The New Yorker magazine recently (Feb 6, 2012) published an article about the suicide of Rutger’s student Tyler Clementi, which occurred after his roommate Dharun Ravi secretly set up his webcam to watch Tyler kissing a man in the dorm room that they shared. The Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office charged Dharun Ravi (DOB Feb 28, 1992) of Plainsboro, New Jersey, and Molly Wei (DOB Feb 1, 1992) of Princeton, New Jersey, with “two counts each of invasion of privacy for using the camera to view and transmit a live image of an 18-year-old student in Piscataway on September 19, 2010.” On September 22, 2010, Clementi allegedly jumped to his death off the George Washington Bridge. The facts of the case were widely distorted and misrepresented by the press.
The New Yorker article makes clear that the two roommates rarely spoke and instead communicated electronically as the need arose. There is a strong implication that if the two boys had simply had a decent face-to-face conversation, the suicide might have been prevented. They might even have become friends. In the article Dharun Ravi does not come across as homophobic or as particularly biased against gays. It sounds more like a foolish adolescent prank that went horribly wrong. Ravi does come across as an insensitive privileged rich kid with a sense of superiority and a disdain for those less wealthy and less fortunate than himself.
Ravi’s birth date appears to be reliably reported as February 28, 1992, time unknown; he lived in Plainsboro, NJ. Clementi’s birth data has been hard to track down but several internet sites give April 29, 1992 in Buffalo, NY. I am less certain of the reliability of Clementi’s data.
Here is Ravi’s sunrise chart for Plainsboro, NJ:
Here is a chart for Ravi cast for Noon in Mumbai (I don’t know where in India he as born) with Sun on ASC, time of birth unknown:
With his natal Sun and Mercury in Pisces, one might expect Ravi to be compassionate toward those less fortunate. In this case, however, the Pisces Sun and Mercury are disposed by Jupiter debilitated (in detriment) in Virgo. In addition, Jupiter almost exactly opposes his natal Sun, suggesting a character that is rather cocky, entitled, arrogant, pompous, narcissistic, and full of himself. His Mercury in Pisces is closely trine Pluto in Scorpio in the 8th of the sunrise chart: could this be an astrological indicator of his curiosity (Mercury) about what goes on in secret in the bedroom (Pluto in Scorpio in the 8th)?
If Ravi serves prison time, it will most likely be because the jury is put off by his condescending sense of superiority and lack of humility (debilitated Jupiter opposite Sun). Astrologically it is no surprise that Ravi referred to himself on the web as “DharunIsAwesome” (Sun opposite Jupiter). If he wants to get a lighter sentence, his defense lawyer will need to give him lessons on how to present himself in court with some humility.
It seems likely to me from the sunrise chart that Ravi will spend some time in prison. His 12th house of confinement and self-undoing is ruled by Saturn (and modern ruler Uranus). Saturn conjoins Venus in the 12th, and Venus rules his Sun and Mercury by exaltation. The Saturn/Venus conjunction is quincunx his natal Jupiter: his exaggerated sense of self-worth will prove his undoing. Jupiter is debilitated in Virgo and disposed by Mercury, which trines Pluto in Scorpio in the 8th: his voyeurism will contribute to his undoing (Venus in 12th rules Mercury by exaltation). Uranus (modern ruler of Aquarius on the cusp of his 12th of secret enemies) lies in the 11th of friends. His 11th house friend, Molly Wei, will testify against him and will be one of the causes of his 12th house imprisonment.
The two boys were born within a couple months of each other, so their charts have a lot in common. If Clementi’s birth date is correct, the following is his sunrise chart, time unknown, for Buffalo, NY:
Clementi’s Taurus Sun is closely sextile Ravi’s Pisces Sun, so there was potential for the two young men to relate harmoniously. The relationship difficulties seem to be related to Ravi’s Mars/Venus/Saturn stellium in Aquarius squaring Clementi’s natal sun. The square from Mars lends friction to the relationship, the square from Venus indicates conflicting values, and the square from Saturn suggests that Ravi will be overly critical and judgmental toward Clementi. No doubt these aspects of Ravi’s attitude toward Clementi will be presented at trial and will work against him.
Although I’m not certain about Clementi’s birth data, the lunar return in effect at the time of his death is impressive:
The Lunar Return took place on Aug 26, 2010, the same week he came out to his parents and was leaving home to start college. The New Yorker article points out that he felt supported by his father but found his mother more rejecting of his homosexuality. Apparently, when he told his mother he was gay, she asked him to promise he would never hurt himself. She may have been picking up on his inner turmoil, which is reflected by the abundance of planets in the 6th and 12th houses of his natal chart at the time of the lunar return. In addition, the Lunar Return MC falls directly on his natal Neptune/Uranus conjunction.
Most notably Saturn in the 6th opposes a fairly tight conjunction of Moon/Uranus/Jupiter in the 12th. Jupiter rules the unfortunate 8th (death) and 12th (self-undoing) houses of the natal sunrise chart. Saturn rules the unfortunate 6th house, which has Libra intercepted within. The Lunar Return chart suggests that this young man was struggling internally during the month leading up to his suicide. No doubt he was dealing psychologically with coming out to his parents, leaving home to attend college, making new friends and fitting in, and dealing with his sexuality — any of which would be highly stressful in its own right.
It is a tragedy that this ill-conceived college prank, made possible by the digitalization of human contact (one of the negative legacies of Steve Jobs), has resulted in the undoing of the lives of two very decent, talented, and promising young men.
If anyone has further verifiable birth data on either of these individuals, please let me know.
Addendum (Feb 21): I just read an article which said that Ravi was born in India, which would probably make his Moon placement early Capricorn. The other planetary placements would only be slightly earlier than the ones shown in the New Jersey chart above. Apparently Ravi risks deportation if convicted.
Addendum (March 16): As expected from the chart, a jury found Ravi guilty on Friday, March 16, 2012. According to the NY Times account: “The testimony painted a picture of two college freshman, both from top performing high schools in well-off suburbs, who could not have been more different. Mr. Clementi was shy and reserved, an accomplished violinist who had only recently told his parents he was gay. Mr. Ravi was a boastful computer wizard and ultimate Frisbee player who communicated with friends constantly via Twitter, text message and iChat.” Sentencing is scheduled for May 21, 2012.
An interesting take on the trial questions whether Ravi’s immigrant status played a role in the outcome.
According to Reuters, May 21, 2012:
“Dharun Ravi, the former Rutgers University student convicted in a webcam spying incident that preceded his gay roommate Tyler Clementi’s suicide, has been sentenced to 30 days in jail.”