Throughout the week leading up to July 16, 1999, the day of
the Kennedy crash, I had been hearing tales of troubles from people with
planets at 15 degrees of the fixed signs--Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and
It was plain to see why. There was a 90-degree square aspect in the skies between the planet of restriction and hardships--Saturn--and the planet of unexpected events--Uranus. Saturn was at 15 degrees Taurus, Uranus at 15 degrees Aquarius. The aspect would be exact on Saturday, July 17th.
Anyone with a planet at 15 degrees of any of the four fixed signs would feel this. In the week or two prior to the exact aspect, I saw a variety of unexpected hardships going on in the lives of the people I knew whose planets were being affected by this square. I was concerned for others who might have this harsh aspect hitting their charts.
It didn't make things easier that Mercury had turned retrograde at the beginning of that week, on July 12, leading to increased confusion in communication and transportation.
On July 16th, when the news media shocked us with the possibility of John Kennedy's plane being lost at sea, I thought immediately of that square. I found myself wondering, of course, what planetary aspect Kennedy, his wife, or sister-in-law might have at 15 degrees of the fixed signs.
When I did look at John's natal chart, transits and progressions, I found, as might be expected, more than a few indications of a possible tragedy. But there was not as much emphasis on 15 degrees of the fixed signs as might be expected in an event so close to the square's exactitude.
Kennedy's Mercury, at 13 Scorpio (in his 3rd house of the mind and local travel), was certainly afflicted, but I knew there must be more and closer aspects. I had Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy's day, year and place of birth, but not her time. She had no planets at 15 degrees of a fixed sign. Whether her sister, Lauren Bessette, had such an aspect I couldn't tell at that point; I didn't have a chart for her.
Since I work a lot with the composite charts of couples, I set up one of these for John and Carolyn. Without Carolyn's time of birth, of course, the houses wouldn't count, only the planets and aspects between them. But, there in the composite between the two charts was the evidence that the Saturn/Uranus square was indeed involved. And in a much worse way than I had imagined.
A composite chart, for those who may not know, is composed of a blend, via midpoints, of two charts. The chart formed by these midpoints is actually a chart of the relationship itself and is affected by transits just as a natal chart is.
In the Kennedy/Bessette composite chart, there was a square that echoed the square in the skies. It was composed of Neptune at 15 Scorpio square composite Saturn at 14 Aquarius. Neptune rules fog, confusion, the ocean, and mysterious events. Saturn rules caution, but also hardships and even falls. When a plane falls, you will usually find a Saturn aspect.
How exactly was the Kennedy composite square affected by the square in the skies? The transiting square was between Saturn in Taurus and Uranus in Aquarius. Saturn rules caution, but also being limited and grounded or felled by reality. But Uranus has to do with just the opposite human impulse, the urge to do your own thing, without restriction, to fly, to soar. A square between Saturn and Uranus can, in general, cause much internal conflict.
In this case, Saturn in the skies opposed the couple's Neptune exactly, limiting normal intuition. If Saturn rules falls and Neptune symbolizes the ocean, the aspect was also only too grimly symbolic of what had occurred.
In addition, Saturn in the skies squared the couple's Saturn, while Uranus sat one degree away from their composite Saturn. There must have been a great conflict between caution and the desire for freedom of action.
Meanwhile, Uranus in the skies squared the couple's Neptune, escalating any chaos and confusion and bringing unexpected twists of fate. The aspect formed between the two sets of squares was a T-square, a configuration that often pushes one into action.
Add to this the fact that the couple's composite Saturn was square Kennedy's natal Mercury. This could have, at times, led him to think more seriously about life, or, at other times, limited his spontaneous thinking. The fact that erratic Uranus in the skies at 15 Aquarius was devastating the usual caution of the couple's Saturn and squaring John's Mercury (ruling the mind), could indeed have confused his thinking and his operation of a plane.
As I mentioned before, there were many other indications of a tragedy at the time. I won't go into them all here, but might mention just one factor in Kennedy's natal chart and thus in his basic personality. He was a Sagittarius with an elevated Mars in Aries. Physical action, a bit of recklessness, and challenge to be courageous, was not just in the Kennedy tradition, but in his natal chart.