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A case study — Joanna

I do relocation consultations with people. Occasionally, I do one where the conclusions are so clear that the location the client should go to is obvious. So it was with Joanna, a woman in midlife who worked in the television and film industry in Los Angeles but had worked on location in Pittsburgh (a fairly good place for the film industry, actually) for roughly two years. She never felt that Los Angeles was really “home” and wanted to explore what locations were good for her. She was originally from Detroit, MI.

I did the consultation, and this Astro Map below did not tell me a whole lot.

Time Passages’ version of the Astro Map. There’s not a lot to see here, since the locations Joanna’s lived in were Detroit, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.

Her chart was as follows:

Joanna’s birth chart

She was easy to relate to as she and I shared an Aquarius Mars, a Jupiter Libra; we’d also lived exclusively with either a Libra Ascendant or a Scorpio ascendant, and her Saturn was in Libra as my Saturn is currently in the equivalent 7th house. It’s uncommon to have so many things in common and that makes the reading easier than most.

There are several areas that we can use to determine suitability of a location. These include:

  • Midpoint analysis, per Parker’s Astrology
  • Planetary aspects to the relocated Ascendant or Midheaven, per Round Art AND per Mapping Your Travels and Relocation
  • Houses the planets are in, per Round Art AND per Mapping Your Travels
  • Astro Maps, including Treasure Maps (a Sirius mapping tool) and Astro Maps in Time Passages

Other astrologers use different criteria than I do.

Again, the Time Passages Astro Map doesn’t have any lines near any of her locations. Detroit was at least a couple of degrees east of her Mercury IC line (thus, in the 3rd house) and Los Angeles is at least a couple of degrees east of her Pluto Ascending line. Wait, actually now I’m noticing a contradiction. Here’s her Astro Map in Sirius.

Joanna’s Pluto line is actually to the east of Los Angeles in Sirius!

Now, why would that be? Why is her Pluto line so much farther east of her Pluto line in Time Passages?

Pluto is an interesting planet. Its orbit, besides being far more elliptical than the orbits of any of the other planets, is in fact tilted relative to the rest of the planets as well, which generally revolve around the Sun in a fairly flat plane. Pluto’s orbit is tilted about 15 degrees — ‘declination’ and ‘latitude’ are terms astrologers use to describe this. Here’s a graphic:

Pluto’s orbit, not only highly elliptical but also tilted.

Research done by David Cochrane and others has shown, counterintuitively, that planetary positions are more accurate when they are projected onto the ecliptic plane, which is the path of the Sun (and which is always a flat plane). With Pluto as much as 15 degrees from that plane, the projection is often far away from where Pluto actually is.

Zodiac longitude is the method used in this Sirius image, which shows Pluto to the east of Los Angeles. Time Passages is using the In Mundo method, which has to do with where the planet actually is.

Using Zodiac longitude indicates that, among other things, Pluto is in Joanna’s 1st house in Los Angeles — her only planet that is two houses away from her easternmost location, Pittsburgh. (All the other planets are one house away).

Joanna’s chart relocated to Los Angeles, with Pluto in her first house, conjunct the Ascendant to within 2 degrees.

There are many things one could say about having Pluto conjunct the Ascendant and in the first house. Interpretations abound and generally agree that it’s a powerful placement that can be overwhelming. Based on my getting to know Joanna, however, I decided that it wasn’t the most important thing.

The most important thing was the midpoints. Not entirely, but that’s where I got the most relevant information to her situation.

And it was just a matter of asking her about her life and what she wanted and then applying the interpretations, asking her whether they were relevant, true, or important and then giving her an idea of what she could expect in her new location.

I did conclude that Pittsburgh was going to be a good location adding a number of strengths to her chart that she could sense already as she spent two years there. There were also those things that could potentially become problems, that she would need to understand so that she could counter them if they came up. (Along with all such things that she’d be happy to leave behind).

I’ll just lay it all out here, since looking at it verbatim would allow you to relate to whether a location is ‘worth it’ or not. Midpoints that are in bold are either direct midpoints (0 or 180 degrees away from the midpoint) or are less than 1/2 degrees from the midpoint, or both. (Indirect midpoints are 45, 90, or 135 degrees from the midpoint, i.e. semisquare, square, or sesquiquadrate. There are astrologers who discount indirect midpoints, but I have seen them work well enough that they carry at least some weight.)

Los Angeles location, Midpoints

  • Sun = Mars/Ascendant (45, 0.9) – A brave individual will will not take no for answer!  Tendency to risk-taking.
  • Sun = Mars/Midheaven (90, 0.3) – A strong will and determination to get ahead in the world.
  • Sun = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 0.7) – Easily angered.  Will fall into arguments and disputes.  Quick mind.
  • Sun = Mercury/Midheaven (90, 1.9) – The ability to cope with a changing career scene and to like things that way.
  • Moon = Mars/Midheaven (180, 1.0) – Impulsiveness leads to periods of stress and overwork.
  • Moon = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 0.6) – Decisions made, and opinions formed, will be influenced by intuition and instinct.
  • Moon = Mercury/Midheaven (180, 0.6) – The ability to work well with others, but sometimes moodiness when things go wrong.  The caring professions might be suitable.
  • Moon = Uranus/Ascendant (0, 1.4) – Above-average reliance on the mother or having to take responsibility for her.
  • Mercury = Neptune/Midheaven (135, 1.1) – A teller of tales.  Imaginative salesmanship.
  • Mars = Neptune/Ascendant (90, 0.8) – The need for a colorful, escapist lifestyle.  Poor energy and laziness.
  • Jupiter = Neptune/Midheaven (0, 1.0) – The individual will be something of a prophet.  Teaching.  The ability to inspire students.
  • Saturn = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.5) – The tendency to “give in” when under stress, due to lack of self- confidence.
  • Saturn = Neptune/Midheaven (0, 0.3) – Lack of confidence and feelings of insecurity in the working life.
  • Uranus = Saturn/Ascendant (45, 1.5) – The inability to recognize when one is wrong.  Blind persistence of effort.
  • Uranus = Jupiter/Ascendant (45, 1.9) – Originality combines with enthusiasm. A brilliant intellect.
  • Neptune = Mars/Ascendant (0, 1.6) – A poor energy level.  The tendency not to care about practicalities, and to fall into negative escapism.
  • Neptune = Mercury/Ascendant (0, 0.0) – Overly high hopes can result in above-average disappointment.  Lack of perspective on life.
  • Neptune = Mercury/Midheaven (135, 1.2) – A varied and fascinating career, which may never end.  When one ambition is achieved, it’s time to move on to the next.
  • Pluto = Venus/Midheaven (0, 1.3) – The subject would do well working in banking or the money markets.  A fanatical partner or colleague. 
  • Pluto = Ascendant/Midheaven (45, 0.7) – The need to be totally psychologically involved in the career, or inner discontent and restless will mar progress and personal life.
  • North Node = Mercury/Ascendant (135, 1.9) – Friendship and good rapport with like-minded beings is essential.
  • North Node = Mercury/Midheaven (90, 0.8) – An easy mixer, great conversationalist.  Will ask many questions.
  • North Node = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 0.1) – A friendly, if somewhat eccentric quality is expressed when in company with other people.
  • North Node = Mercury/Midheaven (45, 1.2) – The ability to goad people into action with dynamic appeal.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Pluto (45, 0.4) – A wealth of emotion will need expression through love and sex, and color the qualities of the Ascending sign.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Midheaven (0, 0.6) – The individual would do well to form a working relationship with the loved one.  Joint objectives and ambitions will be achieved.
  • Ascendant = Mars/Neptune (90, 0.7) – A liking for all colorful elements of life; an attraction to drug culture.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Saturn (45, 1.5) – Shyness, lack of confidence.  Problems with the father or older relatives.  Slow, sound development.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Jupiter (45, 1.9) – A happy and philosophical attitude to life.  Success without ruthlessness.
  • Midheaven = Venus/Pluto (135, 2.0) – A love of materialistic progress and ambition will often inhibit the expression of love for a partner.
  • Midheaven = Mars/Neptune (180, 1.6) – A liking for an identification with the exotic in lifestyle and fashion.
  • Midheaven = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 1.4) – The individual will act ruthlessly to achieve objectives.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Saturn (135, 0.8) – A solitary person.  No time for idle gossip.  Will carry the heavy burden of responsibility.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Jupiter (135, 0.5) – A happy and fulfilled individual.  Success in the career.  Perhaps acting/dramatic ability.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Saturn (90, 0.2) – Sense of duty and slavish adherence to routine can become obsessional.  Over-concern with achievement, ambitions.
  • Midheaven = Mercury/Neptune (180, 0.0) – A career where sympathy and understanding of other people is paramount.  A good listener.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Jupiter (90, 0.2) – A considerate and kind person who is a good help-mate and colleague.  A sympathetic and understanding boss.
  • Midheaven = Saturn/North Node (45, 0.5) – The need to take action, unassisted by friends or friendly – simply having to go it alone.
  • Midheaven = Jupiter/North Node (45, 0.9) – Popularity at work.  A good boss who has a great sense of humor under all situations.
  • Midheaven = Uranus/Neptune (135, 2.0) – Wild, impractical ambitions and aspirations.  A typical “wannabe” – who usually won’t become anything much!

Pittsburgh location, Midpoints

  • Sun = Saturn/Midheaven (135, 1.9) – Success will come only when the individual is a hard and persistent worker who will overcome all setbacks.
  • Sun = Jupiter/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A happy, carefree person – often talent for acting.
  • Sun = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 0.5) – This influence will add compulsiveness and dogged persistence to the characteristics of the Ascending sign.
  • Moon = Pluto/Ascendant (0, 1.8) – The influence will heighten the emotional level, so the indvidiual will be prone to outbursts.  Will need conscious controlling.
  • Mercury = Uranus/Ascendant (90, 0.1) – A brilliant, inventive but inflexible mind.  Originality.  Critical acumen.
  • Mercury = Ascendant/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A lively individual with a good mind that works in harmony with the personality and objectives.
  • Venus = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.3) – A hopeless romantic.  Difficulty in keeping both feet on the ground.  No financial acumen.  Creative ability.
  • Mars = Sun/Midheaven (90, 1.7) – A hard-working and very energetic individual, with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.
  • Mars = Moon/Midheaven (135, 1.1) – A hard-working person, tending to be pushy.  Brave, assertive action taken at a moment’s notice.
  • Mars = North Node/Midheaven (180, 0.4) — A bit of a “troublemaker.”  One who will not rest content and get on with the job at hand.
  • Mars = Mercury/Ascendant (45, 1.0) – Will talk assertively, be determined and ambitious.  High level of nervous and physical energy, rather restless.
  • Jupiter = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 2.0) – Not the person to let grass grow under their feet!  Bold, but sincere.  A lively, optimistic mind.
  • Jupiter = Uranus/Ascendant (45, 0.0) – The natural ability to express enthusiasm for others’ efforts or kindnesses.  A lively, somewhat unpredictable but lovable person.
  • Jupiter = Ascendant/Midheaven (0, 1.8) – A big, generous, fun-loving personality with a philosophical attitude to all aspects of live – especially career and finances.
  • Saturn = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 1.3) – An over-serious attitude and outlook on life.  Caution and common sense, perhaps stabilizing the Ascending sign characteristics.
  • Saturn = Uranus/Ascendant (45, 0.7) – Personal development will be hindered by feelings of oppression.
  • Uranus = Mars/Midheaven (0, 1.8) – A worker for workers’ rights.  A union member.
  • Uranus = Mercury/Midheaven (0, 0.3) – The need for change of direction to avoid boredom.  Ambitions may not be achieved due to stress.
  • Neptune = Pluto/Ascendant (45, 1.2) – Attractions to unusual interests and occult disciplines.  Possibly hypnotic powers.
  • Pluto = Neptune/Ascendant (45, 1.7) – The influence will tend to cramp the more go-ahead qualities of the Ascending sign.
  • North Node = Venus/Midheaven (90, 1.2) – A friendly and caring colleague who will enjoy mixing business and pleasure.  Good for the human resources department.
  • Ascendant = Moon/Uranus (0, 1.7) – Nervous tension and highly strung tendencies.  Unpredictable changes of mood and action.  Subject could be own worst enemy.
  • Ascendant = Uranus/North Node (45, 1.0) – This person will have a great many friends and acquaintances who will never really know him or her.
  • Ascendant = Sun/Midheaven (0, 0.6) – The personality and objectives/aspirations are as one – no conflict here.
  • Ascendant = Moon/Midheaven (45, 0.1) – A positive response to outside influences and prevailing conditions.
  • Ascendant = Midheaven/Node (90, 0.7) – The individual is very easy-going and easy to get along with – a friendly soul.
  • Ascendant = Venus/Neptune (45, 1.4) – The creative qualities of Venus and Neptune will enhance or soften the Ascending sign traits.
  • Midheaven = Sun/Neptune (135, 1.9) – Changes of direction in career, which must be carefully considered, otherwise the subject will simply drift.
  • Midheaven = Moon/Neptune (135, 1.9) – A strong natural instinct for dance, ice skating and movement generally.  Imagination.  Successful artistic expression.
  • Midheaven = Saturn/Pluto (45, 1.0) – Powerful endurance and tenacity to make a success, but a difficult workmate.
  • Midheaven = Jupiter/Pluto (45, 0.7) – Ambition and strong aspirations.  The need to make progress and to be noticed by superiors.
  • Midheaven = Neptune/North Node (45, 0.6) – The need to develop more self-sufficiency.

I will also say that there were a few indirect midpoints that did not seem to be all that strong, but which I found very relevant. In Pittsburgh, these included:

  • Sun = Pluto/Ascendant (90, 0.5) – This influence will add compulsiveness and dogged persistence to the characteristics of the Ascending sign.
  • Mercury = Ascendant/Midheaven (135, 1.6) – A lively individual with a good mind that works in harmony with the personality and objectives.
  • Mars = Sun/Midheaven (90, 1.7) – A hard-working and very energetic individual, with plenty of drive and enthusiasm.
  • Jupiter = Mercury/Ascendant (90, 2.0) – Not the person to let grass grow under their feet!  Bold, but sincere.  A lively, optimistic mind.
  • Ascendant = Uranus/North Node (45, 1.0) – This person will have a great many friends and acquaintances who will never really know him or her.

That last one was one I knew well when I lived in Pittsburgh, coincidentally. I was able to counsel Joanna on this one in particular because I had lived it for many years.

This is a lot to read, and I’ve left out both the Treasure Maps and the planets in houses and aspecting the Ascendant and Midheaven (as noted on my criteria). There’s a lot there, too. If this post interested you, I’ll discuss these in the next blog post, which comes out Tuesday the 9th.

By David Muir

David Muir recieved his PAC as a 2020 graduate of the Avalon School in Vibrational Astrology. He has been a practicing astrologer having studied astrology since 1997. He specializes in relocation astrology, particularly in terms of how both one's character and external influences change in a new location. He has interests in compatibility, and just generally “getting the necessary information out there for you,” which can entail personology as well as different interpretations in general. David writes a 2x/weekly blog in both relocation astrology and other astrological topics of interest, on relocationastrology.guide.

David received a BA from Carlow University in 2011 with concentrations in philosophy, writing, and political science. He does a 2x/month radio show and has lived in Denver, CO since 2016.

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