The War Comes Home

Chart for the Fort Hood shooting
Chart for the Fort Hood shooting.

Dear Friend and Reader:

In the Sixties there was a phrase, the war comes home. It referred to the battles in the streets and between the generations about the Vietnam War, which was coming home to roost. Now the United States is involved in another war 6,000 miles away, and people are wondering how it’s possible that an officer in the United States Army could murder 11 of his colleagues and a civilian and injure 30 others.

The answer is so obvious that many will miss it: this is a direct consequence of militarism. Even if the shooter in this incident acted alone, with his own internal motives, he was part of something larger than himself; and he chose as his targets members of the United States military of which he was part.

Probably the most disturbing, if not surprising, thing in this chart is that the planet representing the nature and cause of the killings is Mercury, and we find it conjunct the Sun in the 9th house of religion. That would appear to be the primary motivation. Then in our era, we have once again conflated religion with militarism.

Our society is organized around war, and we attempt to train men to be killing machines. The excuse changes from generation to generation. Yet whatever the rationale, It follows logically that they would, indeed, kill. We don’t question the impact of their training, or the psychological stress of taking the lives of others or of seeing so much loss, pain and death. Then we usually look away from the results. That is no longer possible; this cannot be kept out of the news, and thankfully so.

The chart for this event has the four-part conjunction in the ascendant — Nessus, Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune. When a major outer planet event turns up in one of the immediately personal angles of the chart, in this case the eastern horizon or ascendant (on the left side of the figure), we know that what happened is representative of the times in which we’re living. [Chiron and Neptune recently returned to direct motion in the past few days.]

We have Aries Point involvement on several levels. First, Saturn is applying to an exact square with Pluto in the first degrees of the cardinal signs. Second, the midpoints of the fixed signs — such as Scorpio and Aquarius — vibrate with the Aries Point because they are on a 90-degree harmonic to the point. The aspect is called a sesquiquadrate or sesquisquare, or 135 degrees; it’s comprised of a square and a semi-square. When we have activity on near the midpoints of the fixed cross, we can have a direct Aries Point effect.

Mercury and the Sun are in an exact conjunction less than two degrees from the Scorpio midpoint, and they are about to square Nessus, which is a degree from the Aquarius midpoint. Nessus in Aquarius gives us all kinds of imagery related to psychological abuse, and collective psychological abuse inflicted by groups and organizations. When we think of the Army we usually feel patriotic about the guys defending our nation, or who were told that’s what they were going to be doing. We don’t usually think about the organizational psychology that compels people to give up their individual ethics, feelings and intentions and kill others on behalf of a group entity.

The conjunction of Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius is about clearing the fog of mass delusion that we have lived with for a decade, most of which the United States has been in a constant state of war, digging itself deeper into a quagmire that it cannot afford on any level, be it spiritual, human or economic.

I would propose from this chart that today’s incident will be seen as a turning point in the history of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. This, as President Obama considers the advice of his joint chiefs to send 40,000 more soldiers and Marines into Afghanistan. The effects of yesterday’s events will be profound; I think that the minds of many will be opened by what has happened, and that is a good time for a conversation about our national priorities, which we can now see are indeed killing us.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

36 thoughts on “The War Comes Home”

  1. I check back periodically to feel aligned with those who insist there is a rational explanation for such pure insanity. A very unhinged brother had the wherewithall to get a degree in psychiatry, evidently paid for by those of us who were cornering him into paying it back.

    He was a mentally ill man, who exhibited any number of warning signs that everyone ignored or refused to acknowledge. Would his astrologer have known by reading his chart?

  2. Your right jlo, no killing. . you get an amen from me. Thanks for making me smile.

    Anyway, what’s so hard about what I said? Interception, a sign intercepted, just doesn’t have a “door” to walk through. Like in this chart, Saturn and Venus don’t have a “Libra door” or no house cusp, so it’s like they have to look for another way to “get out”. So, for Venus, she could “express” through the 3rd house that has a Taurus “door”, and Saturn could express himself through the 12th house, which I think he did, because it is the “Capricorn door”.

    You are a treasure; come back when you feel more like talking!

  3. B, that’s entirely too technical for me. Although, I could run the calculations.. Fuck that shit. (Don’t get me wrong, your astro visions kick ass! Please continue to throw out your astro-perceptions, Your insight is staggering. I catch what you say regarding the alignments. It’s all groovy shit.)

    This cat Fucked up. You don’t kill. Straight up. Don’t hit, Don’t kill! Don’t abuse in any capacity, and for sure don’t deal pain onto anyone who isn’t aware that they can take it.

    I shouldn’t be here right now but, Hi! ..and Fuck it! Something to say while I shut my mouth!

    Peace, Beautifuls’


  4. oracleseye,

    So glad you caught the intercepted signs; I think you are on to something regarding Saturn/8th house/Pluto square transformation for the military and it’s systems. Would like to hear more on your theory about the way healers (Virgo cusp of 8th) serve too.

    I am recalling that when signs are intercepted the planets in those signs have difficulty expressing their energy. This would apply to Saturn, ruler of the 12th house, Venus in her own sign of Libra but also ruler of the 3rd house, Taurus. Also, the Aries sign intercepted in the 2nd house has ruler Mars in the 6th house in Leo. Perhaps pent-up anger (Aries intercept) over his thwarted values (2nd) was a motive for the shooter. The stymied planets seek alternate ways to express and Mars (anger, fire arms) in the 6th house (military service) in Leo (creativity, exhibition) might have seemed his only recourse. Thanks for your comments!

  5. Tracy is brilliant, as usual. Thanks for pointing out the Hylonome connection. I think this event will definitely bring out our Pluto/Leo anti-war folk. And here’s what Tracy said that really got me thinking about that self-expressive lot:

    “This is an aspect that can be consciously used to write, paint, sculpt or otherwise creatively express yourself on the matter; to get it outside where you can see it rather than turning irrational guilt inwards. The idea is not to create perfection but rather to play and discover.”

    As we are re-experiencing the energies of the mid-sixties, and as Mars engages this generation’s Pluto signature, I’m convinced we’ll see the resurrection of the anti-war movement of that age, hopefully with the benefit of experience and wisdom –smarter about the fight than the last time around. Not demanding a perfect world, but creatively engaging their aspirations and casting a new model of revolution. God knows they’ve got the material resources for supporting a revolution; this is the most affluent generation America has ever seen. The question has always been –will you keep your toys for yourself, or will you share them with the rest of the world? To what end will they use their affluence?

  6. Uh sorry ’bout that folks. I posted the wrong link to the first song down below where I said it started @ 3:00 minutes in.

    Hopefully I get it right this time around! Not that the other link wasn’t the right song but the delivery is better in this one and the interview at the beginning is neat.

  7. Some random thoughts.

    The bullied becomes the perpetrator. The mind healer becomes the evil doer. The prisoner takes no prisoners.

    We are Nidal Malik Hasan and he is us.

    What will our domineering culture do now — now that we know he is still alive? Will the truth of his story get to be told? Will he be shown any compassion or face annihilation? Will the opportunity for us all to learn be appreciated, understood, acted upon?

    He choose the first anniversary of Obama’s election to act. Was it to get the President’s attention. What will Obama do here? Will he speak out on the persecution of Muslims like the speech he made on race during his campaign?

    So many questions amid so much heartache. I am struggling this morning with a torrent of thoughts and feelings on yesterday’s horrendous and tragic events. In my grieving I have been taking comfort in the music and lyrics of an extraordinary group from Ontario called The Great Lake Singers. Here are a few of their offerings. I hope you like them.
    (the song begins @ 3:00)

  8. This helps enormously, reading your insights. I am feeling so entirely trapped in such hopelessness … insane, all of it! and the military machine will focus all the attention on this troubled man’s culture/religion. Horrible, what we do to our own in the name of freedom.

  9. Hey Eric,

    Cool shift on the header photo. Was this filtered in any way, or just the light caught on the red spectrum?

    Seems apropos to this difficult day here in Central Texas. Killeen (‘Killing’) is known for its gnarly, shoot-em-up vibe, as it sets itself out as even more bad-ass than the Army base from which it derives its income. The whole area (80 miles north of Austin) is a psychological hot zone.


  10. Bacyn, those WWII vets had a lot of pain. One thing was different though – they came home on ships and had time to talk about it together. Maybe it helped some of them process the pain. My brother came home from Viet Nam one day when he was working and his sergeant said ‘if you want to go home today the plane leaves in 15 minutes.’ so he was home that day and still had the mud on his boots and left most of his personal stuff behind. That didn’t allow for any processing at all and there certainly wasn’t any kind of counseling back home! I think the military is doing a much better job of working with the vets today – at least from what we’ve seen reported and from some of the local incidents in my state.

  11. I was looking closely at the chart for the shooting when I noticed that Aries/Libra are intercepted with Virgo on the 8th house cusp. So, if we’re trying to understand the shooting itself-I wonder what the significance of these elements might be?

    I also notice Saturn is there-
    forgive me, I am fumbling through astrology for the moment and understanding these ideas has been the most difficult part for me over the years…

    If Saturn is there in the 8th house of the chart and Saturn can represent authority, the stern, perhaps critical father-is it perhaps possible that we may see an opportunity for transformation here in our military systems and processes by perhaps reframing and redefining the roles of ‘defender’ in our American collective consciousness? Like any bad habit (yes, I realize grossly understating here), or out-moded way of thinking that perhaps once served us and just isn’t anymore we can change it. With Virgo there on the 8th house cusp I am inclined to imagine healers being transformed too. So, now we have Saturn doing the daddy defender thing in the 8th house and perhaps Dr. daddy vis a vis Virgo doing his own transformation dance…just saying ’cause I wanna see if that seems logical to anyone else besides me?

    I have a couple of mixed responses to this news du jour. Firstly, a man has survived!
    This man has some painful and significant stories to share as he unravels the story that belongs to him. My heart breaks for him. I hope when we’re all done crying with him that we help him. My heart breaks for those he has slain, and for their families and friends. I hope we raise an army to respond with love and kindness,
    I imagine all the people-John Lennon I hope we learn something important from all of them.

    Why not an army of Leo Buscaglia types? I never met him-but read lots of his books, and loved him on paper from afar. Imagine if I had met him. Holy.
    Our nation, and now-we-whether you personally voted this way or not have Mr. B. Obama as our President. We asked for change and we celebrated when we got it. Whether Obama is the right man for the job or not…he is the man we chose and by gum, I think the best way to help him attend to the ‘business of the people of the United States of America’ is to communicate what we want from him.

    But, how can we do that-if we don’t answer the ? for ourselves first?
    Maybe the chart for the shooting is showing us that with Virgo on the 8th…we really can transform…change…how we serve one another?

  12. Well as further news emerges and reveals that Nidal Malik Hasan was an American born devout Muslim, as well as a military psychiatrist helping soldiers both on their way out to and on return from the wars in Iraq and Alfghanistan.

    It shall be very interesting to see how this is received by both media and public.

  13. Yes, feeling the darkness last 48 hours… uneasy, frustrated, impending grim. We are getting hit by a storm, so just had a big pressure change. But still
    ‘something wicked this way comes…’ – Bradbury

  14. Amazing that he’s still alive!

    Len – great way to describe the energy “ill-advised emotions for about 48 hours now. Thank goodness i have not acted on the resulting anger, but i do know that my thoughts have been toxic and that has been a challenge.” And feels there’s a bit of unresolvable wounding in the mix, even if that wounding isn’t real or is resolvable by letting go of and healing from the pass and not projecting fears into the future.

    baycyn – Congrat’s on the awareness and growth and seeing them as changeable! Seeing and being aware of patterns that we want to change and where they come from is half the battle of working through them. 🙂 As another daughter of a draftee I know the negative impact it can have growing up. My father was drafted to Vietnam before my parents met and long before I was born. But, there always has been a negative energy in my family toward the army. Nothing outwardly said, but definitely alot of unspoken dislike of anything military. And maybe a little of “stolen time” thrown into the mix. My dad too has never talked about his experiences, even as children when we pressed him for stories. He won numerous medals of valor, but never wanted to display them at home. I think part of that comes from how poorly the troops, so many of who we drafted, were treated when they came back from Vietnam.

  15. My first love spent about 5 years in the Army back in the late 70’s. He (a dear, fucked-up soul mate whom I will treasure forever) told me one day that the Army had done psy-ops experiments on him. Which explained a lot.

  16. Rage, yes. For me over the past several days it’s been connected to feelings of injustice and has an “archive” sort of feeling to it. Like group pain going back a long way…especially through the filter of being a woman.

    The suicides I’ve known (peripherally) are popping up in my consciousness. Two by gun (one who did it in his family’s den; the other shot her beloved dogs first then herself), one by hanging (a psychiatrist who chose a tree in his family home’s back yard), one by alcohol & pills. The first 3 were in some way connected to militarism/military-style organizations.

    I’m wondering about WWII vets… There doesn’t seem to be a cultural memory of how they suffered. Even if it was seen as a “good” war, where are the wounds? Why does it seem that there’s a great big blank? (or is it just me seeing it this way?)

    My father was drafted out of high school in 1944 and ended up in an Army company that liberated one of the last concentration camps. I’ve seen the pictures he took, with his writing on the back. He was shocked, seeing all the dead and near-dead (and 2 German officers who were still there). He’s never talked about it much, and I wonder what it did to him. I know there’s an undercurrent of anger in my family — anger/disdain is my family’s “go-to” way of expressing emotion. I’ve been unraveling this for a while now…I’m aware of my own patterns here, and it’s only recently that I’ve seen them as changeable.

    All of this feels like the pain and rage of generations is bubbling up more than ever. Will we let it serve us in bringing love and light to the darkness?

  17. Thank you Eric for pointing out my lack of depth of my statement. And everything you wrote is so true and are some really great points! Maybe I should clarify the irony I see, it’s more superficial irony (and very sad irony). It’s more on the surface level of what society expects – the pyschiatrist/psychologists/healers to always be the strong, stable, detached ones and yet here it’s the one society perceives as the rock who has the break down. It’s the discrepancy between what is often expected by society and what actually occurs (or what is the reality of the situation). Atleast from what I’ve seen of the way therapists, healers, etc are treated by society, there seems to be this superficial idea that because they do the helping they’re the ones who are always ok. Who turns to their therapist and says “honestly, how are you doing?” I’m sure the family and close friends of the therapist notice the toil it takes on them, but the detached reaction from society, at least from what I’ve seen, doesn’t seem to really support therapists having their own struggles.

    But as you pointed out Eric, on the deeper level this is definitely NOT the case, as this example and your comments about your work, show. I definitely think you are right that this guy absorbed this toxicity, the toxic energy from working with the kind of patients he did all the time. How can he not? Even with the best support system in the world, how can not absorb some of that toxic energy that he was around with all the soldiers he tried to help. (Sadly he probably didn’t have the best support network, and I’m sure the military wasn’t very supportive of what he was dealing with. They just want him to “fix” the troops as quickly as possible. Atleast this is the mentality that my friends who are in the Army and Navy, say the armed forces has.) To know the horrors of the war and what the troops suffered and to see them get sent right back out there as fast as possible. As you said, no one really talks about the walking wounded – the psychological damage the war does to the soldiers, their friends, their family, their psychiatrists.

    Hopefully this event is a wakeup call that we need to bring more of the human element into the military and see each soldier (and those who support the soldiers) as human beings and not just a cog in the big wheel that is the army.

  18. Mars trine Pholus…and Mars trine Hylonome. Pholus and Hylonome ARE CONJUNCT and Mars, slow and powerful, is trining these two points. Here is what Tracy at said in an email to me about this earlier in the week:

    “The Yang creative impulse is strong right now, and can easily tune in to the primal scream (Hylonome). Does some form of religious / philosophical / conceptual thought unconsciously cause you to hurt yourself? Perhaps consider that all ideas are conceptual and none of them, however sacred, are ultimately the objective “Truth.” There are no sacred cows today. Hylonome can pick up everyone else’s pain from the ether and find herself unconsciously expressing it. While that process remains unconscious she will likely do this in ways that are detrimental to herself. This is an aspect that can be consciously used to write, paint, sculpt or otherwise creatively express yourself on the matter; to get it outside where you can see it rather than turning irrational guilt inwards. The idea is not to create perfection but rather to play and discover.”

  19. Shanna, thank you, yes i’m 56 with Mars at 22+ Leo. Yes, i was a draft resister. Also, with Nessus and Chiron bracketing my natal Sun right now. Given the upcoming Mars retrograde, i should probably take up yoga, eh? Looking to be a long 8 months Thank goodness for the PW community. Willing to bet the perp was not so lucky.

  20. Thank you, Eric. Entirely missed the Ixion conjunction with the Great Attractor. Nessus, of course. The Square, of course. Always figured that Mars was most strongly expressed when applying, will have to re-think that theory. Amazing how your perspective palpably shifted something inside of me. Makes me think the shooter must have been very isolated over the last few days.

  21. Pholus at the top of the chart caught my eye, in Saggitarius, the sign of international affairs. So this is a public event –small effect, big consequences? (As if the AP event wasn’t enough.)

    And note that it trines Mars in Pluto. Len, I don’t know your exact age, but if you’re a boomer with Pluto in Leo, I would imagine this aggression is shaking your tree. Particularly if you once opposed American involvement overseas, a few war generations back. Pholus, as Eric has often noted, sometimes returns us to choices a previous generation made –small choices that eventually had big effects on us.

    So perhaps we’re looking at third generation Cold War/Vietnam War choices. For our Leo president, another terrible problem has landed square in his lap.

  22. Len, hello. The Sun is still square Mars (though separating) and conjunct Ceres in Scorpio. We are also in the very, very big background of Saturn-Pluto-Aries Point; it could be collective rage. And I would not underestimate Nessus as a major player — the major player — in this event. The Sun and Mercury have been applying to Nessus in that time frame, and they still are.

    This is also going to be an event where Ixion shows up. Checking that, Ixion (anyone is capable of anything; by any means necessary) is on the Great Attractor (forces too big to comprehend) right now; that is, at the midpoint of Sagittarius. Chaos is at 12+ Gemini, so the Moon was right there; and Chaos is trine the Nessus/ascendant configuration of the current chart. Chaos can be fertile or toxic, as we approach it inwardly.

  23. My delineation for Psyche is: the sense of the wound that cannot be healed. It’s not that the injury cannot be healed; it’s the feeling that it cannot; the loss of faith in healing. It’s more complex than that, but this is a useful, easy to apply delineation worth checking in any chart where Psyche shows up.

    The word literally means soul. The soul is often brought to awareness by means of pain and loss of faith; faith that must be regained through a struggle of some kind.

    One of the CNN reporters gave a chronology of events similar to this one in recent years. I would also add a reference to this article. It’s a long, challenging read on Cho Seung-Hui, the Virginia Tech shooter — an event I also believe is a direct consequence of militarism.

  24. Mystes – Your selection from Walllace Stevens struck me squarely in the heart. Once again in awe – never connected with a human being quite like you.

    Genevieve and Eric – Second your notion on your “feeling this” (Moon square Uranus), but there has got to be something else of greater duration going on because i have had intense, ill-advised emotions for about 48 hours now. Thank goodness i have not acted on the resulting anger, but i do know that my thoughts have been toxic and that has been a challenge. Does anybody out there see something else in the chart that could fuel rage in somebody who should clearly know better?

  25. Genevieve,

    It is sad that too few people are in touch with the world outside of their own, but sometimes it is because they can’t take any more horror. The retreat to their own immediate reality is a way to maintain a level of Saturn or control of the chaos.

    Thanks Eric for explaining Psyche’s relevance in this tragedy. I would also like to hone in on Apophis, the Greek name for the Egyptian demon Apep. The myth’s emphasis on his stealing the light (consciousness), leaving people in the dark (unconsciousness), and now the black hole ARP 220 in the same location doing pretty much the same thing has to be a clue as to why this happened.

    When I first discovered the meaning of the asteroid Apophis it was because he was one of Saturn’s companions in the Autumnal Equinox as well as in the New Moon on 9/18. These were Saturn, Sun, Moon, Mercury, Makemake, Typhon (we all remember what he has represented this fall!), Logos, Sappho, Lachesis (she who decides how long one lives and cuts the thread of life), and Apophis.

    Here is one of the sites that explain who he was in mythology:

  26. Yes, it is militarism…yes, we do train warmachine killers…and yes, we don’t question it, we glorify it.

  27. The Sabian symbol for 18 Aqua (the AC of this chart):
    “A man being unmasked at a masquerade”
    Very poignant.

  28. Gen, I don’t think it’s ironic – I view it as a cost of dealing with this kind of toxicity constantly, over long years. This is someone who would have been working as a psychiatrist to maimed, injured men who were betrayed by their country. This takes a toll on someone. I can tell you that as an astrologer working predominantly with middle-class women, I must constantly be aware of avoiding burnout; of taking care of myself; of being supported properly; and most of all, of not taking on their pain. Now imagine someone confronted literally by thousands of men, an endless stream of them, who have lost friends and comrades and families; who are maimed for life, suffering from brain trauma, loss of faith in themselves and in society, severe betrayal, and constant pain. This doctor was on the front lines of the human cost of the wars. He knew the truth better than any of us do.

  29. “Of note, the shooter was an officer and a psychiatrist who had heard many stories from his patients about the horrors of war.”

    That’s rather ironic. Even the supposed professional whose job it was to help the soldiers was not immune to the insanity and sickness of war.

    So many people seem so detached from all the wars we’re in. I hear them say we need to stay, otherwise Iraq and Afghanistan will fall apart and that we have a duty to see it through to the end. But, what about the human aspect, of the toll it places on those over there fighting an unwinable war. Seems to definitely echo Vietnam.

    The sad thing is if you stop 10 people on the street I bet 9 of them wouldn’t even had known this occurred. I’ll go home tonight, mention it to my roommate and she’ll have no clue that a military shooting had happened. When I mention events in the outside world, she acts surprised that I would even imply she would have the time to follow major events in the world. I get this reaction a lot from people. People love to stick their head in the sand, focus 100% of their attention on their own lives and forget the fact that an outside world and outside events exist (unless we’re talking swine flu, then everyone wants to throw figures around about how it’s going to kill us all). It’s easier this way because what goes on “out there” at times seems so scary, huge and larger than we are. It’s part of a way to avoid being aware and let’s people live in a vacuum.

    “Moon’s extremely exact square to Uranus — mental instability.” And with my Sun in a conjunction with Uranus, I have really been feeling this. I’ve definitely been feeling the stress – particularly in my relationship to people and how impossible it is to pick up the phone and give someone a call and have a real conversation. You can’t even get them on the phone – you have to send an e-mail or text message to get a response back. E-mail and texting are great, but they let us live so many of our relationships with a certain level of detachment and gives people so many outs to actually authentically relating with one another.

  30. Crucial that Psyche is in the mix. The essence of this situation is that the shooter was a psychiatrist who had worked at Walter Reed, where the most seriously injured soldiers are taken and where some of the worst neglect has occurred.

  31. In addition to the Sun, Mercury, and Apophis the light eating snake at 13 + Scorpio, squaring Nessus (14+) and Psyche (13+) in Aquarius, Phil Sedgwick says that ARP 220 is at 13 Scorpio 47. “This galactic thing is a black hole resulting from the collision of two galaxies, and while a black hole, presumably devouring light, it’s one of the, if not the, most luminous objects in the local group.

    Like we needed more than Apophis devouring the light.

  32. yes – and don’t miss the Moon’s extremely exact square to Uranus — mental instability. Of note, the shooter was an officer and a psychiatrist who had heard many stories from his patients about the horrors of war.

    The Moon, exactly square Uranus, rules the 6th house of both the military and of medicine/healing. In Gemini it has mental and psychological overtones.

  33. 13. For all the new dead:

    Icicles filled the long window
    With barbaric glass.
    The shadow of the blackbird
    Crossed it, to and fro.
    The mood
    Traced in the shadow
    An indecipherable cause.

    O thin men of Haddam,
    Why do you imagine golden birds?
    Do you not see how the blackbird
    Walks around the feet
    Of the women about you?

    I know noble accents
    And lucid, inescapable rhythms;
    But I know, too,
    That the blackbird is involved
    In what I know.

    Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird (Wallace Stevens)

  34. What jumps out at me initially looking at this chart is the Sun conj Mercury in Scorpio and that it is almost exactly square Nessus in Aquarius.

Leave a Comment