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My Bloody Valentine: The Parkland School Shooting


On Valentine’s Day, 14 February 2018, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, wounding 14 others. A former student, Cruz began his rampage at 2:21 PM, after taking an Uber to the school. Setting off a fire alarm to bring students into the halls, Cruz wore a gasmask and carried smoke grenades, armed with a Smith & Wesson M&P15, an AR 15-style assault weapon.

After six minutes of apparently random carnage, Cruz discarded his rifle and blended into the crowd of fleeing students. He then proceeded to a nearby Walmart, where he bought a soda, afterward walking to a McDonald’s, where he lingered until just after 3 PM. School security cameras ID’d him as the shooter, and Cruz was arrested without incident within two miles of the school at approximately 3:40 PM.

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Aerial view of Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas School, where 17 people lost their lives on Valentine’s Day.

Cruz was adopted at birth; his adoptive father had died early in his childhood, and his adoptive mother had passed away in November 2017. Cruz had been a member of the Junior ROTC at Stoneman Douglas, and on the school’s varsity air rifle team, receiving multiple awards for outstanding academic performance, but was expelled from the school for fighting with the new boyfriend of his ex-girlfriend.

Former classmates described him as having anger management issues, with constant talk of guns and violence, stating he was always “super stressed out”. Cruz had been undergoing mental health treatment, but had stopped attending therapy sessions. Multiple complaints regarding his aggressive behavior had been lodged with local authorities (more than 30 since 2010), and he was brought to the attention of the FBI twice within the past six months. Once inadvertently, when he posted a comment at a YouTube site in September 2017, to the effect that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.” Although Cruz used his own name with the post, the FBI was unable to identify him. The second incident, just a few weeks before the shooting, was a direct contact from a close associate, alleging Cruz had made death threats, but FBI protocols were not followed, and the Miami field office was never notified.

Ordinarily, when these incidents occur, it has been my practice to examine the day itself first, and then fill in the gaps with a review of the shooter’s birth chart, when available. But since so much of this story revolves about the inability of family, fellow students, teachers, therapists, and both local and federal law enforcement officers to identify and neutralize the threat posed by Cruz, I am going to start there, with the nativity, to see what an astrologer might have found.

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Nikolas Cruz, with his lawyer, at his arraignment.

Born 24 September 1998, Nikolas Cruz has the Sun at 1 Libra, exactly conjunct the largest supermassive Black Hole of which we are aware, the heart of Galaxy M-87. This deep space behemoth holds more than a hundred other galaxies in its gravitational thrall, and as with all Black Holes, it goes to extremes. It shows an individual who can be extremely focused and determined, with an ability to draw others into his orbit, for good or ill, and a chameleon-like talent for self-disguise and self-creation or re-creation. I have no data on how this affected Cruz’ personality, but a cursory examination of the facts shows that ability to disguise and make himself temporarily invisible, in his plan to escape the scene by blending into the crowd; it was natural choice for an exit, given his abilities to camouflage.

The Sun is closely conjoined by Mercury at 0 Libra, conveying the strong intelligence that was so marked and acknowledged in Cruz, but with the Black Hole’s influence here, this can become self-obsession, secretiveness, paranoia, a focus on dark, sadistic thoughts, and crafting plans to enact them. Control of one’s circumstances and environment becomes of extreme importance to these individuals, and the lack of it can be devastating, even intolerable.

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Stage One of the classic American mass shooting: the single file exit of the survivors.

There are multiple indicators that death would emerge as a dominant theme in Cruz’ life. The Sun is conjoined by asteroid Lachesis, named for the mythic Greek Fate who determined the span of life, a role enacted by Cruz when he opened fire on the students and faculty at the school. In square are asteroids Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 28 Sagittarius, and Rip, another death indicator (based in the acronym “RIP”, “Rest In Peace”, a common tombstone inscription), at 2 Capricorn.

Additionally, the Sun is exactly sextile TNO Ixion at 1 Sagittarius, named for the first murderer in Greek myth, and also sextile Pluto, planetary ruler of homicide and modern lord of death, at 5 Sagittarius. Further personalizing these energies is the placement of asteroid Cruz at 4 Sagittarius, conjunct both points, which gives Nikolas Cruz a very intimate relationship with them. Pluto here with Cruz also amplifies the sense of a need for control, a willingness to manipulate or coerce; Ixion is also noted for ingratitude and a sense of entitlement – this would make it easy for Cruz to hold grudges against those who might have denied him what he considered respect or deference due him. Also here is asteroid Tantalus, at 10 Sagittarius, noted for the commission of heinous acts, often with indifference. Cruz’ casual, almost nonchalant, walk to Walmart and his purchase of a soda in the aftermath of his horrible crime is a clear indicator of Tantalus at work. Finally, asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, is very broadly opposed the Sun from 11 Aries.

Any individual with this many “deadly asteroids” connected to the Sun has the potential to embody death, acting as its emissary, or to be heavily associated with it in some form, whether that be as a killer or a coroner, morgue attendant or mortician, an elegist or eulogist, or one who performs autopsies, etc.

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Stage Two of the classic American mass shooting: the real-time expressions of grief. Note the dark cross on the woman’s forehead – Valentine’s Day 2018 was also Ash Wednesday.

The remaining death indicators are also powerfully placed, though not in connection with the Sun. Asteroid Atropos, named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death (after Lachesis has measured it), appears at 9 Taurus, exactly conjoined asteroid Apophis, named for the ancient Egyptian personification of pure evil. We see here a propensity to actualize the evil inside each of us via a lethal act, as opposed to some form of torture, corruption, betrayal, or what-have-you. These points exactly oppose Uranus at 9 Aquarius, noted for violent outbursts and governing shootings generally (via its rulership of explosions, from a nuclear weapon down to the pop-pop-pop of a handgun). Traveling with Uranus are Karma, suggesting a fated or predestined quality to the incident, and Damocles, the doom hanging unseen overhead, at 8 and 7 Aquarius respectively. Although Cruz engaging in violent acts was hardly unforeseen, certainly no one expected what occurred, when it occurred, and that doom was in some sense unseen. This basic polarity forms a T-Square with another exact opposition, from Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 2 Taurus, to asteroid Parks, for Parkland, at 2 Scorpio. This brings in the venue for the killings. Exact aspects are always the most powerful, whatever they involve; they show a cosmic resonance that is not easily shrugged off. Like the tumblers of a lock falling into place, exact aspects release the naked potential within.

The final death indicator is asteroid Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites. At 19 Scorpio, Anubis is bound up with a complex string of points we will examine later; for our purpose now, it is sufficient to note that it is closely squared Mars, arbiter of guns, attacks, and violent death, at 21 Leo.

Also with the Sun is asteroid Toro, at 27 Virgo, Gunn, at 26 Virgo, and Nicky, at 24 Virgo. Toro signifies bullying, and this can indicate an active or passive role in the process. Cruz certainly had cruel, bullying traits – his treatment of animals, both domestic and wild, has been cited as aberrant, but he may also have bullied people, or what is perhaps more likely given his position as somewhat of an outsider, been bullied by them, or both in turn, at different phases of his development. Gunn is of course representative of its homonym, gun. Numerous witnesses have asserted how obsessed with guns Nikola and with this point conjoined his Sun, it’s no wonder – it becomes a natural extension of the core self; having Nicky here as well just reinforces the natal tendency to self-identify with firearms, making them, if possible, even more an extension of Self.  Having Nicky, as a variant of Nikolas, conjunct the Sun is typical for one’s own PNAs, which often connect with one of the Lights or Angles; asteroid Nicole, a female form of the name, opposes the Sun from 28 Pisces. Also here is asteroid Stone, a stand-in for part of the school’s name, Stoneman Douglas, as well as Jupiter, which brings fame. Certainly his acts at Stoneman Douglas will be what Nikolas Cruz is remembered for, while Stone and Nicole links him personally with the venue.

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Stage Three of the classic American mass shooting: the ubiquitous memorials. You can’t see them all in this picture, but there are, of course, seventeen crosses.

This brings us to the complex pattern mentioned above. Jupiter, with Stone and Nicole in tow, is exactly trine asteroid Valentine at 21 Cancer, and forms a Grand Trine with Anubis, leading off a string of points including asteroids Icarus and Douglas, both at 23 Scorpio, and Nemesis at 27 Scorpio. Valentine tells us the day chosen for Cruz’ fame-attracting deed, Icarus represents rash, reckless actions heedless of the consequences (Cruz apparently shot blindly into the crowd, unconcerned who was killed, targeting no one in particular), Douglas provides us with another referent for the school, and Nemesis signals undoing, retribution and vengeance, likely motivating factors in Cruz’ act.

Two Kites are formed from this Grand Cross, one by the exact opposition of Nemesis to TNO Chaos at 27 Taurus, and the other by an exact opposition from Jupiter to Venus at 21 Virgo (with Nicky within orb at 24 Virgo). Chaos is just that – turmoil, anarchy and bedlam, certainly what ensued as Cruz enacted his shooting spree. Venus is a little harder to envision here, but it may indicate that the motive for the killings had to do with popularity, or a lack of it; it could also indicate frustration over a failed romance, perhaps relating to the incident which got him expelled from the school.

Remaining factors to be considered include asteroid Douglass (with two “s”es) at 27 Gemini, opposed Requiem conjunct Child at 28 and 21 Sagittarius. This not only reiterates the venue, tying it to death, but establishes underage individuals as the majority of his victims. Also of note is asteroid Fireman at 1 Scorpio, conjoined Parks: recall that Cruz’ first act upon entering the school in Parkland was to activate the fire alarm.

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Stage Four of the classic American mass shooting: the inevitable community candlelight vigil.

That about covers it for Nikolas Cruz, but I did want to observe that the Solar Eclipse which occurred the day after his rampage fell at 27 Aquarius, highlighting the exact Nemesis/Chaos opposition with exact squares. The prior Solar Eclipse at 28 Leo, in August 2017, prepared that ground as well.

Let’s turn now to the day itself.

A chart cast for 2:21 PM EST, when the shooting began, in Parkland, Florida, shows Requiem at 7 Cancer rising on the 6 Cancer Ascendant, with Saturn exactly conjoined the 6 Capricorn Descendant, two death indicators appropriate to the moment. About the 24 Pisces MC are clustered asteroid Valentine, the day itself, at 19 Pisces; asteroid Smith (half of the Smith & Wesson assault rifle used in the shootings – asteroid Wesson is also prominent, conjunct Pluto from 22 Capricorn) at 23 Pisces; Chiron, representing wounding and maverick behaviors, as well as teachers (three staff members were killed), at 26 Pisces; asteroid Nicky at 1 Aries and Lachesis at 2 Aries. It is surely remarkable that Cruz sports a Sun/Lachesis conjunction in the birth chart, while this determiner of life spans conjoined his celestial referent for the murders, when he activated that natal potential.

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The Stoneman Douglas school’s athletic mascot, the eagle.

As we have observed, this was the day before the Solar Eclipse, so the Sun at 26 Aquarius is highlighting that natal Nemesis/Chaos opposition, as well as opposing natal Mars at 21 Leo, igniting the attack. The Sun is also squared transit Anubis, which at 27 Scorpio exactly conjoins natal Nemesis. With the Sun are Mercury at 23 Aquarius and Damocles at 24 Aquarius; Mercury reflects the emphasis on young people and students, with the Sun drawing our focus there on that day (this is also a reiteration of the Sun/Mercury union at his birth). Damocles reinforces the sense of impending doom. Just a celestial spit down the road, the incoming Moon at 14 Aquarius has exactly conjoined asteroid Marjorie, the final celestial referent for the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school. These oppose transit asteroid Cruz at 17 Leo, within orb of Cruz’ natal Mars.

Transit asteroid Nicole at 17 Sagittarius opposes transit Stone and Chaos, both at 21 Gemini, bringing together shooter and venue, while asteroid Douglas at 14 Cancer broadly opposes Pluto at 20 Capricorn, while Douglass at 28 Libra is stationing, about to turn retrograde, and in trine to the Sun. Transit Atropos at 17 Libra T-Squares Douglas and Pluto, Ixion at 27 Sagittarius conjoins natal Requiem and squares natal Sun/Lachesis. Murderous Ixion is also bound up in an extended conjunction with transit Pholus, now at 0 Capricorn, indicating mass deaths by whatever cause. (Their 35-year conjunction, which began in 2008, has thus far shown a marked increase in mass shootings.)

Transit Jupiter at 22 Scorpio is also squaring the Sun, and is just beginning to make its presence felt in the string of Scorpionic points in Cruz’ nativity, currently most closely conjoined that exact Icarus/Douglas pairing at 23 Scorpio. Not to be outdone, transit asteroid Gunn at 23 Taurus opposes Jupiter and squares the Sun/Damocles/Mercury combination, forming a loose Grand Cross with transit Cruz in Leo. Karma and Mars are together at 7 and 11 Sagittarius, having recently passed over Cruz’ natal Pluto, with Mars exactly trine natal Osiris. Transit Neptune and Nemesis trail just behind Valentine, at 13 and 14 Pisces, while Uranus (shootings) and Osiris (death) are conjunct at 25 and 24 Aries, squared Pluto/Wesson and elevated in the Tenth House. Also here is Eris at 22 Aries, symbol of those who feel disrespected, marginalized, or slighted, and who seek revenge.

And what of the victims? They’re represented as well.

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The victims of the Parkland school shooting; when is enough, enough?

Several do not have PNAs that match or approximate their names, and so cannot be included in this analysis. These include Alyssa Alhatieff, 14; Jamie Guttenberg, 14; Luke Hoyer, 15; Cara Loughrin, 14; Gina Montalto, 14; and Alaina Petty, 14. The rest, as in typical in these cases, tend to clump in groups, and to conjoin or aspect death indicators.

Three faculty members were killed. Geography teacher Scott Beigel, 35, is represented by asteroid Scott, which at 9 Aries is within orb of Lachesis at 2 Aries and in T-Square to Saturn at 6 Capricorn and Requiem at 7 Cancer. Asteroid Beiglbock, for Beigel, appears at 27 Scorpio, exactly conjoined Anubis and squared the Sun and the following day’s eclipse degree.

Football coach Aaron Feiss, 37, is represented by asteroid Aaronson, which at 21 Virgo conjoins the 24 Virgo IC and is trine Pluto at 20 Capricorn. Christopher Hixon, 49, the school’s wrestling coach, is represented by asteroids Christophe and Hicks; Christophe at 22 Cancer opposes Pluto at 20 Capricorn, while Hicks at 1 Sagittarius conjoins Anubis at 27 Scorpio.

Moving on to the students, Martin Duque Anguiano, 14, is represented by asteroids Martina and Duke; Martina at 0 Virgo is trine Saturn at 6 Capricorn and squared Anubis at 27 Scorpio; Duke at 7 Aquarius is inconjunct Requiem at 7 Cancer. Nicholas Dworet, 17, shares his first name with the shooter, so his PNAs are Nicky, conjoined Lachesis from 1 Aries, and Nicole at 17 Sagittarius, sextile Atropos at 17 Libra. Joaquin Oliver, 17, is represented by asteroids Joachim and Oliver; Joachim at 18 Libra conjoins Atropos, while Oliver at 7 Aries conjoins Lachesis, T-Squaring Requiem and Saturn.

Meadow Pollack, 18, is represented by asteroids Meadows and Pollack; Meadows at 14 Taurus is at the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, formed by inconjuncts to Atropos at 17 Libra and Mars at 11 Sagittarius. Helena Ramsey, 17, is represented by asteroids Helena and Ramses; Helena at 9 Pisces is squared Mars at 11 Sagittarius, sextile Saturn and trine Requiem, while Ramses at 24 Capricorn conjoins Pluto at 20 Capricorn. Alex Schachter, 14, is represented by asteroids Alex and Schacht; Alex at 11 Pisces repeats Helena’s contact, squared Mars, sextile Saturn and trine Requiem; Schacht at 5 Libra is T-Squared Saturn and Requiem.

Carmen Schentrup, 16, is represented by asteroid Carmen at 11 Taurus, exactly inconjunct Mars, trine Saturn and sextile Requiem. Peter Wang, 15, is represented by asteroid Peter, which at 7 Aries conjoins Lachesis and T-Squares Saturn and Requiem (as well as exactly conjunct asteroid Oliver).

Another senseless, and preventable, tragedy. It’s true that not every proposed gun control or mental health reform will stop every crime, but each, if enacted, will stop some. And isn’t every life worth it?

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.

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