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D is for Dayton, E is for El Paso: A Child’s Mass Shooting Primer

Dayton and El Paso join the entries in “Baby’s First Pop-Up Book of Slaughter”, along with “A is for Aurora, C is for Columbine, O is for Orlando, P is for Parkland, S is for Sandy Hook, and V is for Vegas,” among others. Two mass shootings within hours rocked the nation on the weekend of August 3rd and 4th, 2019, as 32 people lost their lives in senseless violence, with dozens more wounded. At least one of the shootings was politically and racially motivated, with the killer avowing his desire to kill “as many Mexicans as possible.”

That quote comes from 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, suspect in the mass murder inside a crowded Walmart in El Paso, Texas on August 3rd. Crusius killed 22 and wounded 26 others, then surrendered to police without resistance. Minutes before the morning shooting spree began, he had posted his manifesto online, stating that he was committing these atrocities in response to the “invasion” of the US by Mexicans. Crusius drove ten hours from his Allen, Texas home to commit his crimes within sight of the Southern Border.


The other shooting occurred less than 13 hours later, outside a bar in a popular downtown district of Dayton, Ohio. Although shot and killed by police only 24 seconds into his late-night rampage, suspect Connor Betts managed to kill 9 and wound 27 more, incredible carnage for less than half a minute. Both shooters were armed with semiautomatic assault style weapons.

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“Save Money, Live Briefer” might be the new slogan for this El Paso Walmart, where 22 lost their lives in another senseless shooting

Here we go again. I have tried to avoid stories of this nature for awhile; they’re just too disheartening. But sometimes a shooting story stands out, screaming for analysis, and the close juxtaposition of these crimes is one such instance. We’re fortunate to have exact times for both crimes, and birth dates for both shooters. Let’s dig in.


But first, some general background. The celestial backdrop for this notable increase in mass shootings comes from an extended conjunction of TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Ixion with centaur Pholus, a pairing which dominates the skies for some 35 years, with these points never more than five degrees apart during that timeframe, 2008 to 2043. Ixion is named for the first murderer in Greek myth, and among other properties, represents homicide. Pholus relates to mass deaths by whatever cause.


Put them together and you have a recipe for unbridled lethal violence. The conjunction has been in effect for 11 years, barely a third of the total time, and the ramifications of this union have already become apparent, with mass shootings on the rise domestically and internationally, even in such countries that have never witnessed this phenomenon before, such as Norway and New Zealand.

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The obligatory El Paso candlelight vigil; how many more of these before we correct our gun laws?

Ixion and Pholus are currently conjoined from 26 Sagittarius and 0 Capricorn, straddling the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius, assuring global notice and attention for the atrocities committed. This conjunction is prominent in both charts, with Ixion exactly sesquiquadrate the Sun at each massacre, as well as angular for El Paso and squared the Moon for Dayton.


To begin at the beginning: the first 911 calls for the El Paso shooting came at 10:39 AM MDT on August 3, just as the Walmart was crowding with up to 3000 shoppers stocking up on back-to-school supplies. In took police 6 minutes to respond, and in that time Patrick Crusius managed to kill 22 and wound 26 others, before surrendering to authorities without resistance.


Crusius has been very forthcoming with police since his arrest, stating his intention to kill “as many Mexicans as possible.” This is reflected in a cluster of points rising on the 4 Libra Ascendant at the time the shooting began. Beginning with the Moon at 17 Virgo, this grouping comprises asteroids Patrice at 21 Virgo (an alternate form of Patrick, the shooter), Apophis at 24 (named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil), Osiris at 29 Virgo (named for the Egyptian god of the dead), and Maron at 1 Libra. Maron is a phonetic match for the Spanish word “marron”, meaning “brown”, and it was brown-skinned people Crusius had come to kill (Apophis/Osiris).


There is a remarkable Grand Cross which reinforces Crusius’ agenda, with Mars at 20 Leo, ruler of guns, attacks and violent death, exactly opposed asteroid Anubis at 20 Aquarius, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, squared both asteroid Gunn at 22 Scorpio and Mexico at 27 Taurus. I don’t think you could find a more emphatic statement of purpose than that. Also tying to this pattern is Damocles, representing the doom hanging unseen overhead, which closely squares Mexico from 26 Aquarius, appropriate for the thousands of shoppers unaware that danger threatened.


Asteroids Brown at 6 Leo and Nemesis at 8 conjoin the Sun at 11, which is exactly squared by asteroid Texas at 11 Taurus, with Brown exactly squared by Uranus at 6 Taurus, which rules explosives and shootings per se. Again we see a focus (Sun) on brown-skinned people (Brown), specifically in the Lone Star State (Texas), involving violence and shooting (both Uranus), seen as enemies or adversaries, with an intent to ruin or destroy them (both Nemesis). Uranus also rules mental deterioration and insanity, and it’s pretty much a given that someone who does something like this can’t be quite right in the head.

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The obligatory El Paso cross memorial rises quickly in the aftermath of the shooting

There is a second Grand Cross, looser, centered on the Saturn/Pluto conjunction at 15 and 21 Capricorn. Saturn and Pluto are respectively the ancient and modern lords of death, with Pluto also having connections to homicide and criminal acts specifically. These are opposed by Mercury at 24 Cancer, representing the news of the day, with Lachesis at 18 Cancer, named for the Greek Fate who determines the span of life; and squared by asteroid Atropos at 21 Aries, her sister who severs the thread of life at death, with TNO Eris at 24 Aries, representing persons who feel themselves to be slighted or disrespected; and asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 28 Libra.


Ixion and Pholus at 26 Sagittarius and 0 Capricorn conjoin the 4 Cap IC, with Pholus exactly opposed asteroid Tantalus at 0 Cancer, a point noted for the commission of heinous acts. Lastly, asteroid Rip (for the acronym RIP, “Rest In Peace”) is stationary, signaling an embedded stance which resonates to the theme of death for the period; at 8 Sagittarius, Rip conjoins Jupiter at 14 Sag, bringing publicity and notoriety, and opposes asteroid Patricia, a feminine form of Patrick, at 3 Gemini.

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El Paso shooter Patrick Crusius; he came expecting to die, but surrendered peacefully to police six minutes after his rampage began

Patrick Crusius’ birth date has been given as 27 July 1998. This period saw an extended conjunction of Pluto with TNO Ixion, combining the planetary ruler of homicide with the chief minor planet referent for that act. This pairing has begun to reap a very deadly harvest, with many recent shooters having that pattern natally. In Crusius’ case, both Ixion at 1 Sagittarius and Pluto at 5 Sag are stationary, immeasurably increasing their psychic impact; in trine to the 4 Leo Sun, this makes their energies self-defining ones. Tantalus at 9 Sag is also tied to this conjunction, also trine the Sun, doubling down on the “heinous acts” effect. Also stationary, in exact sesquiquadrate to the Sun, is asteroid Requiem at 19 Sagittarius, which turned direct 8 days after Crusius’ birth, forming yet another personal link to the theme of death and mourning.


A loose Grand Trine is formed with Osiris at 14 Aries, which becomes a Kite by oppositions from the Sun to Neptune at 0 Aquarius, Damocles at 10 and Uranus at 11 Aquarius. The volatility and alienation of Uranus combines with the fantasy and insanity of Neptune and the ever-present sense of threat from Damocles, to lethal effect. Osiris is also in a T-Square with a Mars/Atropos conjunction at 14 and 17 Cancer, and Pholus at 16 Libra: violent attacks, guns, death with mass casualties.


The Sun is further engaged in a Grand Cross, including the Aquarius points defined above, with squares to Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 3 Taurus and asteroid Anubis at 5 Scorpio filling in the pattern. Natal asteroid Patrice at 21 Gemini is modified by Apophis at 16 and Texas at 24 Gemini, combining the shooter with a sense of pure evil and the venue for his crimes. Natal asteroid Patricia at 8 Virgo combines with asteroid Lachesis at 6, marking Patrick Crusius as a living personification of Lachesis’ arbitration of the life span. Recall that transit Rip was stationing for the shooting, exactly squared Patricia and conjoined natal Tantalus. Patricia also squares natal Maron at 11 Gemini, suggesting conflict or animus displayed towards brown-skinned people, especially of Hispanic origin, and T-Squares Ixion/Pluto/Tantalus.

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Gathering evidence in Dayton – markers are placed at dozens of shell casings

A close conjunction of Mercury with Mexico at 27 and 28 Leo suggests possible obsession with Mexican immigrants, as well as describing the manifesto Crusius posted minutes before the shooting. Natal Gunn at 23 Leo joins this pair, and was closely squared by transit Gunn at 22 Scorpio for the shooting, with transit Mexico at 27 Taurus and Damocles at 26 Aquarius filling in a Grand Cross. Transit Apophis at 24 Virgo was exactly squaring natal Texas and still within orb of natal Patrice.


The skies haven’t changed all that much in the 12+ hours from El Paso to Dayton, but the Moon has moved to 24 Virgo to square Ixion/Pholus, and the angles have shifted to 23 Taurus/Scorpio on the horizon, putting transit Gunn conjunct the Descendant from 22 Scorpio. We also have three new PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) to consider: Connors, for shooter Connor Betts, Ohio, for the state where the massacre occurred, and Pepper, for Ned Peppers bar, which the killer was heading into when he himself was killed by police. Connors is with Nemesis and the Sun at 8 and 11 Leo, on the 2 Leo IC; Ohio at 8 Aquarius opposes these and conjoins the 2 Aquarius Midheaven; and Pepper at 8 Taurus conjoins Uranus at 6 and forms a T-Square with the others. The Sun brings focus to these factors for the day, while Connors with Nemesis shows his role in the tragedy that played out in front of Ned Peppers Bar.

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The obligatory makeshift floral memorial outside Ned Peppers Bar, where the Dayton shooting took place

Connor Betts’ motivations for his killing spree aren’t clear; numbered among the nine dead was his own younger sister Meghan, perhaps clouding the issue more. Betts had driven to the venue with his sister, though whether he donned the body armor before or after they separated at the scene is unclear. Betts’ attack began at 1:07 AM CDT, and ended almost as quickly, with police responding to intervene, shooting him dead 24 seconds after the melee started. Nine dead and 27 wounded in that time might be a record.


Connor Betts’ birth date has been given as 28 October 1994, and he shares the transiting Ixion/Pluto conjunction with Crusius, though in Betts’ chart the pairing is exact at 27 Scorpio, also incorporating Jupiter at 20, asteroid Connors at 24, and Apophis at 17 Scorpio, combining this murderous duo with a highly personal referent and a taste for evildoing. Jupiter inflates these tendencies and brings notoriety for the act. Connors/Ixion/Pluto also squares Tantalus at 29 Leo, further ramping up the capacity for cruelty.


In trine to the 4 Scorpio Sun are asteroid Osiris and Saturn, both death-related points, and both at station, making that theme a dominant one in his psyche. Osiris had turned direct at 6 Pisces on October 24, with Saturn following suit on November 9. The Sun is also in an out-of-Sign square to Atropos at 29 Cancer, and semisquare a Pholus/Ohio conjunction at 15 and 19 Virgo, linking mass deaths with the state where they occurred.

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Suspect Connor Betts, whose 24-second rampage claimed the lives of 9 others before police shot him dead

Asteroid Gunn is exactly conjoined Mars at 12 Leo, both exactly sextile asteroid Rip at 12 Gemini, activated on the day by the transit Sun at 11 Leo, with transit Nemesis and Connors at 6 and 8 Leo following after. These trine and oppose a pairing of asteroids Pepper (for Ned Peppers, the bar where the shooting occurred) and Requiem at 7 and 8 Sagittarius, uniting the venue and another death indicator in Betts’ nativity. As with Crusius, these points were strongly activated by a stationary Rip for the shooting, exactly conjunct Requiem.


The horizontal axis for the shooting at 23 Taurus/Scorpio was moving to highlight Betts’ natal Connors/Ixion/Pluto statement by opposition and conjunction, while the transit IC at 2 Leo had just conjoined natal Atropos at 29 Cancer, approximately 12 minutes earlier. Transit Anubis and Damocles at 20 and 26 Aquarius were squaring the Scorpio stellium, with transit Mars at 20 Leo in T-Square, and transit Gunn at 22 Scorpio conjoining.


Transit Pluto had stationed retrograde in April just one degree shy of natal Anubis at 24 Capricorn, and remained within orb at 21 Cap. Transit Saturn at 15 Capricorn was retrograding to conjoin natal Nemesis at 14 Cap, both opposed by transit Lachesis at 18 Cancer for the shooting.

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The obligatory Dayton vigil, at sunset the night after the massacre

Another pair of heart-rending atrocities, in another pair of American cities. When will it end?



Alex Miller is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book, detailing deep space points in astrological interpretation, and the forthcoming Heaven on Earth, a comprehensive study of asteroids, both mythic and personal. Alex is a frequent contributor to “The Mountain Astrologer”, “Daykeeper Journal”, and NCGR’s Journals and “Enews Commentary”; his work has also appeared in “Aspects” magazine, “Dell Horoscope”, “Planetwaves”, “Neptune Café” and “Sasstrology.” He is a past president of Philadelphia Astrological Society, and a former board member for the Philadelphia Chapter of NCGR.

2 comments, add yours.


This is all so heartbreaking. And your approach through asteroids is shockingly accurate and filled with stunning synchronicities. .


mars Uranus aspects to pluto
aug22-27 could see more youthful terrorism.

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