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Man Self-Immolates Outside Trump Trial

On Friday, 21 April 2024, just across the street from the Manhattan courtroom where jury selection in Donald Trump’s hush money trial had recently concluded, a man set himself alight, first dousing himself with a liquid accelerant.  Police responded immediately, being onsite for courthouse protection, but were unable to stop the flames for several minutes; the man was later pronounced dead at a local burn center. 

Not a protest about the trial per se, victim Maxwell Crosby Azzarello chose that venue to garner maximum attention for his act of self-destruction.  The conspiracy theorist did hold strong views about both Donald Trump and Joe Biden, and had been seen brandishing a sign in the same park a day before he committed suicide, alleging that the two were in cahoots to bring about a fascist totalitarian coup.  Azzarello had begun spiraling since the death of his mother two years prior, and moments before his self-immolation, posted this to his social media account on X:  “I have set myself on fire outside the Trump Trial.”  The self-styled “investigative researcher” then flung wide a bagful of flyers detailing his findings, and proceeded to burn himself alive.

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Collect Pond Park, where Maxwell Azzarello ended his life; natal asteroid Parks appears conjunct asteroids Ajax and Dido (both mythic figures who committed suicide) and Nemesis (self-undoing), while transit Parks was at station, conjoined the Ascendant for his death

Astrologically, there is a plethora of points that can represent suicide, based on mythic characters that have killed themselves.  In alphabetical order, there is asteroid Ajax 1404, named for a mythic Greek hero who falls on his sword and commits suicide during the Trojan War; asteroid Antinous 1863, named for a historic second-century figure, lover of the emperor Hadrian, who cast himself into the Nile in fulfilment of a prophecy, to save his beloved; asteroid Arachne 407, named for a mythic Lydian weaver who hanged herself after losing a competition to Athena; asteroid Dido 209, a queen of Carthage who throws herself upon a burning pyre after her lover Aeneas abandons her; centaur Hylonome 100370, a female centaur who impaled herself upon her husband Cyllarus’ spear after his death in battle; asteroid Ophelia 171, the mad daughter of Polonius in Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”, who drowns herself in a stream; asteroid Phaedra 174, wife of the king of Athens, who conceived an overpowering lust for her stepson, then killed herself after he rejected her; asteroids Pyramus 14871and Thisbe 88, a pair of ancient Greek lovers whose story forms the mythic basis of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, with Pyramus stabbing himself when he mistakenly believes Thisbe has died, and Thisbe using his sword to join him in death after she finds his lifeless body; and asteroid Sphinx 896, named for the man-eating riddler who kills herself out of frustration after Oedipus correctly answers her question.

For burning in particular, we have asteroids approximating flames, such as Flamini 18099, Flammario 1021, and Flammeus 8752, as well as asteroids Burney 6235 (“burning”), Candelo 9010 (“candle”), Immo 2373 (for “immolation”) and Smolders 10983.

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Maxwell Azzarello with a protest sign outside the Trump trial the day before he died; a natal Grand Cross of asteroid Azzurra (closest to Azzarello) with Requiem, opposed Mars and squared asteroids Burney and Smolders, depicts a violent death (Mars) by fire (Burney, Smolders)

For Maxwell Crosby Azzarello, we have asteroids Maxwell 12760, Crosby 2825 and Azzurra 12358 (closest to Azzarello).  Azzarello set himself alight at 1:39 PM EDT on 19 April 2024, and prior arrest records for disturbing the peace list his birthdate as 11 April 1987.

Let’s begin.  I want to start by testing Azzurra’s effectiveness as a celestial stand-in for Azzarello.  Asteroid Azzurra appears in the birth chart embedded at station from 3 Sagittarius, indicating a prominent role to play in the life, and turned retrograde April 2nd.  It’s also sesquiquadrate the 21 Aries Sun, and thus fits the pattern for most people, whose own PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) typically connect to the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury (ruling the naming function).  This seems to validate Azzurra as a referent for Azzarello, with confirmation coming from its placement on the day he died (which we’ll detail later).

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A portion of the flyers Azzarello scattered before lighting himself on fire in New York City; a natal Grand Cross of the Sun opposed asteroid Manhattan, squared asteroids Sphinx and Flammeus, hints at a suicide (Sphinx) by fire (Flammeus) in the Big Apple (Manhattan)

Without a time of birth, we don’t know the Moon’s degree or the Ascendant, so we can’t fully confirm the other names’ connectivity, but asteroid Maxwell at 7 Aquarius is widely semisquare Mercury at 28 Pisces, and asteroid Crosby at 19 Virgo is inconjunct the Sun and widely opposed Mercury.  Crosby has more significance in Azzarello’s life than most middle names, as he used “M. Crosby” as his social media handle.

Stationary points exert a greater-than-typical influence on character or biography, and in addition to Azzurra, Azzarello has at station asteroid Pyramus, one of our suicide markers, which at 18 Leo is trine the Sun, and turned direct four days after his birth.  Also at station, centaur Hylonome, another suicide marker, which at 23 Leo turned direct April 30th, but is already at its station degree, and also trined the Sun. 

Lastly, and perhaps most weirdly, we see asteroid Smolders at station; from 3 Virgo, Smolders exactly squares the stationary Azzurra, is sesquiquadrate the Sun, and turned direct April 23rd.  Although “to smolder” means to burn slowly and smoke, without flame, it seems more than apt in this circumstance.  Smolders also participates in a Grand Cross, squared Azzurra at 3 Sagittarius as well as asteroid Requiem 2254 at 2 Sagittarius, named for the funeral mass for the dead; opposed asteroid Burney at 7 Pisces; and also squared Mars, ruler of violent death, at 4 Gemini, as well as asteroid Atropos 273 at 10 Gemini, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death.  Azzarello was experiencing an exact Return of Atropos to its natal degree when he died, setting off the entire pattern.

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Maxwell Azzarello was quickly engulfed in the flames he set; natal asteroid Smolders is at station, exactly squared asteroid Azzurra, while transit Smolders forms a T-Square with Azzurra and Maxwell for his death

Other markers of suicide, death and incineration abound.  Asteroid Sphinx at 16 Capricorn squares the Sun, funneling more suicide energies into his core essence, while opposing asteroids Flammeus and Candelo at 15 and 24 Cancer, T-Squared the Sun, defining the method used.  Another Grand Cross is formed with asteroid Manhattan 12464 at 19 Libra, opposed the Sun, prefiguring the venue for his death by self-immolation.

Asteroids Ajax and Dido, two more suicide markers, conjoin from 25 and 29 Gemini, at the fulcrum of a T-Square with Mercury at 28 Pisces and Crosby at 19 Virgo, for a newsworthy (Mercury) suicide (Ajax, Dido) by Azzarello (Crosby).  Dido is of particular import to the story, as the method the Carthaginian queen chose for her death was burning.  Also here, asteroid Parks 5585, exact with Ajax; Azzarello terminated his life in Collect Pond Park.  Transit Neptune, ruling unstable mental states, conspiracy theories and fanaticism, was exactly conjunct natal Mercury when Azzurra (Crosby) made the decision (Mercury) to kill himself (Ajax, Dido). 

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Azzarello posted this moments before his suicide, using the handle M. Crosby (his middle name); Neptune, ruling confusion, delusion and unstable mental states, was exactly conjunct natal Mercury when he made the decision (Mercury) to end his life; asteroid Crosby was at station, conjunct asteroid Flamini (flames), and opposed Neptune

Asteroids Thisbe (suicide again) and Immo (immolation) are exactly sextile each other from 2 Taurus to 2 Cancer, and form the base of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, a fated pattern, which in this case shows the Requiem/Azzurra conjunction at 2 and 3 Sagittarius on its Apex, inconjunct to Thisbe and Immo.  Asteroid Antinous at 27 Taurus, yet another suicide marker, opposes the Requiem/Azzurra conjunction, also squared centaur Hylonome at 23 Leo and semisquare asteroid Flammeus at 15 Cancer. 

A triple conjunction of asteroids Icarus 1566, Osiris 1923 and Jupiter at 5, 7 and 9 Aries hints at a famous (Jupiter) death (Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead) borne of a rash act (Icarus); an opposition from asteroid Phaedra at 7 Libra signals suicide.   A third Grand Cross is formed with squares from this polarity to asteroid Immo at 2 Cancer (immolation) and a Neptune/asteroid Rip conjunction at 8 and 9 Capricorn.  Neptune is madness, Rip functions as a death indicator in the form of the acronym “RIP,” “Rest In Peace.”  Asteroid Ophelia at 16 Taurus (suicide) is semisquare Immo, describing the manner of death.

A grouping of asteroids Flamini (flames) at 0 Leo with Lachesis 120 (named for the Fate who determines the span of life) and Anubis 1912 (Egyptian deity ruling funerary rites), both at 7 Leo, suggests death by fire.  These square Thisbe at 2 Taurus (suicide) and asteroid Arachne (suicide again) with Pluto (modern lord of death) at 3 and 9 Scorpio, with a fourth Grand Cross formed by asteroid Maxwell at 7 Aquarius, personalizing these energies to Azzarello.

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The park was clouded by smoke from the fire for some time afterward; cresting the Midheaven of the suicide were asteroids Icarus (rash acts), Karma (fate), Thisbe (suicide), Candelo (candle, a flame referent), Lachesis (lifespan), Manhattan (the venue) and Antinous (suicide)

Finally, there is a pairing of Saturn (ancient lord of death) with Uranus (shocking events, and planetary ruler of suicide) at 21 and 26 Sagittarius, both trine the Sun.

As in life, so in death:  Maxwell Azzarello was just as tapped-in to the skies when he burned himself alive.  Incredibly, with asteroid Smolders at station and squared asteroid Azzurra at birth, these are again linked at his demise!  Asteroid Maxwell joins the pattern from 17 Capricorn, opposing Smolders at 12 Cancer and squared Azzurra at 11 Libra.  Smolders is traveling with asteroid Ajax (suicide) and Photographica (the video footage of the event) at 13 and 17 Cancer.  A full Grand Cross is formed with an exact Mercury/Venus pairing at 17 Aries, exactly squared Maxwell, propelling him into the news (Mercury).  Asteroid Dido (queen who burns herself alive) at 8 Aries broadly joins this pattern.  Azzurra is in a highly sensitive position, precisely parsing the distance between Flammario at 7 Libra and Pyramus at 26 Libra, broadly conjunct each and on their midpoint, combining flames or burning (Flammario) and suicide (Pyramus).

The 1:39 PM EDT time for Azzarello’s ignition yields a 19 Leo Ascendant, with asteroid Parks conjoined at 26 Leo, for the Collect Pond Park venue, turning direct just five days later.  On the 19 Aquarius descendant is asteroid Anubis at 19 Aquarius.  The Ascendant is just one degree off the stationary Pyramus in the birth chart (some reports of his death list 1:34 PM, which would give an Ascendant one degree earlier, exactly conjunct Pyramus.)

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A policeman attempts to douse smoking embers; Azzarello was undergoing a return of asteroid Atropos (death) to its natal place when he died, conjoined asteroids Immo (for immolation) and Phaedra (suicide), opposed asteroid Rip (“RIP”), T-Squared Damocles (peril or doom) with asteroid Flammeus (flames)

But it’s the Midheaven which shows all the action.  Conjoining the MC at 11 Scorpio are asteroids Icarus (rash acts), Karma 3811 (fated), Thisbe (suicide), Candelo (candle, another fire allusion), and Lachesis (lifespan), at 10, 11, 14, 15 and 17 Scorpio respectively.  Just behind is the Sun, now at 0 Taurus and encroaching on natal Thisbe at 2 Taurus; just ahead are asteroid Antinous (suicide) at 19 Taurus, Jupiter exact with Uranus (publicity for a shocking act) at 21 Taurus, and asteroid Manhattan (venue) at 22 Taurus.  All points are squared by Anubis and many are squared by Parks.

Also at station, asteroid Crosby, which at 17 Virgo turns direct May 1st, but is already at its station degree, conjoined asteroid Flammini at 22 Virgo, both atop natal Crosby at 19 Virgo (so Azzarello was experiencing a Crosby Return as well).  The Moon is fast-approaching from 13 Virgo, and the group roughly opposes a Pisces stellium composed of asteroids Flammeus and Burney (both for flames and burning), Saturn (death), Mars (violent death) and Neptune (mental instability, delusion), at 7, 17, 15, 21 and 28 Pisces respectively. 

As noted above, asteroid Atropos has returned to its natal degree of 10 Gemini, and is pulling asteroids Immo (immolation) and Phaedra (suicide) at 8 and 9 Gemini in its wake, all opposed asteroid Rip at 2 Sagittarius and Damocles 5335 (the doom or peril hanging overhead) with Ophelia (suicide) at 0 and 4 Pisces, also incorporating Flammeus.  This T-Square overlays and energizes the natal Grand Cross of Azzurra/Requiem, Burney, Mars/Atropos and Smolders, with transit Rip exactly conjunct natal Requiem, and transit Flammeus exactly conjunct natal Burney.

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A pile of ashes marks the spot where Azzarello took his life; transit asteroid Ash exactly conjoined natal asteroid Maxwell, while natal Ash squares natal asteroid Dido, named for a queen who burned herself alive, and was exactly opposed by transit Neptune, ruling mental instability

Asteroid Nemesis 128 at 28 Cancer, a point noted for ruin and self-undoing, conjoins asteroid Sphinx (suicide) at 21 Cancer, exactly opposed centaur Hylonome (suicide) at 28 Capricorn with asteroid Osiris (death) at 29 Cap, squares Pyramus (suicide) at 26 Libra, and forms an out-of-Sign Grand Cross with the Sun at 2 Taurus.

Additional contacts to the birth chart include transit Dido at 8 Aries conjunct the natal Icarus/Osiris/Jupiter (famous reckless death) group at 5, 7 and 9 Aries, opposing natal Phaedra (suicide) at 7 Libra; transit Crosby/Flamini at 17 and 22 Virgo squared a natal Nemesis/Parks/Ajax/Dido (self-undoing via burning in a park) stellium at 18, 25 and 29 Gemini; and transit Flammario exactly conjoined natal Phaedra at 7 Libra.

Another sad and strange story, which seems unfathomable, unless you look skyward.

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.

Irmgard Dering

…indeed a very sad story!


Thank you, Alex. I did not realize there were so many asteroids that can signify suicide. Our society’s obsession with conspiracy theories can unhinge and have disastrous consequences for the vulnerable. Too bad he didn’t get the help he needed before it came to this. It is sad and strange. Thanks for making it a bit more fathomable, at least astrologically.

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