©6-15-2014 by Donna Cunningham, MSW
There have been an alarming number of tragic mass murder events over the past few years. On several of those occasions, when the age and birth date of the killer were revealed by the press, it was clear that they fell into the range of 1988-90, the period when Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune were closely conjunct in Capricorn. The younger ones tended to have concentrations of planets in Aquarius, including Uranus and Neptune.
A guest blogger created a post, published on Skywriter a week ago, in which the birth charts (mostly without birth times) of shooters in several of these events were presented—in particular, several who were behind school shootings. Readers were invited to look for astrological patterns in the charts and report their observations in the comment section.
The intention behind the discussion was a positive one. She asked readers, “What be learned from the astrological makeup of the few who did kill? Can we use astrology to identify those of this generation who might be at high risk for a tragic meltdown if they don’t get help?”
I would add a caution for readers to keep in mind when doing an analysis of a chart in that age range: Of course, very few of the people born in that period with that conjunction have resorted to violent behavior—after all, there were 138 million of them born worldwide in 1989 alone, and nearly as many as that divided between 1988 and 1990. Thus, on any of the 365 days of 1989, about 378,000 people were born around the globe and thus had most of the same planetary aspects.
Given that each rising sign is on the Ascendant for two hours a day, that makes approximately 31,000 kids born with the same house placements. And getting the same transits to their natal placements. How many of those 31,000 kids wound up doing a massacre?
Rather than making dire conclusions about an individual’s astrology chart, we need to view the chart through that perspective of a long-term, world wide generation of people.
The discussion in the comment section was lively, but I grew uncomfortable with the tone of the comments, as did the guest blogger. We weren’t just uncomfortable, frankly, we squirmed at things like speculating that one shooter’s mother might have been raped or violently assaulted.
Furthermore, the point is, in looking at the shooters’ charts, with birth data gathered after the shooting, we are predicting by hindsight, which is always 100%. Gratifying to the ego, no doubt, but my concern here is for those young people–or most likely their worried loved ones–who would be shattered by judgments and predictions like these from an astrologer or an amateur student of astrology. Many of them take every word that comes out of our mouths as coming directly from God.
This morning, the guest blogger and I decided to remove the post and all the comments. What prompted this action was a much-needed comment from a reader:
“Hi Donna, first, I think it was nice of you to acknowledge that millions of people were born with those aspects and yet a few became dangerous to society. But, still, I think astrologers should raise awareness on ethics, and on stereotyping. Astrology can be a very powerful benefic tool for self-discovery and improvement.
“I frown over any astrologer who delves into criminology, because for crime to happen there must be much more than planetary aspects. There should be history, economic background, culture, parenting style, traumatic event in the past, and someone with the same planetary aspects can have completely different factors in his/her life history that makes all the difference. Sorry to confront what everyone was saying in this discussion, but I had to.”
My immediate reply was, “Glad you spoke up. My background is in social work (MSW) so, yes, it is very important to note that the chart does not cause you to be a criminal, that there are social, emotional, family, and even cultural influences that can contribute to a history of violence. Again, there are thousands of people born around the world on any given day, and they are not ‘doomed’ to become a criminal.”
In addition to removing the post, I began thinking about a related type of tragic violence that is coming up with young people in the age group we’re talking about—namely suicide.
(And, in a very real sense, these mass shootings are also suicides, as most of them take their own lives along with the lives of their victims.)
The Capricorn Stellium generation, born in 1988-89 with a trio of Uranus, Saturn, and Neptune closely conjunct in the middle degrees of that sign, has been particularly stressed by transits over the past few months. There has been relentless pressure as the ongoing Pluto-Uranus square has been amped up currently by the slow square from a stationary Mars in Libra.
There is also huge stress from the climate of our time, with huge social, economic, and environmental issues reaching a point of near combustion. Confronted with these huge forces that will surely impact their future and their prospects of living happily and well, there can be a sense of hopelessness and being trapped in a scary world they have no control over. To me, this reality is one of the major reasons so many of them are addicted to anything from substances to gaming to sex.
We would have to wonder how many of these young people have reached a breaking point or are near it lately. One mother who attended my seminar on the Capricorn Stellium Generation revealed that there had been 25 suicides in her daughter’s college class.
Okay, but can we and should we be predicting suicide when we see alarming charts patterns looming? We would want to do whatever we could to prevent it, yet it would be totally unethical to make a prediction like that–not to mention terrifying to the client. Could a prediction like that become a self-fulfilling prophecy?
The codes of ethics of four major astrology organizations in the United States specifically prohibit predicting death (which would include suicide). See them here:
- Ethics Code – National Council for Geocosmic Research
- Code of Ethics – The Organization for Professional Astrology
- Code of Ethics – American Federation of Astrologers
- Ethics in PDF – ISAR
So that addresses the question of why we shouldn’t predict suicide. But what about my other assertion–that we CANNOT reliably predict suicide? The next post will discuss a rigorous research study by a group of research-oriented astrologers that says even the best-trained astrologer cannot predict it reliably. Stay tuned.
I believe we can help clients by being much more educated about suicide and suicide prevention. I am working on an article that I will publish here in the next few days on how astrologers might handle this dilemma.
Coming Next: Suicide Prevention vs. Suicide Prediction: A Guide for Astrologers
For more information about the Capricorn stellium generation, visit http://CapricornStellium.com. There is also a special FaceBook Group for this generation, which you can find out about here: Great News!! A Capricorn Stellium Group Forms on FaceBook!!