Two years earlier Robert Louis Stevenson had written the novella Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Last year, Arthur Conan Doyle’s super sleuth Sherlock Holmes first appeared in print – A Study in Scarlet. Dracula was still fermenting in Bram Stoker’s mind and Jack the Ripper was preparing to enter the public stage; the year was 1888.
We could suggest that it was a horror of a time to be in London with fact and fiction blurring. Revisiting that era from the comfort of distance over time is but one step. Let’s share our sleuthing skills, make suggestions and ask questions. The fascination with horror, crime and Ripperology has never waned.
We aim to join the conversation by contributing a forensic astrology enquiry into the real life crime of the time; the Jack the Ripper murders.
There have been hundreds of suspects put forward over the intervening years; suspects across all classes – from bluebloods to gutter snipes, princes to writers of children’s stories. We have a daunting task before us.
For our enquiry we’ll stick to the usual suspects, respecting 125 years of research that has already been done. We will whittle the number down by a process of elimination, utilising forensic astrology and our toolkit of chisels and penknives.
The usual method of comparing planetary tensions of events and natal charts will be used for the enquiry, avoiding the distraction of opinion and preconceived notions. The heavens will have their say and guide our direction. What’s MM talking about, I hear you ask…
Well, we refer to a published text known as an ephemeris which is produced by astronomers; snapshots of planetary positions orbiting over, in our case London, on the date and at the time of each of the murders. The positions of planets have been recorded for thousands of years.
Once these planetary positions are transposed onto an astrology wheel, then we identify and interpret the tension/hard aspects between various planetary positions. In other words, the heavens have their say of the event.
When we turn to consideration of the suspects, we overlay this same event chart/freeze-frame with another snapshot in time, that of the birth chart of a person of interest to us, creating a bi-wheel and once again we interpret the tension of the interaction between the two charts by the same guidebook that has also been around for thousands of years.
What has changed over the intervening generations, as astrology has progressed and computer software developed, is that we have created a seemingly reliable method of identification of possible suspects. I’m starting to call it the hysteria factor because basically that is what it is; revealing unmanageable emotional excesses in the human mind by a means beyond reason – it’s subjective.
Provided we have an accurate date of birth, the heavens will have their say about the persons of interest via their natal horoscope. But putting the persons of interest aside for now…
I suggest that we start our forensic astrology enquiry from the events themselves. We can generate relevant charts from information on the public record. There is a consensus of opinion that the Jack the Ripper murders are five particular crimes with similar methods of operation/modus operandi that most likely identify one particular killer or killers. The time period of these murders is between 31st August and 9th November, 1888.
I may as well tell you, straight up-front, that we are going to focus on a slightly different time period, which will be self-explanatory as we go along. We suggest that 4th August to 20th October, 1888 holds more relevance for the killer, his motive and if we are to attempt to get inside his head, us.
Dux; the leader:
The Lyceum headline bill had been running for three nights. Henry Irving had a sensation on his hands and it wasn’t one of the classics. After a run in New York, The Strange Case of Doctor Jekyll and Mr Hyde was entertaining London; stirring the shadows and those in it.
The outer planet of Uranus was orbiting through the social zodiac of Libra. Psychological upheaval, sudden changes and the buzz of electricity wouldn’t be at this point in the heavens again for that generation, or the next.
It was Monday night of the August Bank Holiday long weekend; a black night lit only by gaslight. A New Moon with a stellium of planets grouped in the zodiac of Leo, when the Lion King raised his baton. Jack the Ripper began a rival production; a solo performance.
It was said that Martha was a person who would rather have a glass of ale than a cup of tea. She’d been out with her friend Pearly Poll, both turning tricks for drinks. The theatres had long closed when our Jack took her arm and guided her into the shadows.
Prior to the murder, PC Thomas Barrett saw a young Grenadier Guardsman at the north end of George Yard. Barrett questioned his reason for being there and was told by the guardsman that he was waiting for a chum who went off with a girl. Was this the first of many disguises that Jack got up in?
Martha’s body lay in public view; found within the hour. Her killer had stabbed her 39 times in the body and neck, including nine times in the throat, five in the left lung, two in the right lung, one in the heart, five in the liver, two in the spleen, and six in the stomach. Wounds were also found in her lower abdomen and genital area. There was no evidence of sexual activity.
We suggest that this murder shares the common denominators with the other charts; that Jack is likely testing his disguises, honing his skills, refining his modus operandi.
Note: the strings connecting all these victims will be revealed once we interpret the other charts.
The key, I believe, is the Serbian Astrology foreboding measurement of 22 degrees.
- The ominous killer 22° is in the mix; at the midheaven. On this occasion in the zodiac of Pisces – Neptune’s realm. We know that Neptune on an angle often means that a criminal will get away with a crime; master of disguise.
- The midpoint of the Sun-Moon is the most important point in a chart. On 7th August at 2:30am the Sun/Moon=Saturn at 10°Leo. The grim reaper was in charge.
- A second midpoint is at that same exact degree 10°Leo – Mercury/Venus=Saturn. The seriousness of the situation is highlighted.
- A third midpoint is at the exact degree 10°Leo – Mars/Pluto=Saturn. Brutality is highlighted.
- Giansar 10°Leo, is a small orange star in the tail of the Dragon constellation. Robson tells us that Kabbalists associate this star with the Hebrew letter Mem and the 13th Tarot Trump Death.
- At 11°Leo, Venus/North Node=Saturn. Withdraw Martha ! …too late.
We note that the stellium of planets that created this mix was controlled by the handle of the fan on the other side of the wheel, the Lunar South Node; karma.
All of our victims were making their living as prostitutes, earning pennies where they could on the streets of 19th century London. From the killer’s perspective, they were but bit players in his delusional fantasy.
Looking at these events purely from an astrological standpoint, we turn to the hemisphere analysis first. All five murders in the canon took place after midnight and before sunrise, just as the leader case. The Sun is in the 1st 2nd or 3rd houses.
Note: The last victim may not have been found until mid-morning, however the autopsy indicates otherwise and so I’ve calculated Mary Kelly’s chart (in Part 2) as per the public record.
When we consider the Sun’s position, we are drawn to an understanding of a possible motive behind these killings. This is not your usual run-of-the-mill serial killer.
- The first house relates to the personality, the ego.
- The second house, a financial matter; value, related to self-esteem.
- The third house can be related to siblings, but generally the 3rd house is about communication. The killer wants to communicate something.
As none of the crimes left evidence of sexual activity, we know that the 2nd house is not likely to be high on the agenda. The prostitutes were not necessarily chosen because of their profession. Money likely didn’t change hands.
In our case study, we have the Sun in the 1st house for the first two murders of the canon and the 3rd house for the last three. We can suggest that ego is involved initially, which then led to his message to his audience; his communication to us, the public.
Let the music begin; the canon:
Mary Ann Nichols:
Selling her femaleness for a pittance, alcoholic Mary Ann was in her early forties. Whatever her client wanted, she offered, however this client wasn’t looking for the usual penetration of the flesh.
At 5’2″ tall with brown eyes, a dark complexion and brown hair turning grey, Polly was described as having small, delicate features with high cheekbones and grey eyes. She had a sad litany of moving from workhouse to workhouse with prostitution, her line of work.
It wasn’t a hot August night; the rain was sharp with frequent squalls, accompanied by peals of thunder and flashes of lightning. The dark sky was tinted red by the two dock fires burning on the nearby River Thames.
- Ascendant at 22°Leo – the murderous degree and in the realm of the King. Note: We can see where the suspicion of a possible blue-blood perpetrator comes from.
- Sun (orange) is in the 1st house, but not in Leo. This Sun is 8° Virgo – another life threatening position. Mary offered the Sun, however her client needed the Moon.
- Moon (blue) is in the 11th house 25°Gemini and in tension with Venus and Mercury in the 2nd house – lying Gemini, communicating that he needed love.
- Venus and Mercury (pink) in the 2nd house – money was discussed, however the only silver that crossed Polly’s palm was a cold blade.
- Saturn (red) is in the 12th house; 13°Leo. The grim reaper is in the mind with murderous intent.
3:45am on 31st August was not a good time to be out on the streets tending your trade. Mary Ann Nichols was left on the street for PC John Neil to find; she’d bled out after her throat had been slit ear to ear. There were deep jagged gashes to her lower abdomen. Jack was just warming up.
Eliza Ann Chapman:
Dark Annie lost a daughter at just 12 years of age, her son was disabled, a grieving husband took to the drink and they separated. By the time of Annie’s death at 47, her younger daughter had also left her; joined the circus and gone abroad.
Jack had changed hats and disguised his colouring with makeup perhaps. I would imagine he was in his element; quite a performance.
The clock on the Black Eagle Brewery, Brick Lane, struck the half hour. It was 5:30am, just on dawn Saturday morning; the Sun was at the ascendant.
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde had been running at the Lyceum for a little more than a month. Competing for the headline, Jack was most likely seething.
- Midpoint Sun/Moon=Mercury 29°Virgo (yellow)– silencing the lamb.
- Midpoint Saturn/Uranus=Sun 15°Virgo (orange) – egocentric drive against control; madness.
Note: In astrology when Saturn and Uranus struggle – Uranus invariably wins; the New wins out over the Old, or to put it another way – control and madness struggle – madness wins.
- Mars (red) conjunct Jupiter (green) in the 3rd house – frenetic activity in the silence.
Sixteen people were living in that lodging house at the time and yet no-one heard or saw a thing. Annie’s tongue was protruded; likely strangled before her throat was cut from left to right and her body mutilated. Disemboweled, her intestines were thrown over each of her shoulders.
The morgue examination revealed that part of her uterus was missing. Jack had taken a trophy; the ego satisfied by his performance. He moves on, cocksure, ready to up the ante.
With his ego bolstered by his successes, the killer is likely to strike earlier in the night in the future. We are likely to see the Sun progress into the 3rd house of the event chart; Jack is ready to brag to us about his prowess.
Letters to the editor, taunting the police; catch-me-if-you-can, started on 27th September.
Altogether there were 250, or as some reports say 500 letters over time claiming to come from Jack the Ripper. How many were from the killer, we do not know. With this delusional egotistical fantasist on the loose, I reckon there would have been a few genuine ones.
The myth of Jack the Ripper was born.