What turns a charismatic leader into a serial killer? Had Charles Manson passed before the summer of 1969, he likely would have been remembered as a man with a strange allure who had spent nearly half his life in prison for petty offenses. And seven families of seven victims would have been none the poorer.
For it was during that second sultry weekend in August that Manson and his followers went on a killing spree. They stabbed, shot, and bludgeoned random people in a fit of madness. And to highlight their gruesome work, they scrawled defiant messages on walls and doors with the victims’ blood.
The world was shocked and horrified. Police work began immediately but it took months of piecing bits of evidence together before the suspects coalesced into a band of shadowy figures intent on carrying out their view of the apocalypse known as Helter Skelter.
They victims were:
- A pregnant actress ready to deliver her baby in two weeks (Sharon Tate)
- A Hollywood stylist with celebrity clients (Jay Sebring)
- A wealthy immigrant, provocateur, and aspiring writer (Voytek Frykowski)
- An heiress to a coffee fortune with a passion for painting (Abigail Folger)
- A smart, hard-working teenager who had just graduated from high school (Steven Parent)
- An energetic supermarket executive who loved racing thoroughbred horses (Leno LaBianca)
- A dress shop owner and sharp investor who had an ugly, recurring premonition that something terrible was going to happen in her home on Waverly Drive (Rosemary LaBianca)
Looking again at Manson’s natal chart, it’s hard to find any sinister aspects.
Sun-Venus gives an easy friendliness and Mars-Neptune means charm or deception, and dissipated energy. Sun square Saturn may indicate a hard-working, responsible individual or a selfish cynic. And Uranus sesqui-square Neptune and square Pluto tend toward generational aspects since these planets move so slowly. (Uranus moves through a zodiac sign every 7 years, Neptune in 14 years, and Pluto just over 20 years.)
What’s missing? Once again, midpoint astrology reveals much more.
Let’s start with the reddish planet named after the God of War that stands for energy and activity: Mars. Manson has a very close orb of 0 ° and 15′ of Mars to Moon-Pluto. The moon represents emotions and Pluto is a controlling body given to great intensity, fanaticism, and life transformations. Often, this aspect results in violent, uncontrollable emotions in a person who is very sensitive and hurt easily. An offhand comment, a quick look, a moment’s indifference — these trivialities of everyday relationships — can lead to great outbursts. And Mars will only intensify this reaction.
Manson has more Mars midpoints that accentuate Mercury-Uranus and Mercury-Pluto.
Mercury refers to the mind and both of these aspects may lead to harsh, brutal thinking and fanaticism. And as the world tragically witnessed, these midpoints went beyond the ‘thinking’ stage as Mars energized these thoughts and transformed them into actions.
We see brutality with more Mars midpoints. Mars-Uranus means violence, explosiveness, and a revolutionary, while Mars-Pluto can be a ruthless and cruel individual. Saturn will give a cold and merciless discipline to these actions.
It is said that Manson was furious with the sloppiness of Tate murders. He had not accompanied his followers — a natal Mars-Neptune deceit designed to shift blame from himself and onto them should the police happen by — but heard chaos overcame the scene.
There were screams and shouts and gunshots here and there. One bold victim, Voytek Frykowski, briefly escaped outside before he was killed, and blood was everywhere — members of Manson’s family were drenched in red when they returned to Spahn ranch.
Now Manson, who curiously had not been present — a natal Mars-Neptune deception he wrongly believed would allow the blame to shift from himself and fall on others — became so worked up that he demanded an immediate reprise. And on Sunday night, he accompanied his followers around Los Feliz and personally selected the home of next two victims: Leno and Rosemary LaBianca.
He stayed around long enough to see them bound with lamp cords and then left before the murders were committed. Of course, conspiracy to commit murder is the same as murder itself, and it didn’t matter whether Manson was present or not. He had given the order.
The last troubling midpoint is Saturn to Uranus-Neptune and this one also has a very close orb of 0° and 18′. We’ve said before that Uranus and Neptune are slow moving planets but a Saturn midpoint is unusual and means all three bodies are in alignment.
Instead of a Uranus-Neptune visionary following their dreams and intuition with a Saturn structure, this manifests as an obsessive and restless opportunist, who exploited others for personal gain.
There’s one last question to be answered. We’ve seen how Manson’s natal chart created the foundations for a charismatic leader with a bent toward death and destruction, but what aspect set this terrible chain of events in motion? Part III examines the triggers that forever changed the summer of 1969.
Charles Milles Manson: Born Nov 12, 1934, Cincinnati General Hospital, Ohio, USA, 4:40 PM EST
© 2018 by Aren Ober — ALL RIGHTS RESERVED