I walked into Dominick's Cafe in Uptown Kingston to buy some newspapers on Saturday, April 20, and owner Dominick Vanacore asked me: "What the heck just happened in Boston?"
That's the question, isn't it. And it's a good one.
The fairytale version goes like this: Terrifying, mysterious bombers attacked the crowd at a great athletic event. The nation spared no expense, used its best technology and figured out who might have done the terrible deed, then sent its bravest fighters in to catch them. Everyone helped with this effort. One suspect was killed; the other took flight, was hunted down, and caught.
Then all the people of the kingdom came out in the streets and cheered the brave warriors who had saved the day, joyful that they were now safe again.
Alternate versions go like this: It was a vast overreaction by public officials; or it was a planned event designed to insure the budgets of federal agencies against sequestration; or it was an event designed to destabilize society in some way, complete with a martial law drill/mass psychology experiment conducted in the virgin target of Boston.
I heard about the bombing of the Boston Marathon shortly after it happened on a flight from Portland, Oregon to Chicago. Fortunately, it was a flight with WiFi. However, the first thing I did before reading any of the news reports was to cast the chart. In doing forensic astrology, I prefer to see the chart before I know the facts, then make some observations and perhaps come up with a theory. Then I study the facts to either dismiss or support my hunches.
What I noticed first about the chart was that Neptune is looming on the western horizon. Also called the 7th house or descendant (opposite the ascendant, which is to the east), that angle of a chart gives a picture of the environment and describes one's relationship to one's environment. Neptune's themes cover illusions, delusions, denial and deception. Neptune also includes inspiration, a talent for fantasy, music and photography and in a natal chart, it can point to one's taste for drink and drugs.
Neptune in the 7th is a warning to be especially discerning. My sense was that everything we were about to be told would be wrong or made up. Moments after seeing the chart, I posted to Planet Waves: "Nothing says 'don't trust the story' like Neptune on the 7th. It's like looking into a fog, and you need special vision to see through it."
So began a week of misreported facts, conflicting versions of the story, photos circulating around the Internet featuring scenes that could have come out movie studios, plus all the usual stories of selfless heroism, love of country and determination to go on. The bombing happened not just at the Boston Marathon but also on a day venerated in Boston—Patriot's Day, commemorating the start of the American Revolution in 1775.
It was a perfectly strange week in every other way. Just 48 hours after the 200 people were hurt in a domestic bombing incident, the Senate voted down a series of measures designed to keep assault rifles out of the hands of known felons and terrorists.
Letters laced with the poison ricin were allegedly sent to the president and a senator, and a suspect was arrested. There was a massive explosion in a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, close to the anniversary of another fertilizer explosion in 1947 that killed nearly 600 people. There were many, many other horrid anniversaries in American history the week of the bombing.
Then on Thursday, April 18, the FBI released photos of its proposed suspects, beginning one of the strangest days in modern American history—the 7-Eleven robbery that may or may not have been part of the scenario, the security guard shot for no special reason, the carjacking and the midnight firefight that allegedly killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26. These developments are what we're told turned Watertown, MA into war zone.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, after casually going to school the day after the bombing, allegedly went on the run. Boston metro area was put under martial law; Harvard, Brandeis, Boston University, MIT, and other campuses were shut down. We witnessed the most impressive show of force aimed at a civilian population on domestic soil ever, as the new Homeland Security militarized police apparatus was rolled out before our eyes, with its robots and X-ray vision. A terrifying door-to-door search ensued. I have a friend in Watertown who was horrified as eight "heavily armed men" searched her condo without a warrant or any actual reason, as she and her kids watched.