By now we’re all too familiar with the story—a lone gunman, an outsider, disturbed, unbalanced, arms himself with semiautomatic weapons and kills a group of innocent people who just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Just another day in America.
And we’re also distressingly informed about the details of this particular shooting spree. 20 children aged six and seven shot multiple times each at their elementary school; six teachers and staff killed there as well; the shooter’s mother killed earlier at home while she slept; the killer taking his own life as police approached.
It’s the details of this massacre, and the faces of those sweet, innocent children, as well as the timing of the tragedy, with Christmas approaching, which has perhaps finally made a difference, finally grabbed the attention of a nation wearied by such incidents, inured to gun violence, and apathetically unconcerned about anything but a flagging economy and where the next consumerist fix is coming from. Will the political will be there to truly make a difference this time? If history is any judge, it’s not likely. But we can hope.
Astrologically, I have never before encountered a current events story with this much data and detail, and it’s quite overwhelming. As dramatic as the Aurora, Colorado movie theater shooting was last summer, this one is orders of magnitude greater. Of the 28 dead (including the shooter), all but two have asteroid referents for their names, as do the school itself and the community of Newtown, Connecticut where the tragedy occurred. Even the make of the guns used are represented. And with birth dates available for all of the victims, the amount of data for analysis is staggering.
And yet, certain factors do emerge clearly, and present an astounding case for the descriptive power of minor bodies of our solar system to illumine events here on earth. We’ll attempt to make some sense of these patterns and placements, even if we’ll never understand the mind of the man who perpetrated these horrible, heinous acts.
Overarching this and many more similar tragedies recently is the ongoing square between Uranus and Pluto, which dominates our time. Violent, uncontrolled, primal and unpredictable, this aspect is the root cause of the incredible gun violence we have seen this year, from Aurora’s movie theater shooting in July through the Sikh temple carnage in August, the spa shooting in Wisconsin in October, and the Oregon mall shooting just three days before Sandy Hook. Although the square was not exact at the time of the shooting, the two planets are not out of orb of aspect all year, and a key side factor that day set them off strongly.
For 19 consecutive months, from April 2012 through August 2013, the Moon will be occulting Pluto when they make their monthly conjunction. An occultation, literally a “hiding”, occurs when a larger body passes directly in front of a smaller one, from our perspective, completely blotting it out from our sight. Like any other type of eclipse, occultations focus and highlight the energies of the points involved, bringing attention and manifestation in their wake. The occultation of Pluto by the Moon is a rare celestial event which has not happened in almost 80 years; to have 19 in a row now, while Pluto struggles with Uranus, is a portent of major change and potentially devastating ramifications.
The day of the massacre, the Moon conjoined and occulted Pluto at 6:29 AM local time, perhaps about the time Adam Lanza shot his mother Nancy in her bed while she was sleeping. The timing of that event is unclear, but less than three hours after the occultation, Lanza gathered his arsenal and proceeded to Sandy Hook Elementary to wreak his carnage. The Moon rules the mother (and the sleep cycle during which she was killed), Pluto rules death generally and also murder traditionally (though there is another celestial factor for this which we will discuss shortly). The Moon also rules early childhood, a period from which most of Lanza’s victims came, and the public, including public places like schools (though early education itself is Mercury-ruled).
This sets the immediate stage, the venue for the acts, and its genesis in matricide. Other factors which intrude and give greater detail include an astounding triple conjunction of asteroids which, at 6 Capricorn, is conjunct the Moon/Pluto occultation at 8 Capricorn and also the Moon’s degree of 10 Capricorn for the shooting itself. These comprise
- Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead;
- Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead; and
- Sandra, for Sandy Hook Elementary.
Opposing these is asteroid Busch at 7 Cancer, used here as a referent for the Bushmaster AR-15 assault rifle Lanza used to kill his victims at the school. In square is Uranus, ruling shootings, at 4 Aries, itself conjunct asteroid Child at 2 Aries, the predominant target of those shootings. Child is exactly opposed by asteroid Apophis, named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil, at 2 Libra, forming a loose Grand Cross. “Evil” is perhaps the single most commonly used adjective for describing this crime, by witnesses, family members, politicians and pundits alike.
But underpinning the event, and at its immediate genesis, is Adam’s mother, Nancy Lanza, his first victim. Nancy was a gun enthusiast, and the two semiautomatic handguns as well as the Bushmaster Adam used were hers, legally purchased. Nancy Lanza also taught her son to shoot, taking him to a local firing range, apparently oblivious to the potential for disaster which encouraging a mentally challenged individual in the use of firearms might present. Nancy Lanza is represented by asteroids Nancy and Lanzia; Lanzia of course represents both mother and son, and appears at 28 Scorpio, exactly conjoined Venus, ruling women (every adult killed by Lanza was female, as were 12 of the 20 children), and opposed by asteroid Atropos at 27 Taurus, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death.
But the true eye-opener here is asteroid Nancy. On the very afternoon before the shooting, at 1:11 PM EST local time, asteroid Nancy made her retrograde station at 17 Leo. Stations are powerful turning points, with the planet in question energizing the degree much longer than typical, and pervading it with its essence, forcing us to pay attention. Nancy here at station for the massacre identifies her as a prime cause in the tragedy, the still point upon which all else revolves.
From 17 Leo, Nancy formed a Grand Trine, with an exact trine aspect to asteroid Lachesis, named for the Greek Fate who determines the span of life, at 17 Aries, and a second trine to a rare exact triple conjunction of TNOs Ixion, Pholus, and asteroid Tantalus at 19 Sagittarius (all of these are also still within orb of the Sun that day at 23 Sagittarius). Ixion is named for the first murderer in Greek mythology; Pholus is associated with mass deaths; and Tantalus is noted for the commission of heinous, unforgivable crimes, notably against children.
At its station Nancy was also exactly inconjunct to asteroid Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance and undoing, at 17 Capricorn, which is itself conjunct Mars at 21 Capricorn, ruling guns, violent death and attacks or acts of violence. Nancy is also sextile to TNO Chaos at 15 Gemini, ruling chaotic, senseless situations which spiral out of control, and exactly sesquiquadrate to asteroid Child at 2 Aries, which, as noted above, is conjoined Uranus, ruling shootings and tying back to the Uranus/Pluto square. Asteroid Nancy in these contexts seems to describe some divine retribution (Nemesis) for Nancy Lanza’s prior poor choices in familiarizing her son (Child) with weaponry (Mars), resulting in her own violent (Mars) shooting (Uranus) death as the precursor to the pandemonium (Chaos) unleashed by Adam Lanza shortly after.
Nancy’s station is active in the charts of both mother and son as well. It ignites Nancy Lanza’s (born 6 September 1960) natal Uranus, that planet ruling shootings, at 22 Leo (also tightly trined by the Sun that day), and is closely sextile her natal Lachesis, the Fate determining the span of a life, at 18 Libra. For Adam Lanza, (born 22 April 1992) Nancy’s station was a revelation; it transformed a natal square between Saturn at 17 Aquarius and Tantalus/Chaos at 16/17 Taurus into a potent T-Square, and was also trine a tight stellium in his natal chart involving Eris (named for the Greek goddess of strife and discord) at 17 Aries with Venus and Nancy at 18 Aries and Phaeton/Busch at 19 Aries. Celestially, asteroid Nancy precipitated the latent potential of Adam’s natal Saturn/Tantalus square to perform savage, heinous acts, without pity or remorse, just as terrestrially, Nancy Lanza precipitated her son’s latent potential for violence with her gun tutorials.
If we look more closely at the chart for the time of asteroid Nancy’s station in Newtown, we find an MC exactly conjoined Nancy Lanza’s natal Saturn, ancient ruler of death, at 11 Capricorn, clustered about with Pluto, Requiem, Osiris and Sandra, also conjoined the Midheaven, with Lachesis rising and a Descendant just one degree off Adam Lanza’s Lucifer, representing evil (more on Lucifer shortly). Transit Mars squares the Ascendant/Descendant axis to within a degree, and the Moon at 27 Sagittarius is exactly inconjunct Atropos.
In the Aries stellium cited above, Eris/Venus/Nancy is an image of a woman (generally speaking, Venus, and here specifically, one named “Nancy”) who is a source of discontent, an irritant, goad or instigator (Eris). Phaeton/Busch is reflective of someone going out in a “blaze of glory,” a stupendous implosion/explosion which threatens to take everything in the immediate vicinity with it, and in this case, points to the Bushmaster assault rifle as the means of that destruction. Asteroid Sandra at 22 Aries ties to Phaeton/Busch and reveals Sandy Hook Elementary as the setting for Lanza’s rampage.
Astrologically, three asteroids frequently represent “evil” in its traditional sense of heinous, irredeemable actions. We’ve seen how Apophis and Tantalus figured into the sky that day. The third factor is asteroid Lucifer, which also functions as an indicator of a “fall from grace” [see my article on the Petraeus scandal in the December 2012 Daykeeper Journal]. Lucifer, named for the fallen angel who became Christianity’s Satan, is its symbol of ultimate evil. Lucifer on the day of the shooting is in a powerful position, exactly conjunct the Moon at 10 Capricorn, still within orb of Pluto and the Requiem/Osiris/Sandra conjunction. And that Lucifer/Moon pairing is conjoined Nancy Lanza’s natal Saturn, ancient ruler of death, at 11 Capricorn, and exactly opposed her natal Lucifer at 10 Cancer. It is also exactly trine natal asteroid Mori (also representing death, as in “Memento Mori”, once a common tombstone inscription) at 10 Virgo in Adam Lanza’s birth chart.
There are several indicators in Nancy Lanza’s chart that she was raising a monster. Tantalus conjoins asteroid Adams, representing her son Adam, at 4 and 2 Sagittarius, and these square a devastating exact triple conjunction of Pluto (devastation, death, murder), Nemesis (retribution, vengeance, undoing) and Apophis (pure evil), all at 6 Virgo (all within orb of her 13 Virgo Sun). On the day Nancy died, these three were exactly trined by the triple conjunction of Requiem/Osiris/Sandra at 6 Capricorn, with transit Mercury exactly on her natal Tantalus. Nancy’s Pluto/Nemesis/Apophis also acts as a trigger for her son’s natal asteroid Child at 6 Gemini in exact square, suggesting that her influence may have been somehow crucial in his decision to murder innocents.
A combination of Atropos at 28 Taurus with Lanzia at 0 Gemini opposes Adams/Tantalus, and suggests that death (Atropos) is the result of her interaction with the name Lanza, in the form of a heinous crime committed by Adam. Natal Atropos was exactly opposed by transit Venus/Lanzia at her death, conjoined by transit Atropos (thus she was experiencing an “Atropos Return”, essentially a re-energizing of the natal potential) and squared by asteroid Gluck at 26 Leo, for Glock, the manufacturer of one of the handguns she owned with which Adam might have killed her.
Another presentiment that she was nursing a viper in her bosom is given by asteroid Child at 11 Aquarius, conjunct Damocles at 10 Aquarius and Achilles at 16 Aquarius, suggesting that her offspring (Child) was a doom hanging unseen over her head (Damocles), a congenital weak spot and source of her undoing (Achilles).
Adam’s chart also displays the potential for unmitigated evil or destructive capacity. A close conjunction of the Sun with asteroid Requiem at 2 and 3 Taurus establishes him as a potential agent of death. These were squared and opposed by transit asteroids Newtonia (for Newtown) at 0 Leo and Adams at 0 Scorpio at the shooting, forming a T-Square. This becomes a full Grand Cross with the addition of Adam Lanza’s natal Damocles at 1 Aquarius, anchoring the latent potential of Sun/Requiem and giving it form, creating an image of disaster-in-waiting.
Asteroids Adams and Atropos combine at 18 and 25 Virgo, again linking Adam Lanza personally with death; on some deep psychological level, Adam identified with death in a very intimate, ego-focused way. These were squared by the Sun of the shooting at 23 Sagittarius and the Ixion/Pholus/Tantalus triple conjunction at 19 Sagittarius. These Sagittarian points also oppose Lanza’s natal Newtonia at 21 Gemini, representing the venue for his crimes. Thus natally, Newtonia squares Adams/Atropos, forming a T-Square with Mars at 19 Pisces in opposition, and providing a geographic outlet (Newtown/Newtonia) for Adam Lanza’s anger and rage (Mars).
Apophis and Mercury conjoin from 3 and 5 Aries, an image of horrendously evil acts committed against children, students or young people, all Mercury-ruled. This was energized by transit Child and Uranus at 2 and 5 Aries in conjunction for the massacre, with transit Apophis opposed from 2 Libra. Transit Apophis opposed, or in a “Full Moon” relationship, with itself, suggests a period of coming to fruition or completion of the natal potential, a point of clarity for the native in understanding its purpose in his life, however skewed and distorted in meaning he may have interpreted that.
Natal Lucifer at 20 Libra is at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, formed by inconjunct aspects to the Tantalus/Chaos conjunction at 16/17 Taurus and natal Mars (guns, attacks, violent death) at 19 Pisces, suggesting some fated or predestined quality to the event. Lucifer was squared by transit Mars at 21 Capricorn when Lanza went on his spree, which had conjoined his exact natal conjunction of Uranus and Neptune at 18 Capricorn just days prior.
This natal square reflects a potential for evil acts (Lucifer) based in mental aberration (Uranus) and fantasy or illusion (Neptune) of some sort. In general, Uranus/Neptune suggests a difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy coupled with an aberrant perspective and issues with social alienation or isolation. Natally Lucifer is also opposed the Eris/Venus/Nancy/Phaeton/Busch/Sandra stellium, tying Adam Lanza’s capacity for expressing evil to and through all those factors.
A final note on the venue and the weaponry, including asteroid Hooke, for Sandy Hook Elementary. In Adam Lanza’s chart, Hooke appears at 1 Sagittarius, opposed natal asteroid Child at 6 Gemini and forming a Grand Cross with natal Lanzia at 3 Pisces and Jupiter (renown, notoriety)/Gluck (Glock guns) at 4 and 5 Virgo. Hooke is also involved in an out-of-sign conjunction with Adam’s natal Ixion (murder) at 26 Scorpio, itself exactly conjoined by transit Mori (death) for the shooting, also conjunct transit Venus/Lanzia and opposed by transit Atropos. Transit Mercury was highlighting this Grand Cross from 4 Sagittarius at the shooting, and transit Hooke at 3 Virgo was active in it as well, with Neptune and Chiron at 0 and 5 Pisces adding their energies.
We have already seen above how asteroid Busch, for the Bushmaster semiautomatic rifle, appears significantly opposed Pluto et al., modern ruler of death. Transit asteroid Gluck, for the Glock handgun, falls at 26 Leo and creates a T-Square of Venus/Lanzia and Atropos. The third gun Adam Lanza carried was a Sig Sauer semiautomatic, and this, too, is well represented on the day. Asteroid Sigurd, for Sig, appears at 8 Aquarius, in exact square to death’s ancient ruler, Saturn. And incredibly, there is an asteroid Sauer, which appears at 6 Aquarius, right beside Sigurd, also in square to Saturn, and together spelling “Sig Sauer” almost literally. The chances of these two being next-door neighbors when a Sig Sauer is in play in a news story are, quite literally, astronomical.
Interpolating asteroids representing the victims into the chart for the shooting is a daunting task, not to mention examining all those natal charts and their relation to the shooter and the massacre. Fully 40 named asteroids can be taken as representative of either first or last names of Lanza’s victims, with many exact matches. But a few facts emerge clearly from the deluge of data.
As I have found in prior cases of this type, victim names tend to “clump” in groups. In this instance, the largest group by far involves a cluster of points in mid-Libra, representing 8 of the victims, almost one third of the total, which together are conjoined Adam Lanza’s natal Lucifer and squared that day by transit Mars/Nemesis (also sextiled by Ixion/Pholus/Tantalus). There are three pairs of asteroids which appear at the same degree, and all these groupings have at least two additional victim name asteroids which conjoin them closely. One pair aligns exactly with Mars, another is just a degree off asteroid Gluck.
Catherine Hubbard, a six-year-old with a passion for animals and an infectious smile, has three asteroid variants of her first name, Katharina, Kathryn, and Kathy, as well as asteroid Hubbard, an exact match for her surname. Incredibly, all three “Catherine” asteroids appear within 11 degrees of each other in early Cancer, opposing Requiem/Osiris/Sandra/Pluto/Moon/Lucifer, while asteroid Hubbard is at 18 Libra, sextile Ixion/Tantalus and squared Mars.
Asteroid Dawn, for school principal Dawn Hocksprung, who with school psychologist Mary Sherlach attempted unarmed to stop the gunman after he had shot out a glass door to enter the school, appears at 5 Aries, conjunct Uranus and Child and squared by the early Capricorn stellium. Opposing Apophis, Dawn tried to thwart these acts of pure evil directed at the children who were her charge. Beside her in the heavens as in death lies asteroid Mary at 13 Aries, with asteroid Sherlock (for Sherlach) exactly inconjunct Mary at 13 Scorpio, conjunct transit Saturn.
Five more victim names cluster in early Leo and early Aquarius, squared Saturn; one conjoins Neptune, two oppose it and another squares; three conjoin Mars in addition to the 8 in Libra in square, with another opposed; two conjoin Ixion/Tantalus with two more squared; one is exactly trine Venus/Lanza.
The details are too complex to go into in this article, but the picture is clear—as in so many prior tragedies of this nature, those most affected appear to have had some date with destiny. Rather than being simply random victims, there seems to be some sort of celestial symmetry which binds them to this place and time, perhaps in a preordained fashion, something intricately timed and inescapable.
Leaving us to wonder once again, to what end the vagaries of fate?