Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of March 2nd - March 8th,  2001

Have Stars, Will Travel

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   Astro*Carto*Graphy is a branch of astrology which uses geographic location as a variable. Although your natal chart will always be your natal chart, the notion behind Astro*Carto*Graphy is that if you were to move to the other side of the globe, your chart would 'flip' over. All of the planetary aspects remain the same. If you have Venus sextiling your Moon and Jupiter squaring your Mercury natally, you would still have each of these, but the house positions would change as the angles of your chart, the MC and Ascendant, change. The Midheaven and Ascendant measure what is at the point of highest culmination on the ecliptic, while the Ascendant maps the local horizon. If you move across country, or around the world, your local horizon changes. As various planets cross these angles, their energy is emphasized.

Mapping the Earth

Mapping the Earth

   While driving around the country, I have been carefully noting these subtle shifts and their influence. It's late at night, and I'm tired, but as I pull into this truck stop for gas, I must drive down this pockmarked dirt road where the dust settles on everything. Semi's are lined up, some of them with their parking lights on, like great slumbering beasts. There is debris strewn everywhere, together with a pile of old, road worn tires thirty yards long and about five feet high right next to the gas pumps. As I sleepily pull up to the first set of pumps, I see that these are high test, and start to pull out, just catching my rear tire on the raised concrete bed. The car shutters in protest as it argues with the concrete. Trying it again and getting out to insert the nozzle, I reset the pump, but nothing happens. In the South I have yet to come across a 'pay first' station, but they're not uncommon in the North, so I walk in to pay. The collection of characters in the restaurant are like figures out of one of Crumb's Zap Comics. One fellows face is so badly scarred that he looks positively reptilian, but he seems to be absorbed in his Gameboy and doesn't notice me. The cashier apologizes for not resetting the pump, saying she hadn't seen me behind the rental truck which was blocking the view. Having paid for the gas, I set the pump with the little clasp which allows you to let go, and it does the job, but then spills gas all over the side of the car and onto the ground. After cleaning off the car I return for my change and to wash my hands, entering a bathroom with graffiti which includes swastikas and advertizing for the Aryan Brotherhood, together with solicitations for people of color to perform unnatural acts.

   Although I'm tired and it's now after midnight, I return to the cashier and ask her what town we're in and she replies 'Stanton'. Coming back out to the car, I enter my birth date data into the computer, substituting the longitude and latitude for Stanton instead of the coordinates for my birth city. Sure enough, as expected, the local Scorpio Ascendant was squaring Pluto within a half a degree. I had thought to fill up and catch a few winks in the car, but decide that this is not a good place to be and so decide to move on, suddenly not as tired. Fortunately, there are no transits triggering these degrees, but a viper pit is not always a good place to nap, even if the occupants are out taking a break.

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