I live in the (usually) peaceful town of Chapel Hill, where the only big news is usually about the local Tarheel’s sports teams. Last week that changed when a would-be Islamist drove a rented Jeep through a busy campus courtyard gathering place called the Pit, striking nine pedestrians with the intent to kill. His stated motive was to avenge the US for its treatment of Muslims. He later called 911 and calmly turned himself in. Photos and footage on the nightly news show him smiling directly into the camera, looking very pleased with himself. The disconnect between this expression and the gravity of the situation motivated me to take a look at Taheri-Azar’s birthchart to see what could possibly be behind this.
Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar was born to Iranian parents, and lived with his mother and sister in Charlotte NC after his parents divorced in 2003. Reports differ as to whether he was born in Iran or the US. He was a fan of fast cars and had a history of speeding and other violations. He was a member of the Sigma Epsilon fraternity, but was either expelled or not admitted for his antisocial behavior (depending on the news source). Fraternity members say that he smoked marijuana and drank heavily, and was nearly always high–behavior that does not accord to Islamic law.
The local Muslim student community quickly reacted to the attack, saying that Taheri-azar was not a member of the Muslim Student Association. Some Muslim students said that he practiced his own unusual form of Islam, and one said he had never met a Muslim who was so “anti-Arabic.” He would not respond to the traditional Arabic greeting, would not face Mecca while praying, and would not pronounce traditional prayers in Arabic. Fellow students said he enjoyed baiting his teachers and enjoyed trying to show his superior intelligence.
I only found one source for his birthdate (May 5, 1983) which is taken from records of the University of North Carolina. The chart for this birthdate shows an individual born under the sign of Taurus, the bull. Stubborn and solid, the Taurus individual tends to be somewhat conservative in nature, with a strong need for security. They are usually grounded and practical. Like so many individuals profiled in this column, Taheri-Azar has an unaspected Sun, showing that he operates alone as an individual, and may have difficulty making connections in life. This certainly fits the profile of the Lone Wolf that has been used to describe the actions of this character.
Taheri-Azar has six planets retrograde (appearing to move backwards) in his chart. This is incredibly rare – occuring on only 51 days out of 100 years (0.005% of the time, according to research by John McCormick). Retrograde planets tend to operate on a more internal level, and the more retrograde planets you see in a chart the more inverted that individual is likely to be. Someone with six retrograde planets will find it very difficult to see very clearly anything that is outside of himself. He is likely to be extremely self-absorbed, and processes nearly everything internally. This makes communication and relationships with others very difficult. When an individual is unable to connect or communicate, their behavior may escalate to a bizarre level in order to gain recognition from others. This could be Azar’s true motivation behind this attack, and the reason for the self-satisfied smirk in his capture photos.
His Moon appears to be in Aquarius, which is a rather detached place for the Moon which represents our need for emotional security and safety. Aquarians are inventive, creative, innovative, and tend to dislike emotions which they consider somewhat messy. Someone with an Aquarian moon often finds it difficult to manage emotions, and may tend to repress their emotions, particularly if the chart lacks water as it does in this chart. As we saw in the chart of Milosevic (see below), whose emotions boiled up through his rage, this guy likely channels his more difficult emotions through rebellious acting out.
Taheri-Azar’s rebellious nature comes from the exact conjunction of Uranus (rebellion and revolution) to Jupiter (ideology and expansion), both of which are retrograde in the chart. Jupiter and Uranus together in their most negative manifestation can lead to an overblown righteousness (Jupiter) that defies conventional thinking (Uranus). Azar had evidently been planning the attack for months, coinciding with the square (challenging transit) of Uranus in the sky today to Uranus in his chart over the past year. This can be a very unsettling transit, where we are restless and dissatisfied and long to shake up our lives and create excitement. This can affect someone with a Taurean nature in a more powerful way, because the Taurus nature is so fixed it sometimes require a Uranus event to get them unstuck. The actual attack took place when transiting Mars (aggression) in Gemini approached a square to transiting Uranus (in the sky today), and exactly opposed the Jupiter/Uranus combination setting off a firestorm of aggression and revolutionary behavior.
In today’s post 9-11 world, actions of a lone nut like this can be used to set off panic across the country, where it truly is a cry for attention by a