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One of the greatest uses for electional astrology is travel. At the moment you begin a trip by walking out your door, you've essentially birthed a new life, at least for the duration of that trip. Experience has shown that the astrological conditions affecting this moment of time, your departure, reveal much about how your trip will unfold. If you leave under stressful astrological conditions, your trip will be stressful. If you leave at a time when the planets are aligned favorably, you'll have a good time.

In my previous StarIQ articles, I talked about the void-of-course Moon and Mercury retrograde. These are very important things to keep in mind when going about choosing a time to travel. But there is much more than those two factors to reckon with in the world of electional astrology, the branch of astrology that deals with choosing the best time to commence an event. This article will attempt to lead you deeper into the subject using travel as an example.

Let's say you've always wanted to travel to Europe. You've got very little time off from work, and you really want to have a memorable, safe experience. Electional astrology might be worth checking out. If you know the basics of an astrological chart (the signs, houses and planets), here's a way to "try this at home." (Please remember that astrology is a complex subject and that no single technique is a 100 percent guarantee that things will go perfectly.)

What’s Your Travel Planet?

First you've got to know what your key travel planet is. Get a copy of your natal chart and take a look at your Ninth House of travel. What's the sign that's on the cusp (where the house begins) of your Ninth House? Once you determine that, you'll know what planet you need to track. For this exercise, we'll stick with the traditional rulerships. Mars rules Aries and Scorpio, Venus rules Taurus and Libra, Mercury rules Gemini and Virgo, Jupiter rules Sagittarius and Pisces, Saturn rules Capricorn and Aquarius and the Sun and Moon rule Leo and Cancer, respectively. If you have Taurus on the Ninth House cusp, then Venus, ruler of Taurus, is your travel planet.

Tracking Your Travel Planet

Your next step is to track Venus, or whatever planet is the ruler of your Ninth House. You'll need to have an ephemeris, or listing of planets, and you'll need to know the aspects, or angles. Squares and oppositions between your travel planet and other planets indicate that energy may be blocked, while sextiles and trines symbolize flowing energy. Conjuntions can vary in effect depending on the nature of the two planets involved. Mars and Saturn don't mix easily—those two are like having one foot on the accelerator and the other on the brakes. But the Sun and Venus or Mercury and Jupiter are good conjunctions for travel.

I strongly recommend learning how to use an aspectarian. These often come with an ephemeris and are useful because they show the planetary aspects for each day. Learn to be comfortable with an ephemeris and aspectarian. They are really no worse than a train schedule! Watch for when your Ninth House ruler (your travel planet) changes signs, and when it moves into conjunctions, oppositions, squares, trines and sextiles with the other planets.

As you follow your travel planet through the signs of the zodiac, notice when it makes an opposition to Saturn, or if your travel planet is Saturn, note when it is opposed by the Sun, Mercury, Venus or Mars. These are extremely signficant indications for your travel plans! Think of it this way—your travel planet is the "god" of travel for your chart. When your travel planet is in harmony with other planets, your travel experiences will generally be harmonious. When your travel planet is "out of phase" with other planets, travel will likewise be inharmonious. So the lesson here is to avoid, if possible, traveling when the ruler of your Ninth House is making an unfavorable aspect to another planet. This is especially true when the aspect is a square and the other planet is Mars or Saturn, and don't expect Uranus, Neptune or Pluto to be much friendlier.

Choosing Your Departure Time

The goal of electional astrology is to find times when positive aspects hold sway and there are as few "red lights" as possible up there among the planets. Let's say you've decided to travel when the ruler of your Ninth House is moving toward a trine with Jupiter. You've decided to leave a a few days before the trine becomes exact (so you can experience it during your trip) and you have narrowed your departure date down to two or three days. Here's where the void-of-course Moon comes in.

Leaving under a void-of-course Moon means being subjected to changes and adjustments, and living with whatever the outcome is. Unless you love to "wing it," don't pick a time to leave when the Moon is void-of-course. If possible, look at your aspectarian and pick a time when the Moon is making a favorable aspect with another planet. This will insure that you'll get to where you're going, and get back to where you left off. Even better yet, pick a time when the Moon is making a favorable aspect with, you guessed it, the ruler of your Ninth House. If you catch my drift here, the object is to avoid negative astrological aspects and multiply the number of favorable ones.

Repeat Trips

What do you do when Mercury is retrograde? Well, it's true that Mercury retrograde favors repeating what has already been done. If you've been to Florida before, and you want to go there again, then Mercury retrograde is for you. This would be especially true if Mercury was the ruler of your Ninth House. Mercury retrograde is not a reason in itself to avoid travel, just make sure that your travel plans bring you to familiar places. It's a great time to visit an old friend and catch up on old times. It's a great time to take that train ride you used to take, or the same airline you flew on the last time you traveled. On the other hand, want to have a difficult trip or vacation? Pick a time when Mercury is retrograde, and the ruler of your Ninth House is making a square or opposition to Mars or Saturn, and then travel somewhere you've never been before via a means of transportation you have no experience with. It's your choice.

With an ephemeris, aspectarian and a table of void-of-course Moon times, you could do much to improve your travel experiences. It's all about keeping track of what's going on up there and using it down here. It's like surfing or hang-gliding—you learn how to go with the flow, not impose your will on the world.

Remember the Hermetic axiom "as above, so below?" This electional astrology technique is proof of that ancient notion.



Bruce Scofield, C.A. NCGR, is an astrologer with a private practice in western Massachusetts who works with clients by telephone. He is the author of fourteen books and over two hundred articles. His interests include psychological astrology, electional astrology, Mesoamerican astrology and the history of astrology.

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For more information about Bruce Scofield, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Bruce Scofield:

  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 2   12/7/2013
  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 1   11/30/2013
  • Your Astrological Navigation System   3/4/2012
  • Using the Moon’s Cycles Part 1   7/25/2001

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