The Birth Chart of Agatha Christie, the “Duchess of Death”


Recently I read some comments an astrologer made about Agatha Christie’s birth chart, so I looked it up on astro.com. It turns out that the comments were based on an older, now discredited version of the birth chart, so I wondered whether the most recent version of Christie’s nativity would hold up to astrological scrutiny.

From astro.com

According to astro.com: “From Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie by Richard Hack. Phoenix Books, 2009. ‘a midwife named Mrs. Shelton-Price who according to her bill, charged one crown and two shillings to deliver Agatha Mary Clarissa Miller at 2:14 pm on Monday afternoon, September 15.’ She was born in 1890.” We consider this as quoted birth record, Rodden Rating AA.” Here is the passage verbatim from the Kindle version of the Richard Hack biography of Agatha Christie:

From Richard Hack’s biography of Agatha Christie, documenting her birth at 2:14 PM on Monday 15 September 1890 at Ashfield, 15 Barton Road in Torquay, UK.

From this biographical evidence, it appears that Agatha Christie was born at 2:14 PM GMT on 15 September 1890, a Moon day during a Saturn hour, the 9th hour of the day at 15 Barton Road whose coordinates are 50N28’31” and 003W32’31”. The chart for this birth time with Placidus houses looks like this:

Agatha Christie’s birth chart based on the documentation of the midwife who delivered her at the family home, 15 Barton Road, Ashville, Torquay, UK on a Monday during a Saturn hour.

Interestingly, her natal Moon in the 9th separates from a trine to Asc-ruler Jupiter in the 1st and applies to (transfers the light to) 9th-ruler Mercury in the 9th in the chart of this prolific and popular author. Jupiter rules the 1st house as well as the 3rd (communication, writing). Her natal Sun, which rules the Placidus 8th of death, exactly conjoins the 9th Placidus cusp (publishing) and closely squares Mars at the cusp of the 1st house. Her biography is aptly entitled Duchess of Death: The Unauthorized Biography of Agatha Christie by Richard Hack.

Interestingly the Sun at birth is at the very end of the 8th house (death, mystery) and almost exactly conjunct the 9th house cusp (books, publishing), indicating that the planetary hour ruler is Saturn in Virgo in the 8th house. If she were born just 14 seconds earlier, the Sun would have been just inside the 9th house and the planetary hour ruler would have been the Moon in Libra in the 9th house and conjunct Mercury, a natural ruler of writing. Thus, the planetary hour lord at birth could have been either Saturn or the Moon. This fact may help us to further rectify the chart.

A major event of Agatha’s childhood was the death of her father of pneumonia and chronic kidney diease in November of 1901, when she was 11 years old. She called this event the end of her childhood.

Age 11 would have been a 12th house profection year, consistent with a death in the family. Because Sagittarius rises, Scorpio rules the 12th whole sign, making Mars the lord of the year at age 11. Mars is the out-of-sect malefic, and it closely squares the natal Sun, a natural symbol of fathers. In addition, Venus occupies Scorpio and rules Libra, the 8th whole sign (death) from the 4th whole sign Pisces, representing the father in the Hellenistic system of whole sign topoi (places).

If Saturn were the planetary hour ruler of her birth, the lord of the orb at age 11 would have been Venus, ruler of the father’s death in the system of whole sign houses. In addition, Venus squares Jupiter, ruler of the 4th whole sign. If the Moon were the planetary hour ruler of her birth, the lord of the orb at age 11 would have been the Sun, ruler of the 9th whole sign and occupant of the 10th whole sign from the Ascendant. Because natally the Sun squares Mars, this could also indicate the death of the father, but in this instance I lean toward Saturn as lord of the hour at birth.

The year 1926 was one of the most difficult for Agatha Christie. Her mother died of heart disease at the age of 72 on 5 April 1926. A few months later, in August of 1926, her husband Archie asked her for a divorce, roughly a month before she turned 36 years old. Transiting Pluto in her 7th house in Cancer perfected a square to 7th-ruler natal Mercury on 19 August 1926, the same month that her husband expressed his desire to divorce her. Pluto turned Rx in mid-October and would again square natal Mercury in December of 1926 at the time of her notorious disappearance.

Regarding primary directions (Placidus semi-arc, Naibod key), the predominant influence in August of 1926 was the square of Venus (love, intimate relationships) coming to the Ascendant:

In August of 1926 Agatha’s husband announced his plan to divorce her as the primary directed square of Venus arrived at the Ascendant by primary direction.

Agatha’s famous 10-day disappearance after an argument with her husband occurred on 3 December 1926. Transiting Saturn in Sagittarius perfected a semi-square to her natal Mercury, ruler of the 7th, on 5 December 1926, and transiting Pluto in Cancer perfected a square to natal Mercury on 16 December 1926.

Interestingly, at age 11, when her father died, she was in a Scorpio profection year with Mars as lord of the year. At age 35, when her mother died and her husband announced his plan to divorce her, she was also in a Scorpio profection year with Mars at lord of the year.

Table

Age Profected Ascendant (whole signs)Lord of the YearLord of the orb if natal hour ruler is Saturn (2:14 pm birth)Lord of the orb if natal hour ruler is Moon (born slightly before 2:14 pm)
11ScorpioMarsVenusSun
35ScorpioMarsSaturnMoon
Given that age 35 was an extremely difficult year for her, it seems like Saturn as lord of the orb with Mars as lord of the year is a more fitting correlation.

In 1950 Agatha Christie was publicly honored by being elected to fellowship in the Royal Society of Literature, which was founded in 1820 by King George IV to reward literary merit. On 8 February 1950 her natal Ascendant culminated at the meridian by Placidean semi-arc primary direction, Naibod key.

The primary direction of her natal Asc to the MC in February of 1950 (Naidbod key) correlates with her public honor of election to the Royal Society of Literature of King George IV.

Another convincing factor in favor of the 2:14 PM GMT birth time is that by primary direction (Placidcus semi-arc, without latitude, Naibod rate), the directed Ascendant comes to the position of Saturn (a natural ruler of death) in the natal 8th house of death in January of 1976. Agatha Christie died on 12 January 1976. She was 85 years old when she died. Her profected Ascendant was Capricorn, and her lord of the year was Saturn, which natally occupies the 8th house of death. Her demise coincides with the primary direction of the natal Ascendant to the position of natal Saturn in the 8th house.

Here are her Placidean primary directions timed with the Naibod key for the first 6 months of 1976:

Placidean primary directions, Naibod key. She died on 12 January 1976. The directed Ascendant perfected its conjunction with natal Saturn in the 8th house on 17 January 1976.

About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
This entry was posted in Astrology and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s