One of the most shocking and truly horrific stories to emerge over the last few years was that of Elisabeth Fritzl who had been held captive for 24 years in a concealed basement area of her family house by her father, Josef who had physically assaulted, sexually abused, and raped her numerous times during her imprisonment. The abuse by her father resulted in the birth of seven children and one miscarriage, four of the children joined their mother in captivity, and three were raised by Josef and Elizabeth’s mother, Rosemarie.
Whenever Capricorn Research writes about a chart like Josef Fritzl’s there is a pressure to start with a caveat. Just because one man born on one particular day locks up his daughter and continually rapes her for 24 years, this does not mean that everyone born on the same day will do the same thing. If this was the case, the rest of us would have to join the police in order to spend all our time looking for suspicious enclosed basements.
This way of thinking is based on a misunderstanding of what astrology is, and it is a fundamental one that is responsible for all of the criticism of the subject.
The so called scientific approach to astrology expects that if millions of people share the same symbol, their experience should be broadly the same otherwise there can be no demonstration of an effect.
To paraphrase a quote that once appeared in Private Eye, if one person with the Sun in Scorpio gets knocked down by an egg lorry, then a significant percentage of the world’s Scorpios should meet the same fate on the same day. This is quite obviously not going to be the case, but much of the opposition to astrology is based on an assumption that astrologers are saying it should.
Implicit in these assumptions are that astrologers don’t believe in genetic, environmental or socio economic factors, they simply say people do what the planets tell them to.
This is of course nonsense, but it suits people who condemn astrology to assert these things.
As people we are a combination of all kinds of influences. There are so many factors that have a bearing on human behaviour. As astrologers all we are saying is that people will also play out their lives as an expression of a combination of natural symbols and one way to gain an understanding of this symbolic influence is to study the patterns that the planets make at the moment of their birth.
Obviously the symbols operating on someone who is a member of a royal family will play out in a different way in relation to someone born into a deprived family on an inner city sink estate.
A birth chart is a series of symbols, each of which have quite a wide range and depth. The first job that an astrologer has when looking at the chart of an individual is to try and establish what level the person is operating on. With someone like Josef Fritzl we are obviously dealing with someone operating at the lowest level imaginable.
We all know that the Sun in Aries indicates an assertive, competitive personality, someone who is inclined to get their own way, we know also that they can at times be aggressive.
The Moon in Cancer usually indicates someone with very close emotional ties to other female family members, and sometimes this can create a relationship that is less than healthy.
This combination of Sun and Moon might begin to point us in a certain direction, but its a very long way from there to even touch on the crimes that Fritzl was guilty of.
The Sun’s aspects however give us more clues. The Sun is opposite Mars. This is actually quite an unusual aspect, the particular features of the orbits of the Earth and Mars means that it will occur about 35 % as frequently as most of the other aspects.
It dose also start to suggest a tendency to aggressiveness that could lead to violent behaviour. Also the fact that its running from Aries to Libra tends to focus it in the area of sexual relationships.
But the thing that really focuses the power of this opposition for abusive and violent ends is the T square to Pluto.
The T square is the simplest and quite probably the most powerful aspect pattern in astrology. It takes the level of tension and challenge that is always part of an opposition aspect and focuses all that energy very powerfully on a third planet that is in square to them both.
So Pluto as an apex of a T Square is always going to be powerful and explosive. If Mars is involved there’s a good chance of violent actions. As the focus of a Sun / Mars opposition between Aries and Libra we are probably looking at some kind of aggressive and even abusive sexual expression, wife beating is a possibility.
Now Cancer is the sign of the family and particularly relationships between children and parents. That Pluto is in Cancer could be symbolically relevant although Capricorn Research doesn’t put much store by this because it was in the same sign for about 25 years.
The Moon however is in Cancer so now we are being pointed in the direction of sexual violence towards family members.
In most circumstances where the Moon is in Cancer, there is a close connection with the person’s mother. Capricorn Research has found no reference to Josef Fritzl’s relationship with his mother, but its likely it would have been a strange one.
The only aspect that the Moon receives is a square to Mercury. Mercury rules youth and teenagers so it seems likely that all this violent sexual energy would be directed at his daughter.
Another important aspect in Fritzl’s chart is the extremely close opposition between Venus and Jupiter ( an orb of only 6 minutes ). In astrology the closer the aspect, the more powerful it is.
Venus in Taurus opposite Jupiter in Scorpio suggests someone with extremely strong personal and sexual magnetism. It is a very potent combination which is simply reflected in the fact that he fathered 14 children, 7 with his wife Rosemarie and 7 as a result of his abuse of Elizabeth.
The Jupiter in Scorpio indicates that there is something mysterious and even sinister about his affairs.
The Moon in a chart will often point to the arena in life where the person feels most comfortable and where they would naturally and instinctively operate. Cancer rules the home and family. However abhorrent Fritzl’s actions were, he undoubtedly saw himself as a father figure and his warped sense of reality meant he probably believed he was doing the right thing by protecting and supporting his children / grandchildren.
There is also an opposition between Saturn in Pisces and Neptune in Virgo that seems to suggest the idea of imprisonment or incarceration. Saturn is the principle of restraint and both Pisces and its ruler Neptune are symbolic of retreat or withdrawal from normal life.
Of course the big problem with looking at charts like this is the lack of birth time. Capricorn Research does not normally go in for rectification as its unprovable but there are certain circumstances that are begging for it.
Fritzl’s chart is an extremely difficult one but if it was focused more on the 4th and 5th houses of home, family and children, as well as perhaps the 1st – 7th for relationships it would explain this horrific life more simply.
So how about this one, timed for 4.08 am.
This time works on a number of different levels.
The T Square is very focused now. The Sun is in Aries in the 1st house, indicating an even greater level of assertiveness and a determination for one’s own themes to dominate everyone else.
Mars is now in Libra in the 7th house, which places the aggressive themes right in the area of relationships.
The apex Pluto which is the focus of it all is now in the 5th house of children. His daughter Elizabeth was obviously the target of all this abuse so its only fitting that the main thrust of the chart is Pluto in Cancer in the 5th.
The Moon is now at the bottom of the chart in the 4th house which reinforces the family theme but also introduces the notion of a family ( Cancer ) being kept locked away underground ( 4th house ).
This rectified time also produces a Pisces Ascendant which symbolises the secrecy that Josef Fritzl created. Pisceans often have to remove part of themselves from the normal run of life.
Saturn is now in Pisces closely conjunct the Ascendant, so the idea of imprisonment becomes much more important. It also means that Neptune, the planet that opposes Saturn is in the 7th house of relationships.
Also the more sinister side of the Venus / Jupiter opposition comes to the fore as it runs across the 2nd to 8th houses.
This is now the chart of someone who could imprison and repeatedly rape his own daughter for 24 years without anyone knowing about it.
But why Elizabeth ? Would there be something in her chart that describes her horrendous ordeal as victim ?
One very simple point is that Elizabeth has her Sun also at 18 degrees Aries.
Its quite often true that family members have their Suns or other important parts of the chart in close dynamic aspect to each other. This would naturally pick out family themes where people may have characteristics in common, but also show particular patterns that have to be experienced by all of them together.
Not only does Elizabeth have the Sun in Aries exactly conjunct Josef’s, she also has the Sun conjunct Mars. Josef had the aggressive Sun / Mars opposition. Elizabeth’s Sun / Mars conjunction shows that she is going to be the target of her father’s sexual abuse and violence.
Elizabeth has the Moon in Scorpio. Many astrologers would agree that this is the most difficult single astrological feature, because of its sheer depth and intensity. People with this combination have no choice but to plumb the depths of experience, a superficial ordinary life is out of the question.
There is of course tremendous capacity for transformation and reinvention in this placing but to get to that point there invariably has to be a lot of suffering on the way.
Elizabeth has the Moon in Scorpio conjunct Neptune. We have already looked at Neptune’s role in terms of retreat from normal life and it does have rulership over prisons.
So what clearer way to indicate someone who was incarcerated in the basement of her own family home than Moon in Scorpio conjunct Neptune ?
Also this symbolism is reinforced by the closest aspect in her chart, the conjunction of Mercury and Saturn in Pisces.
Mercury rules movement, Saturn restraint and Pisces retreat, so the exact conjunction shows how she was kept hostage in a room that she could barely stand up in for 24 years.
This Mercury / Saturn conjunction is opposite a Uranus / Pluto one in Virgo. This certainly adds to the harshness of the experience, and also its sudden unpredictability.
The Uranus / Pluto is extremely close ( a mere 3 minutes separate these two heavyweights ) and oppositions to such an aspect would point to someone who was picked out for fate to experience something very demanding and difficult. With this kind of pattern Elizabeth Fritzl would have very little say in how her life panned out.
This opposition is also part of a T Square which focuses on Jupiter in Gemini.
As a rule we think of Jupiter being an auspicious planet, but when it is in difficult aspect with other planets, its main contribution is to expand and enlarge the experience.
So if all the other features in Elizabeth’s chart are pointing to incarceration and sexual abuse, Jupiter’s position here would simply mean there would be much more of it and it would last a long time.
Jupiter could also show the results in terms of 7 children being born in this captive situation.
But it may be that in the end Jupiter was what gave her the reprieve.
This Mercury / Saturn is also in close aspect to the Moon / Neptune. The aspect is a trine which is probably just as well. If it had been a square as part of a Grand Cross she would never have emerged and almost certainly been killed probably along with her children.
Again in Elizabeth’s case it would help to have a birth time.
The Ascendant is our window on the world, it rules the way we see the world and the way others see us. So someone who was removed from the world most of her young life would have to have a rising sign that reflects that. We are talking about, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn or Pisces as the only possibilities.
Scorpio and Capricorn rising people do not usually end up as victims as both signs have a strong sense of control over their surroundings.
So we have two possible rectifications that would make sense for Elizabeth, Virgo or Pisces rising. The best way to proceed in this type of situation is to ask the Universe itself what her Ascendant was. This is done by horary, casting a chart for the moment the question comes into your mind and looking at the position of the Moon. On doing that, the answer that came up was Virgo, so a chart has been constructed to fit that.
Virgoans invariably operate behind the scenes and have a low public profile so this is the most appropriate rising sign so it works remarkably well.
The Sun’s position by house will always show the area of life that most of the persons energy will be concentrated on. So as Elizabeth Fritzl was on the receiving end of such horrendous and sustained sexual abuse for the large part of her life, the most appropriate house for the Sun / Mars conjunction in Aries to be in , is the 8th house of sex.
The fact that she was imprisoned in the basement of her own home for 24 years means that it makes sense that the 4th house and the very base of the chart would have to be tenanted. What better than to have the Moon conjunct Neptune in Scorpio there ?
The other very important point is that the T Square is now in angular houses and this gives it a bigger impact on Elizabeth’s life. The exact Uranus / Pluto conjunction is rising, so the sudden shock of being imprisoned by her father and the massive impact that this had on her life and her personal expression insists that this conjunction be in the 1st house.
The other end of the opposition, the exact Mercury / Saturn conjunction in Pisces is in the 7th house of relationships, the perfect place for it to be as she was imprisoned in order to be her father’s sexual partner.
In terms of the synastry between the Josef and Elizabeth’s charts, these rectifications mean that Josef’s ultra controlling Saturn in Pisces falls exactly on Elizabeth’s 7th house cusp and opposite her Ascendant, restraining and imprisoning her.
So why did things happen when they did ? Joseph’s abuse of Elizabeth began in 1977 when she was 11 years old.
As with so many of the charts that we have looked at on this website, when Pluto is involved in a major aspect pattern in the birth chart, the events referred to in the chart invariably come to the fore when Pluto makes the one and only transit of the person’s lifetime to the other planets in that pattern.
The propensity for violence and sexual abuse in Josef Fritzl’s chart is particularly symbolised by his Mars / Pluto square aspect. Pluto took over 40 years to reach Mars by conjunction but it did so in 1977, triggering the awful indications in his natal chart.
Between 1978 and 1981 Pluto opposed not only Josef’s Sun but also Elizabeth’s Sun and her Mars. The impact of this was not only the turning point of both of their lives, but also the ruin of Elizabeth’s.
The sexual abuse and multiple rapes are indicated in Josef’s chart by the Sun / Mars / Pluto T square. The imprisonment of his daughter is actually related to the Moon in Cancer in his 4th house and the Saturn / Neptune opposition.
During the early years of Josef’s abuse of Elizabeth he was planning her imprisonment and turned the basement of his house into a potential dungeon. In 1984 on the pretext of getting her to help him hang a door, he lured her into the basement and imprisoned her.
Pluto in 1984 was opposite Uranus and trine his Moon. The opposition to Uranus showed the sudden, unexpected nature of his act. The trine aspect showed how easy this crime was.
Josef had succesfully ( Pluto trine ) put his daughter ( Moon in Cancer ) in prison in his basement ( 4th house ).
As is often the case with astrology, particularly when we are dealing with momentous events in a person’s life, these events are indicated by two major transits at the same time.
In 1984, Neptune was opposite Josef’s Moon.
In Elizabeth’s chart, the abuse and the imprisonment are also separately indicated. The abuse is related to the Sun / Mars conjunction in Aries in the 8th house. The imprisonment is shown by the Moon in Scorpio in the 4th house conjunct Neptune and Saturn conjunct Mercury in Pisces in the 7th house. So the slow moving planets to trigger these events would be Saturn and Neptune.
In 1984 Saturn transitted to conjunct Elizabeth’s Neptune, in 1985 it was conjunct her Moon.
Elizabeth’s incarceration lasted for 24 years. It ended in April 2008, when Kerstin, Elizabeth’s oldest daughter became ill and Josef agreed to let her out of the dungeon to seek medical help. It was the first time that either Elizabeth or Kerstin had seen daylight in 24 years. Kerstin was taken to hospital, and Joseph released Elizabeth and the other children from the cellar maintaining that his daughter had been a member of a religious cult and had just suddenly returned.
The authorities became suspicious and the police took them in for questioning. Once Elizabeth realised she was free from her father’s influence she told her story and Josef was arrested. In March 2009, Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The biggest turning point in anyone’s life has to be the Pluto transit to the Sun, this occurred for both Josef and Elizabeth when the abuse began.
The second most important transit would have to be Pluto to the Moon. Pluto was opposite Josef Fritzl’s Moon in 2008 – 9.
The other point to make was that Saturn was opposite its natal position in Josef’s chart and therefore opposite the rectified Ascendant and conjunct the 7th house cusp. Saturn’s transits will often mark the ending of a particular cycle of life. The imprisonment of his daughter came to an end and was replaced by his own.
There are two planets that govern freedom, Jupiter and Uranus.
In 2008 when Elizabeth emerged into the light, Uranus had moved half way round the chart to oppose its natal position and Pluto and make a conjunction with the very Mercury / Saturn placing in Pisces in the 7th that symbolised her imprisonment. Uranus’ transit meant that her chains had been broken just as suddenly as they were made in the first place.
In 2008, Jupiter was also square to her Sun and Mars, showing that finally she was free from the abuse.
The charts of Josef and Elizabeth Fritzl are staggeringly powerful and point as clearly as is possible to the truly terrifying ordeal. The rectifications of their charts as indicated hammer home the pointers that are powerfully there anyway.
It is said that in most cases of abuse, the abuser is not some dark unknown figure, but in fact often a friend or even family member. This is a truly sickening state of affairs.
One of the most distressing things about the Fritzl case was that no one discovered it for all that time. Josef’s wife and Elizabeth’s mother, Rosemarie lived upstairs and believed her husband’s story about the disappearance of their daughter and even the strange appearance of three of her children which the couple adopted as their own.
It has to go down as one of the greatest failures of social services.
Capricorn Research often wonders what the world would be like if there was a broad general acceptance of astrology throughout society. Would this mean that social workers investigating family issues would look at the charts of children who might be at risk ?
Such knowledge could help to solve cases like the Fritzl one and could have saved Elizabeth from all those years of torture. On the other hand, it would place an awful lot of responsibility in the hands of those having to make astrological judgements based on the synastry between family members.
At least such a world would insist on everyone’s birth times being on record, so we wouldn’t have to rely on rectification.