Amanda Knox's adventure began in the summer of 2007 when she left her familiar surroundings in Seattle to experience life as a foreign exchange student. Paying her own way from money saved up as a barista and art gallery receptionist, her destination was Perugia, Italy, a sister city of Seattle. Her one-year plan was to study Italian, German, and creative writing at Perugia’s University of Foreigners. On September 7, 2007, she moved into a rustic apartment complex with a beautiful view of the pastoral countryside. She shared the top floor with Meredith Kerchner, who was gruesomely murdered less than two months later.
Amanda had met Rafaelle Sollecito during a concert on October 25. The two quickly became lovers and on November 1, she was spending the evening at his place. They were watching a movie, smoking hash, and making love. The next morning, Amanda returned to her apartment to shower, and was surprised to find blood in the bathroom. Meredith was not around, and the door to her room was locked. She then noticed that a window was broken and some money stolen. She called the police.
What exactly happened that night has been retold, recast, analyzed, dissected, questioned, scrutinized, and investigated by all kinds of “experts” from many different angles. However, the most important person in this drama was the chief prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini. His official title is “public minister”, which in this provincial town meant he was a hybrid between a detective and district attorney. He led the investigation into the murder, gave directions to the police, and served as the lead prosecutor during the trial.
Mignini detected the influence of Satan, and eventually arrived at the theory that put Amanda Knox behind bars - a bizarre sex-and-orgy pagan ritual that ended in murder. Amanda and Rafaelle were imprisoned while Mignini’s team looked for evidence. The tabloids ate up the occult sex storyline, and began referring to Amanda as “Foxy Knoxy”. Two years later during the trial’s concluding arguments, Mignini shrieked, “So who is Amanda Knox? Is she the angelic Santa Maria Goretti we see here today? Or is she the diabolic Luciferina, the explosive concentrate of sex, alcohol, and drugs, dirty in her soul, just as she is dirty outside?”
Amanda and Rafaelle’s requests for bail were denied, and they remained in custody throughout the investigation and trial. On December 4, 2009, they were both convicted of murder, and sentenced to 26 and 25 years in prison respectively.
Amanda Knox’s Horoscope
Amanda Knox’s horoscope (July 9, 1987; 2:47 am; Seattle, WA) features the Sun, Mercury, and Venus in Cancer, reflecting her strong attachment to home and family. Mercury gains importance by being the ruler of her chart, since she has restless Gemini Rising. And as a young woman in full bloom, Venus is especially important at this time of her life. Mercury conjoins Venus, adding emphasis to these two planets and focusing her mind on love and romance. Considered on their own, these Cancer placements indicate someone who prefers the company and opportunities of her home town.
However, the Moon, the ruler of Cancer, is in wandering Sagittarius, giving her an interest in exploring the world beyond the safe contours of her local culture. The cheerful, animated Sagittarius Moon is greatly restrained by a conjunction with Saturn, but given an impulsive, free spirit by the conjunction with Uranus. These two outer planets pull her in different directions, and consequently, her emotional life has oscillated between restricted movement and thinking to exuberant independence and spontaneity.
One way of looking at this is along a timeline, where the Moon symbolizes one’s past lives or genetic inheritance. By transit, the fast-moving Moon conjoined Saturn in the recent past, and is heading for the conjunction with Uranus. The receptive Moon is leaving the controlling, disciplined nature of Saturn behind, and looking forward to the independent, free-thinking ambiance of Uranus. Similarly, she was born Catholic, but wasn’t religious. In her personal life, her teen years were shaped by going to Seattle Prep, a Jesuit school, where she studied hard and said her prayers every day. But by the time she got to Washington University, she considered herself a hippy who was into hiking, theater, yoga, a little partying, and tea. She was expanding her horizons.
If we consider past life scenarios, the Moon-Saturn pair might describe a strictly religious environment where proper behavior is conservatively crafted and controlled. Finding that too suffocating, the migrating soul now finds itself liberated in the digital age environment where Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, and Paris Hilton are the sexually uninhibited role models for the young and beautiful. This Moon-Uranus vibe can foster offensive behavior when it comes to traditional moral standards. And if or when one gets into trouble – serious trouble – the Moon-Uranus combination can prove to be emotionally erratic and unreliable.
In this context, Amanda’s sojourn to Perugia was like returning to an old haunting ground. Perugia exudes Roman Catholic history, with its ancient churches named after famous local saints, its devotion to Renaissance architecture and paintings, and its history of providing papal sanctuary. Embodying the Uranian side of her Sagittarius Moon as the sexually liberated American student, she ran into her nemesis, the judgmental Saturn archetype in the form of Giuliani Migdini, the chief prosecutor. In his unalterable view, women were either madonnas or whores.
The numerous planets aspecting the Lunar Node axis describe an active life, with many twists and turns. Amanda’s Mercury-Venus conjunction opposes Neptune, and this polarity is in turn square the Lunar Nodes. Neptune’s hazy influence over her Mercury-Venus adds romanticism, and perhaps an interest in recreational drugs. The square to the Lunar Nodes points to misinformation, character assassination, rumors and gossip, and a macabre sense of unreality.
In evaluating the various planets and configurations in Amanda’s natal chart, Pluto must be considered a dominant player. Pluto’s position at 7º Scorpio aspects nearly every planet and asteroid as well as the Midheaven and Ascendant. As such, Pluto indelibly imprints its significance on her character and life circumstances, which is to say that she is bound to go through traumatic experiences, and that periodically her life will be in upheaval so that she may know the meaning of death and re-birth.
A casual look at Pluto’s aspects shows very favorable trines to her Cancer placements. Pluto enhances her perceptions (Mercury), her beauty and sexuality (Venus), her self-awareness, and ability to learn from her mistakes and rebuild her life (Sun). Pluto’s closest aspect, and therefore a major dynamic, is the trine to Juno, the partnership asteroid. Juno is located in the 11th house of friends, where Pluto helps her to form close, empathetic (in Pisces) connections within her circle of acquaintances. Friends can become lovers and vice versa with this placement.
Pluto’s challenging aspects include a square to her MC/IC axis, representing her parents and home life (IC), and her public reputation (MC). Pluto square the parental axis manifested as her parents’ divorce when she was a toddler, leaving this Cancer native feeling abandoned and rejected. A tough, self-reliant shell was created in response, as befits her Moon-Saturn-Uranus configuration. Pluto square the Midheaven can ruin one’s good standing: while she was in prison, the tabloid press created an image for her, one tailored after the misguided, conspiratorial views of the prosecutor.
Pluto squares Mars, an aspect that often denotes the experience of violence. This combination brings a fight for survival, a fiercely competitive drive to win, and lifelong challenges with powerful people and forces. The challenging Mars-Pluto link in its most extreme expression is the taking by force, the imposition of one’s will over another’s. This can infer rape or murder, for example, and some astrologers have pointed to this aspect as proof that she actually did murder her roommate.
But Mars-Pluto aspects like this are also found in victim’s charts. Relevant to this case is the chart of the victim, Meredith Kerchner, who was born on December 28, 1985 (London; time unknown) when Mars and Pluto were conjunct in Scorpio. So the Mars-Pluto aspect is a compelling vibe, which can indicate being either a victim or a perpetrator. Psychologically-oriented astrologers prefer to think of this aspect as playing out consciously or subconsciously. This means the individual either consciously recognizes his or her own intense drive for power, or has repressed it as buried rage against others. Buried rage naturally attracts violence.
Evolutionary astrologers look at it another way, and that’s as a pattern of past life experiences. The individual may have committed rape or murder in a past life, and is now on the other end of that karmic equation. According to this branch of esoteric astrology, these scenarios are especially true and relevant if the Lunar Nodes are also connected to Pluto. This is the case in both Meredith Kercher’s and Amanda Knox’s charts. Meredith’s South node (past life patterns) is at 7º Scorpio right on her Mars-Pluto conjunction. Amanda’s Lunar Node axis is at 6º Libra/Aries, so that Pluto forms a quincunx to her North Node and semi-sextile to her South Node. This key karmic connection between the Lunar Nodes and Pluto suggests that she committed rape or murder in a past life, and that being blamed for that this lifetime is some kind of self-punishment and atonement.
In Amanda’s case, her South Node in Libra indicates that she comes from a socially-aware, relationship-oriented past life history. Venus, the ruler of her South Node, also squares the South Node, pointing to a pleasure-seeking lifestyle, one that enjoys intimacy and sexual dalliances. From this perspective, the Mars-Pluto square denotes a strong sex drive, and the boldness to be the initiator when the other is slow to react.
The chief promoters of evolutionary astrology, Jeffrey Green and Steven Forrest, both say that Pluto’s hard aspect to the Lunar Nodes is destined to bring traumatic experiences into one’s life. Green describes Pluto’s placement in the 6th house as bringing a crisis that “is one of feeling totally displaced on an environmental basis, and a sense of acute inner aloneness in which they can feel victimized by the life condition in which they are experiencing.” Forrest describes Pluto’s hard aspect to the Lunar Nodes as a “Nightmare. Life is full of truly terrible possibilities: grueling, painful diseases, sadistic violence, accidents we can barely stand to contemplate, the evil acts of lost souls.”
It’s not as easy to spot, but Amanda’s Pluto closely aspects her Moon. The connection is an octile, also known as the semi-square (45º degree aspect). The influence of Pluto over her Moon indicates seismic shifts between her Saturn and Uranus in response to events around her. It can deepen her emotional pain to the point of psychological break down. Or, it can bring emotional elation that borders on bliss – all depending on circumstances.
What makes Amanda’s Pluto even more significant is that it’s conjunct the U.S. Ascendant at 8º Scorpio. Through this connection, her personal trauma became a widespread concern. Her story appealed to a national audience since she personified innocence lost in an international scandal. She became the celebrity victim of Italian injustice. For those who prefer a different U.S. horoscope, she also has the asteroid America at 6º Scorpio, only ½ degree from her Pluto.
Amanda and Rafaelle
The karmic connection between Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito becomes clear when comparing their horoscopes. Rafaelle was born with a Sun-Ceres conjunction in Aries (March 26, 1984; 1:15 am; Giovinazzo, Italy). The closest aspect his Sun makes is a sextile Juno, the partnership asteroid. Mars in Scorpio is located near the 12th house cusp and opposes Chiron. This is an indication of violence, but as in Amanda’s case, he too became the victim of someone else’s violence. Mars in this position denotes hidden enemies.
When comparing two horoscopes, the close connections from one person’s chart to the other person’s Lunar Nodes is said to describe a karmic connection, one that is being carried on from past lives. One person’s planet on the other’s South Node is not so favorable, although there may be a feeling of mutual comfort. One person’s planet on the other’s North Node is favorable, especially in terms of spiritual growth.
Rafalle’s Sun is closely conjunct Amanda’s North Node (orb 0º30’), while his North Node is nearly exactly conjunct her Gemini Ascendant (orb 0º06’). This mutually favorable alliance began during the evening of October 25, 2007 when the first met at a concert. At the time, transiting Saturn was at 5º59’ Virgo, precisely quincunx Amanda’s North Node, and closely quincunx Rafaelle’s Sun. Saturn, often associated with the paying of karmic debts, brought them together.
Amanda and Giuliani Migdini
When viewing these charts and their interactions, one planet repeatedly rises to the top of the most influential archetypes, and that’s Neptune. Meredith Kercher (December 28, 1985; London, UK; time unknown) was born with a Sun-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn, just as was Ray Guede, who was born one year earlier. Rafaelle was born with the Sun square Neptune, and Amanda has the ruler of her chart, Mercury, opposite Neptune.
The chief prosecutor, Giuliano Mignini, was born with his Aries Sun opposite Neptune (April 13, 1950; 3:00 am; Perugia, Italy). Wherever Neptune is in the chart, things are not as they seem and the imagination runs wild. And Neptune was all over the place in this case; nothing was as it seemed, and no one knew exactly what happened. Neptune filters our reality, so that we see what we want to see or fear may be true. Mignini’s Neptune at 15º Libra squares Amanda’s Sun at 16º Cancer. He saw in her what his imagination projected from his deepest subconscious.
Rafaelle was feeling ecstatic about his new lover. This is evident since transiting Jupiter was right on his Ascendant when they met. Jupiter here brings plenty of enthusiasm and the recognition of a great opportunity. A door was opening in his life, and he was feeling confident, generous, and content. His progressed Moon was passing through his 12th house, and when they met, it was trine his Sun and opposite his Juno. Here was a partner out of his past (12th house) that he recognized and thoroughly enjoyed. And he was serious about her: transiting Saturn squaring his Juno led to an immediate commitment.
A week later, on November 1, all these major transits and progressions were still in play. The two were mutually enthralled with each other, and had no reason, no motive, to kill Meredith Kercher. In Rafaelle’s case, transiting Saturn was just entering his 9th house, bringing him several years of harrowing experiences with the justice system. He and Amanda were convicted on December 4, 2009 as transiting Saturn and Pluto squared each other while aligning with his Sun.
The conviction was overturned on October 3, 2011 when transiting Uranus was conjunct his Sun, and transiting Pluto was making its final square to his Sun. Uranus, associated with the unexpected, brought liberation. That the judge’s decision would tilt his way is evident from a truly fortunate and concurrent progression: his progressed Ascendant was conjunct beneficial Jupiter, the ruler of his chart.
Mignini’s Sun trines Pluto in Leo and also Ceres and Chiron in Sagittarius. This creates a Fire Grand Trine, giving him high energy that never quits, an enthusiastic flare for the dramatic, and a creative ingenuity. The problem with this configuration, with his Sun-Neptune connection, is that his intuition may be misguided.
Another problem is that Pluto is angular: it’s in the 7th house of others where it gets him involved in complex conspiracy theories about the motives or actions of potential criminals. Pluto here sees others in stark terms; they’re either good or evil, for him or against him. As the ruler of his 9th house, Pluto can get him entangled in religious scenarios or foreign visitors. Amanda Knox was a foreign student, and he imagined her involved in a satanic sex orgy that led to the killing of her roommate.
With Aquarius Rising, the ruler of Mignini’s chart is Uranus, which is located in the 5th house of romance and recreation. Amanda Knox, as an attractive young woman, can be associated with Venus, the love planet. Oddly enough, her Venus in Cancer is very close to Mignini’s Uranus, a connection astrologers sometimes equate with “love at first sight”. However, with his Juno-Saturn conjunction, he firmly believes in and upholds the institution of marriage. In his Pluto-filtered view, women are either whores or madonnas.
Amanda’s free-spirited attitude, especially regarding her sex life, disturbed the prosecutor in a very personal way. His Venus in Pisces prefers women who uphold his Catholic heritage. Author Nina Burleigh, in her fascinating book about the case, notes that Mignini had a poster of Santa Maria behind his desk, and the image bore a startling resemblance to Amanda Knox. The prosecutor interrogated Amanda through the night of November 5, 2007 until, exhausted, she signed a false confession. At the time, transiting Saturn was exactly opposite Mignini’s Venus.
Mignini won his case against Amanda on December 4, 2009. A Jupiter-Chiron conjunction at the time was in his first house and sextile his Sun. It was also trine his progressed Sun. Even as he celebrated this victory, he knew he was in trouble.
On January 22, 2010, only six weeks after Amanda Knox was convicted, Giuliani Migdini himself was convicted of illegal phone tapping, abuse of his office, and dereliction of duty in connection with Italy’s “Monster of Florence” case. Transiting Saturn (just entering his 8th house) and Pluto were squaring each other while aligning with his natal Lunar Nodes and Uranus.
Over the previous years, Migdini had consulted a priest who believed in weird occult practices involving satanic orgies. Migdini came to believe that a serial killer in Florence was looking for victims for his evil pagan rituals. The “Monster” case had been closed, but he used all the methods at his disposal to re-open the investigation, too many of which were technically illegal. He began to see crazed sex killers everywhere.
He had used similarly intimidating interrogation methods when he interviewed Amanda Knox through the night of November 5, 2007 and into the next morning. Although she was exhausted and denied any involvement, he asked her repeatedly to imagine herself at the crime scene and what she saw there. Amanda was in a semi-dream state when she began envisioning things, including the killer. She imagined she was in the next room when the crime happened.
At 5:45 am she completely broke down and signed a confession. It was later tossed out on the grounds that she wasn’t offered an interpreter or allowed to consult with her attorney. But the tabloids put her “confession” on the front pages, and in the court of public opinion, she was guilty.
The next night, Amanda wrote in her diary that her confession was “made under the pressures of stress, shock and extreme exhaustion. Not only was I told I would be arrested and put in jail for 30 years, but I was also hit on the head when I didn’t remember a fact correctly.”
On March 26, 2013 Amanda Knox received the unfortunate news that she would be re-tried for the 2007 murder of her roommate. Transiting Uranus was squaring her Mercury, the ruler of her chart, as this unexpected news hit home.
Birth data for Amanda Knox and Rafaelle Sollecito are from AstroDataBank. Giuliano Mignini’s birth data is courtesy of Rishi Giovanni, who obtained his birth certificate from the office of municipal records in Perugia, Italy.
Yesterday’s Sky by Steven Forrest; 2008, Seven Paws Press.
Essays on Evolutionary Astrology by Jeffrey Wolf green; 2011, the Wessex Astrologer.
The material on this page is excerpted from an article pubished in Dell Horoscope magazine by Michael O'Reilly
the background story, the charts, the absurdities
The unquestionable killer is Ray Guede – his DNA was found all over the crime scene, and no one disputes this. Guede’s story changed several times, but the prosecutor grabbed the line that others were involved, which he assumed was Amanda and her boyfriend. Guede elected for a fast track trial, and he was convicted and sentenced to prison for 30 years. In the final version of his explanation, he indicated that Amanda and Rafaelle were at the crime scene with him, and the judge then reduced his sentence to 16 years. Knowing they were not involved, Amanda and Rafaelle didn’t want to be railroaded through the system. They decided to go for a full trial, which would take time and money.
Ray Guede was born with a Sun-Neptune conjunction in Capricorn (December 26, 1986; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; time unknown). His Mars is in stealthy Pisces, where it conjoins Jupiter and squares an impulsive Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Sagittarius. The astrological factors in play at the time of the murder are clear indications of his involvement. To mention a few, his progressed Mars was squaring his Sun, transiting Jupiter was in Sagittarius and squaring his natal Mars, and the transiting Sun was exactly conjunct his Pluto at 9º Scorpio during the night in question.
Although the Amanda Knox story made headline news in countries all over the world, the coverage was most intense in three countries – Italy, England, and the United States. This corresponds to the nationalities of the three most talked about players: Rafaelle Sollecito the Italian lover, Meredith Kercher the British murder victim, and the hapless American, Amanda Knox.
Amanda’s fateful journey into Italy’s gothic justice system began when she moved into the Perugia apartment on September 7, 2007. At the time, things were going well for her. Venus was turning direct in her 4th house, and she had found a charming place to stay with congenial roommates. Jupiter had recently turned direct in her 7th house of partners, and she discovered that she had no problem meeting new and interesting people, especially boyfriends. Transiting Uranus in Pisces was forming a lucky trine to her Sun, providing this exciting foreign venue and apparently wonderful housing arrangement on the very day this transit was exact.
Her progressed chart was likewise looking good. A solid astrological approach is to include secondary progressions alongside transits. Transits are in effect for everyone, while the progressions are unique for the individual. The most important progressions are those involving the personal planets (Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Mars), plus the Midheaven and Ascendant. The outer planets move too slow by progression where one day of movement is symbolically equivalent to one year. The transits 20 days after Amanda was born tell us what was happening when she was 20 years old.
Her progressed Sun was nearing a trine to her North Node (orb 0º04’), giving her the feeling of ease and comfort, and that she was on the right path. Then, her progressed Mercury was conjunct her Sun (orb 0º02’) for the first and only time in her life: her self-esteem and conscious ego were aligning with Mercury-related activities, which included travel, studying languages and creative writing. Her progressed Moon, moving forward at the rate of one degree per month, was in her 5th house of entertainment and romance – she was in Italy to have fun as well as study.
Her progressed Venus was in the last degree of Cancer and forming no immediate aspects. However, less than one year later, when her progressed Venus entered dramatic Leo, she found her sex life had made her a kind of anti-hero. Over the next two years, her progressed Venus (advancing at the rate of 1 ¼ degrees per year) would conjoin Mars, a highly sexual combination. During her stay in prison she received hundreds of letters from male admirers and learned that she was, after all, quite attractive. She also had to fend off unwanted advances from lesbian inmates. And when she was released in 2011, her first action was to inform the media that guards and a top prison official had been sexually harassing her.
By November 1, 2007, the date of her roommate’s murder, a few challenging outer planet transits and progressions began appearing. Transiting Saturn had just entered her 5th house and was within two degrees of squaring her Gemini Ascendant. Transiting Uranus was turning direct while about one degree from squaring her 7th house Saturn.
Her progressed Sun had now passed the trine to the North Node and was entering into a quincunx with Neptune. This aspect would be exact in three months, and it brought much uncertainty and confusion into her life. More ominously, her progressed Sun was entering into a square with Pluto. This extremely difficult progression, exact in a little over a year, would break her down as she began to experience the dark side of life.
Most importantly, the transits and progressions on the night of November 1, 2007 do not in any way suggest that she was a sex-crazed killer. The closest transits and progressions describe what she was actually doing that night. Pluto, was making the closest aspect, which was a nice trine to her 12th house Jupiter. Pluto was in her 7th house while trine Jupiter, the ruler of her 7th house. She was relaxing, hanging out with her new boyfriend Rafaelle Sollecito.
For those seeking to tie her natal chart into the act of murder, there are none. Naturally, the astrologer would look at outer planet transits to natal Mars, progressed Mars’s aspects, as well as progressions to natal Mars. Any hard aspects formed by these transits and progressions around the date of the murder would suggest that she may have been actively involved. There aren’t any. Her progressed Mars at 14º Leo was entering into a trine to Saturn – certainly not the harbinger of homicide. Transiting Mars was in Cancer, but not making any close aspects to her Cancer planets, or within several degrees of aspecting any other planet in her chart. Transiting Mars was only making a soft trine to the asteroid Pallas. Likewise, no progressions were anywhere near aspecting her natal Mars.
For Amanda, the real trouble began unfolding over the coming month. The key transit was Uranus, which was retrograde, and slowing down as it was about to turn direct. When an outer planet turns retrograde or direct while making a hard aspect to one’s natal chart (or progressed planet), you can expect unusually dynamic developments. Classic astrologers would unequivocally say you should expect trouble.
Now this part is a bit technical, but notice how the exact aspects, down to the minutes of a degree, coincide with actual events. Uranus would turn retrograde at 14º49’ Pisces on November 23. Amanda’s natal Saturn is located at 15º48’ Sagittarius, and her progressed Saturn was at 14º52’ Sagittarius. On the morning of November 6, when she signed a confession, transiting Uranus was only 0º02’ from squaring her progressed Saturn. So the real trouble, from an astrological view, began a week after the murder when this connection became exact. That’s when she was sent to prison, where she would remain for the next four years.