It was the summer of 1969 and the world was restless – Neil Armstrong had just taken a ‘giant leap for mankind,’ with his famous Apollo 11 Moon landing, American troops were starting to withdraw from Vietnam, Woodstock gathered over 350,000 fans, and the Beatles were busy recording their last and possibly finest album, Abbey Road.
But a little man with wild brown eyes was about to put an indelible mark on that era, which would fill future generations with horror and disbelief. A frenzy of evil was suddenly unleashed for two terrible August nights in the posh suburbs of Los Angeles.
The ink soon flowed from newspapers around the globe with graphic images of death. Seven bodies had been tagged by the time the carnage ended. They included an actress who was eight and a half months pregnant, a celebrity hair stylist, a coffee-heiress and her boyfriend, a teenager working a second job, and a grocery store owner and his wife.
At first, the police were baffled as the city shook with fear. It took several months with over forty detectives working on the case and some help from a local news station before the clues began pointing to a group of California hippies living on a ranch. Then they learned who had orchestrated these macabre murder scenes.
Charles Milles Manson had formed his own cult, a group of believers known as ‘the family,’ and convinced them that the world was on the verge of breaking out into an apocalyptic war of the races after hearing the Beatles song Helter Skelter. The only solution his warped mind could find was a call to action that involved a mass slaughter of the innocent victims. And his followers carried out the plan with an unwavering allegiance during that August weekend.
Evil is never easy to understand – its roots, its development, are often obscured by the horrific end results. We do know that every baby starts out more or less normal and smiles and cries and does all the things we’d expect a baby to do. But in a short passage of time, something goes terribly awry – could it be heredity? Could it be environment? Or were these fateful happenings sealed in the stars?
Flashback to a child in kindergarten – a very special and charismatic child with a piercing gaze and a soft tone. And at this age when girls think boys are icky, he is able to convince them to beat up the classmates he doesn’t like. How is this possible?
His so-called ‘soft aspects,’ trines and sextiles, in the natal chart are unrevealing. Sun and Venus sextile his M.C. are the only two aspects with a close orb and relate to setting goals in life and bringing harmony into relationships. Both are fairly vague when viewed in and of themselves.
The harder aspects, ‘conjunctions, oppositions, and squares,’ show a Sun-Venus conjunction at 1º and 31′. This often brings a deep, honest affection to love relationships or can corrupt and lead to a pleasure seeking lifestyle without loyalty or commitment. There will be harmony in the make-up and popularity will be a result of this charming, harmonious self-expression.
Later in Manson’s life, he would start dating one woman and then quickly bring another into the relationship. At one point, he shared a woman’s apartment with her and eighteen other women who came and went in a hedonistic paradise. He re-enacted this scene on an even larger scale that summer at the infamous Spahn ranch outside Malibu.
Dissipation at this magnitude can be seen in another very close natal conjunction: Mars-Neptune at 0º and 35′, which represents a squandering of one’s energy instead of enhancing spirituality – and we’ll talk about more Mars and Neptune aspects gone wrong in the next blog.
There’s still more to be said about this enchanting personality. What made his followers such eager mimics, whether it be carving an ‘X’ into their foreheads or going on a killing spree? For the answer: let’s look at the midpoints.
Manson has an extremely tight orb of Venus to Pluto with 0º and 03′ and Sun to Pluto, again at 0º but slightly more distance with 49′ of separation. We know these are precise locations because of the time listed on his birth certificate. Both Sun and Venus move about one degree a day, so even a few hours can be crucial for a midpoint, much less so for traditional astrology.
When we think of extremes and intensity, we think of the power of Pluto. Sun-Pluto gives the power of self-expression and Venus-Pluto gives the power of love and creativity. Now add a Jupiter midpoint to this combination and the effect strengthens from a strong appeal into an undying devotion – exactly what you’d expect from a charismatic cult leader.
It’s easy to understand how his Sun-Venus personality drew people in from all walks of life. But how did this influence depart from the careless, sensuous, land of free love and bend violently onto a path of destruction? All will be revealed in the Making of Madness, part II.
Charles Milles Manson: Born Nov 12, 1934, Cincinnati General Hospital, Ohio, USA, 4:40 PM EST
© 2018 by Aren Ober — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED