The Life & Death of Princess Diana (1)
Almost 2 months after the death of Princess Diana, I am finally ready to write my observations, having needed all the time in order to slowly digest events historically, astrologically and metaphysically. This article takes a cross-disciplinary perspective, and consists of highlights from all that could be cited astrologically. The article is technical and will be of interest to students of astrology and professionals, yet there is enough general metaphysics scattered through the article to be of interest to the public as well, so I encourage readers to skip to what interests them.
While I hope to find more cheerful news to write about in the future, I think the question that remains about Diana is whether the tragedy of her death could have been forseen astrologically and thus avoided. Another question is whether there were any patterns in Diana’s life and psyche that somehow set her up for an early ending to this earthly life. In other words, what can we learn from this event that will be not only useful in understanding Diana and her role in history, but also for counseling people in the future? My research for this article on Diana has yielded some uncommon ways of looking at the natal chart that I believe can be applied across-the-board to any person’s chart [hereafter marked with an asterisk “*”]. I welcome feedback from other astrologers after they’ve had a chance to experiment with the ideas.
I have refrained from indepth study of several articles on Princess Diana already written by fine astrologers in order that my own thinking was not overly influenced. As noted in my Versace analysis, I would expect some overlap of information, which validates a common core of astrological techniques, as well as a different or unique “slant” on the story that shows the artistic aspect of “doing astrology.” (If 20th century philosophers can “do philosophy,” and if contemporary artists say they “make art,” then perhaps astrologers can say they “do astrology”?! 🙂 )
As I mulled over the mix of news reportage, astrological charts, live television coverage of Diana’s funeral and procession, and a stack of magazines with memorial photo collections, my attention kept turning to the image of Diana’s coffin draped in the gold and red royal standard [flag], topped with the massive bouquet of white lillies. The artistic impression given by the design of the royal standard “as it was draped” was quite fascinating to me, and looked somehow vaguely familiar. Then it dawned on me where I had seen that design – that artistic impression – before. It was in the dramatic and distinctive Persian/Arabic calligraphy and full-page illustrations in the book THE MOST BEAUTIFUL NAMES, on the 99 Names of God of the Sufi’s in the mystic Islam tradition, compiled by Sheikh Tosun Bayrak al-Jerrahi al-Halveti, Putney VT: Threshold Books, 1985, ISBN 0-939660-10-5. I urge readers to locate this book, as seeing these images IS believing! The calligraphic illustrations of the 99 names of God contained in the book are breathtakingly beautiful and awe-inspiring. The boldness of the hooked straight verticals, juxtaposed with the sweeping grace of the curved lines, is really quite distinctive, and could inspire an appreciation for Islamic history and culture singlehandedly.
The 99 names of God delineate the attributes of God, by which God created the universe. If words can be onomatopoetic [i.e., mean what their sound suggests], then the 99 names of God are virtually self-announcing and self-declaring as depicted in these very, very high-vibratory, highly aesthetic calligraphed illustrations.
In the love story of Princess Diana and Dodi al-Fayed, there was the potential blending of European and Middle Eastern cultures. Diana was a spiritual, psychological and intuitive seeker much of her adult life. She was reputed to have studied Islam in the months preceding her death, and had spoken of an interest in converting to Islam. It is unlikely that she would leave behind the core of her Judeo-Christian roots, but would likely blend together elements of both traditions within her own understanding, an understanding that had grown increasingly spiritual and global in recent years. So it struck me as rather amazing that in a state funeral event and church service that were so very English, the spectre of the glory of God in the mystic Sufi tradition of Islam should appear to my psychic impression as an image “central” to the proceedings.
I was further impressed with the comments delivered by the Archbishop of Canterbury, a quiet and unostentatious man, a world religious leader whose message connected centuries of history with golden threads of universality and commonsense. In those moments, generations of “unchurched” young people around the world were impressed with the power of religious history, and the possibilities of religious teachings and practices to connect a person with what is most meaningful and important in life, and in a commonsense way to which they could deeply relate. The memory of Diana had opened their hearts to receive this basic universal message.
In spirit, Diana stood witness to it all. I believe that she was genuinely surprised by people’s outpouring of love and affection for her, and how they did indeed understand what she wanted her life to be about: love, honesty, openness, caring and compassion. Yet for all her surprise and discomfort with public and media attention during her life on earth, Diana seemed to recover her balance and orientation quickly after passing over, within 3-4 days. Diana then showed herself to be a “big being” of enormous presence, light and grace who, with some angelic and masterful assistance, facilitated a stirring and opening of the hearts of people at large, and allowed them to imagine the possibilities of a world lived from the heart – what that might feel like.
by Carol Willis, 1998.