Wednesday Journal Entry – Week 15
Karina Lafayette – August 3rd 2022
Does history repeat itself? Do we just subconsciously relive certain lessons till we learn from them, like Carl Jung suggested? Is there some force behind everything, or is it just that humans like to link events together so much that it only looks like there’s a pattern, just because the chaos would be too overwhelming to accept?
As someone who’s been into astrology for a while, even I still don’t know what the answer is. Sometimes I like to think that life is random, but other times, I know there has to be more to it. In order to really make sense of the direction this piece is heading, we need to take a bit of a trip in time to May 5th 1993.
On that day, Steve Branch, Michael Moore and Christopher Byers were reported missing in West Memphis, Arkansas. The world was a very different place back then. Unlike the helicopter parenting that we see today, kids were free to roam and explore and were raised in environments that were much more hands off. Cellphones weren’t common, and we were on the brink of the internet really making waves. Because of this, the world felt a lot smaller, since most of us only knew it according to our local communities and whatever movies and tv shows were popular.
At approximately 7pm is when John Mark Byers, Christopher’s father, reported the boys missing to the local police, so this is the event chart we’ll be looking at. The next day, the boys’ remains were found in the woods nearby. According to the time Mr. Byers made the call, we see that Scorpio was rising, just as the moon was already in that sign.
Scorpio Ascendant represents mystery, fear, and secrets. Having asteroid Nessus right on the Ascendant shows just how horrific the crime would go on to be, due to Nessus being associated with trauma, abuse, assault, and how people respond to that abuse. “An eye for an eye leaves the world blind,” as they say; Scorpio’s thirst for revenge and wanting justice at all costs can make them unhinged. They will stop at nothing to make someone pay. When the moon is in the first house, this shows a need to emotionally connect with others, however due to an exact opposition to the sun in the seventh house of partnerships, there’s a tendency of emotions being at odds with good judgement, something reflected later on in the trial. The Moon of course is associated with children, and in its fall shows regret in not being able to protect them as a community. During the trial, three teenagers would be falsely convicted.
Not only that, we also have Chiron the wounded healer close to the Midheaven at the apex of a T-square with the sun and moon, making the pain and trauma of the events very apparent. It doesn’t quite help that Mars in Leo (the sign of children) is squaring Mercury the planet of communication, because this suggests that some people involved were in such a hurry to figure out just what happened to these boys, that they were willing to blame anyone who fit the profile of a criminal. The fact that Mars is in the ninth house of higher learning at the time of the phone call, shows a heavy focus on morals and wanting to do the right thing, rather than actually looking at the evidence as is. Add a sextile to expansive Jupiter in justice-oriented Libra, in the eleventh house of friends, and no doubt this case would go on to affect a lot of people for years to come.
Of course, it doesn’t really take astrology to understand that a city of only 26,000 people, where it’s likely that everyone knows everyone, would be so taken over by grief and emotions. While a little misguided, keeping in mind the sun-moon opposition, most people would react the same way when crime involves those so innocent and vulnerable. Before the arrest of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin, and Jessie Misskelley, there were several other suspects, and heavy criticism when it came to how the police handled the crime scene.
Going back to the moon and Ascendant in Scorpio, it’s easy to see why there would be so much confusion, since either those who first arrived at the scene were just clumsy at their jobs, or there was something that needed a cover-up. According to Wikipedia, “Police officers James Sudbury and Steve Jones felt that the crime had “cult” overtones, and that Damien Echols might be a suspect because he had an interest in occultism, and Jones felt Echols was capable of murdering children.” When Scorpio is rising in a chart, it’s common to have a reputation of being the outcast, the one that everybody talks about but that nobody actually likes. Even though there were two other suspects, for obvious reasons, Echols went on to become the biggest focus of all, simply because he was known for having long hair, wearing black clothes, and his love of heavy metal and everything “weird”. Regardless of his own chart or who he is in real life, Echols just fit the bill of a Hades misfit, and like Hades, he was sent to the Underworld simply for what he stood for. And if this sounds familiar, it’s for good reason.
With all that said, what links the West Memphis Three to Stranger Things isn’t only the fact that Damien Echols was the inspiration for Eddie, as said according to the Duffer Brothers, but also that Saturn, the planet of karma and social order, was in the same sign it is now. Back in May 1993, Saturn was in Aquarius, just as today, which means that next year, it’ll be returning to the degree it was at when the initial crimes took place in West Memphis. When Saturn is in Aquarius, we see a lot of control being imposed by groups of people, and there’s a tendency of showing judgement toward anyone who doesn’t fit the norm, (think Eddie), which sadly created an atmosphere where those little boys never got the justice they deserved. The lesson behind this transit is to encourage people to speak their truth, even if others don’t like it, and to learn how to function better as a collective. Anytime Saturn “returns”, there’s a full circle moment that happens. We talk a lot about the Saturn Return in terms of a person’s birth chart, but this can apply just as much to historical events. Most recently, Damien Echols filed an appeal for DNA retesting of the evidence associated with the boys’ murders, which means that sometime in as early as 2023, there’s a good chance justice might be served once in for all.
When it comes to the parallels between Eddie and Echols, you can clearly see this from the moment he goes into hiding after being falsely accused of murdering Chrissy. Despite his misfit exterior, he’s really just a young man trying to find his place in the world. The paranoia of Hawkins, where people would rather pin the crime on just anyone who seems out of place, and their criticism toward anything that’s outside the social norms, all of that is reflected back in the West Memphis Three case.
Back in 1985, 60 Minutes even did a whole segment on the fear of Dungeons and Dragons being linked to Satanism, and there was a whole rumor mill going around that anyone who listened to metal was most likely a Satanist. Part of this has to do with good ol’ Pluto being in Scorpio at the time. Scorpio is the sign of the occult, magic, psychology, sex, secrets, and death, so it only makes sense that these themes were rampant throughout the 80s and well into the early nineties. In fact, the whole Satanic Panic really only became significant when Pluto went into Scorpio in the first place.
However, because the trial only began in March 1994, when Saturn was in Pisces, this highlights criticism related to spirituality and the occult even more. Because Pisces has to do with spirituality and illusion, it’s common during this transit to witness a bit of paranoia surrounding different faiths and belief systems. We see people either stepping away from certain beliefs, or leaning into them even more. There’s also an expectation to fight for what you believe in, since Saturn asks that we own our truth. When Saturn goes into Pisces next year, there’s no doubt we’ll see a recurring of similar themes from that trial. Hopefully this time around, we can actually learn from it, so it doesn’t happen again.
Another thing that’s also important to keep in mind is that Echols is a Sagittarius sun, Venus, Mercury, Neptune, North Node, and Mars, and depending on his birth time, that would put his moon in Scorpio, or in Sagittarius as well. Either way, all throughout the trial, his faith and sense of self was put to the test, due to Saturn squaring more than half of his planets. With the North Node returning to the same position as when he was born, it was necessary for him to assert his personal values, thanks to Sagittarius being the sign of the teacher and philosopher. While it’s unfair that things unfolded the way they did, there’s no doubt he would go on to share his story to help others.
What strikes me even more with all this is the fact that at the time those three boys were killed, Saturn was at 29 degree Aquarius, which shows a sense of urgency in wrapping up a lesson or cycle. After all, Pluto changed sign not long after Saturn, and when Pluto changes sign, it’s the start of a new era. The problem is because Saturn rules time, wanting to rush a situation can lead to instability and misunderstandings, so the fact that the case remains open, reflects how society is often in a hurry to get to the point, instead of analyzing every detail with a fine tooth comb like Saturn wants. If it wasn’t for that impatience, Echols and the other two probably wouldn’t have went to jail at all, and justice would’ve been server sooner. The 29 degree can also reflect delays, or things requiring a redo before actually getting solved.
This is why I always like digging up cases and pop culture moments from the period we were born, because they can reflect a person’s life in pretty cool ways. Joseph Quinn himself who plays Eddie is an Aquarius, so it makes sense that he’d been drawn to misfit characters. It’s safe to say that the role of Eddie really was written in the stars.
And no matter what you feel when it comes to Echols’ personal beliefs, the fact that even after eighteen years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit, he was able to stay true to his path, is a testament not only to himself, but to just how powerful faith can be when we need it the most. Even after being released, he went on to write books on spirituality and has a Youtube channel dedicated to his work. People might judge as they choose, but the universe always knows.
If you enjoyed this article, you might also like Kate Bush, Stranger Things, and Mercury Retrograde, as well as The Truth Will Set You Free: Saturn in Pisces (2023-2026) and Saturn in Aquarius (2020-2023): It’s Not Just About You
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