Asteroid-World Fall 1999

Zip Dobyns


Humanity obviously has a long way to go in learning to handle the fixed sides of life. Both 1999 and 2000 have repeated squares by major planets in the fixed signs. We have seen the fixed principles of life mishandled in the former Yugoslavia, in Kosovo, Serbia, and Bosnia. There is a new form of terrorism in Russia, with bombs destroying apartment buildings full of innocent civilians. Earthquakes in Turkey and Greece also collapsed poorly constructed buildings, killing thousands. Two of the three most conflicted eclipses of the past century gave their warning in July and August of 1999, alerting us to the need to learn to compromise and cooperate in our handling of power. Saturn’s participation in the fixed squares called for practicality in dealing with the physical world, with the laws of nature as well as those of society. Among other events, the year of the fixed crosses has also brought another tragedy to the Kennedy family. Most astrologers will have the data for John F. Kennedy Jr. as well as the take-off of his small plane and its disappearance from the radar near Martha’s Vineyard. Data for John’s sister, Caroline Schlossberg, and his cousin, Rory Kennedy, are also available. As always, there are dramatic asteroids, though Pluto dominates all of the charts.

JFK Jr. was born in Washington, DC on November 25, 1960 at 0:22 A.M. He left the Fairfield, NJ airport on July 16, 1999 at 8:38 P.M., piloting his own plane with his wife and her sister as passengers. His plane disappeared from the radar, and presumably crashed at 9:40:29 P.M., according to the news reports. Caroline was born on November 27, 1957 at 8:15 A.M. in New York. Rory was born on December 12, 1968 at 5:40 A.M. in Washington, DC.

As indicated above, Pluto justified its stature as a major planet. A brief look at Caroline’s secondary progressions shows her P Sun trioctile (sesquisquare) Pluto, her P Ascendant quincunx Pluto, her P Antivertex (an auxiliary Ascendant) opposite Pluto, her P Part of Death in 1 Pisces 9 opposite P Pluto and square her N Part of Death in 0 Gemini. I am using Placidus houses to calculate the Arabic Part of Death with the formula Ascendant plus 8th house cusp minus Moon.

A few of the relevant asteroids would include P Poseidon (the Greek name for Neptune) and P Nemesis conjunct Caroline’s East Point and Sun/Moon midpoint in 10 Capricorn, P Oceana (ocean) opposite her Mars and square P Libitina (a death goddess) in Leo. Uranus was also square Mars and P Uranus squared the lunar nodes. P Carolina (for her personal name) was in 11 Cancer square her MC, and P Kennedy (for her family name) was in 5 Capricorn, quincunx Hela in 4 Gemini, another death goddess. The quincunx of P Neptune to Hela formed a yod with P Kennedy. P Icarus in 4 Aquarius was square Neptune and octile Caroline’s Ascendant, with its long conjunction of P Saturn. Her Ascendant-Saturn with its octile to P Neptune is like a keynote for her struggle to preserve a private life despite the dramatic tragedies in the Kennedy family.

Many other aspects could be mentioned, but we need to move on to the other charts. Note that the plane took off with the Moon exactly on the 8th house cusp, which puts the Part of Death exactly on the Ascendant! The Moon and 8th cusp were also quincunx Uranus. Pluto was approaching the MC and held a close trioctile to the Sun. When the plane crashed just over an hour later, Pluto had just crossed the MC and held a one-degree square to the East Point. A mutable-sign grand cross was completed by Phaethon in 7 Gemini, Atropos and Hybris in 7 to 8 Virgo, and Columbia in 7 Sagittarius. Like Icarus, Phaethon overreached and crashed, and Hybris is hubris, a similar message about the danger of overconfidence. Atropos is another death goddess, and Columbia can represent our capital district. The fixed crosses are like the signature of this year. The lunar nodes in 13 Leo-Aquarius were octile-trioctile Libitina and Poseidon in 28 Gemini—death and the god of the sea. Hestia is the Greek Vesta, carrying the meaning of efficient functioning, or, in this event, a need for it. Hestia was conjunct the Sun, trioctile Pluto, and opposite one of the variations of the name “John.” Oceana was just past that set of aspects with an octile to the MC. Icarus was on Saturn, square the lunar nodes and Uranus. Kennedy was in 2 Sagittarius, conjunct the N Sun in JFK Jr.’s chart, as the attention of the world focused on him.

Turning to JFK Jr.’s chart, Pluto remains the “heavy.” The P north lunar node maintained a conjunction to P Pluto. T Pluto squared them from the IC, one of the keys to endings, putting Pluto on three angles; N Pluto on the N Ascendant, T Pluto on the N IC, and on the MC for the crash. And some astrologers do not use Pluto!

In light of the major emphasis on earth and water signs in John’s chart, we would normally expect greater caution and practicality. He had 4 factors in Virgo, including the Ascendant, with 2 water factors (Pluto and a lunar node) along with the East Point in the house of Pisces. Additional earth included 3 planets and an asteroid in Capricorn, with 3 of the 4 in the house of Cancer. Mars in Cancer, the south lunar node in Pisces, and Neptune and Mercury in Scorpio formed a grand water trine with the node and Neptune adding to the water emphasis with their water nature. John’s Sun was alone in Sagittarius, with the Antivertex and Uranus in Leo adding to his fire. His MC in Gemini and 4 factors in Aquarius provided air in addition to factors in 2 of the air houses. But despite the Aquarius, I would not have expected such rash behavior as flying at night with haze, without instrument training, and with a broken ankle. To explain such over-confidence, we have to look at aspects which highlighted Uranus and the fire planets, despite their being mostly in earth and/or water signs and houses.

As our readers know, in addition to extra asteroids, there are many other minor forms of our astrological alphabet, including the nodes of all of the planets, midpoints, Arabic Parts, etc . John had his south node of Mars in 24 Scorpio, with P Uranus holding a lifetime square to it. P south Mars in 9 Sagittarius was on his IC, along with P Hela, a death goddess. P north Mars was on his 8th house cusp, which, like the IC, can be a key to endings. P America in 7 Libra opposed the 8th cusp and P north Mars, and it squared P Mars in 7 Cancer as our nation watched the tragedy unfold. For still more Mars, John’s P MC was conjunct natal Mars and trioctile natal Sun! The MC carries the same meaning as Saturn – a need for practicality with a recognition of what we CAN do, what we CAN’T do, and what we HAVE to do to survive in a physical world. Mars and Sun, as well as Jupiter, are fire, willing to take risks, believing we have the right and the power to do what we want. Flying at night, with hazy weather, no training with instruments and limited flying experience, and with a broken foot, was certainly testing the limits.

John’s Capricorn stellium, symbolizing the limits, included his P MC approaching an opposition to P Saturn, and connected to it by a collection of planetary nodes and asteroids. The south node of Pluto was 18 and south Saturn was 19 Capricorn. P Juno (a Plutonian asteroid) was in 20 Capricorn, along with P Icarus. P south Saturn in 22 Capricorn opposed the P Moon, and to add to the “fatal” picture, the cardinal network of aspects, which included John’s P East Point and P Ascendant in Martha’s Vineyard in 20 to 21 Libra, were conjunct the natal Part of Death in 21 Libra 17. P Ascendant from John’s birthplace in 16 Libra was square natal Saturn to repeat the warning. Did any astrologer issue a warning about the need to be realistic? Was anyone paying attention? P Mercury was octile Uranus, and P Sun was octile natal Moon, Chiron, and P Venus.

We hardly need asteroids with the preceding collection of warning flags, but there were dramatic examples. Natal Kennedy in 3 Scorpio was square Vesta, with its connotation that is much like Saturn, the need for practical competence to function effectively in the physical world. P Oceana (ocean) in 3 Aquarius was on Vesta, square Kennedy. John’s P Ascendant was square natal Oceana in 16 Capricorn. P Kennedy, in 18 Scorpio, opposed John’s P 8th cusp in Martha’s Vineyard. His P 8th cusp in Washington was in Taurus forming a grand cross in 13 degrees of the fixed signs with a conjunction to P Atropos (death goddess), oppositions to natal Mercury and P Antivertex, a square to the natal Antivertex in 13 Leo, and the “karmic” lesson points, the midpoints of Saturn and the lunar nodes, were in 13 Scorpio and 13 Aquarius. P Sun had just reached natal Poseidon in 13 Capricorn, and P Poseidon in 25 Capricorn was quincunx Uranus. The Kennedy family loved the ocean, but love is not enough. Adding to the message, P Atlantis was conjunct both natal and P Neptune. John’s natal MC quincunx to Neptune was yet another marker for the tension between practicality (Saturn-MC) and ungrounded faith. Finally, no matter what future events occur in the Shakespearean soap opera of the Kennedy family, they will not simply drift into obscurity. P Aeternitas (immortality) was slowly moving over John’s MC.

Though the facts of Kennedy’s crash substantiate its accidental nature, a host of conspiracy theories were in the media and on the Internet even before the plane and bodies were found. The October 1999 issue of Fate Magazine included an article listing many of them. The fact that the crash occurred within a day of the 30th anniversary of the Chappaquidick accident when Teddy Kennedy’s car ended under water and a secretary drowned in it was taken as supporting a “Kennedy curse.” It was also the day after the third anniversary of the nearby crash of TWA Flight 800, which conspiracy buffs think was shot down by a missile. One of the wilder stories suggests that JFK was killed because he was planning to run for Democratic senator from NY against Hillary Clinton. Another theory claimed Clinton was going to open an investigation of JFK Sr.’s death. No explanation was offered on why this was relevant. Still another speculator thought that JFK Jr. was the “Great King of Terror” who was supposed to fall from the sky in the Nostradamus prediction for the summer of 1999. A technology buff said a “Big Bang Machine” caused the crash; a particle accelerator pointed at the plane. A contrarian claimed that JFK Jr. was actually alive and hidden in an underground shelter with others of the world elites so they could survive the Y2K millennial Armageddon. One story had him killed because, like his father, he was not nice to the Illuminati, while another had him killed by the Democrats because he was going to become a Republican. A variation on the “Kennedy curse” said the Kennedy family was our culture’s “royal sacrifice family” whose kings were ritually and voluntarily sacrificed. JFK Jr.’s desire to make public the KGB files on JFK Sr. which Yeltsin turned over to Clinton was another theoretical reason offered for his death. Finally, it was suggested that JFK Jr. lost control of his plane because he was distracted by a UFO. A lot of people obviously have a lot of imagination.

Rory Kennedy is the youngest daughter of Bobbie Kennedy. Her birth certificate data is reported to be December 12, 1968 at 5:40 A.M. EST in Washington, DC. Her wedding was scheduled for Martha’s Vineyard, and the Kennedy clan was waiting for the arrival of additional family members when they received the shocking news that John Kennedy Jr.’s plane was overdue and missing. Instead of a wedding, the family had funerals and memorial services. Rory was married on August 3, 1999 in a quiet, private service.

Rory’s natal chart shows the likelihood of a public life with its emphasis on transpersonal signs and houses. Her Moon closely conjunct her MC fits the importance of her mother, who became the sole parent when her father was assassinated shortly before her birth. The message is repeated by Ceres, the asteroid of mothering and being mothered. It was closely conjunct Rory’s 1st house Sun in Sagittarius. Saturn, our primary significator for father, is on Vesta in Aries opposite Mars, hinting at an ambitious, driving, workaholic parent who could be involved in power struggles with the potential for violence. Vesta was also within a one-degree orb of the Ascendant/MC midpoint, and it squared the asteroid Washingtonia, Rory’s birthplace and the center of her family’s political activity. Bobby Kennedy was shot, so we expect a prominent Winchester in her natal Chart. It was in 5 Aries opposite the mean south lunar node, square Siva in 4 Capricorn and Nemesis in 5 Cancer! Rory’s P Sun had been moving through a grand cardinal cross in recent years, and it was still opposite Washingtonia and square the A/M midpoint when her cousin and his wife and sister-in-law were killed in the plane crash.

Personal idealism is also highlighted in Rory’s chart by a rising Neptune and a 1st house stellium in Sagittarius. Both parents, as well as Rory’s home and career, are also connected to idealism. Chiron in Pisces is in the 4th house and Jupiter is in the 10th house, with Ceres’ placement in Sagittarius repeating the theme. To reinforce the message, she will look for an ideal partner or one who shares her ideals, with Jupiter in Libra, and the Sun as a ruler of the 8th house, plus both Pallas and Juno, keys to partnership, in Sagittarius. However, Taurus in the 7th house, the Moon as a ruler of the 8th house in Virgo in the Capricorn house, and Venus, the natural ruler of Libra, in the Taurus house shows the ability to attract a practical partner able to cope with the material world. Venus trine Rory’s stellium in early Libra and sextile Pallas show the potential for a pleasurable marriage, as well as for a successful career involving joint activity with peers. A political career would be possible with the 10th house Libra and rising Pallas, but the patterns could simply point to her involvement in a very political family.

Overall, Rory’s chart shows a very bright and capable individual who is likely to make a contribution to the world. Her mutable dilemma with her T-square of Pluto-Neptune-Chiron shows the danger of too high expectations and periodic disappointment when the earth reality hits, or just a need for continual analysis to maintain clear priorities. She is likely to be identified with her children with Aries in the 5th house, and to work hard as a mother with Saturn and Vesta there, but be pulled between a sense of personal responsibility and the desire to give the freedom to her kids which she wants for herself. She is also likely to have driving, strong-willed kids who could be outstanding winners or defiant rebels with her Saturn-Vesta closely conjunct in Aries in the Leo house. That is a dynamite combination likely to lead to some kind of extreme behavior.

I calculated Rory’s secondary progressions for the crash of Kennedy’s plane, but some of the asteroids at her birth are worth mentioning. As mentioned previously, Rory’s father, Bobby Kennedy, died shortly before her birth. The death goddess, Libitina was on her IC at birth, Washingtonia in 21 Cancer was quincunx her Sun, Ceres, Psyche, and Karma, and the asteroid Kennedy was octile Mars and trioctile Saturn. At the death of her cousin, John Kennedy Jr., Rory’s P MC in Martha’s Vineyard had joined her cardinal cross in 20 Libra conjunct P Ate, an evil goddess, and her A/M, and it was square P Sun and Washingtonia, and opposite Vesta. P Saturn was trioctile natal Kennedy in 4 Sagittarius, and P Kennedy in 14 Sagittarius was conjunct P Pallas as well as N East Point and Oceana. The latter aspect is one of those mind-blowing ones. What are the odds for the asteroid Kennedy to be on Oceana when Kennedys go into the ocean? Rory’s involvement showed with P Oceana conjunct her P local Ascendant, opposite P Nemesis and square Chiron in Pisces in the 4th house, to reemphasize the water principle.

The death goddesses were all featured. P Libitina in 20 Pisces squared Rory’s N Sun and Ceres and was on her local IC. P Atropos in 17 Cancer opposed her local Antivertex and her P local East Point, while Saturn was connected by overlapping orbs. P Hel was on P Ceres, P Karma, and P Psyche, with the latter also on N Siva. Psyche is often found in events where an individual feels helpless. P Hel also squared Uranus, Jupiter, and the P lunar nodes. The Arabic Parts of Death were especially dramatic in Rory’s chart. Both her local N Part of Death and her P Part of Death from her birthplace were in 24 Virgo, conjunct each other and Pluto, while her local P Part of Death in Martha’s Vineyard was in 4 Libra conjunct P Uranus and the P south lunar node. A variant of John, Jakoba, was also in 24 Virgo. There is no way one can still believe in chance with that kind of specificity. And, what are the odds of N Libitina being on her birthplace IC at her birth as a key to her father’s death, while her P Libitina was on her local IC when her cousin died? One of these days astrologers will discover the asteroids!


As this issue of the Asteroid-World was in its last stages of preparation, a man named Larry Gene Ashbrook walked into a Baptist church in Fort Worth Texas, shouting obscenities against religion, and immediately starting shooting. He killed seven individuals and injured another seven before killing himself. The Wedgwood Baptist Church was holding a service for teenagers. Four of the dead were teens, along with three adults. News reports said the event happened at or just before 7 P.M. on September 15, 1999. A pipe bomb also exploded in the church just after the shooting, but did not cause any injuries. Ashbrook was described as a 47 year old man who had spent 7 years in the Navy and received a dishonorable discharge for marijuana use. He was unable to hold down a job and lived with his father, who had been supporting him. Neighbors saw him physically attack his father and said he was angry at the world. His father had died two months earlier, and in the hours before the shooting, Ashbrook reportedly trashed his house.

We do not have Ashbrook’s birth data, but we have an asteroid named Ashbrook, which we can include in the chart for the shooting. The media described Ashbrook as calm and deliberate as he fired two handguns at his targets, taking time to reload during the episode, so it would have lasted several minutes. I originally calculated the chart for 6:59 P.M., which put the MC at 17 Sagittarius 58. The asteroid Ashbrook was in 20 Sagittarius 14, so the MC would have reached it about 7:05 P.M., presumably in time for his suicide. Epimetheus, the brother who focussed on the past, was conjunct Ashbrook. Hephaistos, the maker of weapons, and Medea (who killed her children) opposed it from 19 Gemini 47 and 20 Gemini 21. Lacrimosa (sorrow) squared them from 19 Virgo 52. The Antivertex at 21 Pisces opposed Erigone, the name of two women in different myths who each committed suicide. In less than a minute, the Antivertex would have moved to conjunct Hela (death goddess) and to oppose the Sun as well as Aeternitas (immortality) in 22 Virgo. Factors in 4 to 7 degrees of the fixed signs would have participated in the network of aspects with octiles or trioctiles to the mutable-sign cross. That brings in Jupiter in 4 Taurus, Bellerophon and Eupraksia in 5 Scorpio, and Psyche in 5 Aquarius. The killer's problem with religion was obvious in every detail of the event. Bellerophon carries a connotation similar to Icarus and Phaethon, of overreach and a fatal crash. Eupraksia was another suicide. Psyche is often involved when people feel like helpless victims.

Another major configuration in the chart included a stellium in the sign and house of Sagittarius, echoing the focus on issues involving faith and ethics. Chiron, which can be expressed as either the Sagittarius or the Pisces side of Jupiter, was in 29 Scorpio, with the Moon in 2 Sagittarius conjunct Juno, and, more widely, Pluto and Mars. Pandora in 2 Sagittarius was within my one-degree orb for a square to Winchester, the asteroid of guns, in 1 Pisces, and Lilith in 2 Pisces. Some of the myths about Lilith described her killing children. Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, was in 17 Cancer, with trioctiles to Pandora, Moon, Lilith, and Winchester, and it squared a quartet of asteroids in 17 to 18 Libra: Fama, Siva (destruction), Guernica (killing innocent victims), and Bacchus (religious excesses). The Ascendant would have been forming a square to Mars and Pluto as Ashbrook approached the church, and by the time he started shooting, it was trioctile Ajax, another suicide. Mars and Pluto were opposite Phaethon, one of the overreach and crash asteroids which was in 7 Gemini 45, and they were quincunx Karma in 8 Cancer.

All of the death goddesses were prominent. Hela (death goddess) and Polach (suicide) in 23 Libra were on the 8th house cusp square Libitina (death goddess) in 23 Cancer. Two more asteroids named for suicides were Arachne in 1 Libra conjunct Dido in 2 Libra, with Arachne quincunx Winchester and Dido quincunx Lilith. Winchester was also octile Fanatica (extremism) in 15 Aries, and trioctile Christa in 15 Libra. The latter could signify the Christian religion. The Arabic Part of death in 0 Aquarius was on Bellona (war goddess), and the midpoint of the Ascendant/MC, plus it was octile the East Point. Both the midpoint and the Part of Death would have moved over Neptune while the shooting was continuing. One of the asteroids I added to my list for this chart is Baptistina for the Baptist religion. It was in 9 Aries opposite Vesta, Icarus, and Smith, a maker of guns, octile Tyr (Norse Mars) in 24 Taurus and trioctile Tezcatlipoca (Mexican war god) in 24 Scorpio. Finally, Dionysus, another extremist connected to religion, was in 18 Leo conjunct Venus. Wesson, a maker of guns in partnership with Smith, was over a degree from Dionysus, but it was trine the MC. Many more asteroids might be mentioned, but space runs out.

Copyright © 1999 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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