The primary purpose of any system of divination is to get answers to questions. Across time and cultures, one of the most common questions asked of diviners and seers is where a misplaced or lost item might be found, or whether it can be recovered again at all. This is also the case for geomancy, where it’s developed several methods of finding lost or stolen objects or things. John Michael Greer, in his Art and Practice of Geomancy, offers one such method using the house chart of geomancy:
- throw a chart to ask where the lost object may be found
- take the house naturally ruling the type of object the querent has lost as the significator of the quesited
- see whether there’s any perfection between the significator of the querent and quesited to determine whether the object can be found again
- note where the significator of the quesited passes to, if it passes at all, to see where it may be found
While this method is fairly intuitive, it’s pretty complex in how it assigns each house a different type of object, which can be needlessly difficult for a lot of people who can’t decide where something might go. Lots of astrologers (and some geomancers) debate whether things like cars or cell phones are ruled just by the second house or by other houses, since they have different ways of being used and reckoned in the world (as things one owns, as tools, as methods for communication or travel, as homes, etc.). After some experimentation, I decided to develop my own method to find lost objects using a geomancy that’s based a little closer to the traditional rules of horary astrology. It simplifies the method to assign the lost object a significator, and can lead to detailed descriptions of where the lost object may be found.
As in these kinds of readings, it’s best to assume the least and break down the query. Instead of going right for the query “where can I find lost thing X?”, first ask “can I find lost thing X in a reasonable timeframe?”. This way, you know ahead of time whether it’s worth it to try to find the lost object, since some things may be permanently lost, destroyed, or stolen and cannot be recovered. This is done through looking at the house chart and whether or not the significators of the querent and quesited perfect, among other techniques. The significator of the querent is, as always, the first house (unless one is asking on behalf of another, but whatever). The significator of the quesited is the lost thing sought after, but the choice of house for this depends on what the lost thing is. Instead of having each house represent a different kind of thing, we’ll only focus on four houses:
- any object: house II
- pet or small livestock: house VI
- any person: house VII
- wild animal or large livestock: house XII
Although the traditional method taught by Greer assigns each house a different kind or class of object, we’ll simplify this into saying that any object, movable possession, or tangible good is ruled by the second house. Any person is ruled by the seventh house, including lovers, enemies, assassins, politicians, children, or anyone without a connection to the querent. Animals can either be domesticated or wild, a pet or livestock, or small or large (if an average adult can ride it, it’s considered large); if it’s closer to the former set of categories, it’s ruled by the sixth house, but if the latter, the twelfth house. The quesited’s significator represents the color, shape, and general form of the lost object; you might use the astrological, planetary, or other geomantic associations of the figures to discern these (e.g. Puer, associated with Mars and Aries, indicates steel or iron, red, weapon-like, sharp, hot, etc.). A stable figure found as the quesited’s significator shows that the object has not moved recently or will not move anytime soon; a mobile figure, on the other hand, indicates motion to or from the item’s current location.
The house that the quesited’s significator passes to will show the direction or the type of area that the object in question may be found; if the significator does not pass in the chart, then the location specified by its natural house should be used. If the quesited’s figure passes to two or more houses in the chart, the item is in motion between them. In some cases, theft can be the cause of the loss of an object. If the lost object’s signifi cator perfects with the seventh house or twelfth house, and especially the twelfth in the case of a lost person, the chart indicates that the lost item has been stolen by someone known or unknown, respectively. If the lost object occupies the eighth house as well as its own, the object is in someone else’s possession or has already been sold o ff.
Angular houses suggest that the item is where it is often kept or should be or where the querent often frequents. Succedent houses, including the second, shows that the item is not where it usually is kept but is nearby, possibly outside or near an auxiliary building, or near where the querent goes only occasionally. Cadent houses indicate that the item is far off , hidden from its normal location, or where the querent hardly ever or never goes. Individually, the houses indicate the following areas:
- East, where querent spends most of his or her time, on the querent’s body or immediate personal belongings, in front of the house, in the querent’s room, home of grandparent (fourth from the tenth)
- East-northeast, northeast room along the eastern wall, where querent keeps his or her money or valuable possessions, pocketbook, wallet, deposit box, vault, file cabinet, home of a friend (fourth from the eleventh)
- North-northeast, northeast room along the northern wall, on or in a desk, among papers or books, in a study, library, or writing station, in or near a car, places connected to travel, letters, education, or communication, near a telephone, radio, computer, or television, in the neighborhood, with a sibling
- North, in the home, child’s bedroom or under child’s bed (twelfth of the fifth), middle of the house, oldest part of house, kitchen, pantry, basement, with parent, with oldest person in house, in yard or garden
- North-northwest, northwest room along northern wall, in recreation room, in place for hobbies or pleasure, child’s room, with a lover, in a bar, restaurant, tavern, theater, or banquet hall
- West-northwest, northwest room along western wall, container or pocket, inside something, in place where one work or does chores, cupboard, closet, drawer, near pet, with tenant, with servant, with employee, in clinic or doctor’s office
- West, where partner spends most time, with partner, in partner’s room or office, living room, with personal consultant, attorney, or astrologer, father’s residence (fourth from the fourth), with maternal grandmother (tenth from the tenth), with a niece or nephew (fifth from the third)
- West-southwest, southwest room along western wall, in garbage, dead, ruined, gone, potentially unrecoverable, near water or plumbing, in or near bathroom, where research or investigation are done, places of sex, death, or legacies, among partner’s possessions
- South-southwest, southwest room along southern wall, far away or distant places, places related to voyages, heights, religion, college, or publishers, with in-laws (third from the seventh), with grandchildren (fifth from the fifth)
- South, office, where one works, hallway, parent’s room, mother’s room, dining room, department store, public building, with boss, with those in authority, structural parts of a building
- South-southeast, southeast room along southern wall, with friends, in clubs, lodges, meeting places, in partner’s work area (sixth from the seventh), with stepchild (fifth from the seventh), places the querent hopes or wishes to be
- East-southeast, southeast room along eastern wall, in bedroom, under bed, places of confinement, hospitals, institutions, secluded places, private spots, places of prayer, sleep, or meditation, hidden, out of sight, sick room (if the sixth house agrees), with secret enemy, places with large animals
If the geomancer assigns the signs of the zodiac to the houses, then the sign ruling the house that the quesited’s significator passes to (or the sign ruling the its own house, if this significator does not pass in the chart) can also indicate the area of the lost item. The method I use is to assign the first house (or the geomantic ascendant) the sign based on the figure found in it (e.g. if Puella, Libra), then assign the rest of the houses the signs following the ascendant in order. The triplicity and quadruplicity of the sign can offer general indications:
- Cardinal quadruplicity: in the open, a new place, a high place, a place with much activity
- Fixed quadruplicity: a low place, a calm or empty place, hidden
- Mutable quadruplicity: by water, walls, or other boundaries; inner chambers, inside containers
- Fire triplicity: places near heat or fi re, places of energy or power, near iron or gates
- Earth triplicity: places on or under the ground, near or under pavement or the floor; near mud, clay, or dirt
- Air triplicity: places high up or elevated with an open view, near windows or light
- Water triplicity: places near water, bathrooms, kitchens, gardens, ponds
Individual signs can also indicate more specific types or classes of areas where the object may be found:
- Aries: roof coverings, ceilings, plastering in houses, unfrequented places, sandy or hilly ground
- Taurus: low rooms, cellars, places near the earth, agricultural outhouses, sheds and stables
- Gemini: chests, high places, paneled rooms, offices, near office or communication equipment, areas where games are played
- Cancer: near ponds or water, utility rooms, wash houses, bathrooms, kitchens, cisterns
- Leo: woods, parks, large or grand buildings or palaces, near a chimney or source of heat
- Virgo: studies, closets, storage areas, drawers, barns, dairy houses, places where crops are stored or processed
- Libra: windmills, barns, where wood is cut, upper rooms in houses, chambers, little houses, closets
- Scorpio: near muddy or stagnant water, gutters, sinks, kitchens or bathrooms, ruins, compost heaps, dark or secret places
- Sagittarius: high lands, grounds, upper rooms, near fire or a radiator, stables, hills
- Capricorn: low or dark places, near thresholds or boundaries, cow sheds, wood stores, barren fields
- Aquarius: hilly or uneven places, quarries and mines, high places, an attic or roof, upper parts of all rooms
- Pisces: bathroom, kitchen, wells and pumps, all damp places, rivers, fish ponds
Charts for finding locations of something can also be used to determine whether or not the thing can be retrieved or found again, and by what manner if it can at all. This is done by using perfection and aspect between the querent’s and quesited’s significators, as well as perfection between other houses, to determine the prospect of regaining the lost object. Simply put, the method of perfection indicates how the lost item may be regained:
- Occupation: the querent will find the object easily, the object was never truly lost, or the object was always within the querent’s grasp or possession
- Conjunction when the querent’s figure passes: the querent will find the item after much searching and effort
- Conjunction when the quesited’s figure passes: the item will be found with no effort on the part of the querent, the object will by circumstance find its way back to the querent
- Mutation: the item will turn up unexpectedly and unusually
- Translation: a third party will return the item or lead the querent to its location
Favorable aspects (trine and sextile) that form between the querent’s and quesited’s significators indicate an easy or comfortable circumstance in which the item may be found. Unfavorable aspects (square and opposition) show that the querent will have a difficult time searching or finding the object. If the chart denies perfection but there are favorable aspects, the querent will have limited but potentially fruitful opportunities to find the object again.
The kind of house that the quesited’s figure passes to (or the kind of house that naturally rules it if it doesn’t pass in the chart) in terms of quality can hint at how long or how much effort must be used to find the object. If the quesited’s figure passes to an angular house, the item will be found quickly or immediately; if to a succedent house, after some delay; if to a cadent house, only after very long, if the item is to be found at all. If the significator of the lost item is found in multiple houses, then each house may indicate a place where the figure can be found, and the type of house indicates the success or speed of finding it there. The sum of the chart, where one counts all the points of all sixteen figures found in each position of the shield chart, can also off er a similar indication.
Let’s consider a brief example. My sister who was testing out multiple methods of divination for finding lost objects, had her husband hide something of hers somewhere in her house; he chose a small book. Using geomancy, she drew up a chart that had Amissio, Puer, Puer, and Fortuna Minor as the Mothers; the Court had Coniunctio as both Right and Left Witness, Populus as the Judge, and Amissio as the Sentence. Taking the second house as our significator of the quesited, we have Puer, indicating things that are red and metal or weapon-like. Puer passes to the third house, indicating that the place is on or near a desk, near or among books and papers. Amissio sets the ascendant of the chart to Scorpio, giving Capricorn to the third house, indicating a place of work or storage. Put together, the book would be found with a red metal object related to weapons and storage, near or on a desk used for working and paper-holding. Her husband had hidden the book in a small metal lunchbox with a drawing of an anime character wielding a crossbow on her computer workdesk that she used for her job. Not a bad match between chart and reality!
This technique is something I developed out of my brief readings on horary astrology, which influenced geomancy to no small degree during the medieval and Renaissance phase of its development. Though other methods of finding lost objects exist and undoubtedly work, I never had much success with it, and ended up tooling out a method that works much better for me and for other people. Give it a try to see what you think, and feel free to comment on other methods of finding lost objects.