Astrology is an ancient pseudoscience based on celestial bodies' position in the sky and their correlating effects on human affairs and the natural world. And let's be honest, it's also the scapegoat for a lot of bad days, weeks, or personalities. Whether it's Mercury in retrograde or a Scorpio just actin' like a Scorpio (sorry, guys), astrology is used to explain the inexplicable. Of course, a pseudoscience isn't cemented in fact -- lots of folks will tell you horoscopes are made up mumbo-jumbo -- but I like to call those people knots on a log.

While your horoscope can't guarantee you'll snatch the winning lotto ticket or run into a terrible bout of bad luck, astrology is a fun (and harmless) way of exploring different facets of yourself, the people around you, and the world. It can also point you in the right direction for your next weekend trip, full-on vacation, or permanent move.

First things first: finding your ruling element.

astrological chart
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Astrology isn’t just about planets and stars -- it also incorporates the four classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. Each sun (or star) sign is associated with one of these elements, but your sun sign’s element is not necessarily the one which “rules” you. By analyzing your natal chart (try this beginner’s guide if you’re still an astrology novice), you can find the elements associated with your sun, moon, and ascendant signs; the nine planets (astrology’s a pseudoscience, so Pluto’s still a part of the gang); and your twelve houses.

So what's it mean to be ruled by earth, air, fire, or water?

4 elements
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The elements are typically associated with a definitive set of characteristics regardless of whether they're presiding over your star sign, planet, or house. Like with all aspects of life, there are good traits and bad traits. Yes, even you, Leos.

  • Earth (Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn) is associated with stability, solidity, and abundance. On the flip side, astrological elements governed by earth can be prone to materialism, stubbornness, and fearfulness that can result in stagnation.
  • Air (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) symbolizes brilliance, innovativeness, and communication. Adversely, elements ruled by air can have trouble empathizing with others, often preferring logic over emotion and fickleness over steadfastness.
  • Fire (Leo, Aries, and Sagittarius) is indicative of passion, creativity, and excitability. These larger-than-life personalities ruled by fire also have the propensity to be short-tempered, aggressive, and dramatic.
  • Water (Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces) aspects tend to be emotional, intuitive, and sensitive. Their mysterious demeanor, however, can quickly turn into moody indignation.

These elements rule over three signs, nine planets, and twelve houses, all of which have distinct influence over different areas of your life and environment. For example, if your seventh house -- which rules over interpersonal relationships -- is in Aries, a fire sign, you might be prone to intense, passionate, or explosive relationships with those around you.

There's plenty of room for overlap, maybe even a few contradictions (ah, to be human) but each astrological aspect and its corresponding element combine to create the completely unique cocktail of emotions, characteristics, and tendencies that is you.

What is relocation astrology and why should you care about it?

map, passport and camera
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Every country, state, city-state, or city has its own ruling astrological sign based on the position of celestial bodies on the day of its founding. Relocation astrology uses your own ruling signs, planets, and elements to find the most compatible location based on its ruling signs, planets, and elements.

First, check your signs. Your sun sign rules your career, ambition, and success. Moon signs rule internal affairs: your emotional well-being, material comfort, and home life. Your ascendant, or rising sign, is like the "mask" you wear around others. It rules your intuitive gut reactions to life; it's how you cope with day-to-day stress and going-ons. If you're looking to strengthen, repair, or otherwise improve any aspects of your life, consider finding a place (or business -- they have founding dates, too!) that matches whichever sign you're looking to embody.

Then, check your houses. The second house rules your immediate surroundings, both material and environmental. The Cancer-ruled fourth house is the "foundational" house -- controlling aspects of home life, security, and privacy. If you're looking for a big-picture improvement, look to Capricorn-ruled House #10; the tenth house represents the most public aspects of society, including tradition, government, corporations, and authority.

Finally, figure out which elements pop up the most in your natal chart and find what's missing. Do you have an abundance of air signs but little to no fire signs? Maybe you're chock-full of steadfast earth signs, but no water signs are to be found. We all have moments of wistful nostalgia, feeling like something is missing or not quite right but you can't put your finger on it. This feeling of incompleteness might be attributed to a lack of elemental influence.

Determine what you're looking for and seek it out.

scrabble letter spelling "improve"
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A deficiency of X can be solved by the addition of Y. The equation is fairly simple, it's just a matter of finding the variables specific to you. If you're one of the lucky ducks who can self-evaluate discontented or unhappy feelings and actually pinpoint what's bothering you, look for the signs, planets, and houses that preside over your not-so-good life aspects -- your love life, friendship, career, or mental wellness, for example. Determine how you might harness energy from new astrological elements previously missing from your signs, planets, and houses.

For example, if you find yourself struggling to break free from an introverted or soft-spoken shell, consider relocating to a place that brings bold and vivacious Leo into the third house (which rules communication) or eleventh house (friendships and networking). Inharmonious love life? Consider relocating to move fair-minded Libra or empathetic Pisces into your seventh house, which governs interpersonal communications. Tenacious and determined Capricorn in the sixth house can better help you maintain schedules, improve health and wellness, and serve your community.

If you’re an unlucky duck whose feelings of forlornness can often be cloudy and unidentifiable, consider paring this whole process down to the basics. Different geographical regions embody each of the four elements and most are fairly self-explanatory. Locations that receive a lot of rain or are near water represent, you guessed it, water. Dry, arid environments represent fire. Lowlands, plains, and forested areas are symbolic of earth. And high elevation, open spaces represent air (my partner and I are predominantly ruled by fire and water, and we find ourselves running to the mountains to relax and recharge at least twice a year -- and let me tell you, it works). By submerging yourself in elements by which you aren’t typically ruled, you can potentially help ease those blue, un-pinpointable feelings in your heart.

Should you drop $$$$ on a new house because your natal chart said so? Well...

woman with hands over head
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Look, we’re not trying to suggest you drop everything and buy a brand new house in a place you’ve only ever visited in passing (or haven’t at all). As with any major life decision, there are plenty of other factors to rightfully consider. But with COVID keeping most of us close to home, astrological relocation is a fun, easy way to think outside of your 50-mile radius homebase and brainstorm new ways to live your life to the fullest.

So the next time you’re scrolling through Airbnb looking for a rejuvenating getaway or job hunting in new locales, consider consulting your natal chart. You might be surprised how a simple (but specific) change of scenery can turn your world around - even with the help of a pseudoscience.

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