The very first thing that crossed my mind upon waking at 4:26 yesterday morning, before ordering my thoughts and even before answering the usual “call of nature,” was that no examination of a “missing anything” is complete until a horary astrology chart has been cast. Although I generally use them to find lost items, I have had occasion to apply them to missing people with good results. Precise timing is important because a chart must be cast for the exact moment the question is understood, and for the location of the astrologer, so I was careful to look at my watch immediately.
In this chart, the missing man (Mike McClain) is represented by the Ascendant (1st House cusp) at 22 degrees of the Earth sign Virgo (perhaps he’s “near agriculture”), and the ruler of Virgo, Mercury, is in the Water sign Scorpio (“somewhere wet”) in the 2nd House, applying to a sextile aspect with the Ascendant. The Moon, another possible co-significator for Mike, is in the Earth sign Taurus, its sign of exaltation (another agrarian reference, possibly showing “near or under the ground”), in the 9th House of “knowledge” and applying to a trine aspect with the Ascendant. Both of these indicate that he will most likely be found, but Mercury is the better indicator, suggesting that it will take some time and effort. Scorpio – one of the traditional “scientific” and therefore “forensic” signs – is a slow-moving “fixed” sign; the knowledge illuminated by the Moon is hampered in its expression by the detriment of Venus, 9th-House ruler, in Scorpio.
The 2nd House as a location shows “at a medium distance” from where he was last seen, to the Northeast of that spot and probably outdoors. The 2nd House might also describe a warehouse or other storage structure, and Scorpio suggests “plumbing” and possibly a “waste processing” facility. The Sun is below the horizon, implying concealment, while the Moon – although above the horizon and promoting visibility – is separating from an opposition to Mercury, so the “light” it casts on Mike’s situation is waning and making discovery more difficult as time goes on. Both Virgo and Scorpio have a “digestive elimination” function to them, so if Mike is in fact deceased his body could be decomposed to the point that no cause of death can be determined, leaving only circumstantial evidence to go by. In that case, this one will probably go into the “unsolved homicide” bin.
Is he still alive? Mars, the ruler of the 8th House of death in this chart, is in its detriment in Libra in the 1st House. Libra is a social sign and Mars is the planet of war, hostility and conflict, so the inimical 1st House location may mean that Mike “set himself up for it” by his actions at the Tropical Lounge. Mercury is in the other sign ruled by Mars, so he may have suffered from its adverse influence at a different location. Venus (the planet of love and possibly a woman that Mike was familiar with) rules the 2nd House cusp of Libra and is in Scorpio along with Mercury. (Mars and Venus – both debilitated by sign – share a special link known as “mutual reception,” showing an increased potential for antagonism between them.) Venus is in a “planetary containment” between Mars and Mercury, so it seems to be caught in a “squeeze play” between the two. Mars has a claim on Venus through rulership of Scorpio but Mercury has been more recently associated with it by conjunction.
The Mars-Venus-Mercury complex suggests jealousy as an underlying theme, with Mercury playing into the volatile Mars-Venus dynamic mentioned above. The Part of Fortune is in Aries, Mars’ primary sign of rulership, in the 8th House which could mean that Mike was “lucky” in his initial encounter with Mars but, with Mars in Libra in Mike’s 1st House, he may have ultimately been cornered by some of its “friends,” who “brought it home” to him. In the words of Renaissance astrologer William Lilly, the Ascendant shows “the ship we sail in,” and the angular Mars in its detriment may just have “torpedoed” Mike’s vessel.
The fortunate (and fortunately-placed) planet Jupiter in Sagittarius is trine the 8th-House Part of Fortune from Mike’s 3rd House of “siblings and cousins,” so it’s possible one of them successfully mediated in the initial confrontation. I might expand that definition to include “surrogate siblings under the same roof,” like room-mates or fraternity brothers.
John Frawley, my unofficial horary astrology “textbook mentor,” would probably cringe at some of the interpretive reaching I’ve done here, but it does seem plausible in view of the circumstances behind Mike’s disappearance. Is any of this interesting conjecture true? There is a telling statement in Frawley’s The Horary Textbook that makes me think it could be:
“Lord 1, Lord 3, the Moon and the Moon’s dispositor should be in fixed signs and angular houses, or at least fixed signs and succedent houses. With so many testimonies we will rarely get a unanimous verdict. A majority decision will do.”
In this chart, Lord 1 (Mercury), the Moon and the Moon’s dispositor (Venus) are all in fixed signs, and Mercury and Venus are both in the succedent 2nd House. Lord 3 (Mars) is in the angular 1st House. Frawley continues:
“Angularity and fixity both carry a sense of solidity, so what we are doing here is banging the information against the chart to see if it is real or illusion.”
In my book what we have at this point looks like a “majority decision.” It also aligns with some of the testimony in my previous tarot-card readings.