Earlier this week, I misplaced the ring I’d been wearing. (SPOILER: I found it two days later.) I looked in all the obvious places and didn’t find it, so I cast a horary chart. I still didn’t find the ring. There was no indication that the chart was incorrect, but it can be mighty difficult to interpret one correctly. As it turned out, this chart was correct, but I’m not sure I’d have ever figured it out if I hadn’t found the ring and was able to work my way back to the chart interpretation.
The considerations before judgment
The first step was to review the considerations before judgment and see if the chart was even likely to work. The Ascendant is neither in the first three degrees nor the last three degrees of its sign, so it was neither too early nor too late to do anything. The Moon is not in the Via Combusta (the span of the zodiac between 15° Libra and 15° Scorpio), nor is it void-of-course.
The fourth consideration is if Saturn is in the 7th house, or the cusp of the 7th house or its ruler is afflicted which would show that your astrologer (the professional you’re consulting, represented by the 7th house) will have difficulty answering the question. I’m asking my own question, so the consideration is if Saturn is in the 1st house or if the Ascendant or its ruler are afflicted. Saturn isn’t there, and the Ascendant looks fine. However, Mars, ruler of the 1st, is close to (conjunct) Saturn and squares Neptune. The former suggests blockages, the latter, confusion. And obviously I was having trouble interpreting this chart. Hmm.
But generally, there’s nothing in the considerations before judgment that say that the chart is a dud. So on to interpreting it!
Identifying the significator
The next step was to figure out which planet symbolized the ring. The usual suspects are the ruler of the 2nd house (movable possessions) or the ruler of the 4th house (buried treasure). But neither of these felt right. The ruler of the 2nd house is Jupiter. Now if my ring had been expensive and/or ornate, I would’ve gone with Jupiter, but this was a simple silver band with a knotwork design. It wasn’t expensive, and it didn’t have large stones or really intricate metalwork or anything that sounded as grand as Jupiter. The ruler of the 4th house is Saturn. I’ve never had a lost item horary chart where the ruler of the 4th house was the correct significator, perhaps because none of the items were really buried treasure. In this case, even if Saturn had been ruler of the 2nd house, I’d have hesitated to use it because Saturn doesn’t describe this ring. It’s not a burden or an obligation, it’s not ugly, it’s not made out of lead (!)—there’s nothing Saturnian about it.
There were two other options: Venus and the Moon. Venus is the natural ruler of jewelry. The Moon is the secondary ruler of lost items. I chose Venus, and this is where I went wrong. Since the Moon is the secondary significator of lost items in all lost item charts, I overlooked the fact that if it was the best planet to describe my ring, then it was probably the main significator in this chart. Or to put it another way, I’d gotten used to thinking of it as the option of last resort, if absolutely nothing else described the lost item at all, and since Venus did, albeit in a general way, I went with Venus. In practice, this wasn’t all that much different than if I’d gone with Jupiter. Both planets are in Virgo. Venus is in the 10th house, within 5° of the 11th house cusp, which could count as being in the 11th house; Jupiter was squarely in the 11th house. Briefly, from this I got that the ring would be in my home office (10th house) or guest room (11th house), which are the same room in my apartment. In Virgo, the ring would be close to or on the floor, or perhaps it had fallen into a box or drawer (entirely possible, given the state of my home office). And of course, it wasn’t.
The Moon did the best job of describing the ring, so it was the proper significator. It’s a silver ring, and the Moon rules silver. It has a trinity knot design, and the Moon has several associations with threes, such as its three visible phases (waxing, full, waning) and the Triple Goddess. This is still a general description, but it’s more specific than Venus’s rulership of all jewelry.
The Moon is in Aquarius in the 4th house. When you’re assigning chart houses to areas of a home, the 4th house represents the cellar or the basement. The Moon conjuncts the 4th house cusp, suggesting that the ring is close to the door. Aquarius is an air sign, which shows that the missing object is “high up, maybe on a shelf or hook.”* The last aspect the Moon had made was to Saturn, which is not only the ruler of the 4th house, but also of the 3rd house of neighbors. Because the contact between the Moon and Saturn had already happened before I asked the question, and the planets were separating from each other, a neighbor had already found the ring.
Finding the ring
Where was the ring? This apartment building doesn’t have a true basement (4th house), but the ground floor is two-thirds below ground level. The laundry room is the only room on the ground floor that I have access to, and I’d done laundry that morning. The ring was in the laundry room, hanging from a pushpin (Aquarius) on a bulletin board that’s just inside the laundry room by the door (Moon conjunct the 4th house cusp). A neighbor (Saturn) must have found it and pinned it up there. The previous aspect between the Moon and Saturn had been a flowing, easy aspect. Had it been a difficult aspect, it could have meant the neighbor had kept the ring. But then, I’d have never found it and we’d never know for certain.
Okay, even if I couldn’t find the ring by using the chart, it would have been nice—and less stressful!—to have known that I’d find it eventually.** Horary charts can tell you this, but technically, I’d asked where the ring was, not if I’d find it, so it wasn’t as strongly indicated in the chart. The best indicator I have, which I only learned after I’d found the ring, is Frawley’s observation that if the item’s significator conjuncts an angle, that increases the chances that you’ll get it back. And like I said, the Moon conjuncts the IC, one of the angles of the chart.
The ring is back, and there was a happy ending. And it was a learning experience. Here’s hoping I’ll have more success with future charts!
*John Frawley, The Horary Textbook (revised edition), p.174.
**I found the ring after a friend suggested checking the laundry room again, and it finally occurred to me to look at the bulletin board since other small items have been pinned there in the past.