The Dark at the End of the Tunnel

The Dark at the End of the Tunnel; John Allen Muhammad looks at a bleak future.

A mild chart within a harsh reality

This chart represents the last phase of John Allen Muhammads life.  Seven years after his horrible alliance with Lee Boyd Malvo and their shooting spree in the Washington D.C. area, Muhammad had run out of options.  Indeed, his prospects for finding any legal mercy were so bleak that he asked that any further appeals on his behalf cease.

This chart is instructive relative to our approach to “prediction” because it forces us to deal with the subject of “context.” The term context, as I use it, relates to the overall flow of ones life and the current flow of life in particular.

There are several elements in the predictive process to consider. First, the Natal Chart represents our potential in life.  We can view this as a roadmap, although it is not in any was as certain as a roadmap.  It will likely prove to be more fluid.  Bit by bit, over a lifetime, elements of the natal chart will be triggered by transits, by interaction with other people and their charts. What may happen is difficult to determine from the natal chart alone.  Second, the Solar Return chart for a year brings a general perspective and emphasis relating to portions of the natal chart.  In the above Solar Return, a quick glance shows no closely angular planets.   Yet, we will find some important portents there.  Third, the Progressed Daily Angles charts will focus those forces or potentials of the natal chart and the emphasis of the Solar Return chart such that what is due to happen will find a way to express itself.  Fourth, we have to deal with the flow of the life situation, or the “context” of one’s life.  Being highly specific, if that is possible in some or all cases, depends upon understanding the context of the life being represented by the trio of charts used.

Let’s talk about “context.” John Allen Muhammad’s earlier and adult life was marked by his personal view of the world.  He combined his being on the bad end of racial pregedice, his Army experience, his inclination to see himself as a leader and role model, his poverty during his years as a child and teenager, and the social views that surrounded him to shape an attitude of arrogance, a belief in himself being a leader and mentor, and to have socialogical hopes and views that placed him in an admirable light among his peers.  He was a problem looking for a happening.

That “happening” was the events of October, 2002 which were an extension of earlier killings that marked his wanderings prior to showing up in the Washington, D.C. area with his young friend who wanted to join in the thrill of killing others.   Following their arrest, charges, legal activities and charges led up to a trial and a guilty sentance for both shooters.  The younger shooter was given a life sentance, Muhammad was given a death sentance.  The context, or flow of life, for Muhammad following his first trial and its sobering outcome had to deflate much of the bravado that marked his attitude up to the start of that trial.  He was faced with the inevitable futility of resisting the system.  In other words, he could see the darkness at the end of the tunnel stretching a short distance in front of him.  What a 49th birthday to experience!

The chart within the context of futility and hopelessness. Given the charts that have been presented previously, let’s look at the angular activity first.  There doesn’t seem to be any close planetary presence, a lot of nearby stuff.  That’s what makes this chart a good lesson for bringing up the context of one’s life.

MC = Neptune/Node; (the MC is seven degrees from Neptune on one side and the N.Node on the other side).  Ebertin in his Combination of Stellar Influences notes “The inability to realise one’s own objectives with the help of others.  Emotional suffering.  The preference for life in seclusion and away from other people.”  Perhaps we can picture the sense of futility, of living in a hopless situation, the facing of a death that was relentlessly coming closer with each day.

With the presence of the North Node in the MC mid-point, we have to hopscotch over to the natal North Node which is conjunct natal Pluto.  Again, Ebertin notes that Node/Pluto can signify “Unions or associations brought about by the particular circumstances of one’s destiny, a karmic link.”  The fourth house signifys and end to this situation and experience — not the square to the Solar Return Ascendant (that which is to be faced and experienced this year).  Continuing to play astrological hopscotch, we jump from this natal Pluto to the transiting Mars conjunct Pluto in the 7th house area. Do we even have to pause to grasp the essential meaning of this pairing; brutal use of force, a compulsion to act, irrevocable changes wrought.

All of the above is more than enough to paint the pictures that must have rolled through the mind of John Allen Muhammad day after day.  And all of this was in the context of his life at that time, at that place.   Sometimes a chart seems to give us just a little.  That little is enough in most cases.  Like an actor who can convey a book of feelings in a glance, this chart simply paints a life within a dismal context.  What more is there to look for at this point?

If any have questions or differing views, please share them here.  Dave


About dadsnook

Dave has been exploring cyclic astrology since the mid-1970's. CYCLIC astrology utilizes both Return charts and planetary-pair cycles for short-term prediction. These practices and nine years of archived material are available for study or reading at A new book, Personal Prediction ISBN 978-9-615-63033-5, has been published and the MC-Solar Cycle technique is now supported through a recognized software provider so that all students and practicing astrologers can apply these techniques for their own use. Recently, Dave has been exploring a new charting format:, transiting Moon to natal Sun Return charts. These moon-sun returns show how we can maintain or deal with change in our lives. A book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2 has been released in 2015. Contact Dave for details at Dave is a retired business systems analyst and automation systems engineer, enjoys woodcarving and tarot in addition to astrology.
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