also look at what planets may be culminating or at the highest point in the sky and its opposite point of anti-culmination. The most easily understandable illustration is the movement of the Sun from sunrise (rising or ascending, representing the self) to high noon (culmination, signifying one’s highest aspirations or career) to sunset (setting or descending, corresponding to others) and, finally, to midnight (anti-culmination, symbolizing one’s home and roots).
calculating a chart, the astrologer uses the date,
time and place of birth to find out exactly what degrees of the zodiac were on
these angles and examines the chart to find out if any planets are near those
angles. But, astro-mapping takes place
out of the equation. Here, lines are
drawn on a map of the world showing exactly where, at that precise moment in
time, the planets are on their four angles.
So, while the sun may be rising in
Lewis, as well as the handful of other astrologers to first use this technique, plotted the lines on the map by hand, a painstaking process to say the least. Thanks to computer programs like Solar Maps, a map with such lines can be drawn in a matter of seconds, another reason why this technique came to popularity in our modern world.
Astro-locality astrologers also look at paran lines or crossings on the map. These are places where two planets are angular together, for instance, Mars is on the MC while Jupiter is rising. Parans are another technique used by our astrological ancestors that have become very accessible with modern technology. The word paran comes from the Greek word paranatellonta which means “rising together.” Rob Hand in Essays on Astrology defines parans as “simultaneous transits over two or more bodies over the horizon or meridian circles of a given place at the same time.” Hand defines 7 types of parans as follows:
1. Two bodies rising together (conjunct the oblique Ascendant).
2. One rises while the other sets (oblique Ascendant opposition the oblique Descendant).
3. One rises, the other culminates or anti-culminates (oblique Ascendant square right ascension).
4. Two bodies set together (conjunct the oblique Descendant).
5. One body sets, the other culminates or anti-culminates (oblique Descendant square right ascension).
6. Two bodies culminate or anti-culminate together (conjunct the right ascension).
7. One culminates while the other anti-culminates (right ascension opposition right ascension).
Parans (except for types 2 and 7) are easily seen on the map as line crossings. Except for types 6 and 7, parans are latitude specific. Jim Lewis believed that places along the latitude, regardless of longitude, would all be sensitive to the energies of the planets that comprise that particular paran. This is because as the earth revolves over the course of the day, the paran will occur at some point at each place along that latitude line. Every place along that latitude is sensitized to the energies of the planets involved even though the crossing occurs in only one place.
John F. Kennedy’s astro-mapping is a fascinating example of the power of astro-locality technqiues. Let’s look at one of the very first places in the world that brought Kennedy to fame – the location in the South Pacific where the patrol torpedo boat he commanded, the PT-109, sank during World War II. A few of the crew members perished and Kennedy, who sustained a chronic back injury, managed to save the life of one of his crew members, towing the man several miles to shore by holding the strap of the fellow’s life jacket in his teeth.
location of this event, quite close to
he was only President for 1,000 days, there are certain places in the world
that are forever identified with Kennedy.
Sun and Venus set lines are about 260 miles west and east of
the planet of war, is at its low point in
Kennedy’s quest for the Presidency began with his winning
the Democratic nomination in
All illustrations are from Solar Maps, version 3, available from Astrolabe through 4/30/07.
For more details or to purchase Solar Maps, click here.