Diana, Princess of Wales

by Nicholas Campion

Diana's Natal Chart

Diana Spencer. Born 7.45 pm 1 July 1961, Sandringham. Died 4.00 am 31 August 1997, Paris. [1]

Neti [the gatekeeper] asked:
"Who are you?"

She [Inanna, the goddess of the planet Venus] answered:
"I am Inanna, Queen of Heaven, On my way to the East."

Neti said:
"If you are truly Inanna, Queen of Heaven, On your way to the East, Why has your heart led you on the road from which no traveller returns?"

Inanna answered:
"Because...of my older sister, Erishkegal. Her husband, Gugalanna, the Bull of Heaven, has died. I have come to witness the funeral rites. Let the beer of his funeral rites be poured into the cup. Let it be done." [2]

Princess Diana was a human being, a woman, wife, mother, lover, possessed of the same hopes, wishes, frailties, insecurities, strengths, desires and myriad feelings and emotions which go to make up any individual - and which the rest of us share. Yet she became, at the age of nineteen, the focus for a collective psychological projection on a scale and intensity that few other people in this century have managed. Almost three weeks after her sad and tragic death it at last seems possible to put the nation's extraordinary emotional turmoil into some sort of perspective.

While many people reacted to the immediate news of her death on Sunday 31 August with instant shock, others only became swept up into the national mood during the course of the following week, while others remained steadfastly untouched by the outpouring of national grief. I would class myself amongst those whose reaction to the news was instant, yet were shocked by the strength of their feelings. Over the past few years I had become so sick of news of the Royal Family that I avoided it wherever possible. Yet in recent months Diana had begun to fascinate me again. In her campaign to ban land mines she was taking on the same defiance of conventional political niceties as Bob Geldof had twelve years earlier in his Band Aid and Live Aid enterprises, especially when she was reported as describing the former Conservative government as being 'hopeless' on the issue. Here was a public figure speaking for me, I thought, itself a rare occurrence. I was cheering her on in her romance with Dodi al Fayed because he was an Egyptian and a Muslim, and so, in the worst political and theological chauvinism of our culture, an African Infidel. He was the son of a man twice refused a British passport and who had done more than anyone else to bring down the previous government; Mohammed al Fayed was a man in search of revenge. And here was the woman who most people regarded as the epitome of royalty, our most popular national symbol, about to marry (if the rumours were true), a representative of everything that the worst elements of our society are inclined to despise. This, for me was magic.

A Society Possessed

Perhaps that was why I shed a tear on the Sunday as I watched the news. Yet many public figures die without arousing any particular emotion in me. On the Monday morning I woke up at 4.00 am feeling desolate and began to sob. On the Tuesday morning I began to rationalise my feelings; the only time I had felt like this before was at the end of a love affair. Had I lost a lover? I didn't even know the woman. But by that time it was clear that a substantial proportion of the population of the UK, let alone the USA and other countries within the same cultural orbit, felt the same. The feeling of having lost a personal friend or lover, or a close family member was pervasive, with some people reporting deeper feelings of grief than when they lost a real close family member. For me, personally, this has been by far and away my most profound experience of collective feelings, of being overwhelmed by a profound upheaval in the collective unconscious. I would say that I was possessed. I'd go even further than that: I think a great part of our society was possessed. That in no way lessens the personal aspects of the drama - the very real grief that so many people felt when faced with the sudden and utterly unexpected death of a person who had come to be a symbol of life - yet it does help us understand it. But if we were possessed, then by what?

Moral Stances and Finer Instincts

As we grappled to cope with the magnitude of the horror of the crash, many people could find only poetic imagery. David Starkey, the historian, said that Diana had moved past us like a meteor (evoking comet Hale-Bopp). Michael Ignatieff commented that all those clichés about lights going out were really true, that the world now felt like a darker place. Jonathan Dimbleby remarked that it was not just that she lived in us, but that we felt that we lived in her, that accounted for the depth of the collective shock. Such tragedies throw astrology into sharp relief. Some aspects of Diana's personality were revealed in her nativity, particularly her rebelliousness. But was there any real reason in the configuration of the heavens at her birth which indicated her extraordinary ability to touch people with her compassion, her humour and her willingness to treat everyone as an equal? These are qualities which she developed her self. They are Cancerian and Aquarian, representative of her Sun and Moon, but there is no reason in her chart why she should have made such a positive contribution to the world had she not chosen to. Nothing could illustrate more vividly the extent to which the horoscope of a person is nothing until we bring to it individual moral choice. Diana's choices towards the end of her life, especially her campaign for the banning of land mines spoke for many of us. Her espousal of a purely moral stance enabled her to articulate humanity's finer instincts, as she had already done in her work for lepers and AIDS sufferers. From being a young rebel without a cause, with no more than an independent, obstinate, emotionally insecure and revolutionary Moon-Venus-Uranus T-square, she became, in her thirties, the rebel with many causes. Above all she embodied the contradictions central to the T-square in the paradoxes of her own life. At her death she was a millionaire aristocratic play-girl who was capable of speaking for an entire swathe of ordinary people, from the mainstream to outcasts, from royalists to radicals.

The Divine Monarchy

At Diana's marriage to Prince Charles the Archbishop of Canterbury commented that this is the stuff that fairy tales are made of. The public at the time was fixated by the 'happy-ever-after' aspect of fairy tales, and the wedding became a celebration of the world of Walt Disney in which everyone and everything laughs and sings with the joy of life. Yet while myths, legends and fairy tales are sanitised for children, they all contain elements of savagery, barbarism and death; a cursory reading of Grimm's Fairy Tales reveals horrors which would never be permitted on television. Fairy tales, we should remember, contain within them nightmares. They also perform a collective function, as described so ably by Bruno Bettelheim in The Uses of Enchantment. When backed by religious and political symbolism they can move and enchant entire societies, as they did in Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia.

Many myths perform political functions. A classic example is found in the dogmatic beliefs of organised religions which, by codifying moral values reduce the amount of effort required by the coercive forces of law and order. Monarchy combines the two functions, bringing political power together with religious authority, a combination brought to its height by the Roman Emperors, who merged the military-political positions of Imperator and Caesar with that of high priest, Pontifex Maximus. Henry VIII attempted to do the same when he persuaded Parliament to appoint him Defender of the Faith and head of the Church of England. As religious leader the monarch provided the central link between Heaven and Earth, the two parts of the single cosmic state in which all executive power descended from God or Christ to the monarch, who then delegated it to feudal, judicial and parliamentary authorities.

There are various rituals which run to the heart of the divine monarchy. One was the rite of healing, the other of sacrifice. The British monarchy abandoned its healing functions in the early eighteenth century when Queen Anne became the last monarch to 'touch for the King's (or Queen's) evil' hoping to cure victims of the skin disease scrofula in the process. The practice of the ritual sacrifice of the monarch is no less archaic, finding its recorded origins in Mesopotamia around 3,000 BC. It is not known whether the king was ever actually killed, or whether a slave was executed as a substitute. However, we do know that by 2,000 BC the central religio-political ritual of the region was the zagmug or akitu, the twelve day festival associated with the new moon following the spring equinox. [3] The climax of the festival commemorated the death and resurrection of Marduk, the god associated with the planet Jupiter and, in Babylonian cosmology the chief god of the state. He was, in effect king of heaven. During the rituals, the king, becoming spiritually identified with Marduk, enacted the god's death and resurrection. Nisan 5, the fifth day after the new moon, was the Day of Atonement of the king, and witnessed commotion throughout the entire city of Babylon as the population took part in the search for Marduk. On Nisan 7, the seventh day, Nabu (the Babylonian equivalent of the classical Mercury/Hermes) led the other gods to rescue Marduk, who then gained a paramount position in heaven, achieving a 'destiny beyond compare'. The divine formulation of the destinies for the coming year during the closing phases of the festival gave us our earliest known astrology. The akitu was a direct ancestor of Easter, containing exactly the same cosmological-theocratic components: that is, when both the sun and moon are reborn at the spring equinox and the succeeding new moon, the monarch himself was sacrificed and resurrected, thereafter assuming a supreme political role.

However, Christian Easter is also directly descended from the earlier rituals from which the akitu itself had evolved. Ezekiel records what he saw as the abominations practised in his time, particularly men worshipping the rising sun and women weeping for Tamuz. [4] Tamuz, known to the Sumerians before 2,000 BC as Dumuzi, was a shepherd king who featured in the legends about the earliest Sumerian dynasty of around 3,000 BC. As a god he was a vegetation deity, but as the shepherd king he is a clear prototype for Christ. In a sense, just as all Egyptian pharaohs were seen as embodiments of Osiris, so all Babylonian monarchs represented Dumuzi, at least during the transcendent rituals of the akitu. This is an important point to grasp: all monarchs subsumed their individual destinies within a greater destiny, identity or purpose.

The myths surrounding Dumuzi involved his sacrifice and resurrection, representing the transition from winter to spring, and his intimate relationships with his lover, Inanna, (later also known as Ishtar or Astarte), Queen of Heaven and the goddess connected to the planet Venus, and her dark sister, Erishkegal. In most versions of the myth Dumuzi dies as a result of his relationship, sometimes his betrayal, by Inanna. Her descent to the underworld to rescue him represents both the period when the planet Venus is invisible in the night sky and the concept (later adapted in Mithraic religion and Hermetic philosophy) of the soul's descent and ascent through seven gates, representing the seven planetary states of existence. Inanna's descent to the underworld was adapted by the Greeks to the stories of Persephone, Kore and Hades and occurs in Christian mythology as Salome's dance of the seven veils and execution of John the Baptist. In its earliest forms the rituals attached to Dumuzi and Inanna were explicitly sexual. It is believed that during the zagmug the king, representing Dumuzi, performed an act of ritual sexual intercourse with the high priestess, representing Inanna, thus guaranteeing the fertility of the people and land over the coming year. This gives us our second important feature of divine monarchy: its intimate connections with the rites of death and rebirth, sacrifice and resurrection, whether metaphorical or real.

After the second world war Jung wrote that the phenomenon of Nazism could be partly explained by the eruption of the archetype of Wotan, the Teutonic god, into the German collective unconscious. [5] I would say that what we have just witnessed was the eruption of the archetype of Inanna, the archaic Venus, into the contemporary collective unconscious. I know that there are many people who would find this hard to accept, but it is my contention that monarchy has never lost its magical, mythical functions, merely that the steady creation of a constitutional monarchy with a determinedly ordinary royal family, has concealed it. It is astonishing that neither the supporters nor the opponents of monarchy recognise this. Both tend to rely on thoroughly banal arguments to support their cases; either that the monarchy is good because it raises tourist revenue or that it's bad because it's the pinnacle of an out-moded class system. It seems to me that from the moment Diana appeared she constellated the archetype of Inanna. She was connected far less to the contemporary royal family of good works and middle class values than to the ancient magical monarchy of ancient cosmology of life and fertility, sacrifice and resurrection. Her life and death were unique in our lifetime, though perhaps not in British history. [6]

An Archetypal Goddess

Diana's archetypal power has been compared to that of Princess Grace, Marilyn Monroe, or James Dean. Yet her appeal was far greater than theirs'. She became as close to being the pure archetype - a goddess - as we have seen for a very long time. Diana was not just Diana, the huntress, goddess of mother moon. She became Venus, the mother-as-lover.

The Astrological Archetypes

Diana's official birth data is 7.45 pm, 1 July 1961, Sandringham in Norfolk. This was the corrected time issued by Buckingham Palace in 1961. It was also the time used by Debbie Frank, Diana's astrologer throughout the 1990s. However, other times of 2.00 pm and 2.15 pm have been given by both Buckingham Palace and Diana herself (see note one). That, for me, is not a problem. We know that on 31 July 1981, just two days after she married, there was a solar eclipse at 7º51' Leo. We know, also, that she died at 4.00 am on 31 August in Paris. Uranus, ruling accidents and shocks is clear on the 7th cusp, opposing Prince Charles' natal ascendant and the Sun at their marriage. It is also the modern ruler of Aquarius, the sign on the 8th cusp. The traditional ruler of the 8th though, is Saturn, retrograde and debilitated in Aries. It is, in fact the most debilitated planet in the chart, with a score of -9 (according to Solar Fire). This is in my opinion, the key to understanding this moment from an archetypal point of view; the planet was close to the MC, the degree of monarchy, and in Aries, the Ram, it becomes the shepherd king, Dumuzi. Its opposition to a highly dignified Venus in Libra therefore becomes, to me, an opposition to Inanna. This is why I believe that the drama we witnessed in the first week of September was a re-enactment of the drama of Inanna and Dumuzi, a drama which underpins so much of our western mythology, from the great Christian rituals of Easter to the romantic images of star-crossed lovers. Dodi al Fayed himself was born with the Sun in Aries (see note one), the sign of the shepherd. He was also, in a sense, Prince Charles' twin; we do not know his time of birth, but his solar ascendant, set for noon, was conjunct Charles' ascendant.

To understand Saturn alone we need to look to the horoscope which above all symbolises the British monarchy, the chart set for noon on 25 December 1066, the day that William the Conqueror was crowned. It's true that there were earlier kings but the king lists of England invariably begin with 1066. At the moment that the Sun culminated in the heavens on the day that the Archbishop placed the crown on William's head, the ascendant was 22º Aries and the 7th cusp 22º Libra. Thus, when people said that Diana was the best ambassador that Britain ever had they meant that she was born (7.45 pm) with the Midheaven at 23º Libra.

This picture is not disturbed by the 2.15 pm chart, which gives her an Ascendant of 20º Libra, In both charts she was the 'best ambassador'. In fact the 2.15 pm chart presents us with other intriguing links; Diana took on her ambassadorial role after her divorce, which took place while the ascendant was at 20º Libra, and the progressed ascendant for her marriage was 19º Libra. The 2.15 pm chart also seems to open up connections with a greater, transpersonal destiny; the last equivalent great funeral in Britain was that of 'the greatest living Englishman', Winston Spencer-Churchill. I heard nobody comment that Diana Spencer came from a collateral branch of the same family as Churchill, but perhaps we should point out that he was born with the Moon at 21º Aries. [7] The 2.15 pm chart also gives us another set of links with certain other tragic deaths. At 2.15 pm her Moon was 20º Aquarius, conjunct the Sun for the execution of Charles I. [8] In modern times Charles I is considered a fool whose end was very much the result of his arrogant and muddle-headed politics; he was a bad king who brought his downfall upon himself. It is therefore difficult for us to imagine the shock which most of the population would have felt upon hearing of the beheading of God's anointed deputy on earth. Even those who tried and executed Charles realised the enormity of their actions, yet the sacrifice was necessary if they were to pursue their mission of building God's kingdom on earth, and for many years afterwards Charles was thought of by his supporters as a holy religious martyr. The conjunction between his death Sun and Diana's birth Moon therefore evokes images not just of the sacred marriage, but a marriage between two souls, linked across time. I hasten to add that I am speaking metaphorically here, but if the union of the Sun and Moon is the sacred marriage of alchemy, then I think it is fair enough to suggest that there is a timeless link between Diana and Charles I; the connection though, exists in the realm of archetypes. The loop is completed by Kennedy's ascendant: 20º Libra. [9]

I might not have suggested this connection had I not already looked at the links between Charles I's death and the violent deaths of US presidents. Charles I, after all, was the first English-speaking American head of state to die a violent death in office. Add to this the fact that John Kennedy was shot at 12.20 pm on 22 November 1963 with the Ascendant at 19º Aquarius and we have a triple conjunction connecting Charles I and the two great traumatic deaths of the twentieth century English-speaking world. This looks to me like an illustration of the Hermetic doctrine that the archetypes reside in the degrees of the zodiac. In this case the martyrdom of political and public figures in the English-speaking world connects with 19º -20º Aquarius. My dilemma over the 2.15 pm chart is there clear; Diana may well have given me this time because she was confused or because she had a mischievous sense of humour, but the map for this moment appears to speak about her destiny as an historical figure, not necessarily as an individual.

Could Diana's Death have Been Predicted?

Astrology's main goal is to understand the present, but it's focus is often the prediction of the future. Personally I see prediction as a philosophical exercise, in which correct forecasts illustrate the bizarre, inexplicable nature of the astrological cosmos. However, the question whether Diana's death could have been predicted is a vital one, for prediction has a profoundly pragmatic function, and that is to avert future disasters. This was precisely why the priests and priestesses of Inanna and Dumuzi studied the stars at the close of the akitu - so that by knowing the future they could change it. I should also state the obvious: to use astrology alone to forecast the nature and date of Diana's death would be impossible. The reason is quite simple, and that is that any set of astrological symbols has a range of meanings. Even were a meaning to be precise there is the question of whether an event manifests internally or externally, whether a death, for example is metaphorical, spiritual or emotional. And then there is the question of timing, for a planetary alignment indicating an event may manifest during a transit, whether earlier or later, over that alignment. Even within the classical and medieval rules for prediction of death there is an inherent uncertainty; they depend on the measurement of the amount of life-force in a horoscope, leading to natural death, and violent death is therefore generally an event outside the normal rules of astrological interpretation. Also, within the Hermetic and Pythagorean philosophy which underpinned classical and Medieval astrology, causality was divided into four forms, one of which was chance, and hence unpredictable. Added to which, of course, the public prediction of death, sometimes by astrologers who should know better, is borne of a combination of poor taste and lack of ethics. Unfortunately success in prediction can become invested with the astrologer's ego, so that once dire forecasts have been made the astrologer has a vested interest not in avoiding them, but in their fulfilment. Yet, paradoxically, a successful astrology would be one in which predicted events of an undesirable nature do not happen, precisely because evasive action has been taken. This argument actually takes us into deeply theological grounds, for it is by no means clear how we judge what is and is not a desirable event except according to our own short-term individual advantage. Christian theologians face precisely this dilemma when they have to reconcile the tragedy of Christ's crucifixion with the reality, as they see it, that there could be no salvation without it. Was the crucifixion a desirable event? The answer in some theological traditions is yes, and therefore to obstruct it would have obstructed God's will.

Astrological forecasting is like colouring the patterns in one of those children's books where one wipes a wet brush over a page, revealing the colours. Yet, until the future has become the present, the image is always unclear; like the inhabitants of Plato's cave, all we can see are the shadows of the future, never the forms which create those shadows. Thus, in retrospect we can see transiting Uranus conjunct Prince Charles' 7th cusp: he is simultaneously set free from a relationship and suffers an intense partnership trauma. Or we can look at Tony Blair's transiting Pluto opposition natal Mars-Ascendant: he was the Prime Minister responsible for guiding the royal family through one of its most difficult periods this century. Those astrologers who, earlier in 1997, forecast power struggles within the Labour Party could perhaps never have foreseen that the struggles would be within the royal circle itself as, reportedly, the Spencers struggled with Windsors, Charles with the Queen and the Monarchy with the press. But could we have foreseen Diana's death? The simple answer is no. Furthermore I would say that not only could we not have seen it, but we shouldn't even have tried. It may be permissible within Indian astrology, as practised in India (not in the west) to forecast death (my own was forecast by an astrologer in Burma), but it is entirely wrong even to consider doing this within the philosophical framework of western astrology.

So, what was actually written about this period? A press release arrived on the AA's desk on 31 August from Douglas Baker, Principle of the Claregate College of Astrology, drawing attention to a previous statement put out on 12 March by one of his colleagues, Marcus Hayward. This read 'A prediction involving the House of Windsor. The most important event in recent Royal history - A person of common birth, in Royal circles, will be involved in a grave hunting accident, violent incident, or similar event, this month [March 1997].' In his covering letter of 31 August Baker interpreted the 'hunting' as the pursuit of Diana by the paparazzi. In 1996 Noel Tyl forecast 'a personal tragedy involving Charles (Spring 1997 is crucial)'. [10] In Born to Reign, I focused on Charles' marriage: 'However, by the beginning of 1997 Charles will be plunged into an entirely new set of circumstances which threaten once again to cause havoc in royal circles. Intense pressure on the region of his horoscope signifying marriage confirms that relations with Diana must be settled for good. If Charles wants a divorce, but it has not been achieved, than have it he must.' [11] All three forecasts focus on early 1997. I cannot speak for Marcus Hayward and Noel Tyl, but mine was based quite simply on the fact that in February 1997, Jupiter joined Uranus in its conjunction with Charles 7th cusp, combining with a number of other transits, such as Pluto in Sagittarius, Saturn in Aries, and Mars in Libra.

There was one published forecast of trouble in the Royal Family in August, and that was in Old Moore's Almanac. This reads 'The Full Moon on the 18th [August] falls in Aquarius opposing the royal star, Regulus. There could be public attacks on the Queen and the Prince of Wales. The Full Moon falls on Princess Diana's Moon [in the 7.45 pm chart], indicating a stressful moment, with arguments between her and the rest of the royal family'. This was a forecast of the public attack on the Queen and to a lesser extent, Prince Charles, which reached a peak on 3-4th September, due to what ,was perceived as an appalling lack of public response to Diana's death. Seeing as the Full Moon was squared the Queen's MC and Charles' Moon, as well as opposed Regulus, these were simple forecasts to make. The prediction of a stressful moment for Diana highlights one of astrology's enduring problems: we can anticipate the nature of the potential, but neither its exact manifestation nor its intensity. Although astrology can describe the bare bones of a situation, it is sometimes incapable of putting the flesh of meaning on the skeleton of an event. And in this case it is clear that astrology was inadequate to the real force of the drama of the week following August 31. Nobody who witnessed the extraordinary scenes in front of Kensington, St.James or Buckingham Palaces can have been in any doubt that this was a religious experience. Indeed, under other circumstances we might have been witnessing the birth of a major new cult. In this respect I was reminded of the fuss that was made of the 'Star of David' formation on 23 January 1997, linking the Sun, Uranus, Jupiter, Pluto, Mars, the Moon and, at the appropriate times, the Ascendant.

This achieved some attention after being publicised by Jim Fournier on his web page, gaiamind@well.com, and I was sent a copy by an AA member, Joan Good. Jim chose 12.35 pm EST (New York) as the pivotal moment and wrote that the alignment represented 'the intensification of sudden spiritual change. Thus a new spiritual impulse might be most likely in 1997...This may represent an opportunity for spiritual transformation of consciousness...a moment in time at which we choose to go into meditation together knowing that we are all of one Mind, knowing that we are in some sense the mind of Gaia'

Pagan Rituals Revived

One of the features that particularly struck me in Kensington Gardens in the week following Diana's death, aside from the thousands of people walking in almost total silence, the hundreds moving slowly forward to leave their flowers on the immense wall of flowers in front of the palace, were the shrines under the trees. To see trees decorated with images of Diana, with flowers and candles laid at their base, often with people silently sitting, contemplating them, was so pagan. It seemed to me that this outburst of popular religion had been decisively influenced by contemporary Green spirituality. It was almost as if Tamuz, the Earth deity, was coming to life. Or perhaps, as we would say, Gaia was coming to life. I have no doubt that the single minded spiritual intensity of the crowds in London, and at other places of remembrance in the country, was described by Jim Fournier's analysis of January's Star of David alignment. This is confirmed, in my view, by the fact that Uranus, the key planet in the alignment, was setting at the time of the Princess' death.

Omens and Portents

Given that Diana's death achieved such religious overtones, it seems to me that we are as much in the realm of the 'signs and wonders' associated with religious phenomena as with technical astrology. In an entire event was so utterly shot through with numinous meaning, Elton John's singing of Candle in the Wind became the emotional peak of the funeral. It was at this moment that many of those who had not already done so wept. Yet what most people had forgotten was the omen which occurred at Prince William's christening, and was noticed as such by Sir Laurens van der Post, his godfather. Sir Laurens was a close friend of Jung, the man who did more than anyone else this century both to give astrology a twentieth century relevance and provide us with a philosophical framework for the understanding of omens. After William's Christening, Sir Laurens related the following curious story, which was published in a South African magazine in 1983: [12]

'"It was a very simple ceremony - and a remarkable thing happened. The windows of the music room were open, the sun streaming in - and then the sky went grey, as a great storm gathered. Just as the Archbishop of Canterbury handed over a lighted candle, a violent gust of wind blew through the windows. The candle flickered - but did not go out".

Sir Laurens recalled how his friend Jung once had an important dream, of standing in a great storm holding a lighted candle - how vital it had been that the candle should not be blown out, and how, when he awoke, he took great comfort from the fact that he had managed to keep the flame burning.

When I asked him whether he had told Prince Charles about Jung's dream, Sir Laurens said: "Oh yes, of course. He understands these things."'

According to the article this event was clearly regarded by Sir Laurens as a powerful omen, and interpreted to Prince Charles as such. But what would the two men have made of it? In 1993 I took a strictly constitutional approach and used this as one piece of evidence in the argument that William would either not become king or would do so in vastly changed circumstances:

'What would Charles understand by the event which both he and Sir Laurens regarded as a powerful omen? The candle symbolises not only life, hope and light, but William himself. And, as William is heir to the throne, the candle also represented the Monarchy. The candle flickering indicated a grave crisis, but the fact that it wasn't blown out indicates that William will survive. Has the crisis already passed in the break-up of Charles and Diana's marriage? This has already provoked one constitutional crisis. But such omens tend to repeat themselves. I would therefore take Charles' and Sir Laurens' attention to this omen as confirmation that William's life as heir or as monarch will be marked by further substantial constitutional change.' [13]

In retrospect, it now seems as if the candle flickering was a warning of Diana's death: the awful loss of his mother will for ever remain the defining trauma of William's life and as he adjusts to it over the coming years and decades, so will the monarchy - and so will our constitution.

As we are quite clearly dealing with imagery and cosmology of an archaic nature, there is one other strange event which needs to be described. In late August 1982 a portrait of the new Princess was hung in the National Portrait Gallery, an occurrence which attracted considerable publicity at the time. At 10.20 am on the morning of the 29th of August a man walked into the gallery, knife in hand, and slashed the Princess's image. This struck me as a bizarre event at the time, an omen equivalent to, for example, the breaking of Czar Nicholas II's gold chain at his coronation.

Diana's transits at the time were particularly stressful, as they were for the first years of her marriage. In fact, at the moment the portrait was slashed they were extraordinarily stressful. In addition there was a New Moon a few hours later, at 3.43 pm. I put aside thoughts of what such a warning might presage and concentrated on the meaning of such an attack on her image which happened at such an astrologically significant and violent moment for Diana. This seemed to me to offer astrological evidence for the assertion that images represent us as living beings, much like icons. Quite simply I thought it offered justification for some people's objections to having their photograph taken on the grounds that they will lose a little of their soul. This is magical thinking. Perhaps that attack was less a warning, I thought, than a lucky escape. Perhaps the portrait acted a lightning conductor, drawing the threat away from Diana. This logic would make sense in any magical tradition, including the earliest astrological traditions of Mesopotamia.

To simplify the astrology of the situation to its essence, the picture was slashed with an ascendant of 19º Libra, while the New Moon took place with an MC of 20º Libra, both connecting with her 2.15 pm ascendant. The ascendant for the New Moon, 17º Sagittarius, is in a conjunction with her 7.45 pm ascendant: both ascendants for the times of birth she herself gave are covered.

There are other astrological connections between the slashing and Diana's natal and death charts, but one in particular needs to be pointed out here: the New Moon was at 6º10' Virgo, in a conjunction with Diana's natal Pluto, 6º02 Virgo, and the great eclipse of 1 September 1997, 9º34 Virgo, and square Pluto for her death, 2º55 Sagittarius. The Moon for the actual slashing was 3º12 Virgo. Bernadette Brady has pointed out that the previous eclipse in the same Saros cycle took place on 22 August 1979 and was followed by the assassination of Lord Mountbatten five days later. In The Eagle and the Lark she described this eclipse series as indicating violent accidents. [14]

Thus the New Moon, after the portrait was slashed, harked back to the Mountbatten death eclipse, and warned directly of her death eclipse. The slashing of the portrait had not just acted as a safety valve for her violent transits on that day, it had warned directly of future problems. The trouble was that we didn't, or couldn't see it. But the conclusion I draw from this is that in a world of myth and magic, the astrology which draws our attention to what is important is one which relies on significance and meaning, in this case the sort of omen based astrology which was current for the first two thousand years of astrology's recorded existence.

But there is one further link we need to make, and that requires that we draw Diana's natal Mars into the equation. It was, after all, conjunct Pluto. To write about such alignments in relation to any individual is extremely delicate. In 1981 Suzy Harvey wrote that in Diana's chart the conjunction revealed 'great drive, efficiency, and intensity of purpose'. [15] A year later Penny Thornton addressed the conjunction in more specific terms. She wrote that 'Mars is not only conjunct Pluto, but Uranus as well, in fact Mars is the midpoint of Pluto and Uranus. The combination of these three bodies presents a powerful, possibly violent theme and suggests the likelihood of exposure to dangerous situations'. [16]

Liz Greene wrote about the aspect in general, not in relation to Diana, and was therefore under no requirement to mince her words, which are particularly striking:

'If the figure of Mars-Pluto is powerful within the family or within the individual, yet is repressed too forcibly, then it may break out as an exterior fate...I have the feeling, from what I have seen of this aspect running through the horoscopes of families, that Mars-Pluto can imply an ancestral inheritance rather than a strictly individual problem of 'attracting' rape. It may be a family daimon: a turbulent and vital sexual energy that successive generations have attempted to crush and exclude because of their dependence upon respectability or socially acceptable values, or because the Great Mother dominates the psychology of the family. Then someone gets elected, unconsciously, as the scapegoat, and becomes the rapist or the raped.' [17]

This is a stunning picture of Diana's predicament, encompassing both her private and public situations. It describes what many would see as her cynical exploitation by the Royal establishment to provide a mate for its heir, her feelings of betrayal by both her mother and husband, her experience of being crushed by a Buckingham Palace dominated by the Queen's belief that duty comes before everything, and her sense that she was raped by the paparazzi. But did she, as Liz Greene infers, take on a destiny large than herself by marrying into not just the Royal Family, but the modern representative of an ancient, mythical, divine institution? Just as the Egyptian pharaohs embodied Osiris and the Babylonian Kings represented Dumuzi, was there something in the British Royal Family that Diana symbolised? [18] Had she, by becoming royal, subsumed her fate within a greater destiny? If we were possessed by her, was she possessed by something else? I want to end by quoting directly from Born to Reign. [19]

'But when we see Diana carrying her challenge to the heart of the Monarchy we see the deeper implications of her Mars-Pluto alignment.

This Mars-Pluto alignment was also found in the horoscopes of many of the Stuart monarchs. Out of the fourteen Stuarts who sat on the thrones of England, Scotland and Ireland, nine (including Mary, Queen of Scots) were born with powerful disruptive Mars-Pluto connections, and two others with similar alignments which were slightly less difficult, among which we find Charles I. If we examine the history of the Stuarts, every one of them was either on the receiving end of anarchy (like Mary), or helped encourage it (like Charles I).

It appears that half the monarchs born with a powerful Mars-Pluto alignment experienced difficulties not of their own making. In recent times both George V and George VI were born with this combination and while one led Britain through the trauma of the First World War, the other guided the country through the tragedy of the Second World War. The other half, who are born with every apparent advantage, appear unable to resist the temptation to create confrontation. We shouldn't judge them too harshly, for what drives them is an uncompromising desire to discover the truth. Diana's Mars-Pluto alignment actually falls in Virgo, a sign devoted to the principle of perfection. So great is her devotion to the truth that nothing less than one hundred percent will do, even at the cost of pain and conflict on the way.

In the Plutonic mentality, sacrifice and healing, destruction and creation are opposites which invariably coexist. This is why it was so natural, while her own marriage was unravelling, for Diana to devote herself to Relate, the charity whose purpose is to reconcile estranged partners and try to save their marriage.

Paradoxically, while she was saving other people's relationships, Diana was sacrificing her own.'

Was Diana a saint? I would say yes, and I called her such from the moment when she began her visits to AIDS patients and lepers. But the affirmative answer is based as much upon projection of public hopes and expectations on to her as to her nature. It was not that her nature was saintly that enables her to be perceived as such, but that she became such a powerful vehicle for those public projections. It seemed to me that from that moment she took on the archetype of one of those Anglo-Saxon princesses who died young and whose shrines became healing sanctuaries. Perhaps the reason nobody ever compared her to Florence Nightingale was that the heroine of the Crimea lived to a ripe old age. We could compare her to the nineteenth century reformer, the Earl of Shaftsbury: at his death seven thousand of London's destitute and homeless crowded into Parliament Square, singing 'Nearer my God to thee'. But however much we can analyse the situation in which we have found ourselves, or look for historical patterns and psychological explanations, as astrologers we should never forget we are human and that our first response should be to mourn for the dead and celebrate the living. And however much I look at the astrology surrounding Diana's life and death I cannot help a feeling of incomparable sadness. And that is something that astrology alone cannot explain.

* * * * * * * * * * * * *


1. Diana's data: When Diana's engagement to Charles was anounced her birth time was given as 2.00 pm on 1 July 1961, Sandringham. The time was then corrected to 7.45 pm and confirmed in a letter to Charles Harvey from the Queen's assistant press secretary as being from Diana's mother (note 15, p 168). This is the time used by Debbie Frank, Diana's astrologer for the last eight years, and I would recommend fhat it remain the Princess's officially recognised birth time. However, in early 1993 I received a phone call from Richard Kay, the Daily Mail's royal correspondent and Diana's closest confidante in the press. He asked me to look at Diana's chart and told me that she had told him that her time of birth was 2.15 pm. I then asked him to query with her the 7.45 pm time. He called me back the next day, telling me that she now said that she was, after all, born at 7.45 pm. I then called Penny Thornton who said that professional confidentiality meant that she couldn't tell me what time of birth she had used in her private work for Diana, but when I asked her if she used 2.15 pm she said yes, and said that there might be other possibilities, which I took to mean 2.00 pm. I have no problem with there being more than one chart for any individual; once we move away from a strict reliance on birth charts we enter a different philosophical terrain in which charts are not considered either wrong or right, accurate or inaccurate, but appropriate or inappropriate.

The real question to pose of any chart is 'what does it signify?' Indeed we all have many horoscopes, set for astronomical moments, such as solar returns, and real events, such as marriages. It was one of the key traditions of the ancient divine monarchy that on assuming any royal status, a new horoscope was acquired. One ancient practice was to cast a horoscope for the coronation, or for the moment the monarch entered the palace after his coronation (I saw an exhibition of such charts for Burmese kings in the museum in Rangoon). These could then supersede the birth horoscope. The same solution applies to John Major, whose birth time is unknown: in the absence of accurate data we can forget his birth chart and measure his political life according to the charts for his election as Conservative Party leader or appointment as Prime Minister. Thus I accepted that Diana gave me the time of 2.15 pm, only fifteen minutes later than the first time of birth anounced in 1981. Yet she also acknowledged the second, official time of 7.45 pm, anounced by Buckingham Palace. My solution to this problem is to acknowledge both times, and I tend to look at Libra rising as the shy young girl she was, and the fashion icon she became, but Sagittarius rising as the principled warrior who almost single handedly brought the monarchy to its knees and, in the last days of her life, had become a global political campaigner. I see Libra as more private, Sagittarius as more public, Libra as the woman, Sagittarius as the Princess. That, at any rate, is my rationale.

Whatever the truth, we should continue to acknowledge that the officially anounced time for her birth was 7.45 pm, and that this then carries the symbolic weight of any palace proclamation. It was also the time which formed the basis of the astrological advice she received throughout the nineties. Debbie Frank told me that in the eighteen months before Diana died she raised the question of Diana's birth time with her, and Diana was insistent that she was born in the evening. Horoscopes only contain the significance which we attach to them, and the official announcement of birth is therefore extremely significant, whether or not the individual was born at that moment. Similarly, experience shows that if individuals report that their birth took place at a particular moment, that time carries the significance they attach to it; in the astrological universe there are no mistakes and everything has meaning if we give it meaning. (I outlined these arguments in 'Mythical Moments in the Rectification of History', Astrology Looks at History, ed. Noel Tyl, Llewellyn, St Paul, MN., 1995).

The other significant data are engagement to Prince Charles, 11.00 am, 24 February 1981, Buckingham Palace; marriage, 11.17.10, 29 July 1981, St.Paul's Cathedral; divorce absolute, 10.27 am 28 August 1996. The crash took place at 12.25 am, 31 August 1997 in Paris (Times, September 1. The Times carried a complete time table of events, as did the Daily Express which put the crash at 11.30 pm BST, 30 Aug. The Independent reported 12.40 am but that, according to the Times, was when the British Embassy was informed. The Princess was then officially pronounced dead at 4.00 am in Paris (2.00 am GMT). At 11.00 am BST Tony Blair proclaimed Diana the 'People's Princess', the term which set the tone for a week of incredible popular religious feeling. The funeral procession left Kensington Palace at around 9.20 am on 6 September 1997 and the funeral commenced at 11.00 am. The moment of high emotion came during Elton John's rendition of Candle in the Wind at 11.25, and the moment of high anger in the applause after Earl Spencer's eulogy at 11.40 am. At 1.00 pm the Princess's coffin finally disappeared up the M1 for her private interment on the island at Althorp. She had become the Lady of the Lake.

Dodi Fayed was born on 15 April 1955 in Alexandria (obituaries in the Times and Independent, 2 September), although other sources (Daily Express 1 September, p 23) said that he was only 41. Dodi died immediately after the fatal crash and was buried at 10.00 pm, 1 September 1997 at Brookwood Cemetery, near Woking, Surrey, after a twenty five minute service at Regents Park Mosque (Daily Mail 2 September p 15).

2. Inanna, Queen of Heaven and Earth: her stories and hymns from Sumer, translated Diane Wolkstein and Samuel Noah Kramer, p 55, Harper and Row, New York, 1983. Gugulanna, the Bull of Heaven, was god manifested through Taurus, the constellation in which the Sun was located at the spring equinox prior to 2,000 BC.

3. Henri Frankfort, Kingship and the Gods, University of Chicago Press, 1978, p 317-8.

4. Ezekiel 8. 14-16.

5. C.G.Jung, 'After the Catastrophe', Collected Works, trans R.F.C.Hull, Routledge and Kegan Paul, London, 1964, Vol. 10, pp 194-217.

6. The death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort, was widely mourned and resulted in a wave of charitable giving, exactly like Diana's death, but it followed an illness and was not such a shock. The execution of Charles I, now forgotten, was profoundly traumatic for many people, but was not unexpected. The last completely unexpected royal trauma took place in 1120 when Prince William, the heir to Henry I, drowned on the White Ship. The result, on Henry's death in 1135, was a twenty one year civil war. Prince Albert, born shortly after dawn on 26th August 1819 and Roseau, Germany

7. Winston Churchill, 11.20 pm, 10 February 1894, Blenheim, AA data collection.

8. In Mr William Lilly's True History of King James the First and King Charles the First, p 75, the time of Charles I's execution was given as 4.04 pm, 30 January 1649, Whitehall, London, but the chart is set for 2.04 pm. In Gesta Britannorum (London 1657), George Wharton gave the time as 1.52 pm (p 458).

9. John F. Kennedy, 29 May 1917, 3.15 pm, Brookline, MA., Doris Chase Doane, Horoscopes of the US Presidents (AFA 1971), p 149.

10. Noel Tyl, Predictions for a New Millennium, Llewellyn, St.Paul, MN, 1996, p 222.

11. Nicholas Campion, Born to Reign, Chapmans 1993, p 147-8.

12. This story appeared in early 1983. The name of the magazine and the issue in which it appeared are unknown. All we know is that it was sent by George Taylor to Derek Appleby in 1983. Astrology (the Lodge Quarterly), 57/1, Spring 1983, p 37.

13. Born to Reign, p 162-3.

14. Bernadette Brady, The Eagle and the Lark, p232, Appendix 6. Both eclipses are part of Saros Series 18 North which commenced on 4 February 1060 and is coloured by a Pluto-Mercury combination linked with Uranus and the Saturn-Mars midpoint.

15. Suzanne Lilley-Harvey, 'The Synastry of Prince Charles and Lady Diana', Astrological Journal, 23/3, Summer 1981, p 169.

16. Penny Thornton, Synastry, Aquarian Press, Wellingborough, Northants, 1982, p 141.

17. Liz Greene, The Astrology of Fate, Mandala, Harper-Collins, London, 1984, p 81.

18. Of the many strange circumstances surrounding Diana's death, one was that she was 36 years old. In the Sumerian king list (which included Dumuzi) all reigns were measured in terms of the Sar, a unit of length of 3,600 years representing a complete, whole and self-sufficient period of time. These figures also occurred in Platonic numerology, and in the regulation of Plato's perfectly organised, cosmically harmonised republic.

19. Born to Reign, p 152-3.


Nick Campion is the President of the Astrological Association.