Deciphering Charles Manson’s Natal Chart

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To understand someone like Charles Manson, a man convicted of several murders, you start with examining his actions, his words, his history and his personality and the ways that he influenced others. But there are other clues: as a researcher, I often rely upon genealogical tools to help me find a suspect, understand their motives, and even learn more about their victims. But astrology can also provide significant clues about a person’s motivations.

I am currently in the editing stages of the first book in a new true crime series that I’ll be publishing within a few months. In this series “Sign of a Sociopath” I’ll be using Natal (birth) Charts to help provide a little more comprehension to some of the most notorious killers and criminals in history.

Charles Manson is the first subject of this series.

We are fortunate that we not only know the exact date and location where Manson was born, but also his birth time.

There are obvious ‘red flags’ in Manson’s early childhood, leading to certain conclusions about his later life. The lack of caring parents, the crimes his mother committed, the abuse he sustained at the hands of his uncle and later, the criminal justice system. Manson also had a diagnosed anti-social personality disorder, and years of tutelage by white supremacists and sex traffickers. Many people believe that Charlie was made a monster by the abuse he suffered as a child. But when you begin to look at his natal chart, you’ll see that from Day One he had a number of strikes against him.

SUN in ♏Scorpio

Your Sun Sign describes the heart and soul of your personality, what motivates and drives you, and who you are learning to become. Scorpios are seductive, interested in all things hidden or occult, charming and very sexual. There are also a high number of what we politely refer to as Type B Personality Disorders among Scorpios — that is, sociopaths and psychopaths. Charles Manson had an anti-social personality disorder, diagnosed years before the 1969 murders.

Scorpios are often mystics: able to separate the veil between reality and divinity and when of sound mind, can straddle those two worlds effectively. They hear what is happening ‘on the other side’. Charlie experienced what he believed was a spiritual awakening, under the use of LSD (acid) while listening to The Beatles’ White Album. He believed the Beatles had left hidden messages to him in their lyrics, and that a global race war between black and white people was imminent.

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Scorpios know how to make good use of others’ resources and talents. They sniff them out and know how to utilize and spend those resources. Charlie believed that he not only had the talent to be a successful music performer, but that other established artists ‘owed it’ to him to help him launch his own career.

Scorpios can be quick to temper and will even turn their venom upon themselves. They need to feel safe in all relationships and situations, and in control. When they do not feel safe or lose control, or if they feel misunderstood, they can snap. When they feel unsafe, threatened or even ignored, you can potentially expect a ‘Scorched Earth’ response from heated Scorpios. When three of his followers were arrested during the first week of August 1969 (including one for murder), Charlie most definitely snapped. This was the time, he decided, to launch Helter Skelter — to ‘get back at’ those who were stopping him from achieving his dreams.

MOON in ♒Aquarius

Your Moon Sign describes your instinctive and emotional nature. While your Sun Sign describes the qualities you are learning to develop, your Moon usually describes who you already are. People born under the Moon in Aquarius tend to be very lucky, and often quite powerful. In fact, you could say that they expect others to bend to their needs and often get their way. Charlie certainly exerted his influence over those he met and expected them to become what he desired.

“One of his things was to stop you during the day and you’d put your palms up to his and then he’d move them in any direction that he could. Or he’d make a series of faces and then you were supposed to try to keep up with him and the whole thing was always geared toward just complete mirroring of him.” — Leslie Van Houten, convicted Manson Family killer, from the program “Turning Point” ©1994 American Broadcast Company (ABC)

But they are sometimes possessed of a fear or anxiety that chips away at their self-confidence. They absolutely hate to be laughed at or made the fool in social situations.

“I laughed at him once and he jerked me by the hair and said, ‘You won’t ever laugh at me again’.” — Patricia Krenwinkel, from her 2004 Parole Hearing

If the Moon’s influence is strong, this individual will likely have a good relationship with their mother and the other mothers in their life. They will find their mother inspiring and a role model. But if the Moon’s influence is not strong, they may have a strained relationship with their mother.

“I punched my mother out once,” Charlie later told a reporter.

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Manson and his cousin with their grandmother Nancy

One description of people born with a Moon in Aquarius that I read claimed that they are not only often misunderstood but may even be perceived of as a danger or threat to society.

ASCENDANT in ♉Taurus

Ascendant is another way of saying “Rising Sign” and your ascendant shows the way you project yourself, how others see you, and the kind of experiences needed to make your life meaningful. As you can imagine with a fixed earth sign represented by a Bull, Taureans tend to be a little rigid and stubborn. They do not like change that they don’t control. They seek comfort over risk. They believe that A + B = AB and that if they follow the steps, they will absolutely get the results they desire.

“He instilled terror toward the end there, in every single person around him. He had total control over them.” — Catherine Share from the documentary “Manson” ©2009 The History Channel

If these individuals had lots of stability, security and creature comforts during their childhoods, they tend to control their baser instincts as adults. But if their young life was marked by deprivation and fear, they can develop an overly materialistic view of the world.

MERCURY in ♏Scorpio

Mercury is the first planet from the Sun. In Greek mythology, Mercury was Hermes — the winged messenger god. The movements of Mercury are believed to influence communication here on Earth. Where Mercury falls on your natal chart can inform the way that an individual thinks and makes sense of their world.

Several times each year Mercury slows down in its orbit around the Sun, creating an optical illusion of moving backward. We call this Retrograde, and when Mercury is in retrograde, communication often breaks down, misfires or otherwise stalls. From dropped cellphone calls, to computer problems — here on Earth we often see a communication breakdown when Mercury is in retrograde. Mercury is not the only planet to go retrograde, although it does so more frequently than the other planets.

During 1969, the year that the Manson Family killed ten people, there were the following retrograde events:

Mercury: Six times (Jan 20, Feb 10, May 17, Jun 10, Sep 16, Oct 8); Venus: Twice (Mar 18, Apr 29); Mars: Twice (Apr 27, Jul 8); Jupiter: Twice (Jan 20, May 23); Saturn: Once (Aug 21); Uranus: Twice (Jan 8, Jun 7); Neptune: Twice (Feb 28, Aug 7 — the day before the Tate/Cielo Drive murders); Pluto: Twice (Jun 2, Dec 30)

Charlie was not born with Mercury Retrograde in his natal chart. Charlie was born under the Scorpio sun sign and Mercury in Scorpio — a reflection of who he strived to be. Charles Manson never believed that he needed to be anything other than what he was. He never strove to be something different, better, or more/less than what he was — and what he was, he believed, was simply a creature of his own mindset.

Now, we know that Charlie did also emulate others (notably, he wanted to be as famous as the Beatles) but he never did this in a way that required him to act like the people he wanted to be compared to. He simply believed that he was destined, and deserving, of the good things that his heroes had achieved and believed that all he had to do to accomplish this was be himself.

VENUS in ♏Scorpio

Venus is the second planet to the sun, and the closest planet both to Earth and our moon. In Greek mythology Venus was known as Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty. In your natal chart, Venus will indicate how you feel about wealth, your home, your relationships, and your health .

Charlie was born with Venus in Scorpio. Again, this validates the image of himself in his mind. He was key to wealth, to health, to home and to relationships. His needs were utmost, above all others.

“Sometimes George (Spahn) asked the ranch hands what Charlie and his girls were really doing. They said that Charlie sat under a tree for hours, playing his guitar and the girls brought food and water to him. They said that the women all adored Charlie, which the wranglers couldn’t understand because Manson was small and sorta dark and not very handsome. They said the women sewed clothes for Charlie and rubbed his feet. They told George that there was a lot of lovemaking going on.” — The Manson Family: More to the Story by H. Allegra Lansing 2019 Swann Publications

MARS in ♍Virgo

Mars is the fourth planet from the Sun, one planet further from the Sun than Earth and is named for the Roman God of War (the Greeks called him Ares). Mars is the patron saint of the military forces and war. Mars in your natal chart reflects your will — about sex, passion and energy, and how you choose to express it. Mars highlights the lengths you will go, to get what you desire.

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Those who are born with Mars in Virgo tend to be very work-centric. They get a large sense of accomplishment and pride from the work that they do, and they want to do their job very well. They will practice and practice and practice, to improve their efforts and are often known as workaholics.

“We spent hours each day practicing, arranging and writing songs, and the music was often so good it gave me goosebumps… The acoustics out in the open didn’t compare with a studio set-up but the quiet, open desert added its own magic to our music. Without microphones or amplifiers there was a pure, earthy quality to our instruments and voices. We were a bunch of kids sitting around an open bonfire in one of the most primitive areas in the nation, but our arrangements and lyrics were as modern and free as our philosophy. God, there was so much talent there… We had reached a level of accomplishment that was amazing.” — Charles Manson quoted in Manson: In His Own Words as told to Nuel Emmons ©1986 Grove Press

Their perfectionism often finds fault with others’ work. They will often react with biting sarcasm and a superiority complex. They are not shy about pointing out your failings, and how they would have done so much better. They are skillful strategists in war, who don’t consider your feelings when it comes to conflict.

“He would put one of us in front of the circle and begin to be critical and just basically all geared toward dismantling our personalities and who we were… it was very humiliating… He was having us give up our personalities… That I was lost in thinking that I didn’t understand him, that I needed to try harder… We were doing this completely disrobed.” — Leslie Van Houten, during her 2020 parole hearing

JUPITER in ♏Scorpio

Jupiter is the fifth planet from the Sun, and the largest in our solar system. Named for the Roman god Jupiter (Zeus in Greek), God of the sky and thunder and King of all of the Gods. Where Jupiter falls in our natal chart indicates our beliefs in something greater than ourselves. It’s our spiritual life, our religious life, and our relationship with God.

Those with Jupiter in Sagittarius are so dedicated, their determination becomes infectious: they will inspire others to rally to their cause and agree with their beliefs.

“Charlie was like a modern-day Moses. He had us preparing to go to the land of milk and honey, where we could live after the Helter Skelter race war… According to Charlie, this shelter from the war was a big hole in the middle of the desert… this place could be accessed through a hole in Death Valley leading to what he called ‘the bottomless pit’… This would be a sustainable world where we would never be too hot or too cold, where there was natural light, and where there would be enough food to last through this period of tribulation… Charlie also described more benefits of this mystical space, saying things like, ‘None of us will age down underground. When we come up after the race war, we will be as strong and vital as we are now’… we were supposed to have as many babies as we could, so our family could repopulate the earth with beautiful, strong, healthy people.” — Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake, Deborah Herman ©2017 William Morrow

SATURN in ♒Aquarius

The sixth planet from the Sun, the second largest in our solar system, Saturn is a gaseous planet about nine times larger than Planet Earth. Named after the Roman god of wealth and agriculture, Saturn on your natal chart represents boundaries. Saturn is a constricting energy, bringing structure and meaning to our world.

Saturn represents, in our natal charts, our father figures — both our literal fathers and those who form and make us through their mentorship or even neglect. We know that Charlie had no real fathers in his life: he never knew his birth father, his first stepdad (who married Manson’s mother just prior to the baby’s birth) was quickly out of his life, his uncle who helped raise him was strict and abusive, and other father figures were just as lacking in their ability to love and care for this young boy.

“My father is the jailhouse. My father is your system… I am only what you made me. I am only a reflection of you.” — Charles Manson, unknown source

URANUS (retrograde) in ♈Aries

Uranus in Aries always means for a dynamic and bold personality, but when it goes retrograde then holy shit! Talk about temper — oof! This person is bound to be incredibly independent, brash, and attention-seeking. The kind of person who believes “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. I mean, Manson was so desperate for fame that he had people killed, and he was even willing to be known as a serial killer when he hadn’t (we believe) technically actually killed anyone.

This sign, in fact, is known as the ‘Mad Scientist’ of Astrology. They are very inventive, incredibly curious and definitely innovative. The problem is reining in all that fire energy into something productive and successful. Some manage to do so, Manson did not.

Actually, when Uranus is in Aries often means times in history when revolutions begin and radical new ways of thinking and living spring to life. It’s a time to break away from old, outdated ideas about civilization and religions in favor of reinvention. It’s a moment when the collective unconscious can awaken to usher in a new stage of human development. Charlie thought he had stumbled upon the most radical idea of all — that black and white people would fight a global war and he would emerge as the world’s natural leader. He wasn’t the only one with kooky ideas in the late 60s, however when sociopaths use LSD, it doesn’t bring to mind a stable, peaceable solution for the future.

Aries is the sign of rage and anger. When that’s a righteous anger over civil injustice, it can spark significant social change. But when it’s senseless (or fueled by psychotropic drugs), it can only become destructive.

Uranus was Retrograde in Aries at the time of Charlie’s birth. The next time Uranus went Retrograde in Aries was on March 11, 2011 — the day of the most recent major Japanese earthquake. This earthquake was so seismic that it caused a tsunami, nuclear meltdowns in three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi Power Plant, and the death of nearly 16,000 people. It also physically moved Honshu, the main island of Japan, by eight feet, shifted the Earth’s axis and increased its’ rotational speed!

You can learn more about Charlie, the Manson Family, their crimes and find out when “Sign of a Sociopath: Charles Manson” will be released (including information on all his astrological houses) by visiting

Written by

Author of the “More to the Story” true crime nonfiction series.

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