James Holmes and the Aurora Theater mass shooting

July 20, 2012: Eighteen minutes into a sold out midnight premier screening, of ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ at the Aurora, Theater in Aurora Colorado, James Holmes opens fire killing 12 people and injuring 70. Mars in the sky – planet of guns and violence – was square Pluto – planet of crowds and groups of people.

Holmes is captured within minutes and warns police that he has booby-trapped his apartment (house 4). They later found more than 20 bombs and incendiaries (Mars) in his apartment.

James Eagan Holmes

According to internet sources James Holmes had a conventional upbringing and education – playing sport and attending church. In 2005, at age 18, he pursued a higher education at the University of California and in 2006 his supervisor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies (house 9) described him as ‘stubborn, uncommunicative and socially inept’. In 2010 he received his undergraduate degree in neuroscience with the highest honors.

Being raised on Aquarian age communication technology he had dating and other profiles on various websites (Pluto-house 9) and like many young people he was into Hollywood thinking, movies and fantasy paraphernalia (Neptune). He was a big fan of superheroes like Batman.

In June 2011 he enrolled as a PhD student in neuroscience at the University of Colorado but in early 2012 his academic performance began to decline.

James Holmes' birth chart

Birth certificate data is December 13, 1987 at 9.04pm PST 32N51: 117W16 (La Jolla, California)

Mercury – in the second–exploration–decanate of Sagittarius – dominates. It’s conjunction Sun (his desire for significance and acclaim), conjunction Saturn – planet of fear, failure and insecurity – and conjunction Uranus – planet of individualism and extreme behavior. Sun, Saturn and Uranus are in the third–illumination–decanate of Sagittarius.

This Mercury, Sun, Saturn, Uranus conjunction is his chart’s hot spot and his thinking (Mercury) was all about academic achievement (Mercury-Sun), a fear of failure (Mercury-Saturn) and expressing his individuality (Mercury-Uranus).

Mercury in house 4 (his home and family life) and the Sun in house 5 (his pleasure life and movies) are high in harmony so his intellectual urge (Mercury) and desire for significance have a fortunate-beneficial potential; but Saturn and Uranus (in house 5) are high in discord and his security urge and desire to be different are inclined to dysfunction and mishap.

When three planets are trine each other a grand trine is formed and a grand trine, because it harmoniously associates three psychological urges, is the most fortunate aspect and James Holmes has four grand trines in his birth chart.

With Sun trine Jupiter he’s predisposed to learn and develop goodness, honesty and integrity through his conditioning by experience but there was nothing good about his behavior on July 20, so where did the goodness go?

In his chart the Moon (his mind and mentality) in house 2 (his finances) in the third–renunciation–decanate of Virgo is square Sun, semisquare Mars, square Saturn, square Uranus, square Neptune and semisquare Pluto.

It’s his most discordant planet and his mentality is characterized by feelings of inferiority (Sun), anger (Mars), inadequacy and failure (Saturn), weirdness and eccentricity (Uranus), fantasy and illusion (Neptune) and coercive control (Pluto).

Holmes does not have a complex birth chart or character. The four planets in Sagittarius and their aspects to Moon and Jupiter indicate a buoyant, sportive individual who’s inclined to suffer mental instability due to fluctuating financial fortunes. Mercury conjunction Saturn inclines towards the slow processing of information and non-communication.

His tendency towards extreme behavior (Uranus) is somewhat restrained by fear (Saturn) so the inclination to destroy and kill has to be mapped by some other prominent feature of his character. And in his chart Mars (his aggressive urge and planet of guns and violence) is conjunction Pluto (criminal activity and groups) in house 3 (his private thoughts.) Mars and Pluto are high in discord and aspect Moon.

This Mars-Pluto conjunction maps a tendency for destructive violent behavior involving a group of people, but before James Holmes becomes a danger to society his real-life situation and inner-world predispositions, mapped by birth chart and progressed aspects, have to synchronize.  

Prelude to a mass shooting

With Mercury conjunction Sun in his birth chart Holmes received his undergraduate degree in neuroscience with honors in 2010 but in early 2012 his academic performance began to deteriorate (Mercury-Saturn).

On May 22, 2012 he purchased a Glock 22 pistol (Mars) and on May 28 he purchased a Model 87 shotgun.

On June 7 he failed (Saturn) a key oral exam at the University of Colorado and purchased a Smith & Wesson M&P15 semi-automatic rifle and started stocking up on ammunition. All the weapons were bought legally.

Progressed Mercury in his chart was semisextile and parallel progressed Saturn; progressed Mars was sextile birth chart Moon; and progressed Moon was parallel birth chart Mars.

On June 10 he suddenly (Uranus) drops out (Saturn) of his studies without explanation.

Progressed Mercury was parallel birth chart Sun, progressed Saturn and birth chart Uranus; and progressed Moon was trine progressed Saturn and inconjunct progressed Mercury.

At this time Holmes had 30 progressed parallel aspects intensifying his not-conscious thought-cell activity. Progressed Sun was parallel Saturn and Neptune and progressed Mercury (his dominant planet) was parallel Sun, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune; and with his Mercury thought-cells under intense pressure his mental activity rapidly deteriorated and he descended to a very dark place (Saturn-Uranus).

On June 25 he applied to join a gun club (Mars-Pluto) and the owner who tried to contact him described his voicemail as ‘bizarre, freaky... like someone who was trying to be as weird as possible’ (Uranus). Holmes then dyed his hair red (Mars) and called himself The Joker.

On July 20 Holmes was arrested by police outside the Century 16 Theater as the only suspect in the Aurora, Colorado Theater mass murder shooting.

James Holmes’ chart progressed to July 20, 2012

Progressed Mars – planet of guns and violence – at 29 Scorpio 26 in house 4 was sextile birth chart Moon – planet of the common people – at 29 Virgo 41 in house 2 – activating their birth chart semisquare. 

Progressed Moon at 14N34 was parallel with birth chart Mars at 15S11.

Progressed Pluto – planet of crowds and groups of people – at 00S17 was parallel birth chart Moon at 00N01; and progressed Saturn at 26 Virgo 14 was semisquare birth chart Pluto at 11 Scorpio 28 in house 3 (his private thinking).

The progressed Pluto-birth chart Moon parallel indicates that Holmes was unconsciously influenced by a destructive Lower-Pluto thought force and its fingerprints are all over the mass shooting.

Progressed Saturn at 26 Sagittarius 14 was conjunction birth chart Uranus at 26 Sagittarius 35 and progressed Mercury at 26 Capricorn 00 in house 6 was semisextile progressed Saturn and birth chart Uranus in house 5 (the Aurora Theater).

Progressed Venus at 20 Aquarius 22 – the cusp ruler of house 3 – was sextile birth chart progressed Jupiter at 20 Aries 41 – the cusp ruler of house 8 (death); and progressed Jupiter was square birth chart Venus at 20 Capricorn 01).

Progressed Midheaven the event amplifier at 8 Gemini 35 in house 10 was inconjunct progressed Neptune at 8 Capricorn 02 – the cusp ruler of house 8 in house 5 – and the shooting received worldwide media attention.

(Transit ascendant trine birth chart Mars and transit Mercury sesquisquare progressed Saturn and birth chart Uranus timed the mass shooting-theater [Mars-Pluto-house 5] event.)

Event aftermath

July 30, 2012: Colorado prosecutors (house 7) file formal charges against Holmes including 24 counts of first degree murder.

October 11: Prosecutors finalize the charges against Holmes: 24 counts of murder and 140 counts of attempted murder, two counts for each person killed and two for each person injured. He’s also charged with possession of explosives (Mars).

November 15: Holmes is taken to a hospital psychiatric ward (house 12) and held for several days, sometimes in restraints.

January 10, 2013: The judge (Jupiter-house 10) rules the evidence is sufficient to put Holmes on trial (house 9).

March 27: Holmes’ attorneys say he’s willing to plead guilty in exchange for avoiding the death penalty (house 8).

April 1: Prosecutors reject the plea offer saying Holmes is sane and seek the death penalty.

May 13: Defense lawyers tell the judge Holmes wants to plead not guilty by reason of insanity.

June 4: The judge accepts Holmes’ insanity plea and orders him to undergo a mental evaluation.

April 27, 2015: The Aurora Theater shooting trial (house 9) – The State of Colorado Vs James Egan Holmes – begins in Centennial, Colorado.

James Holmes’ chart progressed to April 27, 2015

Progressed Sun at 19 Capricorn 32 in house 5 was square birth chart Jupiter at 19 Aries 46R in house 9; progressed Mercury at 00 Aquarius 34 in house 6 was sextile progressed Mars at 1 Sagittarius 17 – the cusp ruler of house 9 in house 4; and progressed ascendant at 12 Virgo 53 in house 2 was sextile birth chart Mars at 13 Scorpio 10 in house 3 and trine birth chart Midheaven (publicity) at 13 Taurus 31.

Progressed Moon at 00 Libra 19 was sextile progressed Mars. 

(Transit Mars semisextile birth chart Jupiter and transit Midheaven semisquare birth chart Mars timed the trial [house 9] event.)

July 16, 2015: Holmes is found guilty on all 165 counts against him, making him eligible for the death penalty.

August 7, 2015: More than three years after the shooting, Holmes is sentenced to life in prison without parole. He avoided the death penalty because the jury (Jupiter is in house 9) could not come to a unanimous decision.

August 26, 2015: Holmes is formally sentenced to life in prison (house 12) without the possibility of parole.

James Holmes’ chart progressed to August 26, 2015

Progressed Sun at 19 Capricorn 52 in house 6 was square birth chart Jupiter at 19 Aries 46R in house 9 and conjunction Venus at 20 Capricorn 01 – cusp ruler of house 10 (the judge’s sentence) – in house 6.

Progressed Pluto at 00S17 was parallel birth chart Moon – the cusp ruler of house 12 (prison) – at 00N01 in house 2. This Pluto-Moon parallel has a long time-frame and will influence his entire life.

(Transit Mercury parallel birth chart Moon and transit Saturn sextile birth chart Moon timed the life in prison [house 12] event.)

Data re the shooting and its aftermath from CNN's Colorado Theater shooting fast facts. 

Author: DW Sutton

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