T.J. Lane Astropsychology of a serial shooter
Once again we have heard of a school shooting this time in my home state of Ohio. There are always many theories that surround why these happen and what makes the people that commit these acts tick. I will try to use Astrology here to see what causes the mental cracks in someone and what they may be thinking or feeling as the news reports often just focus on the sensational aspects of these events.
I will at some point do a bigger blog on serial shooters but today we’re going to take a look at T.J. Lane’s chart who shot 5 fellow students at Chardon High School near Cleveland. I was passed his Birth date from a friend who got it from the court transcript as being September 19th 1994.
In the many charts I have looked at for people who have committed mass and or random acts of violence I have found a few factors that appear. 1. A tendency to anger or violence [ this is usually a Mars/Pluto function ] 2. An ability to shut off their emotions or for cruelty [ this is often a Saturn / Pluto function ]3. A psychological break of some kind or the inability to separate their needs from the needs of others, or an obsessive type personality [ This is often a Neptune / Uranus/Pluto function ].
In looking at the chart for T.J. we see he has a heavy preponderance of Water in his chart. Venus, Jupiter, North Node and Pluto all in Scorpio, Mars in Cancer and Saturn in Pisces. We do not have a time of birth but the Moon is also very likely in Pisces unless he was born very close to Midnight on the night of September 19th.
This is a person who is extremely sensitive to his environment and is probably easily overwhelmed by his emotions and takes any sort of criticism extremely hard. Water signs or people with lots of Water in their charts almost have no defenses from the outside world at times and while they may appear quiet or shy on the outside there is lots going on underneath the surface. Someone with this much Water certainly had a very active imagination and would escape into a fantasy world whenever they felt threatened.
Not to make any excuses but from reading the stories in the media he had a very abusive and traumatic childhood. Different people handle this different ways but the natural function of Pluto and Scorpio [ the sign that it rules ] is Death, Transformation and rebirth. It is said that people with heavy Scorpio influence in their charts die many times within one lifetime as their main goal on a soul level is to transform. They want to shed the old parts of themselves that are no longer useful and they attain this by creating [ sometimes subconsciously ] or being put in situations where they are not in control of their environment or where they are abandoned. Many souls with heavy Scorpionic energy have a hard time getting over the past if they do not know how to deal with the intense energy Pluto brings with it. When this “steam” is not able to be let off gradually it festers and can release itself in rage when the energy gets too intense.
Saturn in Pisces is a difficult placement , on the good side it can be someone who is very artistic or perhaps works in the music industry [ Pisces / Neptune rule music] or in the Shipping industry [ Neptune rules Water and the Oceans]. On the negative side it can be expressed as someone who is very fearful or paranoid or has delusions. Saturn rules structures, including the structure of consciousness . Saturn rules Capricorn which is one of the most stable and goal orientated signs while Pisces is very dreamy and idealistic, this can be a difficult combo to navigate if you don’t understand the mechanics of what you’re working with.
Also we have a Neptune Uranus conjunction here in the sign of Capricorn. Neptune rules Pisces so again we have the repeating Capricorn /Pisces theme. In fact have Saturn and Neptune in mutual reception which means each of those 2 planets are in the sign that the other one rules. This usually means that these planets work well with each other but being that Pisces and Capricorn are so different in how they perceive things this can lead to a break between what is real and what is not real. Adding in the Uranus in Capricorn conjunct Neptune can lead to odd obsessions or mental “ticks” if you will. Uranus and Neptune both have to do with subliminal and subconscious mental patterns.
Mars in Cancer is an archetype of someone who can be very nurturing when they feel safe but when they feel threatened they can defend themselves fiercely. This is the motherly instinct of Cancer mixed with the warrior of Mars.
To go back to the Scorpio theme again Lane had Venus, Jupiter and the North Node all conjunct in Scorpio and the North Node also conjunct Pluto this is someone who was very intense and was going to make a big impact somehow, unfortunately it was in a misuse of this powerful energy. which is the branch of Astrology that I most identify with, that says “ things that aren’t dealt with become repressed ,that which is repressed becomes distorted, things that are distorted eventually release themselves in rage.” Also on a more literal level Pluto rules death, the North Node is the future and Jupiter magnifies anything that it touches.
One other thing in the chart that stands out is that Mars, Pluto and the Moon form a normally positive aspect called a “Grand Trine” in Water signs. Water is associated with emotions and normally this pattern is someone who is very sensitive to others and intuitive. However, Water can turn dark quicker than other elements because there is so much emotion packed into every event. While the Grand Trine configuration can be very self-sufficient it can also feel isolated. The Mars Pluto Trine is usually harmonious but is always an explosive mix as It contains a huge amount of energy and is liable to explode when it feels hurt or threatened.
The last piece of the puzzle is the Sun in Virgo, Virgo wants to take corrective action or fix things that it feels is wrong. It can also be overly analytical and operate out of a continual crises mode when stressed.
At the time of the shootings Mars was retrograde [ or moving backwards and felt more internally than normal ] and it was just past a conjunction to his Sun and was making aspects to almost every planet in his chart. Mars retrograde tends to lead to feelings of frustration especially in a busy, active sign like Virgo thus turning up the pressure cooker.
Again, this is not to make excuses for any actions but to try and help explain why sometimes people make the rash decisions that they do. Psychology is important in understanding these events as are cultural conditions as well as having help available to people who have been through traumatic situations. My main point here is that using the Birth Chart can be a powerful tool combined with other knowledge in helping to make sure we see these kinds of tragedies less often.