After the worst mass shooting in modern US history (we can save the massacre of the native Americans for another discussion but let’s not forget it entirely), and that is really saying something since we have had more than 1,500 shootings since the Sandy Hook shooting in December 2012, there appears to be nearly no information about the shooter, now deceased, who masterminded the plot to kill as many people as possible from the 32nd floor of a Las Vegas hotel. With the recent news that Stephen Paddock was prescribed Valium, some are speculating that it was the Valium that motivated this quiet man to this horrific act. But one look at his astrological birthchart and you can see that this was a very complicated man.
Paddock’s astrological Sun was in the sign of Aries, the sign of the Warrior, but it was part of a very challenging Grand Cross. There was a part of him that craved connection with others and wanted to get along (Sun conjunct Venus) but he had trouble establishing those connections (Venus retrograde) and was shy and insecure, especially where women were concerned (Venus opposed by Saturn). He was very hard on himself and felt he had a great deal to prove (Saturn retrograde and opposite Sun) and he often felt misunderstood by others (Neptune opposite Sun).
A challenging relationship with his father is evident by the stressful aspects from three intense planets to his Sun – the father often appears in the chart as the Sun. He was likely criticized and failed to meet his father’s approval (Saturn retrograde opposite his Sun) and there is evidence of the chart of a separation from the father (Uranus square Sun). The challenging aspect between Chiron to the Sun and Venus shows an individual who incarnated with a deep soul wound, a sense of abandonment, and a likely resulting distrust of others (Chiron square Venus).
As if that weren’t enough, he has an intense need for control and a fear of loss, as well as a high level of emotional intensity combined with a dislike of emotion. His Mars (aggressive force) is powerful but thwarted, leading to a buildup of rage yet the need for this tight control prevents a release of this emotion (Aquarius Moon opposed by Pluto and Taurus Mars squaring both (T-square)).
It’s interesting that Paddock’s brothers Eric and Patrick, who apparently don’t speak to each other, both mentioned that Stephen was the least violent brother in the family when they were growing up and that each of the brothers had had to do a lot of work to deal with the anger resulting from their childhood. The Paddock brothers (there were anywhere from 4 to 7 depending on the news source) were the son of a con man and bank robber who was jailed when Stephen was 7 – just as transiting Saturn set off the complex Grand Cross in the chart. As the eldest he likely felt the need to take care of the family and hold everything together.
Many of you already know that since 2010 Uranus and Pluto have been in a stressful dance in the sky (Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn). This has led to a great deal of global change and unrest, and for those of us whose personal charts have been affected by this planetary combination, the change has been extremely personal indeed. The Uranus/Pluto square set off the Grand Cross in Paddock’s chart beginning in 2014 – the intense effect of Uranus to create a restless need for change and a new paradigm combined with Pluto’s hydrogen emotional bomb which can have the effect of forcing us to confront our darkest and most secret emotions.
Apparently Paddock first sought a benzodiazepam (Valium) prescription last year, presumably to deal with the anxiety produced when Uranus and Pluto rattled his cages and prompted the eruption of the rage that had long simmered in his subconscious.
Jupiter, the planet of abundance and confidence, is beloved as the “Greater Benefic” – a planet that bestows many blessings and gifts. But we also often find it as the active principle in the chart of people who commit acts such as this – the influence of Jupiter provides the confidence that might otherwise be missing. That is exactly what we see here with Jupiter in Libra triggering the challenging Grand Cross.
It would be a mistake to excuse Paddock’s actions on his chart. Lots of people were born the same day (I was only able to find one famous person: country music artist Hal Ketchum) and plenty of people (myself included) have charts that are this fraught with emotional difficulties. Humans are amazingly resilient and generally able to work through all kinds of horrific childhoods and situations. But the astrological chart does help us to understand the dynamics of these criminals and perhaps educate us to better anticipate these kinds of actions.
Note: I am sure this post will generate posts about gun control. Please be kind to your fellow readers in the discussion.