Astrological Musings

Last weekend six people were gunned down in a Seattle neighborhood after a rave party, by a “gentle giant” known as Aaron Kyle Huff who killed himself during the rampage. Kyle and his twin brother Kane were 6’5″ and each weighed about 280 pounds. They were hardly noticed in their home town of Whitefish Montana, and even his twin was “stunned and baffled by his rage.” Neighbors said that Kyle was always “humble, quiet and polite.” In fact, the partygoers revealed that Kyle Huff remained quiet and polite up until the moment of the shootings. This event was so cruel, so horrifying, yet mystifying in the disconnect between the image of Kyle Huff presented by his mother and associates and the deadly act that was committed last weekend.

Digging deeper, Kyle Huff had a history of gun issues on a much smaller scale. When Huff was 19, he was stopped with friends in Colorado County, Texas and was found to be in possession of crack cocaine, codeine cough syrup, and two fully loaded pistol magazines. He was released on bail and there is no information available on how he ended up back in Whitfish three years later, shooting up a fiberglass moose that was part of a community art project. Huff plea-bargained down to a misdemeanor and was given his guns back — the same guns that were used in the rave shootings last weekend.

Clearly there was trauma below the surface here. A look at Huff’s astrological birthchart may point us towards some clues. Huff was born with the Sun in the last degree of Virgo, just a few minutes from Libra. Where Virgo is focused on service to others, details and self-improvement, Libra is motivated by a need to be in relationship to others. When a person is on the cusp of two signs, they stand in a doorway looking into the next room. In this case, Kyle (and his brother Kane) were Virgos looking into the world of Libra. They always straddled the line between humility and an examination of the details of life (Virgo) and the desire to be in relationship with others (Libra). Whereas Libras tend to be open and easy to know which facilitates their participation in relationships with others, Virgos are often drawn inward and stand behind a curtain. This combination in a stressed individual could result in a personality which is highly secretive.

Huff had a strong Virgo influence, with both Mercury and Venus in Virgo. Mercury (thought process) in Virgo is detail-oriented and humble in expressing opinions, and Venus in Virgo shows a person who seeks to help others, but can be picky when it comes to choosing relationships. The Virgo influence is restrained and introverted, with a dislike for creating displays of emotion.

Kyle Huff had Mars in Cancer, which is a difficult placement for Mars (the assertive urge and expression of will), particularly in a man. Cancer is the sign of nurturing, of the mother – it is tender and concerned with the welfare of others. Cancer is represented by the crab, which moves sideways towards its goal. The soft shell of Cancer symbolizes the tender sensitivity of the Cancerian individual, and Mars in Cancer becomes extremely sensitive. This placement can also indicate a passive aggressive nature, since the aggressive urge is driven underground by the need to care for others and can back up against the individual in a more internalized way.

This aggression is exacerbated in Huff’s chart, because Mars is exactly squared by Pluto, the god of death and transformation. The Mars/Pluto square often shows an individual who experiences being thwarted (Pluto) from achieving what he wants to have. Pluto adds intensity to any planet it is associated with, and in square (conflict) with Mars (aggression, anger, will) we often see a tendency towards rage which often results from that thwarting of one’s desires. With Mars in Cancer, Huff was unable to go after what he wanted, and the square of Mars from Pluto intensified his feelings of being unable to have those things. This created a buildup of rage within him that was concealed by the meek Virgo influence.

Huff’s Mercury (thought process) was squared by Neptune (illusion and fantasy), showing that he was prone to “flights of fancy” and imagination. Because this is a square (challenging) aspect, we tend to see the negative characteristics of this combination rather than the more positive creative and artistic influences. The Mercury/Neptune square can indicate an individual who has difficulty accepting reality, and prefers to live in a world of fantasy. Huff evidently fancied himself an artist: he claimed to be attending the Art Institute of Seattle, although there were no records of his enrollment.

Chiron (the wounded healer) in Huff’s chart was retrograde, meaning that it appeared to be moving backwards at the time of his birth. Retrograde planets tend to operate in a more internalized way, and individuals with retrograde Chiron experience the psychic wounding that Chiron expresses in a much deeper and more internal framework. In addition, Chiron was opposed by Uranus – a fairly common but difficult aspect which creates an energy imbalance that can be uncomfortable and cause psychic distress until the individual learns to manage it.

Huff’s Moon was in Aquarius, a rational air sign that is not compatible with the emotional needs of the Moon. Individuals with Aquarius Moon tend to compartmentalize or rationalize their emotions, which can be suppressed as a result. This placement in itself does not lead to a dissociative disorder, but the combination of elements created an environment where this could occur.

The picture that emerges of Kyle Huff is of an individual whose Virgo nature tends to be somewhat critical and shy, possibly keeping him from being able to forge strong relationships. Perhaps he is rejected by females that he approaches and is rejected. His Aquarian Moon transmutes the painful feelings he experiences into something colder and harder. However, he is unable to fully express his anger (Mars/Cancer) which is thwarted at every turn (Pluto) and finally builds up to the boiling point. In addition to these character traits, he is a twin and it was likely difficult for him to clearly establish his own identity, exacerbating the inner difficulties. (More on twins below). But what planetary cycles were in play at the time of the shootings, releasing this inner turmoil into a cascade of violence?

Beginning last August and continuing through the fall, transiting Saturn made a square to Huff’s natal Chiron/Uranus opposition, setting off his painful imbalance and likely creating a great deal of anxiety and distress. This would have had the effect of throwing off his already unstable nature. As transiting Saturn formed an opposition to transiting Chiron (see my earlier article on this configuration) it continued to activate his own Chironic wound and energy imbalance. The week of the shooting, transiting Mars joined the action creating just enough irritation to light the spark of Huff’s rage and motivate him to the action that caused the tragedy.

And what about Kyle Huff’s twin? Kane Huff had the exact same birthchart, yet did not participate in the killings. Virtually nothing about him has been revealed, but neighbors describe the two twins as being “gentle giants,” both tall, both quiet. One question often asked by debunkers is why twins with the same birthchart often express such different personalities.

Most of us have dissonances in our personalities that are revealed in the birthchart. Part
of us wants to be successful, the other part fears hard work. Part of us wants to be married, the other part wants to be free. Balancing these conflicts is what helps us to evolve into more complete beings.

In my work with twins I’ve seen that rather than the individual being conflicted between two differing motivations (in this case, the need for recognition and the need for humility), each twin takes one end of the conflict. We don’t know enough about these twins to truly understand their differing natures, but it appears that Kyle carried the rage for both of them and died in the pursuit of his own individuality.

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