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Princess Diana's Archetypal Journey

An archetype is a pattern or model writ large. Larger than life. It is someone or something we identify with in some way without logically knowing why. We feel it deep within the knowing of us.

Diana, Princess of Wales was such an image who became an icon or symbol who was recognized across all national, religious, class and gender barriers. Her life and death encompassed elements of Classical Greek Tragedy, Medieval mystery, Tarot and Astrology.


We first met Diana as a shy young virgin who was sacrificed on the altar of expediency to a Royal Family no less prone to intrigue and disaster than the legendary Greek Royal House of Atreus. Princess Diana was promised love and a crown, she received neither from this quarter but became instead the icon of the people as the Queen of Hearts. Her life was writ large in symbolism, drama and tragic circumstance and we,the people ,were with her all the way.

The symbolic QUEEN of CUPS. Princess Diana’s knowledge of the New Age and her association with Clairvoyants, Psychics and Tarot experts,must have made her fully aware that the Queen of Hearts in a regular playing card pack and the tarot Queen of Cups are one and the same. This card is the symbol of water, the emotions and the deep mysteries of the psyche. Princess Diana’s own astrological sign was Cancer which is ruled by the Moon. This symbolism links Diana to the water and the moon just as the Queen of Cups is linked. Princess Diana showed all of the characteristics of emotion, instinct and depth of feeling associated with these symbols. The Tarot Moon. The Tarot Moon card represents the depths and shadows of the psyche and one caught therein, the only way back home is through instinctual wisdom. The Fool’s Journey. The Fool’s Journey is the beginning and the end. We are all on the Journey, we finish one stage and begin another, just as the Princess of Wales did during her life on this planet. The paradox is that the fool is no fool because he/she is on a quest for self-knowledge, wholeness and wisdom. As for Princess Diana, just a month before her death, according to an interview with Cathy Horvern of Vanity Fair Magazine, the Princess was “reborn.” Diana had divested herself of the trappings of the House of Windsor and was free of the restrictions of tiara, jewels and the symbols of worldly power. Diana had also cleaned out her wardrobe and got rid of her clothes and we women all know what that means!!! Princess Di was now ready to continue the journey. To start a brand new life. A life of service to the world and a brand new high powered romance as well. Things were looking good when suddenly the Greek Chorus enters stage left totally unannounced. THE GODDESS OF THE HUNT. As one irony tumbled on top of another, Diana the goddess of the hunt became the hunted and death struck violently. Her heart was torn. The Queen of Hearts died from a wounded heart. GREEK TRAGEDY A passage from Sophocles Electra describing a chariot race in which the hero supposedly meets his death: “As he came to the turn...too soon he struck the pillar the axle shaft was snapped in two and he was flung headlong entangled in the reins. Oh! what a cry arose...that he who had achieved so much should meet with such disaster.” This passage was written more than two thousand years ago in ancient Greece and yet it could have been written as an epitaph for Princess Diana. At every turn , Princess Diana’s life was writ large in brilliance and display. Her life was filled with paradox and irony. She embodied the archetypes of The good Mother, the Glamour, The Charismatic Healer, The Innocent, The Huntress and the Shaman who travels to the Underworld to bring change to the world above. Diana, Princess of Wales, was a mega-star and archetype extra-ordinaire, a legendary figure. Do not imagine that the story is over because in death she will fulfill more archetypes, larger and more bizarre than she did in life. She is buried on an island in an oval lake at Althorpe, her ancestral home, a magical spot fit for a legendary princess. What new myths and legends will be born from this setting is anybody’s guess. Adding more fuel to the etherial intrigue it was reported recently that “Princess Diana will go down in history as the woman who restored Stuart blood to the Royal Family.” Once again the Queen of Cups is about to play out a cosmic role. A recent book by Leonard Gardner, “Bloodline of the Holy Grail”, claims to have thoroughly researched genealogies of the bloodline from the time of Jesus and Joseph of Arimathea. Guess what! According to Leonard Gardner, the Stuart branch which Diana brought to the Royal Family are the inheritors of the Holy Grail. Whether it is an actual cup or an awakening consciousness is yet to be seen. As the Grail Queen (Queen of Cups) it seems that Diana’s son William may be the Grail Prince (Knight of Cups). The last time the mystical Grail made an appearance was in the time of King Arthur of Britain. Great changes occurred. Celtic Britain was changed forever. We are left with myths, legends and poetry concerning those times and we now have fertile ground for myth and legend to grow from the incidents surrounding the life and death of the beloved Princess Diana, Queen of Hearts. Published in issue 41 of Conscious Living Magazine-Nov/Dec issue, 1997 and copyright of Carmen Sebestyen.
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