Lyle, and his younger brother Erik, shot and killed their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, at their home in Beverly Hills on the evening of August 20, 1989. Soon after the killing, the two brothers went on an eccentric spending-spree with their inheritance and proceeded to live an extravagant lifestyle which led to the suspicion of their involvement in the crime and ultimately to their arrest in March 1990.
Lyle was arrested on March 8, 1990, and taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Erik turned himself in after hearing about his brother’s arrest. Erik was apprehended by police at the LAX airport after arriving from Israel. He too was taken to the Los Angeles County Men’s Jail. Their arraignment for first-degree murder took place on March 26, 1990. Both are serving life sentences without parole. They are to this day, incarcerated in a Southern California prison where they are allowed to see each other daily at meals and in the exercise yard.
The Menendez brothers may be together again, and they do have a lot in common, but an exploration of their individual horoscopes will unveil a unique difference, one that landed them in prison. It was Erik’s proneness to conscience that made the difference between holding to the lie the brothers had agreed upon and revealing the terrible truth of the diabolical murder of the unsuspecting parents. It was Erik’s Sharp Destiny, indicated by the opposition of Jupiter and Saturn in his chart that led him to confess to the crime, and with no major aspect between Jupiter and Saturn in Lyle’s chart, he quite differently than Erik, held out to the end.
SHARP AND LOOSE DESTINY
Defining the Sharp and Loose Destiny is one of several advanced procedures in chart analysis that were developed in the mid-20th century by astrologer par excellence, Dr. Marc Edmund Jones. Jones’ innovative techniques were based on early astrological practices, which he expounds on in his writings to give a deeper and more comprehensive scope to chart interpretation. In his chapter on Self-Ordering (1) in The Essentials of Astrological Analysis, he begins by pairing the planets into four distinct departments of Self-Determination. Each departmental pair is then assessed for a possible major aspect between their positive and negative significators.
The four planetary departments of Self-determination,
1) The Sun and Moon of Vitality, is the organic will-to-be of the Greater Light, coupled with the Lesser Light’s emotional response and connection to its surroundings.
2) Jupiter and Saturn, as they define the soul’s personal Motivation through Jupiter’s enthusiastic outreach, paired with Saturn’s complimentary sober self-reflection.
3) Mars and Venus are paired to establish Efficiency in experience, through the initiative of Mars in concert with Venus’s gratifying conclusions.
4) Uranus and Neptune, the planets of Significance, as they work together to encourage the elevation and expansion of consciousness beyond the personal motivations of Jupiter and Saturn.
Mercury and Pluto are supernumerary and not included in the technique of Self-determination.
Each planetary department is vital for a well-rounded involvement in the business of everyday living. However, it is the role of Jupiter and Saturn, the department of Motivation, to offer the native an opportunity to develop personal accountability. The development of self-conscious awareness unfolds and becomes the necessary foundation for the further development of higher consciousness, represented by Uranus and Neptune, the planetary pair of Significance in the process of self-realization in a more expansive comprehension. The prominence or lesser influence of the department of Motivation in any chart is determined by the major aspect between the planetary pair to signify whether the life is destined to a Sharp and conscious moral self-awareness, or when Loose, minimizes the focus on behavioral moral standards.
The aspect allowance between Jupiter and Saturn has an orb of 10 degrees. A Sharp Destiny is identified when the pair of Motivation is in conjunction, square, or opposition, with each aspect characterized by its own unique definition. These formidable aspects produce continuous self-monitoring, which in normal circumstances should lead to a dedication to high moral standards. A Loose Destiny is found in the chart with Jupiter and Saturn in sextile, trine, or not in major aspect, allowing the native to be more relaxed in the assessment of their own or others’ acts and attitudes, and with relative freedom from both internal conscience and external pressures.
The contribution of the Sharp and Loose Destiny technique, as it relates to all other chart configurations, helps form an assessment of the native’s potentials for the refinement of character. Jones elaborates, “The fundamental distinction is between the life with its course rather well-determined at birth, or before, and the one where there is little preset in its development.” (2)
JUPITER AND SATURN IN THE CHARTS OF LYLE AND ERIK MENENDEZ
The signature difference between the two brothers is defined by the one as experiencing a highly sensitive struggle in conscience that produced the guilt that led to his confession to the crime, and the other, by contrast, was more hardened to his commitment to withhold information thanks to his Loose Destiny and his lack of consideration of the right and wrong of the circumstances leading up to the fatal and irrevocable event.
It is Erik’s Jupiter and Saturn in an opposition aspect that defines his Sharp Destiny that differs greatly from Lyle’s Loose Destiny, determined by a lack of major aspects between the pair of Motivation.
From the book, The Menendez Murders:
“Only Erik was having a hard time living with it. He kept dreaming about the gory scene in the TV room. His guilt was overwhelming him. He had to confess to someone. Naturally, he had picked his therapist. Nobody had witnessed the crime. Nobody had found the weapons. Nobody had challenged their alibi. Nobody could point a finger at them.”
While in a therapy session with his psychotherapist, Dr. Jerome Oziel, Erik confessed that he and his brother killed their parents. “I was having trouble telling him (Dr. Oziel) about why I was suicidal since I hadn’t told him that I killed my parents, and so he wasn’t really getting it,” recalled Erik. “And so I just decided that I needed to tell somebody, and I decided to tell him right then . . . I really wanted him at that point to tell me that I wasn’t a bad person. And he couldn’t do that unless he knew that I killed my parents.” (3)
The motivation for Erik’s desire to have his therapist “forgive” him by telling him he wasn’t a bad person, was part of the process of conscience seeking to assuage the pain-producing guilt that arises from the realization of one’s wrongdoing.
JUPITER AND SATURN IN OPPOSITION ASPECT – From the Essentials of Astrological Analysis,
“Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect indicate an ordering of life’s fundamental motives, through which the native is usually compelled to dramatize himself continually in the presence of his fellows, at least if he wishes to participate with them in any course of everyday experience. This necessity often tends to throw a given lifetime into two entirely separate periods, with the latter revealing greater depth and continuity of realization, as perhaps an unsuspected consequence of the mirroring it has given itself through some more superficial role-playing in the former. There may be either a prodigal expenditure of the self’s resources, with their ultimate recapture in a refinement of soul, or a moral vacillation that accentuates every weakness of character, and so encourages a surrender to a final and hopeless ineptitude.” (4)
According to the definition of the Sharp Destiny with Jupiter and Saturn in opposition aspect, Erik was compelled to go along with the crime as a form of acceptance needed in relation to others, as is the requirement of a native with this planetary indication. Rather than superficial role-playing on his part, his participation in the murders was a result of his immature inability to discern the magnitude and seriousness of the crime he was about to commit in coordination with his brother Lyle. This is in contrast to the second half of his life-experience with its more shocking realization that he would be having when incarcerated without parole. His time in prison could most advantageously lead to a refinement of soul to counteract the anguish of his otherwise hopeless ineptitude.
Erik’s Saturn becomes the outlet of energy as a High Focus Focal Determinator in his Funnel Temperament Type. Saturn also is the elevated and sole occupant of the southern hemisphere. These combined chart features greatly emphasize the power of the Sharp Destiny in Saturn’s application to Jupiter through opposition. The opposition takes place from the 9th to 3rd mental houses and assist in the manifestation of the Sharp Destiny’s conflict in thought and moral motivation and its need to create an alignment with truth and conscience without guilt.
(1) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 108 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970
(2) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 343 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970
(3) Erik confesses to the crime: Erik’s testimony in court from The Menendez Murders by Robert Rand
(4) Essentials of Astrological Analysis by Marc Edmund Jones, page 124 – Sabian Publishing Society, Stanwood, Washington 1970