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It’s your chart a la carte. Through her company Astrocarto, Alexandra Clark works with clients to analyze their astrological chart and identify their best cities for love, career and community. This practice, known as Astrocartography, can guide one’s path in ways both literal and metaphorical. Here, Alexandra plots the points of this niche form of astrology. Read on, then stake your claim and move on up. 

What is Astrocartography and where does it originate from?

Astrocartography is a branch of locational astrology that places your natal chart on a world map! From this projection, we can see exactly where the planets were at the moment of birth, and therefore which cities favor love, travel, community and greater life purpose. This science was developed by astrologer Jim Lewis in the 1970s. He noticed that there was a geographical connection between someone’s actions and the data in their birth chart. He began studying political figures of the time, tracking their involvement in international relations and using their astro maps to predict which countries they would interact with and the outcome. The accuracy of his predictions, prompted him to develop his method which combines mapping coordinates, planet location and psychology.  The map is made up of colorful planet "lines" which track where the planet was at the moment of your birth.

While Lewis' methods were developed with computers, Locational Astrology is not new. It can be dated back to Mesopotamia and the Egyptian pyramids! One possible theory is that planet mapping was used for building and weather tracking during ancient times. Many cultures recognize that land and the cosmos have an interrelated dependency on one another.

How did you find this practice?

In 2016 I started a master’s program for Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in Santa Monica. One day in class my professor casually mentioned locational astrology. He called it “feng shui for travel” and suggested if anyone wanted to attend a seminar to stay after class. The class ended, everyone bolted and I stayed to ask a billion questions. Looking at travel in this way blew my mind! Two months later, my professor jokingly pointed out that I was much more engaged and focused on this subject than anything he was teaching. I took that as a clue, and spent several months reaching out to practitioners, studying the techniques of notable locational astrologers and reading anything I could find. Through experimentation I created a my own formula of mixing a tiny bit of human design in with locational astrology mapmaking. I found many similarities and overlaps to these two systems especially as they relate to the types of environments we do best in. Now I use a variety of different locational astrology methods with my clients and create custom assortment of maps and charts depending on what they are requesting.

What information is used to determine one’s chart?

Just like a natal chart reading, the only information necessary is an exact birth time and location.

Who should have an Astrocarto reading?

Anyone looking for deeper insight into where and who they are, right now. There is something very comforting about seeing all of your intuitive gut feelings and karmic lessons on a map. It makes astrology feel actionable. Maps are a familiar frame of reference to all of us! So getting this type of astrological reading can be easier to process. Many of my clients refer to the maps as their “treasure maps” showing them their path and truest potential.

What are people generally looking for when they ask for a reading?

Career and love are two of the hottest topics. Many of my clients are entrepreneurs or freelancers looking for business opportunities and  growth. I’m also constantly asked about love. People want to know when and where to find it, and even if they’re in a relationship they want to know places that will deepen the connection and commitment to their partner. Recently, I’ve begun working with a client to buy a house which has been fun and different! Sometimes people want to stay put in their city but are just looking for a more aligned neighborhood, so that has been a big focus as well!

What if you live somewhere that doesn’t match any lines on your map? What does this mean?

If you are living in an area that has no planetary energy, it means that space is neutral for you. All planets have a radius of influence of about 300 miles. So if you’re far away from anything, all this means is that your natal chart will remain neutral and balanced. The themes and insights you have received from a standard birth chart reading apply. Some people, depending on their chart, may prefer less energy or feel too overwhelmed living close to their planets. I cant stress enough that if the process of looking up your map makes you feel hopeless, bad or stuck, you need someone to help you read it! 

Any interesting feedback you’ve received from your clients?

My favorite moments are when I chose a city for a client to visit and they tell me they’re going on vacation there next week, or a few days after our call! There is a synchronicity to these readings that I can’t yet fully explain, but what is certain is that we already all intuitively know our own path. Many of my clients say they feel calm and focused after our sessions. Or that they feel inspired to make decisions they’ve been mulling over for years. My goal is to approach self discovery with playfulness and wanderlust. I see the maps as a tool or vehicle for that and connection. My clients usually want to journal, reach out to friends or connect with nature after a session.

So you have the initial reading and you say the someone’s map will never change. Is there a reason one might want to schedule a follow up?

Yes! Just like your natal chart, your map will never change. However, during the course of the year, there will be planet transits and changes that will impact what's going on in that particular city for you. If there is a new development, such as a relationship or a new job, clients will touch base with me for a follow up call. We will analyze any new information and how it affects your maps, and try to tweak and optimize your experience in the city, given those new developments. I like to tell my clients that while their map may not change, their goals and needs will. Reviewing their map every few months or before calling in something big can be helpful!

What has been your biggest learning in developing Astrocarto?

The biggest learning has been finding a way to explain what I do in simple, non-astrological language. I’m probably still working on it! But I want my sessions to feel approachable and easy to understand for everyone. I made the decision early on that I wanted my business to be about connection. I’m experimenting now with how to do that. Sometimes it’s worth it for me to go out of my way to have an in person session with someone, just so they can have that experience. I think there’s something special about one on one time, especially when explaining a concept or offering that is “far out.” I also hope that workshops can bring this knowledge to a wider group of people.

Any major takeaways you’ve discovered from offering these super personal readings?

So many fun takeaways! Just this week, I had all my clients mention they either found love, or got engaged on their Venus line. I've had a client win free tickets to travel somewhere near their Jupiter line (something that happens a lot) after our call.  Another client recently moved to one of her best cities after our call and is thriving in a much bigger, and cheaper apartment. I'd say the most fun takeaway has been meeting so many different people, and sharing a moment with them. There are two energy lines I love talking about Chiron and Moon Node. Both these places show us the struggles we must encounter as we follow our path. So usually these places are not easy but we grow so much in the process. Helping people realize when they are in this space and how to navigate it with this practice has been so rewarding and probably the best discovery!

Based on your own personal chart, are you living in the “best place for you”. Why or why not?

For the the past few years, yes!  I live directly on top of my Pluto line. When I first began studying this practice, I was worried! If you google search “astrocartography, pluto” you’ll pull up a bunch of scary and negative information. Astrologers discuss Pluto as being one of the most difficult places to live near because it asks us to examine ourselves on a level that is unchartered and sometimes exhausting. However, as I dug deeper into the meaning of Los Angeles for me it all made sense. Pluto rules subjects like death, transformation and seeking, which all have been themes in Los Angeles for me. I moved 6 years ago at a moment of intense grieving, looking for answers and seeking a fresh start. Los Angeles was never on my radar, however the opportunity to move here came at a time that was perfect for me to delve into some of these shadowy and self reflective topics. The city provided me with a community that was more open to self help, healing and alternative practices. Now, living on Pluto greatly influences what I do! I’m obsessed with helping others find the hidden meaning to their experiences and connect with their intuition and environment in a supportive way. I like telling this story, because I don’t want people to run their maps online and then freak out when it says they’re living in a bad place. I truly believe there are unique lessons for all of us in our locations, and depending on your birth chart / human design / map we can look further into what those specific lessons are and how to navigate them. 

Not everyone has the flexibility to book they're next flight or move to a new city after revealing (or maybe confirming) their not in their most ideal space. What do you recommend for those who feel “far from home”?

This is one of my favorite topics, because I don’t expect people to uproot their lives from one session! That’s too much. Many times we interact with these planetary lines through the people we meet and our relationships. I think this is what makes this practice so relevant now in our digital world. We have global access in a way that was never afforded before, just through connecting online. What is helpful to note about this practice, is it can be woven into your life in small but impactful ways. For example, if you have your Venus line in Italy, not only are you drawn to visit but you probably also appreciate the art, culture, language and customs in a way that is stronger than most people. If you can’t hop on a plane immediately, visit a museum, try a new pasta recipe at home, watch a film or download a language learning app. Interacting with these regions, communities and cultures lights up that region of your chart. The same can be said about your Uranus line. If this planet is half way across the world, you don’t need to wait to get there to start tapping into its themes. Start volunteering, pioneering for a cause and removing the clutter now and watch how things shift for you. 

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