Category Archives: Current Events

Current Events | Newtown School Shooting | Malefics and the 3rd House

Note: It is my belief, given my years of studying astrology and meeting astrologers, that no one could have predicted that a horrible school shooting would occur at Sandy Hook in Connecticut on the morning of December 14th.  Whether we may ever have that capacity from the reading of astrological signs is something beyond my power to know.  Personally, I still feel that the astrological arts are too immature for even the performance of ‘psychic’-style readings as so often observed.  However, there is much to be gained by research and data collection, especially in terms of examining the ever-flowing pen of history against those charts highlighted by the original mundane (i.e. pertaining to worldly events) astrologers as providing signs for events in a location over a period of time.  That is all that I endeavor to briefly cast light on here.

As a father of two young children, I was deeply shocked and saddened by the recent school shooting in Connecticut.  I offer my sincere condolences to the loved ones of the victims.  I do not intend this examination of the astrology of the events as a means of implying that things were “in God’s plan” or anything of that sort.  My faith in both astrology and God are too frail for me to speak confidently about any purposeful underpinnings of such tragedy.  I only stand continually perplexed by recurrence of thematically relevant signs in the sky. I mean the term signs within the astrological interpretative guidelines of horoscopic astrology’s original practitioners.

Analysis of the Charts

In ancient mundane astrology, the most important charts were those of the moments of the equinoxes, solstices, and lunations (new and full moons; eclipses).  In fact, Abu Ma’shar gave 6 hierarchical levels of mundane chart types (which I’ve discussed previously) and all of those charts types consists of moments of equinoxes/solstices and lunations, of varying significance.

For specific events affecting a community, we will typically be interested in the chart of the New Moon from that location which projects signs for the significant facets of the month.  For very influential events, particularly those involving transformation of the political, cultural, or physical landscape, we look beyond the month to the quarter, the year, and higher level charts reflecting bigger periods.

21-23 Sagittarius

It is unusual for the US to have two major public shootings in one year.  That itself is cause enough to examine the chart of the year, which is the Vernal Equinox of 2012.  While it is not a traditional indication, it is intriguing to me that the Sun was conjunct asteroid Atropos (that one of the three fates which brings death) at the equinox this year (Atropos was at 00ARI39 when the Sun hit 00ARI00, the equinoctial point).  In my analysis of the shooting in Aurora, IL, I primarily examined the shooter’s chart.  A shocking and fascinating parallel exists between the chart of James Holmes, the Aurora shooter, and the timing of the Sandy Hook shooting (which was by a different shooter, Adam Lanza).  James Holmes (the shooter in the Aurora shooting) was born on December 13th with his Sun at 21 Sagittarius, conjunct Saturn at 23 Sagittarius.  The New Moon (conjunction of the Sun and Moon) that occurred the day before the Connecticut shooting in the Sandy Hook area, occurred on December 13th, Holmes’ birthday, at 21 Sagittarius, with the Sun having reached 23 Sagittarius by the morning of the shootings.  Click to enlarge image below.

New Moon 12-13-12 Sandy Hook
New Moon 12-13-12
Sandy Hook

These degrees have some sort of obvious tragic importance for the year. In fact, a friend of mine was born on December 14th, and filed for divorce on his birthday this year amidst very dramatic circumstances, less than a year after his celebrated wedding.  What is it about these degrees for this year?  There is much mundane astrological literature still yet to be translated into English and published, so perhaps future study will provide more elucidation.  For now, my best guess is that the degree area is marked out as particularly linked to afflictions of Saturn for the entire Air epoch in the Jupiter-Saturn cycle, as the 1980 Vernal Equinox from DC, which projects signs relevant to major events in the US from 1980 to 2159.  Saturn, planet of loss and afflictions, was at 23 Virgo in the chart of the Vernal Equinox of 1980 from DC and was in the 7th House which can be a house of enmity, as well as in the bound of Mars, planet of violence.  Sagittarius is dominated (i.e. in inferior square to) that Saturn and 23 Sagittarius is particularly afflicted by it as the dominated degree.  Still, there are many gaps to fill.

Vernal Equinox 1980
Vernal Equinox 1980 (from Washington DC)

The Shocking New Moon and Event Charts

Turning again to the New Moon which occurred about a day and a half before the Sandy Hook shooting, we see some very striking symoblism. Saturn was out of sect, conjunct the Ascendant within a degree, and in the nocturnal house of Mars, while Mars was in the 3rd House, the main house of schools and primary education, and in the nocturnal house of Saturn, while 4 planets were in dark places disconnected from the Ascendant (Sun, Moon, and Mercury in the 2nd; Jupiter in the 8th).

New Moon 12-13-12 Sandy Hook
New Moon 12-13-12
Sandy Hook

News reports indicate that the police were called from the school at about 9:30am on the morning of December 14th.  Therefore, the violence started some time slightly earlier than this.  I use the time of 9:15am in the chart of the shootings below, but the shooting of the man’s mother occurred earlier in their house and the school shootings likely spanned past 9:30am, so this is only an approximation.  Of importance is the fact that the majority of the killing, if not all of it, occurred while a Moon-Mars conjunction in Capricorn was rising.  The Moon is symbolic of the body and congregation, while Mars is symbolic of violence, so this configuration can potentially signify bodily harm and waves of violence.  It is an effective configuration when the Moon and Mars are in the same sign, but even more so when the Moon is applying within 13 degrees according to Hellenistic sources.  Here the Moon is applying within 11 degrees, and is actually in a condition of being besieged, as she has separated from the malefic Saturn and applies to the malefic Mars.  This is symbolic of particularly destructive occurrences, as the Moon rules the general flow of events, with her applications and separations here indicating a movements from bad to worse (sect malefic to non-sect malefic). For a better understanding of what maleficence means, please check out my early post on the malefics.

Newton Shooting 2012
Newton Shooting 2012


I’ve presented a few more examples of the sky saying something that we should seek to understand more deeply.  Unfortunately, I have little more to offer at this time and can only hope that a great deal of fruitful research into mundane astrology will occur in the coming decades as we learn more about the techniques of the original practitioners of this art.

One thing that stands out in this examination is the strong relevance of Mars in Capricorn.  Mars was also in Capricorn during the 9/11 attacks.  This is worth noting because many traditionalists insist on a separation between “zodiacal” state and “accidental” or “terrestrial” state, along lines explored by Morin of the 17th century, in which the planet is basically qualified as pleasant/unpleasant and so forth by zodiacal dignity (among other things) and then directed to pertain to certain sets of affairs more than others and is quantified in strength by terrestrial placement (i.e. house placement).  In addition to this doctrine, many believe that a zodiacal state of a planet in exaltation represents an indication of immense power for good (i.e. in the case of a malefic, its transformation into an accidental benefic).  On many occasions I have explored reasons why one should abandon the belief that dignity makes for more or less beneficence.  For instance, the fact that Dahmer’s character indicators and chart in general is burgeoning with planetary dignity while Ted Turner’s are quite ill-dignified.  Additionally, contrary to the doctrine of this division of labor between zodiacal and accidental state, it is the case that accidental indications of sect and place were far more relevant for the assessment of beneficence/maleficence in Hellenistic astrology.  We see further support here for my positions on these matters and the dismissal of medieval dignity pointing, the dignity=beneficence theory, and the Morinus separation doctrine.  Both this shooting and 911 occurred with Mars in Capricorn (the exaltation of Mars), and the Aurora killer, James Holmes, had Mars in Scorpio (a domicile of Mars), while Dahmer has Mars in Aries (a domicile of Mars).  Such events and characters have been in no way representative of a dignified martian expression, but do show a greater prominence of Mars (i.e. augmented quantity), as well as a more malefic expression, possibly linked to the rulership of Mars by a malefic (itself, or in the case of exaltation, Saturn).  Zodiacal state and accidental state interact and mix in so far as indications of quantity, quality, and topic with the accidental indications typically providing the more cogent and specific modifications of the natural indications of the planet itself.

On a more personal note, there seem to be a lot of events in my life leading me to explore these matters of brutality more closely.  Perhaps this is on account of a return of my own Mars in Capricorn.  The masterful film, “We Need to Talk About Kevin”, by director Lynne Ramsay immediately became one of my favorites when I saw it this year.  More recently I discovered the graphic novel, “My Friend Dahmer”, by Derf Backderf which was brilliantly done and brought clarity to Dahmer’s troubled origins.  I highly recommend those works.