I’ve been interested in cults since I was a teenager, but it took me another decade to realize the word “cult” is simply a shortened version of “culture.” A cult, then, is a subculture. A nation’s culture is simply the current cult.
When a group is given the label “cult,” it’s usually because it threatens the dominant culture in some way (such as early Christianity) or has done something nasty.
One of the salient characteristics of a group deemed a cult is that it has control over the members’ environment. So Cult, capital C, involves separation in some way from the dominant culture. Those are the cults that make news.
If we consider that cults manifest both positively and negatively, there are many more cults in existence than reported. Some cults challenge the dominant culture in a more subtle fashion.
Looking at cult leaders who make the news, I found that fixed signs prevail.
Yes. But it makes sense. To rule a culture or a cult are the same thing. You need a fixed, strong, dominant and charismatic personality with unwavering beliefs. No waffling.
If you want to start a cult, you should have sun or moon in a fixed sign. TAURUS seems to do well in cult leadership.
Cult Leaders and Fixed Signs
The fixed signs are Taurus (earth), Leo (fire), Scorpio (water) and Aquarius (air).
Here are some men labeled “cult” leaders:
Charles Manson: sun in Scorpio, moon in Capricorn or Aquarius
David Koresh: sun in Leo, moon in Aquarius
Sun Myung Moon: sun in Pisces, moon in Taurus
Jim Jones: sun in Taurus, moon in Pisces or Aries
Marshall Applewhite: sun in Taurus, moon in Taurus
Cult Leader or Motivational Speaker?
When I pointed out to my Meetup astrologer that Manson never really killed anyone (that we know), he pointed out that you could then call him a “motivational speaker.” That’s hilarious and also true.
Manson, the Scorpio, persuaded others to kill. Jones and Applewhite convinced others to kill themselves. Koresh doesn’t appear to have had an interest in murder or suicide. Being a Leo, maybe he just wanted love. And Reverend Moon is clearly interested in earning money. My Korean friend told me that Moon offered to pay off the entire debt of South Korea if they would recognize his church.
The characteristics of each cult are based on the personality of its motivational leader.
Jim Jones and Marshall Applewhite
Jones and Applewhite were born four days apart (May 13, 1931 and May 17, 1931 respectively). I don’t have a statistician hanging about, but it seems statistically relevant that two men born within a week would become cult leaders who convince a group of people to commit collective suicide.
The chart differences between the two men involve mostly the moon and house placements (which is dependent on time of birth, which I don’t have).
Jones had moon in Pisces or Aries. I’m guessing Pisces as his followers killed themselves by drinking poisoned liquid. Pisces is a water sign.
Applewhite had his followers kill themselves as the only way to “evacuate the earth” and have their souls picked up by a passing UFO to ascend to other levels (per Wikipedia).
Clearly Applewhite felt stifled by having both sun and moon in the fixed earth sign of Taurus. Saturn trines the sun and moon which would suggest someone grounded in reality, not someone fleeing reality.
The T-square in both mens’ charts consisting of Pluto/Jupiter (in Cancer), Saturn (in Capricorn) and Venus/Uranus (in Aries) does suggest a bad time in love, but I never would have guessed they’d get so upset as to want to leave the earth and take others with them. It’s almost as though disappointment in love made them challenge the loyalty of those around them. The ultimate challenge being, “If you loved me, you would kill yourself for me.”
If you want to start a cult, you should be . . .
So if you want to start a cult, you should be a fixed sign. If you decide cult leadership is not for you, fixed signs do well in other types of charismatic leadership such a politics and religion.