It’s a little too easy to write horary astrology off as “telling the future” because that seems to be the way it’s been cast in the astrological world. Now, that’s not necessarily incorrect at all—a skilled practitioner working with a radical chart can read a series of unfolding events like a book. But what seems to be one of horary’s better-kept secrets is that it can be used for locating missing possessions, pets, and persons. That’s because horary is not so much as a predictive art but rather an apocalyptic art: it “pulls away the veil” (in Greek, apocalypsis) to show what’s really happening in the present moment.
To this end, I want to give an example of a chart I read for a friend that offers a fantastic insight into the way that horary can give powerful and accurate descriptions of unfolding events, and how it can help find missing people.
On July 11th, one of my friends (who was also one of my roommates at UAC) sent along a chart that he had drawn to locate a missing coworker. Since my friend had asked the question and already drawn the chart, the chart had already been “called into being” so there was no reason for me to draw my own chart. Otherwise I would have done so, using my location at that moment to orient the chart. This judgment happened in real time on a Discord server, which made it even more exciting.
First off we see that there’s no agreement between the planetary hour and the ascendant ruler, but as the question is somewhat pressing and none of the angles are afflicted by a malefic, it’s appropriate to move forward with judgment. Since this question is being asked in a general way about someone who is absent, we are going to take the first house to represent the quesited. Lilly writes in book one of Christian Astrology,
“If a question be demanded of one absent in a general way, and the querent hath no relation to the party; then the first house, the lord of that house and the Moon shall signify the absent party; the lord of the eighth house or planet posited in the house or within five degrees of the cusp of the eighth house shall show his death or its quality” (151).
That gives us Mars as the primary significator of the quesited, as Mars rules the ascendant degree (19º Scorpio 43′). We also take the Moon as a co-significator of the question, which we immediately see is in the eighth house, having just ingressed into her home base of Cancer, separating from the sextile of the Sun and applying to the sextile of Venus. When we see the moon having just changed signs, we know that there has been a recent event that has changed circumstances, and since this is a cardinal sign, it is a very recent event.
When I initially looked at the chart, I saw the Moon-Saturn opposition almost immediately (because I’m somewhat macabre by nature), as this would have been a signification of some harm having come to the quesited, as Mars is in one of Saturn’s signs—but this ended up being a red herring.
Speaking of Venus, it should be noted that Venus here is the only angular traditional planet. She is conjunct the midheaven, in the most elevated position of the chart, and receives the counsel of the Moon from her dignities of triplicity and face; note that here I’m using Dorothean triplicities and Egyptian terms. It’s interesting that the Moon separates from a planet that rules no sign and applies to the planet who serves as ruler of the 7th, the 11th, and the 12th—Venus here signifies overt enemies and sources of sorrow or isolation, but she also signifies friends (hold onto this). So there are multiple layers of meaning that can be sussed out of this, but to spend too much time on that may cause us to chase rabbit trails of symbolism that don’t bear fruit. So, I’ll put a pin in this. We also must consider that Venus is in the sign of her fall in a very powerful place, like an incompetent middle manager given charge of an entire branch of a company.
Since the coworker disappeared from work, I wondered whether this had something to do with the boss. We see that the ruler of the midheaven, who would signify bosses, is Mercury, is near maximum elongation at the north node, yet peregrine in Leo. It also happens that Mercury’s last aspect, barring contacts with the Moon, was an opposition to Mars, which applied mutually with Mars retrograde. Since Mercury is in Leo and Mars is in Aquarius, I judged that one of the precipitating events for the coworker’s disappearance was a conflict with the boss that had been slow-burning for a long time (both planets are in fixed and cadent houses). Thematic in this judgment is a conflict between a wordy, braggadocious, egotistical manager, and an employee who is ready to fight sideways and whose will is utterly fixed leading up to this point.
Let’s return to our quesited’s significator, Mars. I judged the person in question to be middling height tending tall, strongly built, sharp angular features, probably with some notable scars or burns, and someone who tends to get in fights about inane things. Grant confirmed this to be true, writing, “he is a fairly tall, slim but well-built former professional BMX racer, handsome angular face (boss nicknamed him “mcSteamy” ew), with significant tattooing all over his arms and chest.”
Notice what my friend said the boss nicknamed the quesited, and consider, one, Mercury in Leo signfying the boss, and two, Venus in her fall conjoined the midheaven, influencing how the boss is going to behave. Venus in fall is given to, well, wantonness and disregard for appropriate boundaries. Because of Venus’ angularity, that’s going to figure significantly into the overall flavor of this chart.
Mars is retrograde and peregrine in a cadent house, conjunct the south node. I judged that the coworker was probably still alive, since there are no applying contacts between Mars and the eighth ruler Mercury, but he’s probably not coming back.
An additional consideration on the “is he alive” question is the fact that the Sun is applying directly to the trine of the Ascendant, which is a very positive sign, not only for the status of the quesited but it likewise testifies that they will be found. Because the Moon was applying to Venus from a cardinal sign, I suggested he might reach out to a friend presently. This is one of the challenges of horary—determining which layer of symbolism to use when there are several different possible directions to judge, but I happened to land on the correct one here because the quesited’s friends had already begun reaching out to attempt to get in touch with him.
So, to sum the judgment up: he’s alive, he got mad, he left, he hates the boss, he’s not coming back, and he’ll reach out to a friend after a short while but it’ll be when he’s ready to; we’re not going to “find” him on our own. I supposed at the time that he was somewhere in a high elevation frequented by people but somewhat inaccessible (Mars in Aquarius in a cadent house).
The outcome: it happened that at 9:52PM local time that same evening, the quesited contacted a mutual friend and reported that, indeed, he had simply walked out because he hated both the boss and the manager, and that the pay was too low to drive a malfunctioning truck. Mars has natural rulership of vehicles with combustion engines, and in this case, Mars is retrograde, peregrine, and cadent—meaning that the last straw in the querent’s decision to abruptly leave was the malfunctioning truck, which was unreliable despite having been repaired. Fantastic!
My friend explained a few weeks after the fact, “[my coworker] was hired to do local deliveries in the company truck. The week before, it had suffered a somewhat severe breakdown when a cable snapped, causing it to be stuck in reverse. The vehicle had been repaired over the weekend and he was supposed to be taking it out on the road when he left it parked outside the building and vanished with no communication.”
Bonus round: I want to show you something very cool, and it’s moments like the following where horary gets really weird and magical: let’s take a look at the chart for 9:52PM, the moment that the coworker reached out to a mutual friend.
Look at the Moon. At the moment that the missing coworker made contact to a friend, the Moon had just perfected the square to the cusp of the 11th house in the original horary chart to the degree (4º Libra 07′).* Moreover, the Moon’s opposition to Saturn perfects at the same moment, who is placed in the event chart 11th house and ruling the event chart’s ascendant. The quesited’s message to the friend cemented the finality of the situation in a Saturn-in-Capricorn fashion: he ain’t coming back to that job, full stop.
If you have something going on in your life that you’re interested in approaching with horary, now that you’ve seen how precise and to-the-point it can be, I encourage you to get in touch!
Featured image by Allef Vinicius via Unsplash.
*This little dollop of magic illustrates why I do not use the increasingly popular whole sign house system in horary astrology.