by Kathy Rose
As a consulting astrologer, I am fascinated with patterns, as are many in our practice. Our constant and sometimes obsessive interest in exploring and understanding the rhythms of planetary cycles and the effects they have on life trains us to step back and view events from a big-picture perspective. We seek the planetary connections that link together past, present, and future — we look for the embedded patterns that are associated with certain behaviors and also with major life events.
Perhaps the undeniable curiosity that drives most astrologers to connect life events to planetary contact super- sensitizes the part of our brain used for pattern recognition. We observe, calculate, research, and then reveal essential patterns that help us to anticipate behavior. This process is also projected into forecasting and prediction.
In essence, this is what led me to write about Prince Harry and his long road to healing from the deep emotional wounds left by the death of his mother, Princess Diana. I listened to the story he recently shared and immediately wanted to see and feel the pattern of planetary development associated with his emotional breakthrough.
I researched, connected, and calculated, and a marvelous pattern revealed itself in planetary movement tied to the timing of emotional release for Prince Harry. This pattern is important because it illustrates that areas in the horoscope can retain pain or trauma from a past event — and, when reactivated by transits or solar arcs later in life, can trigger the same issue to come to the surface.
I’ve seen this potent pattern before in many consultations I’ve done. This very public case, with Prince Harry’s remarkable journey of healing, is a wonderful example from which we can learn a lot.
As part of this journey, Harry has announced his new public service campaign, “Heads Together,” with the intention of ending the stigma around those who are dealing with mental health issues in the UK. The Heads Together project is a family affair, jointly coordinated by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, and is a partnership among several charities.
Attention began to focus on Harry in mid April 2017, when the prince shared his newfound emotional challenges and insights during a podcast with interviewer Bryony Gordon on her program, Mad World: Why It’s Totally Normal to Feel Weird. In the 27-minute podcast, we find out that it was only in the past four years that Prince Harry finally started to face the emotional upheaval from his mother’s death on August 31, 1997. Harry was 12 when Princess Diana died — a very tender age for a boy to lose his mother — and this trauma was made even more difficult by his living in the public spotlight with people’s expectation of scripted royal behavior.
The British have always been known for their “stiff upper lip” when facing such trauma or adversity. The cultural tradition has been to remain resolute and unemotional as a sign of strength and fortitude. In the podcast with Gordon, Prince Harry let down his guard and revealed that shutting down all of his emotions was the way he coped with the sudden loss. He chose to refuse to ever think about Diana’s passing, because all it would do was make him sad. Trying to deal with his feelings wouldn’t help the situation, so he locked the pain away.
Prince Harry specifically mentions that he began to address his tumultuous grief when he was 28, after feeling that he was “on the verge of punching someone” and also because of recurring anxiety during royal engagements. He shared that he was “very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.”
With the support of his older brother, Prince William (the Duke of Cambridge), he finally sought counseling and began facing and releasing the locked-up emotions and addressing the pain. Prince Harry, now 32, shared that not dealing with the trauma of his mother’s death had contributed to years of “total chaos” in his late 20s. He is now being applauded for bringing awareness to a very sensitive issue, and his efforts to call attention to his situation, as well as to the cultural norm behind it, have gone viral.
There are certain buzzwords that attract an astrologer’s attention when they are emphasized as part of a news cycle. When I listened to the podcast and heard Prince Harry say that his new emotional awareness started when he was 28 years old, I became instantly interested in his story.
My astrologer’s antennae were activated because I knew that the prince’s healing journey and new perspective were keyed to the Saturn return. I anticipated that there would be much more cyclic activity in his chart accompanying the Saturn transit, simply because I have learned to assume that there will be overlapping planetary cycles that are present during an individual’s biggest life events.
We must anticipate that the most powerful events — whether traumatic or rewarding — take place when there is contact from solar arcs or outer-planet transits to the angles in the chart or, secondarily, to the planets ruling the natal angles: the Ascendant, Descendant, Midheaven (MC), and IC. These four cardinal points in the chart are the most powerful zones for development; we can count on angular involvement when there is a life-changing moment in time.
We can also expect that there will be more than one arc or transit measurement during the same period. Rarely does just one transit or solar arc produce a major breakthrough. These overlapping planetary cycles can be considered power clusters for development in life, and are incredibly reliable for prediction and forecasting.
When I began to research the transits and solar arcs that were activating Harry’s chart for the past four years, I found just what I anticipated: a series of strong planetary contacts beginning in 2013 and continuing until now, providing the impetus for a change in awareness.
Prince Harry, now 32, shared that not dealing with the trauma of his mother’s death had contributed to years of “total chaos” in his late 20s.
My first step was to look at the current cycles in Prince Harry’s chart — searching for the solar arcs and transits coinciding with the announcement of his Heads Together initiative. Harry is in the middle of a major publicity period; his poignant personal story is causing quite a stir in social media. I was interested in seeing what was presently active in his horoscope, as well as what has been in development for the past few years, leading up to the press release about the new campaign that, in some respects, shatters a longstanding facet of British culture.
The next step was to compare the recent activity in his chart with the planetary cycles that were occurring at the time of his mother’s death. I have learned that very often we will see fascinating and instructive repeating patterns in the areas of the horoscope that are activated.
When an intense event in life manifests during a challenging solar arc or transit period, it follows that the areas in the chart receiving the activity may retain an emotional echo of the event. If the life event that is presented during a series of arcs or transits is a powerful emotional trauma or loss, it’s as if an energetic bruise forms, and a sensitized tender spot in the natal chart develops. This is very similar to when we have a painful bruise on our body: If pressure is applied to that area, we experience an acute reminder of the injury.
So, it also follows that when an emotionally injured or bruised area of the chart receives contact from solar arcs or transits later in life — to the very same areas that were involved during a traumatic period — the planetary contact may reactivate the original injury, and there may be powerful development related to the theme of the issue.
It’s logical to anticipate that the very same planets and angles that received contact from solar arcs and transits when Prince Harry’s mother died 20 years ago had been reactivated in the past four years, opening the door to his emotional breakthrough. Indeed, the “stiff upper lip” that had been Harry’s emotional defense mechanism — protecting him from feeling the pain of loss — symbolically began to tremble and relax during a very important cluster of planetary reactivation starting in 2013. The doors opened for healing, and he walked through!
This is what I find so fascinating about the artistic design of planetary movement in astrology.
Let’s begin an in-depth analysis by looking at what was present in Prince Harry’s chart in 1997 when his mother died of injuries suffered in a car crash. (See Chart 1, below.)
Planets moving by solar arc advance five minutes of a degree per month, or generally, one degree (60 minutes) per year. It does not trouble me that this super powerful arc was exact four months before Princess Diana’s death. Solar arcs are often active four to five months prior to being exact, and continue to be strong four to five months afterward.
We must remember that Harry’s parents went through an extremely painful period with their very public divorce, just a year before the tragic accident that ended his mother’s life. There was a background of stress, pain, and emotional loss already building in Harry’s reality, which began in late 1996.
The combination of Pluto and Saturn conveys a very serious energy, heavy and deep. This is never a lighthearted transit or solar arc. We are required to work hard, and often there is loss or necessary release
Saturn rules Harry’s Capricorn Ascendant. The powerful solar arc from Pluto disrupted identity development (the purview of the Ascendant) at a key time in life. Harry was just 12 years old, at the entrance to puberty, when the emotional order of his world was shattered.
This Neptune solar arc, precisely exact just a few days after the tragic event that took Diana’s life in Paris, is so very important. Here again, we feel the identity receiving a blow and a tender, vulnerable spot developing. We can’t help noticing that the pattern of power hits to the Ascendant (and its ruling planet) points to that area of the chart as being highly sensitized, perhaps injured.
In this case, Neptune adds a sense of ego wipeout, confusion, and bewilderment. Harry used the fog offered from Neptune to avoid facing deep pain.
It’s important to note that Venus rules the IC. I look at the 4th house and the planet that rules the sign on that cusp to symbolize the mother. Pluto rules the MC, and the transits and solar arcs that involve an angle or the ruler of an angle are always the most powerful. What is especially significant is that angles during childhood usually belong to the province of the parents,1 and here we see the ruler of the 4th (Venus) conjunct by solar arc with the ruler of the MC.
Venus (mother symbol) coming in contact with Pluto (symbol of death) is such a powerful message of the deep loss the child sustained.
Transiting Saturn making an opposition to the ruler of the 4th house (mother symbol) at the time of Princess Diana’s death sensitizes Prince Harry’s natal Venus in Libra. This is also another symbol of heavy energy being connected to the mother.
Mercury in Virgo rules and is also located in the 8th house. We often look to the 8th house in matters involving death. Harry’s mindset received a profound and severe “bruise” with the news of his mother’s fatal accident.
We would expect some trigger hits from fast-moving Mars. This energizes, activates, and accentuates the separating SA Pluto conjunct Saturn energy that was exact a few months earlier.
I will often stretch to a 4° orb for a contact from an eclipse. Here, we see the Virgo solar eclipse conjunct natal Mercury, further energizing the Pluto square Mercury transit affecting Harry’s perspective. The lunar eclipse Moon was opposite his Sun.
We see that Prince Harry’s natal Saturn, Venus, Mercury, and Ascendant all received potent impact around the time of his mother’s death.
We see that Prince Harry’s natal Saturn, Venus, Mercury, and Ascendant all received potent impact around the time of his mother’s death. Isn’t it interesting that natal Saturn in Scorpio, sitting so close to the MC, speaks volumes about Harry’s emotional shutdown? This elevated Saturn surely symbolizes the expectations and pro gramming he received as part of the script for royal decorum about keeping tight control over emotional expression — and no sign is better at emotional control than Scorpio. It’s just natural to see natal Saturn reactivated by transit when the healing begins for Harry.
There’s so much more, though, and now we need to look at all the activity that began in 2013 and led up to the interview in April 2017 in which Prince Harry revealed his struggles with grief. (See Chart 2) The echo patterns then, and beyond, are amazing!
Prince Harry’s Saturn return was what I call a “one-hit wonder.” There was only one exact contact, occurring in October 2013. In my experience, the transit has a more powerful effect when making just one exact contact.
Beginning in February 2013, transiting Saturn was only one degree from exact contact. Pressure was being applied to Harry for the entire year, and in this type of case, when Saturn reaches exactitude only one time, it tends to generate internal changes that bubble beneath the surface until the exact hit happens, which triggers the action in life.
Mercury had received a square from transiting Pluto when Princess Diana died, and was reactivated by the Neptune opposition beginning in May 2013.
Let us remember that Harry’s natal Saturn had been activated by SA Pluto during the year Diana died. It’s as if his Saturn had an echo of shock still being held in the planetary memory. Also, transiting Mars had conjoined his Saturn just four days after he received the news of his mother’s tragic accident in 1997. It is important to understand that it’s not just the Saturn return that triggered Harry’s emotional growth toward healing — it’s the fact that Saturn returned to activate the same planet that had received a powerful blow from SA Pluto when his mother was taken from him.
We see the first planetary echo, and it is through the simplicity of astrological design that we appreciate just how significant this time frame was. We are not looking at a circle, but rather a three-dimensional spiral of development. We need to look at the whole picture and incorporate all the activity.
Mercury had received a square from transiting Pluto when Princess Diana died, and was reactivated by the Neptune opposition beginning in May 2013. This transit is made even more powerful because, in June 2013, Neptune went retrograde exactly on the natal degree, intensifying the impact.
The same area that had received a solar arc from Neptune in 1997 was again experiencing massive developmental tension from two heavyweight planets working together: Pluto and Uranus. This power cluster lasted for two years, 2013–14. Is it any wonder that the echo of pain and trauma would reverberate and demand attention?
Many times, one of the objectives arising from a Saturn transit is to get our train back on the track. If a course correction is needed, Saturn is happy to give us a push in the right direction. We must add that Harry’s MC became sensitized when it received the solar arc from Pluto just three years after his mother’s death. Naturally, we have to look not only at August 1997, but also at the development for the few years afterward.
The pattern of reactivation continues with Venus being highly stimulated for a long period of time by multiple planets, and this reiterates emphasis on the ruler of the 4th house. We might visualize the planet that symbolizes the mother as having a dialog with the revolutionary force from the Uranus–Pluto square, with a special emissary (Jupiter) being sent in to negotiate, expand, and smooth the process.
Along with karmic indicators, I use the nodal axis as another symbol for the mother because of the link with lunar energy.
Venus was “bruised” by transiting Saturn’s opposition in 1997, and was symbolically invited to begin a healing process starting in 2015.
Although the nodal axis wasn’t impacted directly when Princess Diana died, this is still an important measurement to consider. Along with karmic indicators, I use the nodal axis as another symbol for the mother because of the link with lunar energy. SA Pluto conjunct the South Node in 2015 was part of the trigger for a new emotional perspective and the release of grief connected to the mother.
Once again, the Ascendant is activated — this time, the liberating energy from Uranus comes in to help clear out the stagnant emotional energy in the identity. The prince’s identity accepted the special awakening from the Uranus embrace, and the planetary echoes and repeating patterns continue.
With a spectacular brushstroke, the very same eclipse pattern is repeated during this critical period. Remember, the 1997 Virgo eclipse took place just one day after Diana died. The fact that these eclipses repeated and were in contact with Harry’s chart clearly shows the incredible artistic rhythm in astrological design!
Planetary symbolism must faith fully reflect the reality that the arc of major events can take a relatively long time to develop and play out. There is a buildup, the event itself, and then fallout significance. We see this so clearly in the example of Prince Harry’s long journey of healing from his debilitating grief — a journey lasting at least 20 years.
I place high priority on transits and solar arcs to natal angles, or to the rulers of the angles, to point out when life’s biggest events may manifest. I research how prior transit or arc contacts to angles or key inner planets have impacted the life direction, and then I try to find when those same spots will be activated again. I listen very carefully to what the clients share about their past — and I look for repeating patterns emerging in the future.
Astrologers learn to spot the key developmental times and give them meaning. Using the simplest of aspects — only the conjunction, square, and opposition from solar arcs and transits — gives us fewer measurements, but also turns up the volume on how loudly each one of these cycles “sings.”
Embracing the design of repeating planetary patterns, we can appreciate the breakthrough that thrust Prince Harry into the news in the spring of 2017. The artistry in astrology shines through this case as we understand how this very public figure embarked on a highly unusual journey of turning personal chaos into clarity.
Prince Harry was offered an “evolvable moment” as the arcs and transits pushed him to revisit his long-held pain. His soul agreed, he did the work, and he had a beautiful release!
Kathy Rose is an astrologer with an international clientele. She is a Highest Honors Graduate of Noel Tyl’s Master’s Degree Certification Course in Astrology and serves as Tyl’s Teaching Associate. Kathy is also the producer and publisher of the 9-part Tyl MasterWork DVD series, and has developed an appreciative audience with her popular You Tube channel (roseastrology), featuring more than 100 videos. To contact her, telephone: (757) 340-5516; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; or visit her website: http://roseastrology.com