A Small Circle of Friends: Kitty Genovese

Another fiftieth anniversary took place two months ago, and a couple of books were published in commemoration of the event. This was the rape and murder of Kitty Genovese in Queens, New York on March 13, 1964. This type of event is, unfortunately, very common in the United States and elsewhere, but this event was special. This event captured the interest of the country (if not the world) and is still mentioned in textbooks. While the brutal crime took place supposedly many people were aware of it and did nothing, so that it is held up as an example of people not wanting to get involved. It was the inspiration of a song by Phil Ochs, a contemporary of Bob Dylan (one rumor has it that Dylan’s song “Positively 4th Street” is about Ochs), his most popular, called “Outside a Small Circle of Friends”. The song would have been more popular except for an ironic anti-drug lyric that offended parents too dull to appreciate the support for the supposed a-motivational syndrome of marijuana in the song.

According to WikiPedia, she arrived back at her apartment from work at about 3:15 the morning of that day, parked and walked to her apartment. I’ve done these charts for 3:20 AM and since they are timed charts we can use the position of the Moon. I did not really except anything to show up, and so again I was surprised. While many girls and women are raped and murdered in the United States each year in an all too common act, this one was special in that in captured, and still captures, the attention of the country.

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Let’s look at this first chart, transits for the event to the United States chart. We see the loose Uranus-Pluto conjunction, and since Uranus is behind Pluto, we know that the conjunction is forming. This is the signature of the Sixties, but it has some time to go before it is exact. Notice also that it is a New Moon – about one day before exact, with a conjunction of Sun, Moon, Mercury, and Mars. In fact, Mercury is almost exactly on he Sun. Mars is half way between Sun and Moon. Sun Moon midpoint can be read as man and woman, and with Mars there it could indicate violence between a man and a woman. But of course this midpoint configuration happens often, so while it indicates the nature of the event, it does not say this is special, and of course it could indicate other things as well.

There is an exact conjunction between Mercury and the Sun, within one minute, and the conjunction will be exact by 4 am. This suggests that this is the day (Sun) that communication (Mercury) is important, that something will be communicated. And in fact, the murder of Kitty Genovese was communicated for the next fifty years.

Next we have the Sun opposite Neptune of the United States. There is something Neptunian about this event. Things are unclear, confused. Not only is this true of the event, but even to this time certain important facts are little know, for example, the fact that she was raped as well as murdered is not part of the standard narrative, and the fact that she lived with her female lover is mostly unknown.

And then there is Pluto. It squares the Ascendant and sesquiquadrates the natal Pluto of the United States, both aspects fairly tight. This accentuates the Pluto-Ascendant semisquare that is so fundamental to the character of the United States. My reading of this is that the event was a reminder of the violent nature of the United States as revealed by this natal semisquare, as talked about in the entry about the Gulf of Tonkin, which took place a few months after the Kitty Genovese murder.

Another tight aspect is the trine between Mars and Neptune. Mars Neptune combinations can be problematic and difficult to handle; the square in the chart of United States is one example, but a trine is somewhat different. The keyword I give for hard aspects is “overt”, they force themselves on you, you can not ignore them. Soft aspects are “covert” in that you may not notice their effect. Most people think soft aspect are easier, but more important is the planets involved, and these two together are not easy. With a trine the “unresolved energy” is not obvious but it is still happening.

 

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Since this is a timed chart, the position of the Moon is meaningful. It is opposite Pluto, but to see this more clearly look at the fourth harmonic chart. In this we can see that the Moon-Pluto conjunction (in the fourth harmonic) is almost exact, and almost exactly conjunct the United States Ascendant and opposite the United States Pluto. This was an event that really effected the United States. And that Moon-Pluto tight aspect can be read as brutality (Pluto) to women (Moon).

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Looking further at the fourth harmonic chart, we see things that were not evident in the firs harmonic chart. Neptune is at the midpoint, and making aspects with, Saturn and Venus. One simple minded way of thinking about this combination is uncertainly about difficulty with woman. Ebertin says about this midpoint “wrong ideas about love” which is certainly an understatement. There are tight hard aspects between transiting Saturn and Neptune with the natal Mars. This again brings out the unclear and limiting expression of energy – violence – in this event.

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Looking at the event chart, we see that transiting Neptune was hight in the sky close to the local Midheaven at the time of the event and would pass over the Midheaven in 11 minutes. This further adds to the confusion – the neighbors did not know whether to call the police – and uncertainty surrounding the event. Neptune was very strong in the murder of Kitty Genovese.

 

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One thought on “A Small Circle of Friends: Kitty Genovese

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