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Dark triad traits in Astrology: Recognizing dark personalities

Hands in dark

The dark triad is composed of three distinctive disorders that are considered highly dangerous in society :

- Narcissism

- Machiavellianism

- Psychopathy

In common language, we tend to confuse the three, use them as if they had the same meaning – but they aren’t fully similar and actually deserve to be separated and in Astrology, we’ll find different markers.

There are several markers though that apply to the three conditions. Here is the excerpt from a test designed to diagnose Dark Triad traits. Feel free to use it to gauge yourself / people around you, and note my personal astrology associations on the side:

Markers for dark triad traits in Astrology

1. I tend to manipulate others to get my way. (Pluto)

2. I tend to lack remorse. (Pluto, Mars, Saturn in harsh aspect to Moon)

3. I tend to want others to admire me (10th House, 5th House, Saturn, Sun)

4. I tend to be unconcerned with the morality of my actions (Afflicted Jupiter)

5. I have used deceit or lied to get my way. (Neptune, Asteroid Lie, Afflicted Jupiter and Mercury)

6. I tend to be callous or insensitive (Pluto, Mars, Jupiter)

7. I have used flattery to get my way (Venus emphasis, Neptune emphasis)

8. I tend to seek prestige or status (10th House, Leo, Saturn, Capricorn)

9. I tend to be cynical (Saturn, Pluto)

10.I tend to exploit others toward my own end (Pluto, Mars)

11.I tend to expect special favours from others (5th House, 7th house)

12.I want others to pay attention to me (Leo, Sun, 5th House, 10th house, Libra, 7th House)

Before I dive into each disorder and how they would show up differently in the chart, let's overview common placements that are found in the charts of people with Dark Triad traits in Astrology.

The list below is based on Liz Greene work, and this study I found (which I agree with), and lists placements that were abnormally high in samples of disordered charts:

- Gemini or Sagittarius Sun

- Sun or Moon in Capricorn or Sagittarius

- Excess of Sagittarius and Capricorn placements

- Sun and Moon within 45° of a New Moon of Full Moon

- Saturn in the 12th House (being locked up!)

- Sun and Mars within 45° degrees of each other

- Pluto in 10th, 11th, 12th, or 1st house

- Venus conjunct Saturn

- Uranus conjunct Moon

- Moon trine of sextile Chiron

- Moon - Pluto

- Mars - Neptune

- Mars - Pluto

- 12th house emphasis

- Jupiter aspect to Pluto


Narcissism is a spectrum – we’re all somewhat narcissist, and you’re expected to be at healthy levels (not too low, not too high). When narcissism reaches very high levels, we fall into Narcissistic Personality disorder; which is marked by a lack of empathy, and using others as a narcissistic supply, wanting to hurt others or at the very least – not experiencing pain when hurting others, voluntarily. The main characteristic is an incapacity to love others, an incapacity to love the self, and an incredible over-compensation of this fact by displaying grandiose, charming, hoovering behaviours.

In Astrology, we’ll be looking for: Lack of sense of self, an inflated ego, lack of empathy, trauma, capacities for seduction and manipulation, tendency for lies. For a full article on it, check out my blog post on NPD

Example chart

Example chart

In this example chart, we find the Asteroid Child (4580) in Leo, conjunct Pluto. Child represents our inner child, and clearly here we already have an indication of a wounded narcissism. It’s conjunct Pluto and opposite Jupiter, perfect recipe for compulsive need to seek supply in others (Jupiter in 7th).

- Sun is trine the asteroid narcissus (3717) and conjunct Jupiter

- Moon is in Capricorn and in the 6th House, and it’s square Neptune (escapes his emotions), square Mars (and despite the profound anger, escapes his own anger), and trine Saturn (good capacity to dissociate). Here we have a perfectly clogged Moon, also quincunx asteroid Child and Pluto (wounding mother).

- If I continue my observation, I find Chiron conjunct Vertex in the 5th House (narcissistic injury) and Dejanira (157) conjunct the North node and opposite Mars (victim of violence, the narcissist was a victim and now create victims)

- Of course with Mars conjunct Neptune we have a great capacity to be manipulative and elicit anger in others without appearing guilty, while it’s located at the IC so it’s private violence. We also find Venus and Jupiter in he 7th House which gives seductive capacities, along with Mars in Libra.

- Lastly, Asteroid Lie (26955) is square Mercury (typical signature of a compulsive liar), opposite asteroid Narcissus (lies to cover narcissism)


People with high Machiavellianism (also a spectrum which can be tested here) don’t suffer from narcissistic injury, but they also completely lack empathy and use others. But when the narcissist uses others for narcissistic supply, high Machiavellians use others to fulfil their goals - sexual, monetary, social.

In Astrology, we’re looking for: duplicity, manipulation, self-interest, and a lack of both emotion and morality - So we're now focusing on an afflicted Moon, a strong Mars / Pluto, strong Neptune afflicted, and an afflicted Jupiter.

Example chart

Example chart

The first thing that stands out to me is Pluto - Mars conjunct in the 9th House, which is a powerhouse in itself and shows a capacity to be ruthless and violent, and be able to justify it / make it a philosophy. This is reinforced by the fact that Jupiter is conjunct Chiron, trine Pluto, and opposite Saturn Neptune. Jupiter is located in the 5th House, which shows strong sexual appetite, hands in hands with Pluto conjunct Mars.

Right from the bat here, we have someone who shows potential for lack of morality, and ruthless desire to dominate for its survival (Mars ruler of the 2nd House).

Another thing I note immediately is that, not only is Jupiter conjunct Chiron, which shows distorted and wounded beliefs and morals, we also find Jupiter opposite Neptune and Saturn, which shows someone who can experience "delusions of grandeurs", especially so as the ruler of the 10th, 11th and 12th house are in opposition.

When we look in the detail of it and start diving in, we also find some concerning aspects, such as Moon in Sagittarius conjunct Uranus (capacity to dissociate, capacity to compartmentalize, and a capacity to shut oneself from its overall emotions, including the capacity for empathy) and conjunct Dejanira (deeply fractured / compartmentalized emotional life). Note too how the Moon is sextile asteroid Lie - which shows a natural capacity for lying, and especially so, lying about one's emotional life.

Another concerning aspect which I see quite quickly is Nessus, the asteroid which represents abuse, in the 8th House square Uranus, the ruler of the Ascendant. Nessus square the Ascendant ruler is quite frightening - especially so when considering Moon is already conjunct Dejanira (victim). Here we have someone who could have been a victim of serious abuse, but also someone who has the potential of being an abuser, possibly of women. This abuse could be psychological (8th), covert, sexual, or all.

We also find Venus, the values, in Capricorn (social status, reputation, money) in the 12th house (hidden, covert, elusive, dreamy) square asteroid Lie. This person is not honest about their values, and as Asteroid Lie is in Libra in the 8th House, this person can use seduction to lie.


I'm not exactly sure that the chart I submitted for Machiavellianism also fits for psychopathy, but it does have a lot of markers. We do have an amazing research for serial-killers which I believe would represent the criterias for psychopathy. As these results fully match the chart I personally have of someone who is a proven machiavellian, I do think we should refer to it to determine whether or not someone represents a danger.

It's good to keep in mind that, two identical charts could be handled completely differently. It does happen to have charts with several markers, and yet, someone who chose the path of healing and accountability. However, if you get a fight or flight response to someone, and you also find these markers in their charts, don't look further and run.

If you are involved with someone who you believe is dangerous and/or has Dark Triad traits, please reach out for help to a friend, a counsellor, authorities if necessary, or a support group.

Recommended reads:

Betrayal Bond: Breaking free of exploitative relationships

See also


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