Charles Whitman

Charles Whitman was a student at the University of Texas at Austin and an ex-Marine who, aboard a 28 story tower in the center of the U
niversity of Austin's campus, killed 14 people and wounded 32 others during a shooting rampage on August 1, 1966.

Whitman wanted to the world to know that his father had caused him so much grief that, because of him, he was driven to kill. In this article we will explore the life of Charles Whitman, using ancient predictive astrology techniques, investigating his relationship with father, looking for indications of mental illness and violence, as well as searching for factors fame and influence on the world, and paying special attention to the timing involved in his tragically fateful actions.

 the tower from which upon the apex, Whitman shot innocent students, and was himself killed by police

For those born at night, the father is shown by the star of Saturn. In Whitman's chart, Saturn is located exactly on the Ascendant in the sign of Taurus. Saturn is not very strong in Taurus, except that for Whitman, Saturn is located in the 24th degree which is in fact the boundary of Saturn. (That is to say that each Zodiac sign is like a house, and within that house there are rooms.) When a planet is located within its own boundary (aka "room"), it becomes highly dignified.

Nonetheless, Whitman's father was a very successful business man, indicated by the essential dignity of Saturn. Yet notice that Saturn is out of sect, because this is a night time chart. When a planet is out of sect, it is something that tends to work against the favor of the native. Hence, on account of the difficult nature of Saturn, the father was quite domineering, authoritarian and demanding of excellence from his son, so much in fact that Whitman felt he could never ever truly live up to his father's expectations -- something that weighed on him heavily. The fact that Taurus is a feminine sign in which only the feminine planets rejoice, means that when the diurnal/ masculine planets are in this sign, out of sect, it often indicates an inferiority complex, as was the case with Whitman. Taurus is notoriously known as mamma's boys, because the Moon is exalted in this sign; but for Whitman, the presence of the father overwhelmed the relationship with his mother which denied him of certain tender expressions and compassion.

Also essential in the analysis of Saturn and the father is the fact that planet Uranus is also conjoined to Ascendant and Saturn. Uranus indicates violence, sudden unpredictable outbursts, rebellion, instability, insanity. The father was violent towards both himself and his mother. And this is further indicated by the superior sextile aspect from Mars. As the saying goes and is often true: "like father, like son" -- violent indications are given for the father and Whitman himself, patterns learned at an early (fragile) age. There is one incident when Whitman as a teen was profusely beaten by his father and thrown into the pool, where he nearly drowned.

Note that the Lot of Fortune is both located in the 1st house, since this is a new moon nativity. Without using the Lot of Fortune, one cannot truly know what the outcome of the life will be, since the Lot of Fortune is a binding agent of the cosmic forces into the material world. Hence, that Saturn and Uranus being aligned with the Lot of Fortune and in the 1st house makes the energy of these planets to be far more certain in becoming present in the actual real world, as opposed to merely being constructs that exist in the mental plane that never actualize physically. (* 1)

Up to this point in our delineation, the father has been shown by the planet Saturn. Saturn reveals the difficult, cold, fear-bringing, relentless and domineering nature of the father. Since the Ascendant in a natal chart represents the actual physical body and temperament of the native, the fact that Saturn is so exactly aligned with the Ascendant shows just how much of an energetic force and presence the father was to him in his life. His father literally ran his life, and drove it in the direction he wished for his son.

It is key to note the fact that Saturn becomes more harmful to a person who is born at night (just as Mars does to one born during the day). And so the already difficult nature of Saturn is magnified in his horoscope. However, because Saturn is located in its own boundary, it actually has a good deal of essential dignity, which translates into the fact that the father was considered successful by the public in his own right, namely in business. The malefic planet Uranus being right there in the mix most certainly adds unpredictability and danger (think a sudden lightning strike) to an already violent and unstable configuration, as a difficult Saturn is known to cause a slow, deep fury which sometimes spills over into fits of rage amounting to temporary insanity.

Again, as the Ascendant, Lot of Fortune, Saturn and Uranus are all located in Taurus, an earth sign, there is a real concrete nature to things, thus the father's the insistence on material success. Further indications of danger are given by the fact that Saturn and the Lot of Fortune are conjoined to the most harmful fixed star in the Heavens, Algol, which means "a pile of corpses".

In order to make a more detailed investigation into the father, it is now time to take a look at the Lot of the Father. It is shown to be in Aries, which is the 12th house. Given Whitman's hatred of his father, the placement of the Lot is not a surprise, because the 12th house is the most difficult of all the houses; it is called the place of enemies. The 12th house reveals those things which are most troubling to the psyche, those aspects which compose one's self that appear to be outside of one's control, and which cause, for lack of better terms, anxiety, hysteria and mental illness. The 12th house, sitting above the horizon, relates to the mental plane. And what is contained within the 12th house comes to bear heavily upon the course of the life.

The ruler of the Lot of the Father is Mars. Mars indicates masculinity, violence, and weapons. The father was reportedly obsessed with guns. Notice that Mars is located in its own boundary, thusly agreeing with the previous indication of the father being successful in his own right; and the dignified power of Mars indicates in particular the father's love of arms and violence. Mars in Pisces is known to be very passionate and romantic, hence a virtual love affair with weapons takes place for both of them.

Using the Quarter's Technique of Valens, we see that Mars was the overall ruler of the first 3 years and 9 months of Whitman's life. Even at this young age, his father reportedly pressured his son to adore guns, and taught him to shoot, which is indicated by the dignified Mars time rulership.

 young Charlie Whitman at the beach, holding assault rifles bigger than himself

Overall, we see that the father is indicated by the three malefic planets, Saturn, Mars and Uranus. These are all aspecting the Ascendant, which is the helm of life, the place from which one directs and steers their life, which clearly shows abuse the harm of the father was a driving force for Whitman. Remember, he wanted the world to know that his father that ultimately caused the tragedy for which he was responsible. The inability to man up is indicated by the feminine sign Taurus, unable to withstand the huge presence of malefics. More on this, in regards to timing, in the final topic.

When Charles Whitman was 18, he joined the Marines. Although the energy of Saturn is overwhelming in his chart and is in fact the overall ruler of his nativity, Mars is actually more dignified, and working in his favor, since Mars is properly in sect. Thus, the military proved to be the course of action he wished to take, as Mars indicates the military. And because Mars is in a rejoicing condition (in sect, above the horizon, in its own boundary), he was quickly recognized and honored as outstanding soldier by the military as a sharp shooter.

At age 19, Whitman was given a college scholarship by the military in order to become an engineer for them. The house which indicates college is the 9th house. The 9th house is shown by Capricorn in his nativity, and the ruler is Saturn. He got the scholarship because of the essential dignity of Saturn, however, college proved to be something that was not favorable for him (as Saturn is out of sect).

Throughout the course of Whitman's life up until that point, he was used to constantly being told what to do, either by his father or military officials. For the first time in his life he was without a solid structure imposed upon from the outside, and in order to succeed, he had to be the one to provide motivation to himself. He was unable to do so. (* 2)

Despite his difficulties in school, at age 20, Whitman married. This occurred while the Lot of Eros -- which is what causes people to fall in love -- was releasing from Capricorn (level one) and from Aquarius (level 2). Thus, Saturn was the star responsible for causing relationships to form. At the time he met his wife and married, Saturn was located in Aquarius, the sign of its essential dignity. Aquarius is his 10th house, the most powerful house in his chart, being angular to the Ascendant, Lot of Fortune and Lot of Spirit. The essential dignity of Saturn, ruling the Lot of Eros, lining up the Ascendant and Lot of Fortune enabled him to find love.

In a nativity, the marriage partner is shown by the 7th house. For Whitman it is Scorpio, which is ruled by Mars. Again, the star of Mars is in a rejoicing condition, and therefor we find that the reports of the wife is that she was "bright, vivacious, very beautiful" and everyone who knew her thought she was, "the all American girl".

Notice how a person can have success in one area of life, because it is ruled by a properly functioning planet, while another topic of life, ruled by a different planet, can indicate failure, hardship or the like.

Now, looking at Whitman's life as a whole, one has to note the lunar phase. Unfortunately, Whitman was born at a time when the Moon had vanished beneath the rays of the Sun. The ancients tell us that this indicates disaster for the native and his entire family. And my experience is that this prediction is true, as in every nativity I have seen containing this configuration, there has always been some awful tragedy that befalls the native, bringing misfortune to the whole family and everyone involved. (* 3)

Also note that the Moon had just separated from Mars, and that Mars is in a superior square aspect to it. When Mars, the planet of violence, is in a dominating position over the Moon, the mother is either a bit "loony" or she suffers from rage, or both -- since the Moon reveals the mother and the harmful aspect of Mars injures her with its rays. And such was the case for the mother. Yet of course, this indication is true also for the native, but it is something that is considered to be "inherited" by trait from the mother growing up. This is a very interesting dynamic, is it not?

Also note that the Moon is tightly applying to the conjunction of the fixed star Betelgeuse. Betelgeuse is a most harmful fixed star, it indicates "calamities, danger, violence". It is a star primarily of the nature of Mars, and has a very war-like nature to it. I have known many people with this star, and it is not comfortable to be around them; it also indicates so-called "swagger" in the more violent portends of the term.

Modern astrologers generally tell us that the Moon indicates the emotional nature of the native, their subconscious, the way they experience their surroundings and take them into their heart. Because the Moon at the time of Whitman's birth was found to be:


Void of Course  
(* 4),

in the boundary of a malefic (Saturn),

Applying to a harmful fixed star,

is dominated by Mars in a superior square,

is in aversion to the Ascendant & Lot of Fortune, and

Vanished beneath the rays of the Sun,

it is clear that the Whitman was most emotionally unstable, as there are essentially no positive or helpful indications to counteract the pile of harmful testimonies. Combine this with other factors in his chart, like the unstable and volatile
presence of Uranus on the Ascendant, and this is a person to fear. It may also be noted the fact that Mars is the ruler of the Lot of Father, and with its superior aspect to the Moon, it again reveals that the father predominated his life emotionally and psychically.

Now for the final section of this article, we are going to look at what is usually just about the first attribute that an ancient astrologer looks for in a given nativity. Is done essentially to determine the overall rank of the native, how their actions will impact society, what the person is capable of doing in terms of generating influence or the like. And most importantly, it tells which part of life will their impact be felt -- and when. This technique, essential to a natal chart reading, is called Trigons of the Sect Light.

So, because this is a nocturnal nativity, we look to the Moon (instead of the Sun). The Moon is in Gemini, which is the Trigon of Air. Therefor, the first ruler is Mercury, and the second ruler is Saturn. This is determined by the Trigons of the Element, outlined by Dorotheus. (* 5) Mercury rules the first part of the life up until the time when the second ruler rises, at which time we can expect to see a change in the course of the native's life. This is especially true in this nativity, because the first ruler, Mercury, is cadent from the Ascendant and Lot of Fortune, while the second ruler, Saturn is conjunct the Ascendant and Lot of Fortune. Saturn also rules the 10th house, the most powerful place in the natal chart -- the place of voluntary actions, fame, recognition, karma and impact upon the world.

Saturn, the second ruler, is located in the sign of Taurus. Having been born in the latitude of 26 degrees North, it takes the sign of Taurus 25 years and about 1 month to ascend. These are all very scientific measurements, giving rise to (that was a pun) accurate predictions. Because Saturn is located in Taurus, it is precisely at the time when Taurus rises, and its power awakens, that Saturn becomes the new trigon ruler.

This having been stated, it is no surprise, then, that at the exact time when the zodiac sign Taurus ascended and unleashed its power and potential, the shootings occurred. This is absolutely precise timing, no coincidence. (* 6)  For we have already discussed the malefic nature of Saturn in detail in previous paragraphs, receiving the influences of the malefic and violent planets Uranus and Mars as well as the fixed star Algol which means: "a pile of corpses".

These shootings that occurred were something that Whitman had planned and thought about since he first entered the school at age 19, for he had told others, although they thought he wasn't serious. The awakening of the power of the Zodiac signs is a most powerful indication! In hindsight, we can see how the malefic energy of Saturn stored up inside of him, and just built and built and built, in the slow rage with fits of insanity that I mentioned, possessed by the inability to relinquish (* 7) the overwhelming expectations of his father. And then, at the time when the sign containing the injurious planets and stars ascended, that energy was released, having been bound into manifestation by the Lot of Fortune.

Recall how the Lot of Fortune is in Taurus, and that the Lot of Fortune gives indications for actual manifestations that exist in the physical world. We know that the 10th sign from the Lot of Fortune is most powerful house in a nativity, for it gives indications for fame and recognition if it is strongly placed. This 10th sign from the Lot of Fortune is the sign of Aquarius -- and in fact, together, both Aquarius and Taurus are scientifically known to ascend at the same time! That is something I could have mentioned earlier, the fact that Taurus and Aquarius rise together, but that fact is only important in light of what I am currently discussing. That is, the ruler of the Aquarius, the house of fame, is Saturn, and Saturn is placed in dignity in the first house, with the Lot of Fortune. Therefor, according to the laws of the cosmos, he was fated to become infamous in history for his actions -- at the appointed time. Also note that the house of college, the 9th, is ruled by the Saturn as well, and that his fateful actions and impact on the world occurred at the university.

There is in fact another indication that took place at precisely the same time, so as to cause more than one particular influence contributing to his actions.

Age 25 is also the year when the power of the Moon awakens and unleashes; the Moon for Whitman, as outlined, was a source of extreme emotional disadvantage and instability for him. In his secondary progressions, the Moon had just ingressed into the sign of Gemini precisely 2 days prior the shooting, and was only a couple of minutes in the sign (less than 1/50th of a degree)! This is frankly extraordinary, as it takes the Moon approximately 2 and 1/2 years (915 days) to traverse a single sign. Remember that the power of the Moon was awakened because it was his 25th year of life, and so this shift of the Moon into a new sign was very important.

In fact, by itself, Gemini is one of the most unstable of the Moon signs. For not only is Gemini ruled by Mercury, a planet which is constantly shifting and changing by nature, but Gemini is located between the exaltation of the Moon (Taurus) and the domicile of the Moon (Cancer).  Furthermore, Gemini is largely associated with criminality and psychopathy in statistics. No coincidence then, that in the Thema Mundi -- the birth chart and model of our world  -- Gemini is the 12th house, the place of mental illness. Castor and Pollux, the two most prominent fixed stars in the constellation Gemini, represent twins: one is good and the other is evil. Gemini is thusly a double bodied image. With them, one can never be sure if they are witnessing the true side of a person, because a mask is easily and cleverly used to cover their outward appearance.

Just before his rampage, Whitman had written a letter stating that lately he felt that something was overcoming him, and that he couldn't understand why he was doing what he was doing. The letter stated that he wanted his body to be autopsied, so as to find some cause for actions. It was autopsied, and to everyone's amazement, it was discovered that there was a tumor in his brain.

The Lot of Fortune shows the material aspects of life and in particular the health of the body and the length of life. Nevertheless, whatever sign the Lot of Fortune is located in comes to represent the head, and each sign from the Lot represents a part of the body, moving downward in an orderly fashion, until finally the last sign at least indicates the feet. Thus, when the power of Taurus awakened, containing the Lot of Fortune and malignant Uranus, it indicated a brain tumor.

It is my hope to have shed some light on this topic, that of the seemingly inexplicable actions of a homicidal rampage shooter, which has baffled many who seek to know the cause of such. This case is especially important in the history of America, because it was the first mass shooting that had been done on this scale. It lead to formation of SWAT teams, and permanently transformed the entire country into a more rigid, fear based society.

Many look to the tumor as being the cause of the shooting, others the father as Whitman wanted us to think. Yet from what I have outlined another cause is yet offered:  fate, provable by the science of the stars, which is the cause of time itself, of necessity, and agnosia (divine ignorance) as well as providence. For mankind, being composed of the same material and essence of that of the cosmos, in fact, cannot but be in total oneness with the cosmos -- which infinitely spiral 'round, and hypnotically entrance and form the worlds beneath it, bending everything to the gravity and Will of the Creator of the Universe. Mankind as a whole, and the individual lives lived on earth, are a mere holographic speck of an even great picture which succeeds us, towards which we are forever growing, travelling along and being carried by the upward spiral, yet while along the way we seem to experience ups and downs, being stuck in a certain level of experiencing our surroundings.

 natal chart of Charles Whitman.  born on 6.24.1941 @ 01:50 in Lake Worth, Florida, USA (GMT -6)



* 1  -  Such is the power of the Lot of Fortune! No chart can conceivably be done without it!

* 2  -  For the sake of brevity and overall lucidity, I am choosing to skip the explanation as it is somewhat complex, but it most certainly is there; briefly, it is indicated by the Moon as current ruler of the times, with Jupiter as sub-ruler.

* 3  -  Note that this prediction is true so long as at the time of birth the Moon is applying to the conjunction of the Sun, the exact new moon; for once the new moon has occurred, within the course of one day, the Moon is freed from the rays of the Sun, in which case the adverse prediction becomes the opposite. New moon births are auspicious for these reasons, and also because it places the Lot of Fortune and Spirit on the Ascendant.

* 4  -  The void of course Moon occurs when the Moon has made its final aspect before leaving the current sign. When this occurs, the Moon is said to be "travelling through a vacuum", in the sense that there is a disconnection from the surroundings and a complete lack of motivation or direction; aimlessness, vacancy.

* 5  -  The trigon rules are as follows:

* 6  -  Practitioners of modern astrology, who are ignorant of ancient predictive techniques, would be looking at the transits for the time of the shooting to explain what happened. To an ancient astrologer, this is completely foolish, as transits are the last thing to look at; there are approximately 12 predictive techniques that supersede them.

* 7  -  The term used "inability to relinquish" is not arbitrary, but rather diagnostic. For the modality of Taurus is fixed, its element is earth, and its polarity is passive. Thus its method of functioning is one of  being immovable, and not actually possessed of the active desire or will to change. Taurus is the most stubborn sign, requiring so great a force to produce change that it extinguishes tremendous amounts of energy and resources to do so. The equivalent is like trying to make it snow while in the heart of spring.



Vettius Valens - Anthology

Julius Firmicus Maternus Ancient Astrology Theory and Practice

Dorotheus of Sidon - Carmen Astrologicum

Chris Brennan (trigon diagram)

ZET 9 (free astrology software)


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