Madeleine McCann, daughter of Gerry and Kate McCann, disappeared from the Ocean Club beach resort in Praia de Luz, a holiday destination on the Portuguese Algarve, on 3 May 2007. Since then speculation concerning what happened has led to a number of false arrests, as well as several successful libel suits against both British and Portuguese newspaper groups, not to mention the publication (and banning) of several books on the subject.
Now, with the case being re-opened by the London Metropolitan Police and a brand new appeal to be launched on BBC’s Crimewatch this evening, I thought I would briefly outline why many well-known astrologers may have been reluctant to comment in any conclusive way about the case.
Aside from wanting to avoid legal action and accusations of slander, many astrologers have been fairly confounded about her disappearance for a number of reasons. The first becomes immediately apparent when a horary chart is cast for the event of her disappearance. Although the Moon, in fall in the secretive sign of Scorpio, is very close to rising, it is also void of course – a condition that makes it difficult for any kind of horary judgement to be made about the matter.
In fact, if we are to take our lead from William Lilly, the famous 18th century English astrologer, on the matter, it may be foolhardy to do so. In his well-known text, Christian Astrology, he writes:
“Generally consider the state of the Moon, for if she be void of course there’s no great hopes of the Question propounded, that it shall be effected; yet if she be in Cancer, Taurus, Sagittarius or Pisces, your fear may be lesse, for then she is not much impedited by being voyd of course.”
[CA, Aphorism 9 of his section entitled ‘APHORISMES and Considerations for better judging any HORARY QUESTION.’]
It is, perhaps this Scorpio Moon that has lead astrologers such as Marjorie Orr to talk of a ‘niggling feeling that everyone seems to have that everything is not quite what it seems.’[i] By itself, the Moon in Scorpio suggests that the matter is far from straightforward or clear – adding a murky and mysterious, if suspicious element to proceedings. The condition of the Moon, in fall, makes it difficult to read.
If we consider that in this chart, the Moon rules the 9th house of foreign travel, then perhaps the lack of clarity may be due to the fact that the event took place in Portugal, foreign territory for the McCanns, a place full of strangers and where police investigations are conducted somewhat differently. We know now that the initial enquiry was bungled by the local police, perhaps unused to contending with high profile cases of this nature, and that, like the case of the murder of Meredith Kercher in Italy in 2007, much forensic evidence was either lost or contaminated due to poor crime scene management procedures.
Although it is tempting to interpret Venus (Lady of the 7th house) in the 8th as Madeleine, the fact that the Moon is about to change signs means that it is difficult to draw any kind of conclusions from this placement, however persuasive or compelling the symbolism.
The other factor, of course, is that we do not know the definite birth times of all the parties involved. Although several birth times and dates have emerged over the past six years for Gerry, Kate and Madeleine, none has been confirmed by the family. We do know that Madeleine was born on the 12th of May 2003[ii], probably in Rothley, Leicestershire, where her parents live.[iii] It has since been claimed that her birth time is 18h14, but this remains unconfirmed. Gerry’s birth data is given on Astrodatabank as being 07h45 on 5 June 1968, Glasgow, while Kate’s is thought to be 5 March 1968 Liverpool, England with two suggested times – 6.50 am and 7.45 am.
Marjorie Orr has made some preliminary comments about the parent’s charts, as well as the astrology surrounding Madeleine’s disappearance, which perhaps might further explain why, for many, the whole matter is so murky:
Madeleine also disappeared when there was a fixed Grand Square of the Full Moon onto the Saturn-Neptune opposition – and that is very paranoid and prone to conspiracy theories. It may also be partly that both Gerry and Kate McCann have Jupiter in Leo square Neptune in their charts – Jupiter in Leo is a showman, given to extravagant gestures; and square to Neptune, which adds a slightly unreal streak to their natures and their image. With Neptune around, there’s always a feeling that things aren’t quite as straightforward as they seem. There’s no suggestion in it of anything really nasty – it’s just difficult with Neptune to pin down exactly what is going on.[iv]
This could explain why suspicion originally fell on them – not necessarily because they were guilty per se, but because they gave off this very unreal, slightly ‘shady’ energy, which made it difficult for people to trust them.
Neptune is a planet that governs mists and can have the effect of obscuring things, blurring outlines or making people seem a little unreal or deceptive, so it is probably quite important that not only do Gerry and Kate have an afflicted natal Neptune, but that Neptune was very close to an exact opposition with Saturn at the time of the event. One could say that this opposition, which was in effect for much of 2006 through to the end of 2007, could be characterised by the theme of ‘appearance vs. reality’. During this time, many people found it hard to separate fact from fiction, and indeed, it was during this period that the global financial bubble, caused by reckless futures trading and the buying and selling of ‘fantasy money’ on the stock markets, reached its height before finally bursting in 2008.
We saw a similar pattern with the case of Meredith Kercher, in which two of the prime suspects, Amanda Knox and her lover, Raffaele Sollecito (along with Ivory Coast national, Rudy Hermann Guede, who was convicted in a separate fast track trial), were hastily convicted of Meredith’s murder in 2008/9, but this was swiftly followed by a successful appeal to have the case overturned in 2011.[v] Once again, seemingly due to police incompetence, not only was the crime scene contaminated, affecting the validity of later DNA testing, but certain leads were never followed up. A definite time of death for Meredith has also never been properly established. Now, with a re-trial currently underway in Florence, the strange and rather complex case is once again in the spotlight.[vi]
It is interesting that Amanda Knox, the student co-accused of conspiring to kill Meredith, also has a natal Mercury-Neptune opposition[vii]. This may help to explain why she changed her story so often during questioning (which may simply have been because she was scared and trying to protect herself by adapting to changing circumstances) and why she continues to appear so guilty and untrustworthy, despite, like the McCanns, protesting her innocence.
As well as the Jupiter square mentioned above, Kate McCann also has a Moon-Neptune opposition, which is particularly interesting, given that Maddy was born on the New Moon when Madeleine’s natal Sun was exactly conjunct Kate McCann’s Moon – ‘a classic child parent connection,’ according to Orr.[viii]
Following on from this, it is perhaps worth noting (although no definite conclusions can be drawn from it at this stage) that on the 3rd of May 2007, the transiting Sun and Mercury, both in a tight conjunction in Taurus (13 degrees Taurus), were both transiting extremely close to Maddy’s natal Mercury (also 13 degrees Taurus), which is square to her natal Mars-Neptune conjunction. Again, we have the signature of Neptune, albeit somewhat indirectly, further suggesting that the truth of what happened that day is being obscured in some way. Mercury, if afflicted, is often associated with thieves in horary astrology. Tied by aspect to the Sun, it does suggest that two people may somehow have conspired to carry out what happened to her on that day. Of course, as with any other transit, these can be interpreted in a number of ways, so to try and say more than that at this stage, would be mere speculation.
Here I should point out that, other than the Moon, we can be certain of Madeleine’s natal planets – we just cannot be sure of her Moon sign (it was on the cusp between Virgo and Libra on that day) or her house cusps. You can view my working natal chart for Madeleine McCann, along with transits, by clicking on the hyperlink.
On that fateful day, the Moon in Scorpio was also very close to an exact conjunction with Maddy’s natal North Node (0 degrees Sagittarius), so perhaps, from the perspective of evolutionary astrology, this was part of her role in this particular lifetime, to teach her parents, or society at large, certain lessons concerning the need to discern between beliefs vs. facts, especially in the media, through her ordeal. On the other hand, if she is ever found, it may well be the case that, like the girls recently found in Cleveland Ohio after being abducted and held for over 10 years, her parent’s faith and hope that she is alive will prove to be well-founded.
Of course, Neptune has changed signs since then, making positive contacts to Jupiter and Saturn in July, so perhaps the time has come for some answers to emerge in this longstanding and tragic case. On the eve of the Crimewatch broadcast, with the transiting Moon newly ingressed into Pisces, and a lunar eclipse in Aries in a few days’ time, perhaps this fresh appeal to to the public will finally yield some clues. Let’s hope so.
[i] Marjorie Orr, Blog post, 10 Nov 2007 14:10, Astro Information, http://www.star4cast.com/index2f.asp?page=political_display%2Easp%3Fid%3D154
[ii] See the post entitled ‘General Update May 2009’, on FindMadeleine.com, http://www.findmadeleine.com/updates/updates@page=3.html
[iv] Marjorie Orr, Blog post, ‘McCanns, 21 Jul 2008 20:30’, Astro Information, http://www.star4cast.com/index2f.asp?page=political_display%2Easp%3Fid%3D154
[viii] Marjorie Orr, Blog post, 10 Nov 2007 14:10, Astro Information, http://www.star4cast.com/index2f.asp?page=political_display%2Easp%3Fid%3D154