I was catching up on my local newspaper this morning when I found an article about a 13-year old who had been shot and killed by police after he opened fire on them. Searching his backpack, police found a handgun and 250 rounds of ammunition.
I wanted to find out more about the situation so I searched in Google News and came up with these other similar events involving 13 and 14 year olds:
- A 13-year old has killed his father in Wisconsin
- A 14-year old shot another kid in Baltimore
- A 14-year old boy shot three at an MLK event in Texas
- In the UK, a bullied 13-year old boy hanged himself
Then I looked back a few months for more events, and found these:
- A 13-year old killed herself after nude photos of her were publicized
- Parents tie the suicide of a 13-year old in New Jersey to acne drugs
- A 13-year old teen in Mumbai killed himself
Thinking maybe this is just a fluke, and that other age groups are also killing themselves and each other at alarming rates I searched for “teen suicides” and found none other than the ones listed here.
Even in the best of times, kids aged 13-14 go through some rough patches. This is the time of the “Saturn Opposition,” when transiting Saturn forms a 180 degree angle to Saturn in the birthchart. Saturn is the planet that brings us hardship and challenges so that we will learn the attributes of discipline and hard work and the strength to overcome adversity, Until we learn those skills, though, Saturn cycles can be very difficult, especially for a child that is already under stress. Saturn can bring on depression and a sense of hopelessness. Usually the intensity of the experience only lasts about three weeks for each phase (there can be either one or three phases to a Saturn cycle), but if a child is already in a desperate state a Saturn transit can push them closer to the edge.
This age group is undergoing their Saturn opposition right now – at a time when Saturn and Pluto in the sky are in a challenging square formation. This means that not only is Saturn stressing their charts, but Pluto is doing so as well. Pluto, in its role as the god of death, rebirth and transformation, can bring into our lives intense experiences that tear down our defenses and rebuild our seat of empowerment within.
If you have a child in this age group I write this not to scare you, but to alert you to a time in your child’s life where they need the security of a strong parental foundation more than ever. Not every child will react in these horrific ways, but it’s important now to be aware of the potential for stress and help to provide a landing pad.