James Holmes, born on December 13, 1987 (AA birth data on astro.com)is a mass murderer who attacked theater goers in Aurora, CO on July 20, 2012 during a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises. He was a troubled mind from a privileged background. The son of an Ivy League mathematician/scientist father and nurse mother, James was raised to achieve. He was an honors student who received a large grant to help pursue his PhD in Neuroscience.
He had no criminal record but had visited several counselors before he shot and killed 12 people and injured 58 others in a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado. His attack was premeditated and well-planned. However, things did not go as planned with his apartment bombs set-up and he was apprehended by police soon after the attack in the parking lot of the movie house.
Holmes set up bombs in his apartment to go off after playing loud music to entice neighbors to call the police. Holmes rigged the devices to explode when someone opened the front door. He had planned for the explosives to distract the police from his rampage at the movie house where he could inflict as much carnage as possible and/or attempt to escape authorities.
James has 18 degrees of Leo rising showing him to be proud and wanting to be the center of attention. No doubt he felt that he had to prove himself intellectually to please his father and this was a remarkable pressure on his life (Saturn in Sagittarius conjoined his Sun and square his Moon.)
Sun conjunct Saturn indicates someone who is, “Selfish, Cold, Unsympathetic. Generally unfortunate in life. Thwarted ambitions. Trouble to or from the father, and through superiors, elderly people and through the public. . .” (Robson, A Beginners Guide to Practical Astrology, pg99)
The Lights are the most important planets of the chart and to have them afflicted by the greatest traditional malefic can be life-long burden. Depending on other aspects, it could lead to severe depression and self-destruction.
James Holmes was arrested and has been in prison awaiting trial since the attack almost three years ago. His defense kept delaying their plea until finally pleading “not guilty by reason of insanity,” in 2013. The trial began on April 27, 2015.
Before the attack James told a friend that he had “dysphoric mania” which is defined as a mixture of depression and mania simultaneously or in short succession. This can be partly explained by his Mercury in detriment in Sagittarius being conjunct Sun, Saturn and Uranus together. The Mercury/Saturn combination could give him good concentration but also depressive thoughts while Uranus can give genius and talent with computers but also erratic and perverse thinking.
His emotionally instability is shown in part by his Moon at the critical 29 degrees of Virgo which is indicative of causing a crisis at some point. His Moon is also considered feral or out of control in its influence. The Moon rules the 12th house of his subconscious and self-undoing. The Moon is further harmed by being closely conjunct the malefic South Node. All together this resulted in his inability to express his emotions positively and becoming out of control with his anger. The Moon also rules the public and his outburst led to the destruction of so many lives.
More indications of his mental instability are shown, “If Mercury and Moon are unconnected, not aspecting the Ascendant, and afflicted by the malefics, especially in Mutable signs . . .there is great danger of mental instability or madness . . a tendency to insanity are Mercury afflicted . . .by Saturn in a night map. . . “ (Robson, A Beginners Guide to Practical Astrology, pg86)
Up until shortly before the rampage, his life was relatively normal and he easily rose in the ranks of academia with Mercury trine Jupiter in his 9th house of higher education. However his troubled personality had been a cause of concern long before that fateful night in 2012.
“In 2006, Holmes worked as an intern at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies where he was assigned to write computer code for an experiment. Holmes, who was described by his supervisor as stubborn, uncommunicative and socially inept, presented his project to the other interns at the end of the internship, but never actually completed it.”
Holms enjoyed movies and entertainment immensely. “Holmes was a fan of superheroes, including Batman, and his apartment was decorated with Batman paraphernalia. Dave Aragon, an actor from MTV television series Pimp My Ride, stated that Holmes called him twice the month prior to the shooting. Aragon is the writer, director, and star of an upcoming film entitled The Suffocator of Sins, which depicts a vigilante who shoots criminals, and Aragon claimed that Holmes showed interest in his movie’s trailer.”
Holme’s penchant for Hollywood may be partially explained by the fact that his Ascendant ruler Sun is placed in the 5th house of entertainment trine the ruler of the 5th house Jupiter. His Sun/Jupiter/Ascendant form a Grand Trine in fire signs which shows a powerful source of luck and inspiration in the creative fields and entertainment. He dressed up like a character, the Joker, from the Bat man movie that was playing when he began shooting people in the theater.
The fifth house also rules children and Holmes worked as a camp counselor with children aged 7-14 years of age without incident. It wouldn’t be a surprise if Holme’s had a secret desire to become an actor. However the powerful Mars in Scorpio being the final dispositor of his chart and ruling his 4th house of family indicates that his parents had higher academic aspirations for their intelligent son. His parents were probably very strict with Sun/Saturn square his Moon.
His Mars is the most prominent planet being the final dispositor of all of the other planets and prominently placed on the nadir exactly opposite his Midheaven. James Holmes will always be known for the extreme violence he inflicted.
2012 Aurora shooting
“Police said the shooter bought a ticket, entered the theater, and sat in the front row; about 20 minutes into the film, he left the building through an emergency exit door, which he propped open with a plastic tablecloth holder.
He allegedly then went to his car, which was parked near the exit door, changed into protective clothing, and retrieved his guns. About 30 minutes into the film, police say, around 12:30 am, he reentered the theater through the exit door. He was dressed in black and wore a gas mask, a load-bearing vest (not to be confused with a bulletproof vest), a ballistic helmet, bullet-resistant leggings, a bullet-resistant throat protector, a groin protector, and tactical gloves. Initially, few in the audience considered the masked figure a threat. He appeared to be wearing a costume, like other audience members who had dressed up for the screening. Some believed that the gunman was playing a prank, while others thought that he was part of a special effects installation set up for the film’s premiere as a publicity stunt by the studio or theater management.
It was also said that the gunman threw two canisters emitting a gas or smoke, partially obscuring the audience members’ vision, making their throats and skin itch, and causing eye irritation. He then fired a 12-gauge Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun, first at the ceiling and then at the audience. He also fired a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle with a 100-round drum magazine, which malfunctioned after reportedly firing a few rounds. Finally, he fired a Glock 22 40-caliber handgun. He shot first to the back of the room, and then toward people in the aisles. A bullet passed through the wall and hit three people in the adjacent theater 8, which was screening the same film. Witnesses said the multiplex’s fire alarm system began sounding soon after the attack began and staff told people in theater 8 to evacuate. One witness said that she was hesitant to leave because someone yelled that there was someone shooting in the lobby and that they should not leave.”
On the night that destroyed so many people’s lives when Holmes lived out his violent fantasies, the first of seven exact Uranus square Pluto aspects had occurred on June 24, 2012. Holmes had been planning his attack for months.
“On May 22, 2012, Holmes purchased a Glock 22 pistol at a Gander Mountain shop in Aurora. Six days later, on May 28, he bought a Remington 870 Express Tactical shotgun at a Bass Pro Shops in Denver. On June 7, just hours after failing his oral exam at the university, he purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle from a Gander Mountain in Thornton, with a second Glock 22 pistol at the same Bass Pro Shops in Denver on July 6. All the weapons were bought legally and background checks were performed. In the four months prior to the shooting, Holmes also bought 3,000 rounds of ammunition for the pistols, 3,000 rounds for the M&P15, and 350 shells for the shotgun over the Internet. On July 2, he placed an order for a Blackhawk Urban Assault Vest, two magazine holders and a knife at an online retailer.”
In the days leading up to the massacre, T-Mars at 9 deg Libra formed a T-Square with the Uranus (8 Aries)/Pluto (8 Capricorn) square. Mercury and Uranus had recently turned retrograde and transiting Pluto exactly conjoined his N-Neptune.
An outer planet like Uranus changing directions indicates a huge event. Uranus stationed retrograde on July 13th, a week before this Aurora attack and Uranus stationed direct five months later on December 13th a day before the Sandyhook Elementary School shooting.
Mars in detriment in Libra indicates brutal force and together with Uranus in Pluto resulted in a surprising explosive attack that stunned the nation. Transiting Pluto was precisely conjoined the co-ruler of his eighth house of death, Neptune. Neptune nataly forms a sextile to his prominent Mars/Pluto conjunction drawing his secret violent plans and fatal fantasies together. Neptune may be considered square Mars and Pluto as they are in signs of long ascension. Any aspect to the final dispositor would be a very powerful influence so T-Pluto sextile or square his natal Mars/Pluto was a main indication of his erupting in irreversible and extreme violence at this time.
Another prominent transit was T-Saturn at 24 deg Libra exactly sextile (may also be considered square) his N-Saturn/Uranus conjunction. This propelled him to carry out his carefully organized plan of wreaking as much harm to as many people as possible in a single surprise attack. The fact that he had been planning this carnage for years was revealed in court when the contents of a journal he mailed to one of his psychiatrists at school was read. Shortly before the attack, one of his therapists has alerted campus security that Holmes was a danger to others as he had expressed homicidal thoughts prior to shooting; unfortunately this was not enough to stop him.
As we approach a Full Moon at on May 3, 2015 at 13 Scorpio which lights up his natal Mars, more may be revealed about him or concerning his fate with the result of his trail. Not surprisingly, the prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.