Part Six; Linking the Chart’s Ninth House to Murder

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We know from previous posts that Cary Stayner murdered Carol Sund, her daughter and her daughter’s friend on Feb. 16, 1999 at Moose Lodge on the edge of Yosemite National Park in California.  In this chart group Carol’s t/Moon-to-n/Mars Return will be examined.  This posting will look into the ninth house of the chart and how we link it to ‘murder.’ This is an exploration of how we might approach house interpretation in these Return-Cyclic charts.  This t/Moon-to-n/Mars Return chart is shown below.



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t/Moon conjoins n/Mars in the Return chart’s ninth house.  Let me state right up front that this is a very dynamic chart.  The Moon represents emotions, reactions, fears, primary needs, how we initially relate to others.  Mars symbolizes one’s energy, assertiveness, anger, physical actions, creative expression, sex urges, feeling of being in command, our presence in a given environment as we play a role.  Obviously the manner in which these energies are expressed or felt depends upon whether you are promoting a situation or reacting to a situation–it’s a two-sided coin.  From Carol’s point of view as a victim, Mars is both her fight to survive and the aggression against herself.  Moon is her fears, habit patterns and reactions to aggression and to males in general.  To better understand this pattern located in the ninth house, we have to go back to the natal chart.

The natal chart portrays a T-Square; n/Part of Fortune (n/PoF) and n/Mars opposite the n/Asc. and n/Uranus, both square n/Sun.  This is an angular pattern in fixed signs.  Carol is reckless, spontaneous (PoF-Mars), not able to well handle surprising situations (Asc.-Uranus) due to having her own view and perspective on life (Sun).  She was an open person, used to leading those around her, enjoying life’s pleasures, just being herself — perhaps oblivious to her surroundings or others.  In this Return chart, t/Mars opposes n/Sun and triggers this whole T-Square pattern.  We have, first of all, a doubled up Mars due to the exact square between t/Mars and n/Mars.

What role does the Ninth House play?  First, the Ninth is where we encounter a wider world, people we do not know, the life-style and culture of others–as well as the standard terms of higher education, foreign travel, etc.  We can use ‘derivative houses’ to better understand some of the possible Ninth House meanings.  The 9th is the 3rd house of the 7th house; what others are thinking and doing..  The 9th is the 10th house of the 12th house; secrets and hidden needs of others that affect one’s status and life-direction.  With the n/Sun in the 12th, we can attach its positional meaning to the intent of the murderer because the t/Sun is in the Return chart’s 10th house.  Using specific doubled-up planets (the Sun in this case) clues us to which ‘derivative houses’ to use!

t/Pluto conjoins n/N.Node at the Return Descendant; irrevocable change (t/Pluto) is experienced due to others (n/N.Node and Descendant angle).  This pattern is doubled up due to t/N.Node conjoining n/Jupitr-n/Pluto at the IC.  The n/Jupiter conjoining n/Pluto makes this a huge, enlarged natal characteristic.  This lady liked to live life large, as the saying goes.  t/Uranus at the MC highlights n/Uranus at the n/Asc.; the natal patterns suggests one who makes spontaneous decisions, takes actions without thinking twice about what is involved.

We need to keep this all in mind as we next examine Carol Sunds advanced t/Moon-to-n/Mars Return for two days later, Feb. 16th, 1999.


The Desc. angle has more closely conjoined t/Pluto-n/N.Node;  The ominous nature of t/Pluto-Desc.-n/N.Node is more acute on this date.  t/N.Node conjoins n/Jupiter and n/Pluto; associations with others are highlighted on this date.  t/Sun opposes n/Pluto from the 10th house; one’s intent and life-style is disrupted by circumstances.  That constitutes a doubled up Pluto.

t/PoF conjoins n/Venus and squares t/Venus; love-lust, sex and physical attraction play a role in this day’s events–it is just that these are another’s expressions that are experienced by Carol Sund.  Another trigger in these cyclic charts is t/Moon.  Here, t/Moon squares n/Saturn from the 10th to the 6th; personal values, cautions and adherence to social rules is challenged.  .  How does all of this play out in real life?

 Carol and the two girls are in a cluster of cabins that is somewhat remote.  There are few other people around.  It is dark.  They are about to leave in their car.  A stranger walks up and engages them in conversation.  There is a need to for the stranger, a maintenance man to go into the cabin to check on something that may need fixing.  They had not noted anything wrong in their cabin.  Why would Carol let a stranger in their cabin after dark when there were few other people nearby?  Cary took out a gun, duct-taped their mouths and wrists, assured them they would be OK if they obeyed him, placed them in their car and drove into the woods where they were killed.

All of the amplified natal chart qualities noted earlier have come into play.  No initial resistance was offered–it was too late afterwards.  No initial caution was exercised.  Being in a strange place, under isolated conditions, after dark should have set off alarm bells in someone’s head.  The charts mirrors the event.

Comment:  As astrologers we need to not overlook any chart feature which appears to not to fit–such as t/Moon-to-n/Mars in the 9th house.  We need to find out how this pattern, or other such patterns, mirrors the life of the subject!  In this case, the use of ‘derived houses’ adds more perspective to the situation.  So does the appreciation of the natal chart’s planets and planet aspect patterns.  One gains the sense that this California woman from Santa Rosa just enjoyed life.  I suspect that she assumed the best in others, paid little attention to the shortfalls in others.  This may have been the primary reason for her lack of caution that fateful evening when Cary gained access to their cabin, to their vulnerability.

Working with these Return-Cyclic charts sometimes promotes the taking of short cuts in the analysis of the natal chart.  However, always trying to discover how the chart reflects the events in the subject’s life forces us to stop and dig for information.  Your comments?













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 four 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 see seek to maintain or deal with change in our lives. A book is expected to be 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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