"Will my van be returned or found?"

A client came for consultation a week after his van was stolen.  It was an old van, not worth much by itself, but inside it were valuable tools and materials.  The querent wondered if a neighbor might have taken it; he did similar work, and the two didn't get along. “Will my van be returned or found?  Will the contents be returned with it, if found?  Was the neighbor or his friend involved, or will the thief be discovered?”  (12 Leo Asc; see chart below).

This chart presents some puzzling testimonies, which means making choices: does a testimony mean this or that?  Following the cardinal rule of ‘Keep It Simple,’ here’s how I judged it.


The querent is signified by the Sun, ruler of Leo on the Ascendant, and by the Moon.  The Moon sits on the second house cusp, showing the querent’s major concern--his van.  The stolen van is signified by Mercury, ruler of Virgo on the second house cusp.  Mercury is in Gemini, a double-bodied sign, suggesting that it can signify both the van and its contents.  I proceeded on that assumption.


Which planet represents the thief?  Venus is tightly conjunct Mercury by antiscion (18.02 Cancer/11.58 Gemini).  This is a smoking gun, showing us a picture of the Venus person secretly in possession of the van and its contents.


The querent suspected his neighbor.  Lord 3 is also Mercury; therefore, we could use the ruler of the next sign over--Venus, as ruler of Libra--to signify the neighbor.  In cases of theft, however, I hesitate to point the finger unless the evidence is overwhelming.  Venus could be the neighbor, yes, but it could be someone else.  


Another possible suspect for the thief is Mars, sitting close to Mercury at 9 Gemini.  But Mars is applying to conjunction with Mercury, whereas Venus has already perfected the conjunction.


Look at the motion between Mercury, Venus, and Mars, though: there’s an interesting story unfolding here. Venus has already conjuncted Mercury (the van and its contents) by antiscion.  Venus then conjuncts Mars by antiscion, after which Mercury and Mars conjunct bodily.  Mercury eventually conjuncts the Sun, when each planet reaches 8 Gemini.  I told the querent:


I'm concerned that Mars might represent a second person, working with the Venus thief.  Mars bumps into Mercury, then moves further away from the Sun, while Mercury moves towards the Sun. This looks to me like perhaps the Mars person takes the tools and leaves the van, which is then recovered and returned to you.


That was the part I seemed to get right.  The part I didn’t get right was the timing.


I saw two testimonies to support recovery of the van itself.  First, the Moon--seen here as the flow of events--makes an immediate square to the Sun, our querent, in one degree.  Second, Mercury and the Sun will conjunct in about four degrees, as mentioned earlier.  I took these testimonies together to mean ‘about a month’s time.’  


In reality, recovery took two months.  The police found the van in an abandoned apartment complex, its windows and windshield broken, the tools and materials gone.  The querent went to claim it at a towing company but decided it would be too costly to fix and so left it for scrap.  Unfortunately, the thief--or thieves--have never been discovered.


Some puzzling things remain.  Venus by antiscion will conjunct the Sun, too, before Mercury reaches the Sun bodily.  What does this mean?  I wasn’t sure then and I’m not sure now.  Absent any further action by the police or confession by the culprits themselves, we will never know exactly what happened.