ISIS terror attack in Orlando shocks US

(13 June 2016)  ISIS has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 people.  The US-born Omar Mateen declared his allegiance to the radical Islamist terror organization in a 911 call just before opening fire on innocent club goers in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.  It was the biggest mass shooting in US history and was the second ISIS terrorist attack in as many years on US soil after the San Bernardino attack which killed 14 people.  The Orlando shooting was likely a lone wolf attack by an ISIS-inspired sympathizer and may well have marked a new phase in America's ongoing struggle with radical Islamic terrorism.   

While the attack has spawned a fierce political debate in the US about intermingling of radical Islam, inadequate gun control and homophobia, the astrological perspective provides clear confirmation of the influence of Mars, especially as it approaches its alignment with Uranus at the end of June.  Mars is currently retrograde in the first degree of sidereal Scorpio.  It is now moving very slowly and is due to station direct at 29 Libra on June 29th. As a rule, the slower the planet, the stronger it becomes.  Mars is the planet of violence and conflict, of course, so it is not surprising that we should see these kinds outbreaks of violence around the time of its station in late June. 

But fiery Mars is doubly volatile and dangerous because it is forming an exact 150 degree alignment with the planet Uranus. Uranus is associated with intense energy, sudden events and rebelliousness.  As I have noted in previous posts, the upcoming Mars-Uranus alignment in late June is one reason why the UK will likely vote to leave the European Union.  When they are in close alignment, Mars and Uranus coincide with situations and events that are unstable, unpredictable and disruptive of the status quo. 

We can see how this Mars-Uranus alignment manifested in the horoscope of the shooter, Omar Mateen, born November 16, 1986.   Although we don't know his time of birth, we can see that he was born with a close t-square of the Sun, Moon, and Mars.  The exact position of the Moon is unknown in early Taurus (or late Aries) but it is likely well within range of his Mars at 0 Aquarius.  He was certainly born with a near exact square of the Sun and Mars, albeit one that does not adhere to standard Vedic aspects.  Nonetheless, it was exact enough that even a partial strength aspect would have manifested as a person with a very strong and assertive ego (Sun-Mars) and a desire to take action. 

His mental condition was likely reflected by the Mars aspect to the Moon, which is the planet most tied to the emotions and mental health. The Sun-Mars-Moon alignment therefore paints a picture of a person with a lot of energy but also a lot of anger.  Early evidence supports this view that he was an angry person who beat his wife and harbored hateful thoughts towards others who were different.

At the time of the shooting, Mars (1 Scorpio) was exactly conjunct his natal Sun (0 Scorpio) and hence also exactly squared his natal Mars (0 Aquarius) and opposed his natal Moon in early Taurus. Uranus (29 Pisces) was also in a tight degreewise alignment with Mateen's fiery natal planetary alignment.  As an added burden, Mateen was undergoing his Saturn Return as Saturn (18 Scorpio) was retrograding towards a conjunction with its natal position at 16 Scorpio.  Saturn Returns can come at a time when normal progress is blocked and individuals are forced to seek new paths for the future. 

Perhaps most compelling of all, however, is that the national horoscope of the USA is also under heavy Mars affliction.  The transiting Mars (1 Scorpio) exactly aspects the natal Mars (0 Gemini) with its full strength 8th-house (quincunx) aspect.  The cruel effects of this aspect would most likely be amplified by: 1) the fact that Mars is moving slowly and is approaching its direct station and 2) its larger alignment with Uranus (29 Pisces).  While Uranus is not in aspect using standard Vedic rules, I have found that anytime more than one planet is in such a tight degreewise alignment (usually in multiples of 15 or 30 degrees), there will be heightened effects.  It is therefore not surprising that the US should have come under another terrorist attack at a time when its natal Mars is in alignment with a stationary Mars.  That is certainly a recipe for violence and war. 

And as an added planetary trigger, transiting Venus (29 Taurus) and the Sun (27 Taurus) were coming right up to conjoin with the natal Mars at the time of the attack. Transiting Saturn (18 Scorpio) is also exactly opposite natal Uranus (18 Taurus). That may be seen  as a cosmic signature for suffering (Saturn) that arises from sudden events (Uranus).

It is conceivable that we could even see more attacks and violent incidents are possible during this time that Mars is near its station.  This period of heightened terrorist risk likely extends into early July when Mars has returned to direct motion and thereby again forms an exact 8th house quincunx aspect to the natal Mars.  More broadly, this time of the Mars-Uranus alignment looks difficult with sudden and conflictive events more likely.   I have previously written how the horoscope of GOP nominee Donald Trump looks especially afflicted by this Mars-Uranus alignment. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stock markets have been generally weaker in the past week as fears of a Brexit has compelled some investors to seek safety of bonds and gold.   US markets were somewhat mixed last week and are tilting negative thus far in Monday trading.  Asian markets moved lower last week and here on Monday also as Indian shares followed the global Brexit sell-off.  This outcome was more or less in keeping with last week's market forecast where I though that the early week would see gains on the Sun-Venus-Jupiter-Rahu alignment but that selling was more likely later in the week on the Mercury-Mars opposition. 

This week looks more negative as Mars aspects both Venus and then the Sun into midweek.  This Mars influence will make it harder for stocks to rise and I would think it will translate into more downside beyond Monday's across the board decline.  While we could see some upside around Wednesday's Fed meeting as the Moon aligns with bullish Venus, the late week looks problematic.  Friday's Moon-Mars conjunction in particular could increase volatility. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.