The opening of the new Batman movie The Dark Knight Rises was marred by a horrible mass killing at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. According to news accounts, graduate student James Holmes legally purchased several guns (Way to go! NRA) and brought them into the theater to shoot spectators in his role at “the Joker.” In a short period of time Holmes was able to buy two pistols, an assault rifle, a shotgun, and 1000s of rounds of ammunition without raising a bit of suspicion. Welcome to the USA!
Violence was in the air before the movie’s premier as critics who panned the movie received death threats from ardent fans. I recall thinking that you’d have to be crazy to go to the opening night of a movie whose fans are threatening to murder critics who pan the film — it’s a setup for violence! I never imagined, however, this type of violence.
News reports state that Holmes was born on 13 December 1987, probably in San Diego, CA, time unknown. I cast a sunrise chart and superimposed the chart for the time of the shooting around it:
We can always find things in a chart in hindsight to “explain” the events, so I will try to be as objective as possible under the circumstances and read the chart as if I knew nothing about the native.
What first strikes me is the Mars/Pluto conjunction in Scorpio. Mars and Pluto are both considered rulers of Scorpio so this conjunction is especially powerful. Mars is a symbol of the warrior and Pluto is associated with the discovery and use of atomic power. The combination of Mars and Pluto itself is a powerful one, suggesting a great deal of pent up energy that needs an outlet. The metaphor of a volcano is often used in the astrological literature to describe this conjunction. Whether this extremely strong energy is used constructively or destructively is up to the individual, but an intense level of seething energy is clearly indicated.
This chart also has a lot of fire. Jupiter in Aries with Mercury, the Sun, Saturn and Uranus all in Sagittarius suggest a very fiery temperament. So much fire suggests a person who is adventurous, freedom-loving, enterprising, passionate, expansive, wide-ranging in his thinking, and disdainful of restriction and societal limitations. With so much Sagittarius “energy,” he is likely to want to make his mark on the world in a big way. This expansive side of him may be someone hidden to public view because his more modest Virgo Moon squares his Sagittarius Sun. There is a conflict between wanting to hide his light under a bushel basket and wanting to shine brightly for all the world to see. The fact that he dyed his hair bright red is consistent with the emphasis of fire in the natal chart.
His Sun conjunct Saturn and Uranus may reflect his self-discipline and interest in scientific and technical fields. Sun/Uranus is often quite willful and a bit eccentric or far-out in its thinking. This natal Sun/Saturn/Uranus conjunction opposes his natal Chiron, suggesting a struggle to heal a deep emotional wound involving fears of abandonment.
Natal Venus in Capricorn often indicates a certain shyness in social relationships (Venus in Saturn’s domain) but at the same time a hearty sexual appetite (Venus consorting with the god Pan). There is a natal Venus/Jupiter square that heightens this tension between desiring intimacy and fearing close relationships.
The transits at the time of the shooting are significant for a fairly close T-square involving transiting Uranus in Aries opposing transiting Mars in Libra, with both square to transiting Pluto in Capricorn. This is a rather explosive T-square. The transiting Mars/Uranus opposition falls close to the meridian axis of Holmes natal sunrise chart, giving it special personal importance. Transiting Pluto of the T-square closely conjoins Holmes natal Neptune (illusion, fantasy, delusion, films).
Transiting Uranus at 8 Aries 31 Rx was applying almost exactly to square the fixed star Facies currently at 8 Capricorn 29. Normally I would dismiss this square but Facies conjoins transiting Pluto and participates in the T-Square in which both transiting Uranus and Mars square transiting Pluto and also Facies, which is a star associated with violence and ruthlessness (Hitler had Jupiter conjunct Facies in his chart. Brady wrote that Facies “represents the penetrating stare of a lethal weapon. It is one of the most difficult, and possibly the most violent, objects in the heavens. It gives a penetration of action that has no regard for others…Facies in a chart will indicate that the planet it touches will be very focused and driven…the push to achieve goals and aims may well become ruthless.” Back in January 2012 Boots Hart wrote an essay about the Pluto/Facies conjunction that would be in effect all year and stressed that “ it embodies a ‘violent’ energy, or the energy of violence, against which there is the wound of the victim.” The fact that this Pluto/Facies conjunction occurs very close to Holmes Neptune (delusional thinking, among other things) strikes me as significant. The fact that transiting Jupiter (expansion) stresses the position of Facies with a quincunx serves to add fuel to the fire.
These are some preliminary thoughts. I’ll be interested in what others have to say about this chart.
Addendum (July 21, 2012): A couple of people have commented on the similarity to Bradley Manney‘s chart. Manning was born just 4 days later than Holmes and in a different city. He is being held in solitary confinement for his role in exposing US atrocities in Iraq and releasing classified information. Several US law scholars have called his detainment unconstitutional under US Law. One could argue that Manning’s Pluto/Moon/Mars conjunction in Scorpio indicates a strong emotional need to reveal a secret in an explosive and transformative way. Here is Manning’s sunrise chart: