The Tsarnaev Brothers

Is there anything more problematic for an astrologer than a client or famous person without a birth time?

The Tsarnaev brothers, perpetrators of the April 15th Boston Marathon bombings that killed three and injured 264 others, provide an ideal opportunity to analyze charts from the viewpoint of Chandralagna, a simple concept from Vedic astrology.

Chandralagna is a composite Sanskrit term – Chandra meaning Moon, and Lagna meaning tie-down point (between heaven and earth), aka the ascendant. So Chandralagna means “viewing the Moon as the ascendant.”

If we lack a birth time to calculate the ascendant, this is the next best thing. The Moon is the chart’s fastest-moving celestial body, therefore its next most potent individuating factor.

AstroDataBank and AstroTheme provided birth data for the two brothers: Tamerlan, 21 October 1986, time unknown, Grozny, Chechnya; Dzhokar, 22 July 1993, time unknown, Grozny, Chechnya.

Without a birth time, many western astrologers typically calculate a chart for noon. This usefully captures the mean positions of the planets that day, albeit roughly for the Moon, which moves 12+ degrees in a day.

Other western astrologers calculate the chart for sunrise, or rotate the noon chart to place the Sun at the ascendant, either way creating a symbolic “sunrise” chart.

However, Vedic astrology considers the faster-moving Moon to be a stronger individuating factor than the Sun. Therefore, we rotate the noon chart to place the Moon in the first house, thus giving us a Chandralagna chart.

Before we examine these two brothers, what do we expect to find in the charts of anarchists, assassins, bombers, jihadi, murderers?

Round up the usual suspects – the malefics – in the form of Mars for violence, Saturn for death and anti-social behaviour, Rahu for aberrant behaviour, and the Sun for cruelty. (Note: Uranus, Neptune and Pluto aren’t used in Vedic astrology, so traditional sign rulership applies.)

In Tamerlan’s chart, the Moon is 14 degrees Taurus. (Note: sidereal zodiac, as per Vedic astrology). Although a noon position, no matter what the actual birth time, the Moon remains in Taurus, because in 12 hours it can only move six degrees in either direction. So Chandralagna is definitely Taurus.

Now study the disposition of planets relative to the Moon. Saturn is directly opposite, almost to the degree. (Note: in Vedic astrology, two planets need only be in opposite signs, regardless of degree or orb, to mutually aspect each other.)

Saturn in Scorpio versus Mars in Capricorn are in Parivartana Yoga (mutual reception). This means we hold the option to make these planets exchange signs in our mind’s eye, thus placing Mars opposite the Moon.

Now both prime malefics – Saturn and Mars – influence the Moon, fulfilling our astrological expectations for a perpetrator of violence.

Treating Taurus as Chandralagna, ascendant ruler Venus goes to Libra in the sixth house. Venus is doubly strong – retrograde and in its own sign. Strong planets in the sixth house are associated with martial arts (Tamerlan was a boxer), police and military activities (he tried to join resistance fighters in Chechnya), and combative behavior.

In Dzhokar’s chart, his noon-time Moon is 14 degrees Leo. Again, no matter what the birth time, the Moon remains in sign, so Chandralagna is definitely Leo.

The influence of Mars and Saturn is obvious. Mars is in Leo. (No matter the orb, two planets in the same sign influence each other like two people in the same room.) Similarly, Saturn opposes the Moon in mutual aspect.

Here, we have in addition the nodes in the angles. Rahu acts likes Saturn, Ketu like Mars. Rahu is exalted in Scorpio, Ketu debilitated in Taurus, thus contributing to their virulence and instability.

Treating Leo as Chandralagna, ascendant lord Sun goes to Cancer in the 12th house, implying sacrifice, self-undoing, suicide and incarceration.

These charts show that adopting the Chandralagna perspective immediately sheds light on the character and destiny of these two brothers.

When analyzing a chart whose birth time is known, Vedic astrologers naturally devote most of their attention to planets in houses defined vis-a-vis the true ascendant. But many also take a second step, rotating the chart to make the Moon the ascendant, analyzing the chart a second time.

This serves a dual purpose: to corroborate and reinforce themes identified earlier, or to resolve any contradictions or uncertainties that arose.


Alan Annand has diplomas from the British Faculty of Astrological Studies and the American College of Vedic Astrology, plus 30 years experience as an astrologer. ( He’s also a writer, with eight novels published, one of which – Scorpio Rising – is the first in a New Age noir mystery series featuring an astrologer/palmist as hero. (