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The Alex Murdaugh Verdict

On Thursday, 2 March 2023, a South Carolina jury convicted lawyer Alex Murdaugh of the murders of his wife and younger son, after just three hours’ deliberation.  The trial which began January 25th lasted five weeks, and had become a cause celebre, with national news organizations running live coverage during Murdaugh’s testimony and final arguments, then breaking into primetime programming to cover the verdict live.  The sentencing came a day later, with Murdaugh receiving two consecutive life sentences without possibility of parole. 

The Murdaugh case was rife with unusual twists and turns, including an attempt by the defendant to pass off a failed suicide as an attack on himself, and dovetails with numerous investigations for fraud and other criminal acts on the part of Alex Murdaugh.  The prosecution alleged that Murdaugh, an admitted drug addict, killed his wife Maggie and son Paul in an attempt to garner public sympathy before his crimes were exposed.  This seems a weak motive at best, but the evidence of guilt, for whatever cause, was sufficient for the jury to find him guilty on all counts.

murdaugh family
The Murdaughs in happier days; Alex Murdaugh’s natal asteroid Murdoch squared TNO Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, with transit Ixion opposed natal asteroid Alex at the killings, sets up the patriarch for committing homicide

A chart cast for the reading of the verdict at 7:06 PM EST in Walterboro, SC, emphasizes the convicted murderer and his victims.  The angles of the chart, with 22 Virgo/Pisces on the horizontal axis, and 22 Sagittarius/Gemini on the vertical axis, highlight natal points in Murdaugh’s chart which are significant to the circumstance (Richard Alexander “Alex” Murdaugh born 17 June 1968, no time available).  The 22 Virgo Ascendant conjoins both natal Pluto at 20 Virgo, planetary ruler of homicide and criminal acts, and Uranus at 25 Virgo, which rules shootings generally. 

The verdict’s 22 Gemini MC conjoins the natal Sun/Venus conjunction at 25 Gemini, as well as natal Mars at 27 Gemini and natal Mercury at 28 Gemini, representing Murdaugh’s wife (Venus) and Child (Mercury), and their violent deaths (Mars, also ruling guns and attacks).  The 22 Pisces Descendant exactly conjoins natal asteroid Walter, for the Walterboro, SC venue of the trial, while the 22 Sagittarius IC exactly conjoins natal asteroid Paul, Murdaugh’s murdered son, with asteroid House at 23 Sag (the murder occurred at one of Murdaugh’s homes, his hunting lodge in Islandton, SC).

The verdict Sun at 12 Pisces is exactly conjoined by transit asteroid Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, and also incorporates asteroid Lachesis, named for the Fate who determines the span of life, at 14 Pisces, and asteroid Alexander, Murdaugh’s given middle name (and the source of his nickname), at 7 Pisces.  This solar stellium falls at the fulcrum of a T-Square, reaching out to transit Mars (guns, attacks, violent death) at 19 Gemini on the MC, and a cluster of points on the IC, namely asteroids Requiem (named for the funeral mass for the dead), Newman (for Judge Clifton Newman) and Jeffers (for the Jeffries Street location of the courthouse) at 14, 17 and 21 Sagittarius respectively.

murdaugh verdict
Alex Murdaugh is stoic as the “guilty” verdict is read; transit Alex conjunct transit asteroid Themis, named for the Greek goddess of justice, says that justice has been done

The Moon at 22 Cancer opposes an exact conjunction of Pluto (modern lord of death and ruler of homicide) and asteroid Gunn (homophone of “gun”) at 29 Capricorn, with asteroid Richard (Murdaugh’s given first name) close beside at 28 Capricorn, and asteroid Margrethe (one of several PNAs – Personal-Named Asteroids – for wife Margaret, AKA “Maggie”) at 24 Capricorn, uniting killer and victim with death and the means used to achieve it.  A T-Square is formed with transit asteroid Nemesis at 25 Aries, representing ruin or undoing, often self-created. 

A synastric Grand Cross is created with natal points, principally asteroid Karma at 28 Libra (suggesting that Murdaugh is paying the price for prior bad acts) and a grouping of Saturn (ancient lord of death) at 23 Aries with natal asteroids Margherita (another version of Margaret, for which there is no exact asteroid match) and Newman (for the judge) at 20 Aries, and asteroid Lachesis at 21 Aries.  The Aries cluster indicates an inherent potential to determine the span of life (Lachesis) for his wife Maggie (Margherita), with the attendant consequences and penalties (Saturn) pronounced by the judge (Newman).

murdaugh grand cross
A stationary asteroid Margarita (for Margaret “Maggie” Murdoch) at the verdict anchors a Grand Cross incorporating Ixion (murder), Alexandra (Alex) and Margret (also Maggie); Alex with Themis (justice); and Osiris (death)

As well, two points are at station for the verdict, embedded energies which dominate the chart.  One is asteroid Murdoch, phonetic match for Murdaugh, which at 16 Cancer turned direct five days before; and asteroid Margarita (another Margaret variant), which at 5 Cancer turned direct on February 21st, but remains at its station degree.  Both bodies represent a literal “turning point” for the persons associated with them; in this case, Murdaugh’s (Murdoch) conviction and sentencing, and his wife’s (Margarita) vindication in bringing her killer to justice.

Speaking of justice, transit asteroid Justitia, named for the Roman goddess of justice and the root of our word, appears at 24 Pisces, exactly conjunct Neptune and highlighted on the 22 Pisces Descendant.  This indicates justice (Justitia) in the form of imprisonment (Neptune) for Murdaugh.  Asteroid Themis, named for her Greek counterpart, appears at 8 Aries, conjunct transit asteroid Alex at 6 Aries, squared that stationary Margarita, and forming a Grand Cross with asteroid Osiris (named for the Egyptian god of the dead) at 4 Libra and a grouping of asteroids Alexandra (feminine form of Alexander) and Margret (yet another Margaret stand-in) at 6 and 8 Capricorn, with TNO Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, at 4 Cap.  This once again binds the killer (Alex) and victim (Margarita, Margret) with images of death (Osiris) and murder specifically (Ixion), now come to justice (Themis).

murdaugh maggie
Wife Margaret “Maggie” Murdoch has several asteroids to represent her; her husband’s natal asteroid Margherita conjoins Saturn (death) and asteroid Lachesis (lifespan), squared by asteroid Margret; natal Margarita conjoins Requiem (funeral mass for the dead), Alexandra and Gunn (gun), opposing Damocles (doom hanging overhead), all connecting his wife with the theme of death in Alex Murdaugh’s psyche

We’ve covered some of this ground before, but let’s take a closer look at specifically how the murders were foreshadowed in the birth chart.  As noted above, a Grand Cross of the Sun and Venus at 25 Gemini with Mars, Mercury and asteroid Alexander at 27, 28 and 29 Gemini draws in asteroids Paul and House at 22 and 23 Sagittarius in opposition, Pluto and Uranus in square from 20 and 25 Virgo, and asteroid Walter also in square at 22 Pisces.  The Mars square to the Pluto and Uranus conjunction suggests a potential for a homicide (Pluto) involving guns (Mars) and a shooting (Uranus).  The Sun and Alexander personalizes this to Alex Murdaugh, while the presence of Venus and Mercury with the Sun suggests a spouse and child.  Paul specifies which child, House indicates that the murders took place at home, and Walter indicates the general venue for the crime as the region of Walterboro.

We’ve also noted the Aries complex with Saturn (death; also the official spouse, or “consort,” in some contexts), Lachesis and Margherita at 23, 21 and 20 Aries respectively, which spells out Murdaugh as the determining factor in Maggie’s (Margherita) lifespan (Lachesis), the direct cause of her death (Saturn).  Asteroid Margret feeds into this pattern by square from 28 Cancer, reiterating the spousal connection.  The outcome of this potential, in the form of the judge and venue for Murdaugh’s trial for murder, are represented by asteroid Newman (Judge Clifton Newman) at 20 Aries and asteroid Hampton at 24 Cancer (the courthouse is at the corner of Jeffries and Hampton Streets in Walterboro).

murdaugh trial
Alex Murdaugh took the witness stand in his own defense, but his frequent displays of emotion didn’t sway the jury; transit asteroid Murdoch was stationary for the guilty verdict, signaling a major shift in Murdaugh’s life

We can also pull Pluto at 20 Virgo out of the Grand Cross and form a T-Square with squares to asteroid Margarethe at 17 Gemini and Child at 12 Sagittarius, suggesting the murder (Pluto) of wife (Margarethe) and son (Child).  Murdaugh’s propensity toward prompting death by firearm can be seen in asteroid Alexandra (feminine version) at 21 Leo, conjunct asteroids Requiem (named for the funeral mass for the dead) and Gunn (gun) at 20 and 22 Leo.  Jupiter just at the periphery of this grouping, at 0 Virgo, suggests fame or notoriety from the act.  An opposition to Damocles at 19 Aquarius indicates this was a doom or threat hanging over Murdaugh’s head from birth, while a Grand Cross comprised of squares to Nemesis at 26 Taurus and Neptune at 24 Scorpio brings in the elements of the drug use and resulting paranoia which allegedly prompted the attack (both Neptune), and the self-undoing (Nemesis) it wrought, leading to life in prison (Neptune again).

Asteroid Murdoch at 3 Leo squared TNO Ixion at 1 Scorpio sets up Alex Murdaugh as a potential murderer (or victim of a homicide, on the flip side of that coin), and a broad conjunction with asteroid Margarita at 12 Leo pulls wife Maggie into that scenario.  In its own right, Margarita tells more of the tale, squared a grouping of asteroids Osiris, Justitia and Atropos at 7, 10 and 11 Taurus, indicating that there would ultimately be justice (Justitia) for Maggie’s (Margarita) death (Osiris, Atropos).

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Son Paul Murdaugh; asteroid Paul opposes the Sun with Mars (guns, attacks) in his father’s birth chart, in a T-Square with Pluto (planetary ruler of homicide); at the verdict, asteroid Paul conjoins Pluto and asteroids Richard (his father’s given first name) and Gunn

One final suggestion of Alex Murdaugh’s connection to the theme of death remains:  asteroid Alex at 5 Cancer widely conjunct asteroid Rip at 13 Cancer, which acts as a death indicator in the form of the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription.  Alex is also trine natal Ixion at 1 Scorpio, and squared a combination of asteroids Richard (Murdaugh’s given first name) and Anubis (named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites) at 4 and 9 Libra.  In and of itself, this pairing also reflects the potential for a strong connection to death for Murdaugh.  At the verdict, transit TNO Ixion at 4 Capricorn opposed natal Alex and squared natal Richard, establishing Murdaugh as a killer, while transit Rip at 13 Libra was exactly squared its natal place, reinforcing that potential.

A chart for the 911 call at 10:06 PM EDT, about an hour after the murders, on 7 June 2021, from Murdaugh’s Islandton, SC residence, provides additional confirmation of his guilt.  Asteroid Alexander at 25 Libra is at station, indicating a major turning point in Alex Murdaugh’s life; Alexander shifted to direct motion just two days before the shooting, propelling Murdaugh forward into action.  It conjoins the 29 Libra MC, the most elevated point in the chart and the focus of all eyes, so it’s going to be hard to hide his involvement in the crime. 

murdaugh grand cross2
A Grand Cross at the time of the murder highlights all the players; the Sun conjoins Mercury (news) and Osiris (death), opposed asteroid Alex (the killer), squared asteroids Margarita (his wife) and Paul (their son)

An opposition to asteroid Osiris at 18 Aries confirms that a death has occurred, while a Grand Cross is formed with Pluto at 26 Capricorn and a cluster of Mars at 27 Cancer with asteroids Alexandra and Margarethe at 24 and 28 Cancer.  This affirms homicide (Pluto), and identifies the killer (Alexandra) and one victim (Margarethe), as well as the means of murder, a gun (Mars).  There’s one more point tied here, asteroid Themis, which at 25 Capricorn conjoins Pluto, promising there will be justice for the murder at some point.

The Sun at 17 Gemini conjoins asteroid Gunn at 15 Gemini and Mercury at 21 Gemini, opposing asteroid Alex at 12 Sagittarius, in a Grand Cross with asteroid Paul at 18 Virgo and Margarita at 14 Pisces, establishing once again the use of a firearm (Gunn) by Alex Murdaugh (Alex) in killing his wife (Margarita) and son (Paul), an act which would make big news (Mercury).  Again, with the illuminating Sun active, it’s almost impossible to hide culpability.

murdaugh sentencing
Alex Murdaugh and his legal team face Judge Clifton Newman for sentencing; natal asteroid Newman conjoins Saturn, arbiter of penalties meted out, while transit asteroid Newman is in a T-Square with Mars (the shooting), Requiem, Lachesis (both death indicators) and the Sun exact with Atropos (also death), conjoined asteroid Alexander

The Moon at 21 Taurus lies at the fulcrum of a T-Square with asteroid Murdoch at 26 Aquarius and a pairing of two Maggie referents, asteroids Margret and Margherita at 25 and 26 Leo.  This places Murdaugh (Murdoch) at odds with (opposition) his wife (Margret, Margherita), the mother of his children (Moon).  Also with the Leo points are asteroids Justitia and Karma, at 24 and 29 Leo:  there will be a reckoning (Karma) and justice will be done (Justitia).

A combination of asteroids Anubis and Richard at 12 and 14 Cancer is given angular force and momentum by its conjunction with the 10 Cancer Descendant.  This reiterates the theme of Murdaugh (Richard) and death (Anubis), and highlights it in the moment (angularity).

No matter how you slice it, the cosmic jury is in, and the verdict for Alex Murdaugh is “guilty!”

Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

2 comments, add yours.


Wow! Good work nailing down the asteroids involved in this bizarre case. I loved that the moment the verdict was read intersected with Murdaugh’s chart. Stranger than fiction, all of it. Thanks Alex!

Emma Esperanza Acosta

Good for the analysis indicating that a potential killer can be observed.

Bien por el analisis indicando que se puede obervar un asesino potencial.

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