Monday, October 29, 2018

October Violence & the Saturn-Uranus trine

October is a particularly good month to consider why we humans are drawn to horror and violence like moths to a flame.

Under normal circumstances it would all be good Halloween fun that makes light of Nature’s annual dance with death. If mortality is inevitable, we might as well thumb our noses at it in good humor, right? 

This month in the news, however, has been anything but fun. Though there were more violent incidents, three events that are disturbing on so many levels I hardly know where to begin unfolded nearly back-to-back throughout the month. 

The mayhem started on October 2nd, in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, but targeted an American resident and Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. Even after weeks of evolving narratives, we’re still in the dark about who’s ultimately responsible, but on October 22nd, the story was sidelined by what is being called a domestic terrorism event, the so-called “Pipe Bomb scare.” 

This week-long scare began with one device being delivered to the New York home of billionaire George Soros, and at this writing, it was then followed by thirteen (potentially fourteen) more devices delivered via the Postal Service over the ensuing days to prominent Democrats and/or Trump critics. Beyond the targets of these packages, just imagine how many other individuals were endangered as they processed and delivered these packages. 

As if all that wasn’t bad enough, on the morning of October 27th, a perpetrator who has since been identified by police as Robert Bower, entered the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA and shot up the place, killing 11 individuals (including some police officers) and wounding several others. The congregants were just there to celebrate Shabbat: Bowers shouted “Kill all Jews!” at them as he attacked. 

Whenever we experience a violent string of events that have such heart-wrenching, personal and collective ramifications, it’s natural to look for active and prominent outer planetary cycles as the “usual suspects.”  Even though any attempt I make here to capture the significance of all this violence is going to feel inadequate, I guess the best thing to do is to plunge right in, and hope we stumble upon something enlightening in the process. 

So let’s begin by looking at one chart for each event, paying particular attention to the planetary aspect that seems to tie so much of the craziness in the news together lately: the Saturn-Uranus trine from Capricorn to Taurus. It’s fair to wonder why a trine would be the focus in this investigation, but contrary to what pop culture Astrology might suggest, trines unleash whatever energies are swirling about, and the results can be dark, depending upon how the energies are channeled.

A.I. is being called the "4th Industrial Revolution:" Saturn-Uranus!

Today’s Saturn-Uranus energies are facilitating technology developments and infrastructures around the globe (i.e., China is surging way ahead of us in the development of AI industries), but here at home these energies are being channeled in far less constructive pursuits: inciting panic over a “caravan” of immigrants approaching our southern border; painting the opposition party as “Evil” and the media as “the enemy of the People;” blowing up our international agreements because we don’t want to play nice with any global effort, and so on. 

Note that this planetary duo co-rules Aquarius, and in keeping with that sign, it works to “shake things up”—with violence if needed. 

Our understanding of these two planetary “gods”—Ouranos (Uranus) and Cronus (Saturn)—is ultimately rooted in mythology and ancient Nature-based wisdom, and it helps explain why even a trine between them—one sky “god” and one earth “god”will be volatile: Here’s the story in a nutshell, from Wikipedia:

“In the Olympian creation myth, as Hesiod tells it in the Theogony,[21] Uranus came every night to cover the earth and mate with Gaia, but he hated the children she bore him. Hesiod named their first six sons and six daughters the Titans, the three one-hundred-handed giants the Hekatonkheires, and the one-eyed giants the Cyclopes.
Uranus imprisoned Gaia's youngest children in Tartarus, deep within Earth, where they caused pain to Gaia. She shaped a great flint-bladed sickle and asked her sons to castrate Uranus. Only Cronus, youngest and most ambitious of the Titans, was willing: he ambushed his father and castrated him, casting the severed testicles into the sea.
For this fearful deed, Uranus called his sons Titanes Theoi, or ‘Straining Gods.’[22] From the blood that spilled from Uranus onto the Earth came forth the Giants, the Erinyes (the avenging Furies), the Meliae (the ash-tree nymphs), and, according to some, the Telchines. From the genitals in the sea came forth Aphrodite.” 

So, even on a good day (i.e., the trine), this “Father-Son” duo operates in a state of friction, their relationship capable of spawning chaos and destruction. The “Hekatonkheires” took charge of great storms and hurricanes, the “Giants” were thought to cause volcanic eruptions, while the “Telchines” ruled over hailstorms and rain. Because Nature and human societies encompass both yin and yang forces, we can appreciate how this clash of primal Uranus “sky” energy with the ambitious “earth” energy of Saturn essentially generates the energies that sustain our natural world and our social orders.

One artist's conception of the Erinyes, mythology's Avenging Furies
At times our social orders need to be shaken up, and if we thought Saturn was too plodding for that job, we should think again: is it difficult to see that the #MeToo movement resonates with the vengeful “Erinyes?” We can also look to other offspring goddesses (the Meliae, Aphrodite and later, Athena) for a more balanced relationship between women and men. 

Despite the periodic need for a shake-up, however, we do run the risk of overdoing things with trine aspects, of using volatile, excessive means to achieve whatever the aims are. Stephen Marche, a current affairs journalist who writes for both Canadian and American media, has just published an article entitled “America’s Next Civil War: The United States shows all the warning signs of impending social and political collapse,” and it unfortunately makes a lot of sense, despite sounding a bit apocalyptic. 

Marche acknowledges that we’ve been through worse—in terms of destruction in the streets and assassinations (the 1960s, for instance)—but that today is still more worrying. In the 1960s, our institutions were less polarized and more capable of managing tumultuous times without destroying our democracy. 

Now, he wonders if the same is true, with a Congress that has basically abdicated responsibility for checking the Executive branch, and a Supreme Court that has become a political arm of the Executive instead of the critical, independent third branch of government we need it to be. 

We’ve been seeing this coming for decades, but it’s quite possible that the current Saturn-Uranus trine is unleashing change that we can’t handle under the same set of assumptions we’ve always made about how the U.S. government works. The change these two are unleashing isn’t operating in a vacuum: it’s also heavily influenced by a powerful Neptune that undermines our independent press and civil discourse by constantly putting the truth in question, and by an aggressive Pluto that seems bent on destroying not only our outworn institutions, but (I’m clenching my teeth here) perhaps the nation as we know it.

It’s sobering to realize how all this coincides with Pluto’s transiting return to our Sibly Pluto: is this destructive/transformative energy going to remake us in some other form? Other nations have gone through radical change and come out on the other end—France is on its 5th Republic, and they seem to be ticking along just fine. Will our “makeover” respond to the will of the People at the ballot box, or will other, less democratic forces take the helm? 

There’s a lot to ponder here, but here we’re looking into how this one violent October we’ve been experiencing might figure into this transformation plot. Let’s consider the astrology. 

Slain Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi

The astrology

Allowing a generous 8° orb, we’ve been dealing with this potentially harsh and volatile Saturn-Uranus trine since November, 2016 when these planets were still in late Sagittarius and Aries, respectively. Both have migrated into earth signs since then, but again, trines (especially between these two) can be anything but soft and harmonious, especially if material well-being (Capricorn-Taurus)—or resentments and anxieties about such well-being—are at stake. 

Unfortunately, unless consciously steered in a different way, these earthy energies tend to support “Zero-Sum” thinking: if that Other is doing well, I’m losing, and that’s not acceptable. For America to be “great,” everyone else must be crushed. There’s only so much prosperity to be had in the world, so only the ruthless come out ahead. Compassion and care are for weaklings and those who allow themselves to be taken advantage ofnot our responsibility!

I wouldn’t claim that this difficult (and logically flawed) mindset is a Saturn-Uranus phenomenon entirely, but their trine does seem to be exacerbating any festering anxieties and emboldening those with a desire to lash out. 

As mentioned earlier, Neptune’s presence in Pisces isn’t helping this situation with its blurring of the lines of responsibility: nothing causes more problems between people than delusionary/gaslighting projections.  I wouldn’t agree that there are no victims in this world—far from it!—but feeling victimized and wearing the victim “badge” as a way to demonize others is another story. It’s a toxic, Neptunian story that can become weaponized, much like we’ve seen this past month.

Major change has landed, and its not at our southern border!

It’s worth noting here that the Saturn-Uranus cycle has been associated historically with right-wing, authoritarian, rational, but amoral technocracies. Today, we’re faced with potentially abusive technologies (social media, AI, etc.) that are already ushering in a new social order, and this order may or may not privilege democratic systems. This—exacerbated by Neptune’s twisted logic and obfuscation—defies resistance.

It’s not that the Saturn-Uranus cycle is by nature anti-democratic or inhumane, of course—it’s that it can be wielded to impose authority in those undesirable ways if we let down our guard. These energies could also be helpful if they were applied to the development of sustainable economies and more just, lawful societies, not to mention clean-energy technologies and systems designed to roll back and re-purpose greenhouse gas emissions. 

Instead, the world is seeing a record number of formerly democratic regimes install authoritarian and nationalist leaders (Brazil just installed a particularly troubling one today!), and we’re seeing the many ways in which the worst impulses of these authoritarians are being supported (trine).  

That said, let’s begin with the October 2nd chart for the atrocious murder of Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. The details are too grisly to dwell on here any further than we need to, but if you didn’t happen to catch the story in the news, here’s a link that recounts the significant highlights.
The timing for this chart was provided by a Washington Post report that said Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul at 1:14 p.m. He was there to obtain marriage documents needed to marry his Turkish fiancĂ©e, but some reports indicate that he was “lured” there by Saudi officials in some way, so it makes sense to consider his arrival at the consulate as the onset of his killing. There’s video evidence to confirm the 1:14 timing. 

Chart #1: Khashoggi murder, October 2, 2018, 1:14 p.m. ST, Istanbul, Turkey. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Saturn-Vesta (Capricorn) rises, squares Sun (Libra), trines Uranus (Rx, Taurus), inconjoins North Node (Leo) and opposes Moon (Cancer). Khashoggi’s goal in entering the consulate was to begin focusing his life and energies around another in marriage, and by doing so to create some new form (family) in the world, so Saturn-Vesta’s  placement here could have been perfectly benevolent, if it hadn’t been for the collective focus of Khashoggi’s “day job.” 

Saturn’s stressful square and inconjunct aspects with Sun and No. Node respectively (in Leo, the node is disposed by that Sun), reflected the collision course Khashoggi was on with the “powers-that-be.” If we bring the 7th house Moon into the picture, we see a cardinal t-square with a waning 3rd quarter Moon: some perceived “enemy” situation was being “cleared” away and disposed of—as we know, in a most brutal fashion. 

It’s not surprising that Mars (Aquarius) also fell trine Sun and square Uranus Rx that day—the metal (Mars) “tool” used to torture and kill Mr. Khashoggi was a truly shocking (Uranus/Aquarius), grisly weapon. Even a soft-sounding trine can serve to unleash forces that are potentially grim: this will be a recurring theme for all three charts we consider here. 

Trines unleash and facilitate the flow of energy, which with these two naturally strident, demanding energies, can be overwhelming. Reportedly, an 18-man group of Saudi security personnel entered the consulate shortly before Mr. Khashoggi got there, and I’ve seen nothing to suggest that the group had to force its way in, or that consulate personnel resisted or pushed back on their presence there. 

This suggests that the group had the authority and certainly the brute force needed (Saturn-Uranus rule Aquarius Mars) to be there and to impose that power so horrifically on Mr. Khashoggi. No wonder so few people in the media have believed the Saudi official explanations for all this. One of their own was swept up without defense in this hideous maelstrom, as though his disappearance wouldn’t be noticed, and certainly wouldn’t be questioned. He was just a journalist, alive (or not) at the pleasure of the powerful?

"It may be dirty, but a free press is our best defense."
In case we need further confirmation that Khashoggi was murdered for his journalistic reporting, both Saturn and Uranus Rx rule the Aquarian 3rd house of communications and media. Saturn also rules the Capricorn 2nd house, so it’s conceivable that resources and money were also somehow at stake in silencing Khashoggi. Mars’ presence in that 2nd house reinforces this notion. 

Jupiter and Pluto always seem to be lurking in the wings when there’s shadowy power playing on the level we see here, so not surprisingly, Jupiter inhabits the 12th house and it falls in Mars- and Pluto-ruled Scorpio. Pluto falls in the 1st house, resonating with Saturn in Capricorn. 

Finally, the evolving, “official” Saudi story about the events of October 2nd are reflected in Neptune’s (Pisces) presence in the 3rd house of media communications, opposite Pallas (justice, correctness) in Virgo. Trump was initially inclined to accept the Saudi prince’s denials of involvement—to howls of criticism from all over—but even Trump came to the conclusion that the whole debacle didn’t pass the sniff test and was the “worst cover-up ever.” For what he didn’t say—the point isn’t the quality of the “cover-up,” after all. Bottom line, he’s expressed consistent concern about keeping those Saudi arms sales coming!

The nationwide pipe-bomb scare

The Khashoggi case dominated the headlines for the first weeks of October, but it was displaced in a frenzy on October 22nd when the first of 14 pipe-bombs (that we know of) were sent via the Postal Service to a host of prominent Democrats (including former president and VP Obama and Biden, Hillary and Bill Clinton, actor and outspoken Trump critic Robert De Niro, billionaire donors George Soros and Tom Steyer, and several members of Congress). 

The terror generated by these threats rolled out one suspicious package at a time and kept building until the FBI and law enforcement found a fingerprint on one of the devices and was able to then arrest a suspect, a Florida resident by the name of Cesar Sayoc

The arrest leaves many questions unanswered: he was apparently living in his van (more on that in a bit), but where did he build and prepare to mail the bombs? He had a police record and an online presence that should have raised a red flag about his apparent pro-Russian leanings and his generally violent intentions—especially in defense of Trump and targeting Trump’s critics (as posters and stickers all over his van made clear he intended to do). 

Yet, with all that, his two Facebook pages, “Kill George Soros” and “Kill all Socialists” (aka “Democrats?”) were allowed to continue unchecked. This is a story for another day, but let’s focus here on the biwheel below to gain some insights into this terror campaign. 

The charts set against each other here are cast for noon, since no exact time is known for when Sayoc (if he’s responsible—he’s innocent until proven guilty, of course) would have delivered or had delivered the first package at the Soros home. The outer wheel is a noon chart for Sayoc’s arrest on Friday—again, no exact time is known for the apprehension and arrest. So we won’t be considering angles, house placements or the Moon in either chart. Even so, there’s plenty to consider.

Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Pipe Bomb scare, October 22, 2018, 12:00 p.m. DST (noon, no exact time), New York, NY; (outer wheel) Cesar Sayoc arrested, October 26, 2018, 12:00 p.m. DST (noon), Plantation, Broward Cty., FL. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Grand Fixed Square: Arrest Sun-Venus Rx (Scorpio) oppose Uranus Rx (Taurus); this axis squares the Nodal axis (Leo-Aquarius). There’s great tension here between the fair exercise of power (Venus-Sun) and the needs that many in society feel to break free of material constraints--also the principle behind pipebombs themselves (Uranus in Taurus). Uranus can provide fertile ground for extremist perspectives, and for pitting the legitimate needs of groups against each other and hardening each one’s dislike of the other.

These groups may not even be at odds in any realistic sense, but they’re often cast as adversaries in our political discourse. All of these dynamics play a role in society’s evolution (Nodal axis): clearly, the tense configuration we see here reflects the nation’s extreme political polarization. 

Saturn (Capricorn) sextiles Venus Rx (Scorpio) and trines Uranus (Taurus) in both charts; Saturn (in both) semi-squares Mars (Aquarius, in both). To judge by the type of aspects, we might think these charts were about something far more benevolent. Unfortunately, even a soft looking sextile can facilitate dark events. Perhaps the “softening” effect of the sextile had something to do with the packages thankfully never exploding, in fact. Interestingly, what should have been considered a good thing (nobody got hurt!) ended up playing into the narrative of those who wanted to spin this story as a “false flag” conspiracy. Really?!

There’s a great deal of coherence in these aspects: Saturn and Uranus are both tied into Aquarius Mars by rulership, allowing Mars to weaponize a very volatile situation and make it even worse. If the birth date published on Wikipedia is correct, suspect Cesar Sayoc has both Saturn and Jupiter in Aquarius natally, across from an aggressive Leo Uranus, so Mars’ current transit through Aquarius could have felt like an opportunity to do something “significant.” 

Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise us that—as ardent a Trump supporter as he was—Sayoc’s volatile Uranus pretty tightly conjoins Trump’s natal Leo Mars-ASC. Sayoc’s reported devotion to all-things Trump is probably rooted in this “warrior energy” connection between them. As for the possibility that Sayoc looked to Trump as a “father figure,” as we saw, Ouranos was no benevolent “father” figure in mythology; if Sayoc believes Trump will save him from responsibility for his actions, he might be disappointed.

The arrest

With two charts that look almost exactly alike, it’s not easy to see what might have changed between the first package dropping and the arrest happening four long, anxious days later, but when in doubt, look for the faster-moving planets and luminaries. I’ve also checked out how those fast-moving points might have impacted a noon chart for the day of his birth (we don’t even know where he was born at this point, just the date, March 17, 1962), and a few connections stand out: transiting Chiron conjoins natal Sun; transiting Moon probably squares natal Jupiter (timing is uncertain); transiting Mars conjoins natal South Node; transiting Neptune exactly trines natal Neptune, supporting conspiracy thinking and delusions of grandeur. 

Arrest Sun exactly conjoins Venus Rx (Scorpio) and opposes Arrest Uranus Rx (Taurus); Arrest Mercury-Jupiter (Scorpio) oppose Arrest Moon-Juno (Taurus). Detective skills were on full display here, with all the Scorpio energy in these aspects. Indeed, at least one report I’ve seen credits “forensic advances” for the swift arrest. We see that here with the strong Scorpio energy and particularly with Scorpio Venus disposing Taurus Uranus. There was an efficient direct connection between them that probably facilitated. In truth, Sayoc didn’t make things too difficult, leaving a latent fingerprint on one of the packages. We might wonder if he wanted to be caught? How else would he get the notoriety he might covet? 

In the dark corners (Sibly Scorpio 12th house) of this nation, there are people celebrating what Sayoc did, and Trump certainly isn’t doing anything to dampen their enthusiasm, holding rallies that featured the same old “Lock her up” and anti-media screeds as always, despite bombs being sent to these same targets. Uranus is now trining Trump’s progressed Virgo Sun (chart not shown)—it seems he’s fully embraced his ability to shock us and the world. 

This twisted development (when the nation is looking to him for a sincere rejection of this violence) is being stoked and perhaps even egged on by Arrest Mars (Aquarius) square Arrest Mercury (Scorpio). This all ties in with his natal Mars-ASC (creating a wide, but tense fixed t-square), as well, so the hatred he harbors for any critics (it’s all personal with him) has been finding its outlets. 

Always prepared to project what he’s doing onto the media and other “enemies,” however, today Trump claimed again that the media is stoking “great anger” in the nation—basically because it hasn’t allowed his insincere response to all the violence to be the last word. He accused “the press of harboring an ‘open & obvious hostility’ even after he spent the weekend issuing calls for unity following a wave of potentially politically motivated crimes.” 

Gaslighting, anyone?! In the meantime, we learn that Trump told reporters he would “take a pass” on contacting former president Obama and other prominent Dems who had been targeted by bombs. We have plenty of past examples of presidents going above and beyond to console victims and heal divisions, but that’s not where we’re at in October 2018. 

Meanwhile, it’s 10/29 and another suspicious package addressed to CNN has been intercepted in Atlanta. 

Anti-Semitic horror in Pittsburgh
It seems to me, with five+ decades of observing these dynamics under my belt, that when a nation experiences a spike in anti-Semitism and racist hate crimes, further bad times are close at hand. Hatred of this magnitude—officially sanctioned, if we judge by the tone Trump sets with his dog-whistling rhetoric—is always a reliable sign of social disintegration. As we’re seeing, the results are predictable and they’re never pretty. 

Indeed, this final example of our October horrors (October 27th attack) may be the most troubling: as heinous as the Khashoggi murder was, as ridiculously divisive as the pipe bomb scare has been, and as totally inadequate Trump’s response to both of these has been, the massacre of 11 Jewish individuals worshipping in their own synagogue—one a 97-year old Holocaust survivor—is by far the most gut-wrenching. It implicates us all—willing or not—with the dark history of anti-Semitism everywhere, and it tarnishes our national Soul with a particularly despicable form of “rot.” 

Social media outlets like Gab are being targeted for the role they play in circulating this rot, but in the end, we’re all “cosmically” responsible for the Plutonian karma weighing us down these days. We know Trump won’t acknowledge the role he’s been playing, but he’s certainly played the catalyst in all this, dredging up the rot. This is despite the deep connections he has with Israel and Jews in his own life: his conspiratorial, unfounded George Soros, “globalist” dogwhistles—delivered at the same time he characterizes himself as a “nationalist” (two enduring anti-Semitic tropes) have found their mark. 

So, let’s consider the chart for the attack two days ago on October 27th. The police have arrested the perpetrator, identifying him as Robert Bower. According to an early report from, Bower was clear about his motivation, but authorities were quick to call out his actions as hate crimes:

“’They’re committing genocide to my people,’ Bowers told a SWAT officer after being shot and captured, according to a federal criminal complaint released ­Sunday. ‘I just want to kill Jews.’
Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto called the attack the ‘darkest day of Pittsburgh’s history.’ He also disputed President Trump’s suggestion that the synagogue should have had armed guards.
‘We will not try to rationalize irrational behavior,’ the mayor, a Democrat, told reporters. ‘We will work to eradicate it. We will work to eradicate it from our city and our nation and our world. Hatred will not have a place anywhere.’”

The media is filled this morning with statistics about the recent rise of anti-Semitic hate crimes and discourse—not just in the U.S., but across Europe and elsewhere. It’s a long story that’s well worth reading. Here, however, we will dwell on the astrology for now. As we’ll see, a very rare configuration cuts across the heart of the chart.

Chart #3: Tree of Life Shooting, October 27, 2018, 9:45 a.m. DST (new reports), Pittsburgh, PA. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node. 

Mercury-Jupiter (Scorpio) rise at the ASC, trine Chiron Rx (Pisces). This harsh energy at the ASC suggests the killer had a “message” to deliver, and his means of delivering it was by imposing power and destruction over the individuals in the synagogue. This also suggests that the killer was expressing his beliefs with his actions, as troubling as that is. Believing something doesn’t make it true, of course—a Pluto-emboldened Jupiter can trigger megalomaniacal impulses and pernicious, delusionary thinking.  

The trine to Chiron Rx here speaks to the intense pain the perpetrator inflicted on the congregants (5th house)—needless to say, he’s ripped open perennial wounds that never quite seem to heal. Social media (Mercury) played a role here, unleashing the hate speech and the conspiracy thinking that over time festers and comes to a head (Scorpio).
Mystic Rectangle: two sets of oppositions (Sun-Venus Rx to Uranus; Saturn to Part-of-Fortune), with the 4 corners forming sextiles (Sun-Venus Rx to Saturn; Uranus Rx to Part-of-Fortune) and trines (Sun-Venus Rx to Part-of-Fortune, Uranus Rx to Saturn). Together, these aspects form a rectangle. This unusual configuration deserves an in-depth look, from aspects expert Bil Tierney. Tierney actually credits Dane Rudhyar for attributing “practical mysticism” to this configuration:

“…it involves two potentially awareness-revealing, illuminating oppositions that can creatively reach ideal or inspired fruition (trine influence) through intelligent, innovative utilization of energies (sextile influence). However, much depends upon the level at which the oppositions are experienced by the individual (since the opposition aspect can also express itself as disharmony, imbalance, separative forces, and irreconcilable tension).”[1]
The massacre of 11 Jewish congregants celebrating the Sabbath in their synagogue was indeed an “awareness-revealing” event—a major wake-up call, indeed, and one that may force us all to pay more attention to this particular form of hatred that’s rising around us. IMHO, there was nothing enlightened or inspiring about it, but it certainly expressed “disharmony, imbalance, separative forces and irreconcilable tensions.” 

The specific points found in this rectangle speak volumes: Pluto’s agenda has been piggybacking on this Scorpio Sun-Venus Rx conjunction (12th house of self-undoing) ever since the Sun entered Scorpio on the 23nd. For its part, Mars’ co-rulership of Scorpio from its position in Aquarius has only made things more volatile and toxic. The 8th house placement of the Part-of-Fortune here could represent the “prize” Bowers was after—“I just want to kill Jews,” is the way he put it, and he got his wish. Now, the prosecution (Saturn) is looking for permission to suggest the death penalty in his trial. 

Considering the opposition here between Saturn and Part-of-Fortune, we have to wonder if Bowers was also acting on an unconscious “death wish” of his own. It’s quite feasible: most mass shooters either end up committing suicide or being killed by police in the course of the event. Perhaps the desire for notoriety overtakes the impulse to survive? 

Uranus trine Saturn is, as we’ve explored at length, a potentially volatile aspect on its own, but linked in this tense configuration, with both Uranus and Saturn disposing a weapon-toting Aquarius Mars, its impact was only heightened. 

7th house Moon (Gemini) squares 4th house Neptune (Pisces); Moon trines Mars. One final observation here: if we posit that the shooter occupies the ASC in a chart like this, viewing the situation through that Scorpio lens, the “People” (Moon) found there are the “enemy” (7th house) that he wants to target with his weapons (trine to Mars). 

The skewed, deluded view that Bowers takes of Jews—and the view he took of those particular people gathered in the synagogue that day—was undoubtedly enabled by Neptune’s square. We don’t know his natal chart at this juncture (he’s 46 years old, so that would place him in 1972), but it will be interesting to see if Neptune has a particular natal hold on him as well. 

Scapegoating is a pernicious, Neptune-Pluto phenomenon, and its practitioners tend to have strong connections with these energies. The master of anti-Semitic scapegoating, Adolf Hitler—along with so many of his followers of that generation, was born with a balsamic Neptune-Pluto conjunction, just 4 degrees before from the 1891 conjunction. Long story, another day.  

Final thoughts

What else is there to say, except that we are living in tense astrological times that will dredge up whatever dark impulses are poisoning our national Soul and will become a vicious downward cycle if we're not vigilant. Sociologists and political scientists will argue about what brings a society to the brink of self-destruction, or who’s ultimately responsible, but few that I’ve followed are surprised by the atrocities we’ve experienced this past month. They haven’t known what exact form destructive events would take, but they’ve been expecting something. 

In a nutshell, we know that freedom of speech and the media are under attack, so it was no surprise that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured and murdered in the most vicious way possible—clearly an attempt at intimidation for any who would speak truth to power. 

We know that Trump’s divide and conquer tactics include demonizing the “Other” (i.e., for starters, any Democrat, especially the party’s standard-bearers), so who could be shocked that Dems are the target of a nearly month-long, pre-election attack? 

Finally, we know by their actions and words that Trump and the GOP collude to demonize racially Other groups, even if it’s just to suppress their ability to vote. This is happening in several places across the nation, but most prominently in Georgia at the moment.  So one extremist using a Democratic party-supporting Jewish billionaire as the pretext for going after people worshipping peacefully in their synagogue more than fits the mold—it’s “Us” v. “Them.” 

The shooter is responsible, but the words and delusionary conspiracies that led him there count for something. They set a tone, they opened a “Pandora’s box” of unforeseeable woes. They tore away at our national Soul. They are not blameless.

Unfortunately, it’s up to those with less clouded minds and less hate in their hearts to stop this madness.  

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 2018. All rights reserved. 

[1] Bil Tierney, Dynamics of Aspect Analysis: New Perceptions in Astrology, CRCS Publications, Reno, NV, 1983, p. 94.