Mary Shelley's Monstrosity

Written by  Walter Cambra
From the frontispiece of the 1831 edition of Frankenstein From the frontispiece of the 1831 edition of Frankenstein Illustration by Theodor von Holst

The author of FRANKENSTEIN, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, depicted her monster with a male gender rather than a female gender. Was her gender choice for the monster motivated by the subliminal and dark side of her feminism?

Examining Mary Shelley's natal chart may reveal some clues in answering this question. Click here for a large version of her chart in a new window.

Mary Shelley was born on August 30, 1797 in London, England (0° W 10', 51° N 30') at 11:20 p.m.[1] Mary Shelley's mother was a social reformer and feminist. Mary had several children that died shortly after birth. Mary's mother died at her birth.[1]

Mary's natal chart shows Cancer rising which makes the Moon her overall chart ruler. The Moon is the natural ruler of the fourth house of home, parenting, Mother and babyhood.

Immediately we notice her Moon forms a hard aspect (opposition) with the Ascendant. Her Moon is in Sagittarius in the sixth house of physical health.

Ominously Saturn is in the Detriment (loss, pain, adversity) in the first decanate of Cancer within the first house of her physical self.

Saturn in Detriment forms an afflicted aspect (Square) with Venus (carnal love) in Libra (discontentedness) in the fifth house of sexual pleasure and one's children.

Although Venus is in its domicile in Libra, its aspect with Saturn is further afflicted by several factors: first, Venus is in the malefic Via Combusta zone (Libra-Scorpio); second, Saturn in Detriment is a co-ruler of Libra; third, most aggravating for Venus is its conjunction with the asteroid Chiron (representing. deep emotional wounds).

Notice that a hard aspect (Square) is formed between the sinister asteroid Lilith, in Aquarius (Rebelliousness) in the ninth house (Religion) with Neptune (Self-Delusion) in Scorpio (cruelty and vindictiveness) in the fifth house of sexual pleasure.

Again, notice that the afflicted aspect between Lilith and Neptune is in the malefic Via Combusta zone. Scorpio is also the Fall of the Moon.

The Moon is also afflicted by aspects with Saturn as well as Venus while simultaneously conjunct the Galactic Center (Unusual knowing) which also forms a hard aspect (Square) with Mercury in the fourth house of home and one' s children in the sign of Virgo (Intellectuality).

There is a hard aspect (opposition) formed between retrograde Pluto (horrible, degeneration) in its Fall in Aquarius (rebellion, originality) in the tenth house of career) and Mars (pioneer, physical energy) in Virgo (analytic) in the fourth house of home.

Mars (assertiveness, rage) is part of an afflicted Stellium comprised of the Sun (ego-centricity), Uranus (non-conformist, disruptive, electricity) in the fourth house of home.

The asteroid, Lilith, is "well-placed" in the sign of Aquarius in the ninth house of religion! "Lilith is always sinister and malevolent in her intent and ultimate effect … She is denying, frustrating, catastrophic…."[2]

Mary Shelley's abortive attempts to generate real life seems to parallel Dr. Frankenstein's abortive attempt to generate real life.

Mary Shelley's natal chart has an array of afflicted aspects punctuated by her Moon conjunct the Galactic Center in Sagittarius, in the sixth house of physical health.

The sinister nature of Pluto is conjunct the MC (a higher authority), and her Moon is conjunct the GC suggesting a higher wisdom mocking attempts to create life.

Mary Shelley's reactionary feminism (unconsciously yet subliminally intentional) created a monster of the MALE gender!

The North-Node in Gemini shows where she has to achieve spiritual polarity, that is, Wholeness -- as contrasted with the "baggage" she brought into this world identified by the South-Node in the sign and house of a heavily afflicted Moon.

The placements of Lilith and Chiron in her natal chart are testaments to a feminism gone bad.[3]

Walter Cambra

The author, Walter Cambra, has an MA in Philosophy from San Francisco State University (1993). He is the Frater of the Ancient and Mystical Order Rose+Cross (AMORC), Frater: Order Summum Bonum. He has had several scholarly papers delivered and read at the Bram Stoker International Summer School in Clontarf, Ireland. He is an AFA certified astrologer and has had numerous publications in Today's Astrologer and elsewhere. His astrology is primarily influenced by the esoteric practices within theosophy, but he also explores more modern techniques, including the use of the asteroid Chiron.


[1] Astro-Databank Chart of Mary Shelley,


[3] Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson. The Dark Moon Lilith in Astrology (Alhambra, CA: Frank Severy Publishing, 1961

For more information on Lilith, see

1 comment

  • Comment Link Gray Crawford Thursday, 21 March 2013 17:34 posted by Gray Crawford

    This is great- I have also been thinking of Mary Shelley recently connected with some astrological concepts I am developing, so this is a great help to me! Thank you!!

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