What Can Philip Teach Us About The Astrology Of Death ?


The most poignant image of the last week was that of a hunched 94 year old woman sitting on her own at her husband’s funeral. The fact that she was one of the richest and most powerful people on the planet made no difference.

Saturn always has the final say, even for its most devoted servants.



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Saturn is Elizabeth’s ruler, it is the apex of her T Square and it’s right on her Midheaven. Her whole life has been about duty, responsibility and self control, subordinating any vestige of personality to the requirements of her role.

In the best part of 7 decades as Queen she has sat through many sombre occasions and never put a foot wrong or shown anything other than stoicism.

Philip’s death and funeral was just one more Saturnian occasion.

But this one did have a very personal impact.

Most readers will know that the 7th house is the place of marriage. Liz has the Moon in Leo there.

Philip died when Saturn was opposite her Moon.



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Philip’s own Moon is at 15 degrees Leo so its obvious that transits to this area of the Zodiac would have a powerful impact on both of them.

They announced their engagement and married in 1947 when Saturn was conjunct both their Moons.

With Philip at the ripe old age of 99, it was always likely that Saturn’s arrival in mid Aquarius was always going to finish him off, but its interesting that the exact timing of it was reflected in Elizabeth’s chart rather than his own.

Like lots of astrologers, I have made many attempts to research the timing of death but have yet to find any method that works consistently.

However the real timing of someone’s death is almost always present in the charts of their nearest and dearest rather than their own.

And from an astro – philosophical perspective this makes perfect sense.

Because a birth chart is about this life, it’s about what continues.

Transits to important points in our chart are not so much fate but pointers for us to understand what particular events mean and how we should attempt to respond to them.

Saturn transits are a particular case in point.

Saturn’s job is to block us, to restrict or deny us something in order for us to come to a greater understanding of the real core of ourselves. It often does this through loss, by taking away something that we had come to depend and rely on.

So it forces us to confront our true selves.

So the point of this transit is not so much for Philip because he is no longer with us, but for Elizabeth to deal with this greater sense of aloneness.

Yes it’s undeniably sad, but it is in the nature of things. Old Father Time will have his way with all of us in the end.

In fact it’s quite unusual for both husband and wife to both make it past their 3rd Saturn Returns.

Perhaps this is because neither of them have anything in the 8th house and therefore the circumstances surrounding their death is not unusual.

That would certainly not be the case for the last Windsor funeral.



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Diana had an 8th house conjunction of Mars with both Uranus and Pluto, suggesting an untimely, violent death involving driving ( Mars ) in an underground tunnel ( Pluto ) being pursued by the paparazzi ( Uranus ).

For more information on this see Princess Diana’s Death – Why ?

What were the transits on that fateful day at the end of August 1997 ?

When an event like this is clearly symbolised in the natal chart by a configuration that includes one of the slow moving planets it is most likely to occur when the particular aspect pattern is triggered by that planet.

So with a natal Mars conjunct Pluto in the 8th house, we would be looking to the period when Pluto transits to square that conjunction.

Between the end of 1995 and the end of 1998, Pluto was moving between 1 and 6 degrees of Sagittarius, in square to Diana’s natal Mars / Pluto. On 31st August 1997, it was at 3 Sag.

This transit would certainly have been the cause, but the trigger on the day could have been the Sun which was at 7 Virgo.

But also its fair to say that Diana’s death would be indicated by the transits in those closest to her.

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It’s true that Charles and Diana had divorced some time before she died, but her death would have had a massive impact on his life, and particularly on his 7th house.

On August 31st 1997, Uranus was at 5.30 Aquarius exactly on Charles’ Descendant.

But of course, someone’s untimely death doesn’t just impact on their spouse, it will particularly affect their children.



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William’s chart has powerful connections with Diana’s.

His Sun is in Cancer in the 7th house, like hers.

His Ascendant is Sagittarius like hers.

His Venus is 25 Taurus, only a degree away from hers.

He also has a difficult conjunction of Mars with heavyweights, in his case Saturn and Pluto.

But William was born under an eclipse in Cancer, something that indicated family tragedy.

He was only 15 when his mother died. This would really be too early for any significant major transits to occur in his life, although a case could be made for Saturn being opposite its natal place.

However something that can work very strongly in instances like this in a child’s chart is through the tightening up of a natal aspect through progressions.

Clearly the Mars / Saturn conjunction is very difficult and in 1997 William’s progressed Mars was exactly conjunct Saturn.

This would also have been reinforced by his progressed Sun being square to Saturn at the same time.

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The connections between Diana and Harry’s chart are not so obvious.

His 4th house Moon is opposite Saturn, a clear pointer to a loss of his mother.

He also has the Sun in the 8th house in trine to that Moon, which seems to suggest that his attempts to come to terms with Diana’s death would be a major theme in his life.

With the timing we are again looking at progressions, because when Diana died, Harry’s progressed Moon was opposite itself and sextile that Sun, also picking up the natal Moon / Saturn opposition.

One man whose death was so iconic that millions of people still ask ” where were you when you heard … ? “





Its most appropriate that JFK has a 5 planet stellium in the 8th house of death, including his Sun and ruler, Venus.

The most difficult aspect in his chart has to be the square between his Mars / Mercury / Jupiter in Taurus and Uranus.

Kennedy was assassinated in November 1963 when Uranus was square to his Sun which is significant in itself but the more powerful impact would be on the chart of someone closest to him.



Jackie Kennedy has Jupiter in the 7th house, in itself an indicator of marriage to a powerful man, but it’s particularly potent when you look at the degree position.

Jackie’s Jupiter is in Gemini closely conjunct JFK’s Sun.

It’s also square to a 10th house Virgo Mars, again pointing to someone in a prominent position.

In November 1963, Jackie had Pluto, her ruler ( natally in the 8th house ) exactly conjunct that Mars.

And there was someone else whose life would be powerfully affected by Kennedy’s death.

As you would imagine there are a lot of synastry tie ups between Kennedy and his Vice President and successor, Lyndon Johnson.

JFK’s 8th house Sun is square to Johnson’s 1st house Virgo stellium – so Kennedy’s death results in Johnson’s life being catapulted to personal power..

In fact the two men were not close politically.

According to Wikipedia ” Johnson, a Protestant Texan, provided geographical and religious balance to a ticket led by a Catholic Northeasterner, but many liberals did not like the pick. Many were surprised both that Kennedy made the offer and that Johnson accepted the offer, as the two had been rivals for the 1960 presidential nomination.  According to some accounts, Kennedy had offered the position to Johnson as a courtesy and expected Johnson to decline the offer; when Johnson accepted, Kennedy sent his brother, Robert, to talk Johnson out of accepting the offer. “

But its obvious from their synastry that they were meant to share the ticket

Because Uranus, ( the transit that triggered Kennedy’s assassination by squaring his Sun ) was conjunct Johnson’s Moon at the time.

For more information on this see The Assassination Of JFK – Conspiracy Or Fate ?

These are just a few prominent examples but the themes are common.

So what can they teach us about the astrology of death.

  1. If someone is destined to live to old age and die of natural causes, ( like Prince Philip ), it’s unlikely that their death will be indicated in their own chart, either by natal placements or by powerful transits.

2. If the death is unusual and untimely, then it’s most likely that it will be indicated and there will be significant transits involving 8th house placings.

3. In either case, powerful transits are likely to be experienced to the charts of those nearest and dearest and also to any others who will be personally affected by the person’s death.

This could also apply to whole groups of people who have been affected by that person’s life.

Prince Philip was notoriously undiplomatic when touring foreign countries.

His most famous faux pas was to a group of British students living in China – “You’ll get slitty eyes if you stay too long.” 

When we are looking at the charts of nations, the 7th house doesn’t rule marriage partners, it rules ones enemies.

So it’s interesting to look at the synastry between Philip and China.

The Chinese chart has a Mars / Pluto conjunction in the 7th house.

Mars at 14.53 Leo is exactly ( to within a few minutes ) conjunct Philip’s Moon.

So while Saturn opposite Phil’s Moon and Liz’s 7th house Moon obviously pointed to his demise, its opposition to the Chinese 7th house Mars meant the removal of an enemy.

Chinese philosopher say ” Its an ill wind … “

Posted April 21st 2021

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