When the US ambassador to France arrived in Europe 4 years ago, he was an avid supporter of the death penalty. Today he is urging the US government to reconsider. He points out that capital punishment, along with universal access to guns, completely undermines America’s claim to world moral leadership and their policy of using human rights as a political tool. The European Convention on Human rights, signed by 39 countries, bans execution, comparing it to torture and genocide. This is in embarrassing contrast to an America which appears to embrace this form of punishment, led by a president who as state governor for Texas has presided over more executions than any other man in the US.

The execution of McVeigh is a federal act – not the act of a single state – and the US federal government has not in fact executed anyone for over 30 years. Statistics show that one in three of those executed are black, many are mentally retarded, most are poor, some committed the crime as juveniles, and few receive adequate legal help. More than two out of three cases reviewed by the courts have been overturned on appeal. (Note 1)


However, there are no doubts as to the guilt of Timothy McVeigh, who has freely admitted that he planted and detonated the Oklahoma bomb on April 19, 1995. This was the worst act of terrorist violence in the USA and left 168 people, including 19 children, dead. For the 30 relatives invited to watch through a glass window, when McVeigh receives his lethal injection, and the 270 in a nearby room watching on closed-circuit TV, the moral niceties of Europeans have little importance. They are seeking “closure” for the emotional suffering they have gone through. The execution was to have taken place on May 16th, close to the third and final opposition between Jupiter and Pluto, which is an aspect which has focused attention on the ethics of taking life like never before. Because of a serious error in the FBI’s handling of the case however, the execution has been postponed until the 11th June (This article was written on May 30th – McVeigh was executed on the 11th). With a retrograde Mars returning to oppose Jupiter at this time, the likelihood that McVeigh will die is strong. The 1600 journalists who left Terre Haute federal prison in Indiana disappointed in May, will soon be able to deliver their first-hand interviews with the bereaved and thereby satisfy the global thirst for news events, even if they are of questionable taste.

The Man and his Chart

See chart of Timothy McVeigh

McVeigh himself was born with a “mystic rectangle” pattern in his chart, involving a Mars/Neptune opposition, and the Moon in Pisces opposing Pluto and Uranus in the 4th house. In 1988, when his progressed IC was at 20 Virgo conjoining his Pluto and in trine to his Mars, he joined the army, and actually received a military decoration for his actions in the Gulf War. When he left the army, life went downhill, and he earned money travelling to gun fairs selling weapons. It is probably during this period that he developed his hatred of the federal government and attraction to US militia movements and conspiracy theories. There are many indications of McVeigh’s right-wing beliefs, but one influence which seems to stand out is the extraordinary close conjunction of Venus and Saturn in Aries on the nodal axis. The 11th house emphasis shows both his affiliations with groups, and his attitude to government. Perhaps, with both these planets being badly placed in Aries, the lack of any ability to empathise with others is very strong. When interviewed for the recent book “American Terrorist: Timothy McVeigh and the Oklahoma City bombing” he referred to the children who died as “collateral” damage, and even made disparaging comments about the grieving relatives. There seems to be at best a total numbness, and at worst a cold rage at the “other people’s children” symbolised by the 11th house. With Venus ruling the 5th house of children, and Saturn the 8th of death, the murder of innocents is graphically expressed.

The Moon, Mom and Mother Country

The Oklahoma bombing is shown in another way too. The Uranus/Pluto conjunction in the 4th could be seen to symbolise the truck bomb, primed and ready at the foot of the State building, with the Moon representing the children and people above. As this opposition also correlates to early experiences with the mother, it is interesting to observe that when his parents separated when McVeigh was 10, his mother left the family home with his sister and married a coastguard in Florida. This reflects the Moon in Pisces and its connection to the sea. Although there are claims that McVeigh’s childhood was normal and happy, he obviously experienced this family break-up really strongly, and was traumatised by his mother’s abandonment. This aspect explains the rootless existence he led after leaving the army. It is also worth noting that the opposition falls on the US Neptune/Mars square so often associated with violence in American history.

Seeds of Violence

According to journalists, McVeigh formed a warm bond to his father. Though this may conceivably be so, it is interesting to see that his Sun is placed on the exact Mars/Saturn midpoint, which could indicate severe discipline, and certainly shows the violence which later became a part of his life. In later years he never went out without his pistol tucked in to the back of his trousers. This midpoint sheds extra light on McVeigh’s Moon in Pisces, which is in exact semisquare to the Sun, and therefore carries some of the murderous Mars/Saturn energy, as well as dragging the Sun into the Pluto opposition by sesquisquare. It becomes much easier to see how his fascination with America’s military subcultures developed with the linkup of the Sun and Moon. He saw the American people and himself as victims of a conspiratorial government, whose avowed aim was to take away the right of its citizens to bear weapons, and which in the last analysis was part of a global conspiracy of power.

Ruby Ridge

His avowed aim became one of striking against a government, which was the enemy of the people. He was profoundly affected by the outrageous killings of members of the Weaver family by federal agents on August 21, 1992 at Ruby Ridge, Idaho, at the time of a Mars/Venus square, and with the Sun exactly sesquiquadrate Uranus activating the US Moon at 27 Aquarius. This was a lamentable event. Weaver was another disillusioned right wing conspiracy theorist, who settled on a remote 20-acre mountain site to get away from the influence of the federal powers. As if to confirm his conspiracy theories, federal agents tried to enrol him to spy on a local militia, and when he refused, an agent entrapped him into selling him two shotguns, which was a criminal offence. When he refused to appear in court, agents surrounded his mountain home and with silenced automatic weapons shot his dog, and then his 12 year old son (in the back). When his wife appeared at the door holding her child, she was shot through the head. During the next few days there was a stand-off, in which assault vehicles and 400 agents surrounded Weaver and his remaining family, in a classic American scenario of using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Weaver was later found innocent of all charges.

Planning Vengeance

McVeigh spent the years prior to the Oklahoma bombing travelling across America, and he made a pilgrimage to Ruby Ridge. He also visited Waco at the time of an even more disastrous siege, in which members of the Branch Davidians led by David Koresh perished when their compound went up in flames. This confirmed for him the evil of government federal forces. The siege lasted four months, whilst Mars went retrograde and then direct in Cancer opposing the Uranus/Neptune conjunction three times. Just after the third and final opposition, on April 19, 1993 in Waco, Texas, with the Sun in Aries squaring Mars, and the Moon, Venus and Mercury also in fiery Aries federal agents went in with tanks and tear gas at dawn. Trapped in the upper stories of the compound for four hours until fire broke out, 80 men, women and children died. It was in the Oklahoma City Federal building that these very same agents had their base.

The Oklahoma Bombing

See chart of the Oklahoma Bombing

Two years of planning went into the Oklahoma bombing, which took place as Uranus was at zero Aquarius. Pluto was at zero Sagittarius, now squaring McVeigh’s MC/IC axis. Obviously these two planets had a point to make in their new abodes, concerned with explosive ideologies and their manifestation. The Uranus/Pluto conjunction of 1965 – 8, under which McVeigh was born, was now being manifested in the first sextile of the cycle, but not very harmoniously seen from a human viewpoint. In actual fact this was McVeigh’s way of commemorating Waco, which also took place on April 19th, and just happens to be Hitler’s birthday. The Sun at 29 Aries in the bombing chart is square to Uranus and quincunx Pluto. It’s interesting to see how the Venus/Saturn conjunction repeats, this time in Pisces, with Saturn conjoining McVeigh’s Moon, emphasising the sadness and tragedy of loss and bereavement. Curiously, the bomb chart is quite similar to McVeigh’s, as far as the planetary alignments are concerned. This was his moment of fame. The Ascendant of the Oklahoma explosion at 8.24 Gemini is exactly on the USA’s Uranus at 8.55 Gemini, shocking the American people into a new consciousness of the internal terrorist threat. Interestingly membership of right wing groups soared after the explosion, in the belief that the government itself was responsible, and was using it as an excuse for cracking down on the militias. When McVeigh’s obvious guilt became apparent however, membership fell rapidly, and today right wing militias have lost a large proportion of their followers.

Trigger Mechanisms

At the moment the Oklahoma State building was destroyed, Mars was almost exactly on the IC, trining an explosive retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius, which activated the extremist Sun/Uranus square by semi- and sesquisquare. The Moon at 25 Sagittarius, and Neptune at 25 Capricorn, activated McVeigh’s Uranus at 25 Virgo, Jupiter at 25 Leo, and Neptune at 25 Scorpio. These planets at 25 degrees were just waiting to be triggered by transits. It is the natal Neptune/Jupiter square which enabled McVeigh to entertain such wild fantasies about government conspiracies. There was no way he could get a reality check on his powerful fantasy life. He was simply attracted to very big lies. Dr. John Smith, McVeigh’s psychiatrist, explained that McVeigh was committed to the ideal that he must object to a federal government that had become excessively oppressive and deceitful, and the bomb was his way of doing this. Smith termed the bombing as McVeigh’s “antidepressant”.

Marked by Progressions

But it is the secondary progressions that tell the full story. At this time his IC progressed at 26 Virgo was just past the conjunction with his natal Uranus. Mars progressed was at 8.25 Gemini, on the USA’s Uranus and the Oklahoma bombing’s Ascendant, marking him as the assassin. His progressed Ascendant was at 18 Cancer, squaring the Venus/Node/Saturn conjunction. He exacted his revenge on the society he hated with his heart and soul. His progressed Mercury was at 21.49 Gemini, exactly on the USA’s Mars… an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth. This was indeed McVeigh’s moment in the history of America, and with his progressed Moon having returned to its natal position, he entered the hated womb of his mother country, and detonated his bomb. His progressed Sun was at 29 Taurus, which will be where his progressed Moon will conjoin his progressed Venus on the date of his proposed execution in June 2001. On this degree lies the belt of stars known as the Weeping Sisters .
If McVeigh departs from this world in June, it will be the most witnessed execution since America’s last public execution in 1935. Whilst his exit by lethal injection will be outwardly undramatic, its effect on world opinion will not. The bomb he detonated in 1995 with progressed Sun at 29 Taurus was a moment of anger and rage, but the progressed Venus/Moon conjunction at the same point on his execution shows softness and grief. The relatives will weep at closure, and the world will weep at the spiral of violence, perpetrated both by government, and by individuals.

(C) Adrian Ross Duncan May 30, 2001

Note 1 According to a detailed study by academics at Columbia University. (Newsweek May12 2001)

Source Notes: Prime Time television show with Diane Sawyer on ABC, 3/29/2001, actually flashed Timothy McVeigh’s birth time as written in his baby book on the screen and it is 8:19AM.

Adrian Ross Duncan