The past couple of months have seen a virtual epidemic of shootings in schools:

  • August 24 – a 27-year old man went to an elementary school in Essex, Vermont looking for his ex-girlfriend, a teacher. Unable to find her, he killed the ex-girlfriend’s mother and fatally shot one teacher, wounding another.
  • August 30 – inspired by the Columbine massacre, a 19-year old in Hillsborough, North Carolina murdered his father and went to his former high school for a shooting spree that fortunately resulted in no deaths.
  • September 13 – a 25-year old man stormed a Montreal college, wounding 19 students and killing one and himself.
  • September 17 – three teenagers in Green Bay Wisconsin were arrested for a plan to kill students and themselves at their high school.
  • September 27 – a 53-year old man in Platte Canyon, Colorado took six girls hostage, sexually assaulting them and ultimately killing one girl and himself.
  • September 29 – a 15-year old boy in rural Wisconsin killed a school principal and himself.
  • October 2- a 32-year old man took female students hostage and ultimately killed five young girls and himself.

This cluster cannot adequately be explained by the “copycat” explanation, and there is no consistency here as to age of the shooters. As an astrologer, I look for synchronicity and planetary events, and what these events have in common is the opposition of Saturn to Neptune with the addition of Jupiter in Scorpio.

Earlier this year I wrote on Jupiter in Scorpio:

Scorpio is ruled by Pluto, the god of death, and therefore relishes the journey through the underworld of darkness and emotional baggage. Scorpio seeks power and emotional intensity and Jupiter is the planet of buoyant abundance, so this is an odd combination that expands (Jupiter) the focus on death, secrecy and sexuality, the domains of Scorpio. Scorpio is rather ruthless in its aims, and Jupiter, being the King of the Gods, can be somewhat arrogant and self-righteous and an unfortunate aspect of this combination can be the ruthless slaughter of innocents. Jupiter was last in Scorpio in 1994, witnessing the beginning of the Rwandan massacre and the murders of Nicole Simpson (wife of OJ Simpson in case anyone needs a reminder) and Ron Goldman.

The opposition of Saturn to Neptune can be very destabilizing especially if it hits a sensitive point in one’s chart. That opposition was exact on August 29, coinciding with a square of Mars (aggression) to Pluto (death and transformation), an intensely combative period. At the same time Jupiter moved towards a square of both Saturn and Neptune, creating a challenging T-square on September 24. The addition of Jupiter expands the dynamic and creates more tension between the pressure of Saturn and the dissolving quality of Neptune: a very difficult psychological situation. Psychologists agree that these school shootings are typically suicidal events, but for some reason the shooters choose a public arena for their suicides.

When events come in clusters like this and play out in the public arena, they are more than personal events – they become a signal that the collective is out of alignment and needs adjustment. The symbolism of the Jupiter/Saturn/Neptune combination is very significant and reflects the imbalance of our society and its simultaneous repression (Saturn) and desire for unlimited freedom (Jupiter) combined with a tendency to stick our head in the sand and ignore reality (Neptune). This is true not only for the apparent free western society, in which sexual repression and celebration of violence is the norm, but also for the new Islamist societies which share the same dysfunctional repression and embrace of violence. These events are wake-up calls for us to look in our own families, our own communities, our own nations, and make the necessary adjustments to bring the collective psyche back into balance.

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