Killings in Isla Vista, California

The failure of the United States to enact any reasonable gun laws has led to the free access to guns by virtually everyone in America who has the slightest desire for gun ownership, regardless of their mental health or criminal background.  As a result of the unrestricted availability of guns, the USA has seen a rash of apparently senseless mass shootings.  Such incidents will continue unabated because they are directly related to the free access to guns in our society.

The most recent incident occurred on Friday evening, 23 May 2014.  According to one news report from California: “A man stabbed three people to death at his apartment before plowing through the streets in a black BMW and spraying bullets into Friday night crowds, leaving seven people dead and several more injured in the Southern California seaside town of Isla Vista near UC Santa Barbara.  The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Elliot Oliver Robertson Rodger of Isla Vista, was later involved in a shootout with sheriff’s deputies and died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.”

News sources give the birth data of Elliot Rodger as 24 July 1991 in London, time unknown.  Here is his chart set for Noon with Sun Sign Houses.

Elliot Rodger, Noon chart, London, Sun sign houses, time unknown.

Elliot Rodger, Noon chart, London, Sun sign houses, time unknown.

Notable stressful features of this chart are:

  • Sun/Chiron conjunction in Leo opposed by Saturn in Aquarius.
  • Jupiter in Leo squared by Pluto in Scorpio.
  • A close Venus/Mars conjunction in early Virgo.
  • Moon conjunct Uranus/Neptune in Capricorn.

The Sun/Chiron conjunction takes place in the first decan of Leo, which is associated with the tarot’s Strength trump, King of Wands and 5 of Wands.  Crowley renamed the Strength card “Lust” because it is so closely linked to human passions.  The 5 of Wands is a card of energetic competition, which is being frustrated by the opposition from Saturn in Aquarius.

Chiron is often interpreted as a wound that will not heal.  Here the wound has to do with a desire to be the charismatic, sexy, dynamic King of Wands (Sun in early Leo) who wins competitions and effortlessly attracts the opposite sex.  This desire is thwarted by an opposition from a strong Saturn in his home sign Aquarius.

The union of Venus and Mars joins the libidinal and aggressive instincts.  This occurs in the 1st decan of Virgo, which is linked to the tarot’s Hermit trump, Knight of Pentacles, and 8 of Pentacles.  Mr. Rodger’s published statements have to do with his hermit-like existence in beautiful California and his inability to connect meaningfully with the opposite sex, which left him feeling quite angry and vengeful (Mars traits).  Of all the court cards, the Knight of Pentacles is best known for his difficulty with human emotions.

Venus (Empress) conjoins Mars (Tower) in 1st decan of Virgo: Hermit - Knight of Pentacles - 8 of Pentacles.

Venus (Empress) conjoins Mars (Tower) in 1st decan of Virgo: Hermit – Knight of Pentacles – 8 of Pentacles.

This was a sad and tragic event.  Unfortunately, given the gun lobby’s power over Congress, such incidents will continue to happen with regularity in the United States.  For now, perhaps the best reasonable people can do in this political climate is to try to learn something from each senseless episode of gun violence as it occurs.  The position of the all-powerful gun lobby, as articulated by “Joe the Plumber” (Samuel Wurzelbacher) is: “Your dead kids don’t trump my Constitutional rights” to have guns.

PS: A handy site for looking up tarot’s astrological associations is

Addendum: A possible birth time has surfaced. As noted on AstroDataBank, astrologer Isaac Starkman has gone through Mr. Rodger’s “manifesto” and found a part where he says he was born in the morning in London.  Mr. Starkman experimented with an 8 AM chart and rectified that time to 8:10 AM.  Here is the 8 AM chart with Placidus houses:

Rodger's natal chart according to the time of 8 AM which he cites in his "manifesto".

Elliot Rodger’s natal chart according to a morning time which he cites in his “manifesto”.

This speculative 8 AM chart is striking for the angular Pluto, which is often found in charts of individuals whose lives are touched by violence.  The Sun rules the ASC and is closely opposed by Saturn.  The Sun/Chiron conjunction at the cusp of the 12th house can be an indication of self-pity and self-injurious behavior.  The angular Pluto squares Jupiter in the 12th, and Jupiter rules the 5th house of love and romance — the area in which he felt most frustrated. Jupiter also rules his 8th house of death and occupies his 12th house of self-undoing where it is square by an angular Pluto in Scorpio on the cusp of his 4th house of endings.


About Anthony Louis

Author of books about astrology and tarot, including TAROT PLAIN AND SIMPLE, HORARY ASTROLOGY, and THE ART OF FORECASTING WITH SOLAR RETURNS.
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11 Responses to Killings in Isla Vista, California

  1. james says:


    thanks for your post and the innovative idea of tying the use of the tarot with astrology. you make a quote here that is a bit of a mystery to me : “For now, perhaps the best reasonable people can do in this political climate is to try to learn something from each senseless episode of gun violence as it occurs.”

    i think reasonable people conclude the same as you – the gun laws in the usa reflect the power of lobbying groups over the pretty concept of ‘democracy’ which is little more then voting one day every 4 years.. the folks with the deep pockets are voting with their monetary influence 365 days of the year..

    as for this persons chart, you articulate an important point in your previous thread – the importance of the ascendant and for that matter the angles in helping to see hindsight astrology more clearly. we don’t get a close look at the moon’s position with a lack of birth time specifics either. in the absence of all this, it is still informative to note one of the areas of stress as mentioned in your analysis – the jupiter square pluto – is being transited closely by saturn. saturn to pluto is said to indicate a certain toughness, or hardship – usually both, but how it gets worked out or balanced in the person is hard to know beforehand. here saturn sits on pluto in the slow grind implied by any saturn transit and emphasizing this tough couple of planets being brought together for a time.. the midpoint to this pair is 25 mutable(sag) 38 – about where mercury transit was on the day of the horrific acts of violence.. i note the slow grind of t pluto at 13 cap which aside from being conjunct the natal neptune, is in a very close 135 to his natal mercury as well.. these criminal and violent acts seem to be caught in the mercury placements both of the transit and natal chart and seem to be in keeping with the use of a ‘hand’ gun or ‘knife’ as a means of inflicting the pain, suffering and death these planets have an association with.

    of course it would be great to have the specific birth time, but a sad kettle of fish either way and a statement on the terrible concept of letting lobby groups or special interest groups having undue influence over the day to day lives of everyday people…

    • James,
      I didn’t mean to be mysterious. All I meant was that the lobbyists are so powerful that no amount of political pressure from a more reasonable perspective is likely to accomplish any changes.
      The Moon was somewhere between 0 and 12 of Capricorn, so I would regard it as conjunct the Uranus/Neptune configuration. If he were born later in the day, the conjunction would be quite close.
      I’m glad you mentioned the transits. As you point out, he has a lot going on with transits of the slower planets to his birth chart. The transiting Uranus/Pluto square is activating his natal Moon/Uranus/Neptune complex. Transiting Neptune is opposing his natal Venus/Mars conjunction. Transiting Saturn is conjoining his natal Pluto and squaring his natal Pluto quite closely. I hadn’t looked at the midpoints, so you comments about transiting Saturn and the other midpoints are well taken.
      It’s possible a birth time for this young man will surface. For now we have to make do with an untimed chart.

  2. james says:

    transiting saturn is also on the direct mars/saturn midpoint, so a lot of pent up and difficult energy is implied here..natal pluto is approx 2 degrees away from this same midpoint.

  3. james says:

    thanks for your latest link on the chiron post from someone else.. i noticed isaac starkman has a chart up on elliot rodger with an 8 or 810am time at adb..,_Elliot&redirect=no

    • Thanks. Apparently he gives 8 AM as his birth time.

      • james says:

        thanks tony. just to be clear here is what he says from the book – ” “on the morning of 24th July 1991 I was born in London”. after that he mentioned that he started with 8am and rectified it (with his polaris software program most likely) to 810am.. it could be any time in the morning of 24th of july 1991. something to keep in mind.

  4. Thanks, James. So the 8 AM is a speculative time. In reality all we know is that it was a morning birth.

  5. donna10822 says:

    sad and tragic event agreed, a difficult chart that obviously he did not try to understand himself in a deeper manner to heal his own inner wounds. I like that you use the tarot with all.

  6. Dave Roell says:

    Hello Tony, You have a nice article. I got here from a reference at Skyscript, to whom all thanks. I am writing my own article on Mr. Rodger for Monday.

    I made a critical change to the birth data: “In the morning of the 24th” I re-wrote to be the morning of the 25th, as my experience with non-US births is that they are set to a 24 hour clock that starts at noon, as noon is the legal start to the day and birth certificates are legal documents. (The civil clock is 12 hours different, astrologers have ignored this for far too long.) Which makes “the morning of the 24th” the 25th to us. Make that change with Mr. Rodger and then marvel at the Moon that results. I then made his birth 5:00 am-ish, which gave a late Cancer rising, ruling planet Moon in the 6th, with the Sun-Saturn polarity running from 1st to 7th and Pluto, the dangerous planet, smack on the 5th house cusp, with transiting Saturn bearing down on it.

    Cakes are all made from the same ingredients. It’s how you combine them that tells us what kind of cook you are. You’re a better astrologer than me.

    • Thanks Dave,
      I was not aware of this difference in civil versus legal times in the UK.

      • Dave Roell says:

        Hello Tony,

        I was forced, over several years, to this result. With the techniques I use, a lot of birth charts did not work unless I switched am for pm, etc. Finally with Pope Francis, the conclusion was unavoidable. His time was given as “21:30” in a hand-written document, but a 9:30 pm birth made him a playboy, and as he was born in a virtual slum, the question became how did the person who recorded his time know what the time was? The only solution was to posit a noon start to the day and a birth for the Pope at 9:30 the next morning. Which fit him.

        Further reflection shows that without both electricity and radio signals, midnight as the legal start to the day is at least a matter of opinion, not fact, and may well be a flat impossibility.

        On the other hand, there are many casual markers for noon as the start. Pirates of Penzance, Act 1: Frederic’s term ends at explicitly at noon. US Presidents take office, oath or not, at noon. Noon is objective. Noon is permanent. Noon can be had by the shadow of a stick. Many towns have traditionally rung bells or sounded sirens (small Kansas town where I grew up) to mark noon.

        So if births are set in a 24 hour clock and the times that result are 01:00, 05:00, 23:45, etc, and midnight is the reference, then what is the reference for midnight? Don’t think of the 20th century. Think of the 18th or 19th. You would at least need a single, official, municipal reference clock somewhere in town that sounded the midnight hour. Look as far as you like. There has never been a town with such an official clock. Indeed, the municipal clocks that existed (Rouen, for example), typically did not sound after dark. For centuries Strasbourg has had a famous clock, but that clock is physically located in the south transept of the Cathedral. While it has a face on the exterior of the building, it does not sound after dark and is only audible in the interior of the building. How would anyone know what the time was?

        You will note in Lilly, Book 2, that he puts several of his charts in a 24 hour clock that is explicitly set to noon. Which he states in Book 1, by the way. Early 20th century English astro authors muddle this point, though Sepharial, in his Manual, does imply noon. Noon is the traditional ephemeris, going back centuries. Scaliger’s Julian Day has always been at noon. Indeed, the first midnight ephemerides date only to the mid 1980’s.

        Among charts I have run both ways (“traditional” time, and 12 hours later) include:

        Herbert von Karajan. Note how his moon changes.
        Queen Elizabeth
        Her son, Prince Charles.
        His first wife, Lady Diana Spencer.
        Their two sons, William and Harry. William fails this test, as his birth time was presumably taken from news accounts and is therefore accurate. Harry’s time shows the 12 hour shift. He was born in 1984.

        Camilla Parker-Bowles, Chuck’s second wife. Note the house-based synastry that develops between Chuck and Camilla.
        Tony Blair
        All four Beatles. John Lennon was said to have been born during a German air raid, but his usual birth time is 6:30 pm. There was no German raid over Liverpool at that date and time. But there was at 6:30 the next morning. German bombers flew under cover of darkness, bombed at sunrise, and then fled home in the sunshine, much lighter and faster.

        Dane Rudhyar
        And I really, really hate to say it: Michel Gauquelin. My heart sank when I discovered how nice a statistician he became by putting his birth twelve hours later. It meant the famous Gauquelin sectors needed to be shifted by 180 degrees. Do that and the 12th house Mars sector becomes a 6th house Mars and we have a straight-up, traditional 6th house Mars interpretation for it. Same when we shift a 9th house Moon effect (for writers) to the 3rd. If we then factor for the highlighted planet as the chart ruler (ruler of the ascendant), we have brought Michel straight into the very heart of astrology. Can my madness be true? I went looking for Gauquelin’s methodology in Cosmic Influences on Human Behavior. He went straight past this point, as if he had no idea how the birth times had been recorded. As careful a man as he was, if he knew he would have mentioned it explicitly.

        But you must make your own tests. Justin Bieber, for example. A Canadian by birth. I had presumed Canada had the same birth certificate conventions as the US, but as a “heartthrob”, his birth was clearly 12 hours later than we think: Cancer rising, ruling planet Moon in the 5th in Scorpio. The stated time, with Pluto on the ascendant, ruled by Mars in the 3rd, would make him a power monster.

        About ten years ago the US officially shifted its birth records from an am – pm system, to a 24 hour clock, which is explicitly set to 0 = midnight. I can find no comparable rule for any other country, and as their birth records go back centuries and as 0 = noon was the only system that could possibly work, then if there has been a change, it would have been recent, and noted. But there is no trace. I did the Beatles as I thought the change would have come during WWII, when so many things did change (BBC World Service). Legal time and civil time are two different things.

        And no, nobody but me accepts this. I get to have my Aquarian weirdness and keep it all to myself!

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