What is Astro*Carto*Graphy?

Astro*Carto*Graphy is a technique of projecting planetary positions in the form of lines onto a map of the Earth. From this information astrologers interpret the type of experience an individual may encounter in particular locations.

The Technique

The technique of Astro*Carto*Graphy entails calculating the locations on the Earth where each of the twelve planetary bodies (including the Sun, Moon, Pluto, Chiron and the Node) appear to be at one of the four angles: Ascendant, Midheaven (MC), Setting (Descendant) or at the IC. For example, it is possible to draw a line where the Sun was on the ascendant around the Earth. This line marks out where sunrise occurs and as the Earth rotates in its orbit, the line moves around the globe throughout the day. On a flat map like a Mercator Projection the rising and setting lines tend to form a bell-shaped curve. However the lines where a planet is directly overhead (MC line) or underneath (IC line) appear as straight lines from North to South.

The formula to calculate the line positions involves celestial mechanics (for plantary positions) and to project the lines onto the map, spherical trigonometry .

The A*C*G World Map

For any specific moment, such as a timed birth, a world map can be overprinted with a series of 49 lines representing astronomical features. These comprise of four angles for each of twelve planetary bodies plus a line showing the apparent path of the ecliptic within the tropics.

How it works

Each 'power' line marks out a zone of about 300 miles (500 kms) (see Orbs) on either side where a particular type of energy is very strong. The theory goes that when you are within a zone, a different side to your nature comes out resulting in different experiences and perception. You don't change fundamentally, but you face challenges and tap into talents that may have been latent in other locations.

Though the effect is considered most noticeable when you reside near a line, Jim Lewis posed that remote activation of lines was possible. This impacts your experience and view of people, products, culture, politics, news, food etc that originates from a particular zone. For example, President Jimmy Carter never visited Tehran, Iran. However, his Mars and Jupiter lines crossed over the city and during his Presidency he was involved in a prolonged hostage crisis (1979-1981) with Iran and the Ayatollah. Mars ♂ can signify war and Jupiter ♃ religion, so involvement in a religious war was fitting symbolism for this location. A similar pattern applies to George W. Bush (see excerpt from his A*C*G Map).
[A*C*G explained]
How the A*C*G lines show up on the Earth. The Sun Midheaven line (☉MC) shows where the Sun was directly overhead i.e. Midday (or 1pm Daylight Savings Time). The Sun Descending line (☉DC) shows there the Sun was setting around the world.

Section from George W. Bush's A*C*G map showing how his Mars ♂ MC line runs through the centre of Afghanistan. This was the nation where on 20 September 2001, Bush launched his 'War on Terror'.

Time of Birth is essential

As A*C*G lines move (eastwards) at around 500 to 1,000 miles per hour (depending on the latitude), a time of birth to within 15 minutes is required to derive meaning from the A*C*G map.

Astro*Carto*Graphy Origins

Locational astrology is an ancient idea. It is possible that the Magii used a similar technique in their quest for the birth of the new Messiah. Early Islamic astrologers placed much emphasis on parans the moment when two planets were both at an angle at the same time. (see skyscript) These show up as a crossing of two lines on an A*C*G map. It is quite possible that this technique goes back to the ancient stargazers of Babylon and Persia, east of Judea, which according to the Bible is where Jesus was born.

In the 20th century, astrologers like Brigadier Firebrace experimented with hand-drawn locational astrology maps. (see Campion 1984) Meanwhile, French Psychologist, Michel Gauquelin concluded from his extensive international research that angular planets are indeed significant and appear prominently in the charts of eminent professionals.

Development by Jim Lewis

By the late 20th century, computer technology opened up new possibilities. Jim Lewis developed this technique of locational astrology so that maps could be calculated using software and plotters. He claimed that he came up with the theory as his car kept breaking down in the same place between San Francisco and Reno, Nevada and discovered he was crossing a critical line.

Lewis went on to write his classic handbook describing each line and crossing - which is still the main resource for analysing A*C*G maps. It has been updated to include Chiron and the Node. In addition to the automated A*C*G maps, Lewis lectured, ran courses, tested and certified students, wrote articles on the subject and most significantly gave it a name, Astro*Carto*Graphy. A term which he protected with a trademark registration.

Selecting Locations

While great insight can be gained from studying an Astro*Carto*Graphy map or reading a computerised report, the selection of a place for relocation is best done by a qualified Astro*Carto*Graphy consultant. The reason is that a superficial reading will leave the impression that lines defined by planets like Venus and Jupiter are 'good' and Saturn and Mars 'bad'. Judgement of these lines depends on your natal chart. This reveals how you handle these energies and the stage in your life. Or to put it in Jungian psychological terms, the booklet tells you the type of archetypal experience in a location, but the astrologer will advise about living with that archetype on a permanent basis. In some cases, it's best to avoid living on lines.

A*C*G Interpretative Handbook

To understand the particular energy that goes with each line, an A*C*G Map Kit is accompanied with an interpretative handbook written by Jim Lewis.

References

Skycript (2012) Glossary of Terms. Paran - Paranatellonta are stars or star groups that fall upon angles at the same time that a significant constellation or planet is also upon the angles.
Campion, Harvey & Baigent (1984) Mundane Astrology. Aquarian Press. p.282 "Although Lewis invented his ACG charts himself he was in fact rediscovering a tool that has been used on and off by individual astrologers since at least 1960 when Brigadier Firebrace reproduced colour versions of these, laboriously plotted by hand in the Sidereal Journal Spica for mundane purposes."

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