One of the most fascinating questions that comes up around any discussion about astrology is the extent to which we have free will.
We are born at a time when the planetary symbols are creating a certain relationship with each other and we are bound to a life of expressing these symbols.
If someone is born with the Sun and Moon in Gemini, they can try as much as they like to behave like a Scorpio but it will be completely impossible for them. Not only that, but their failed attempts will make them increasingly unhappy.
The most important thing is to accept the chart that we have been given and work with it. This is the essential starting point that gives us a chance of leading happy and fulfilled lives.
The symbols do allow us a lot of scope for individual choice and freedom. They have a broad application in that they mark a certain range of human experience. If we have them in our chart we have to operate within that range but we can choose whether to live at the very highest level within that range or the lowest or somewhere in between.
But our choices within this range will be the thing that triggers our karma. Karma does not expect or want a Leo to act like a Capricorn or vice versa, but it does take note of whether we utilise our gifts positively or negatively.
Lots of people have difficult charts, but manage to express or utilise the planetary energies in a constructive way, both for themselves and others. There are a number of examples of sports champions who have said that without their particular skill to channel their energies and the environment that they were brought up in would probably have led them to a life of crime.
Many people make the most of difficult charts, some take charts that are demanding but not extreme and sink to the lowest level possible. One example of the latter is the life of Clayton Lockett.
Lockett has the Sun in Scorpio as well as a powerful T Square between a Venus / Pluto conjunction opposition to Jupiter focusing onto an apex Moon in Cancer.
This is a difficult combination, particularly with the Moon and Venus aspecting Pluto suggesting some strain and even perhaps aggression in his relationships with women.
The chart does not in itself scream out that this person would be a killer, however. But he chose to respond to his symbols in an extreme manner.
He kidnapped, beat, and shot nineteen-year-old Stephanie Neiman for the simple reason that she had witnessed a number of his crimes. After Neiman stated she would go to the police, Lockett decided to bury her alive. She died from two wounds from a shotgun fired by Lockett. He was convicted of murder, rape, forcible sodomy, kidnapping, assault and battery and sentenced to death.
The murder occurred in 1999, when Jupiter was returning to its natal position, opposite Venus and Pluto and square the Moon.
Most people would not expect a Jupiter transit to the Moon and Venus to result in a murder, but then Jupiter is simply the planet of expansion, it creates opportunities for us to do what we want. So if our aim is killing, Jupiter will provide the ammunition.
Pluto is obviously the key figure in this chart. If we were simply talking about a Moon / Jupiter / Venus T Square we would perhaps be looking at the chart of an artist.
Of course there are many different factors, family, socioeconomic and environmental that affect people’s choices in life, but for Lockett using this chart in the way that he did would always reap some kind of retribution.
So when would karma kick in here ?
The answer to that is April 29th 2014.
Readers who follow these things would immediately understand the importance of this date. The last week of April 2014 was known for one of the most difficult astrological aspects imaginable, an exact Cardinal Grand Cross between Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto.
Many people suffered during this week and Capricorn Research has 3 clients whose children experienced serious nervous breakdown as a result. But very few people would have had as bad a week as Clayton Lockett.
After 15 years on death row, Lockett’s execution occurred on April 29, 2014. After administration of the first drug he was declared unconscious but was subsequently able to raise his head and said, “Oh, man”, “I’m not…” and according to some sources, “something’s wrong”. Lockett began writhing and was observed twitching and convulsing. He attempted to rise from the table and loudly exhaled and the execution was halted after about twenty minutes. He was finally declared dead due to a heart attack 43 minutes after the procedure began. The normal length of time was between 6 and 12 minutes.
Madeline Cohen, an attorney for Charles Warner, another man on death row who was scheduled to be executed that week, condemned the way Lockett was executed, noting that “Clayton Lockett was tortured to death”.
This was obviously an appalling botched job of what many people would say was an inhumane procedure anyway.
But others would say that ” what goes around, comes around ” and that the suffering of Clayton Lockett was not as severe as his unfortunate victim.
The astrological facts here are simple. The key planet in Lockett’s chart is his Sun ruler, Pluto. Pluto would only make one transit to his T Square in his life. This was throughout 2014 and on the date of his execution it was exactly square to Venus, the planet that it conjoined natally. In fact the whole Grand Cross fell exactly on his Venus.
So Lockett’s T Square was triggered twice by the two heavier planets involved in it, Jupiter in 1999 for the murder, Pluto in 2014 for his execution.
Pluto has the reputation of the planet of karma. In Lockett’s case it was simply doing its job.
But how does karma work ? As a general rule we reap what we sow through the actions of other people. We would be on the receiving end of something related to the karma of the other person.
How would the astrology of this situation work ? We are essentially talking about degree areas here. The 14th degree of Cardinal signs is obviously the trigger point for Clayton Lockett. Jupiter was at this point when the murder was committed. He was executed for it when Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and particularly Pluto all targeted this degree.
In Lockett’s case, karmic retribution was executed by the state rather than by an individual. So the chart to look at would be that of the United States itself.
The US Sun is in the 14th degree of Cancer, exactly square to Lockett’s Venus and right in the middle of the Grand Cross itself.
The policy of some states around the death penalty has for some time been the subject of world wide criticism. Clayton Lockett’s botched execution has been a focus for this criticism.
The White House said the execution “fell short of humane standards”. President Barack Obama declared the action “deeply disturbing” and ordered attorney general Eric Holder to review the policy on executions. Obama cited uneven application of the death penalty in the United States, including racial bias (Lockett was African-American) and cases in which murder convictions were later overturned, as grounds for further study of the issue.
The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights suggested that the execution may have been “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” according to international law and may have been cruel and unusual punishment under the Constitution of the United states. The government of the United Kingdom issued a statement reiterating its opposition to capital punishment through its embassy in Washington. It said “its use undermines human dignity, there is no conclusive evidence of its deterrent value, and any miscarriage of justice leading to its imposition is irreversible and irreparable” and called on the United States to cease its use.
Human rights organizations also condemned the “killing” and called on the government to end using it. Ryan Kiesel, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma, said that by using a “science experiment” to cause Lockett to die in pain over the course of more than 40 minutes, the state had “disgraced itself before the nation and world”. US advocacy director of Human Rights Watch Antonio Ginatta said “people convicted of crimes should not be test subjects for a state’s grisly experiments” and that the “botched execution was nothing less than state-sanctioned torture”.
For many people the death penalty itself is abhorrent, no matter what the crime committed. The idea that a man can sit on death row for 15 years and subsequently die in torture is something that no humane system could possibly condone.
For others its simple karma, cause and effect, an eye for an eye. The Grand Cross overseeing a grand crucifixion in a manner appropriate to the original crime.