JULY 2009 Black Hole CAse Study
by Alex Miller
Two especially heinous acts of domestic terrorism came to the nation’s attention in late May and early June 2009. On May 31, Dr. George Tiller, a provider of late-term abortions, was shot to death in the vestibule of his Wichita, Kansas church, by Scott Roeder, an anti-abortion activist. And, on June 10, James von Brunn walked into the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and opened fire, killing security guard Stephen Johns before being shot himself. Both killers had a history of violent or illegal actions in connection with their extremist views. Roeder had been identified as vandalizing a Kansas City abortion clinic as recently as the weekend before Tiller’s murder, a federal crime regarding which the FBI failed to take any action. Von Brunn, a white supremacist holocaust-denier, spent six years in a federal prison for forcing his way into a board meeting of the Federal Reserve in 1981, armed with a hand gun and knife.
The political landscape underpinning these tragedies is the increase in right wing extremist discontent with the election of the nation’s first African American president. This is the dangerous, threatening atmosphere which a Homeland Security report warned against in April. It's the conservative backlash which led Secretary Janet Napolitano to apologize to Congress. Unfortunately, the circumstances described in the report have proven to be all too accurate.
|Dr. George Tiller
George Tiller was arguably the most famous abortion provider in the US, his Wichita clinic, Women’s Health Care Services, being one of a handful of facilities nationwide performing late-term abortions. Discussed and disparaged on more than two dozen segments of "The O’Reilly Factor" since 2005 by FOX News commentator Bill O’Reilly, who termed him "Tiller the Baby Killer," his high national profile made him a prime target for extremists of the anti-abortion movement. His clinic had been repeatedly vandalized, as recently as May 1, 2009. In 1991, it was blockaded by Operation Rescue protestors during their "Summer of Mercy" PR blitz, and in 1993, Tiller was shot in both arms by protestor Rachelle Shannon, who remains incarcerated for the crime. In March of 2009, Tiller was tried on 19 counts of performing illegal late-term abortions, based on an alleged lack of the required second opinion from an independent medical doctor before the procedures were performed. A jury found him innocent of all charges after less than an hour’s deliberation.
At 10:03 AM CDT on Sunday, 31 May 2009, Tiller was shot point blank in the head by Scott Roeder in the vestibule of the Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was acting as an usher. He died immediately. Tiller was wearing the flak jacket which he commonly employed since 1998, when the FBI warned him of extremist activity directed against him.
His killer was arrested three hours later in suburban Kansas City. Roeder was a known anti-abortion activist, who had closely followed Tiller’s trial, even attending some portions of it. He had been identified from video surveillance as the individual who had twice incapacitated the locks of a Kansas City abortion clinic (a federal crime), both the weekend before and the day before the shooting. The FBI and local authorities had been furnished with this information, including his license plate number, but took no action.
In 1996, Roeder, then a member of the anti-government group the Montana Freemen, was arrested and convicted on explosives charges after a search of his car’s trunk revealed a fuse cord, gunpowder, and nine-volt batteries. The conviction was subsequently overturned on appeal on the grounds that the original search was illegal. In an interview given after Tiller’s murder, Roeder’s ex-wife Lindsey alleges that the explosives found in 1996 were intended to be used in detonating a Kansas abortion clinic. Roeder has a long history of involvement with anti-government and anti-abortion groups, including the radical Army of God, an abortion protest organization which advocates "justified homicide" of abortion providers, and Operation Rescue, whose senior policy advisor’s phone number was found on the dashboard of Roeder’s car at the time of his arrest.
|James von Brunn
Just ten days after this murder, 88-year-old James von Brunn entered the National Holocaust Museum in Washington DC and opened fire, killing a black security guard, Stephen Johns, before being himself shot in the face by other guards and incapacitated. His specific motivation for the shooting is undetermined, but there is speculation that Obama’s much-publicized visit to the Buchenwald concentration camp memorial and his honoring of holocaust victims, just five days before the shooting, was the final straw making von Brunn, who has a history of anti-government, anti-Semitic, white supremacist views and involvements stretching back more than 30 years, decide to make a final violent statement of his views. Reports indicate he had divested himself of everything he had of value before his trip to DC, including the computer he used to post his extremist views on his website, suggesting that the 88-year-old was embarked on a suicide mission.
Von Brunn worked in advertising before his retirement and had tried to become a professional artist, based in Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In 1981 he entered the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, armed with a revolver and knife, forcing back security guards, and stating he was there to make a citizen’s arrest of the board members, whom he claimed were purposely destroying the US economy. He was arrested, tried and convicted, spending six years in a federal penitentiary. Von Brunn’s website claims he was railroaded into jail by a black jury, Jewish attorneys, and a Jewish judge, who were prejudiced against him.
U.S. Holocaust Museum
At 12:50 PM on June 10, 2009, von Brunn left his car parked in traffic outside the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, carrying a vintage Winchester .22 rifle. Black security guard Stephen Johns courteously opened the door for him to enter as he approached, whereupon von Brunn pulled the gun and shot him once directly in the heart; he died shortly after. The two remaining security guards returned fire, wounding von Brunn in the face; he was last reported in critical but stable condition at George Washington University Hospital, and is expected to survive to face trial.
The underpinning astrologic dynamic of these two high-profile murders may be Saturn’s recent station of May 16, when the ancient Lord of Death resumed direct motion from 14 Virgo, in exact square to Trans-Neptunian Object (TNO) Ixion at 14 Sagittarius. Ixion is named for the first murderer in Greek mythology, and is active in the charts of famous murderers and serial killers (see my article "Ixion and Murder" in the April 2004 Daykeeper Journal).
On the precise midpoint of this square, at 29 Libra, lies a Black Hole, which is thus semisquare to both celestials. Black Holes evoke dramatic, stunning, unexpected reversals and shifts in the status quo, and their activation often yields shocking, high-profile, record-setting, or one-of-a-kind manifestations, incidents which reverberate far beyond their immediate moment and prove to be watershed events.
As if this were not enough, Ixion, whose orbital period is 250 years, roughly equivalent to neighbor Pluto’s, is currently conjoined a mysterious deep space gravity anomaly termed "the Great Attractor," with a mass equivalent to tens of thousands of Milky Way galaxies, affecting vast reaches of space hundreds of millions of light years across. Its exact nature is unknown, but the power of this point is unimaginable, and may be exerting a corresponding pull on Ixion, heightening its effects to fever pitch among those more susceptible to its influence.
Further exacerbating the situation is another TNO, Chaos, which is roughly opposing Ixion from mid-Gemini, and images of chaos, destruction and murder or violence which creates havoc and disruption are likely to be commonplace at this time. Ixion is also a longtime companion of a third TNO, Quaoar, named for a Native American creator deity, which appears prominently in charts relating to reproductive issues, including abortion, a key factor in one of the murders (see my article, "Quaoar and Reproduction," in the August 2003 Daykeeper Journal), and which is currently exactly conjunct the Black Hole at 19 Sagittarius, just five degrees ahead of Ixion.
When Scott Roeder shot Dr. George Tiller at 10:03 AM CDT, 31 May 2009 in Wichita, Kansas, Ixion and Quaoar were conjunct in the Fifth House, ruling children. Roeder’s ostensible motive for the killing waa the "massacre" of children by the abortion doctor. Asteroid "George" (#3854) lies at 12 Virgo, conjunct Saturn at 15 Virgo and in square to Ixion, and the Moon at 16 Virgo has just conjoined Saturn, triggering the square and bringing a key element of timing into play. This basic square forms a tight Grand Cross with asteroid "Child" (#4580) at 15 Gemini and asteroid Icarus (#1566) at 17 Pisces, denoting the rash, reckless nature of the act. Mars, traditional ruler of violent death, resides at 29 Aries, in sesquiquadrate (135 degrees) to both Saturn and Ixion and semisquare to Child and Icarus, forming a complex Galactic Pentagram pattern which has a fated or predestined quality to it.
Child is also conjoined the Sun at 10 Gemini, itself exactly conjunct TNO Chaos and opposed the Black Hole at 10 Sagittarius, with asteroids Atropos (#273) and Apophis (#99942) in the mix as well, at 17 and 19 Gemini respectively. Atropos is named for one the Fates, the third of three, known as "the Cutter," who severs the thread of life at death, while Apophis is named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil.
Asteroid "Scott" (#876) lies at 11 Leo, conjoined another of the Fates, asteroid Lachesis (#120) at 18 Leo, termed "the Alllotter," who determines the span of life. Scott Roeder certainly saw himself as an avenging agent of divine justice, who felt he had the right to determine when George Tiller should die. These points straddle Tiller’s natal Sun at 15 Leo (born 8 August 1941). The doctor has two other conjunctions of interest. Asteroid Nemesis (#128, named for the arbiter of divine retribution) at 13 Cancer conjoins Kansas (#3124, the venue for his work and murder); while Quaoar (reproduction/abortion) exactly conjoins Pluto (death) at 25 Virgo. Asteroid Scott at 29 Leo in Tiller’s nativity squares Saturn, itself exactly conjunct the volatile, controversy-provoking Maser at 27 Taurus, indicating the highly controversial nature of Tiller’s work, and is exactly trine the Mars of his murder.
Scott Roeder’s birth chart (born 25 February 1958) sports a conjunction of asteroid Nemesis at 1 Aquarius with both Venus at the same degree and asteroid George at 3 Aquarius, all opposed Tiller’s natal Pluto at 4 Leo, on the Black Hole at 2 Leo, personalizing Roeder’s role as nemesis to Tiller (asteroid George), resulting in his destruction (Pluto). Roeder has also acted as somewhat of a nemesis to the women (Venus) of Wichita: Tiller’s clinic will not reopen, and the nearest facility providing the same services is more than 300 miles away. In a final act of irony, abortion protest group Operation Rescue has expressed interest in purchasing Tiller’s former clinic as their future Kansas headquarters.
Asteroid Nemesis exactly squares both Lachesis at 1 Taurus, the determiner of life spans, and Roeder’s natal Jupiter at 1 Scorpio, indicating his political/religious philosophy as the initiating point of tension in the tragedy. Roeder’s Sun at 6 Pisces conjoins a Quasar, suggesting his coming to prominence or notoriety at some point, and is exactly conjunct reckless Icarus, and exactly squared asteroid Child, itself conjoined another volatile Maser at 6 Gemini, which thus also squares the Sun, giving Roeder an excitable, easily agitated personality. Natal Ixion at 23 Libra is sextile natal Saturn at 24 Sagittarius, exactly conjunct a Pulsar, suggesting that a newsworthy (Pulsar) murder (Ixion) is what brings him to public notice or attention (Saturn). At the time of the murder, transit Venus at 24 Aries, conjoined a Black Hole, was exactly trine natal Saturn, repeating the theme of women’s issues, while transit Saturn at 15 Virgo was exactly trine Roeder’s natal Mars (violence, shooting) at 15 Capricorn, which is opposed Tiller’s natal Nemesis/Kansas pairing.
When James von Brunn opened fire at the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC at 12:50 PM on June 10, 2009, the sky was equally informative. The Saturn/Ixion square is in full force, with Ixion at 14 Sagittarius in this chart closely conjoined the 15 Sagittarius Nadir, adding the heightened emphasis of angularity to the moment. The Sun at 19 Gemini is exactly opposed another Black Hole at 19 Sagittarius, and still conjoined by Atropos at 21 Gemini, the Cutter who severs life’s thread. Incredibly, just as asteroids Scott and Lachesis the Allotter are conjoined for the Tiller murder, here we see asteroid "James" (#2335) also conjunct Lachesis for the von Brunner/Johns killing, at 18 and 21 Leo respectively, with asteroid Nemesis in square to both from 19 Taurus. Additionally, James and Lachesis cluster about von Brunn’s natal Jupiter at 20 Leo, pointing to the political (Jupiter) nature of his act, based in his philosophy and world view (also Jupiter).
Using asteroid Stephania (#220) as a feminine form of Stephen, we see Stephania at 26 Cancer exactly semisextile to asteroid Vesta at 26 Gemini, exactly trine Uranus at 26 Pisces, and exactly inconjunct Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron, all at 26 Aquarius. All of which pegs the victim (Neptune) in this maverick (Chiron) act of political (Jupiter) extremism (Uranus), the security (Vesta) guard, Stephen (Stephania) Johns. Mars at 7 Taurus, ruling violent death, guns and attacks, is conjunct the volatile Maser at 8 Taurus, and semisquare to Atropos. Asteroid Israel (#7507), describing both von Brunn’s anti-Semitic views and his chosen venue of the Holocaust Museum, at 23 Virgo is rising on the 17 Virgo Ascendant, opposed Uranus and inconjunct the Jupiter/Neptune/Chiron, thus forming a Yod, or Finger of destiny, with asteroid Stephania. Israel is also engaged in a Galactic T-Square with Pulsars at 22 Gemini and 24 Sagittarius, making for big news and easily garnering media attention.
That 23 Virgo degree is conjoined von Brunn’s natal asteroid Stephania at 26 Virgo, which therefore makes the Yod an exact one between von Brunn’s natal asteroid Stephania, the transit asteroid Stephania on the day of the shooting, and the triple conjunction in Aquarius. Von Brunn’s natal asteroid Israel at 17 Libra closely squares his 18 Cancer Sun, forming a T-Square with the Black Hole at 19 Capricorn, and indicates his conflict (square) with Jews in general and the bizarre, alternate reality (Black Hole) beliefs he holds regarding them.
Pluto at 7 Cancer in von Brunn’s nativity is conjoined by both Atropos the Cutter at 1 Cancer and Lachesis the Allotter at 12 Cancer, the latter also conjoined his Sun. Pluto with two of three Fates identifies von Brunn as a catalyzing force (Pluto) for others’ destinies (Atropos/Lachesis). Natal Saturn at 8 Virgo is conjunct natal Ixion at 14 Virgo, the exact degree of transit Saturn’s station less than a month before, with Saturn for the day still conjoined at 15 Virgo. The Saturn/Ixion contact, as with Roeder, again suggests becoming prominent or gaining public notice (Saturn) via murder (Ixion).
Mercury and Neptune conjoin exactly at 10 Leo, conjunct the Black Hole at 9 Leo, symbol of one whose thinking (Mercury) tends toward isolationism and potentially persecution fantasies (both Neptune), creating a parallel reality (Black Hole) where the native sees himself as a victim or martyr (Neptune) for his cause, which is greater than himself (also Neptune). Asteroid Apophis, representing the ultimate evil, conjoins this pair from 12 Leo, redolent of von Brunn’s hate speech which he disseminated for decades, including his website screeds. Asteroid Tantalus (#2102), named for a Greek mythic figure who performed a particularly heinous murder, also conjoins from 13 Leo, and is itself exactly conjunct a volatile Maser. On the day of the shooting, transit Tantalus at 7 Gemini was also exactly conjoined a Maser, reiterating the natal pattern, with both Mars at 7 Taurus and Mercury at 27 Taurus aligned with other Masers, making for a very violent day indeed.
As more and more of our psychic circuitry is revealed with the discovery and naming of space detritus such as TNOs, minor planets and asteroids, astrology becomes ever more complex and intricate, able to identify cause and effect much more specifically to the individual or event. The overarching, inchoate energy created by the interaction of Saturn and Ixion, when analyzed through the lens of these particular events, gains crystal clarity in our three-dimensional reality via the medium of these apparently ephemeral points, which in so doing prove themselves to be actually of the greatest immediacy and import, irrevocably altering lives and writing history. Station effects commonly reverberate until the planet involved makes its subsequent turning, which in this instance means the Saturn/Ixion square will remain in effect until January 2010. This astrological window may yet see many more such atrocities.
Alex Miller (formerly Alex Miller-Mignone)
is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at email@example.com.