Astrology of Dexter Morgan, or Daringly Detailed Delineation.

Way before I saw the first episode of this popular Showtime series “Dexter”, I was already a fan of the character,  having encountered him through binge-listening of audio-books, four of which were from Jeff Lindsay’s Dexter series. If you didn’t know “Dexter” was a book before it was a show, I encourage you to read them, especially if you were sad to say goodbye to our witty and charming serial killer in season 8. Only the first book of the series is close to what’s happening in the show, so you’re bound to enjoy this second chance to follow our beloved blood-spatter analyst’s adventures.

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When I started thinking on Dexter’s astrological placements, I was originally planning to make it one of the  “Sun-Moon-general-energy-feel” character overviews, but being so well familiar with his story, I just kept going.

Well, first things first, and we’re starting with the Sun placement. If you’re familiar with the Zodiac archetypes, I think Scorpio is a no-brainer and is unlikely to surprise anyone. It goes further than just a simple logical chain of “Scorpio is the sign of death = serial-killer”, even though this sign does help in making him so magnetically attractive to the readers and viewers. However, it was the traumatic event of his childhood that made him the bloodthirsty monster and caused the murderous cravings. What we’re interested in here is how that filters through the prism of his personality. We’re trying to get the feel of how he acts and expresses himself going about his macabre routine.

Scorpios are intense, of course, and are keenly interested in the dark side of human psyche (including their own) as well as big fans of acting behind the scene. Another typical trait is being very secretive and Dexter is definitely a loner. If social interactions can be avoided – he’ll do it. No, being a serial killer is not causing the necessity to hide from people – remember Trinity from season 4? A serial killer with a family and an active social life? So, obviously, Dexter’s desire to be alone is a part of his personality. In addition, Scorpio (and the 8th house) is associated with work in police, due to both closeness to danger and Scorpio’s talent for investigation. While Dexter’s official position has little to do with either danger or investigating, his ”overtime” service to society is just that. Here he is totally in his element – carefully studying and stalking the future victim, planning out the strategy and the perfect time to strike.

Ok, we got the Sun figured out. So where is the Moon? Dex’s Moon is definitely in Virgo. Starting with his daytime job, which requires attention to detail and critical thinking as well as patience and thoroughness, and ending with his kill ritual, where his obsession with routine as well as meticulousness is seen best.  There’s a rumor going around the astrologer’s community that a Virgo Sun sign produces the highest percentage of serial killers. Of course, every individual has a lot more going on with their natal chart than just Sun in Virgo and I, by no means, want to offend any Virgos reading this. Every sign has its highs and lows. Hitler was a Taurus, but so was Shakespeare. I’m just trying to analyse the reasons this particular Virgo turned out to be a maniac.

Dexter-Michael-C-Hall-inter

Well, Virgos definitely have control issues. If you don’t think so, just you try and go to a Virgo’s (Sun, Moon or rising) house or work place and put a couple of things into places different from the ones assigned by the owner. See what happens but don’t forget to write a will and get your affairs in order  before you attempt an extreme and careless action like that! Virgo’s need for control comes from the strive for perfection. Creative chaos is Virgo’s hell. Incidentally, Scorpio is also a well-known control freak. These two actually have a lot more in common than just the shape of their glyphs – they both like to investigate and have a sharp, curious mind, love to analyse and be in control. But this control is happening on two different levels – Virgo is an Earth sign and sticks to mundane and material things, they want to know where things are (and that they are in perfect order) in the material world. Scorpio cares less if the books are arranged alphabetically and laundry is sorted by color and fabric type. Scorpio wants to know what everyone’s thinking and feeling, since that knowledge gives control over other people, rather than things.

So, now comes the question – why Scorpio Sun and Virgo Moon, not the other way around? After all, didn’t I mention Virgo Suns ranking suspiciously high on the serial killer list? The answer here is emotions. Dexter, in his own words, has none and doesn’t seem to understand other humans’ motivations. As the story unfolds and an occasional feeling does pop into his head (or heart, or whatever part of his being is responsible for such humanly nonsense) he immediately starts analyzing it. Why am I feeling this? Why am I feeling at all? How can I manage this feeling? He continues to try to process his feelings with his mind. Mind is ruled by Mercury. So is Virgo. It’s a dry, earthy, intellectual sign. Moon might be at fall in Scorpio, but at least it’s in a friendly element. Yes, it often becomes overwhelmed and takes feelings to the extreme, but it never shies away or puzzles over them. Scorpio Moon doesn’t have to “deal” with emotions, it just feels them and lets them come (but not come out).

Here the regular character description article would be over, but Dexter is special. It might have been due to my improving chart delineation skills that I kept going but in any case Dexter’s chart seems incomplete without some important aspects. There must be an indication of his mother’s murder, quite a strong one at that. I’m thinking Moon (mother) in the 8th house (death) with a square from a malefic planet (violent murder). Mars, Saturn or Pluto would do the job, but if Moon is in Virgo, Pluto would have to be in Sag. Dexter is in his early- to mid-thirties and with the first book out in 2004 that makes him a 70’s baby with Pluto in Libra, so that one is ruled out. It does, however, play into the 8th house placement story – if Pluto is in early degrees of Libra it has chances of falling into his 8th house, strengthening the indication of a cataclysmic event in the native’s life, which involved a death and caused a transformation (Pluto). It would, of course be safer to make him a few years older, moving Pluto in Virgo, conjuncting the Moon, but in Libra it also points at the reasons for his mother’s murder at the hands of drug dealers(Pluto as ruler of underworld and organised crime) who was an informant and got caught trying to play for both sides (Libra).

With Virgo falling into the 8th house, ascendant would have to be in Aquarius or Capricorn. I go for the latter not only because it plays into his geekiness and helps to not be bored with lab work. He also fervently follows “Harry’s code” and if there’s one sign to do things by the book, it’s Capricorn. Virgo might like order and rules, but is very likely to criticize each and every flaw it finds and re-write half of them in the process. When Dexter breaches the code, it’s a big deal for him and it causes a lot of inner struggle. With Aquarius rising, it would be more like “Codes are made for everyone but me!”. In addition, with Capricorn on the cusp of the 1st house we have Cancer on the cusp of the 7th (spouse). Ruled by the Moon. Moon is, as you remember, in the 8th house with a malefic aspect of murder. Sure enough, Rita gets killed by Trinity in the 4th season. Oh, did I say there was going to be spoilers? I didn’t, but if you haven’t seen the show, you’re very unlikely to be reading this anyway. If you have just discovered Dexter and haven’t watched the show that far – oh, well…. You’ll get over it 🙂

So we’re looking at a chart of someone born in Miami in early 70’s with a Scorpio Sun, Virgo Moon and Capricorn rising. 20 minutes of spinning the wheel of an astro processor and – drum-roll – ladies and gentlemen I give you the natal chart of Dexter Morgan:
Dexter Morgan

If you’re looking for more practice in your own chart reading skills, stop here and take a few minutes to see how everything else falls into place just as neatly, as Dexter packs the dismembered bodies.  If you’re new to chart reading, here comes the explanation of it all:

Saturn in Gemini was a godsend, since Mars wasn’t having it for either ‘71 or ‘73. Mars is sharp objects (mother killed with a chainsaw) but Saturn is cold temperature, which is also an important part of Dex’s experience. I adjusted the exact ascendant degree to put the Sun on the midheaven because (and that I did not tinker with) Black Moon Lilith happened to be tightly conjuncting the Sun  in Scorpio on that day! Seeing that made me feel like a kid on Christmas. If you don’t know who this Lilith is and what she does, let’s just use the native’s terms – she’s our good old Dark Passenger. Andrei Chikatilo who murdered a minimum of 52 women and children back in the 80’s had Black Moon conjunct his Scorpio Moon, in case you wanted to know some serial killer astrological trivia. Dexter takes a more conscious approach, since the contact here is with the Sun (ego) and is able to channel the need to kill into a Scorpionic Robin Hood-type approach. Sun in the 10th house shows his father as an absolute authority, but also shows a father in a high position in social sphere – Harry was well-respected at work in that same police department (again – Sun in Scorpio = father in police).

The 4th house is empty and to find more info about the mother we look at the house ruler, which is Venus. Incidentally, Venus is in the 8th, conjunct Pluto with one degree orb. Another pointer at the shipping container massacre, but this is also his adoptive mother Doris Morgan, who died of cancer (Pluto). The 3rd house of siblings is in Aries (the dirty-mouthed Debra) and the ruler Mars is conjunct Uranus in the 9th – the long lost brother suddenly (Uranus) appears and tries to teach (9th house) Dexter about his true nature. This brings all the memories flooding back in one big epiphany (Uranus) giving Dexter an explanation and better understanding of why he is who he is. Uranus rules Aquarius – an intercepted sign (showing an energy that is not obvious, that stays under the surface) in his first house of self. It is also quite remarkable how every outer planet is in tight conjunction with a personal one, helping to turn the deeply personal need for murder into the leisure activity (5th house ruler Mercury) slash – no pun intended – work (in the 10th house) for the betterment of humanity(conjunct Neptune, planet of ideals).

While writing this article, I needed to look up a few details of Dex’s bio (adoptive mom’s name and such). The wikipedia article actually has his birthday listed. Here is the direct quote: “Dexter was born on February 15, 1971 (though according to Dr. Evelyn Vogel’s journal in S8 E4, Dexter’s date of birth was notated as “2/1/71”)”. Hmmmm… February 1, 1971 is Michael C. Hall’s birthday, so I see how that got in there. They do not explain where the first date came from, but of course regardless of whether it was randomly chosen by screenplay writers or randomly chosen by Jeff Lindsay himself, it piqued my curiosity… For about as long as it took to look up the chart for the day.

As I was typing the data in, I thought to myself: “Ok, I could deal with an Aquarius Sun (Michael C. Hall made an Aquarian Dexter quite convincing), even though his father’s authority in Dexter’s life doesn’t tie with the detriment Sun’s position. Putting the Sun in the 10th house would require Taurus rising, for which his movements are too quick, or Aries rising, for which he is too cool and collected. Ok, maybe I’ll just look at the chart and see if there are any serious afflictions to personal planets and telling house placements to make a chart as fitting as the one above….”

But it turned out the Moon was in Libra on that day. In Libra, Carl!!! I rest my case.

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For more of my astrological reviews of film characters you can check out the  following articles:

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