Crime, Punishment & Astrology: The Exoneration of Anna Goeldi

anna-goldiOn August 27, 2008 the Swiss government decided to exonerate Anna Goeldi of witchcraft. She was convicted and beheaded for the crime two hundred and twenty years ago.

Her story:

Anna Göldi (also Anna Göldin, ca. 1740–1782) is known as the “last witch” in Switzerland. She was executed for murder in June 1782 in Glarus.
A native of Sennwald, Anna Göldi arrived in Glarus in 1765. For seventeen years, she worked as a maidservant for Johann Jakob Tschudi, a physician. Tschudi reported her for having put needles in the bread and milk of one of his daughters, apparently through supernatural means. Göldi at first avoided arrest. The authorities of the Canton of Glarus advertised a reward for her capture in the Zürcher Zeitung on 9 February 1782. Göldi was arrested and under torture admitted to being in a pact with the Devil, which had appeared to her as a black dog. She withdrew her confession after the torture ended, but was sentenced on June 18, 1782 to execution by decapitation. The charges were officially of “poisoning” rather than withcraft, even though the law at the time did not impose the death penalty for non-lethal poisoning.[1]

During her trial, official allegations of witchcraft were avoided, and the court protocols were destroyed. The sentence does therefore not strictly qualify as that of a witch trial. Still, because of the apparent witchhunt that led to the sentence, the execution sparked outrage throughout Switzerland and the Holy Roman Empire.


Walter Hauser, a local journalist, does not believe Anna died because isolated Glarus remained mired in medieval superstition.Researching the original records of the case, he found something far more banal.”Jakob Tschudi had an affair with Anna Goeldi,” he explains.”When she was sacked, she threatened to reveal that. Adultery was a crime then. He stood to lose everything if he was found out.”
But at that time in Glarus, witchcraft was a crime.Mr Hauser calls Anna’s trial and execution “judicial murder”.

“Educated people here did not believe in witchcraft in 1782,” he insists.
“Anna Goeldi was a threat to powerful people. They wanted her out of the way, accusing her of being a witch. It was a legal way to kill her.”

Thanks to Swiss precision and record keeping we have the gory details of Anna’s multiple tortures and confessions in the hands of the Glarus authorities. We also have her birth date and birth place.

Anna has two planets, her Sun and her Mercury in sexually oriented Scorpio, and her Moon in the socially pleasing sign of Libra, conjunct her Venus, her planet of values. This is opposite her planet of authority, Saturn in the sign of Taurus. This combination produces a personality that against the true Scorpio type, wants to please authority figures, and with the Scorpio emphasis does so with sex. Her Mars is in the sign of unpredictable Aquarius in stress aspect to her planet of power and control, Pluto. She would tend to either be obsessed with a love relationship or be the object of that obsession. Uneducated and without financial resources, Anna may well have felt that the only way to control her poor circumstances was to give her employer what he wanted. Her progressed Mars, representing her sexual drive for the year she arrived in Glarus was in harmonious energetic connection (trine) her Sun, representing the men in her life, and in easy energetic connection (sextile) her planet of authority figures, Saturn. Her employer would desire her and pursue a relationship. With her birth chart Mars, in challenge aspect to her Saturn, this was a sexual relationship coerced by the abuse of authority over the employee.

But Scorpio’s are not to be scorned. When her lover of seventeen years decided to sack her and put her out of his home, she used the only weapon she had. Anyone who has ever been in a fight with a Scorpio knows the bone-headed do or die intensity with which Scorpio’s attack. Unfortunately for Anna, her well-to-do employer had all the cards and the local government in his pocket.

Sex may seem like a spell cast but some people, but what was evil was her employer’s treatment of her. And she paid the price with her life.

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2 Responses to Crime, Punishment & Astrology: The Exoneration of Anna Goeldi

  1. Mandy Lando says:

    Your analysis of the crime in “Crime, Punishment & Astrology: The Exoneration of Anna Goeldi” was really unique. I had never seen astrology applied to criminal justice before this. Would it be okay if I used a portion of the post for a new blog post my writing team would be creating in the future?

    Mandy Lando

    “Justice may be blind, but she has very sophisticated listening devices.” –Edgar Argo

  2. Beth Turnage says:


    Forensic astrology is a fairly new specialty in astrology. It is a fascinating study and can be quite revealing especially in difficult or cold cases. As profilers know, psychological motivations are everything when it comes to why people do what they do. Astrology has a special edge in determining motives, especially when we have a birth date to work with.

    You may use a portion of the blog post under the doctrine of fair use as explained in this post with a link to this post as attribution.



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