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FROM HERE TO THERE: An Astrologerís Guide to Astro-Mapping. Edited by Martin Davis

Book Review

FROM HERE TO THERE: An Astrologerís Guide to Astro-Mapping
Edited by Martin Davis

The Wessex Astrologer, ISBN 9781902405278, 302 pages; paperback. RRP: £20

Reviewed by Tom Callanan

You have to say this for modern astrologers: they are innovative when it comes to finding new ways to use our art. Unraveling a human life or event with a handful of symbols sprinkled about a chart isn't enough. First we add more aspects, then points between the symbols are added; then an increasing number of bodies are found in space, each being named and added to the delineation presumably to add character, depth, and flavor to the delineation, and so on. But why stop there? We can add the entire globe to the chart and find out good places to find suitable employment, suitable partners, and avoid unsuitable stress. At least this is the belief of the enthusiastic students and supporters of astro*carto*graphy or as it is more familiarly known A*C*G.

Martin Davis contributes to and edits other contributors to this subject in a new book titled From Here to There: An Astrologer's Guide to Astromapping (Wessex Astrologer 2008). At its simplest, and it is not this simple, we can locate the places of our greatest success by locating the place on the globe where Jupiter was culminating at the time of our birth, even if Jupiter was in our natal 6th house. We negotiate our destiny by moving our person to this optimal location. Similarly we can avoid those nasty places where our life could be miserable - perhaps home. This concept is not new. It is at least as old as Jean Baptiste Morin (1583 - 1656) who suggested that solar and lunar returns are affected by the location of the native when the return occurs. The idea for astromapping may go back even further. Davis tells us that "earth zodiacs" can be traced back to Babylonian and Assyrian tablets.

The articles range from simple anecdotal evidence for the validity of the techniques, to more detailed efforts at using the methods for prediction. It isn't enough to know where to be to find true love. We also need to know when. My Venus line may run right through Las Vegas, but while I'm shooting craps waiting for the intended love of my life to appear, she may be back in Spokane washing her car, or worse yet, she might be at another hotel. So near yet so far. Vegas is a busy place. I need timing, too. I have to admit that I have problems with the idea that I might magically become desirable at my first throw of snake-eyes in Nevada, whereas in New Jersey I couldn't get a date in an old-folks home waving a fistful of fifties (and I cleaned that up). But in the end it might not matter because we are assured that, "No matter you go, there you are."

The subjects covered by the various authors range from reincarnation and A*C*G, jyotish and A*C*G, relocations and A*C*G, A*C*G and the USA chart, and in many places the seemingly obligatory George W. Bush bashing. In fact several articles in the book have portions devoted to this deathless art form that has acquired its very own name: Bush Derangement Syndrome or BDS. The symptoms are finding ways to blame the President of the United States for everything that the author believes has gone wrong from the 2000 election, to the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina (the American Pompeii), to the BDS sufferer's inability to find a decent cup of coffee. It's all George's fault and we have the astrology to prove it. A*C*G comes through for us in the same vein.

Is destiny this negotiable? If the US had a President that did not have a Saturn line running through New Orleans, would the hurricane not have occurred? Or are we to believe that the entire local, state, and federal bureaucracies would have performed better if the different President had his Jupiter line run through New Orleans? Or did the US elect the only President it could have to assure the destiny of New Orleans (talk about deterministic). These possibilities are not discussed. Nonetheless it is true that events on his Saturn line manifested negatively on Bush's reputation deservedly or otherwise.

Beyond the BDS we find that Bernadette Brady contributed an interesting article about Presidential inauguration dates and locations, and the effect of these on the US Presidency. Her work is not A*C*G, but it does fall within the confines of astromapping. She correctly and accurately pointed out the shift in the very concepts of the American Presidency and/or types of administrations that occurred when the inauguration location was shifted from New York to Philadelphia to Washington DC and the date was changed from March 4 to January 20. I've never seen this observation made elsewhere by anyone. It's a great point. Anyone familiar with Brady's work will not be surprised that she uses star parans for the bulk of her examples. Lots of good stuff in these pages.

I would have enjoyed a separate basic explanation of exactly how to read an A*C*G map rather than try to figure it out from the articles, but that's me. The back cover tells us this work is a companion volume to Astrolocality Astrology, where many of the necessary explanations are located. And to be fair, this work is not advertised as a primer, yet the subject is not on every astrologer's fingertips, and Astrolocality Astrology was published way back in 1999.

For example, Charles Lindbergh's chart is discussed in connection with his solo flight across the Atlantic in 1927. His natal chart, relocated natal chart (for Paris his ultimate destination), his A*C*G map and his Mars local space line are woven together to explain the astrology of his historic journey. It's really good. This sort of thing can grab the reader, but it leaves more questions than answers: what's a local space line and how do we find it? Also what triggers the timing of the event? The lines exist; they evidently manifested in the native's life, but why there and then? Does his Mars local space line cross other places, and if so did it also manifest in some other way as well - possibly in the other major event of his life: the kidnapping-death of his infant son? What about essential dignity? Does a Moon in Taurus line extending through Chicago manifest differently than a Moon in Scorpio line in the same place (ahh the traditionalist in me is exposed)? This is interesting work, and might have been explored in some more depth to encourage more work in the area. And yet this is not a text, but a collection of articles.

While short on basic explanation, the book is long on examples and enthusiasm. The authors of the various articles clearly love their subject and that has the happy effect of keeping the reader interested, the main goal of all writers.

Modern astrologers with sufficient astrological background will enjoy this book even if A*C*G isn't their strong suit. There is a little too much Uranus, Neptune and Pluto for this reviewer, but it doesn't take that much for this reviewer to reach the outer planet saturation point. Oftentimes the very mention of their names is more than enough. Beginners in astrology or the subject may struggle a bit. Traditionalists will find Brady's work fascinating, as usual. Maybe they can split the cost with a modern buddy?

Tom Callanan
April, 2008