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The Horary Mystery of the Missing Cat

Horary astrology blows my freaking mind. Here’s an example that completely blew me apart. The client gave me permission to use their anonymized information for this post. They ordered from my emergency rush 24-hour turnaround horary service to ask me the following horary question. I read and understood the question “Will I find my cat alive?” on August 3rd 2021 at 2:46 am in Phoenix, Arizona. What was I doing up awake at that time? What can I say, I’m bad about bedtime.

This person had lost their cat nearly 2 weeks prior to asking this question and were getting desperate to find them. I interpreted this to be a 6th house question, since the 6th is the house of pets and small animals. I know there’s a tendency to view pets through the lens of the 5th house because pets can be as dear to us as children but eeeh I don’t know if having a furbaby is quite the same thing as being a skinparent. I also think this horary is quite instructive that the 6th house is the correct way to approach the topic of pets.

In order to answer this question, we’d ultimately want to see if there’s an applying aspect between the Moon and/or ruler of the 1st house and the 6th in order to make an argument in favor of finding the cat, and the condition of the ruler of the 6th would give us indications about how the cat is doing.

Ruler of the 1st House, the Pet owner

Cancer rises, so the Moon represents the pet owner. The waning Moon is in Gemini in the 12th place of suffering, coming off the North Node. She was distraught, lost (12th) and at an emotional height of anxiety (North Node), desiring to find a conclusion to this matter whatever the outcome (waning Moon). So the condition of the ruler of the Ascendant described the state of the person asking the question pretty accurately.

It’s important to remember that whatever the Moon represents specifically in the chart by house rulership, the Moon tends to be an overall co-ruler of the question, and its applications tend to show the overall trajectory of the inquiry. The Moon’s next applying aspect is a sextile to Mercury in Leo 2nd, immediately followed by a square to Venus in Virgo 3rd. Since Mercury rules the 3rd and Venus is in the 3rd, I figured this would represent coming into some sort of message or social interaction with one’s neighbors as the next significant event.

Ruler of the 6th House, the Pet

Sagittarius is in the 6th, so Jupiter represents the pet. Jupiter is retrograde in Aquarius in the 8th place, contrary to sect, copresent with a retrograde Saturn in Aquarius 8th in a night chart. Already not looking good for the pet. With the ruler of the 6th being in the 8th place of death, this was an indicator that the pet may already be dead or close to it. Also not helping was the South Node in the 6th, draining this part of the chart and minimizing its potential.

I figured that the nature of Jupiter and the sign would contribute to describing the cat. So Jupiter might describe a friendly fuller-figured or fluffy cat, and that Jupiter being copresent with Saturn in the sign of Aquarius would describe an all-black, all-white or grey cat, or perhaps white with grey patches, as opposed to a brown, ginger or calico cat.  This description ended up being a fair match with the cat:

Because Jupiter represents the pet, its location in the sky of this horary should tell us where it is relative to the pet owner. Jupiter in this chart is in the south-southwestern sky, just to the west of the MC, which is ‘south’ in the northern hemisphere. Because Jupiter is in the air sign of Aquarius, we might think this is somewhere “open air”, a cool spot, a vent or fan, where wind is blowing.

Relationship between the Ruler of the 1st and 6th

The Moon is in a trine relationship with Jupiter by sign, and while there are several intervening aspects, the Moon would eventually perfect a trine with Jupiter by degree while both remain in their signs by the next day, on August 4th 2021 at 12:37 pm in their location. This was an argument that she would find the cat, but the cat would likely be dead.

My Answer to the Horary

They would find the white/grey cat to the south of them around noon of the following day, most likely dead, put as gently as possible.

The Outcome

The next day on August 4th 2021 at 2:50 pm in their location, less than 3 hours after the Moon perfected its trine with Jupiter, the pet owner received a call from neighbors to her south reporting that they had found her cat – alive. She went down there to pick up her cat, except there was a problem: it was not her cat, but an exact lookalike. Seriously.

This impostor cat (left) and her real cat (right) are virtually indistinguishable save for the white coloring on the left ear of her cat. Understandably, her southern neighbors thought they had found her cat based on this close resemblance. So I got almost all of the factors correct, except the most important one.

  • Accurate description of lunar applications? Check.
  • Accurate description of pet? Check.
  • Accurate location of pet? Check.
  • Accurate timing for finding the pet? Check.
  • Was it actually their pet? NOPE.

I was so baffled by this strange inconsistency that I sought out my whole sign horary aficionado Rob Bailey of Old School Astrology to compare notes. He made an extremely illuminating connection to medieval horary texts on the fact that Jupiter was retrograde in representing the pet.

“…Sahl and Māshā’allāh both describe situations where the querent attains something and then loses it, or thinks they have attained something only to have it taken away from them. For example, in On Reception Chapter 3 Māshā’allāh says that if the accepting planet is afflicted then “the matter will be taken away after it has existed.” Most strikingly, at On Questions 1.32, Sahl says “if the one accepting the management was retrograde, it will be terminated after he
[the querent] believed he has already attained it [the desired outcome].” This is pretty darn close to what happened to your querent: they thought for a moment they had found the cat, only to have that hope taken away from them.”

So the Moon’s applying trine to Jupiter suggested finding a cat, but the fact that Jupiter was retrograde suggested that it was not exactly what she was looking for, it was not her cat despite resembling her cat. I can’t help feeling like the cosmos responded to this horary a bit like this:

For Non-Whole Sign House Perspectives

Of course, everything I’ve talked about so far is predicated on my usage of Whole Sign Houses. For all you non-Whole Sign House horary practitioners out there, here are the variations in what planet we’d consider to represent the pet and the house that it’s located in:

House System 6th house (cusp) 6th house ruler
house placement
Whole Sign Houses Sagittarius Jupiter in Aquarius 8th
Equal 2° Sagittarius Jupiter in  Aquarius 8th
Porphyry 27° Scorpio Mars in Virgo 3rd
Regiomontanus 1° Sagittarius Jupiter in Aquarius 9th
Alcabitius 29° Scorpio Mars in Virgo 3rd
Campanus 25° Scorpio Mars in Virgo 3rd

If one used the Porphyry, Alcabitius or Campanus house systems to answer this question, they would say Mars in Virgo 3rd represented the cat. They would have been able to correctly state that the Moon is separating from Mars, and thus the querent would not find their cat. However, they would have been unable to account for the strange turn of events that followed which hinge on using Jupiter as the significator for the pet, not Mars.

Additionally, if Mars in Virgo signified the pet, then it would probably be described as being bold and fearsome like Mars, and that the cat would be colored with earthy tones due to Mars’ placement in the earthy sign of Virgo, and that is not the case. Jupiter in Aquarius ended up describing some of the physical and behavioral characteristics of the cat much better.

If one used Regiomontanus houses, they might agree that Jupiter signifies the cat, but that Jupiter is in the 9th house rather than the 8th. The 9th can signify foreign places or places of higher learning or churches. It’s basically impossible that the cat is in a foreign country, and very unlikely at a school or a church.  This does not seem to be as appropriate as Jupiter being in the 8th. The 8th house is unseen to the Ascendant, and is a deathly house. The cat is still missing after 2 and a half months and is presumed to be dead. Whole Sign Houses and its degree-based extension Equal Houses are the only house systems that would have been able to arrive at this particular interpretation and timing for this question.

The Natal Perspective

The cat disappeared on July 17th 2021 around 5:30 pm in her location. Here is how this event showed up in her natal chart:

The pet owner was age 29 at the time their cat disappeared, a 6th house profection, highlighting 6th house topics, such as pets, for the year. Their 6th house is in Taurus, highlighting transits from Venus to her natal placements as well as transits to her natal Venus. On the exact date and close to the precise timeframe they lost their pet, transiting Mars, her contrary to sect malefic, was just 1 arc minute(!) away from forming an exact conjunction to her natal Venus. So the planet representing pets in her chart received an exact conjunction from Mars. It got Mars’ed! I’d think this would most likely represent a Mars-like predator like a coyote or a vehicle. The poor thing. While Mars conjoins her Venus every 2 years, the only previous time this happened to her during a 6th house profection year was at age 5. It appears natal astrology corroborates what the horary indicates – the cat is gone.

Sad, but mind blown.

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