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I have been out of town at a music camp this week, blissfully unaware of the news until someone told me tonight about the horrific shooting in a movie theater in Aurora Colorado in which apparently 15 people watching the Batman film have been killed and over 50 others injured by a 24 year old neuroscientist in a Joker costume. You can read about the details in various news sources; my interest is in the astrology of the shooter and the timing of the event during an astrological period that as I said before is one of the most intense weeks of the summer.
A suspect has been named in the shooting, James Eagen Holmes, and Wikipedia kindly provided a birthdate of December 13, 1987. One would not usually conflate the Sun in Sagittarius, generally an easygoing and optimistic sign, with such an egregious act but Holmes’s chart is filled with challenge.
That Sagittarius Sun is conjunct both Saturn and Uranus which bestows a conflicting set of values. Saturn conjunct the Sun demands perfection and a high level of achievement, order and structure, yet Uranus on the Sun inspires revolutionary behavior and a desire to react from the status quo. That triple conjunction (Sun/Saturn/Uranus) is opposed by Chiron, demonstrating a wounded soul (Chiron/Sun) with the life challenge of deep soul surgery to resolve these wounds (Chiron/Saturn) and a highly sensitive energetic system with the potential to create anxiety and a great deal of inner pressure (Chiron/Uranus).
In addition, the Moon is in Virgo which suggests an inner critic and a high need for security. In the chart the Moon acts as a fulcrum point between the two ends of the opposition, and forms a square to Chiron (painful emotional experiences) and to the Sun/Saturn/Uranus opposition (isolation and loneliness).
To make things even more complicated, Mars is in the intensely emotional sign of Scorpio, and it conjoins Pluto there. Mars is aggression and desire, and in a conjunction to Pluto there is nearly always some sort of violence, emotional or physical, in childhood. This is a placement that signifies great personal power, but it can be badly misused as well.
This is a very difficult chart to navigate with any degree of success, and it takes a great deal of self-awareness and personal inquiry. Obviously many people have this same chart and don’t go out and commit mass murder. But we CAN see in this chart the potential for violence if the deep emotional wounds are not resolved in some kind of positive way.
Releasing this kind of violent film in this kind of astrological intensity may not have been the smartest idea. For a young man such as this one, with underlying issues of rage and abuse, it might have been just the thing to trigger an eruption of the inner wound into the world in which we all live.