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Summer of ’69, Part IV: The Manson Family Murders

On the night of August 8-9, 1969, four members of the notorious Manson Family invaded a rented home in Los Angeles and brutally murdered five people. Not much by today’s standards, is it? But at the time, the crime created a sensation.


Part of the impact was generated by the celebrity of one of the victims, actress Sharon Tate, who had rented the home with her husband, director Roman Polanski, out of the country on a movie shoot at the time. Tate was eight and a half months pregnant with their child, who also lost its life. Cult leader Charles Manson had earlier instructed Tex Watson to go to the house and “totally destroy everyone in [it], as gruesome as you can”. Watson followed his directive to the letter, bringing with him three female members of the group, Susan Atkins, Linda Kasabian, and Patricia Krenwinkel, who proceeded to cut the phone line, invade the property and slaughter its inhabitants.


These were Sharon Tate; her friend and ex-lover, hairstylist Jay Sebring; Polanski’s friend and aspiring screenwriter Wojciech Frykowski; his lover Abigail Folger, heiress to the Folger coffee fortune; and Steven Parent, a student who had been visiting the property’s caretaker at the Gatehouse and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Parent was shot on the grounds as the group entered, the rest were shot and/or stabbed in the house. Tate was stabbed sixteen times, and her blood was used to scrawl the word “Pig” on the front door. But that wasn’t the most brutal murder, albeit the most horrific, given her advanced pregnancy: Folger was stabbed 28 times, and Frykowski 51.

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The rented house where actress Sharon Tate, her unborn child, and four companions lost their lives when Manson Family members invaded the home

The group entered the property just after midnight, and a chart cast for 12:05 AM PDT in Los Angeles shows organizer Charles Manson, who prompted the murders but did not himself participate, celestially prominent in the form of asteroid Charlene (feminine equivalent of Charles) at 27 Cancer on the 3 Leo IC, and Mans (for Manson) at 13 Taurus on the 20 Taurus Ascendant. Charlene on the IC shows him as foundational to the event; Mans on the Ascendant makes him as the public face of the murders, despite being miles away at the time. Mans is also conjoined Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 8 Taurus, squaring the 16 Leo Sun, further indicating prominence on the day. That Sun is conjoined by asteroids Osiris at 18 Leo, named for the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, and Nemesis at 19 Leo, that point of undoing or ruin, bringing themes of death and destruction to the fore.


Charlene is inconjunct asteroid Anubis, named for the ancient Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, which at 23 Sagittarius is stationary, preparing to turn direct just four days later. Anubis is exactly squared Pluto, modern lord of death and ruler of homicide, at 23 Virgo, which Charlene is sextile to, as well as asteroid Rip, another death indicator, at 29 Virgo. With Pluto/Rip, Anubis forms a T-Square with asteroid Lachesis, named for mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, at 25 Gemini.   Asteroid Sharon, for victim Sharon Tate, is pulled into this pattern from 20 Gemini, conjoined Lachesis, squared Pluto/Rip and opposed Anubis.

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The killers, whose PNAs populate the chart for the murders in prominent ways

Charles “Tex” Watson, who orchestrated the killings and directed his accomplices, repeats the theme of Charlotte established for Manson himself, and is seen in his own right as asteroid Watsonia, which at 9 Aries is also stationary, having turned retrograde on August 3rd, in trine to Mars, ruling knives, stabbing and violent deaths, at 8 Sagittarius, in a loose Grand Trine with the Sun at 16 Leo. On the Mars/Watsonia midpoint, in sextile to each, is asteroid Karma at 8 Aquarius, on the 3 Aquarius MC, powerfully angular and suggesting some fated or predestined connection for Watson with these events.


Watsonia is very tapped into the “Lights”, with a square to the Moon at 3 Cancer as well as its solar contact, and also conjoins asteroid Child, for Tate’s unborn baby, at 1 Aries, which is itself stationary, turning retrograde July 26th, two weeks earlier, at that same degree. Watsonia is widely opposed Uranus exactly conjunct asteroid Tata (for Tate) at 1 Libra, with Jupiter at 3 Libra, identifying his most famous victim (Tata) and the extreme violence and shocking nature (Uranus) of the act, as well as its political motivation (Jupiter – Manson hoped to spark a race war with the killings). Child exactly opposes Uranus/Tata, uniting mother and child.

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The victims, in the wrong place at the wrong time: none of them were targeted specifically, they just happened to be where Manson sent his emissaries

Watson’s confederates were three women from the Family: Susan Atkins, Patricia Krenwinkel and Linda Kasabian. Susan Atkins shows as asteroids Susanna and Atkinson, with Susanna at 4 Gemini, opposing Mars at 8 Sagittarius, and Atkinson at 8 Scorpio, conjoined asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 14 Scorpio, and TNO Ixion, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, at 2 Scorpio. Requiem also conjoins the 20 Scorpio Descendant, giving it angular force and impact and heightening the influence of death in the moment. Patricia Krenwinkel shows as asteroid Patricia, which at 28 Leo conjoins asteroid Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 26 Leo, both trined Anubis. Patricia is also semisextile both Charlene and Rip, on their midpoint, as she carried out Charles Manson’s deadly plans. Linda Kasabian remained with the car as a lookout and did not participate directly in the murders, but shows as asteroid Linda at 28 Pisces, opposing Pluto/Rip and filling in the T-Square with Anubis and Sharon/Lachesis to create a Grand Cross.


A look at Sharon Tate’s natal chart, as the Manson Family’s most famous victim, shows stunning juxtapositions to the day of her death. Born 5:47 PM CWT on January 24, 1943 in Dallas, Texas (Rodden Rating AA), incredibly, Tate also had Anubis stationary at her birth, as at her murder. At 2 Libra, Anubis turned retrograde the very day she was born, and at her death was conjoined by asteroid Tata with Uranus and Jupiter, uniting her celestial referent with the shocking violence of her murder and the additional fame and celebrity which accrued to her name because of it. Anubis is conjoined the IC and TNO Ixion, both at 9 Libra, and opposed the MC at 9 Aries, the precise degree where her killer’s referent, asteroid Watsonia, appears at her death, exactly opposing natal Ixion, uniting murder and murderer.

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Sharon Tate, the most famous victim, with her husband, director Roman Polanski, abroad on a film shoot at the time

A natal pairing of Uranus and Saturn at 0 and 5 Gemini alludes to the possibility of a shocking (Uranus) death (Saturn), and conjoins Susanna at 4 Gemini for her murder, opposed by Mars.   There has been some dispute as to whether Tex Watson or Susan Atkins, or both, actually stabbed Tate; these PNA contacts suggest both had a hand in it. Natal Osiris at 10 Virgo conjoined the Moon at 12 could indicate death at the hands of a woman; these points were squared by transit Mars at her death. Additionally, natal asteroid Atkinson at 22 Sagittarius conjoins natal asteroid Tati, another variant of Tate, at 29 Sag, and is exactly trine natal Lachesis at 22 Leo, with natal Requiem nearby at 20 Leo, linking Atkins to two other death indicators in Tate’s chart. Lastly, Anubis’ station for the murder at 23 Sagittarius conjoins Atkinson, placing her on the scene in real time.


The case for Watson as her killer is augmented by natal Watsonia at 9 Taurus squared natal Pluto at 6 Leo, with transit Saturn at 8 Taurus conjunct natal Watsonia for Tate’s murder. Watsonia also squares Tate’s natal Sun at 4 Aquarius, and opposes natal Nemesis with Rip at 2 and 13 Scorpio, forming a T-Square. That Nemesis was exactly conjoined by transit Ixion (homicide) at her murder, with transit Requiem just a degree off Rip.

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Heavily pregnant at the time of her murder, Tate’s baby also lost its life, with asteroid Child in a T-Square with the Moon (motherhood), Watsonia (for Tex Watson, her killer), Pluto, Rip and asteroid Tata (for Tate); it was her blood the killers used to scrawl “Pig” on the front door

Charles Manson’s pivotal role in Tate’s biography can be seen in the combination of natal asteroid Mans at 14 Pisces with Tata at 11 Pisces, opposing the Osiris/Moon conjunction, with transit Mars T-Squaring these for her murder. Natal asteroid Charlene at 29 Capricorn conjoins the Sun and widely opposes Pluto, more closely squared Karma at 26 Libra. Again we see the element of fate in the tragedy, drawing together two people who never even met, in a circumstance that was (literally) life-altering for both.

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Cult leader Charles Manson hoped to spark a race war that would bring on Armageddon with these killings, though he took no direct part in them

Many other mass murders, with much higher body counts, have occurred in the fifty years since the Manson Family slaughtered Sharon Tate and her companions, but this atrocity remains ingrained in the popular imagination to an unusual extent. In 1971 Charles Manson was convicted of Tate’s murder and sentenced to death, which was commuted to life imprisonment in 1977; he died at California State Prison in Corcoran in November 2017.


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.

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