• Maria J. Mateus

The Mystery of Charlie's Last Outing

Last October, my older cat Charlie went missing in the early hours of a Thursday morning. He never came back. He was accustomed to going out because ever since we adopted him, he refused to use an indoor litterbox. Although we are well aware of the dangers of letting our cats go out, I am a believer that one cannot protect adult beings from every single danger in life without doing damage to their soul and enabling depression and illness. Charlie learned how to check for cars when crossing streets, didn't roam far from the house, and had managed to live 16 long and happy years as a loved, free and healthy pet. Notwithstanding this, any pet's disappearance is very sad, which is why it has taken some time for me to be able to write about its astrology. But it's now time to examine the chart because it's extremely educational in many regards.

While looking for him, a neighbor down the street told us that he had seen what looked like a "large dog" walking behind a smaller "white dog" away from his house around 5 AM that morning. Our heart sank because Charlie is a large white cat with brown spots that could have been mistaken for a small dog from far away during the dark morning hours. Could the large dog have been a coyote that ambushed him? Charlie was still healthy, agile and very cautious of potential dangers. He would often walk behind us for his evening stroll around the block, while constantly stopping to look back for any signs of animal or human dangers. We could not imagine a coyote being able to catch him unaware or run him down. Nevertheless, it was a sad possibility we were confronted with by the testimony.

A few days later, a friend, who has some psychic abilities, told me that he thought Charlie (whom he did not know about) had died from something poisonous he had ingested while outside that morning. My first impression was to visually see Charlie grazing on grass, which he loved to do on his walks. I had not told my friend about this. Could Charlie have accidentally eaten some poisonous plant or some chemical fertilizer by accident? But if that were true, surely we would have gotten a signal from his collar and been able to find him in the neighborhood. All three of our cats have locators on their collars with a range of 400 feet. We have always been able to find them, as well as locate their collars when lost. Yet we had searched all over several neighborhoods and found no signal at all. If he had lost his collar, we would have found it somewhere. On the other hand, he could have been wounded someplace without his collar.

Initially, I tried to locate him with a horary chart. [A horary chart is a chart for the moment when you ask an important question. I have used it often in the past -- among many other things -- to locate missing pets.] I used the time when my husband and I were looking for Charlie in the nearby neighborhoods. However, this chart's time was dubious as a "horary moment" because we had been looking for him on and off for hours before I remembered to check the time. Horary charts (and all event charts in general) are most relevant as inception charts. That is, they are supposed to be charts of "the birth" of something, such as a question, or an event. When the time is cast for some time after the question has first arisen, that horary chart may not be radical. For a chart to be "radical" it means that the chart addresses the question being posed. There is a test that astrologers use to see if the chart has radicality, and therefore can be read. In addition, I also feel horary questions need to be voiced aloud by the person who wants to know. The question about Charlie's whereabouts was never voiced aloud by either of us. Thus, when I examined the chart, it had no radicality and was useless.

Weeks went by and I accepted that Charlie was gone. But I still wanted to know what happened to him. It then occurred to me that we had a better time for an inception moment. We have cameras on our doors in order to keep track of our pets' comings and goings. The videos have time stamps on them. This is how we know that Charlie left the house at exactly 4:28 AM on that Thursday. This chart would make a better event chart. In this case, it is not a horary chart, but an event chart for the inception of his outing. A chart's context changes how to interpret it. In this case, the event is somewhat like a birth or a trip, and the chart shows the trajectory of the being who is on that "journey". Charlie would not be located by the lord of the 6th house of pets -- as we might do if I had posed the question -- because this chart was not for my question, but rather for his outing. Therefore, he would be signified by the lord of the 1st house of this chart. Here's what it looked like:

There is no need to check for radicality, as it is not a question chart. Virgo rising tells us right away that there's a problem in Charlie's physical body, environment or his outing (1st house). Virgo is a sign that indicates something in its house is problematic. To fix the problem (that is, fulfill the Virgo need) Charlie needs to engage in a Mercury action in the 2nd. Mercury is a planet of analyzing, critiquing or learning, as a means for fixing or improving something. The 2nd house, where Mercury is placed, is the place containing the resources we need for survival. It is also a place of food and things we ingest, since these are things we need for survival. (Moon in a Virgo 2nd in human birth charts, can often indicate problems in the diet.) Mercury here, indicates the need to know about or recognize what is being ingested, in order to avoid a problem in the body. He may not have been able to do this. Because Mercury is Retrograde, we can see that Charlie had been here before to graze. He has gone back to a familiar place. Mercury is applying to an opposition with Chiron, indicating that Charlie will become mortally wounded (Chiron in the 8th) while in this familiar place. The wounding is from Mars (because it is provider of death. More on who Mars is, below).

The Moon in the 2nd confirms that the ingestion of food (the Moon indicates the receiving or taking in of something in that house) is linked to the problem needing to be resolved by Mercury, since the Moon is separating from a conjunction with Mercury. But that grazing has happened habitually in the past as well, since that aspect occurs in the past, before the outing. However, the Moon is void, that is, not making any other aspect before leaving its sign. This is an indication that the outing depicted in the chart, has its course nullified by inaction. To add to the injury, the Moon is in the via combusta, which often indicates grave issues.


The provider of the food is shown by Venus, whose action is to acquire. It tells us that someone was providing nourishment (and that it was an on-going thing, shown by fixed sign Scorpio) by acquiring something in the neighborhood (the 3rd house). However, that something in the neighborhood was toxic, that is, needing to be purged (Scorpio on the 3rd cusp). The Libra sign over the 2nd tells us there is a concern for the aesthetics of the "food", which may mean toxic chemicals to beautify the yard, or a poisonous plant that might look or smell good to cats. Note the Moon becomes inactive before it has a chance to reach the purging sign.


The Mars/Sun partile conjunction is perhaps the most enlightening part of the story. Mars shows a neighbor (as lord of the 3rd), who is in the 2nd and has detrimental power over Charlie's "food" (Mars is detriment lord of Libra). As triplicity lord of the 1st, Mars not only has administrative powers over Charlie's physical environment and outing, he is also the provider of death or inactivity (rules the 8th). The Sun is a hidden enemy (rules the 12th). Because Mars is cazimi (within 15 minutes of the Sun), it is not only hidden from sight (by virtue of being behind the Sun's rays), but also in the heart of the Sun (by being within 15 degrees of the Sun's degree). That usually means that Mars and Sun are of the same intention or can be thought of as the same person. So the hidden enemy and the neighbor are one and the same person. And his decision-making power over the cat's "food" (Sun in 2nd), which also has the power to bring down "that nourishment" (as fall lord of the 2nd) , is central to the life of this pet's outing. Furthermore, the Sun is out-of-sect. That tells us that his selecting nourishment of nourishment is inappropriate to the situation. In other words, he doesn't have the ability to select properly (out-of-sect Sun). "Appropriateness of action" is not about morally right and wrong outcomes. Sect is always dependent upon the context at hand. That is why it is assessed according to the turning of the wheel. Thus, while adding toxic chemicals may be an appropriate decision in the context of beautifying or adding value to a yard, it may be inappropriate in the context of selecting what to eat.

Let's look at the 7th and Jupiter, since it is the opposing force to this outing (lord of Pisces, on the 7th) with the power to remove the pet (detriment lord of the 1st). If Charlie were ambushed by a coyote, this house would be significantly activated and we would expect its ruler to be angular. The 7th has Pisces on the cusp, indicating a need for the opponent to transcend the physical limitations of his body. Could this be a hungry coyote? Might Neptune in that sign, point to a lack of a conscious surrender to the coyote as an opponent? No.


We always need to check both houses of the domicile rulership to get a sense of who might embody the planet signifying the opponent. Jupiter not only rules the 7th, but it also rules the 4th. That means whoever is the most challenging force to Charlie is also the provider of property in the neighborhood. Thus, Jupiter does not embody the coyote. In addition, the 6th is the 4th from the 3rd, so it also signifies the neighbor's property as a place of illness for Charlie. Jupiter is a provider of advanced knowledge, wisdom or truths with the capacity to increase or upgrade the cat's illness. But he does so unwittingly (Neptune in 7th). Planetary placements are an existing condition at the time Charlie went out. In other words, Neptune doesn't show an unconscious cat lying in the opponent's lair because that was not an existing condition at the time Charlie went out. More likely, it shows a unwitting dangerous consequence of the opponent's actions, already present at the time of Charlie's outing.


In Aquarius we have a technological sign, which also indicates the need to make the land wetter (This is a very ancient meaning of Aquarius, linked to its provider Saturn -- which is co-present here with Jupiter.) But Jupiter is out-of-sect in the 6th, which indicates that its impropriety is due to "too much inclusion" of that which makes the food "prettier" (Moon in Libra 2nd, since the Moon is sect leader). In other words we have a situation where someone is in the neighbor's land, attempting with his advanced knowledge, to make the land "wetter". However, in using too much of what he thinks uplifts the land, he unwittingly "upgrades" an illness to Charlie during this outing. International Cat Care identifies glyphosate and POEA, as one of several herbicide dangers to cats whose effects seem relevant with regard to Aquarius:


"Glyphosate is a widely used and readily available herbicide. It is primarily available in liquid formulations but these may vary in strength. Many products contain a surfactant, polyoxyethylene amine (POEA), which improves the ‘wettability’ of plants for maximum coverage and aids the glyphosate in penetrating through the plant surface."


Although Charlie had for many years been happy with drinking water from a large sink we filled just for him at home, he had more recently gotten into a bad habit of preferring to drink from dirty pooled water outside. Although he didn't have any obvious signs during his routine check-ups, he may have been slowly exposing himself to toxins for some time, without any of us detecting it. Mercury, which indicates Charlie himself as manager/maintainer of the illness (triplicity lord of Aquarius) is in retrograde, which points to a repeated action, as does Jupiter's retrograde. However, on this particular occasion, there may have been excessive toxins in whatever he ingested or drank.


In conclusion, I have tried to read Mars as the embodiment of a hungry coyote. But it does not seem to fit all of the indicators present. However, there is support of it as a hidden enemy that can bring future death, since Mercury retrogrades next to a conjunction with the Sun (hidden enemy = lord of 12th) after it has already been with Mars (provider of death= lord of 9th). The question is whether the Sun/Mars combo are signifying a human or an animal? The final clue lies in Libra. Traditionally, it is one of the "human", rather than "beast" signs. It is also a sign indicating a need for judgement, which seems more appropriate for an act of involuntary cat-slaughter by an unseen human, than for the hunting of prey by a predator. Additionally, the opposition to Charlie's environment is not adversarial, but unwitting and without willfulness, given that Neptune opposition to Virgo. Thirdly, the strongest indicator of death through poisoning is given by the fact that Mercury is disposed to Venus which is in a toxic sign; and that Mars, the manager of Charlie's body (triplicity lord of Virgo) is also the detriment lord of his food and present in that place. Mercury meeting up with Mars is really the problem, because both planets represent required actions for Virgo problems: 1) an analytical capacity to understand and remove dangerous elements from the resource environment, after a selective process has occurred (Sun). These actions were beyond the mental capacity of the animal, hence the Neptune opposition.

So what about the neighbor's testimony about seeing a coyote? Was there ever a coyote? I believe there might have been and that its' action explains why we never found Charlie's body. Its significator would have been shown through Venus, as lord of the 9th and 2nd. This means the coyote's action could more appropriately be characterized as an acquisition, rather than a brawl for survival. Aside from being the provider of Charlie's own resources/food, Venus can also signify an alien presence in the neighborhood attempting to fulfill its own need for sustenance by finding something in the neighborhood(ruler of Taurus on the 9th, placed in the 3rd). He probably found his sustenance after Mercury symbolically encounters the Sun, and after the Moon and Venus have both symbolically moved into Sagittarius (3-4: 3rd house, 4th sign). Because it is here that they entered into the 8th sign from the 9th, which makes the neighborhood the place of something dead collected and acquired by "a foreigner" driven by a search for a target (Sagittarius). The reason we can look into Venus's and the Moon's symbolic crossing into Sagittarius, is because at the time that Mercury encounters Sun and Mars, the Moon and Venus are both in Sagittarius. This symbolically represents that after Charlie's outing had become null and void by his death, the coyote found what he was looking for (Sagittarius) in a place of death that is a foreign land to him (4th = 8th from the 9th).