Keith Raniere, Astrosplained

Gentle reader,

This guy. I started this draft a while ago and now that Mercury has gone direct I’d like to cleanse the old palate. I’m thinking of doing Kimberly Guilfoyle next, while she’s on Minute 14:30. I started to do Meghan McCain but then her dad died so she got a reprieve. Let me know in the comments who you’d like to see next.

But I love the above picture of Keith Raniere, the “OMG, reality!” face. Delightful, like a butterfly in the sunlight. Now that the bad man is safely in jail let’s look at his chart.

I always like to start by looking at the Sun. I know many people are taught that the ruler of the Ascendant rules the chart. I’m dismayed by this new trend that I see of people just saying things are X, Y, or Z astrologically without giving any reasoning. So when I’m differing from traditional wisdom I will be more clear on exactly when, where, and why. But if you learn nothing else from me at all, please become a critical thinker about astrology, that’s what I really want from you.

So for me, the ruler of the Sun rules the chart. In this case it’s Mercury. Raniere has a pronounced Mercury for several other reasons I will discuss below. The next thing I always look at is the ruler of the Moon, in this case Venus in Libra.

I don’t know who’s ruling his angles here because I don’t have a birth time. However I don’t necessarily consider the Ascendant and its ruler more important than the other angles, and certainly not ruling the Sun and its ruler. How can the horizon rule the Sun itself? Inside the solar system? Everything revolves around the Sun in real life. No Sun, no horizon and thus no Ascendant, no life in this solar system. The Ascendant is always key if you can discover it. But for me it can’t rule the chart any more than the mood I’m in, the way I present to others, can rule my life.

Once I see who’s ruling the luminaries, I look at how those planets are situated and that usually gives me a pretty good feel for the layout of the chart. If one or the other luminary is very strong or very weak, very busy, on a major fixed star, or peregrine, that sets the tone for the whole chart. If you can only look at the chart for a minute, look at the two luminaries and their rulers. That plus the chart’s shape can tell you quite a lot.

So Keith Raniere has some unsurprising business along the order of what I just described. His Sun is at 3 degrees of Virgo, just a smidgen out of orb for fixed star Regulus. However, Raniere also has Pluto combust, and Mercury combust directly on Regulus. I agree with Jamie from astrologyking that it makes sense to give each fixed star an orb based on its size and magnitude, how far you’d be able to see its light versus a one-size-fits-all 1 degree orb.

Anyway Regulus is front and center with Mercury in the corona. Pluto on the other side makes all the sense in the world. This is a very clever man, who made up all these elaborate schemes as detail-oriented Virgo loves to do. He gave everything a very educated-sounding Latin name. Having a slave harem and branding them with your initials makes perfect sense for someone with Pluto in the corona.

Raniere’s Moon is at 23 Libra, directly on Spica and Arcturus for the added star power. This triple fixed star contact helps explain how he got so many wealthy and powerful people dancing to his tune. With the high-voltage fixed stars, great guidance, inspiration, and energy are possible. Especially with the three Raniere has working in his chart, he was very likely to succeed at whatever he chose to pursue.

So the Moon is not really great in Libra, an air sign. Libra is of course ruled by Venus, therefore making other people absolutely central to Raniere’s moods. Venus in both of her signs is about being liked (Libra) and loved/needed (Taurus). Venus is always about the affections and connections. Keith Raniere is, as Barbra Streisand would say, “People, people who need people.”

Remember that Libra wants the surface to remain smooth and unblemished, both visually and socially. She wants everybody to look happy and get along, even if they’re not happy and hate each other. Then the Moon is where we dredge up the muck from the bottom of the ocean and deal with it. So in this chart there may be a tendency to avoid dealing with deeper issues in favor of looking and feeling good, and/or being popular.

Raniere’s Moon has a couple of other important feature. It’s in harmonious aspects with everything but Saturn, Neptune, and Pluto. Raniere has the Moon quintile Vesta the True Believer, which makes me think his personal core values may be handled much the way Trump values his real estate — depends on how he feels about it at the time.

Raniere’s Moon is also on the same degree as dwarf planet Ixion. With many of the fixed stars, asteroids, and other heavenly bodies, we are working with things the ancients didn’t know about. So it’s for modern astrologers to begin observing and comparing notes over time. Ixion was named in 2002, so we are the generation of astrologers learning to work with its meaning.

I start with the mythology behind the name that the scientists chose for the body — Ixion. In mythology Ixion betrayed and murdered his father-in-law. Then when Zeus tried to give him another chance he hit on Zeus’ wife. So Ixion the Betrayer is on the same degree at Raniere’s Moon. And I would have to imagine the people who entrusted him with their daughters, for the most part, feel very betrayed. Although there was one guy who had two different daughters impregnated/aborted by Raniere, and he still stands behind the guy.

So Mercury and the Sun are in each other’s signs, with Mercury in Leo and the Sun in Virgo. This strikes me as an exacerbation of the usual Mercury combust thing, of being a bit cerebral and identifying with your thoughts. Mercury retro in the natal chart may indicate someone who rehearses what they’re going to say, or rehashes what they should’ve said. I will admit to having quite a bit of trainspotting behavior which I would also attribute to my excessive/combust Mercury. In my case of course it’s not trains but antique needlework patterns, which I count over and over again as though I were stitching them with my brain. So I expect Raniere to have a bit of that sort of thing, OCD-ish thoughts, the love of information for its own sake.

Quick recap: The Sun and Mercury are in mutual reception, in each other’s signs, so those two are key. The Moon is ruled by Venus, Venus is ruled by Mercury. Then Mars is also ruled by Mercury in Gemini, making Mercury by far the dominant planet of this chart, at least given what we know without the angles. This is a very bright, very egotistical guy with a prominent Sun.

This is a locomotive chart with a Mars engine and a Saturn caboose, which makes all the sense in the world given what I know about Keith Raniere. Locomotives are for people who get things done, especially with Mars as the engine. And really, if you’re going to run a sex cult I’d expect you to have a big Mars boner. I’m surprised his Mars and Neptune aren’t more pronounced. Really with horny nogoodniks it’s usually Mars and Pluto, with Mars more aggressive but Pluto more sadistic. When they’re greedy it’s Saturn. When they’re huge liars/fake gurus/drug addicts it’s Neptune.

So like dear Don McGahn, with all that rambunctious Mercury Keith Raniere is just a bit too smart for his own (and the world’s) good. With Mars in Gemini we see someone who is much more passive-aggressive, more manipulative in line with Pluto’s line of work, extremism and control. Ariel Castro, who raped multiple women multiple times each for years, undoubtedly had a much stronger Mars, not in an air sign. It’s the literal boner in any sex offender. For Keith it was more psychological.

Jupiter is normally where we look for a good time, the jovial, easygoing planet, the party guy. Raniere has Jupiter in his own sign of Sagittarius, making him a guy who loves a good time. One thing about Jupiter, he loves spending other people’s money. Trump is another very jovial character with his Moon in Sagittarius. That’s why he does those rallies with the people of Walmart cheering for him. Jupiter is another people person, like Raniere’s Libra Moon.

The combust Pluto, strong Jupiter, and Libra Moon make me think Raniere relies very much on other people to keep his mood where he wants it to be. Libra Moon can run a little cool, and with so much Virgo I’d expect the same. Virgo is the Virgin, detached. Virgo is an Earth sign ruled by an Air planet, which if you think about it creates a non-interaction. Right? Things are happening on two parallel tracks — the material (Earth) and the intellectual (air) — and specifically not on the heart (Moon) or soul (Neptune) level. So Virgo is thoughts and observations detached from the emotional process of of experiencing them. Virgos are kind of lactose intolerant for their own feelings, in a way. Especially with this much Virgo. Mercury really likes to keep the monkey mind moving, not dwell in feelings.

Were it not for the combust Pluto making Raniere so intense, I would think he’d be just another university egghead. Jupiter likes being a part of large groups, especially if he’s the center of attention. He’d be the horndog professor hitting on the students, having a little clique of worshipers who believe him when he says he’s a genius, who are devastated when they find out he’s sleeping with other students too.

The thing about the Libra Moon, it does make people charming. Libra and Venus in general give you the good people connections, even if notorious haters like Paul LePage and John Kelly (who has a personal financial stake in the for-profit child-migrant camps he helped create) have Venus charts. Like Bibi Netanyahu, they may live to hate, but the people who love those guys really, really bend over backwards for them. That’s Venus, when others support you.

Another thing to note about Raniere is that he has a couple of little blessed circuits in his chart, those blue triangles that in a grand trine chart would make a kite. There is no real name for that, though I call them “mini kites.” They don’t have the chart-unifying blessing of a grand trine. But I see it as groups of coworkers, like one department where the people really get along and thus they can do miraculous teamwork. If you use the US version of The Office as an example, a mini-kite might be like the people in the warehouse, who all get along really great together unlike their coworkers. The warehouse is never the source of the trouble; it’s where the problems get solved. This is how I see these little happy triangles even without a grand trine, like a subset of coworkers that makes a team within a team. The semisextile planet makes it a party.

So in this chart there are two of those pretty triangles, one topped by the Moon and another by Neptune. As I said above, I always expect a fake guru to have a big Neptune.

Here Neptune is sitting pretty with the sextiles and just fine in Scorpio. While this is a generational influence, it takes many years to change signs, still the placement carries its inflection within each chart based on the lay of each individual’s planets. So Mars and Pluto are coruling Keith’s access to his higher self. I also have Neptune in Scorpio, for the record. Pluto can be a great thing with Neptune if you have really high integrity.

Neptune can be about escapism, fantasies, imagination/intuition, access to higher-dimensional beings, drug abuse, alcoholism, smoke and mirrors, lies, and every way that people can avoid reality. It’s where we either integrate with our higher selves or compartmentalize/lie to ourselves and/or the world. When you combine a busted or compromised Neptune with a strong Saturn, like Trump and a lot of his buddies, you get a natural born grifter. Pretty sure JKush meets this description. You know, the guy who moneyballed the ROI, which means something.

I would say Raniere has a strong, even empowered Neptune. This is how he inspired enough people to blow his operation up. The guy who kidnapped Elizabeth Smart has Neptune combust. He made up a whole fantasy world where he’s the father of a tribe of Israel, for which he needs to kidnap a pack of Mormon virgins. The raging Neptune is about whatever happens in that internal world. With Raniere’s Mars locomotive engine, the boner definitely plays a driving role in his work.

Two other things that are doing very well for themselves here, also not surprising: Saturn is in Capricorn conjunct Pallas and Vesta. Jupiter is in Sagittarius. Now Keith’s Jupiter faces some major challenges in this chart, being in opposition to Mars. This may be why he will die in jail instead of getting away with it like Roger Stone probably will. Actually with Roger’s chart it’s a toss-up whether he gets away with his crap or not. But he has a bunch of bright stars in Gemini that suggest he well could go free, like Scooter Libby and GW Bush.

Anyway the strong Saturn is really empowered, trine Venus and the Sun, Pluto, and the Node. Saturn is in a hard angle to Chiron, and also to the chart-dominating Mercury. When you think about all of the different connotations of Saturn — money, materialism, greed, authority — all of that makes sense for the life Raniere lived. He made up a bunch of rules and heirarchies so he could be in charge of more things, maybe.

Also with the starvation dieting, that’s a Pluto and Virgo thing. Pluto likes to manipulate others into starving or force them to starve, because it makes them feel powerful to inflict suffering. This is really classic Plutonian torture, food deprivation. Raniere also has Saturn in Capricorn, which won’t hesitate to lay down the law and give you the numbers of how much you should weigh exactly.

Then Virgo just has a general “no fatties” rule. Roger Stone famously had that in his swinger ad. Roger Stone is a classic Virgo, very clever, into physical fitness and grooming, clean freak, very nitpicky about the details of his clothing and appearance. Grown man often seen in very expensive, spotless, white suits.

Anyway Raniere’s Virgo alone would make him really hate fat on anybody. Then with his Pluto he’s virtually guaranteed to use fat as a means of emotional abuse and control, and that’s what I understand he did.

This chart is really pretty on the nose, though it could have gone a lot of other ways. I think really without all the fixed-star contact he would’ve been just another horndog professor. That would’ve been much better for him. He’d have gotten tenure and lived out his days. But he does have that strong Jupiter and the fixed stars, so he just couldn’t resist.

And then the last but not least thing to say about this chart, Venus. Pretty central for a guy who ran a sex trafficking cult disguised as a women’s empowerment thing.

The opposition from Jupiter to Mars may well explain why he got too big for his britches and ended up in jail. Jupiter doesn’t have brakes, nor does Mars. They’re both enormously entitled and selfish. Jupiter doesn’t know when enough is too much. Raniere has Chiron at 29 Aquarius, coruled by Saturn and Uranus. I wonder if the sheer weirdness of the way he ran things didn’t in some way contribute to his downfall.

And of course then Venus is square to both Jupiter and Mars. With Venus representing women generally, Jupiter representing the good time Keith feels entitled to have, and Mars being Keith’s boner, the whole thing makes a ton of sense. Keith expected other people, specifically women, to alleviate the tension between his desire for a good time and the party in his pants.

With that strong Moon, Keith’s moods can be very variable. Someone this strong Moon and Neptune can be very quick to project, very quick to expect other people to show them what they want to see out of life. I’m sure he wanted all of these women to become who he wanted them to be simply for his own ego gratification.

So the Venus thing, remember that’s about affections and connections, who will do what for you, whose life is interdependent with yours. Raniere has the Moon sextile Mercury, Jupiter, and Uranus, and trine Chiron and Ceres. So his Moon has a lot of friends. Ceres is the goddess of the harvest, among other things, the highly motivated one who makes all manner of crops spring from the Earth when she’s feeling good. Ceres will also kill every last plant if that’s what it takes to get her daughter back. Ceres shows where we are intensely motivated, what we would go to hell and back for.

So with Venus at the head of the T-square, it’s really the focal point of the tension in this chart. Venus is not only about other people, it’s about women generally and the wife. Mars is Adam, Venus is Eve. When you look at the strong Saturn you see one who is very much motivated by money and material wealth and status. The way that’s in sweet angles with his Neptune and Pluto suggests that exploiting people both financially and sexually is all part of the deal with him. With Venus at the apex of that T-square, Keith really expects other people, specifically women, to solve his problems. Poor dope.

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