Ian Brady (1938 – 2017)

Ian Brady, one of the most notorious murderers of 20th Century Britain, died this week.  Together with his accomplice, Myra Hindley, they tortured and killed at least 5 children and buried them on Saddleworth Moor.  The body of one of them, Keith Bennett, has never been found, due to his silence.

As I look at his chart, I wonder if the normal rules of Astrology apply to such a person.  Good aspects can become so perverted, if the soul so chooses the wrong path, that the most negative manifestation can come from a chart seemingly normal.  Describing such a chart might cause the reader to wonder about their own aspects, so I hastily reassure the reader that if your own chart features appear here, I am not casting aspersions on their character.  There are however features of his chart which might have a bearing on the course he took in life.

Birth Chart

First of all, he has 6 (over half) of his 10 planets in Earth signs.  According to the Guardian Obituary (by Peter Stanford) “Brady had been obsessed with bleak, open spaces since his first trip outside Glasgow, aged 9, to Loch Lomond”.  Saddleworth Moor itself, in the Dark Peak area of the Peak District National Park, crossed by the M62, was a special place for him (where he buried the bodies), and he had wanted his ashes scattered there, but this has been denied him.

On the surface of things, his Sun in Capricorn has favourable aspects: a loose conjunction with Mercury/Venus, a sextile with Mars (The Warrior), a trine with Uranus (Independence) and his Ascendant, and a conjunction with his Midheaven.  His individuality held great power.  When turned to negativity, the sign of Capricorn can exhibit coldness.  But, again, I stress that normal human considerations may not apply here: it seems to me that his heart was permanently closed, or unopened.  There should have been a sensitivity to others, as his Moon was closely trine Neptune, but there was not.  Instead, he had a fascination (Neptune) towards children (Moon).  The Moon in Capricorn was conjunct his Midheaven (Career and standing in the world), and he became notorious.  His feelings were further dampened by a square from Saturn to his Venus.  The Sun, Mercury and Venus were in his 8th House, which may have shown a preoccupation with death.

There was no doubting his intelligence, and he had Mercury conjunct exactly Venus in Capricorn (the Writer Archetype) making him well read, and incidentally with neat handwriting.  From a letter presented by Lord Longford, author A.L. Rowse declared that he had a brilliant mind.

Mars squaring his Nodal Axis may imply Warrior Karma stemming from past lives, and Jupiter opposing Pluto can bring misuse of power.  Again, I hasten to detach this interpretation from anyone else with these aspects, as extremes of behaviour don’t necessarily follow.  These are aspects however which could have contributed to his path.  He had also Jupiter square Uranus (The Opportunist).

He had Jupiter sextile closely the North Node – luck, until it ran out, as well as Saturn trine exactly Pluto, great strength (which in his case translates to brutality).  I am intrigued that his Chiron (Wounded Healer) was exactly opposite the Galactic Centre.  That may point to someone out of kilter with universal values.  Chiron was involved in a T-square with Saturn and Neptune.  Perhaps his Pluto trine the North Node was turned from a potential for a valuable contribution, to a karmic path as a murderer.


Ian Brady’s mother was an unmarried waitress, who gave him away at three months.  His father was a reporter on a Glasgow newspaper, by her account.  He was brought up by the Sloans, a couple with an already established family life, but he did not integrate, and kept himself to himself.  His 4th House of Home is empty, providing few clues to this period of his life.

During his teenage years, he led a solitary existence, and became interested in Nazi literature and artefacts.  He read widely, but left school without qualifications. He was arrested by the police occasionally for petty crimes, and at some point was sent back to live with his mother.

Myra Hindley

He met Myra Hindley in the factory where they worked, in 1961.  The Guardian Obituary tells us: “With his cold grey eyes, bony face and aloofness, he quickly had her enthralled.  She was later to describe him as her ‘god’.”  He introduced her to his literary interests.  Myra was a double Cancerian (Sun and Ascendant in that sign), with Jupiter and Mercury also in Cancer.  Although she is generally painted as under his influence, she herself admitted that it was she who enticed the children into the car.  Cancerians of course have an affinity with children, so this is a gross perversion, and again no insult intended for anyone with any planet in Cancer.  She also had the Sun conjunct Pluto, which can mean an obsession with death.  Myra herself came from a brutal home background, depicted in her chart by Mars and Chiron conjunct her I.C.  Malcolm MacCulloch, professor of forensic psychiatry at Cardiff University wrote: ” The relationship with her father brutalised her … She was not only used to violence in the home but rewarded for it outside. When this happens at a young age it can distort a person’s reaction to such situations for life”.

Her Synastry (astrological comparison) with Ian Brady tends to suggest that he had the upper hand in the power struggle between them.  His Saturn was trine her Sun, and his Pluto was on her Sun, his Saturn was square her Venus, for instance.  The most karmically direct aspect was his South Node on her Uranus in her 12th House, bringing out her perversions.  She kept a diary, and for the time of their meeting, Pluto was conjunct her North Node, an invitation to the dark path that proved to be her karmic path.

Ian Brady seems not to have encouraged human connection in his life, but theirs was some sort of relationship, or power trip on his part.  Whether the human heart was involved, is anybody’s guess.  They corresponded for a few years after imprisonment until 1971.

The Murders

The first murder took place on 12 July 1963, their first victim being Pauline Reade, aged 16, a girl known to Myra Hindley.  Mars was conjunct Brady’s Neptune, Uranus trine his Mercury/Venus in the 8th House, and Pluto trine his Uranus in 12th House.  Myra had Saturn on her Midheaven, Uranus square her Uranus (out of control) and Pluto sextile her Jupiter.

His Psychology

Ian Brady’s psychology will probably never be fathomed, though he is broadly seen as a “psychopath”.  He has never shown any remorse for his murders, and has even described his crimes as “petty” when compared to those of politicians and soldiers.

Strangely, he has described what he did as “existential exercises, personal philosophy and interpretation”, and this philosophy is reminiscent of one of his favourite authors Dostoevsky, especially pertinent to the plot of Crime and Punishment.  He wanted to be treated as an ordinary prisoner, but after a trial which examined his mental health, he was kept at Ashworth secure hospital at Maghull on Merseyside.  Psychiatrists attested to him being psychotic, paranoid, and hallucinatory, with a severe narcissistic personality disorder.

In her diary, Myra Hindley had written: “Within months he [Brady] had convinced me that there was no God at all”

Lord Longford

The pair were held in society as the archetype of evil, and apart from threats to kill by one of the mothers of the child victims, Ann West, they were untouchable. However, one eccentric politician, Lord Longford, not only took an interest in them but tried to take steps for Myra Hindley’s release.  Lord Longford was a Sagittarian, with a controversial conjunction of Mercury and Uranus.  He made a career of championing unpopular causes, and Tony Blair said of him: “He was a great man of passionate integrity and humanity and a great reformer committed to modernising the law while also caring deeply for individuals.”

His astrological connections with both the Moors Murderers were close:  with Myra, his Jupiter (his ruling planet) was sextile her Sun, his Neptune conjunct her Jupiter (much of his bond centred around religion – his Christian path and her desire for forgiveness), and his Pluto was trine her Midheaven.  He also had many connections with Brady, including his Jupiter sextile Brady’s Saturn and Pluto and trine Brady’s Chiron.  His controversial Mercury/Uranus was conjunct Brady’s Mercury/Venus.


Myra Hindley died in 2002, never having been paroled.  She died after suffering a brain aneurysm, at a time when Uranus was opposite her Mars.  Mars was square Brady’s Moon (female) at the time.

Brady died from restrictive pulmonary disease in Ashworth Hospital on 15th May 2017.  His desire for his ashes to be scattered on Saddleworth Moor has, as has been mentioned, been denied, but at the time of writing he has also been denied Glasgow for his final venue too.

Child Victims

The known victims were Pauline Reade, Keith Bennett, John Kilbride, Lesley Ann Downey and Edward Evans.

Keith Bennett’s body was never found, despite numerous appeals to Ian Brady for its whereabouts.  His mother Winnie Johnson received a letter at the end of 2005 from Brady claiming he could take police to within 20 yards of her son’s body but claiming the authorities would not allow it.  She died in 2012.  Ian Brady, perpetrator of the unspeakable, has now taken his secret to the grave.

Final words go to her, appealing in a letter to Myra Hindley in 1986:

“I am a simple woman, I work in the kitchens of Christie’s Hospital. It has taken me five weeks labour to write this letter because it is so important to me that it is understood by you for what it is, a plea for help. Please, Miss Hindley, help me.”


It is a strange week for aspects!  Unusually, all the action takes place on one day: Thursday (25th).  If you need to work with any aspect in the meantime, Saturn trine Uranus from Friday (19th) still applies:

“…a trine between two of the big guns, Saturn and Uranus.  This can be an immensely constructive time, perhaps testing out a big project or structure which you have been building in your life.  This trine is good for combining the old and the new, the innovative and the well-worn, moving forward without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.  It is especially good for engineering projects, as well as social projects.  It is about testing the elements of strength in what you have put into place, and hopefully finding that they hold.”

It is an aspect which favours both tying up loose ends and laying foundations for new projects.

On Thursday (25th),  Venus squares Pluto, which is a time of deep searching in relationships, and perhaps the requirement for release and letting go too.  What is needed is the understanding of one’s relationship, and one’s relationship to oneself being at the core of that.  For many of us, this is an ongoing issue, and one to be worked at especially on that day.  For this time, understand as far as is possible, the nature of relationship in general, the nature of any relationship with a significant other, and most of all your relationship with yourself.  Go easy with your loved ones, and be tender with those around you, for people could be feeling vulnerable.  Stay true to your heart. 

A later feature of that day may take advantage of any clearing that you are able to accomplish from Venus squaring Pluto, for a New Moon at 4 degrees Gemini takes place in the early evening.  To the extent that you have been able to work through Venus square Pluto, your intentions and creative visualizations for the New Moon can bear fruit.  Its presence in Gemini bodes well for communications, and inspires thought and ideas.  Travel is favoured generally, unless in your own chart the issue is entangled with Venus or Pluto, or the residue of events earlier in the day.  May it be a happy new beginning for you and yours.

The week in bullet points:

  • Thursday – stormy relationships, followed by the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind