The astrology of the Cumbria shooting and a word about twins

The shooter Derrick (left), twin David (right)

This mass murder occurred while we were still in England and it was very much in the news. This kind of murder spree almost never occurs there and was quite shocking. The shooter, Derrick Bird, first shot his twin brother and the family lawyer, and then went on to shoot a coworker and a string of anonymous strangers before killing himself. As so often happens, Bird was described as “a quiet and unassuming man,” “friendly and quiet.” So what made him snap in such a horrific manner?

Bird (October 8, 1957) had four planets in Libra: the Sun, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury. We don’t know his time of birth so we cannot tell his ascendant which would provide more clues, but with three of his personal planets in Libra he was very much motivated towards peace and harmony between people. The conjunction of the Sun to Jupiter typically reveals a jovial and optimistic outlook, but that conjunction to Mars is troublesome as it brings a stronger drive and need for assertion of the aggressive instinct. Mars in Libra finds it difficult to express itself aggressively and is said to be in its detriment there. When our Mars cannnot find release, it becomes blocked and a deep rage can result.

This would have been exacerbated for Bird because he was born with the Moon in Aries in opposition to the Libra stellium (grouping of planets). The Aries Moon craves to be first – to be a leader, to be respected and honored. Aries also needs to be able to demand and receive satisfaction; simply said, they need to have their own way. The strong Libra component makes that difficult, because for Libra it’s more important that others be happy so that everyone’s equilibrium is preserved.

Full Moon personalities tend to be larger than life; if the Sun and Moon are well integrated there can be an ability to bring the conscious mind and subconscious instincts together for emotional wholeness and power. But if the Sun and Moon are split — as in this case, between the lunar need for a primal satisfaction of needs and the need of the Libran planets to please others — dissociation and a loss of a grip on reality can result.

In Bird’s case that primal Aries Moon opposed not only the Sun but also Jupiter (creating a sense of self-importance), Mars (inflaming the emotions to anger and reactivity) and Mercury (emotional reactivity and lack of objectivity). Bird also had Venus in Scorpio which can carry a deep grudge in relationships, and this Venus is unaspected which would have made it difficult for him to feel connected to others despite that Scorpionic deep longing to do so.

To cap it off, Bird was a twin and in the case of twins we usually see one twin playing out one aspect of the chart and the other plays out a different aspect. So with this chart we would see one twin as the peacemaker and the other twin carrying the rage of an unexpressed Mars/Aries. Evidently Bird had recently discovered that his twin brother had never repaid a 25,000 GBP loan from their father’s estate.

reveals the difference between the twins and Derrick Bird’s “gnawing jealousy.”  According to this article the twins were only five minutes apart, which suggests that their ascendant is probably the same sign so that cannot explain away the difference in the lives of the two twins.  From all the evidence available to us, it appears that while David Bird played out the sunny Libra with the Sun/Jupiter conjunction, Derrick took the role of the angry and sulky Aries Moon opposed by Mars with unaspected Scorpio Moon – unable to confront his problems directly and who instead took the easy road to expressing his erupting anger and lack of empowerment – through bloody violence.

By | 2018-07-15T08:06:56+00:00 June 5th, 2010|Crime|8 Comments


  1. Craig June 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm

    Christ! Quick, we better get to the records offices of every country around the world and find the names of the countless number of people born at the same time before they snap as well! Surely some of them are at risk of taking the Aries Moon opposed by Mars route too? Have you been to the authorities with this information?

  2. June 6, 2010 at 3:48 pm

    I generally add something in these posts on crime explaining that many people have similar charts, but not everyone will snap in this manner. Unfortunately astrology isn’t something that can be used by the “pre-crime” unit. But it’s useful, and interesting to me as a former psych major, to use astrology as a psychological tool to gain a glimpse into the workings of the mind. The decisions that we make on how to act on our inner impulses are each of ours alone.

  3. Craig June 6, 2010 at 4:05 pm

    Given that you’re a former psych major, I presume you’ve heard of at least some of the following?

    Sure, people have their own inner impulses, and their decisions to act are there own, but that isn’t influenced by the positions of astronomical bodies.
    Shawn Carlson A Double-blind Test of Astrology Nature, 318, 419 1985

    P.S. You are aware that even if the position of the ‘planet’ of the Sun in relation to constellations affected people’s personalities, it’s moved on by more than a whole constellation since astrology was first invented?

  4. unique_astrology June 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    I dare say that in cities of the world with large urban populations that a number of babies are born within a 2 hour period (the time it takes the Moon to move about 1°) with all of them having virtually the same astronomical planetary placements. The biggest difference (in nature) of their charts being the angles of their charts. This goes on every 2 hour segment after 2 hour segment, day after day.

    They will not all be doctors, lawyers, politicians, criminals, etc.. They will not all have conservative or liberal views, be hetero, asexual, or homosexual. They will not all be people whose word you can count on, or people whose word you will not place much stock in once you know them. This makes me think that it is not the aspects in a chart which deserve the most consideration but perhaps which planets are in an angular area or in strong aspect to an angle of a chart.

    But even those placements do not compel a certain lifestyle or choices made in a life.

    I tried to paste a chart of large metro population areas in the world but I guess images are not allowed so I will type a few of them.

    Tokyo-Yokohama 34,670,000

    Jakarta 23, 345,000

    New York 21,295,000

    Bombay (Mumbai) 20,4000,000

    Manila 20,075,000


  5. Craig June 7, 2010 at 7:32 am

    My previous comment seems not to have worked. The essence was that
    1) as a psych major, I would assume you know about cognitive biases which are very relevant in astrology, such as
    2) There is evidence that there is no effect of the stars/planets on our personalities or lives, e.g. Shawn Carlson A Double-blind Test of Astrology Nature, 318, 419 1985
    3) There is no plausible mechanism by which the position of celestial bodies /could/ influence our lives/personalities
    4) Even if there was, the position of the constellations has moved on by more than one zodiac sign since astrology was invented due to procession of the equinoxes

    • June 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm

      Hi Craig, and welcome to the discussion. I am certainly very familiar with the arguments against the validity of astrology, but really I have no interest in arguing whether astrology is valid or not. Rather than address this question anew I’ll direct you to an earlier article I wrote:

  6. KD June 12, 2010 at 7:48 pm

    Craig, the positions of the stars and planets *absolutely* affect us and all life on this planet. If you don’t believe me find a really good physics major and ask him to calculate through triple integration the amount of gravitational pull Jupiter has on your body. I’ve seen this calculation done.

  7. Craig June 13, 2010 at 3:54 am

    Hi KD,
    Admittedly, the stars and the planets do have a gravitational effect on us. However, the gravitational pull decreases exponentially over distance, so a mother exerts more of a gravitational effect on a baby than Mars does!

    The rest of the planets stars are much further awawy, and their effects even smaller. Even some astrologers concede that gravity could not explain astrology, but then they are forced to fall back on unsubstantiated vague claims of ‘energies’ somehow influencing us.

    However, regardless of how strong the pull is, or how they move in line with flows of energy, they don’t move in the way astrology charts say they do. There is a post on this website announcing Mars entering Aries at some precise time in the morning, where in reality Mars doesn’t come near the constellation for around a month. Even worse than this, even if astrology charts actually described something that is happening, there are different schools of astrology around the world who make different predictions based on presumably the same premises!

    Finally, and this is where I am disappointed in Lynn posting a link to an article entitled “some things just work” in reply to my post, when you actually measure it rather than relying on people saying it worked for them, astrology doesn’t. It’s no better than guessing, and it often seems that it is because of the biases in our memory and tendency to spot patterns due to the biases I listed above.

    Regardless of the technicalities of astrology, the reason I posted on here at first was that I thought it was both absurd and a little bit tasteless to use the tragedy of the Cumbria shootings to shore up your belief in astrology and say “ah, it all makes sense when you look at his stars”, when you admit yourself that there are bigger influences at work, and that our individual actions are the result of our own personalities and choices.

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