Jim Lewis and Astro*Carto*Graphy
©2000 by Ken Bowser

Jim Lewis's remarkable development of Astro*Carto*Graphy, in the 1960s and 1970s, was built around the principle that planets near the horizon or the meridian of a horoscope have great power, much more power than planets in other parts of a birth chart.

The potency of these places, called the "angles" of a horoscope, has been continuously noted for centuries by those who have become competent in the art. So the prominence of angular planets and planets in angular houses is not a new concept, not does it rest on any convoluted or philosophical premise, but rather, only observation.

The implications of time and place have been central to astrology from the beginning of the art because they are dependent on each other: If you don't know what time it is, you don't know where you are in relation to other locales; if you don't know where you are, you don't know what time it is in other locales. This matter is particularly important for ships at sea out of sight of land, and for astrologers. At issue is orientation, which is the nexus of time and place.

Besides Lewis, the major precursors of what has become locational astrology were A. J. Pearce, who wrote about it in the 1870s and 1880s; L. Edward Johndro, whose works touched upon it in the 1920s and 1930s; and Cyril Fagan, who wrote significant papers on the subject in the 1940s.

Lewis's contribution was to take time and place beyond the narrow focus of a single horoscope and recast them onto a world map. Lewis's Astro*Carto*Graphy, then, is an angularity map that displays orbit tracks of the lights and planets for all horizons and meridians north of 60° South latitude and south of 70° North latitude for the birth moment.

The premise behind it, again, is that people will experience circumstances consistent with the intrinsic natures of the planets at locations where their natal planets fall angular. Lewis received many thousands of letters, corroborating this notion, from customers who were so impressed with the technique that they felt impelled to write to him and explain the details of their lives. He advertised that the prevailing conditions of one's life circumstances could be substantially changed by changing one's locale. It's true. There is no advertising hype behind it.

Jim Lewis died in February 1995, to the complete dismay and sorrow of the entire astrological community. But his business, Astro*Carto*Graphy, continues to thrive because it was so well founded. Jim Lewis was the first of my extraordinarily fortunate contacts with great astrologers when I was learning the craft in the early 1970s. I am a siderealist, and although Lewis remained a lifelong tropicalist, the techniques he developed are not particular to any zodiacal scheme; Astro*Carto*Graphy accommodates any ayanamsa or none at all. It is truly extra-zodiacal.

BIO: Ken Bowser, a former columnist for American Astrology magazine and scholar of Babylonian astrology, saw his move to the Minneapolis/St.Paul area in the planets. A noted sidereal astrologer, he chose to leave California so he could relocate there to pursue a master's degree in the history of science at the University. He has been a full-time professional astrologer for many years. You may contact him by e-mail or by phone at (612-331-14756).

CREDITS: The background tile came from ABC Giant. The maps are from a free geographic clipart collection at Graphmaps. The animated globe is by Iband. Web design by Donna Cunningham