On August 1, 1966, Charles Joseph Whitman, student, honorably discharged marine (see 1 below), sharp-shooter, and ex-Eagle Scout ascended 231 feet to the observation deck of the Tower of the University of Texas in Austin. At 11:48 a.m. CDT, he started shooting people on the ground. During the next 96 minutes he shot forty-five people, all on or near campus, killing fourteen.
His first shot from the deck killed the unborn child of 8-month pregnant student, Claire Wilson. His next shot killed her 18-year-old boyfriend and roommate, Thomas F. Eckman.
Whitman was well-armed: he brought a 35mm Remington, an illegally customized 12-gauge shotgun, a 6mm Remington bolt action with scope, and a 30-caliber M-1 carbine, and plenty of ammunition. He brought other supplies: a transistor radio, a 3-1/2 gallon water jug filled with water, the same size jug filled with gasoline, food, matches, knives, an alarm clock, compass, earplugs, binoculars, a flashlight with replacement batteries, a hammer, two rolls of white adhesive tape, and other items. He had supplies for an assault that could have lasted for days.
Earlier that morning of August 1, he had stabbed his beloved and beautiful wife, Kathleen, to death while she slept. Before that, just after midnight, he bludgeoned his mother to death from behind after she let him into her apartment at the Penthouse.
Before he could get onto the observation deck, he had to pass its supervisor, Edna Townsley. He bludgeoned her--probably with his rifle butt--from behind, shattering the back of her skull. He then bashed her above the left eye, leaving her mortally wounded.
The tower was an ideal place for any sniper. With just a little effort, Whitman could be safe from all returned ground fire. He was so good at changing positions, and such a good shot, no one knew for sure how many snipers were up there. So it took two very brave Austin policeman 96 minutes to get to the deck. When they did, they shot and killed Whitman, the sniper. Even then, however, it appears he could have held out longer: it appeared he didn’t want to.
Charles Joseph Whitman was 25 years old. He was not failing in school. Earlier he had lost a scholarship given him by the Marine Corps, but that did not create a big problem. His wife, a science teacher, working the summer for the local phone company, was happy to support him while he finished school. So was his father (Charles A. Whitman, hereinafter referred to as C.A., and only as C.A.), a wealthy plumbing contractor located in Forth Worth, Florida. Whitman’s grades were improving. His marriage was good. There was no question he loved his wife and felt fortunate to have her. He was well liked. No one considered him a potential killer. Indeed, Charles Whitman was thought by many who knew, or even just met, him as a likable “all-American young man.”
For America, Whitman’s action gave a new twist to mass murder. Just months earlier, on June 13,1966, 24-year-old Richard Speck had murdered 8 nursing students in Chicago. But Speck was a loner, a drifter, and an abuser of drugs and alcohol. Whitman was none of these. He was, in fact, one of our--the good--guys!
The only sign--suggestive but hardly conclusive--Whitman was experiencing a rage capable of exploding into such violence occurred at an interview he had on March 29, 1966. He was referred to and spoke with a Health Center psychiatrist, Dr. Maurice Heatly. During the interview he was observed to be “oozing with hostility.” (2 below for citation) Notes for the interview state he admitted “having overwhelming periods of hostility with a very minimum of provocation. Repeated inquiries attempting to analyze his exact experiences were not too successful with the exception of his vivid reference to ‘thinking about going up on the tower with a deer rifle and start (sic) shooting people.’ He was asked to return to the clinic the following week. He did not.
Why were such powerful statements not enough to set off alarms for his psychiatrist? Because, in retrospect, it was concluded--other health professionals concurred--many people, including students, make wild statements threatening violence. They are statements made in the heat of anger. Very, very few people carry through on such threats. Moreover, there is no way--no definitive test--to identify those who will.
It also came out in that interview that Whitman was upset about his parents. They had separated about a month earlier. At his mother’s request, Whitman drove to Lake Worth, Florida, and brought her back with him to Austin, where she rented a nice apartment. From that time on, apparently, C.A. called both wife and son about every 48 hours. He begged his son to talk Mrs. Whitman into returning to Florida.
In Whitman’s suicide note written July 31/August 1, he wrote: “...The intense hatred I feel for my father is beyond description. My mother gave that man the 25 best years of her life and because she finally took enough of his beatings, humiliation, degradation, and tribulations that I am sure no one but she will ever know--to leave him. He has chosen to treat her like a slut that you would bed down with, accept her favors and then throw a pittance in return.” (See 3 below).
Contrary to the implications of the note, C.A. had been generously supporting his wife in Austin. Did something change? Did C.A. lose patience and switch from begging to threatening? Did he threaten to cut off financial support for both of them? It has never been established whether or not that happened. Whatever happened, C.A. remained silent about it.
The above quote also raises this question: Was Charles Whitman identified with his mother? Was he unconsciously complaining about the humiliation and degradation he experienced with his father?
Since C.A. wouldn’t talk, and Charles is dead, we won’t get answers from them. Is there any way, now, to establish the nature of their relationship? Yes, there is. At least, we can see how Charles--since we have his birth data--experienced his relationship with his father. To do that, we need to look at his chart, in the area identified through research to contain such information.
Before further discussing Whitman's astrology, I need to mention details about this astrological method which is different from either traditional Western or traditional Eastern methods.
This method is not traditional. It uses a birth and conception planets and their harmonics and houses, all of which share the same axis. Conception is based on a formula discussed in the following paper: How to Find Conception
This astrology uses the sidereal positions of the planets based on the Fagan-Bradley’s SVP. My view of the practical differences between the tropical (Western) and the sidereal (Eastern) zodiacs can be found at Tropical vs. Sidereal Zodiac.
Harmonics are taken from the sidereal position of the planets. The Egyptian harmonic, discussed in the paper “About This Method” (link just below), is used Results over the past 30 years suggest it is the correct harmonic for best and realistic results..
”Lights” include suns, moons, and moons nodes. When mercury rules an Angle, it also acts like a light and has the same orb as the other lights. The MC or Asc also acts like a light, but one with only a 2° orb (at most), because when a set is on an Angle it does not need a light to be active.
This method uses only conjunctions, applying and separating squares, and oppositions. (There is a table in the paper on chartrules which shows which traditional aspects--e.g., semi-square, trine, quincunx, etc.--in the sidereal are converted to conjunctions, squares, and oppositions in the harmonics and which charts they occur in, link below.) Orbs for static planets with lights is at most 5°; without lights, 2°. Orb for MC/planet or Asc/planet is 2°. Planets so related to each other are referred to as in the same “set.” A set, then, is two or more planets (or an Angle) connected to each other through conjunction, square, and opposition within the defined orbs. Sets without Angles are more active when they contain a light, and less active without one. Learning to look in terms of “crosses” can be helpful in rapidly finding planets that are in the same set.
Acceptable orb for planets to return Angles is 2°; for progressed Angles, 1° (hopefully less, but these are unrectified charts). It is important that the two not be confused. 2° is an absolutely unacceptable orb for progressed planets to Angles or progressed Angles to planets.
Because this approach uses both a birth and conception chart and they share the same axis, birth houses usually overlap different houses of the conception chart. These are called “house overlaps.” Throughout all papers I use the convention when writing about house overlaps of putting the birth house first, then the conception house. So, for instance, a “5th/1st” overlap refers to an overlap of birth 5th house with conception 1st house in that order.
Birth planets (including their harmonics) rule only birth houses. Conception planets (including their harmonics) rule only conception houses.
For a more thorough explanation of this astrological approach, refer to the following papers:
About This Method
Empirically-Derived Rules for Reading These Charts
In the partial charts shown below, birth planets and their harmonics are inside the circle. Conception planets and their harmonics are outside the circle. Conception sidereal planets are red; conception harmonic ones, black. Birth sidereal planets are blue; birth harmonic ones, green. Occasionally, because of space limitations, I have had to violate this inside/outside arrangement, but the color coding remains constant.
Abbreviations used are b = birth, c = conception, and t = transiting. MC = Midheaven, Asc = Ascendant, and "Angles" is a generic terms for both. Even though the harmonic used for each chart is always two more than the chart’s number, in these papers—for ease of reading—I write the harmonic number the same as the chart number. For example, the 5th chart uses the 7th harmonic, but I have established the convention of writing harmonic planets for the 5th chart as, e.g., c5 mars, which reads, “the harmonic for the 5th chart for conception mars.” Pc3 mars stands for the harmonic for the 3rd chart of its progressed conception mars. T5 pluto represents transiting (at the time of the event) pluto for the 5th chart.
Please note that any planet shown below which is not harmonic—whether there at birth or occurring through progression—occurs in all twelve charts. Harmonic planets occur only in the chart for which they are derived. They are always shown with a number, e.g., b3 sun is the harmonic of the birth sun for the 3rd chart.
I start with an important general condition in Whitman’s chart. It comprises the core of his life-long, insoluble problem:
|(1)||b mars||1 Pisces 22||ruler of B Ascendant|
|b south node||2 Pisces 48|
|b moon||2 Gemini 28||co-ruler of b 4th (26 of 27degrees)|
|c neptune||1 Virgo 14||co-ruler of c 8th house|
|b neptune||1 Virgo 04||co-ruler of b 12th house|
This moon/mars/neptune/node rules an Angle (Birth Ascendant) and is doubly lighted (by moon and node). So, it describes a forefront, i.e., very powerful and influential, condition in Whitman’s chart. The condition it describes is severe for several reasons:
(a)Mars/neptune--especially lighted, which makes it much more potent--represents confusion (neptune) of motive, aim, drive, effort (all mars). Whitman vacillates in his aims and drives. He cannot figure out what is right. He makes a decision, then changes his mind. Makes another decision, then changes his mind again. His aims are like plants which are transplanted over and over again. Before they recover from the shock of the last transplant, they are moved again. With such continually shifting foundations, he does not get stable results. With such continually shifting foundations, he does not even really learn.
(b) Mars is also in neptune’s sign, in Pisces, and is conjunct the south node. Mars in Pisces all by itself represents an inability to comprehend and act in one’s best self interest. Why? Because Pisces confounds our usual sense of ego. It is the not ego sign, and any planet in it will have trouble functioning in terms of self interest. Mars generally stands for some form of self assertion, no matter how well disguised. When it is in Pisces, the individual cannot really grasp the relationship between action and self-interest. It is for this reason mars in Pisces leads not only to confused behavior, but actual victimization. Here, conjunct the south node, it means he is glued (south node conjunction) to its confusion and inadvertent self-denial. The quality he needs to properly evaluate situations is mostly unavailable to him. What quality is that? One represented by Virgo, the capacity for analysis, discrimination, and evaluation. It is diametrically--180°--opposed to where his Pisces mars is stuck. And stuck. And stuck.
(c) There is yet another disturbing problem with (1). His south node conjunct mars in Pisces is also in his birth twelfth house. The twelfth house and Pisces are naturally correlated with each other. Therefore, planets located in the 12th have a Pisces emphasis even if they are not in Pisces! So, even if (a) and (b) were not true, Whitman would still have a Pisces/12th house (non ego-oriented) problem with his mars (ego assertion). In a man’s chart, his moons represent his feelings. Because he often gets women to act out the feeling side of his nature, his moons also, and sometimes mostly, symbolize the women in his life. His mars, a male planet, represent his own actions, himself, and by association, his father as well as other males. Placed in the twelfth house or in Pisces in a man’s chart, his mars thus represents his difficulty developing and asserting his masculinity and independence. Whitman’s mars--made crucial and strategic because of its rulership over his birth Ascendant--has a huge Pisces/12th emphasis.
Let's look at his harmonics to see if they further develop this predicament. How do the harmonics do that? They do so by adding to the core condition [(1) above] an extra light (sun, moon, or node), i.e., strengthening it, or by adding another malefic planet, i.e., saturn, making the predicament worse. Specifically, we want to see if condition (1) is stronger in the house which shows his relationship to his father. While we are at it, we really ought to look at his relationship with his mother. After all, both parents provide models. Moreover, one parent provides the model for how to handle the other, and vice versa.
As it turns out, those are exactly the two charts which develop Whitman’s core condition, (1) above. They are his harmonic charts for his 10th and 4th houses. The 10th describes his perceived relationship with his mother. Why "perceived?" It shows how he experiences her. It does not necessarily show objective information about her. The 4th shows his perceived relationship with his father. The former, the 10th, also describes his social prestige and success in the world. (Therefore, any individual’s relationship with his mother underwrites his outreach and effectiveness in society). The latter, the 4th house chart, also indicates the individual’s success in securing his homes. (Therefore, his relationship with his father has something to do with his rootedness--his grounding--his sense of his right to be on the planet.)
These chart locales for relationships to parents are for the more traditional father and mother roles: when father goes out to work, and mother stays home and raises the children. It hasn’t yet been established if they change with less traditional parenting.
We start first with Whitman’s relationship to his mother:
The Harmonic Chart for the 10th House: Perceived Relationship to Mother
Two noteworthy conditions describe Whitman’s relationship with his mother.
|(2)||b10 saturn||27 Aries 16|
|C Ascendant||26 Cancer 30|
|c10 moon||27 Libra 19||ruler of C Ascendant|
This shows Angle/moon/saturn. How does it translate from symbols to words? His mother suppresses (saturn) spontaneity (moon). She emphasizes duty over feelings. Rather than defending her son from his father’s harsh treatment, her message was always, “Mind your father.” If she didn’t actually say it, she portrayed it by her behavior.
|(3)||b10 north node||3 Gemini 32|
This north node is a light. It should be added to aspect (1) above. By adding another light to it, it emphasizes (1)’s meaning as a 10th house--mother--one. It indicates his problems with self-assertion were status quo with his mother. Therefore, she was part of the problem. Her solution to an authoritative husband was obedience. She did not counsel her child to look to his own feelings for authenticity, or to assert them if he did.
There are other, progressed, conditions in this particular harmonic chart which channel Whitman’s energy in the direction of mass--that is, public mass--murder. They are not discussed here, where we are primarily interested in his relationship to his parents. For those interested, 10th house conditions which suggest mass murder/suicide are discussed in the Columbine article.
The Harmonic Chart for the 4th House: Perceived Relationship to Father
There are several important ones.
|(4)||b4 moon||14 Scorpio 46|
|b4 south node||16 Scorpio 46||co-ruler of b 4th house (26 of 27°)|
Whitman’s relationship with his father often pushes his consciousness into brooding (moon) on angry (Scorpio) feelings (moon). This aspect also suggests his life could end (4th house within the 4th chart) with him being murderously angry (Scorpio moon) at his father (4th house chart).
|(5)||c4 south node||12 Aquarius 43|
|c moon||14 Aquarius 47||ruler of C Ascendant|
Whitman has a proclivity (south node) to diminish himself (Aquarius) and his own feelings (moon) in relationship with his father. His tendency to sell himself out by de-emphasizing, or altogether denying, what is important to him also drives him more and more toward the brooding anger of his Scorpio moon. People cannot sell themselves out--even in denial--for long periods of time without developing a deep frustration and anger. This Aquarian moon, with its rulership over C Ascendant, also helps explain the general perception he was such a friendly guy. It portrays an impersonally friendly, self-diminishing, and non-demanding individual (all Aquarian). Its rulership over his Ascendant (persona) means that that is how others experience him most of the time because that is all he shows.
His other Ascendant, his birth one, presents even more of a problem. It is in Aries, ruled by mars in Pisces in (1) above, which is in the 12th house in all charts. He would try to hide all the confusion it denotes. As proof, his notebooks show a continuous effort to think positively, to pump himself up, to try to overcome this condition.
As if (4) and (5) were not problem enough for a young man trying to assert his masculinity vis-à-vis his father and growing up, the following, in his 4th chart, is his clincher:
|(6)||b mars||1 Pisces 22||ruler of B Ascendant|
|b south node||2 Pisces 48|
|c4 saturn||3 Pisces 17||ruler of c 7th house|
|b4 mercury||6 Pisces 14||ruler of b 4th house|
|b moon||2 Gemini 28||co-ruler of b 4th (26 of 27degrees)|
|c neptune||1 Virgo 14||co-ruler of c 8th house|
|b neptune||1 Virgo 04||co-ruler of b 12th house|
(6) is really (1) plus two more planets found in Whitman’s 4th chart. We can include mercury in the set even though it is quite wide to the lights because there are two lights. Whitman now has south node/mars/saturn/mercury all in Pisces, all in the 12th house, influencing his birth Ascendant and b 4th house (end of life). Whitman’s problem with self-assertion established in Set (1) took a particularly malignant turn in Set (6) which shows his relationship with his father (4th chart).
This is about as bad as it gets. It represents deeply entrenched belief (south node) in his own powerlessness (mars in Pisces) and bondage (saturn in Pisces), resulting in intense anger (mars conjunct saturn) for long periods of time (south node). It is a formula for repeated failure. It is also a formula for disaster.
Its influence over conception 7th house identifies his (astrological) capacity to direct, in general, his aggression to others. It represents one-on-one relationships (7th house).
Its influence to birth 4th house identifies its potential for being active at the end of his life (4th houses within charts).
Can I prove it had anything to do with his apparent decision to become a mass murderer?
If the consciousness of this chart had anything to do with Whitman becoming a mass murderer, it should have displayed meaningful activity on and before August 1, 1966, when he committed the murders. What constitutes meaningful activity? Progressions and transits which exacerbate his anger and powerlessness.
Progressions involve finding out where planets were in his chart when updated to August 1, 1966. Transits show where planets were in the sky on August 1, 1966.
Looking at these and his 4th house--“father”--chart, are they relevant? Yes, they are. There are several. (p below = progressed to August 1, 1966).
|(7)||pc4 mars||28 Gemini 25||ruler of C MC and c 5th, co-ruler (26 of 32°) of c 4th house|
|Birth Midheaven||28 Sagittarius 45|
|pb4 pluto||28 Gemini 37|
This shows an additional forefront influence of mars to two Angles. Mars/pluto does not always represents violence. But, if the individual is angry, it certainly sponsors the possibility of intense (pluto) violence (mars).
Influences to 4th houses within charts (any chart) describe end of cycle. So, they describe the last years of life when that particular cycle is in operation. Intense, overpowering experiences related to the 4th house, even though not actually threatening physical life, can lead people to believe they are at life's end. Out of such convictions come suicide as well as behavior like Whitman's. The same 4th houses influences probably also play a role in people dying from non-fatal illnesses. Since they believe they are dying, they throw the weight of their consciousness in that direction, and they die.
|(8)||pB Ascendant||8 Taurus 05|
|c4 neptune||7 Taurus 23||ruler of c 9th house|
|pb4 neptune||8 Taurus 59||co-ruler of b 12th house (30 of 37°)|
|b4 mars||8 Taurus 12||ruler of B Ascendant|
The midpoint between c4 neptune and pb4 neptune is 8 Taurus 11. Whitman’s B Asc has doubled in the strength of its mars/neptune set. Now it now only influences an Angle, it is on an Angle. Angle/mars/neptune is what we saw so much of in Eric Harris' charts. It represents confusion, inconsistent behavior, and idealized and/or fantasized, inflamed (neptune) anger (mars).
|(9)||pb mars||15 Pisces 26|
|transiting4 pluto||15 Pisces 40||11:48 a.m. CDT)|
|B Locality Ascendant||15 Pisces 57|
This shows his Birth Ascendant, moved to the geographical coordinates for Austin, Texas, being approached by his progressed birth mars. At 1/2 degree away, it is close enough to be active. It shows more mars in Pisces influence! With transiting pluto also in Pisces conjunct it, we get the simultaneous possibility of an intense sense of helplessness and intense anger in response to it.
More is written about mars in Pisces, its influence to various houses and Angles, in the paper on the Unabomber, in the section on Gregory Godzik (and John Wayne Gacy) in the paper about Polly Klaas, and in the appendices for Nikola Tesla and for Elvis Presley in the paper about Dag Hammarskjöld. Here are their respective links: Paper on Unabomber , Paper on Abducted and Murdered Children and Paper on Hammarskjöld with Appendices for Presley and Tesla.
|(10)||pb4 uranus||2 Gemini 56||ruler of b 12th house, co-ruler (29 of 33°) of b 11th house|
Set (10) has joined Set (6) above. Not only uranus have the reputation of an “awakener” (to what depends on what it is activating), but its influence to his 11th house likely has something to do with his “mass” (group—11th) action.
But there is something else which brings out the intensity of this difficult condition. Transiting saturn--that is, saturn’s place in the sky at the time of his rampage--is at
|(11)||5 Pisces 03R||has just passed over his b4 mercury at 6 Pisces 14|
Mercury in Pisces represents a delicate, sensitive, open mind. In a highly afflicted chart, it would stand for a strong sense of vulnerability. Since it rules his b 3rd house of mind, saturn passing over it represents depression and/or dark thoughts.
Looking at transiting saturn's pattern for the several months prior to August 1, 1966, we find:
|Date||Transiting Saturn’s Position|
|4-26-66||1 Pisces 01|
|5-15-66||2 Pisces 39|
|5-20-66||3 Pisces 14|
From the above, we can see that after his psychiatric interview, and before he started shooting, Whitman had saturn transiting his south node/mars/saturn in Pisces in his 4th house chart. Saturn moves up to 5 Pisces 24 in July, 1966, and then turns retrograde. In August, at the time of the murders, it hit his mercury in Pisces again. It is returning for a second pass over his south node/mars/saturn. It turns direct again in December, 1966, when it is at 28 Aquarius 38. Had he lived, it would have moved a third and final time over these Pisces planets.
When saturn passes slowly over mars, the individual often feels--or is actually--like he is being brought to a stop. It produces frustration. Frustration can lead to anger. It sponsors breakdowns in the status quo, including possible physical limitations.
So, saturn passing back and forth over key areas in our chart represents conditions difficult for all of us. Because it moves slowly, and apparently (relative only to eyeing it from Earth) backward at times, saturn can hit the same sensitive area three times over a period of many months. If it turns direct or retrograde right on the sensitive spot, it can be there for over a month. In good times, a month passes quickly. In very bad times, it passes exceedingly slowly.
How much trouble saturn's transit causes depends on how difficult the original condition is, how much influence it has in the whole chart, and how able the individual is to deal with it. For instance, if it represents money problems, some one who is already poor can sink under financial stresses that a rich man can easily weather.
There are a couple more progressions/transits apropos Whitman’s 4th chart worth showing.
|(12)||pb NN||0 Virgo 44|
|t4 mars||0 Pisces 44|
|t4 saturn||0 Gemini 19R|
|(13)||pb saturn||2 Taurus 14||ruler of b 11th, co-ruler of b 10th houses|
|pC-Loc MC||2 Taurus 26|
|return4 NN||2 Taurus 37|
|pb4 mars||2 Leo 36||ruler of B Asc in c 9th house and ruler of b 8th house|
Did that 9th house influence have something to do with the fact he ascended the tower to commit his crimes?
|(14)||pB-Loc Asc||19 Aries 27|
|pc saturn||19 Aries 12R||ruler of c 7th house|
|(15)||pC-Loc Asc||5 Leo 01|
|pb moon||5 Taurus 41||co-ruler (26 of 27°) b 4th house|
|pb uranus||5 Taurus 29||ruler of b 12th, co-ruler of b 11th houses|
Set (15) ratchets up the intensity of Whitman’s feelings, sponsoring a sense that “now” is the time to act.
Combined, the astrology above shows that Whitman's chart was highly afflicted and suggestive of violence at the time he committed the murders.
Whitman also has a “benefic” set. His c4 venus, ruler of c 4th house and co-ruler of c 10th, is at 16 Cancer 53 conjunct b4 jupiter, ruler of b 9th house, at 16 Cancer 13. It is being highlighted by transiting4 NN at 17 Aries 02. His 7th chart also shows a benefic, this time progressed: pb venus at 26 Cancer 38 is in the same set with pc7 jupiter at 26 Capricorn 26 and C Asc at 26 Cancer 30. The venus and jupiter are opposition, but also occur conjunct and square in charts of individuals whose infamy brings them suddenly into the public eye.
How can we be sure the above sets describe Whitman's current (August 1, 1966) feelings about his father? Our 4th chart also shows our housing. Conditions in the home such as renovations, breakdowns, and neighbor’s noise appear to be shown in the 4th house within the 7th chart. Purchases of new homes and fortunate rentals (influencing 4th houses and Angles) in both 4th and 7th charts.
The quotes above from his interview with the psychiatrist ascertain that Whitman was completely aware of and involved with his frustration and anger toward his father. Because that area of his life frustrated his emotional growth, being in that form of consciousness quite likely sponsored feelings attached to much earlier ages. Whitman's learning problem was not because he was stupid. It happened because one cannot learn well under so much emotional stress as is indicated by his relation to his father as shown in his 4th chart.
Yet, Whitman killed every one but his father. That is another indication that at the time he still was unable to confront his father.
Before leaving Whitman’s charts, we should address the question, “Was Whitman crazy?”
The answer to that involves cursory looks at the two charts normally involved in mental imbalance--those of the 1st and 3rd houses. They represent identity and mind, respectively.
The only remarkable condition in Whitman’s 1st house chart is he has c1 mars conjunct Birth Ascendant in Aries. Since c1 mars also rules Conception Midheaven, in this chart he has two Angles influenced by Angle/mars in Aries. It shows he often acts first and thinks later. He was probably disciplined a lot as a child because of it. Indeed, it may be the behavior which his father saw as the reason for his harsh dominance.
Whitman's chart for his 3rd house of mind is unremarkable. He is quite bright (IQ measured at 138, memory reports). There was nothing wrong with his mental function. He was not psychotic. He was not manic depressive. His problem was not the way his mind functioned, but what it believed--specifically, about one individual, his father.
If his main problem was with his father, we can still most profitably ask, why didn’t Whitman kill his father instead of all those innocent people?
Lavergne, author of the 1997 Whitman biography (citation 2 below), suggested Whitman’s purpose was to embarrass and humiliate C.A. Young Charles certainly landed a terrible blow on his father. In one day he deprived his father of three prize possessions simultaneously: his wife, his oldest son, and his cherished--and hard-won, because C.A. grew up in an orphanage--social prestige. And he did it using a method--proficiency in the use of guns--the elder Whitman admired. Nothing could better deserve being called a pyrrhic victory.
Why didn't his conscience prevent Whitman from dumping his violence on completely innocent people—even a pregnant woman? Perhaps it is that conscience, too, has to be fostered in order to grow from infancy to adulthood. In Charles Joseph Whitman's case, whether by design--that is, linkage to his core problem--or accident, that doesn't seem to have happened.
Whitman’s problem with his father was the all-consuming Gordian knot of his consciousness. The very nature of his condition--his history of complete powerlessness vis-a-vis Daddy--made it unlikely he would address the individual he felt caused it. Had he been able to do that, things certainly could have worked out differently.
Whitman's was an astrologically excessive condition with its roots buried deeply in earliest childhood. Such an unconscious configuration would be impossible to see without professional help. Since it would be embarrassing, and even confusing, to talk about, he’d be unlikely to seek assistance. In the face of overwhelming power--and the anger that can create--many of us pretend it isn't happening. So, all the people closest to him, his wife and family, also did not recognize the seriousness of his condition. Right up until that fateful hour (probably just days before August 1, 1966) when he made his final decision to become a mass murderer, Whitman appeared to be trying to find a positive way to live his life. His notebook illustrates that. His entry in it on August 1 is his notification he was throwing in the towel. He wrote: “I never could quite make it. These thoughts are too much for me.” (8/1/66, see note 4 below).
In any very large group of charts, Whitman’s would stand out as highly afflicted.
(1) Whitman did have trouble while in the Marine's. He was jailed once by them. By the time he was honorably discharged (early), he was disenchanted.
(2) All biographical information on Whitman comes from the book, A Sniper in the Tower: The True Story of the Texas Tower Massacre: The Charles Whitman Murders, by Gary M. Lavergne. Denton, Texas: University of North Texas Press (Bantam Books), 1997, pb. The psychiatric quotes are from pages 284-288.
(3) Ibid., pp.129-130.
(4) Ibid., p. 150
Charles Joseph Whitman
Birth: 6/24/1941, 1:50 a.m. EST, Lake Worth, FL. In Astro-Data III, by Lois M. Rodden. From Steinbrecher, birth certificate in hand.
Conception: 9/15/1940, 3:44:36 a.m. EST, Lake Worth, FL
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