Whenever women tell me they can’t find a man, I almost want to tell them that they won’t anyway: according to my estimation, the last eligible man has already left the planet: JFK Jr.
JFK Jr. was my first celebrity ‘crush’ growing up. There wasn’t much glamour around in rural Virginia for an Auntie Mame wanna-be like yours truly, save for the stacks of People magazines that were always on offer at my grandma’s house (this was also the grandmother that rented us that super-lewd Mickey Rourke movie 9 and 1/2 weeks when we were 10 years old – but that’s a story for another time).
I don’t know what People magazine would have done without JFK Jr. in the 90’s – he was their constant cover boy, ‘sexiest man alive’ and the object of non-stop speculation. Who was he dating? Where was he travelling? What was he doing?
You couldn’t make it through a suburban grocery store aisle without finding him peeking out from a magazine cover, half-naked, playing football, on rollerblades, in a kayak, walking dogs….the list goes on and on.
Which is also why it felt so impossible when he passed away on July 16, 1999.
As part of this post, I’m going to look at who John was in general, or at least, seemed to be, alongside how his chart interacted with transits at important moments in his life, and in synastry to his late wife Carolyn. There are some particularly interesting asteroids I’ll look at in this post, some of which relate to his fatal crash.
THE BIRTH CHART & ASTEROIDS OF JFK Jr.
John F. Kennedy Jr.: DOB 25th November 1960 at 12:22 am in Washington DC, USA
From John-John to Don John
JFK Jr. first came into the public eye as the son born to John F. Kennedy only weeks after he had assumed the Presidency. The Kennedy family had suffered somewhat with conception, first with a miscarriage, next with a stillborn child they named Arabella (and some time after John, with a son named Patrick that died only a few days after his birth). But with the birth of John, the Kennedy family unit was complete: one girl, Caroline, and a boy, John.
Immortalized in the famous photo of him saluting his father’s coffin as it passed before him, JFK Jr’s family and childhood would continue to be an ongoing theme in his life, and much of his energy would be spent trying to play down his ‘Camelot’ heritage or supporting different members of the Kennedy clan.
At prima facie, John is a solid 4th House Sagittarius Sun, so family and the parents are an undeniable theme in this chart. The Sun in Sagittarius accounts for his jaunty comportment and his seemingly unlimited reserves of physical energy, as well as for his philosophical, explorative nature.
There is, however, a strong T-Square that builds between his 4th House Sun, his 6th House Chiron/Moon (wounds; emotions, the mother in the house of accidents, illness, and work) and 12th House Uranus (shocking, traumatic incidents, in the house of suffering). Interestingly, the asteroid ‘Kennedy’, present in his 3rd House, is conjunct asteroid Niobe (grief, sorrow). And though much was made about the very close relationship between JFK Jr. and his mother, the asteroid ‘Jacqueline’ appears firmly across from his Sun in a tight opposition. This being the mother that denied him the right to a career in acting, but also the woman wise enough to know his plane-flying days might end in sorrow. There’s a strong connection here, but tension, too.
John attended a swish private high school and then ended up at Brown University, and then went on to study Law at NYU. He quite famously failed the bar twice, but reportedly said he’d keep on doing it until he died, or passed. This is along the lines of what I’d expect from someone with Pluto in the 1st House, hovering over the Ascendant. Pluto is power, but the kind of power it represents is a deep, internal reserve of power that is unshakeable, rather than an antagonistic one (think Mars).
I wouldn’t be surprised, however, if he wasn’t somewhat of a control freak.
Pluto can veer towards obsession and control, and in the sign of Virgo, which is ever so detailed, precise and nitpicky, I doubt he’d be able to let details slide (this also accounts for his dedication to physical fitness). On top of this, his Ascendant is nearly exactly conjunct to his North Node, a marker for an undeniably big and fated lifetime.
Soon after University, JFK Jr. started to appear in speaking capacities; first at graduation ceremonies, then in political settings, and then in the media more and more. As a speaker, he may have already been blessed with great oratory genes, but he also held his own at a podium. Similar to his beauty, which we will arrive at later, JFK Jr’s communication style was imbued with a bit of Neptunian glamour. Neptune conjunct Mercury can easily create a confused mental capacity (John had dyslexia and ADD, both possible as part of a strong Mercury-Neptune signature), but it also creates an incredible magnetism for those with this positioning. Mercury-Neptune natives are inspirational, charming writers, storytellers, and speakers; had JFK Jr. lived to see his later years, I fully believe he would have become a political God. Alongside his humanitarian, innovative Aquarian Moon and optimistic Sagittarius Sun, he would have made a compelling candidate.
His 6th House Chiron/Moon combo is endlessly interesting, especially given how potent the Chiron placements are of both his parents. Jackie’s Chiron was in the 7th House of marriage, connected to the 8th House of death; JFK’s was in the 6th House of accidents and illness, connected to the 8th House of death (for those that don’t know it, besides his assassination, JFK was plagued with illnesses throughout his life).
JFK Jr’s Chiron placement could represent any number of possibilities, with it present in the 6th House, connected to the 5th via planet Saturn: an accident (6th House) with a lover due to risky situations (5th House); emotional issues around detachment (Moon in Aquarius conjunct Chiron) with lovers (5th House); emotional distance with the mother (Moon-Chiron) regarding lovers, creative pursuits or risks (5th House)?
Any of the three could fit, assuming what we read about his marital issues and arguments with Jackie O about George magazine are to be believed. Most apparently, it seemed a fatal accident was on the cards, with the Moon (our body) conjunct Chiron (a wound) in the house of accidents, opposing Uranus (trauma) in the house of loss and suffering. On the night John flew out, and later died, he was still nursing a broken ankle from a paragliding accident (6th house rules the ankles; the 5th house rules ‘games of risk’). John also reportedly suffered from Graves’ disease and thyroid issues, ADD and dyslexia.
It’s creepy but true: his Chiron-Moon is conjunct the asteroid ‘Leukothea’, a Greek sea goddess who ‘came to the aid of sailors in distress.’
In terms of his good looks, of which there was no shortage, John’s chart shows an interesting signature, one which I’ve not seen before in such a pronounced manner. Firstly, his Venus is in Capricorn, which normally gifts a certain level of beauty in the bone structure, teeth, hair and skin, all parts of the body ruled by Capricorn: check, check, check and,…check. His Venus is also in sextile to Neptune. Venus-Neptune contacts in a chart give someone an other-worldly, glamorous appearance (Marilyn Monroe had Venus trine Neptune). I also checked a few fitting asteroids, only to be disappointed that asteroid Adonis was not significantly placed in the chart of the only modern man to have been truly deserving of the title (though asteroid Adonis does trine asteroid Lust. Me-owwww). His Venus is conjunct asteroid Aphrodite and trines his Ascendant, which kind of double-downs on the beauty bit, and his Mercury is conjunct Apollo, who was considered the ideal of male beauty. No kidding.
JFK Jr. & Carolyn Bessette
If Helen’s face was the one that launched a thousand ships, Carolyn’s was the one that sent millions of women worldwide into mourning. Incredibly stunning herself, if perhaps somewhat steely, Carolyn and John’s relationship seemed like a fairytale romance – and the media couldn’t get enough of it.
While it would be impossible to know the true nature of their relationship, there were more than enough rumours of ‘trouble in paradise’. Specific allegations that came up again and again dealt with Carolyn’s likely substance abuse, her depression, their mutual frustration with the paparazzi, and possible infidelities.
Overall, the synastry charts look fated, but not strongly romantic. In particular, I find it incredibly telling their South Node contacts, which some consider a past-life connection. His Sun is conjunct her South Node; her Saturn is conjunct his South Node. South Node contacts make for lots of attraction, especially the kind that feel like you’ve found a long-lost friend, but they aren’t always fruitful as long-term relationships. Usually, these relationships tend to be karmically charged and emit both romantic sparks and destructive fireworks.
There was one spooky asteroid in the mix: (you guys know how much I love a spooky asteroid)
The asteroid Carolyn is conjunct John’s asteroid Juno, the Goddess of Marriage.
The rest of the aspects don’t stack up well in the stereotypical sense: their Moon’s are relatively incompatible, with hers in security-craving Cancer and his in independent, distant Aquarius; their Venus signatures also don’t match terribly well, with hers in rule-breaking Aquarius and his in rule-loving Capricorn. Her Venus actually squares his Mercury, and his Venus makes no contact in her chart whatsoever. On a very basic level, you could say that his Venus is in Capricorn, and she’s a Capricorn Sun; her Venus is in Aquarius and he has an Aquarius Moon. Her 7th House is ruled by Leo, indicating a ‘solar’ partner: larger-than-life, grand, possibly arrogant; his is ruled by Pisces, and her asteroid Juno, Goddess of Marriage is in Pisces. It’s something, these small points, but they are kind of a something-nothing.
Carolyn has a number of interesting asteroids in her chart that may relate to her relationship patterns. Firstly, asteroid Hera (aka Juno) is conjunct her Ascendant. There’s no denying that must people saw her (Ascendant) as the wife of an important, powerful man (Hera). Hera’s story may or may not be illustrative of their relationship, but the themes included infidelity, humiliation in relationships, and staying in relationships because of a need for status/money. Carolyn’s Venus is also conjunct the asteroid Damocles, a story that some may remember via the infamous ‘sword of Damocles’ parable, which warned that with great power came with great danger. Interesting, to say the least, to find it next to one’s Venus. Lastly, much was made of Carolyn’s fiery, intense character. Old flames claimed that she stalked them and broke into their homes, or terrorized their new partners. I have an explanation for some of that…
Carolyn’s Moon is conjunct Lilith.
Oh yes, that Lilith: the baby-eating, man-hating, equality-or-nothing ball-breaking beast-ess.
Truthfully, Lilith was miscast as a demon-woman. All she really wanted was equality, and to be free. Perhaps, Carolyn needed the same thing, too.
Chiron is an interesting point to examine in this chart. When laying her chart on his, her Chiron is in the 7th house of marriage, relating to the 10th house of one’s public profile or visible career – and it’s well-known that Carolyn had a hard time dealing with her new-found fame. John’s Chiron instead shows up in the 1st House of self, relating to the 2nd house of money, talent, and self-worth. Is this an indicator of her having feelings of low self-worth? Were there issues around money?
The last thing I’ll say here is provocative but poignant. For all the talk about Carolyn’s ‘issues’, and the media’s worship of John…John’s Saturn is conjunct the asteroid Narcissus. Carolyn’s asteroid Juno is opposite the asteroid Narcissus.
Transits on the night of July 16, 1999
On the night of July 16, 1999, John planned to fly his private plane to Martha’s Vineyard to drop off his sister-in-law, and then proceed onwards to a family wedding.
They never made it there.
There have been many investigations, and the long story short seems to be that it was just an ill-fated flight. The weather wasn’t great, they took off much later than expected and hence had diminished visibility, John was recovering from an ankle injury, his pilot’s training wasn’t up to snuff for the conditions of that evening. We’ll never know the whole story.
The astrology transits and asteroids of that evening are pretty…intense, to say the least.
In no particular order:
- In John’s solar return chart, asteroid Phaethon (crashes) is conjunct Jupiter in the 3rd House, which amongst other things, covers community or short-distance travel; these points square Mars (accidents) in the 12th house (death, loss). The Moon (one’s body) is in the house of accidents, and Uranus (traumatic, shocking incidents) was in the 1st House (of the body).
- In John’s progressed chart, Pluto (the God of the Underworld) was conjunct the South Node (past-lives, karma) in the 12th house of death, loss and karma.
- In the transit chart, natal asteroid Phaethon (crashes) opposes the transiting Venus (love) and the Moon (one’s body); both points square John’s natal Sun (one’s soul).
- In the transit chart, Mars (accidents) was in the 3rd house of short-distance travel, conjunct asteroids ‘Fast’, Poseidon (water).
- In the transit chart, transiting asteroid Phaethon (crashes) was across from transiting Pluto, and square to natal Pluto and the North Node (destiny).
- In the transit chart, Chiron (wounds) in the 3rd house of short-distance travel was square to John’s natal Chiron and Moon, in the 6th house of accidents and also square to his natal Uranus (traumatic incidents) in the 12th house of loss.
- The transiting Sun was conjunct asteroid Asbolus (impulsiveness); transiting Uranus was conjunct Hermes (Mercury, travel) and Terpsichore (body movements); transiting asteroid Icarus (recklessness, dangerous flights) was opposed to Mercury (travel) and conjunct Saturn (restrictions); transiting Mercury was conjunct asteroid Ophelia (drownings).
John was famously quoted as saying he’d prefer to be a good man instead of trying to be a great one. A quote I much prefer from John goes something like this:
“[…] My own experience is that the people who are in public life are really never projected as being human, multi-dimensional, complex, self-sacrificing people that they tend to be. There’s a lot of – quite rightly so – negative press about people in public life and a lot of cynicism. And [I] try to be skeptical, but not cynical.”
I’m always conscious of this when reading charts for the same reasons. We are all complex, strange creatures, harbouring histories, and wounds, and unsung songs. Who knows what really lies beneath any of our well-placed projections?
The only thing that is certain is JFK Jr. was one-of-a-kind: an American Prince, the child of ‘Camelot lost’, a sex symbol, a humanitarian, a romantic, a failed law student, an avid sportsman, a risk-taker and a would-be journalist-cum-politician.
And, he is missed.
Like you, sir, there is no other.