Monday, October 2, 2017

A Dark Moon rises: the astrology of the Las Vegas attack

Trump often speaks in hyperboles, but his statement condemning last night’s mass shooting at a Las Vegas country music festival performance as “an act of pure evil,” was, unfortunately, no exaggeration.

Events like this are heartbreaking on so many levels – personally, of course, from the pain, trauma and suffering of those involved, but collectively as well.

Every time this type of thing happens (and they’re alarmingly frequent), we become less secure in our own company as a people, less able to enjoy public events together, less trusting of each other and more inclined to quietly acquiesce as our civil liberties are whittled away. 

Bag checks at metal scanners—for those places where bags are even allowed these days—are increasingly common at sporting events, political rallies and music events. Since 9/11, of course, we’ve become accustomed to this routine in airports, and despite how intrusive TSA imaging machines have become, I can see why doing everything we can to secure our air ways is essential. 

In fact, I’ve been pulled over for carrying a garage door opener (long story—I was in charge of my deceased dad’s house at the time) and a bean-bag teddy bear (he was closely scrutinized—could have been smuggling in heaven knows what!). Me, my dad’s garage opener and my granddaughter’s teddy bear made it through, eventually, but it hasn’t been lost on me that people are allowed to check guns onboard airplanes! 

Granted, there are strict rules and guidelines for doing so, but the irony remains. 

Retired accountant and gunman, 64-year old Stephen Paddock, opened fire with one of several weapons he had in his 32nd-floor hotel room at 10:08 p.m. PDT last night (10/1/2017), according to police reports. The police have very little idea about why—all they know is that he must have planned the event for awhile, managing to bring his arsenal with him and even reserving time for gambling (his brother says Paddock liked to play $100-a-hand poker). 

The police did identify and contact a significant “other” in Paddock’s life—his live-in girlfriend, Marilou Danley. News reports differ: some say she was in the Philippines at the time of the attack; some say she was actually in the Las Vegas area, perhaps even trying to warn people of an imminent attack. This needs serious clarification, obviously.

Paddock also reportedly possessed a tool for breaking the room window so he could shoot down into the crowd from that 32nd floor. This allowed him to kill a concentrated number of people for an intense few moments, while police scrambled to figure out where he was. In the concert crowd, it took people a deadly few seconds to figure out what was going on so they could duck or run: one report said it was like Paddock was shooting “fish in a barrel.” 

The death toll at this writing stands at 59 and could be climbing: 520+ people were wounded in the end. Paddock is among the dead—he apparently shot himself when the police burst into his room.

Again, we have no official word on what motivated the shooter, so it’s impossible to say if this was an act of domestic terrorism or simply the act of a seriously deranged man. Investigations will hopefully shed some light, but the clearly planned nature of the shooting suggests that domestic terrorism of some sort is a very real possibility. 

Was he working for ISIS? Not likely, even though I heard a rumor that ISIS wants to claim responsibility. Paddock’s brother Eric claims that he saw no warning signs, saying that, "He was my brother and it's like an asteroid fell out of the sky." 

Ironically, the brother’s comment provides an interesting astrological clue—indeed, there was significant asteroid activity involved in the chart for this event! Let’s consider the chart, cast for the 10:08 p.m. time cited by the police. 

Chart #1: Las Vegas Mass Shooting, October 1, 2017, 10:08 p.m. DST, Paradise, NV. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.

Lilith (Dark Moon) conjoins ASC (Gemini) and tightly opposes Shooting Saturn (Sagittarius); Saturn squares Chiron and Mars (separately, from Pisces-Virgo). There’s a rich mythology behind the placement of the Dark Moon Goddess/asteroid Lilith here that begs explanation (my software can't be convinced to show Lilith, my apologies--please imagine her at the ASC). Here’s what two astrologers writing on Astrodienst have to say about this interesting point which amazingly, rises in this chart:

“The figure of Lilith represents one aspect of the Great Goddess. In ancient Babylon, she was worshipped as Lilitu, Ischtar or Lamaschtu. Jewish mythology already puts her into darker realms - an evil Demon of the night, a fitting mate for Satan, lying in wait for men, and killing children.”
Is it any wonder this horrendous Vegas attack happened at night? The insight into Lilith continues, with greater detail provided by Joƫlle de Gravelaine:
“In transit, the Dark Moon indicates some form of castration or frustration, frequently in the areas of desire, a powerlessness of the psyche, or a general inhibition. On the other hand, it shows where we question ourselves, our lives, our jobs, and our beliefs. I feel this is important, since it gives us the opportunity to "let go" of something. The Dark Moon shows where we can let the Whole flow into ourselves, without putting an "I" in the way, without putting up a wall in the form of ego. At the same time, it doesn't indicate passivity - on the contrary - it symbolizes the firm will to be open and trusting, to let the Greater World flow through one, relying entirely on the great laws of the universe, on that which we name God. To prepare us for this opening, the Dark Moon creates a necessary void."
Unfortunately, the shooter seems to have decided to fill this possible “void” in his life by lashing out and massacring others. It’s impossible to speculate what forces in his life were crowding him along this path, what forces he perceived as castrating and disempowering. His companion/girl friend has been out of country—did she leave the relationship or simply go traveling? Where did the relationship stand? 

There’s a panicked sense of frustration and anxiety in these disjointed mutable aspects—aspects to Chiron and Lilith require tighter orbs than usual, but the opposition with Saturn is quite enough to create this frustration. According to mythology, Lilith first turned to the “dark side” because she insisted on being treated as an equal by Adam in their lovemaking (she’s considered his “first wife” before Eve). When that wasn’t going to happen, she turned vengeful, mating with “demons” and bringing demon children into the world. Here’s a bit more insight from
“We can see why Lilith became the vengeful evil woman she was, but regardless of her motives, she did turn to evil. When Lilith appears in our horoscope, she is, in fact, showing us where in ourselves we hold a place of vengefulness, a place where we are willing to become as evil as those around us.

Lilith is a dark place in our charts, and to know where that darkness comes from is as important as knowing where it can take us—and how, and when. First, the sign in which Lilith appears will determine how Lilith energy is expressed. The house is where it will manifest itself. The aspects, which must be very small (a 1 or 2 degree orb only), will show what planets are involved in our Lilith drama.”
The placement of this Lilith-Saturn opposition is significant, of course, being stretched across the chart horizon (ASC-DSC) and pitting the shooter’s self-interest (1st house) against Others (7th house). These can be impersonal “others”—i.e., the people in the concert crowd—but the 7th house is also the house that covers committed partners. Is it possible that “trouble in love” could elicit such a violent backlash? The police found an amazing arsenal of weapons in Paddock's Nevada home, so it's no surprise that violence would be his "go-to" response for frustrating circumstances. 

This is pure speculation at this point, but it’s very intriguing how personal and collective “Others” are conflated in this chart. It appears that a desire for revenge could be unleashed on either or both with one vicious chart configuration. 

Other signals that relationship troubles may have been at the heart of the problem:

-          Venus-Mars conjunction (Virgo) in the 3rd square Saturn (7th) and trine Pluto (Capricorn-7th). By killing himself, Paddock also killed his relationship (if it wasn’t in trouble already). And, he used some military-style weapons to do so (Virgo).

-          Sun-Vesta (Libra-4th) squares Juno (Capricorn). Another case of “asteroids falling out of the sky” in significant ways in this chart. Vesta indicates the “home fires,” which in the 4th could be extinguished (4th = “end of things”); Juno represents the “wife”—Paddock’s relationship with Danley was not legal, but it was domestic, in the sense that they were live-in partners. The Sun here represents the male energy in the relationship. Again, it would help enormously to know if they had broken up, or if she was simply traveling. 

Pluto’s presence in the 7th house of this chart reflects the record-breaking death toll, but this is far from the only indication of violence. The following are also significant:

-          Uranus (Aries) trines No. Node (Leo) trines Saturn (Sagittarius). We’ve seen this fiery grand trine looming for awhile now in the Cosmos and reflected in several different ways:  a very bad fire season across the Pacific Northwest and Canada, a host of violent natural disasters—Indonesia is dealing with dangerously pressurized volcanoes at the moment—and now, in this vicious outbreak in Las Vegas.

-          Aquarius Moon is disposed by fiery Uranus-Saturn (Aries-Sagittarius) trine. It’s worth nothing that the Moon in this chart conjoins the Sibly Moon, so this heinous event is registering in our “body politic” very dramatically. This attack might just stick with a lot of people beyond the normal news cycle: when a country music festival no longer feels safe to people, that cuts deep.

The “freedom to bear arms” is covered by this fiery trine, as well, so the limits of that freedom are bound to be a topic for discussion: the Moon is also sextile both Saturn and Uranus here. Perhaps the time is finally ripe for some sane gun control discussions that are more in keeping with the original intent of the 2nd Amendment? Social media, including a Twitter message from a band member involved in the attack last night suggests that hearts and minds might be shifting on this issue. Stocks are up for gun manufacturers today—surprise, surprise

Uranus opposes Jupiter (Aries-Libra), shooting across the chart’s 11th-5th axis. Think about the physical situation: this was a high-profile, highly visible attack that rained bullets down on a huge crowd enjoying themselves (Jupiter-5th) from on high (Uranus-11th)—Paddock’s 32nd floor hotel room. The opposition forms a trine/sextile wedge with the Aquarius Moon—as we’ve established, disposed by that volatile Saturn-Uranus trine. Perhaps there’s an opening for building upon the collective shock we’re all feeling, and turning it into action.


Last, but certainly not least, the Venus-Mars conjunction opposes Neptune (Pisces). This suggests that there will probably be confusion and/or dissimulation about the event—perhaps used purposely to manipulate public perception. The shooter himself and his local/international relationship (3rd-9th houses) with Marilu Danley could also remain confusing and unclear. We now know that the shooter’s father was on the FBI’s Most Wanted list for several years in the late 60s and 70s for bank robbing!
Perhaps most tellingly, this opposition could be another signal that a significant relationship was at the heart of Paddock’s actions. We don’t have birth data for him, so it’s impossible to compare this event chart with his nativity, but it’s not hard to see an “actor” in the act even so. If I were a betting person (as the shooter was), I’d probably wager that the volatile points in this chart tie into his nativity and then some. 

But let’s not make light of this heinous situation: again, we could all be victims in similar scenarios if we can’t muster the political will to truly address it. As one Sandy Hook Elementary mom who buried a child in that horrific mass shooting a few years ago put it on Twitter:

“In America we value guns, flags & fake acts of patriotism over people, pain & real acts of courage. #LasVegas #TakeAKnee #EndGunViolence
For now, our hearts and deep sympathies go out to those who lost loved ones; our best wishes go to the wounded and hospitalized, and our deep thanks go to those courageous souls who stepped up and helped their fellow concert-goers!

Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.

She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at:

© Raye Robertson 2017. All rights reserved.