Death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev; Mercury and the Moon say it’s not over yet

At 3:30 pm today, May 15, the federal grand jury for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — the younger brother involved in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing — handed down its verdict: Tsarnaev has been given the death penalty, The New York Times reported. Looking at the chart for the decision, however, Mercury and the Moon make it clear this story is not over.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; photo: Federal Bureau of Investigations. See the bottom of this post for the full chart of the jury's announcement.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev; photo: Federal Bureau of Investigations. See the bottom of this post for the full chart of the jury’s announcement.

The jury of seven women and five men convicted Tsarnaev, 21, of all 30 charges against him last month. Seventeen of those charges carry the death penalty — despite the fact that Massachusetts, where the trial has taken place and where the jurors live, has no death penalty for state crimes.

Federal law supersedes state law in a federal case; that said, the Times and others have made the point that, in this sense, the state was therefore not represented.

Polls also show Massachusetts residents overwhelmingly prefer life in prison for Tsarnaev, though generally not on humanitarian grounds: some see life in prison as much worse than death for the 21-year-old; others fear execution would make him a martyr.

Regardless of state law and public opinion, jurors had to be willing to impose the death penalty (be “death qualified”) in order to be chosen for the jury — an ironic twist on the concept of ‘justice’ represented by the early Libra ascendant for the verdict.

Yet as mentioned, what really stands out in the chart are two things: one, Mercury is about to station retrograde in Gemini, a sign known for ‘two sides of the story’; two, the Moon in late Aries is officially Void of Course (VOC), using traditional methods. That is, it is not going to make any major angles to major or traditional planets before it leaves the sign it is in.

Mercury about to station is as about as close as astrology gets to a guarantee that the story (in this case, Tsarnaev’s sentence) will change directions, probably at least twice. Supporting that image of Mercury traveling back and forth is that federal death penalty cases have a long history of being appealed for years, even decades.

Adding to the likelihood of a long appeals process, Tsarnaev’s defense lawyer is Judy Clarke, who rarely loses. Clarke’s famous (or infamous) former clients include Theodore J. Kaczynski, the Unabomber; Eric Rudolph, the Olympic Park bomber; and Jared L. Loughner, who killed six people in an assassination attempt on Representative Gabrielle Giffords.

Defendants sentenced to death in federal cases also have a history of rarely actually being executed. According to the same Times article:

“Of the 80 federal defendants sentenced to death since 1988, only three, including Timothy J. McVeigh, the Oklahoma City bomber, have been executed. Most cases are still tied up in appeal. In the rest, the sentences were vacated or the defendants died or committed suicide.”

It could be this is what the VOC Moon is indicating: the sentence might never come to pass — at least, not as it has been declared. Time will tell.

Chart for the sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother accused and convicted of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. View glyph key here.

Chart for the sentencing of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the surviving brother accused and convicted of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. View glyph key here.

10 thoughts on “Death sentence for Boston Marathon bomber Tsarnaev; Mercury and the Moon say it’s not over yet

  1. Len Wallick

    Amanda: Thank you for a beautiful job of accurately reporting the the verdict and skillfully correlating the astrology for the time of the verdict. i’m confident that the course of events will validate your cogent and persuasive analysis.

  2. Amy Elliott

    Interesting that Pholus is conjunct Pallas, which is within one degree of the GC. Looks as if the consequences of this case, whatever they turn out to be, could have huge implications.

    *trundles off to find Astraea* So Astraea, the other Goddess of Justice, is at 26+ Taurus, conjunct the Sun. And Sedna, also at 24+ Taurus. These last two are semi-square the Nodes within about 20 minutes of arc. Meanwhile, Jupiter and Juno are closely conjunct on a cross-quarter point.

    Seems this process is going to be about a hell of a lot more things than what to do with Tsarnaev.

  3. Fe Bongolan


    Tsarnaev is a perfect bargaining tool in ongoing negotiations with whatever black ops need for counter-terrorism activity–he could be a source for other cells or a trading chip in hostage negotiations. We may not see or hear from him for a long while. But he would also be quite safe.

    I keep thinking about all those “Rome” and “Game of Thrones” episodes where the victor keeps the vanquished leader captive until time for the public spectacle of human sacrifice to honor a victory. Tsarnaev’s future, while under appeal, could prove value added to DHS and the CIA. Such a horror tale.

  4. ani

    i really wish this kid wasn’t guilty. What hasn’t been addressed is *Why were there Homeland security, FBI, etc **En force** right at the place that this crime happened?* There has been mention that the FBI planted these possibilities in Tamerlane’s head, hounded him in to committing some terrorism.

    So many sad miserable cases have been instigated through the FBI trying to be undercover, but actually inciting crimes, and I believe this is one of them. Of course they are NEVER held liable for it.

    HOwever dzhokhar had been embraced by the Boston community time and again, and he seems to show only empathy for his family members, Muslim community and no one else. There is a huge message sent that this is not acceptable in american society, this is not how we operate, It’s very old world. and a breeding ground for corruption to limit empathy and respect to only those of your kin or kind.

    There is a lot going on here, for me, in those three respects…Conspiracy and entrapment, terror (of Homeland Security – a 9-11 type event, yet controlled by government- breathing down the neck of the crime scene, to show – hey our country really isn’t safe from terrorism, see?) and Clan mentality that really has to go.

    also, I am deeply curious why Dzhokhar didn’t take the stand.

  5. Barbara Koehler

    I think it’s curious that Mercury is on the 7th house cusp of the U.S. Sibly birth chart, the “not me” house. The U.S. has made a statement to the World, Don’t mess with our Marathons or you will Die.

    We the People can be a real bitch (today’s Moon conjunct Eris breathtakingly tight), so don’t let this sweet-faced Cancer Sun-Jupiter-Venus country fool you. We are a vengeful nation when wronged. Pallas-Athene “is the upholder of laws and justice and, as the agent of such, REFLECTS THE LAWS CURRENTLY GOVERNING THE LAND.” We still live by the Patriarchal laws in this country, despite being more just than most.

    “As times change and feminine wisdom is once again restored to its former status, Pallas-Athene’s wisdom will again be honored and celebrated in its many forms.” ( Pallas quotes from Mythic Astrology, Archetypal Powers in the Horoscope by A Guttman & K. Johnson)

    In this chart Pallas is conjunct the Galactic Center and she channels the guidance of a much higher dimension than the one we presently occupy. She sextiles the U.S. Sibly Moon (We The People) in Aquarius, conjunct the U.S. Sibly Pallas. Transiting Pallas also is conjunct transiting Atropos, one of the 3 Fates, “Clotho, the Spinner, who spun the thread of life; Lachesis the Disposer of Lots, who assigned to each man his destiny; Atropos, she who could not be turned, who carried “the abhorred shears” and cut the thread at death.” (quote from the book titled Mythology; Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes by Edith Hamilton)

    As Fate would have it, today transiting Pallas (+ Atropos & GC) at 27+ Sagittarius in her sextile to the U.S. Sibly Moon (+ Pallas) at 27+ Aquarius formed a Yod, or Finger of God, with transiting Varuna at 26+ Cancer. Varuna “dispenses ultimate justice and keeps the cosmic order”.

    Transiting Pallas and U.S. Moon also formed a yod to transiting Vulcanus at 27+ Cancer when the death penalty sentence was handed down today. Vulcanus was the rejected son of Juno and when Juno wanted him back he instead sent her “a beautifully constructed chair made of silver and gold, inlaid with mother-of-pearl. Juno was delighted with this gift but, as soon as she sat in it her weight triggered hidden springs and metal bands sprung forth to hold her fast. The more she shrieked and struggled the more firmly the mechanical throne gripped her; the chair was a cleverly designed trap.” (Wikipedia) Yods induce adjustments required for changing situations.

    Transiting Quaoar was also at 27+ Sagittarius today, along with Pallas and the others, and he was in myth “the great force of creation that sings and dances the archetypal images of physical life into manifestation.” Quaoar is placed in the constellation of Ophiuchus. “Attunement with Ophiuchus would bestow the ability to see through the transcience of material life; the battle between apparent good and evil is understood to be a dance of cyclic, harmonious resonance.” The Quaoar info can also be found at the mystic marguerite link.

    It would seem then, that this act of conviction by a jury of 7 women and 5 men is a transitional step, moving us through the process of evolving out of a patriarchal society and into one more balanced between masculine and feminine thinking and feeling. Which is where (in my opinion) the centaur Pholus, 2 degrees behind Pallas today, comes in. Pholus is considered A Turning Point (Wikipedia) and a catalyst that can trigger a large reaction. Something to jump-start something that will take us a lot further down the evolution road.

  6. Geoff Marsh

    There is something about this photo of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev that so reminds me of a young Bob Dylan. It makes me consider that this event – the Boston Marathon bombing – is in some ways a direct result of the call for revolution generated by the young in the 1960s. This is a Uranus square Pluto response to the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of that period.

    The “revolution” of the 1960s was, in so many ways, a media event. The Uranus-Pluto conjunction occurred in Virgo, ruled by Mercury the communicator, and not only was the Vietnam war televised into homes around the planet but the underground press was liberated by IBM’s development of a do-it-yourself self-justifying typesetting machine. This could be hired by the day and made professional-looking newspapers and magazines a possibility for every would-be editor or publisher even if she or he did not have the capital for these normally prohibitive start-up costs.

    For personal astrological reasons I identify strongly with black American activist Angela Davis. It seemed to me at the time that Ms Davis took the struggle as far as it was reasonable to go in the face of great pressure from many fellow black Americans who wished to take up arms and shoot the nigger-hating bastards. It nearly went badly wrong for her, but her Sun-Uranus-Neptune grand trine enabled her to duck and dive the legal shenanigans with the skill of a Muhammad Ali. She is with us today because she refused to be convicted of pulling the trigger on anyone for her undoubtedly worthy and timely beliefs.

    In the same vein, there must have been many right-wingers in America during the ’60s who would have happily aimed a bullet at Bob Dylan. Here he was, in some inexplicable way inciting the youth of the nation to raise shaking fists at the perfectly reasonable way in which society was run at that time: if they don’t submit, bomb, hang or shoot the bastards. But this too was a media revolution made possible by the foresight of CBS Records who accepted, for good financial reasons, that the times they were a’changing.

    Did Tsarnaev merely follow through with his “revolution”? Did he know that talk, and even singing, is cheap and can only get your cause so far down the road? The real revolutionary does kill and is prepared to die for his beliefs, or else he is nothing.

    I think it ironic that many people in the U.S. who believe abortion to be abhorrent to God are quite happy to demand the death penalty for the foetus when it’s old enough to oppose their views.

    And, as be deduces from mysticmarguerite, the revolution is cyclical (what else would a revolution be?) and the wheel of fortune continues to turn. None of us has the perfect answer. Everything changes. Forever.

    It will be interesting from an astrological point of view to see what happens in 2048 when Uranus, again in Virgo, opposes Pluto in Pisces. Will there be some Dylanesque youngster who holds together the impossibly explosive struggle between evolution and revolution at a time when the scientific Age of Aquarius plays reality tug-of-war with established religion?

    Neither myself, Bob Dylan nor Angela Davis will probably be around to experience the result. But I have a sneaking feeling that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev just might be.

    I hope that my views do not offend anyone directly affected by the abhorrent act of which Tsarnaev has been convicted. This historic moment has affected us all.

    Peace and love.

  7. Pisces Sun

    Geoff Marsh, I, for one, appreciate all that you share, what insight, thank you! Barbara, as usual, you add more richness to the astrology provided, thank you, gratitude extended to you, as well.

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