How to Use Astrology to Figure Out Where You Should Live Next
Leave it up to the cosmos.
“It’s Mercury retrograde right now, so make sure you back this up,” says Angel Eyedealism, gesturing to the phone I’m using to record our interview. “Mercury is the trickster, it likes to play games. It’s like the planet’s saying, ‘Fuck it, going on vacation, bye.’ Basic communication tends to snafu.”
Angel, in her color-blocked teal, pink, and purple eyeshadow, which fans out almost cat-eye-style, and headdresses that range from tutus worn as mohawks to broach-studded turbans, is known just as much for her eccentric ensembles as she is for her astrology—which she’s been doing in Manhattan’s East Village now for some 20-plus years.
Sure, astrologers, psychics, fortune tellers, etc. seem as dime a dozen in New York as actors, artists, and singers (which Angel also is, by the way), but Angel has a specialty that’s not quite so common: relocation astrology. This doesn’t necessarily translate to just where you should move, but when and why—or maybe not at all. It’s not as simple as, “You’re a Capricorn, DC is the city for you.”
“People come to me when they’re freaking the fuck out,” says Angel, adding she usually keeps a box of Kleenex. “Sometimes, the person’s mother has just died, or they just went through a divorce. Or they might just have divine wanderlust and want to travel all over the world.”
Angel spent a good decade in the early 2000s traveling across Europe, testing out her relocation theories firsthand, and now she hopes to share a bit of that insight and luck with those also wanting to make a move. So, looking for a change of scenery but not convinced astrology is the solution? Here’s how Angel may be able to steer you in the right direction. Or at least help you narrow down your options.
So, how does travel astrology actually work?
It all starts by reading your birth chart, which can be done virtually, if you’re not in New York. Your birth chart is basically a snapshot of what the sky looked like above you at the moment you were born; it’s created using the date, location, and time of your birth (down to the minute, if possible). There are tons of websites and apps that can draw up your chart, AI-powered Co–Star being one of the more popular ones.
The specific longitudes and latitudes of your birth chart will reveal your Sun sign, which is the one thing you already know even if you don’t know anything about astrology. That’s the sign most dominant in your personality (Leo, Gemini, etc.), but there’s also your rising sign (aka your ascendant), which is almost like what you’re flavored by. If you’re making potato soup, as Angel puts it, and you add some oregano, it’s not oregano soup, it’s potato with a dash of oregano.
“Let’s say [in your birth chart] you have a malefic planet, Saturn, right on your ascendent; that’s a really fucked placement,” Angel says. In astrology, planets deemed malefic (from the Latin maleficus, meaning wicked or harmful) bring misfortune. “It’s like you were born under a black cloud. You can have other good things, but it’s like having ‘asshole’ as a rising sign.
You’re not the same person in New York as you are in Los Angeles.
Your birth chart never changes, but, according to Angel, it can be offset through relocation. “You want to move them somewhere where Saturn’s out of the way, instead of right on their rising sign, which makes them seem harsh, controlling, and difficult.” This is how their whole personal life can open up.
So, if you were born on the East Coast and want to move to Los Angeles, for example, you’d take your birth chart and transpose it to LA—thousands of miles away, in a different time zone—and study how the shift in geography impacts the various celestial bodies in your chart. You’re not the same person in New York as you are in Los Angeles, just as things are different from one job to another or one relationship to another.
Target areas of your life that need a tune-up
You won’t suddenly turn into a fun-loving Libra just because you move to, say, Maryland. The planets and signs in your chart don’t change when you travel, but the “houses” they’re located in do. The zodiac is a wheel divided into 12 “houses,” each of which corresponds to a different area of your life: sex and dating, friendships and community, job and finances, health and daily routines, etc.
When you relocate, you can strategically move specific celestial bodies into certain houses to improve those parts of your life. So, if you’re looking to level up a specific area of your life, like your career—which is to say, a specific house, like the 10th—Angel helps you find which locations in which time zones are the right fit. You can test out different locations to see how they treat you, how you’ll be perceived there, which parts of your personality will heighten.
“Have you ever gone somewhere and it’s just like, everything’s working out and I’m the toast of the town?”
Maybe you were born with a lot of energy, like Mercury, in your 12th House (the house of “leave me the fuck alone,” according to Angel). You can see what locations would nudge it into your First House (the house of “your personality, socializing, how you roll at the party”). Suddenly, Angel says, you might find you’re more open, more outgoing, more comfortable engaging with people. “Have you ever gone somewhere and it’s just like, oh my God, everything’s working out and I’m the toast of the town?”
Angel says a key area to focus on is your 4th House, since that’s the one that governs home.
What goes down during a reading?
A full reading usually takes about three hours, as Angel reads the planets in each of your 12 houses and analyzes the aspects (the angles formed between planets). Then, a secondary “progress chart” takes your birth chart and tracks it incrementally (every couple of years up to the present day), which teases out patterns and allows her to do some predictive astrology. Past trends are projected forward, so Angel can identify specific periods of time down the road that might be critical for certain areas of your life. She also takes into consideration transits—what’s happening in the sky above us right now, i.e. that Jupiter’s headed to this point, or Neptune’s just arrived at that one. “Sometimes you’re just freaking out because of transits, and moving isn’t actually the answer,” she says.
Your reading doesn’t have to just be about moving to a place—you can get them for when you’re visiting somewhere, or even just trying to choose a country to vacation in. According to Angel, it can be especially powerful to travel on your solar return (your birthday) and demi-solar return (half-birthday). Beyond that, there’s not much in the way of one-size-fits-all advice. You don’t want to put a malefic planet right on an angle. You don’t want to go somewhere at the wrong time (timing is everything in astrology, if you haven’t yet caught on).
There might be places that will be good to you, Angel says, but not if transiting Pluto is about to hit a major hub or something. (Anecdotes follow about clients who disregarded this advice when planning their vacations and were promptly mugged.)
So how much of this is cosmic kumbaya?
“Oh my God, you’ve got so much going on in your 12th House,” Angel says as she examines my birth chart. “The house of psychology, there’s a ton of shit in there.” Pretty much everything on my chart turns out to be clustered forebodingly into that single house, like a giant celestial pizza on which the toppings have slid onto one slice.
We talked about ways in which I was different in LA (where I went to college) from how I am now in New York, which were sort of applicable, but also signs of growing up. As it turned out, my phone did glitch, and the first half of the recording from our interview was missing. We can chalk it up to Mercury retrograde, but for what it’s worth, Mercury is retrograde like 20% of the time.
Astrology is without scientific merit, but then again, we don’t choose travel destinations based on science.
Astrology is without scientific merit, but then again, we don’t choose travel destinations based on science. We travel based on instincts and emotional responses, because we feel like in a different place, we can be a different person.
“Sometimes people go through their whole life feeling that nobody even sees them—and nobody does, really,” Angel says. “You could be a pet rock, never social, really hate that about yourself and want to change. But you go to a new location, and you’re talking all the time, you’re relating. All of a sudden, everybody sees you.”