Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Beverly Allitt: Angel of Death

Beverly Allitt was born on 4 October 1968, time unknown (and so a noon chart is used) in a village near Grantham UK with Jupiter in Virgo ruled by Mercury in Scorpio and Saturn in Aries ruled by Mars in Virgo. Allitt was convicted of murdering four infants, attempting to murder three others and causing grievous bodily harm to a further six children over a period of 59 days in 1991 whilst employed as a state enrolled nurse. She was largely known as the “Angel of Death” for her crimes which caused widespread outrage.

Allitt’s medical interests are implicit with her Jupiter in Virgo and its associations with the bowl of Hygeia in pharmacy. Virgo is serving sign, concerned with hygiene, wholesomeness, well being and cultivation for a reputation for criticism in their search for perfection. As I wrote in “Growing Pains”: “It’s a bit of an understatement to say that Jupiter in Virgo pupils like things to be perfect. They’re the kind of pupils who painstakingly choose exactly the right materials for going back to school. The pencils they use will not only be perfectly sharpened, but the material they are made from will also be ecologically sound. The lead will have been researched and then chosen for its durability. They won’t let others share their crayons for fear of wearing them down unevenly or, worse, contaminating the implements with germs. Pens must not blot and the paper they write on must not be dented or smudged. Jupiter in Virgo pupils will drive their teachers crazy as they tidy their workspaces and carefully organise their shelves. There’s always a long queue to wash hands before lunch and the complaint box for the canteen is always full.”

Without considering other factors, it might seem that Allitt would be an ideal nurse. But of course, there are other factors to consider and one of those factors a teacher could easily investigate would have been Allitt’s Saturn placement which is in Aries. Saturn in Aries likes to work independently and can be quite hard on themselves. It should also have given Allitt a sense of self discipline and, with a few processes in place, might have meant she was an ideal pupil to teach. Again from “Growing Pains”: “Saturn in Aries is a strongly masculine combination. It’s rough and tumble stuff. Nonathletic children will sharpen other skills if they lack physical prowess. Girls in particular are adept at using words — and later sex — as weapons of mastery.” 

A search for perfection, a sense of self discipline, where could it have gone wrong?

The relationship between Jupiter and Saturn is an important factor in the birth chart. In Allitt’s case, Jupiter and Saturn are inconjunct. An inconjunction between any of the planets means there is a lack of potential for integration. In other aspects (the conjunction, sextile, square, trine, opposition, etc), integration may be difficult but yet possible. With the inconjunct, because integration is not possible, the native will compartmentalise the energies of the planets. In Allitt’s case, she will grow (Jupiter) but not mature (Saturn); she will analyse (Jupiter in Virgo) but not be able to apply self disciple (Saturn in Aries).

Further, Allitt’s Jupiter is conjunct Pluto in Virgo. It is growth through power and if this power is not properly channelled, it can become abusive. Babies are designed to bring out feelings of protection. Their proportionally large heads and facial features, their helplessness and the delight each new development brings typically elicit love and tenderness, not a desire to harm or kill.  But because Jupiter and Pluto are both inconjunct Saturn in her chart, Allitt desired ultimate power (life or death) but was not able to accept personal responsibility for her actions. That she should become known as “The Angel of Death” seems totally appropriate.

Looking even closer at the chart, the ruler of Allitt’s Jupiter, Mercury, is in Scorpio. Mercury also has connections to the medical profession but these interests take on a more profound meaning in Scorpio. For here we have a fascination with death and regeneration. Again, as I wrote in “Growing Pains”: “These pupils learn by using their personal power to get people to do things they would not ordinarily do. Some people might call this a hypnotic hold over others; others might attribute it to considerable psychic powers.” Allitt’s Saturn was ruled by Mars in Virgo, again linking with the medical profession.

It worth noting that during the crucial stages of development, these planets would have had significant astrological transits.

Little is known about Allitt’s early childhood but astrologically, she would have had her first Saturn square in the summer of 1975 with Jupiter conjunct Saturn’s natal point three times shortly afterwards. At 11, Jupiter would have transited its natal position as well as Mars and Pluto by conjunction. Just before her 14th birthday, she experienced her first Saturn opposition followed by a series of 3 transits by conjunction to her natal Mercury (this is a pattern that would repeat during the time of the murders). These transits all happened during the crucial stage when the brain is developing. As an adolescent, Allitt displayed peculiar desire to gain attention through fabricating illnesses and injuries, symptoms which were evident from her childhood and that every adult in charge of her care would have been aware of. She prolonged recovery from an unnecessary appendectomy by interfering with the surgical wound, she wore casts and bandages but refused to let anyone check out her injuries. An unstylish adolescent, Allitt was unable (or perhaps unwilling) to enjoy what may be considered a healthy relationship: she had abused and humiliated a boyfriend in her late teenage years by beating, belittling him and depriving him of intimate relations.

And yet, despite these very odd behaviours (including later being suspected of smearing faeces on the walls of a nursing home she worked at) and a long history of absenteeism over one illness or another, Beverly Allitt was allowed to become a nurse on a ward for children who were critically ill—because there was a shortage of nurses and this overwhelmed care system took a chance on a sick woman and put her in charge—unsupervised—of very ill, very vulnerable infants.

Allitt was not able to get the attention she craved by being sick or injured herself so she got attention by creating a life or death drama for her young charges.

During a series of three transiting Saturn squares to its natal position in of 1990, Allitt was already working at Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, where the murders would take place. The murders occurred between February and April 1991 during a series of transiting Saturn squares in Aquarius to her natal Mercury in Scorpio.

First Saturn square
Jupiter return
Saturn opposition
Jupiter Oppositions
Saturn square
Beverly Allitt
4 October 1968
Jupiter in Virgo
Saturn in Aries

July 1975

Sept 1980

Oct 1982

June to February 1986

Mar-Dec 1990

About the Astrologer

Alex Trenoweth was voted Best International Astrologer, 2015 for her dynamic presentation on Astrology and Education. Her book, "Growing Pains" is an exciting development in astrology as it combines classroom teaching experience, sound research and the potential to have a positive impact on struggling adolescents, parents, teachers and those who have been labelled "at risk". For queries, consultations or syndications, please contact Alex via or leave a message in the comment section.

About the New Book

There are two wolves fighting inside of me, the old story goes, one wolf is good and the other is evil. “But Grandfather,” asked the child, “Which one wins?” The Grandfather answered, “The wolf I feed.”

We might like to think that being good is a natural instinct. In fact, doing the right thing takes a conscious decision. Every day, we are met with temptation to get ahead at the expense of someone else, to get away with something we know is wrong or to cut corners if we think no one is watching.

Following on from her powerful book on astrology and Education, “Growing Pains”, Alex Trenoweth explores the benefits of using “the bad guy” of the solar system: Saturn. Often avoided and seldom understood, if we understand our own Saturn then we can help others to understand theirs. Using case studies of  highly successful people contrasted with convicted serial killers, Trenoweth deftly demonstrates the dire consequences of feeding the wrong wolf.

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