An Astrological Commentary on the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting; Part I: Event

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA © 2013

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

On December 14, 2012 the escalating violence in our country came to a crescendo as a disturbed young man took destiny into his own hands. Within a few moments, 28 people lay dead, including the young shooter, his mother, twenty six-year-old children and six teachers and aides at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT.

This was yet another devastating killing spree that destroyed the lives of many families. Those personally involved needed to mourn their loss, and we as a society needed to support the families and the community, and then immediately address our mounting concerns about our physical safety. Partisan politics had no place in that moment but became paramount for the duration, and is running rampant even up until today as I write (2013) and edit (2022) this article.

In 2013, I spent several days tracking down what birth information I could find on the 28 victims, finding dates and places of most births, but could not locate birth times. Perhaps some of this information will surface and we will be able to run a more accurate assessment of what happened to the individuals so we can learn and understand astrologically. Perhaps a chart of the event itself, which is timed accurately can provide us with insight.

Normally, my preferred method for evaluating an event is to evaluate transits against an earlier chart, but such comparison is not available for this example. What to do?

This year I seem to be learning about experience not as an unrelated or unassociated stand-alone astrological event, but more as a process that can be revealed in the event chart.

What do I mean by a process as opposed to an event? Let me use an actual event as an example.

When we isolate the astrological moment of an event so we can study that moment in detail, we tend to lose sight of the fact that we are truly looking at a single moment that is part of a larger, ongoing process. In an explosion, for example, it is easy to assume that the exact moment of the explosion itself is the whole story.  But that single moment is not the whole story. Something led up to the event itself, a philosophic conclusion, one step in a series, accident, premeditation, construction, and intent – all leading (cascading) into what becomes one explosive moment. That is the description of the immediate past of that single explosive moment.

Usually the explosion alters a person, place or thing, or an experience; there are results attached to that explosion. Those results are intimately connected to the explosion moment, which for our purposes could be loosely termed the future of that momentary event. Life is not a series of unrelated moments and events. Each singular moment in life is part of an ongoing process.

How did I learn this or how did I know this process exists astrologically?

  • Several years prior, I did a research project on the nuclear explosion at Chernobyl, Ukraine, which showed the event itself to be a cascade of unfortunate errors.
  • During my astrological research, I was also able to research the ongoing process between an international corporate conglomeration and its founder throughout his life and continuing after his death.
  • Recently I had completed a study on the birth, development and death of Hurricane Sandy. Aside from the interconnectedness between the myriad of national, state, and city charts for the event, plus the birth, development and impact of the hurricane event charts, I was able to see the underlying process. The timing of such a process easily became visible as I studied and learned.

I have also done several years of research on serial and spree killers and the events they precipitated. Those studies showed the significance of triggers or activators to both the death-dealing perpetrators and to the event charts generated by their actions. I applied these pieces of my learning curve to the school shooting and easily saw the development of this tragedy.

Three distinct trigger moments provide some historical perspective. We have the event itself, and we are still living the results of those monstrous moment(s)! That moment represents the past, the present and the future of a specific event. Believe it or not, this will not take as long to illustrate as it did to explain the concept: one chart and a little planetary motion is all it takes.

The Newtown, CT shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred at 9:32 AM on December 14, 2012 according to reliable local sources. The first call to police dispatch was 9:35:53. The shooter was known to be dead, at 9:53:25. It is very simple to look at the 9:32 AM event chart. Let us start by simply noting:

  • the Capricorn stellium in the 12th house; harsh focus by an unseen enemy;
  • the four-planet Yod or Finger of God aspect: Saturn sextile Pluto/Moon all inconjunct retrograde Jupiter; fate, destiny, karma, judgment, emotion and excess or god-like action;
  • the bucket or funnel chart pattern with the outlet not perfectly centered: that same Jupiter;
  • all three patterns illustrate tremendous focus on a singular purpose.

What about the history and potential triggers – what set this off?

We were all properly horrified by the mass killing (all those children), but we tend to lose sight of an earlier event the same day. The first victim was the shooter’s mother, at home.

  • Look at the school event Ascendant 26 Capricorn 45 with Mars about 5˚40’ into the 12th house. Mars had been angular for approximately two hours prior, a volatile period.
  • The Ascendant passed over Mars about 20 to 22 minutes earlier, using the approximation of four minutes on the clock for every degree on the angle. This becomes our ballpark figure to give our beginning point.
  • If we set the chart for 22 minutes earlier, 9:10 am gives the Ascendant as 20 Capricorn 25. The chart is within 20 minutes of arc for the Ascendant, which equates to one minute on the ticking clock. Close enough to study this moment. Mars is still angular in the 1st house.
  • It is known that the mother died first, and I believe that 9:10 am was the time she was shot. The school was nearby, so a 22-minute window is viable. Since the shooter shot out the windows next to the locked door, his entry into the school was easy and quick.
  • The shooter was known to be down (immobilized or dead) at 9:53:25 as given above. The actual shooting took place between 9:32 and 9:53 am. So I re-set the chart for one minute prior to the known end, resulting in a Midheaven of 25 Scorpio 57 conjunct N Node 25 Scorpio 53R. The karmic implication of death associated with the nodes is a traditional astrological tenet. Both are opposite fixed star Caput Algol, “losing one’s head”. Multiple victims were shot in the head, the shooter shot himself, suicide, possibly in the head as well, but unknown to me at this moment. This would indicate a 12th house Mars of self-sabotage and self-undoing.

What else can we see? Look at the aspects in play to find potential triggers:

  • Mercury 4 Sagittarius 48 is past the square to Neptune 00 Pisces 40, opposed Jupiter 9 Gemini 45R, applying; a still active T-square.
  • Mercury square Neptune occurred three degrees or about three days prior, December 11,  a very Neptunian mentalchallenge in the immediate past.
  • Moon 10 Capricorn 36 is past, separating both square Uranus 4 Aries 37 and conjunct Pluto 8 Capricorn 43; emotional volatility and deep psychological factors.
  • Moon square Uranus approximately 9:30 PM December 13th, the night before the shooting; escalating problems between mother / son, extreme and volatile.
  • Moon conjunct Pluto approximately 5:30 AM, the day of the shooting; the deep psychological problems coming to a head (exact).

How do I get that timing? Mercury is four degrees past Neptune, about three days Moon conjunct Pluto, separating, two degrees x two hours on the clock equals about four hours earlier than the shooting.

The pre-event triggers for the history of this event are December 11th,9:30 PM on December 13th, and 5:30 AM on December 14th.  After determining dates and times for potential triggers, I discovered the events associated with two of them, and the third trigger remains pure speculation.

Mercury square Neptune trigger: This young man had a history of being disturbed for some time. Family and friends indicated the mother was contemplating two choices – putting him in a mental facility or enrolling him in a different college just to produce a change of environment and the possibility of better experiences for him. The mother went away for three days. She left her mentally disturbed twenty-year-old son alone in the house for three days with an arsenal of guns, lots of ammunition, access to a vehicle, and no supervision. Speculation: It is an educated guess that Adam Peter Lanza was aware of his mother Nancy’s potential decisions. They may have argued which was apparently a common occurrence. Mom may have left on December 11th to get some distance to be able to think clearly, or just to rest.

Moon square Uranus trigger: Mom returned December 13th. The 9:30 PM second trigger may be the time she returned, it may have been hostility (arguing) or blunt decision talk triggered. With Uranus, the status quo would be disturbed and things would change abruptly.

Mercury conjunct Pluto trigger: 5:30 AM, December 14th, for the third trigger – an emotionally manipulative moment, intense, all or nothing, perhaps decision-making or setting in motion the obsessive / compulsive moment. He used several weapons; it would take time to get them ready.

All that is left is Mercury opposed retrograde Jupiter, both applying; this represents the immediate future.

These are communication planets, fact-finding, digging for detail, philosophical, decision-making, taking sides, the political divide mentioned earlier. Both benefic planets were at odds with one another and apparently unable to communicate effectively. Note the polarization energy for this aspect and think about the polarization of gun rights versus personal safety dominating our ongoing experience long after the event.

The process of past, present and future and the activating triggers are readily visible. These are the conclusions I reached based on my (at that time) forty years of astrological experience. You may reach different conclusions based on your experience – just keep tight orbs and solid, provable reasoning.

Thank you to Michael Munkasey for supplying me with the original chart date information and Nona Press, NCGR, for her insights and critical eye as I studied Hurricane Sandy.

Resource 9:32 AM event chart and the 2012 timeline:

  • Dec 11, Mom leaves for 3-days, argument?
  • Dec 13, 9:30 PM, Mom returns, argument? abrupt change, decision?
  • Dec 14, 5:30 AM, up early, getting arsenal ready, locked and loaded?
  • Dec 14, 9:10 AM, shot mother, drove to school?
  • Dec 14, 9:32 AM, school shooting begins by shooting out window next to front door.
  • Dec 14, 9:35:53 AM, first police dispatch call.
  • Dec 14, 9:52 AM, shooter suicide.
  • Dec 14, 9:53:25 AM, shooter down reported to police dispatch
  • Ongoing response by public, galvanization of public on gun control issues …

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.