Lost and gone forever

It is satisfying as all get-out to interpret a Lenormand reading and/or a horary chart that accurately describes the location of a lost item, and then find the item. But sometimes a lost item stays lost. So when you ask where a lost item is, are you asking only for a description of its location? Or are you also asking if you’ll find it, even if you don’t say that in so many words? A reading I did a few months ago suggests the latter.

My friend J. has a friend who had lost a set of keys to a home safe. J. asked me about the keys on her friend’s behalf. The Lenormand reading and the horary chart both gave meaningful answers, but as of this writing, the keys haven’t been found. And even if they do turn up someday, for all practical purposes, it’ll be too late. J’s friend was going to have new keys made. Once that was done, the original keys may as well stay lost.

The Lenormand reading

I took my “usual” approach to doing a lost items reading. (“Usual” meaning I’ve done this maybe three or four times now: so much experience!) I choose a card ahead of time as the significator of the lost item, shuffle the deck, look for it in the deck, and lay out the card before it, the significator itself, and the two cards after it. The one card before would show the past; it’s the equivalent of “When did you last see the keys?” The two cards afterwards should show the present/future location of the lost item. Choosing the significator was easy: lost keys cry out to be represented by 33-Key.

It never occurred to me that the Key might be the last card in the deck. Which it was.

Garden and Key Lenormand cards

Here’s that issue I was talking about. I’d asked where the keys were. The most straightforward reading of this was that the keys had no present or future location. (The past location, 20-Garden, which suggested they might’ve been in the garden or at a gathering, didn’t help any.) It was possible that the keys had been destroyed, and that would answer the explicit question Where can she find her missing safe keys?. But the keys only needed to be permanently lost, nothing as dramatic as utterly obliterated, if the reading was answering the implicit question Will she find her lost keys? No “future” for the keys: the answer is No.

I admit I didn’t trust my intuition. And I hadn’t realized that there were two questions involved; I was only thinking of the explicit one. Since it seemed unlikely that the keys had been destroyed, they should be somewhere, so I took the first two cards from the top of the deck to find out what that somewhere was. The first card was 23-Mice. One interpretation of the Mice is that the keys had been stolen; another was that they were permanently lost.

Garden, Key, Mice, and Fish Lenormand cards

Eventually, I do figure these things out. Especially when the cards are practically hitting me over the head with an answer. 🙄

The second card was 34-Fish. It suggests the keys were near J’s friend’s financial materials, which makes sense given that they were the keys to one of her home safes. But as they do seem to be permanently lost, we’ll never know. The Mice may have been the absolute end of the reading (“Look,” the cards grumbled, “we told you they had no future, and then we told you—again—that they were lost. How much more of an answer do you need?!”), and it wouldn’t matter what the next card was.

The horary chart

To make this post easier to read, I’ve separated the Lenormand reading from the horary chart reading. But at the time, I was going back and forth between them, so I hadn’t reached that conclusion about the Lenormand reading before I’d started working on the horary chart.

Astrological chart.
“Where can [J’s friend] find her missing safe keys?”

Choosing the significator

This was one of the times I went with intuition when choosing the significator. I could have used derivative houses, but it was turning into a long chain. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, but the best I can say here is that it didn’t feel right. Mercury is the natural ruler of keys, and like choosing 33-Key in the Lenormand, it seemed much more reasonable to use it as the significator of these keys.

The considerations before judgment

First off, let’s see the general condition of the chart:

  1. Radical Ascendant? Check.
  2. Void-of-course Moon? Yes. Hmm.
  3. Saturn in the 7th house and/or the ruler of the 7th house afflicted? Yes to the latter: Mars is the ruler, and isn’t comfortable in Taurus.
  4. Moon in the Via Combusta? No.

Void-of-course means that the Moon (or a planet) will not make an exact aspect with any other planet before it moves into the next sign. It may still be in aspect to one or more planets, approaching and separating, but nothing else will match it exactly before it goes into the next sign. The tag line for the void-of-course Moon is “nothing will come of it.” Whether that’s helpful or not depends on the question asked. I wouldn’t say it’s all that encouraging in a lost items question, not unless you wanted the item to stay lost.

Among other things, the 7th house represents the astrologer who’s interpreting the horary chart. (That’s me.) Saturn in the 7th house or an afflicted ruler of the 7th suggests the astrologer will have problems with the chart or suffer a delay in understanding it. Or, in my case, be a bit oblivious to her own intuition.

And the chart says…

Mercury is at 29° 49′ Aries. That’s right at the end of Aries (each sign has 30º), and horary texts have explanations for significators that are right at the end of signs and what that means for lost items. But in this chart, Mercury is also void-of-course. See everything above about about the VOC Moon, and apply it to the keys themselves. Mercury isn’t connected to anything, symbolically, so the keys aren’t connected to anything or anyone, including J’s friend. They’re in a void somewhere, not to be found.


No keys. No future for them, according to the Lenormand reading. No ties between them and anything else according to the horary chart. It’s good to know that these readings can tell you if you’re ever going to find a lost item, but I wish the problem had had a happier answer.

Finding Mouse the Elder

Every now and then, my friend Suncat will send along a lost item question. I get to practice horary, and there’s always the hope that the answer will help Suncat find the missing item. Since she and her husband have two cats, often what’s missing is a cat toy. This was true this past summer, when Gray Princess lost a toy mouse. There are several toy mice in the household, but “Mouse the Elder,” an unusually durable toy, had earned his name by having lasted for decades. Looking around the house for MtE wasn’t working. Suncat reported that he’d last been seen in the living room, but that was weeks earlier, and he hadn’t been found. Meanwhile, Princess wanted her favorite toy back. It was time for divination.

So Suncat asked, “Where is Mouse the Elder?” and I cast the chart for the time when I received and understood the question.But I’d also heard that you can use Lenormand cards to look for lost items, and this seemed like a good time to try that. And since it’s faster for me to look over a few cards than to interpret a horary chart, I looked at the cards first.

The Lenormand reading

I didn’t have much experience at using the Lenormand this way, so I kept things simple. I decided to choose a card to represent MtE, then find the card in the deck and read a few cards around it to see what was going on. At least choosing the significator was easy: when you’re looking for a toy mouse called Mouse the Elder, what better card could there be than 23-Mice? When I found the Mice in the deck, I laid it out along with the card before it and the two cards that followed it.Four Lenormand cards: Child, Mouse, Book, CoffinThe Child “jumped out” at me as a card to pay attention to. Generally, the pictures on Lenormand cards aren’t all that meaningful in themselves. They’re mainly there to identify the card. But in this deck, 13-Child shows a child playing with a toy—in most of my decks, the Child is simply a picture of a child. This felt significant. I looked up the Child in Caitlín Matthews’s book, the only one I know of that talks about using the Lenormand to find lost items, and read, “your child has it; used for play; in a new place you’ve not looked yet!” (emphasis mine).

Since Child + Mouse was an accurate description of MtE—a toy (Child) mouse (Mice)—I hoped that the next two cards, the Book and the Coffin, would be an accurate description of its situation. Quoting again from Matthews:

  • 26-Book: in the library, school, or training place; in a book or folder
  • 8-Coffin: in a box, drawer, or cupboard; forgotten and left behind

Putting those together, I thought that MtE had been left in a box, drawer, or cupboard near Suncat’s books. By extension, that could mean an enclosed space, like between two groups of books or something like that, the sort of place a cat could knock a toy into and not be able to retrieve it. And it was likely that Princess had forgotten where MtE was and left it behind.

The horary chart

So, was the chart going to support the Lenormand reading or give a different answer entirely?

astrology chart for lost mouse toy horary
Where is Mouse the Elder?

The considerations before judgment weren’t significant, so I moved on to finding the significators, the most important one being the one for Mouse the Elder:

  1. Suncat asked the question, so her significator is the ruler of the 1st house: Mercury.
  2. The 6th house is associated with small animals. Aquarius is on the cusp, so Saturn is Princess’s significator.
  3. Mouse the Elder is a possession, and possessions are associated with the 2nd house. If I were looking for something Suncat had lost, I’d look at the ruler of the 2nd house. But MtE is Princess’s toy, not Suncat’s, so we need to look at Princess’s 2nd house. Having just said that Princess is represented by the ruler of the 6th house, it’s like the 6th house is Princess’s 1st house. So the 7th house is like her 2nd house. Pisces is on the cusp of the 7th house, so Jupiter represents Mouse the Elder.

Does the significator fit? On its own, Jupiter seems a bit grandiose for a decades-old cat toy. But Suncat had told me that MtE was of better quality than many modern cat toys, larger and plumper than your run-of-the-mill toy mouse. And Jupiter is in Virgo, the sign of its detriment. Being in detriment suggests that the planet isn’t at its best. I figured, after years of kitty love, MtE was probably starting to look a little worn, even if generally it was a sturdy toy. (And although I’m using 23-Mice to represent MtE because, well, mice, the usual meaning of this card is slow destruction and deterioration; the illustration often shows mice gnawing on something.)

Incidentally, there’s another possible significator for MtE: Venus, the natural ruler of toys. In this chart, Venus conjuncts Jupiter, so it’s also in Virgo and the 1st house. Venus is in fall in Virgo, so like Jupiter, it’s not at its best. Basically, it’s pretty much the same interpretation whether you use Jupiter or Venus. Cool.

So whether the significator is Jupiter or Venus, Virgo and the 1st house should describe where MtE is. Virgo indicates that the lost object may be “inside something like a pocket or container…closets, desks, cabinets, where things are filed and stored, home offices, studies…” (Anthony Louis). Which sounds like what the Lenormand reading is saying: MtE was inside something. Virgo is an earth sign, which suggests that MtE is on the ground or near the floor. The 1st house is an angular house, which traditionally means that the object should be easy to find. (I’ve wondered about that—if the object is so easy to find, why hasn’t it been found already?) The 1st house also suggests that the lost object is where the querent spends the most time. I wasn’t sure if that meant Suncat or Princess in this case.


A shipping box had been left in the living room for the cats to play with, and Mouse the Elder was inside it. The box was close to a bookcase. So there were the Lenormand elements: the toy mouse inside a box near books. As for the horary chart, MtE was inside something near where things are filed and stored (books), and the box was on the ground. I don’t know if either Suncat or Princess spends most of their time in the living room, but Suncat said that she’d only ever seen Princess playing with MtE in the living room, so that’s where she started her search.

Of course, the most important bit is that Princess has her favorite toy back. 😀 But I’m also fascinated with how both the Lenormand and horary answered the question.


  • The Complete Lenormand Oracle Handbook by Caitlín Matthews
  • Horary Astrology Plain & Simple: Fast & Accurate Answers to Real World Questions by Anthony Lewis