I was up late last night, nursing my daughter through the pain of wisdom teeth removal, while my thoughts kept ricocheting to Colorado. Like every parent whose child has gone to a midnight show (actually we went together to Potter and the Hunger Games) I have been caught between horror, disbelief and irrefutable sadness.

As an astrologer. I will eventually look at the horoscope of the time and mull over the data of the murderer, Colorado and the U.S.A. But today I am not interested in intellectual exercise. Today I mourn, send reiki and pray.

We know we are in a volatile time and a time of great change which will determine how we survive and transcend into generations beyond us. I am deeply moved watching the people of Aurora, CO come together for vigils and I am struck by its name, which of course means Dawn. Considering this, the film’s name: “Dark Knight Rises” does indeed create an opportunity for reflection.

Right now there are many theories of how this could have been prevented. When I was 26 I was mugged by a man who shot at me. I was not physically injured; my survival instincts had me fall to the ground, something the detectives later told me was unusual for someone untrained. I was however deeply traumatized. Well-meaning people close to me had legal means to get me a handgun. I didn’t think this was a good idea.

My personal feelings about guns have evolved throughout the years, but that’s another discussion. What I want to reflect on is how we react to tragedy after the fact. Decisions we make as a society over the next several years have enormous impact on what will shape our nation and its impact on the entire world. Are we going to prevent young people from wearing costumes in public? Or be suspicious of unnatural hair color?

I think the deeper issues are about mental illness and the taboo and denial many families have in coping with it. This is yet another healthcare issue that requires the understanding that the military already know. We are as strong as our weakest link. As long as the U.S. is polarized in its interpretation of the Constitution and Declaration, we are stuck.

However, with the kind of energetic shifts that are occurring, the potential for real change is upon us. If we hold by “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”, then there may be a mandate to support that right… and the limitations many people experience because of inappropriate education and healthcare is up for discussion. Because whatever “motive” they come up with for James Holmes, it is quite clear that it is not a plausible one for sane people.

As for violence in movies and the reverence of the summer thriller, this happens at a time when Hollywood creates predictable movies that do not capture a truly wide audience. Is this a catalyst for them to re-think their formula of movies for adolescent boys (or men who emulate or revere them?) Only time will tell.

As far as the gun industry fits in all of this, I am back to healthcare. The burden that gun wounds puts on the healthcare system is a dirty little secret, unlike tobacco, which most people now know. According to the American Association of Pediatrics, there are a reported 20,000+ injuries a year in the U.S.A. from firearms of children between 0-19 years. That number of injuries filling our hospitals is only for children. Add adults and anyone can see the significant burden on taxpayers and the insured. Whatever your political stance on healthcare in the U.S., it is a lumbering machine that has outlived its sustainability (and yes, I am not referencing astrology, but I am interpreting it).

Could this massacre have been avoided? If James Holmes had been identified as a young man in psychiatric crisis? His mother, a professional nurse, may not have been trained in the warning signs or may have been in denial. She would not be the first parent to experience this. Yet he bought all the firearms legally.

My heart aches for the people who were directly affected by this tragedy as well as indirectly. Increase your hug quota today and everyday. In our busy world we forget to do this, but when we do our hearts touch.

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