The Kennedy assassination is my first memory. Not the shooting itself, of course, but the emotional impact it created. I was just over three, recuperating from open heart surgery two months before. I was playing on the living room carpet in front of the TV. My mother had dragged the ironing board into the kitchen alcove so she could simultaneously iron, monitor me, and watch her “program,” “As the World Turns.” I remember seeing a look of horror and dismay flash across my mother’s face when the news bulletin flashed across the screen, and her dropping the iron onto the board and running to the phone, I later learned, to call my grandmother.
That instant of turmoil and angst, shock and disbelief, is seared into my brain more than the minor horrors of hospitalization I had just endured, or the trauma of being uprooted, moving from my grandmother’s house to our own home a few months earlier. Although I had no understanding whatsoever of what had occurred or what it meant, the jolt it created was strong enough to leave a lasting impression on my memory. Some unconscious part of me had registered this momentous sea change.
It seems mine wasn’t the only psyche impacted by that event. The Kennedy assassination is a watershed event in US history, putting a dramatic period to the post-war era of the halcyon, if hypocritical, ‘50s and, though no one knew it at the time, inaugurating the turbulence of the ‘60s. The glittering fantasy that was Camelot had been brutally torn from our reality, to be replaced by a far grittier, edgier, bestial existence. In the succeeding decades, the American public lost faith in government’s ability, even desire, to be a force for good, as Vietnam, the RFK and MLK assassinations, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and other domestic and international crises or scandals gradually eroded confidence in the institutions that made the country great. Culture wars, feminism, gay rights, legalized abortion, the War on Drugs; all took a toll in warping the society.
When the death-blow of 9-11 came, and Americans traded freedom and liberty for the false security of Big Brother’s protection, America was already unrecognizable from the place I grew up in. But the seed of that disaffection, the genesis of the people’s unbelief in the government, was the Kennedy assassination and the subsequent cover-up of the truth of that day. That seed took root and grew, bearing monstrous fruit, encouraging distrust, alienation and apathy. We are in large part who we are today because of the failure of public servants and journalists to expose the truth of those shots that rang out in Dealey Plaza on November 22, 1963.
And now, it’s 50 years later. Fully 59% of the American people still believe that the Warren Commission report, based upon the government’s investigation of JFK’s death, is inaccurate at best, an outright lie at worst, and that the killing involved a conspiracy of multiple persons, likely perpetrated by elements of the US government. The Warren Commission’s findings may be first of the Great Lies, perhaps, but not the last, nor the greatest.
An astrological analysis of the moment of JFK’s shooting and the interactions between that day and his natal chart portray a startling celestial symmetry that well depicts the events of his tragic end. In particular, Black Hole contacts to the angles and the Lights for November 22, 1963 highlight the critical turning point for the nation, while PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) fill in the details with remarkable accuracy. The chart is set for when the first shots were heard in Dallas, at 12:30 PM CST.
Perhaps most impactful is the exact conjunction of the MC, or Midheaven, with the Black Hole at 3 Sagittarius. The MC is also the Tenth House cusp, the most prominent and public point of the chart, and rules governmental affairs and leaders. Black Holes are remnants of collapsed stars whose gravity is so great, not even light can escape them. Their appetite is insatiable, and while they represent points of energy attraction and energy drain in the chart, they also promote the volte face, the sudden, unexpected and dramatic shift in the status quo reality, when current conditions change completely in the twinkling of an eye. The old world has vanished, to be replaced with something new and often alien; you have entered a different reality, and can’t go home again.
This was certainly the case for millions of Americans, not just in the moment of the loss of their President, but also in the aftermath, as the truth of the government’s complicity and cover-up became real for many, forever altering the ways they perceived the institutions they had grown up with and trusted. A radically new perspective was born that day, one in which the powers that be, charged with our protection and service, became the thing to be feared, mistrusted, denied.
Second in importance is a remarkable exact triple conjunction of the Moon with Damocles and a Black Hole at 11 Aquarius. The Moon is the physical container, the body, which of course for Kennedy came to an abrupt end that day. But it is also the emotional body, the gut-wrenching experience of the event, and in mundane charts represents the populace. Damocles is one of a special class of minor planets, probably cometary nuclei which have outgassed their volatile material and no longer trail comets. It is named for the mythic figure who sat beneath a sword suspended by a hair, oblivious of the impending doom, and acts astrologically as a marker of that unseen disaster or destiny which appears without warning and radically alters the future. Amazingly, JFK, born 29 May 1917, also has natal Damocles at this degree, and so was experiencing a “Damocles Return” when Fate caught up with him.
Also of special note vis-à-vis Black Hole energies is the position of transit Saturn at 17 Aquarius also exactly conjoined a third Black Hole. Saturn is the ancient Lord of Death, and also represents both the government generally and its Chief Executive, the President. Here it signifies the sudden, unexpected loss of the man in the office as well as casting doubt upon the government’s role in the tragedy, as some hidden actor pulling strings from behind the scenes.
As if to draw particular attention to this planet’s importance, Saturn also conjoins the Ascendant of the assassination at 19 Aquarius, and is traveling with asteroid Atropos at 20 Aquarius, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death. Together these signify the death (Atropos) of a head of state (Saturn) and how this is presented to the world at large (Ascendant). Opposing both asteroid America at 13 Leo and, more broadly, asteroid Washingtonia at 27 Leo, Saturn here is linked with the country and its capital in a double dose of death.
Washingtonia is in fact very strongly tapped into the day, a further indication that the government’s role was more than that of passive victim. From 27 Leo, Washingtonia itself is conjunct a Black Hole at 28 Leo, that reality-warping will-o-the-wisp, and closely squared the Quasar at 28 Scorpio which conjoined the day’s Sun at 29 Scorpio.
Quasars are among the furthest and brightest objects in the universe, and cast a brilliant spotlight upon whatever they touch. In this case, the Quasar’s attention is focused on the day itself (the Sun), marking it as one to remember. With the Sun exactly opposed asteroid Lachesis at 29 Taurus, named for another of the Fates who determines the span of life, death is very visibly on the agenda.
Lachesis conjoins yet another type of deep space anomaly, a Maser at 27 Taurus, likened to a cosmic cattle prod, a stellar remnant which spews vast jets of matter from its core far into space. These promote volatility, violence and turmoil, and Kennedy was born with his 7 Gemini Sun conjunct another of these turbulent points, which also generate great excitement, enthusiasm and passion—the ability to energize others with our words or ideas. Kennedy certainly had this quality in large proportion, and at his death lived out the more negative potential for violence and destruction which the anomaly wields.
This Galactic T-Square is rounded out into a Grand Cross with the addition of another Black Hole at 27 Aquarius, squaring Sun/Lachesis and exactly opposing Washingtonia. This broadly incorporates JFK’s natal Uranus, the planet ruling shootings, at 23 Aquarius, which is itself exactly conjunct TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Chaos, a point noted for confusion, disorder, and disarray, all of which ensued with his death. Also in the mix is Kennedy’s natal asteroid Icarus at 26 Aquarius, a point noted for rash, reckless actions or decisions, heedless of one’s own safety and in defiance of the advice of others. JFK was warned in advance by both former Democratic presidential nominee Adlai Stevenson and Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Earl Warren not to go to Dallas, due to the hostile and volatile environment there. And he certainly acted rashly, not only in ignoring this advice, but in insisting on driving in an open car.
Much of Kennedy’s biographical saga is told in a remarkable bundle of PNAs which cluster about his natal Descendant at 19 Aries. Asteroid Kennedy (#7166) is exactly conjoined the Descendant, with asteroids Johney (#90308) and Fitzgerald (#3665) close beside at 23 and 26 Aries respectively, something quite extraordinary in itself, showing the concentrated power and force of his personality, with all three name markers conjoined and given angular emphasis. But also here are asteroids representing the two primary poles of JFK’s story—asteroid Washingtonia (#886) at 16 Aries and asteroid Dallas (#8084) at 20 Aries. Having asteroids Kennedy and Dallas within a degree of each other and conjunct the point representing the western horizon, the setting sun, and thus metaphorical death, is a phenomenal image of how the man is remembered.
Additionally, natal asteroid Texas (#35352) at 3 Virgo is exactly squared the MC/IC axis of his assassination, at 3 Sagittarius/Gemini. With the angles being the most swiftly-moving point of the chart, changing every four minutes, it’s mind-boggling to think that natal Texas came into such prominent focus just as the events there played out. Natal Texas was also highlighted by an exact trine from transit Dallas at 3 Capricorn, which exactly opposed his natal Pluto, modern ruler of death, at 3 Cancer. Transit Kennedy at 0 Virgo is aligning with natal Texas, and exactly squared transit Johney at 0 Sagittarius, right there on the transit MC with the Sun. Transit Texas at 25 Virgo is paired with transit Fitzgerald at 23 Virgo for the shooting, both moving out of orb from the natal 17 Virgo Moon, which is being encroached by transit Pluto at 14 Virgo. Texas/Fitzgerald is also squared transit Mars at 20 Sagittarius, sometimes significator of a violent death.
Natally, Kennedy sports a Saturn/Atropos conjunction at 27 and 22 Cancer, indicating a potential for “death (Atropos) on the job (Saturn)”, and these are angular on the 23 Cancer MC, indicating a very prominent demise. This Sun/Atropos pairing mimics the one in the sky at Kennedy’s death, which straddled the Ascendant, and natal Atropos/MC are exactly opposed a transit union of asteroids Osiris and Apophis at 22 and 23 Capricorn for the assassination. Osiris of course is the Egyptian god of death, and Apophis is named for another ancient Egyptian deity, the personification of pure evil, with Osiris exactly conjunct yet another status quo-altering Black Hole.
And what of Lee Harvey Oswald, his purported killer? Well, he’s in the asteroid mix, too, as one would expect, whether perpetrator or fall guy. Transit Lee (#3155) at 1 Leo is tightly trine to the 3 Sagittarius MC, but it also sits very close to JFK’s natal Neptune at 2 Leo, suggesting some level of deception or confusion in Oswald’s role, though he definitely gets the “credit” (MC trine).
Transit Harvey (#4278) at 18 Libra conjoins transit Johnny (#3252, different than “Johney”) at 20 Libra, and these “bookend” JFK’s natal Ascendant at 19 Libra while opposing his natal Kennedy/Dallas at 19 and 20 Aries. This links the two men personally, which is historically indisputable, but not definitively, in any incriminatory sense. There is no asteroid “Oswald,” but there is an “Ostwald” (#11844), a close phonetic match, which appears by transit at 11 Sagittarius, close to the MC and in closer conjunction with Mercury at 9 Sagittarius, one of whose attributes is “the Trickster.” Perhaps more to the point, both Ostwald and Mercury exactly conjoin Black Holes, so we’re again faced with the “black is white, up is down” parallel reality effect of these deep space behemoths, where nothing is certain and the very fabric of existence breaks down.
More interesting are the natal placements for these points, with Lee at 8 Cancer sitting exactly atop a Quasar (again, Oswald gets the notice and attention for the act) and splitting the difference between JFK’s natal Pluto at 3 Cancer and asteroid Karma at 13 Cancer. There is something fated and predestined there (Karma), but with Pluto involved, is it a simple pointer toward murder, or behind-the-scenes manipulation and control, both in Pluto’s bailiwick?
Natal Harvey at 21 Aquarius conjoins Uranus/Chaos at 23 Aquarius, two other points not noted for their stability or reliability as witnesses (though Uranus does govern shootings, tentatively supporting Oswald’s role as the assassin). Natal Ostwald at 6 Virgo conjoins natal Texas, putting Oswald at the scene of the crime, but is once again exactly conjunct a Black Hole, indicating a high degree of uncertainty as to his role, and a shifting ground for reality.
At this far remove of time, it seems unlikely that we will ever have definitive proof one way or the other of the truth of Kennedy’s death. But the atmosphere of distrust and suspicion which it engendered still pervades the collective consciousness of the US. And with Camelot just a memory and so many Kennedy-inspired projects, from Head Start and the War on Poverty to the manned space program, defunct or in serious jeopardy, that may be the only enduring Kennedy legacy.