Comments on Mohamed Merah, Part 2
This photo shows Merah in a Jihadist setting. He identified with this ‘persona’ but chose to fight his personal battle among his own home town.
In the many months since his failed suicide, Merah found himself in a new situation. Some in his community remained aloof and distant from this troubled young man. Other’s looked upon him with interest, seeing him as committed to the Muslim cause but unsure about associating with him. The authorities were interested in him as his life of petty crime, travel abroad to Muslim lands, and his obviously troubled personal situation promised problems in the future. And radical elements saw him as a recruit, as one who could be used to serve their cause.
We will start here with his t/Moon-to-n/Sun Return of March 10, 2012. (natal planets in the outer wheel, transits inside) This Return occurred just before he started a sporadic killing spree over several days. This is a sixth house Return with a theme of “Improvements in work practices, establishing procedures, offering instruction, working in a small group. Misguided actions. Dealing with illness, inability or awkwardness. Making adjustments. Visiting a health professional. Food or care services are offered or needed.”
So, how do we reconcile this logical statement for a sixth house return chart with the actual events and mindset that was exhibited in this cycle? Merah later claimed that he had been in contact with al Qaeda, that he had fought against the French participation in NATO’s operations in Afghanistan, and that he disliked the ban of face coverings for Muslim women. Apparently his time since his botched suicide resulted in a range of developments that influenced his thinking. He worked out a plan for conducting a series of assassinations. He would use a motor scooter to arrive and depart form each shooting event. This assured his escape. He would wear a helmet, keeping his identity secret. A hand-gun would be used for each up-close shooting, allowing him the greatest flexibility in dealing with others in close proximity to the shooting.
Now we can see how this sixth house theme applied to Mohamed Merah. He made improvements in the practices of other Muslim shooters. He exhibited misguided actions. He dealt with any awkwardness in each shooting situation by using a scooter and hand gun — he always had the choice to abort with no body suspecting that a potential killing had not occurred.
t/Moon-n/Sun opposes t/Ceres. Ceres can signify the state of a community, the support that is given or needed and not received (the opposition). t/Juno-t/N.Node-Desc. is opposed by n/Jupiter. Merah feels a deep association with the Muslim community and seeks opportunities within that circle. This horizontal axis is squared by t/Chiron-t/Neptune, indicating conflicts between the reality of community support and his view of his position within the community. His radical view slanted his sense of support for his views. The square pattern also involved n/Venus-n/MC; his sense of self esteem and place within the community.
We have the background for this cycle. Let us briefly examine the series of shooting events that he instigated.
The first shooting incident: The next day after the Return, on March 11th, Merah mounted his motor scooter, put on his helmet, secured his hand-gun and set off. His chosen victim had been contacted via the Internet relative to a motor scooter he was trying to sell. Arrangements were mad to meet his at a given location and time. Merah rode up to his waiting target who hoped to sell his motor bike. At point-blank range he fired and killed a French Muslim paratrooper and then drove off.
His advanced chart for this date is much the same as the Return chart. t/PoF squares n/Moon-n/Vesta-n/Sun-n/Mercury. All of these oppose t/Ceres. The Libra stellium is hit by the opportunity to create a brutal situation — remember that n/PoF is conjunct n/Pluto near the n/Asc. Merah is action oriented. Action is always the solution to a problem for him.
The second shooting incident: A few days later Merah decided to again put his plan into action. The site for this day’s action was at an ATM machine. He approached the money machine as three uniformed soldiers were queued up to draw money. Pushing aside an older women to clear his line of fire, Merah killed two and left the third soldier wounded and in a coma for weeks afterward. Again, he turned on his motor scooter and sped away without difficulty.
Again, this chart shows little obvious clues as to what could have triggered this series of murders and this particular incident on this date. We still have the n/Jupiter-Asc.-opposite-t/Juno-t/N.Node-Desc. This pattern will not change much over several days and it seems rather placid. With nothing else angular, lets look at the three primary triggers that might help us understand this event; t/Sun, t/Moon, t/PoF. t/Sun-squares-t/Moon-n/Saturn-n/Uranus. The closing square of Moon-to-Sun signifies a time to accomplish and demonstrate one’s goals. It has a sort of 10th house meaning. The t/Sun-square-n/Saturn-n/Uranus pattern activates his natal chart inclination to be drawn to situations where ‘order-is-upset.’ If we note t/PoF conjoining n/N.Node we can surmise that his view of “chance and change” (PoF) is intended to disrupt associations (N.Node) within the community (11th house).
The third shooting incident: His plans for March 19, 2012 may not have been ambitious in terms of the number of people attacked and killed. There is some evidence that he had a single target chosen but had to change his plans at the last moment. On his scooter he approached the Ozar Hatorah school in Toulouse. This Jewish school’s students were mainly Sephardic, Middle Eastern and North African in their ethnic makeup. The students were between 11 and 17 in age.
Merah approached the school at 8:00 AM as parents and students arrived. He immediately started shooting as he approached the school yard. A rabbi tried to shield some students — they were all shot. Merah approached and entered the school building, shooting as he advanced. While chasing an eight-year old girl his gun jammed. He held her, switched weapons, and then shot her at point-blank range. Following this action he retreated and drove off on his scooter.
In the Advanced chart for this date, March 19th, 2012, t/Moon is at the MC, squaring the n/Asc. t/Moon at the MC seeks recognition. Because of the natal stellium (Moon-Vesta-Sun-Mercury) we have to look at t/Sun and t/Mercury — the n/Moon’s companions. t/Sun conjoins n/Mars; anger is felt, expressed. t/Mercury conjoins the t/Sun, mirroring the natal relationship; having a single-minded purpose.
All the while these killings were being conducted, other events were also unfolding. We will explore these events and the expected end of this story in the next posting.
What is important to understand in this series of charts is that the charts are not always full of dramatic and telling patterns. If the context of ones life, as in this case, is filled with frustration and hate then it takes very little astrological ‘pressure’ to trigger one to take action. Instead we need to view this extended situation much as a traveller taking a bus trip. The trip itself is a means to an end. The process of getting to that end is fully dependant upon the scheduled bus route chosen. The stops determine the timing. The route determines the path to the final destination. Astrology, in this case, defines the small series of experiences one has in riding the bus or changing buses at one bus stop or another.
In the next and last posting of this series we will see what Merah’s destination brought to him in terms of the big event, the goal that he sought to fulfill.