How to Find Your Power Places Using AstroCartography
An interview I did about Astro-Cartography for Marie Claire
I’m sure you know the basics of your astrology sign. If you're a Leo, then you love attention; if you’re a Pieces, you’re a daydreamer; if you’re a Capricorn, you’re all about chasing the bag, etc. Astrology offers insight into our personalities, goals, challenges, but it can also tell you where you're most likely to achieve those goals or in what place you'll feel the most challenged. If you’ve ever traveled somewhere and it immediately felt like home, or if you’ve been somewhere and the vibes felt way off, then astrology, or more specifically, astrocartography, can tell you why.
To put it simply, astrocartography combines the study of stars with the study of maps. It uses your natal chart—a map of the cosmic sky at the exact moment you were born—to find the places that resonate with you. Astrologer Clarisse Monahan, who’s been practicing astrology for many years, breaks down astrocartography in a way that we millennials and Gen-Zers can understand: “I like to think of it as like a cosmic Tinder,” she tells Marie Claire. “It’s matching you up with places that you're compatible with and then showing you where you're maybe not so compatible with, as well.”
I was lucky enough to get my own astrocartography reading from Monahan and, boy, did I learn a lot. From where I’ll feel the most empowered, the cities most compatible with my career goals, and even the places where I might fall in love, Monahan knew it all. If you're seeking a more thorough understanding of your natal chart, a professional astrologer such as Monahan can provide that. However, with some basic guidance on astrocartography, which she outlines below, you, too, can use geography to your advantage. Whether you're looking to level up your relationships or career, the stars can point you to your power places.
Building Your Natal Chart
The first thing you want to do to understand your astrocartography is to build your natal chart. Monahan explains that, while everyone has each planet in their charts, they are all going to be in different places. “The idea behind it is that at the time of your birth, your planets were strongest in certain locations across the world,” she says. “So when you go to those places or when you tap into that energy from those places, you can activate that powerful energy in your natal chart.”
While Monahan uses professional astrology software to build her maps, sites like Astro.com and Astro Seek offer free maps to get you started. Pull out your birth certificate and enter your birthday and the exact time and place you were born. Even a few minutes' difference could change your natal chart. Once you enter all of your information, you’ll get back a map full of different colored lines crossing the globe. I've included an image of my U.S. chart below, as an example. Your astrocartography chart may look confusing, but this is when the real fun begins.
Reading Your Chart
Now that you have your chart in hand, it’s time to get reading. Each line on your chart is labeled with a different planet, with each having a different astrological energy. Keep in mind that astrocartography is complex and how you react and feel around each line is completely dependent on your natal chart. For a general overview, see a breakdown of the effect each planetary line might have on you, below.
Sun (☉): A Sun line is where you will feel the most seen and the most prominent. It’s an especially leading line for career matters, Monahan says, because they are places that push us to be more front and center. “On Sun lines, we just tend to be able to be who we’re meant to be, to not have to put on any airs and graces because it’s truly our essence on a Sun line.”
Moon (☽): While the Sun is all about outward energy, the Moon is a bit more subtle, Monahan says. The Moon helps us tap into our inner emotions and habits and can help up to put down roots. On a Moon line, you may meet people who become like family to you because Moon lines are where you may find an emotional connection. And because it’s not as active as a Sun line, it can be a really nice place to go for a relaxing holiday.
Venus (♀): Venus lines are generally positive and associated with good things occurring. They are also places where things come easily to you, where you may feel at ease, and where you attract positive things such as love. In fact, love relationships are most intense on Venus lines, making them the perfect place to get married or have a honeymoon.
Mercury (☿): “Mercury is all about communication,” Monahan states. Say you’re writing a book or launching a PR campaign, then heading to a Mercury line for you could be beneficial. Monahan adds that Mercury’s energy is great for business because it’s associated with hustle.
Pluto (♇): In essence, Monahan says, Pluto is about powerful change. A Pluto line could be a great place to think about the kind of power you have and the legacy you want to leave. Pluto is also associated with your shadow side, Monahan adds, so it can be an ideal spot to go for a detox or to seek therapy.
Jupiter (♃): Everything about Jupiter’s energy is big and excessive—it is the biggest planet in our solar system, after all. Jupiter lines are amazingly positive, so it’s a great place to go if you want to feel optimistic and like anything’s possible. Monahan says that Jupiter is generally associated with wealth accumulation, but it does have its downside. She warns: “Sometimes we can be more prone to weight gain on a Jupiter line because it’s that energy of everything expands. We tend to want to merrymake more—so drink and eat.”
Uranus (♅): “On Uranus lines, it’s where we embrace the weird and that could be different things for different people,” says Monahan. She advises embracing what doesn’t come naturally to you on a Uranus line. Maybe that means going out with someone outside your type, or maybe it means throwing your itinerary out the window. On a Uranus line, it’s best to act spontaneously.
Mars (♂): If you’re a fan of mythology, then you may know that Mars is the god of war, as is the planet. Think of Mars’ energy as assertive and aggressive. Monahan assures that this energy isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For example, if you’re somebody who struggles with being assertive, you may want to go to a Mars line to feel more empowered. It’s also going to be a place with high energy, somewhere you are going to want to be active. However, you may also meet more people on a Mars line who are combative and aggressive.
Saturn (♄): A Saturn line is going to be associated with discipline, hard work, growing up, responsibility, and duty. “When we're on a Saturn line, things feel hard because we got to put in the work,” explains Monahan. “But the thing about Saturn, if you actually make an effort to put in the time and effort, you can get great results, but it's never gonna be a party zone.” It could be a great place for you if you really want to focus on your work, but keep in mind things won’t come to you easily.
Neptune (♆): If you’re wanting to escape reality for a bit, a Neptune line could be the best place to go for you. Here, you’re more in touch with your spiritual, nonmaterial side, meaning you can zen out and relax. These are also places where you feel more sympathetic and open to greater connections, making them the ideal places for philanthropic endeavors.
Working Your Chart
Before you go rushing off to book a plane ticket to your nearest Venus line, Monahan notes that you don't have to be physically near a line to reap its benefits. She says working with or meeting people from a line and learning about a place's culture, language, and philosophies can be helpful. But, of course, traveling to a line will be especially beneficial. Monahan says to think of a line as a volume button. If you're within 50 miles of a line, the volume is going to be very loud and you'll feel that line's energy more potently. The further you move away from a line, the dimmer the volume or energy will be. If you're within around 250 miles from either side of a line, you're likely able to tap into its energy, Monahan adds.
Finally, Monahan stresses that there are no "bad" lines. She explains, "You just need to know what you're working with and then how can you work with that energy rather than work against it?" For example, say you feel a roadblock in your career and you see on your chart that you work near a Saturn line. You don't need to uproot your life somewhere else. Instead, you can tap into Saturn's energy by practicing patience and diligence, and understanding that things work slowly near a Saturn line. There's a good chance you're already near a power place, and once you understand astrocartography, you can use it to your advantage.