If research was done to find the one single photograph that appeared most frequently in the British media over the last 50 years, it’s a fair bet that it would be that one of Moors murderess, Myra Hindley. You know the one with the bleached blonde hair in a tousled thick bob, hooked nose and masculine features with dark sunken eyes which managed to convey a sense of being cold and uncaring whilst at the same time a threat of menace.
Characterised by the press as “the most evil woman in Britain”, Hindley’s photograph, taken shortly after she was arrested, is described by some commentators as similar to the mythical Medusa and, according to one writer has become “synonymous with the idea of feminine evil”.
Hindley with her boyfriend Ian Brady abused and murdered five, possibly six children and buried them on the Lancashire Moors. Their arrest resulted in the first mass-murder trial held since the abolition of the death penalty and public reaction was and perhaps still is the strongest ever felt towards any murderer in history.
The Ascendant represents the image of a person and Myra Hindley’s Ascendant is conjunct Saturn which creates this dark, sinister portrait.
Capricorn Research has a collection of 545 Murderers of which 74 contain an element of sex crime in the act. In the Murderers sample Saturn occurs in the 12th house significantly more often than any other with a score of over 130% of the expected figure. In the sample of murders which contain sex crime this total soars to an astonishing 227% and Saturn’s actual conjunction with the Ascendant occurs 243% of the expected number of times. A sample of 74 is generally too small to obtain statistical significance but the spread of Saturn between the 11th, 12th and 1st houses is so strong that it produces a ChiSquare figure of 0.00044, which is exceptional in a study of this size.
Saturn is the principle of limitation and suppression, so as well as giving a dark countenance, its placing close to the Ascendant indicates a strong degree of repression that is very likely to affect behaviour. The Ascendant is the way we express ourselves in the world and Saturn here would powerfully impact on Hindley’s life. Saturn can often indicate people who have authority and power over the person’s life and it appears to represent her partner in crime, Brady who had both the Sun and Moon in Capricorn, Saturn’s sign. Brady it seems dominated Hindley and some observers have suggested that she took part in the crimes simply to please him.
Looking at the rest of Hindley’s chart suggests that the picture is not that simple. Hindley’s Sun is at the base of her chart conjunct Pluto. The nadir of the chart does seem to be the place where murderer’s Suns congregate with the 4th house scoring over 130% in the larger sample. Where sex crime is part of the murders, the 4th house scores 194% and the 3rd house 146%. As well as this the Sun’s conjunction to Pluto scores at a staggering 267% of the expected figure.
Myra Hindley also has the Moon in Pluto’s sign, Scorpio, which has the highest Moon sign score in the larger Murderers group at 128%. Her Moon is part of a T Square including Uranus and Mars. In the smaller sample, the Moon’s difficult aspects to both Mars and Uranus score significantly higher than expected.
So the combination of the dark, brooding Saturn rising with the intense and obsessive power of the Sun / Pluto conjunction operating from the very depths of her being at the base of the chart together with a passionate and manipulative Scorpio Moon being in difficult aspect to the disruptive and eccentric Uranus and the aggressive and violent Mars does paint the picture of someone who was so notorious.
The Sun, Moon and Ascendant together with aspects that they may have to other planets will give us a very good understanding of the character and the basic themes of their life. If there is a T Square in the chart this will show the person’s actions because they will be forced to act out the tensions involved in the pattern and will particularly focus on the apex planet.
Hindley’s T Square is based on the opposition from the Moon in Scorpio to Uranus in her 12th house. It is appropriate to think of both Saturn and Uranus as the influence of Ian Brady as he not only is a double Capricorn but also has Uranus rising. Viewed in this way Hindley’s powerful and passionately emotional Scorpio Moon was insistently drawn to the dominant figure of Brady and the tension created by this relationship was strongly focused onto Mars in Leo in the 4th house.
The 4th house rules the family, our relationships with our parents, our psychological roots and also how our childhood experiences impact on our lives. With an apex Mars in the 4th, Hindley was bullied and abused by her father and also by Brady but it shows that these experiences would have contributed towards her own violent expression. In some ways the 4th house can point to how our early experiences condition how we bring up our own children or our relationship to children in general. The 5th house rules children and with an apex Mars in the 5th sign ( Leo ) in the 4th house we can see how Hindley was drawn to expressing her own internal problems through violence towards children.
As a girl, Myra had suffered physical violence from her stepfather, a demobbed paratrooper. At the age of 13, she witnessed the drowning of a boyfriend in a reservoir in 1955. Pluto was square to Hindley’s Moon and conjunct her Mars between 1952 and 55.
As if to prove the view that Saturn in Hindley’s chart represents Brady they first met in 1961 when Pluto was in square to the ringed planet. They began their series of gruesome murders in 1963 and continued until they were arrested in 1965. They were given three concurrent life terms.
Pluto was square Hindley’s Ascendant from 1963 – 65, giving brutal and tragic expression to the horrific and intense feelings that she carried around with her. The year 1965 was an exceptional year in Astrology as Pluto was conjunct Uranus and for much of the time Saturn was opposite these two. So all the planets that had such difficult and dark connections in Hindley’s chart including the two that represent Brady, came together in one extremely powerful transit.
Brady, who always said that he did not want to be released, was rarely mentioned in the news, but Hindley’s gender, her repeated insistence on her innocence, followed by her attempts to secure her release after confessing her guilt, resulted in her becoming a figure of hate in the national media. Even her mother insisted that she should die in prison, for fear for her daughter’s safety. Some commentators expressed the view that of the two, Hindley was the “more evil”.
Lord Longford, a devout Roman Catholic, campaigned to secure the release of “celebrated” criminals, and Myra Hindley in particular, which earned him constant derision from the public and the press. He described Hindley as a “delightful” person and said “you could loathe what people did but should not loathe what they were because human personality was sacred even though human behaviour was very often appalling”. Despite his best efforts, the tabloid press branded him a “loony” and a “do-gooder” for supporting the “evil” Hindley. Hindley became a long-running source of material for the press, who printed embellished tales of her “cushy” life at the “5-star” Cookham Wood Prison and her liaisons with prison staff and other inmates.
Astrology can never condone crime particularly acts of murder. There were countless numbers of people who were born at the same time as Myra Hindley who may have had troubled tortured lives who did not end up killing and torturing innocent victims. The astrological symbolism can, however help us to understand some of the reasons for such vile and tragic acts.