Sherlock Holmes and the Twelfth House of Fear

Thomas Canfield

Looking at the August Full Moon chart (Washington DC, 8/11/2022, 9:35 pm), I am reminded of an old Universal Sherlock Holmes film, “The House of Fear”, which is available on You Tube if anyone wants to watch it. The Full Moon chart has Neptune and Juno rising in the Twelfth House. Neptune stands for mysticism, but it also stands for deception and illusions. Juno is the asteroid of marriage, but also rules things gained by traditional marriage like money, social contacts, and political connections. The old movie deals with a group of retired men who form an exclusive club called “The Good Comrades.” However, one of the comrades is not so good, and soon corpses are turning up.

Pluto is the highest planet in the chart, and in the film the energy of Pluto sets the tone for the murderous mystery. The location is Drearcliff House on the coast of Scotland, and the place has a suitable Gothic horror curse, “where no man goes whole to his grave.” When the Good Comrades become dismembered corpses, Sherlock Holmes is sent for. Yet, his powers of deduction are confused by the odd circumstance of the case. Each victim received an envelope with orange seeds warning of the murder. Why would a killer warn his victim? Would that mean the killer would need an accomplice to deliver the envelope? 

     Neptune is sextile both Pluto and Mars. In the film, gunplay is used as a distraction from the crime, and in real life stories about guns could distract from other major stories. The funniest scene in the film is watching Nigel Bruce taking potshots at anything that moves in Drearcliff House on a dark and stormy night. He has one of those Hollywood guns that never runs out of bullets. Nigel Bruce (as Dr. Watson) is all too eager to accuse everyone of being the killer, and then he nearly ends up as the final victim of Drearcliff. Fortunately, with the Part of Fortune opposing Neptune, Sherlock Holmes manages to assemble the clues in time and save Dr. Watson at the end of the film.

     An amusing mystery film, but what does it have to do with the August Full Moon?  What we may be seeing played out August may be themes worthy of an old-time mystery. Neptune-Juno rising may bring up issues of deception. However, the greatest deception may be played out in a different manner. What if Neptune is not the deceiver, but actually dwarf planet Eris? Tucked in the First House, Eris is semi-sextile the Ascendant, Neptune  and Mars, sextile Saturn, square Pluto,  trine the Midheaven, and quincunx the Part of Fortune. What if the persons claiming to be the victims are really the killers? 

      The Full Moon is conjunct Saturn in the 12th House. The only major female character in “House of Fear” is a dour housekeeper named Mrs. Monteith, whose face looks like it would crack if it tried to smile.  Saturn and the Full Moon in the Twelfth House could mark a time of real life serious planning for women behind the scenes. With the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, there may be developments for an underground railroad, smuggling of medical supplies, and even a fleet of women’s health clinics on ships beyond the 3-mile limit. The Sun is trine Chiron, square the North Node and Uranus, and sextile Pallas, asteroid of wisdom. It could be that surreptitious medical plans may have been in the works for years, and now they are being put into practice. 

        Venus in Leo is quincunx Vesta in the Twelfth House, and we may be learning about other family curses that have been covered up for years, but women are breaking the codes of silence that may have been hiding the frightening details.  Jupiter is trine Ceres in Leo, and helpful stories about women’s health care may be coming out as a counterpoint to the negative propaganda about organizations like Planned Parenthood. Pallas is trine Saturn and the Full Moon and there will be discussion about what needs to be revealed. Pallas is squaring Mercury, and some revelations might be best concealed for the time being, such as the identities of pro-life protesters who would sneak their daughters into Planned Parenthood clinics.

       For August, as with a Sherlock Holmes mystery, see who is trying to control the narrative. Who is making deceptive statements? Who is leaving false clues? Who is the real evil mastermind? Who is the innocent victim? Sometimes the one who complains the loudest can be the one to watch. Sometimes the one who whines the most can be suspicious.  Sometimes the one you think could be the criminal mastermind might really turn out to be a criminal mastermind.

       With the Full Moon, two planets, and two asteroids in the Twelfth House, the big events of the month may be the ones we do not get to see. We may have to rely on second-hand testimony, which may not have been that reliable. Take into account who is telling the story and what their background is. Uranus sextile Juno might give them a lot of publicity with the talking heads on television, but with Pallas squaring Juno there may be an unraveling of the narrative when one considers the sources and what the agenda might be.

       One of the amusing things about watching “House of Fear” is to compare modern crime detection with the old-time detective stories. In a modern crime scene, the residents would be removed from the house and placed in hotel rooms until the police had time to go over the area with film crews, fingerprint teams, and DNA testing. The whole mystery would have been wrapped up in a half hour. In the Sherlock Holmes crime scenes, the victims are allowed to stay in the house where the killer has made attacks, and they end up becoming the next victims (or do they?)  As the elf-like owner of Drearcliff House would say, “Come, come we are all friends here. Aren’t we, or are we?”