In Vedic astrology, where you are has a huge effect on who you are. Calculate your Vedic astrology chart here, and then read on for wisdom from Vedic astrologer Barry Rosen.
Many of us think that our natal charts and where we are born are very static (like a line on stone) and that we carry those influences and that chart throughout life. There are some such karmic influences and life lessons that we do take with us always, but charts and influences are very dynamic and change and rotate around where we move to and what cycles we are going through. We often want to move because our chart may not work in our birth place and moving will shift our chart and our life. If we have a good natal chart, then we may end up staying near home because the chart works.
Astro-Locality: My Story
In 1997, I moved from the Midwest where I was born in Chicago to Sedona, Arizona. The move was about 1800 miles and my life was very different in the new city. Despite a steady dasha (planetary cycle) period that did not change, my life changed dramatically. I developed health problems continually over a 10-year period requiring weekly and bi-weekly doctor visits; I became more of a workaholic. My relationship became more challenging. On the positive side, my spiritual teaching energy went into warp speed and I was continually teaching yoga, meditation, and breath work classes all over the state. While I had no interest in gardening or plants in the Midwest, I suddenly was buying plants, actively gardening, and eventually built a 2-story atrium in my last house. I was more inward and depressed in Sedona and more reclusive. I also developed a more active interest in art and art collecting and home remodeling and redesign. These were all new developments for me and not connected to changes in my dasha period or other major transits.
While I was lecturing at an astrology conference in London in 2011, Andrew Foss pointed out to me that my move probably had shifted my rising sign from Scorpio to Libra and when we ran the astro-locality program on his Vedic software, Sri Jyoti Star, indeed I had gone from Scorpio 7 degrees to Libra 20 degrees and the move put exalted Saturn in the 1st house about 7 degrees from my ascendant. Suddenly, the lights flashed in my life and I understood what had happened.
Saturn moved in the 1st house from the 12th, and even though an exalted yoga karaka planet for Libra, it was creating health problems in the 1st, severe workaholism (aspecting the 10tH) , and relationship problems. The exchange of houses (parivartana yoga) between Venus in Capricorn and Saturn in Libra (moved from the 3/12 th to the 1st and 4th house) and was beneficial for success in real estate and home remodeling and artistic development and interior decorating, which became a new hobby for me for 15 years.
Jupiter moved from my 8th house into my 9th house where my connection to my Guru flourished and I was actively involved all the time in spiritual teaching. Because of the health issues, I moved back to the Midwest and became healthier, my relationship returned to normal, and I became less of a workaholic. My spiritual teaching with Jupiter in the 9th moved back to Jupiter in the 8th where I became more obsessed with astrological teaching and readings. So you can shift your life by moving but some things will work better and others may not.
While I deeply respect Western astrology the problem with Western astro-locality is difference between the tropical zodiac and the sidereal zodiac based on fixed stars and this is 23 degrees and throws off the astro-mapping lines that one may get from getting a Western astrological map. The most common method used today is called Astro*Carto*Graphy, which draws lines on a map (e.g. of the World or a country) for the birth date and time, that indicate where different planetary influences are active. The other problem is that just 10–15 minutes off in the birth time can move lines miles away.
The other major problem with Western astro-locality is that they do not re-run the new chart for a new place but keep the original time of birth the same. Without looking at the chart with a new possible rising sign, the interpretation of the lines on the map is also off. In the United States you could easily end up with three rising signs for different parts of the country and people who relocate half-way around the world from India may seriously alter their rising sign.
If you are an astrologer and know how to run a chart, you create a birth chart for a person using the longitude and latitude of the new location. You must use the original time zone and time changes in order to get an accurate relocated chart. So if your software changes the time zone when you enter a new location—which they usually do —you need to manually re-enter the original time zone (and also daylight correction, if needed).
Many people do not move that far away from where they were born and that may be the case for you or your clients but even small shifts can change the rising Nakshatra of the ascendant and create a different influence. Sri Jyoti Star and Andrew Foss notes that the Varga charts can shift from one city to the next and this may also create subtle new dimensions for career and relationships even within a regional city or area. Moving shorter distances may change your rising nakshatra and create an impact. I had a client how is Scorpio/Vishakha at birth but when she moved she become Scorpio/Anuradha and noted that she suddenly had more friends and people liked her more which is a quality of that nakshatra.
There are other influences to look for in Astro-locality such as Ayurvedic influences and directional influences of a region. For example the NE is ruled by Jupiter, the Southwest by Rahu. They are enemies. If you have Jupiter in the 1st house or dominant in your chart or if you are Pisces or Sagittarius, you may do better in the NE of our country because those energies are dominating. If you move to the Southwest, ruled by Rahu, you may feel really out of place. Having lived in the Southwest of the United States, a place of connected with outsiders, artists, rebels and outlaws you may have a problem if you need Jupiter’s sense of community and expansion and this was the case with my wife.
Ayurvedic tendencies would have to be taken into account. If the person is a fire sign or has a fire imbalance (pitta) in the natal chart, you would not send them to the South where the heat might be too dominant for their health and naturally they will not want to go there anywhere.
There are other factors in astro-locality like latitudinal lines which the software program Solar Fire can generate. For example, I have a Jupiter line going across I-80 in the United States and I have always loved San Francisco and do well near I-80. (Lines on a map by the way have a 50 mile impact in a positive or negative way and that technique will be covered in my course.) I also thinking that living close to your Atmakaraka direction can be beneficial as I was always attracted to the West and Saturn is my Atmakaraka and I flourish in the West.
So you can see there are many factors impacting Astro-locality and because Vedic astrology is more microscopic, it can reveal more subtle dimensions even if you do not move to a foreign country or far away from where you are born. I think that a lot of astrological readings miss the mark because they fail to take into account the new location where someone is living and read the chart from there and my readings always do so if a person has moved far enough away from their birth place. Special thanks to my Jyotish Gurus and especially to Hank Friedman and Andrew Foss for their research and contributions on this subject.
At one time, Hatha Yoga, Vedic Astrology, and Ayurveda were all connected. Unite them again in a powerful experiential weekend to move astrology and healing into the body for deep emotional and psychological and spiritual rejuvenation. Join Barry Rosen at the Art of Living Retreat Center for Vedic Astrology: Spirituality and Yoga, October 11–14, 2019.