Princess Diana and JFK, Jr.: Similarities in the Underlying Astrological Phenomena Related to their Deaths
On August 31, 1997 (1) the world was grieved by the tragic death of Great Britain’s Princess Diana (2). Just two years later, on July 16, 1999 (3) the world witnessed with shock the loss of America’s prince, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, Jr. (4) It seems almost too coincidental that two sister nations lost their beloved prince and princess within a relatively short time span. Since we know that what happens on Earth is reflected in the heavens and vice versa, here we will search to find the astrological phenomena behind these two apparently different yet similar events.
In mundane astrology, one area to examine for an explanation of underlying astrological influences is conjunction cycles of the outer planets since these conjunctions are representative of larger trends in society. Of particular interest in the case of the deaths of Princess Diana and JFK, Jr. is the Uranus-Neptune conjunction which occurs every 172 years. The last Neptune-Uranus conjunction occurred January 6, 1993 in Capricorn. In the conjunction chart, Uranus and Neptune were part of a Jupiter-Based T-Square that involved Jupiter, Mars, the Sun, Uranus and Neptune with Mars retrograde and exactly opposed the Neptune-Uranus conjunction. Subsequent to this conjunction was another conjunction in Capricorn on January 11, 1994 which involved Sun, Moon, Mercury, Mars, Venus, Uranus and Neptune within 9 degrees of each other. Uranus and Neptune were within one degree of one another during this conjunction.
Astrologer Charles Jayne (5) considers the Uranus-Neptune conjunction as one of import for the unfoldment of civilizations (6). Conjunctions between outer planets can indicate social, political and economic change and upheaval and critical turning points in history. The conjunction is like the “seed idea” (7) in a cycle. It could be argued that a conjunction in Capricorn is especially powerful since it is occurring at one of the solstice points. The Assyrians believed (8) that crucial times in the life of the universe happened when there were great conjunctions with all 7 planets in Capricorn or Cancer because these are the solstice points. The effects of conjunctions are not confined to the year that they occur. Although an exact time frame may not be given, one can speculate that its effects will last for years or perhaps decades or longer. As we will see, the 1993 Uranus-Neptune conjunction continues to have its say even today.
Charles Jayne pointed out that after 21 Uranus-Neptune conjunctions, which takes 3,600 years, Uranus and Neptune return within 6 degrees of the original conjunction of the series (9). Dividing this cycle by subperiods of 600 years each, we have the great Chaldean Naros Cycle. This cycle has been linked to the birth of Buddha (Buddhism), Mahavira (Jainism), Pythagoras, Lao-Tze (Taoism), Christ (Christianity), the Hegira of Muhammad, St. Frances (Catholicism), birth of Bab and Baha’u’llah (co-founders of Bahaism) and of Mary Baker Eddy (Christian Science) (10). The Neptune-Uranus cycle of 1650 to 1821 has been linked to the Enlightenment period of history. Although much more has been said about this cycle, the point here is that it is linked to the idea of some type of spiritual (Neptune) enlightenment (Uranus). It would therefore be likely that the recent conjunction would be followed by predictions of some new form of enlightenment as well.
We live in a society where image (Neptune) seems to dominate. Because of social pressures, or sometimes because of sheer self-delusion, we have a tendency to put on a mask (Neptune) and pretend to be someone we are not. It seems, however, that since the time of the latest Neptune-Uranus conjunction, the theme of “reality”, especially about those we have always considered to be the ideal in society, is becoming more prominent. To see the reality (Capricorn) behind an image or illusion (Neptune), to see that which is hidden, especially within oneself, is a liberating (Uranus) concept. It may also be said that the illusion (Neptune) is becoming real (Capricorn). We are beginning to see the reality (Capricorn) of what is behind the image (Neptune) both in ourselves and others. The grand conjunction in Capricorn in 1994 was somewhat symbolic of this concept as well. It could also be said that the unconscious (Neptune) is coming to the surface (Uranus) and becoming conscious.
So what does this have to do with the deaths of JFK, Jr. and Princess Diana? The eerie similarity between these two incidents begs the question, what is the underlying phenomena at work here? When you think about the incidents metaphorically, one thought is that here are two extraordinary individuals who were apparently blessed with everything one could hope for outwardly and materially in this world. They were worshipped by the collective as an idealized image (Neptune) of what we would expect to see for the perfect man or woman. If there were a Mount Olympus with gods and goddesses, these two would surely be among the residents.
In a tragic situation such as these accidents, one of the first things that comes to mind is how could something like this happen to someone like JFK, Jr. and Princess Diana? There is an underlying, somewhat unconscious perhaps, assumption that people of this stature don’t have to follow the same rules as us mere mortals. With their deaths, we are faced with the shattering (Uranus) of our illusion and fantasy (Neptune) about these people and faced with the reality (Capricorn) that they are indeed human like the rest of us. Though the complexity of their lives and accidents are certainly beyond the scope of the Uranus-Neptune conjunction, what we do find is that their lives and deaths were part of the underlying phenomena of the effects of this conjunction.
The other thing these two souls had in common is that they were plagued with real life problems, including problems in their marriages (11). Both had to deal with third parties who were interfering with the marriage. Here again is the concept of the ideal becoming real. We as a nation looked to JFK, Sr. and his family as Camelot come again. We looked at the marriage of Prince Charles and Princess Diana as an ideal fairy tale marriage and life. But in reality, what was really going on behind the scenes, which on a metaphoric level is like what is unconscious to the people at large, were sordid tales of treachery, intrigue, secret affairs and betrayal. As we will see, these themes are part of the Uranus-Neptune conjunction which show a pattern of sudden revelation (Uranus) of secrets or that which is hidden (Neptune). Though tragedies such as these accidents have always been a part of life and history it appears now more than ever that the people we consider to be above the rest of us, to be the privileged, are becoming more and more humanized.
When you think back to the times prior to the current Uranus-Neptune conjunction, especially earlier in the 20th century, people in general were prone to repressing parts of themselves that were considered to be improper so that the image or outer persona was often times presenting a different picture than what was inside a person. An example of this on a grand scale would be the stereotype of Camelot that was associated with JFK, Sr. and his family. Though presidents and other prominent figures having affairs is certainly not something new, what is new is the level of openness about it in the press and otherwise. JRK, Sr. certainly had his affairs. However, we did not see it so openly splashed across national TV. We instead chose to believe the Camelot myth. Today, however, secrets (Neptune) are suddenly being revealed (Uranus) and we are forced to face the truth.
Let us examine the Uranus-Neptune conjunction chart in more detail. Hard aspects between Mars and Uranus are generally seen as indicators of inordinate risk taking and possibly accidents. With Jupiter as part of the T-square, we may see arrogance (Jupiter) or an exaggerated (Jupiter) yet false (Neptune) sense of confidence that one cannot fail or be harmed. Mars-Neptune aspects are related to (among other things) clandestine affairs and activities as well as chaos, confusion and delusion.
One thing these deaths had in common was that they were both tragic accidents (Mars) that happened suddenly and unexpectedly (Uranus) and were both somewhat due to negligence and risk taking (Uranus-Mars). One very interesting astrological incident is that Mars from the January 6, 1993 conjunction chart was exactly conjoined JFK’s natal Mars. Mars in both cases was retrograde. His natal Mars was also opposed his natal Venus and Saturn, which were conjoined to Neptune, Uranus and the Sun in the conjunction chart. Although the Uranus-Mars contact indicated the risk taking, which JFK, Jr. had a propensity toward anyway, the Neptune-Mars contact could be an indicator of the fog over the water, which was likely the cause of his disorientation and the resulting accident. It is possible that he had a false sense of confidence (Neptune-Jupiter) as described above, knowing that the weather was not a good situation at the time.
[For the astrology buffs: On the day of the accident, the transiting Sun was near a conjunction to the January 6, 1993 Uranus-Neptune-Sun-Mars opposition. There had been a new Moon just days before at 20 degrees Cancer, within 2 degrees of this opposition and Kennedy’s natal Mars. His progressed Sun was also at 22 degrees Cancer. Also, in Carolyn Bessette Kennedy’s chart, the Uranus-Neptune conjunction was exactly at the mid-point of her Sun-Moon opposition and her progressed Moon and solar arc Pluto and solar arc Chiron were close to squaring these points.]
In Princess Diana’s case, Neptune was likely related to the alcohol that was supposedly involved with the accident where Uranus-Mars was related to the recklessness in the driving. Although we don’t know for sure what was going through the driver’s mind or who was spurring him on, he may have had a false sense of confidence as well. The day of Princess Diana’s accident, transiting Saturn and Venus were in opposition and activating the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of January 6, 1993. Interestingly Venus was in Libra the day of the accident, befitting of the Princess. The Uranus-Neptune conjunction was also at exactly the mid-point of her Sun and Saturn.
In 1994, the year of the great conjunction in Capricorn, shortly after the Neptune-Uranus conjunction in 1993, we saw President Clinton accused of sexual harassment. In President Clinton’s case some say it was the thrill of risk-taking (Uranus-Mars) and doing something sexually clandestine (Mars-Neptune) and deceiving others (Neptune) and getting away with it that was the fun of it all. So here again is the theme of inordinate risks.
In 1994 football star and hero O.J. Simpson was arrested for killing his ex-wife and Ronald Goldman. Here again is a clandestine, risk-taking event that took the violence a step further. Instead of a tragic accident, it became a tragic murder. The theme of “affairs” was here in this case as well since the motive for the murder was the jealousy of Nicole being with another man. Recently we see basketball star Colby Bryant accused of rape, certainly a Uranus-Neptune-Mars activity. Again we see the theme of the thrill mixed with violence, in this case sexual violence, and a clandestine affair. The Scott Peterson case is yet another example.
Along the same lines of the theme of reality is the trend of reality TV. Television was always the ultimate projection of an idealized image. Now we are seeing ordinary people being made extraordinary through reality TV shows such as Survivor, American Idol and the Bachelor. Even with some of these shows there is the thrill of the risk involved (Uranus-Mars) as well as treachery (Neptune-Mars). In the Bachelor certainly the theme of affairs is strong since one man is essentially having affairs (Neptune-Mars) with several women at once and out in the open (Uranus) no less.
We are also seeing extraordinary people being made into normal people through reality TV. The Ozzy Osbourne show is one such example as is the Newlywed reality series with Nick and Jessica Simpson. Here again is the concept of the ideal becoming real. Where we used to have the idealized television show of Ozzy and Harriet we now have the reality TV show the Osbourne family.
While in the past we were seeing many things repressed so that the image or outer persona was maintained to show an ideal persona or to hide something that may be considered inappropriate, now we are seeing is famous people admitting to their human weaknesses. Wynona Ryder came out on Oprah Winfrey to talk candidly about her weight and self-esteem issues.
Rosie O’Donnell hid her sexuality for many years for the same reason. The sudden and unexpected revelation (Uranus) of her secret (Neptune) is also along the same theme of a secret affair. She is yet another example of the idealized image becoming real, symbolic of the collective unconscious becoming more conscious. Other examples of this phenomena are Prince Charles and Princess Diana coming out on national TV and admitting to having affairs. Recently tapes were played on national TV exposing more personal foibles about Princess Diana.
Though it is somewhat difficult to express in words, one finds the similarities of the effect of the enlightenment given to humanity through the saints as described by Charles Jayne during these Neptune-Uranus conjunctions as similar to what is happening now with this wave of reality coming through the collective ideal figures in our society. All of this reality is liberating (Uranus) the images of fantasy (Neptune) that we have associated with these people. This realization is a form of enlightenment in and of itself in that the realization of their humanness forces us to come to grips with our own imperfections.
While this phenomena of projecting the ideal onto various privileged people in society is not a religion, it certainly contains the elements of worship and in some objective way could be compared to religion. And even though many have turned the saints into idols to be worshipped, that was never their message or intent. Nevertheless we continue to worship, idolize and be fascinated with other human beings as if we were fascinated with an unrealized part of ourselves. Therefore, we can see the similarities between a JFK, Jr. and a Princess Diana and the saints that Jayne has associated with Uranus-Neptune conjunctions. It is different yet the same in some ways. In a strange way, just as the saints have enlightened us, so have these individuals enlightened us with the realities of their lives.
Our deification of individuals like JRK, Jr. and Princess Diana is perhaps symbolic of the eternal quest to find our own divinity. As the mask (Neptune) continues to come off (Uranus), we may go through periods of painful revelations (Uranus) about ourselves. The concept of projection, projecting the unrealized parts of our unconscious onto others, good and bad, is perhaps one of the key concepts of self-delusion that we face as a human race. Perhaps as we watch those we idolize tear off their masks and face the truth about themselves, we all as a human race can do the same. With some self-accountability (Capricorn), greater self-awareness (Uranus) and greater compassion (Neptune) for one another, this planet would be a lot more pleasant place to live.
Copyright 2004, Emerald Visions, Inc. All rights reserved. This article may not be reprinted without permission. This was a paper written by Karen Drye for a class assignment at Kepler College of Astrological Arts and Sciences (www.kepler.edu
1. Time of fatal car accident involving Princess Diana was Aug. 31, 1997, 10:27 pm in Paris, France.
2. Birth data for Princess Diana: July 1, 1961, 7:45 pm, Sandringham, England. A data.
3. The data for the accident is July 16, 1999 at approximately 9:45 to 9:50 pm near Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts.
4. Birth data for JFK, Jr: November 25, 1960, 0:22 am, Washington, D.C. A data.
5. Baigent, Michael, Campion, Nicholas and Harvey, Charles, Mundane Astrology: An Introduction to the Astrology of Nations and Groups (Hammersmith, London, England: Thorsons, An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers, 1995), p. 178.
6. Baigent, Campion and Harvey, p. 178.
7. Baigent, Campion and Harvey, p. 155.
8. Baigent, Campion and Harvey, p. 118.
9. Baigent, Campion and Harvey, p. 178.
10. Baigent, Campion and Harvey, p. 179.
11. See the book entitled The Other Man: JFK, JR., Carolyn Bessette & Me. The stories of Camilla Parker Bowles and Prince Charles are well-known.
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