The Astrology of Place

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 ancient. 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).

In calculating a chart, the astrologer uses the date, time and place of birth to find out exactly what part of the zodiac or signs was 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 New York City, it is culminating in Baghdad, setting in Perth and at its lowest point or anti-culmination in the Yukon Territory. 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 the computer, 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.

John F. Kennedy’s astro-mapping is a fascinating example of the power of this astrological method. 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. The location of this event, quite close to Gizo, Solomon Islands, is under the influence of three planetary lines: the Sun and Venus rising line, and the Moon at anti-culmination. The Sun represents the hero in us all and places where the Sun rises afford an opportunity to shine. Certainly, Kennedy acted bravely and the situation truly brought out the best in him. And, with Venus rising nearby as well, the incident ultimately buoyed Kennedy’s popularity with the electorate that would soon send him to the House, Senate and the Presidency. And, with Moon at anti-culmination, representing one’s nurturing and traditions, it is likely that Kennedy’s Catholic upbringing played a part in the extraordinary effort Kennedy made to save his shipmate. Oddly enough, Kennedy gained even more fame as a result of the incident. While he was recuperating from back surgery necessitated by the injuries he sustained on PT-109, he penned the 1957 Pulitzer Prize winning Profiles in Courage, a book about two Senators who risked their careers to do what they believed to be right.

Though he was only President for 1,000 days, there are certain places in the world that are forever identified with Kennedy. One is Berlin, where Kennedy showed solidarity with the citizens of that city that found themselves divided by the Berlin wall, when he uttered the famous words, “Ich bin ein Berliner.” And, while the Cold War sizzled, Kennedy’s Venus setting line in Berlin insured that he would be much loved by the people of West Berlin. Mars, the planet of war, is at its low point in Moscow, seat of Nikita Kruschev’s Russian government. With this placement, Kennedy saw Russia and communism as a threat to his heritage as an American. After all, Kruschev did vow to “bury” democracy. But, it would be in Cuba, where the battle between Kennedy and Kruschev would be fought during the Cuban missile crisis. Here, we find the Moon’s South Node, a point of karma culminating, suggesting that Kennedy’s Presidency would be inextricably connected to this place. In addition, Saturn, the planet of leadership and discipline, is also culminating nearby, indicating that he could achieve greatness in this locale. Certainly, Kennedy’s diplomatic and cool-headed handling of the crisis averted what could have easily become a third World War and, at the same time, he safeguarded the Western hemisphere from the constant threat of Soviet attack.

Kennedy’s quest for the Presidency began with his winning the Democratic nomination in Los Angeles, a location along his Sun culmination line. Here, the hero achieves his career aspirations and, in Kennedy’s case, he also realizes the goals that his father, also represented by the Sun, had set for him. But, perhaps there is no place more associated with John Kennedy than Dallas, the city where he was assassinated. Found close to the line where Pluto, the planet of power, transformation and death, culminates, Kennedy’s death not only ended his Presidency but it also began his legacy as the much-loved, martyred President.