“They will tell you you can’t sleep alone in a strange place:

Then they’ll tell you you can’t sleep
With somebody else.
Ah, but sooner or later you sleep
In your own space–
Either way it’s okay
You wake up with yourself.” – Billy Joel, It’s My Life

I recently joined an astrological discussion group, and one of the topics that came up the other day was relocation charts, and whether to use them in place of natal charts.  I was—I confess—a tad shocked.

A natal (birth) chart is a chart for the moment you were born in the place where you were born.  It is a map of your life, a snapshot of its circumstances, and it is indelibly YOU.

A relocation chart is drawn for that same moment in time, but set for some other place—one to which you might move, or have done so.    The planetary positions are the same; but the houses change, which alters the part of your life in which they function. By noting the relationships to the birth chart, you can see how certain traits or circumstances might be emphasized differently in different places; but you were always and ever BORN wherever it was that you first drew breath.

IT is NOT your birth chart; and in my not-at-all-humble opinion should not be used in place of it.

Relocation charts are GREAT for figuring out in which parts of the globe you might prosper, and what parts of yourself you might cultivate consciously elsewhere, because places, too, have idiosyncratic charms and flaws; but they are in some sense a fairy tale, because you were not born there.  And if you believe—as this astrologer does—that there was some rhyme or reason to the circumstances of your original entrance to the planet, then it makes sense to stick with the map you came in with.  You may choose to change your locale, in order to grow: but your character goes with you.

And that’s what your birth chart describes. You.