On Friday, June 7, 2013, 23-year-old John Zawahri shot and killed four people in Santa Monica, California, before being shot by police in the Santa Monica College library. A fifth victim, a passenger in a car which crashed after Zawahri killed the driver, died of her injuries a day later.
Clad all in black with a load-bearing vest and armed with an AR-15 semiautomatic assault rifle with 1300 rounds in his duffel bag, Zawahri began his spree at his father’s home, where he killed his father Samir and brother Christopher, then set fire to the house.
He proceeded on foot from the scene, attempting to carjack several vehicles and firing indiscriminately at unarmed people and passing cars. He attempted to evade police by entering the grounds of Santa Monica College, where he shot into the SUV driven by Carlos Franco, a groundskeeper at the college, killing him instantly and causing the car to crash into a wall, and fatally injuring Franco’s daughter Marcela, a summer student at Santa Monica. He also shot and killed Margarita Gomez, a 68-year-old local who frequently visited the college to collect recyclables, on the library steps before being cornered there by police, where Zawahri was killed in a shootout. Remarkably, though discharging more than 70 rounds in the library alone, only five others were injured in the shooting spree.
John Zawahri would have been 24 the day after his rampage, so in many ways, the chart for his shooting spree resembles what would have been his next solar return. The Sun of the day is at the same degree as the Sun of his birth on 8 June 1989, and ties between the natal and the transit chart show a staggering alignment of personal-named asteroids describing the events.
Key to the event chart is a T-Square formed of the transit Sun at 17 Gemini opposing a long-running conjunction of TNO Ixion with Centaur Pholus, currently at 19 and 20 Sagittarius, both ends of this axis squared asteroid Osiris, named for the ancient Egyptian god of the dead, at 15 Pisces. Ixion and Pholus have been running in tandem since late 2008, and will be within five degrees of each other through spring 2043, so we are for the long haul with this energy, which is an unfortunate mix, to say the least.
Ixion is noted as the first murderer in Greek mythology, and shows up frequently in charts of famous murderers, serial killers and killings [see my article on “Ixion and Murder” in the April 2004 issue of Daykeeper Journal]. Ixion’s additional themes revolve around ingratitude, a sense of entitlement, and an inability to let go of old patterns, combined with compulsive repetition of mistakes.
Pholus was the centaur friend of Heracles who offered him a drink from a proscribed jar of wine belonging to all the centaurs, and in so doing brought down the wrath of the herd upon them. In the aftermath of the resulting massacre where Heracles slays dozens of centaurs with his poisoned arrows, Pholus inadvertently kills himself when he retrieves one of the deadly projectiles from a slain comrade and accidentally drops it on his own foot, dying instantly.
Thus his celestial namesake resonates to themes of mass carnage and accidental death, being in the wrong place at the wrong time. During the period when Ixion and Pholus have been travelling companions, there has been a marked increase in stories of mass shootings in the US, of which Santa Monica is the latest example (unless of course we have another before this goes to press).
This T-Square defines the potential for a highlighted (Sun) incident involving mass murder (Ixion/Pholus) and death (Osiris) during the period in question, as the Sun’s yearly opposition to this deadly duo is forming, and the Sun’s return to its natal degree in John Zawahri’s chart indicates his personal involvement in the story. But there are many other PNAs representing Zawahri and his victims, as well as the geographic locale, and these factor strongly into the energies of the day as well.
In conjunction with the Sun is TNO Chaos at 16 Gemini, further refining the energies of disorder, anarchy and turmoil which play a key role in the story. Also here is asteroid Margarita (#310) at 14 Gemini, for victim Margarita Gomez. Jupiter at 25 Gemini is just coming into conjunction with the Sun, and describes both the notoriety and renown Zawahri gained as a result of his acts, but also the academic setting of the final shootings. Jupiter’s conjunction with Zawahri’s natal Sun just a month prior would have acted to inflate or exacerbate any natal tendencies accruing to that Sun, prominent among which is an exact conjunction of natal Jupiter with Pholus at 18 Gemini. Thus natally Zawahri embodies that Pholus energy of multiple casualties and a potential for achieving fame due to some connection with death.
That transit Jupiter at 25 Gemini is conjoined by asteroid Santa (#1288, first part of “Santa Monica”) at 27 Gemini, which squares asteroid Monica (#833) at 29 Virgo, giving us the full name of the town. Together these form a T-Square with the Galactic Center at 27 Sagittarius, a point which when activated, often grants universal or global notice and attention. Accompanying Jupiter/Santa from Zawahri’s birth chart are asteroids Christophe (#1698, for his brother Christopher) at 24 Gemini and Franck (#4546, one of two asteroids representing the Francos) at 23 Gemini, while transit asteroid Christophe at 27 Virgo accompanies transit Monica, tying Zawahri’s brother more firmly to the events.
A second T-Square is of special note. It encompasses transit Neptune at 5 Pisces, ruling victims, accompanied by transit asteroids Margret (#1410, also for Margarita Gomez) at 0 Pisces, Johnny (#3252, for John Zawahri) at 4 Pisces and Franck at 8 Pisces, all squared an exact conjunction of Mars and Lachesis (named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life) at 5 Gemini (thus exactly squared Neptune, the primary major planetary aspect of the day), and opposed transit asteroid Marcelle (#1300, for Marcela Franco) at 3 Virgo. Zawahri’s natal chart ties to this with asteroid Marceline (#1730, another variant for Marcela) at 7 Virgo.
The transit Uranus/Pluto square factors into the day as well, with Pluto at 10 Capricorn squared Uranus at 11 Aries which is conjunct asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 9 Aries, forming a T-Square with transit Mercury (news, libraries) at 10 Cancer and asteroid Carla (#1470, for victim Carlos Franco) at 13 Cancer.
13 Cancer is also the degree of an exact conjunction in Zawahri’s chart of asteroids Requiem and Marcelle, thus binding both Carlos Franco (Carla) and his daughter Marcela (Marcelle) in the moment of death (Requiem).
Other factors on the day tying victims to the tragedy are:
- asteroid Franke (#2824, another variant of “Franco”) at 1 Scorpio, conjoined transit Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 5 Scorpio (and in trine to Mars/Lachesis);
- asteroid Gomes (#17856, for Margarita Gomez) at 12 Taurus, trine to Pluto, modern lord of death, at 10 Capricorn and exactly trine Zawahri’s natal Saturn at 12 Capricorn, exactly opposed his natal Pluto at 12 Scorpio;
- asteroid Samo (#20969, for Samir “Sam” Zawahri, the shooter’s father) at 29 Aries in rough semisquare to the transit Sun; and
- asteroid Marceline at 21 Libra, tightly sextile transit Ixion/Pholus at 19/20 Sagittarius. Transit Marceline is also closely conjunct Zawahri’s natal Osiris at 20 Libra.
Looking at Zawahri’s natal chart with an eye to the victim asteroids we find an astounding confluence of these with death indicators.
The exact conjunction of Marcelle and Requiem (which also opposes natal Saturn) is perhaps the most dramatic, but also note:
- asteroid Margarita at 21 Aries with natal Damocles (the doom hanging unseen overhead) at 19 Aries, which along with Carla at 28 Aries are in square to natal Mars (violent death) at 24 Cancer, with asteroid Margret in conjunction from 27 Cancer (with asteroid Johnny at this degree also);
- asteroids Franck and Christophe conjunct natal Pholus;
- asteroid Franke at 23 Aquarius with natal Lachesis at 17 Aquarius and natal Atropos (named for the Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death) at 28 Aquarius;
- asteroid Samo at 12 Leo opposing Lachesis and exactly squared natal Pluto at 12, inconjunct natal Saturn at 12 Capricorn;
- asteroid Marceline at 7 Virgo semisquare to natal Mars; and
- asteroid Gomes at 16 Libra conjunct natal Osiris at 20 Libra.
Depicting the venue are asteroid Santa exactly with Mars at 24 Cancer, and asteroid Monica exactly squared Pholus from 18 Pisces. Ten asteroids representing victims, all linked with death-related asteroids in the natal chart of the man who killed them, and most of them unknown to him before the shooting.
Perhaps there really are no accidents.