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Until Death Do Us Part

Edward Kennedy’s natal Moon is at 6°25’ Virgo in a close applying conjunction to Neptune at 6°44’. The next Ptolemaic aspect his Moon makes is a sextile to Pluto at 20° Cancer, and finally a trine to the Ascendant ruler, Saturn, at 29°49’ Capricorn. (Edward Kennedy natal: Feb. 22, 1932; 3:58 am; Dorchester, MA; AA)

Ted Kennedy natalHis first wife, Joan, born September 5, 1935 at 6:10 am in NY, NY, has the Sun at 11°55’ Virgo applying to Neptune at 14°14’ Virgo. (Joan Kennedy natal: Sept. 5, 1935; 6:10 am; NY, NY; AA)

Joan KennedyIn 1928 the great British astrologer Charles Carter wrote that the first planet the Moon applies to in a man’s horoscope describes the (first) wife, and the first planet the Sun applies to in a woman’s chart describes the (first) husband.

As his first wife, we can see Joan as fitting the Neptune archetype. According to her biography on astro.com, she is a “shy, retiring person….often described as vulnerable.” Known as the “quiet one” in the rambunctious, powerfully ambitious Kennedy family, Joan has natal Sun conjunct Neptune opposite Saturn in Pisces. She is a musician and has had three children, one of whom had cancer as a child. She also had difficult pregnancies, including three miscarriages, as well as heart surgery, breast cancer, and serious struggles with alcoholism.

Remembering Carter’s rule — her Sun applies to Neptune and she married a man with a Pisces Sun. The Sun in her natal chart next applies to conjoin a retrograde Venus in Virgo; thus far, she has not remarried.

Joan and Ted were married on November 29, 1958. Ted’s progressed Moon (ruler of the natal 7th house) was at 26°29’ Leo, opposite his natal Mars and Mercury.

Ted Kennedy, progressed to marriageHis progressed Mars at 18°56’ Pisces was connected by trine to her natal 7th ruler, Jupiter, at 17°44’ Scorpio. When they married, Joan’s progressed retrograde Venus was at 6°37’ Virgo conjunct his natal Moon (and Neptune) at 6° Virgo.

Joan Kennedy, progressed to marriageThey stayed married for 23 years and had three children. Apparently they remained good friends until the end of his life. Her life is now devoted to charity work and her grandchildren. She remains out of the limelight and quietly attended his funeral. Ted Kennedy’s natal Sun/Moon midpoint is at 4°29’ Sagittarius; Joan’s Moon is at 3°53 Sagittarius.

Kennedy’s second wife, Victoria Reggie Kennedy, is also a Pisces, born on February 26, 1954 in Crowley, Louisiana. (No time known.) Using a sunrise chart, we see that the Sun, Mercury, and Venus are in Pisces, and the Moon and Mars are in Sagittarius.  (The Moon goes from 10° to 22° that day.) (Vicki Kennedy sunrise: Feb. 26, 1954, Crowley, LA) (1)

Vicki Kennedy

Although their families were long-time friends, Ted and Vicki “noticed” one another at a dinner party on June 17, 1991. “The next day Mr. Kennedy made what he — and everyone who knew him — would later view as the smartest move of his life. He called to ask Vicki out to dinner.” (2) According to this same New York Times article about their marriage: “The senator proposed to her in January 1992 at a performance of “La Bohème” at the Metropolitan Opera in New York — a love of opera was one of many passions they shared.” (3)

They married on July 3, 1992 and had, by all accounts, a very happy marriage until his death.

When they “met” in June 1991, Kennedy’s progressed Moon (ruler of his natal 7th) was at 12°45’ Scorpio, trine natal Juno at 12°13’ Cancer, which is prominently place at the Descendant.

Ted Kennedy progressed to met Vicki

When they married Kennedy’s progressed Moon was at 28° Scorpio applying to sextile natal Saturn at 29° Capricorn, his 1st-house ruler. A harmonious aspect between the rulers of the 1st and 7th houses is an omen for a fortuitous union. The Moon trine Saturn is well stated in this quote: “His political career had suffered from a long period of womanizing, drinking, and adverse publicity, and she is credited with stabilizing his personal life and helping him resume a productive career in the Senate.” (4)

In June 1991 Kennedy’s progressed Venus had come to 16°56’ Gemini, which is conjunct Vicki’s natal Jupiter at 16°51’ Gemini. Jupiter is dispositor of her natal Sun, Moon, Mars, Mercury, and Venus. This is a good demonstration of a progressed planet from one chart conjoining natal placements of the second person as a potent timer for significant unions. A friend is quoted as saying: “He was the love of her life — and the icon of her life.” (5)

The transiting Sun on the day of this happy marriage was at 12° Cancer, conjunct Kennedy’s 7th-house cusp and natal Juno.

Using Porphyry houses, Kennedy’s 8th cusp is 19°35’ Leo with the vertex at 19°21’ Leo. (Certainly here is a person whose life was marked by unusually “fated circumstances” regarding death.) When he was diagnosed with a brain tumor (May 17, 2008) his progressed Moon was at 19°18’ Gemini, exactly conjunct the natal 6th-house cusp.

At the diagnosis, the progressed Sun was at 17°46’ Taurus applying to natal Chiron at 18°55’ Taurus. When he died on August 25, 2009, the progressed Sun was at 19°00’ Taurus, square the 8th-house cusp.

This year’s eclipses also took their toll: the lunar eclipse on February 9 at 20°52’ Leo/Aquarius was on his 2nd/ 8th house cusps. The total solar eclipse on July 22 at 29° Cancer was opposite his natal Saturn, ruler of the Ascendant at 29° Capricorn. (Transiting Venus and the south node were at this eclipse degree the day he died.)

And the August 6 lunar eclipse at 13°35’ Leo/Aquarius was conjunct Vicki’s natal Juno at 15° Leo.

Interestingly, both Ted and Vicki had Pluto conjunct Juno in their respective natal horoscopes (his in Cancer, hers in Leo). On their wedding day, transiting Pluto was at 20° Scorpio directly opposite Juno at 20° Taurus. At his death, transiting Juno at 3°41’ Aries was square Pluto at 0°44’ Capricorn.

Note:
(1) Wikipedia

(2) New York Times

(3) New York Times

(4) Wikipedia

(5) New York Times

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7 Responses to "Until Death Do Us Part"

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  • Mary this was fascinating-thank you. You used the porphyry cusps well. A blog like this makes one wake up to what astrology can do -in hindsight of course but nonetheless dramatic.

  • Hi Mary:
    Wonderful article, thanks for pertinent reminders of Carter’s valuable rules re: marriage.

  • Hi Kate,

    Thanks for reading..

    You are a loyal sister and very fine astrologer..

    Regarding Porphyry: as you know, I’m mostly using whole signs, but those Porphyry cusps can be amazing..

  • Hi Shelley,
    Thanks for the comment..

    I thought it was interesting with Ted’s applying aspects..I mean, one would also count the sextile to the Pluto occurring before the sextile to Saturn..I wonder if he had a serious laison before marrying Vicki..also, she maybe could be seen as both Pluto and Saturn?

  • You did a fabulous job with the comparative progressions and eclipses, Mary! Very telling and accurate. I love Ted and Joan’s comparison and thanks so much for including her, as she seems to have been left out of the recent news. I’m also excited to see that Charles Carter wrote about forecasting the future spouse by applying aspects of the luminaries. I found that Evangeline Adams used this technique, too, at about the same time. The earliest mention of it that I could find was in Ptolemy (Book 4, Chapter 5). Dr. Luke D. Broughton also wrote about it in Elements of Astrology (1898) and I did, too, in my book, What Evangeline Adams Knew.

  • Hi Karen,

    Thank you!

    I’m just getting the Oct/Nov issue of TMA ready to post online and Al Morrison’s great 1991 article – Mental Chemistry: Interpreting the Speed and Position of Mercury and the Moon – will be the featured sample.

    Thanks for the earlier reference about applying aspects of the luminaries..I actually thought it did go back to Ptolemy, but had just reviewed Carter and knew it was there as well..it is a great simple rule to work with, don’t you think?

    How are things in Brooklyn Heights?

  • I like this technique a lot, but have not really studied it in many charts. (It works in mine very well.) Dr. Broughton added the modern planets in his 1898 book, and described initial afflictions of Uranus and Neptune as someone they would “keep company” with but not actually marry – which perhaps has more varied interpretations these days, as it doesn’t necessarily describe Ted or Joan Kennedy’s experience.

    We could see the twin towers right across the Hudson River from Brooklyn Heights, and today is the anniversary of 9/11, so we’ve been remembering all those events. Our neighbors on the 4th floor watched the towers fall from their bedroom window. 8 years has certainly gone by quickly!