The terrorist attacks in Paris plunged France, as well as the western world, into a state of shock, jitters and defiance. From the opening salvos of this strike, security analysts have now begrudgingly acknowledged that this terrorist cell, however small, acted with the coordinated precision of a trained tactical unit.

It began at 11:30 AM Paris time on Wednesday, January 7, 2015. At that time, two gunmen armed with pistols and AK-47 automatic rifles gained entrance into the editorial offices of the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. There they shot and killed the editor, the magazine’s principal cartoonists and several support staff, leaving 12 victims in their wake.

The sidereal chart for the attack reveals only two planets angular: Mars rising in Aquarius, and Saturn in the 10th house Scorpio. These two malefic planets are in exchange, or mutual reception, wherein each occupies the sign of the other. They are thus strengthened, since post-exchange they symbolically assume positions of power in their respective signs of ownership.

Mars is the planet of brothers, weapons, combatants and war. Saturn is the planet of discipline, organization and destruction. Acting in concert, they reflect a disciplined battle plan.

The attackers were identified several hours later as brothers Said and Cherif Kouachi. Their parents had been immigrants from Algeria but the two brothers had been born and raised in Paris, speaking perfect French.

Mars occupies Dhanishta, one of its own nakshatras, and is just a few degrees away from its yoga tara (primary star) Beta Aquarii at 29CP32. One of the primary themes of Dhanishta  is the stranger-in-a-strange-land syndrome, wherein the individual may feel like an immigrant even if they were born in that country.

Saturn occupies Anuradha, one of its own nakshatras, and is barely a degree away from its yoga tara, Delta Scorpii, at 08SC42. Some of the primary themes of Anuradha are:

  • Shows great determination, no-nonsense willpower, and total focus on attainment of goals, but breaks out in wrath if goals aren’t attained.
  • Pursues success above all else, willing to sacrifice oneself and others to get the job done. May adopt a last-person-standing attitude, like a caricature of an action figure, determined to have the last word.
  • Prepared to lose battles, but determined to eventually return in triumph, ultimately clinging to one’s reputation by saying “I’ll be back.”

In this chart, the first house represents the attackers, the 7th house their targets. Note that Mars stands alone and unafflicted in the first house while Saturn the lord of the ascendant occupies the 10th house supported by the aspect of a powerful Jupiter from the 6th. Both Mars and Saturn, like weapons in the hands of the attackers, aspect the 7th.

The 6th represents combat and destruction of opponents because it is the 12th house from the 7th. Moon is in its own sign, Jupiter exalted. With strong benefics in the 6th, this might ensure dramatic initial success which is not sustainable. For ultimate victory, a general would rather have strong malefics in the 6th house of the attack chart.

Moon and Jupiter together constitute a potent combination for jihad. Moon represents the emotional fervor, while Jupiter represents the prophet, the religion or the principle of the matter. With the Moon there, the 6th house represents the kshetra, in this case the field of battle.

The Moon in the 6th occupies the nakshatra of Mercury. Therefore, the mood of the moment was in service of Mercury, which occupies the 12th and owns the 8th. The dusthanas are typically activated during violent crime. The 6th is the undoing of the victim (12th away from the 7th), the 8th is the general undoing of dharma (12th away from the 9th), and the 12th is ultimately the undoing of the Self.

In an 11th-hour statement to the media one of the brothers, Cherif Kouachi, claimed he’d been recruited by Anwar Awlaki and assigned by Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni branch to avenge the Prophet Mohammed for cartoons published by the magazine Charlie Hebdo. Toward the end of the 54-hour terror siege, the terrorist organization AQAP (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) claimed joint responsibility for the carnage.

Although local space maps are a facet of western astrology, it’s sometimes interesting to follow their leads to identify lines of influence. Taking the local event chart as a starting point, we see that Mars is located in the East-South-East of the locale. Following that line, we see it leaves Europe, crosses the Mediterranean, and runs down the Red Sea and through Aden, the major port of Yemen and former bastion of the British colonial empire in the Gulf.

When we examine the timeline of the several events that transpired during the 54 hours of this terror campaign, we see correlations with the principles of Krishnamurti Paddhati. One of the major tenets of the KP system says that events will correspond to the nature of planets ruling the star (nakshatra) through which the Moon is transiting.

Starting from the initial attack, let’s cluster events according to the star the Moon was transiting.

  • January 7th @ 11:30 AM, gunmen attack Charlie Hebdo
  • January 8th @ 4:00 AM, police name suspects Cherif and Said Kouachi
  • January 8th @ 7:00 AM, Amedy Coulibaly kills a female police officer
  • January 8th @ 10:15 AM, the Kouachi brothers hold up a service station, rekindling a more intense police pursuit

During those four events, the transiting Moon was in a Mercury nakshatra (16CN40-30CN00). In the initial event chart, Mercury occupies the 12th and rules the 8th, thus promoting violent crime and effectively “getting lost”, ie, disappearing and eluding authority.

For the next 24 hours, up to 90,000 police and military personnel were engaged in hunting the fugitives, a cat-and-mouse drama that gripped the attention of France, if not the world. The next key events:

  • January 9th, late morning, the police located and surrounded the Kouachi brothers who had holed up with a hostage in an industrial area near Charles de Gaulle airport.
  • January 9th @ 12:30 PM, Amedy Coulibaly killed four people and took multiple hostages in a kosher supermarket, demanding the police allow the Kouachi brothers to escape.

In this phase, transiting Moon was in a Ketu nakshatra (00LE00-13LE20). Referring back to the initial event chart, Ketu delivers results on behalf of Jupiter which aspects and disposits it. Jupiter here indicates the holy warrior, his moral stance and philosophy. During this phase both Cherif Kouachi and Amedy Coulibaly spoke to the media and tried to justify their actions in the name of Islam.

For the next few hours there was a standoff between the police surrounding the Kouachi brothers with a lone hostage in an industrial site, and Coulibaly with multiple hostages at the supermarket. Then in short order it came to an end:

  • January 9th, 4:55 PM, the Kouachi brothers broke out of their hiding place, guns blazing like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, to die like warriors (and martyrs as was their declared intention) in a hail of police bullets. Their sole hostage had been released unharmed.
  • January 9th @ 5:18 PM, in similar fashion Coulibaly emerged from the supermarket firing his weapon and was immediately cut down by police gunfire. Dozens of remaining hostages fled the supermarket.

In this phase, the transiting Moon was in a Venus nakshatra (13LE20-26LE40). Again referring back to the initial event chart, Venus occupies the 12th while ruling the 4th and 9th. Whereas the 4th and 9th have in common the themes of ethics and moral principle, the 12th is clearly the end of things… for now.

Following the Charlie Hebdo attack, birth data for the Kouachi brothers quickly appeared on the AstroDataBank pages of Although the birth dates for both Amedy Coulibaly and his partner Hayat Boumeddiene (now the subject of an international manhunt) are also available through police records, for the moment the Kouachi brothers are the only two perpetrators for whom we have birth times.

Said Kouachi was born September 7, 1980, at 1:40 AM in Paris. He has lagnesh Mercury exalted with Saturn in the 4th, these sole angular planets forming a Raja Yoga. Sun is strong in the 3rd, indicating courage. The Moon is in a mixed state, being in its own sign but very dark at the tail end of its waning phase.

If we were to speculate about the mental state of a martyr, we’d do well to examine the manas, the emotional mind. We’re on the lookout for signs of weakness in the 4th house, its lord and the Moon, especially under influence by Saturn or Rahu, both of which are agents of derangement.

In Said’s chart, the 4th is occupied by Saturn (one demerit point). The 4th lord Mercury is exalted (one credit) but conjunct Saturn (another demerit). The karaka for the manas is the Moon. It’s in its own sign (one credit), but extremely dark (one demerit) and conjunct Rahu (one demerit).

Overall, the prognosis is somewhat troubling. Add to that the fact that Saturn powerfully influences both the ascendant and its lord Mercury. Plus which, the Sun/Jupiter combo reflects something of the zealot.

Said was running Venus dasha. Venus gives the results of its nakshatra lord Saturn, which occupies the 4th and rules the 8th and 9th. Venus also does its own work, as occupant of the 2nd, lord of the 5th and 12th. Recall earlier that criminal acts of violence are usually triggered by planetary periods that invoke the dusthanas, especially the 8th and 12th. Venus dasha thus invoked both.

He was running Ketu bhukti. Ketu gives the results of planets with which it is associated (none), which aspect it (Moon, Mars, Venus), and its dispositor (Saturn). Moon is occupant and lord of the 2nd. Mars occupies the 5th, rules the 6th and 11th. Venus is occupant of the 2nd, lord of 5th and 12th. Saturn occupies the 4th, rules the 8th and 9th. Thus here too, Ketu bhukti pulls in the effects of dusthanas, the 8th and 12th.

Younger brother Cherif was born November 29, 1982, at 10:20 PM in Paris. He has only two planets angular – an almost-full Moon in Aries, and an exalted Saturn, which together form a Raja Yoga.

If we were to perform a similar litmus test on his manas, it is moderately troubling. The 4th is occupied by a powerful Saturn (one demerit). The lord of the 4th, Venus, is in planetary war with Mercury (another demerit). Although full (one credit), the karaka Moon is aspected by that powerful Saturn (another demerit).

Cherif was running Rahu dasha. Rahu gives the results of planets with which it is associated (none), which aspect it (Mars), and its dispositor (Mercury). Mars occupies the 6th, rules the 5th and 10th. Mercury occupies the 5th, rules the 3rd and 12th. Here, two dusthanas of 6th and 12th are invoked.

Cherif was running Mercury bhukti. Mercury is swa-nakshatra, occupying its own star, and therefore delivers its significations twice over. Since Mercury occupies the 5th and rules the 3rd and 12th, we get a strong 12th-house theme in these conjoined periods of Rahu and Mercury.

If we look for commonalities between these two brothers, we see that both had Saturn in the 4th house (a factor in a disturbed manas). From this position Saturn aspects both the ascendant and the ascendant lord in each case. Although one would hesitate to call this a death-wish, it does suggest a cavalier attitude toward brutality, fatality and mortality.

Both brothers also had Sun/Jupiter in association. This can suggest a certain identification of personal ego with religious principles, and is one of the hallmarks of the zealot.

Whether these two features in tandem might constitute a signature for terrorists is a thesis for both astrologers and security agencies the world over to investigate. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.


Alan Annand is a Canadian astrologer and palmist whose education spans both eastern and western astrology. He has diplomas from the American College of Vedic Astrology, as well as the British Faculty of Astrological Studies for whom he was their North American correspondence tutor for several years.

He is also a writer of crime fiction, including his NEW AGE NOIR series (Scorpio RisingFelonious MonkSoma County) featuring astrologer and palmist Axel Crowe, whom one reviewer has dubbed “Sherlock Holmes with a horoscope.”

One of his other novels, Al-Quebeca, is a police procedural mystery with a “chillingly realistic” account of a terrorist strike in Montreal, Canada. See the top reviews for it here.