In his booklet on Whole Sign Houses (ARHAT, 2000), astrologer Rob Hand maintains that the earliest texts on horary astrology use Whole Sign houses. He also gives an example of a client whose father went missing and for whom he did a horary chart to determine what happened to the missing person. Hand analyzed the chart using both Koch and Whole Sign houses and came to the same conclusion. While I doubt that this would always be the case, I wondered if it would be true with another famous case of a missing father, which was solved using horary astrology.
In 1926 the London Evening News published an account of the discovery of a missing person through a horary chart. The astrologer William Frankland received a phone call from a woman whose father had gone missing on 20 February 1926. The horary chart was cast for 22 February 1926 at 4:45 pm GMT in London. A detailed account of this event can be found in Geoffrey Cornelius’ book The Moment of Astrology. The chart below is cast with topocentric houses, as displayed in the book by Cornelius, but more likely Frankland used Placidus houses because Wendel Polich & A. P. Nelson Page only proposed their system for the first time in an article in 1963 (my thanks to Mark Cullen for pointing this out).
William Frankland reasoned that the Placidus 4th house, which contains Saturn in Scorpio, represented the father. The applying square between Saturn and Neptune in the 12th conjunct the ASC suggested a negative outcome. Mars, which rules the 4th, is tightly opposed to the Moon, ruler of the Cancer 12th, in the radical 11th, which is the derived 8th house of death from the 4th of the father. Frankland’s summary was that:
“There was probably death by water, in a stream or canal [Cancer suggests running water]; South and a little West [Mars in Capricorn, a southern sign on the western side of the chart]; not exactly near the home but at no great distance [Mars in a succedent house]; in a place where there are sheds, tools and boat, at a rather barren place [Capricorn, Saturn].”
The father’s body was found in a canal in a location as suggested by the chart.
Here is the same chart with Whole Sign houses.
The question was asked on a Moon day during a Sun hour. The Sun rules the Ascendant, suggesting a radical chart. The Moon in the 12th house indicates the daughter’s upset about her missing parent. The Sun in the 8th probably reflects her concern that the father might have perished.
Here the father is again represented by the Scorpio 4th house with Saturn therein. Mars has moved to the cadent Whole Sign 6th house. The radical 11th, ruled by Mercury in the radical 8th of death, is the derived 8th of the 4th, that is, the death of the father. The Moon, ruler of the unfortunate 12th, is separating from Mercury in the 8th of death (and ruler of the father’s derived 8th of death) and is closely applying to oppose Mars, ruler of the father.
Interestingly, Venus is the almuten of the radical 8th of death; and Venus is also the dirunal triplicity ruler of the planets Mars (the father), Saturn in the 4th, the Moon (ruler of the 12th), the Sun in the 8th, and Uranus in the 8th (sudden or unexpected death).
Another feature of this chart is that Valens’ Lot of Accusation at 10 Libra 34 (which projects the combined maleficity of Mars and Saturn from the Ascendant) almost exactly conjoins Venus, almuten of the 8th and a general signifier of young women, like the querent who phoned about her missing father. The Spanish literature refers to the Lot of Accusation as the Part of Infortunio (adversity, misfortune). Curtis Manwaring describes it as follows:
Lot of Accusation:
- [Day] Lot = Ascendant + Mars – Saturn
- [Night] Lot = Ascendant + Saturn – Mars
“According to Valens this lot indicates the house [sign] through which the native is likely to experience failure, dangers, or downfalls. This lot is also known as the lot of injury and sometimes the lot of being away from home.” — Curtis Manwaring
In conclusion, it does seem (at least in this case) that the topocentric and the Whole Sign house systems lead to a similar conclusion.