Monday, 10 October 2011

Transits of 'Imprisonment' and 'Liberation'

The reversal of Amanda Knox and Raffaele Sollecito’s conviction for the murder of Meredith Kercher was a story which gripped and polarised the public and the media. Whether the pair really had anything to do with the murder we may perhaps never know and that’s not a subject I’m going to speculate about here. When fascinated me about their story is how the timing for the original conviction, the appeal and their eventual release key in to the timing of major outer planet alignments, namely Saturn Square Pluto, Saturn opposite Uranus and the incoming Uranus Square Pluto.  Both Sollecito and Knox have had these alignments touching their charts by transit, with Knox in particular experiencing them very strongly.

What intrigued me even more were the parallels between what happened to them while Saturn, Pluto and Uranus transited their charts and what happened to me while the same transiting planets were touching my own chart. No, I haven’t been convicted, imprisoned, retried and then acquitted of any crime, nor have I had my personal life and character hauled over the coals for all the world to see, but what I did experience with these transits was similar on the psychological and emotional level. Feeling trapped (imprisoned) by external circumstances apparently beyond my control, a sense of ‘fighting back’ and eventually, release and freedom.

By making this analogy, I hope to demonstrate how the themes we associate with outer planet transits to our natal planets can manifest in our lives on so many different levels... From the most literal, external, public events to processes and feelings that occur at the most private and inner level. Often of course, they manifest on many different levels at once and fortunately for most of us, they are not nearly as dramatic or public as the Knox and Sollecito case.

On 4th December 2009, Knox and Sollecito were convicted of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher. This conviction occurred very close to Saturn’s first exact square to Pluto at 2 degrees Libra and Capricorn in November 2009. Saturn and Pluto’s next exact alignment was at the end of January 2010 at 4 degrees of Libra and Capricorn. For both of them, Saturn and Pluto were transiting personal planets in their charts.

Saturn-Pluto transits can seem, at least on the psychological level, to take away our freedom and our free will. In the case of Knox and Sollecito, the loss of freedom was literal. In fact, losses on any level can occur under this transit. It tends to be a time of forced change, fear, pressure, negativity, crisis, restriction and a psychological journey to the underworld.  We may feel that invisible forces are working against us, that we are fighting for survival on some level. Even as our personal power is taken away, we need to find the strength to carry on, to work hard and then even harder to face and banish our demons. For this we need courage, strength and staying power. We need to tap into inner and outer resources to help us through. Readers with planets or angles at 1-5 degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and/or Capricorn are likely to identify with some of these themes if they look back over the last couple of years or so (get your chart for free at

The charts below show how the Saturn and Pluto square picked up on personal planets in Knox and Sollecito's birth charts. Knox has Venus at 4 degrees of Cancer, so just after the conviction transiting Pluto was exactly opposing her Venus, with Saturn squaring her Venus. She also has Mercury conjunct Venus, with Neptune in early Capricorn opposing from the public seventh house. The Moon’s Nodes, in early Aries and Libra, complete a dynamic, but no doubt stressful cardinal grand cross.  With Pluto and Saturn transiting this grand cross it’s not surprising that she has been called a liar, a manipulator, a seductress, violent, perverted and a she-devil, but imagine having to face your demons when the world is naming you as the demon!
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Sollecito has his Sun at 5 degrees Aries squaring Neptune at 1 Capricorn, within orb of the Saturn-Pluto squares of late 2009 and spring/summer 2010.  While he has attracted less attention than Knox, the Saturn-Pluto transit to his Sun and Neptune is telling. Was he a victim in all this or was he deceiving everyone when he proclaimed his innocence? It’s hard to tell with that Sun-Neptune square, except to mention that it is reasonable to expect martyrdom on some level, or at least the sacrifice of the ego, with this aspect, especially so because both the Sun and Neptune are angular in his chart.
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For myself, I have Sun in the eighth house at 4 degrees Capricorn, which meant that for most of 2009, transiting Pluto was in orb of conjunction with my Sun, with its first exact hit in January 2010. Transiting Saturn was in orb of a square to my Sun from late 2009 through autumn 2010, with the first hit in December 2009. What happened to me? Well, a change in personal circumstances beyond my control meant that I felt trapped in an unhappy situation both literally and emotionally. Any attempt to get myself out of the situation seemed blocked at every turn and I felt like a rat in a maze. I won’t go into great detail, except to say that it was all very eighth house on every level!  Friends will testify that during this time I would often say that my situation felt like a prison sentence, but that I wasn’t sure what my crime had been!

We all know that in life nothing is forever and like life, transits are temporal. With Saturn-Pluto transits, there is, thankfully, a light at the end of the tunnel, with the eventual promise of empowerment and emancipation, but not before a lot of hard work and a lot of seemingly endless patience.

Sollecito and Knox‘s legal teams filed appeals against their convictions in April 2010 and the appeal process began in December 2010. It was during the time between the filing of the appeal and the actual appeal that the Saturn-Pluto squares and the ongoing, status-quo upsetting Saturn-Uranus oppositions formed what has been widely dubbed by astrologers as the cardinal climax – a t-square in the early cardinal planets that had been building since 2008 and has come to symbolise shocks, changes, intense challenges, restriction, losses and hard, hard work. Its most obvious manifestation has been in dramatic change of fortune in the world’s economies, the effects of which have filtered down into the lives of individuals everywhere, but overall, these aspects have been reflected in individuals’ lives in many different ways and on many different levels.

Whatever the manifestation, I’m proposing that it was accompanied by these feelings of entrapment and imprisonment that I have described, along with the feeling of being part of something bigger than yourself and in many ways out of your control. Despite this, many of us have emerged much stronger and more resourceful, even as we find our material circumstances reduced.

So, for those of you still feeling trapped and repressed, where and when is the release? Let’s look again at the charts of Knox and Sollecito. 

They won their appeal against their murder conviction and were freed on October 3rd 2011. By now, Saturn has moved out of the picture, with the much anticipated Uranus-Pluto square forming. On the day of their release, Uranus was at 2 Aries and Pluto at 5 Capricorn, connecting with the cardinal planets in their charts very closely. Under Uranus-Pluto moving aspects we demand freedom, we question authority, we don’t accept the letter of the law and we won’t tolerate being controlled. We want to feel free to do what we want to do and we want to make a difference.

Knox’s father summed up Saturn-Pluto followed by Uranus-Pluto perfectly, "she's almost kind of reborn in a way. I mean, living for four years inside a concrete and steel, you know, prison, and now being able to kind of just look around, smell the air and - and just do what she wants to do, hopefully when she wants to do it, it makes a huge difference." (quote from

For myself, after a year or more of Saturn and Pluto transiting my Sun, I had the first squares from Uranus to my Sun in May this year. Around the time of the second hit, a surprising event happened that changed everything for me. As I sit here writing, I am looking forward to the next few months leading up the third and final square of transiting Uranus to my Sun, with Uranus is also making a series of sextiles to my MC and 10th house Aquarius planets.  I am now in a position where I feel free do whatever I want with my life. Yes, there has been much upheaval and masses of change, but finally my appeal has been heard and I have been released from my psychological prison. I still don’t know what my crime was, but that doesn’t matter, because what I do now know is that I have the inner resources to cope with an uncertain future and it doesn’t matter that I can’t control everything. All that matters is that I use my time and energy wisely from now on and follow my heart.

Readers, have you experienced similar feelings and events over the last couple of years or so? How are things now?

With love,

Chart data from Astrodatabank.

A note to subscribers: an apology that at the end of Astrology for October there was an error in the text for Venus and Mercury opposing Jupiter. This has now been corrected:


  1. Hi Mandi - great post there, very interesting to read. I thought I'd write to you as you posed the question at the end of your article.

    I have been feeling trapped since November 2009, and despite moving house, changing jobs and falling in love, I am still feeling trapped, stunted and unable to grow. Every attempt I make to build my life I soon find some authoritarian figure swooping in and knocking it down. I feel like I am being forced to make large sacrifices, and I can't moan about it, otherwise I end up having to sacrifice more. My confidence is now at an all time low and I sit wondering what I did to cause this? Or I ponder on where my energy is going, because it can't simply dissipate into nothing, which is what it seems to be doing. I have unlocked every door, and then been told I can't go through it. This is especially potent in my career, finances, home life and my creativity. I just thank the stars that I met Henry, but I am so concious of the fact that I don't want to become overly dependant on him during this time.

    I am desperate for this to end, and thought it would when my progressed moon sextiled my natal Pluto, but alas it has not. The progressed moon is now approaching my natal sun...

    sun 6 degrees Scorpio
    moon 10Capricorn
    mercury 17 Scorpio
    venus 11 Sagittarius
    jupiter 8 Capricorn
    saturn 17 Scorpio
    Uranus 11 Sagittarius
    Neptune 29 Sagittarius
    Chiron 7 Gemini
    Pluto 2 Scorpio
    Rising 3 Sagittarius

    So I continue to ride this wave. I am glad that you have managed to get out of the tunnel! Well done for being tenacious and determined. :)If you can see anything obvious on my chart, I'd love to know about it. otherwise, feel free to use the data for your own learning...

    Best wishes.

  2. Hi Mandi,

    I enjoy reading your thoughtful articles.

    I've got the Sun In Gemini but I have Cancer Ascendant at 3 degrees.

    I lost my mother at the back end of last year and was then made redundant this July.

    I feel quite lost and unsure about everything and up in the air at present but there is this glimmer of hope in me that everything happens for a reason and things will eventually fall into place and everything will be as it should be!

    Simon 15/06/1962

  3. Hi Jessica, thanks for sharing your story. I'm pleased to hear you have found someone special to help you through some difficult times. Progressed Moon on your Sun is a great measurement for positive relationship developments by the way. As for feeling trapped watch for when the Uranus Pluto square comes into transiting orb of your Jupiter and Moon, I'm sure you will feel more inspired and have more power to initiate something new on your own terms then. The first exact hit to Jupiter will be in June next year, but you'll most likely feel it before then. Be prepared for anything though, exciting but disruptive times are ahead for all of us. Good luck.

  4. Hi Anonymous, I'm sorry to hear about what happened to you. It sounds like Pluto opposing your Ascendant was a very hard transit for you and you suffered some very upsetting losses. As you probably know, Uranus is now squaring your Ascendant, which is no doubt shaking you up a bit, I wrote a piece a few months ago about how to make the most of Uranus transits. It's here if you're interested:
    Very best of luck to you and I hope everything does fall into place for you soon. Thanks for reading.

  5. Wow! As I am reading Jessica's post,I am wondering if we are living parallel lives! I am feeling trapped to the point of suffocation-which all started in 2006. I met the man of my dreams, but he fell off a roof right after I moved to another state to start a life with him and accepted his proposal to marry. Since then, wow- nothing works. I am also a Reiki Master, but feel stunted, and stifled in the arena as well.
    Unlike the others that have posted I have no idea where my anything is. Can someone actually help me with this? Help me understand it & deal with it? Better yet, give me some hope & tell me it is all for naught and I am indeed headed in the right direction?
    I am a very positive person, and it takes alot for me to lose my faith, or even feel hopeless. I feel if I have the right tools, then perhaps I wouldn't feel so helpless.
    Oh, by the way, I am a Cancer-July 15, 1964; and you can reach me at pattidv(at)gmail(dot)com


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