Revisiting History: The Kobe Bryant Helicopter Tragedy

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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When tragedy strikes, our first lament is “why”? While news about the event has concentrated on Kobe, the tragedy itself involved far more people who were just as important as the basketball star, but his is the recognizable name. This is a recent tragedy, but historical in nature due to his popularity as a sports star. I kept continuing notes as the tragedy unfolded through the news cycle, patient while the truth revealed itself. As we all know, accuracy is necessary to any chart. worth the time invested in reading and understanding. Patience can produce clarity. Occasionally the news cycle outdoes itself and produces an astrological pot of gold, as in this instance. I am grateful to the New York Post for its blockbuster story/map1. The first weblink at the bottom of this article is for that story and map – please open and be amazed at the clarity… and timing!

Basketball legend Kobe Bryant was also the proud father of a 13-year-old young woman whom he was encouraging to play basketball as a competition sport. Daughter Gianna was to play at a competition along with another young teammate who was also on the fatal flight. Kobe used helicopters regularly in his travels, and the relatively short, planned flight would help them keep to schedule. Families, coach and pilot took off during difficult weather conditions (fog) and fate intervened as a visible cascade of fateful events. 

On January 26, 2020 the helicopter lifted off at 9:06 AM PST from Santa Ana, CA airport. Staying with the Santa Ana based chart, the last communication was at 9:39 AM and the loss of radar signal was 9:46 AM… forty minutes after takeoff. The New York Post story lists the physical details of that forty-minute flight along with the visual aid of a timed map. You can read the story online. My job is the astrological investigation.

The takeoff reflects 20 Pisces 58 rising, with chart ruler Neptune also in Pisces, four degrees behind the Ascendant in the twelfth house, closely conjunct Venus. Sounds protective doesn’t it? It would be IF the two were not square Mars in the ninth house, with Venus tightly applying (11 minutes) to activating that square. It would prove to be deadly.

Neptune/Pisces rules fog or deceptive conditions for this takeoff. The four-degree chart ruler/ Ascendant gap equates to about sixteen minutes on the day’s clock prior to takeoff (averaged Ascendant motion is four minutes per degree). What happened about sixteen minutes prior to takeoff that was critical to this flight and its conclusion (Midheaven/goal)? How about a discussion and/or decision on whether or not to fly, a go or no go moment? The little girls, their coach and team had a deadline. The pilot and the employer (Kobe) were a regular pairing. Did expediency overrule logic? (See weblink2 .)

All other flights scheduled at that time did NOT leave the ground because the weather conditions were prohibitive. The decision itself would have occurred prior to takeoff, and fifteen or so minutes prior would be within reason. That decision was pivotal to the success (or failure) of that flight.

Also, in that takeoff chart, the Moon at 26 Aquarius 39 was void of course. There are no other planets in late degrees in major applying aspect good or bad. Void of course suggests a spinning of wheels, much ado about nothing, no discernable purpose to be served, no point in initiation. Plane traffic at the airport was at a standstill, with the goal of getting aircraft down safely as more important than take off. No other aircraft took off, as close as I can tell.

According to the storyline, the first fifteen minutes of the flight were relatively uneventful. The Pisces Ascendant proceeded in its forward motion and eventually the Ascendant slipped into Aries. Oh, oh! Rulership of the Ascendant moved into Mars control. That same tight square was operating, but now Mars was running the show. The supposedly benefic Venus/Neptune conjunction slipped into interception in the twelfth house for the duration of the flight and the crash near Van Nuys Airport close to Calabasas, CA. As the flight proceeded, the fog was playing havoc with aircraft; and the story/timeline illustrates the Neptunian/twelfth house chaos.

The helicopter crashed and burned into a hillside near its destination, and I am assuming the loss of radar contact would be the best indicator of that moment… 9:46 AM. Two chart choices would be available, using the takeoff location as a continuation of an existing trajectory… OR the Calabasas crash site event location, with half a degree difference. Charts used here were based on Santa Ana as location. What else was applying (now to future activations) at that moment? The loss of radar Ascendant at 6 Aries 19 was applying two degrees to the square of the lunar nodes at the 8 Cancer/Capricorn axis.  The shock value of the crash itself and the multiple lives lost morphed into the much larger “fame” category common to nodal karmic activation with the public loss of a beloved sports figure.

What else can we learn from this tragedy? I checked the AstroDienst Rodden database. The charts of both Kobe and his daughter Gianna were available. Kobe’s is C-rated (questionable), and Gianna’s is A-rated.

Gianna born May 1, 2006, 2:03 AM PDT, Santa Ana, CA. With limited space, I am focusing on Ascendant, Midheaven and eighth houses with their rulers and occupants. Following are personal natal and Radix Arc highlights plus connections to event chart:

  • Gianna’s natal Uranus 13:47 Pisces (natal co-ruler) is 2 degrees from conjoining the fateful Venus/Neptune/square Mars (ruler) crash chart.
  • Note the wide but applying natal opposition forming between Gianna’s natal Saturn and Neptune (both chart co-rulers along with Uranus). Degree of separation is 14-15 equating to age 14-15 for perfecting that looming opposition, a natal promise activated by Radix Arc (RA).
  • Gianna’s RA 13.5 years, converted to degrees and added to natal Ascendant gives 26:22 Aquarius, conjunct the void of course Moon in the crash charts.
  • Gianna’s RA Uranus (natal chart co-ruler) 27:20 Pisces conjoins her natal Venus 27:41 in the second/eighth axis. Why look at that? Ever tried to wiggle the writing tip of a pencil without the opposing eraser end wiggling as well? Axis activation: both ends.
  • Gianna’s RA Midheaven 12:48 Sagittarius is 1˚ square her natal Uranus 13:47 Pisces (natal chart co-ruler).
  • Gianna’s RA Venus 11:14 Aries (co-ruler of natal eighth death house/Libra intercepted) is separating square her natal Mars at 10:06 Cancer, (preceding event/competitive spirit?)
  • Gianna’s RA Mercury 6:20 Taurus (natal eighth house ruler) separating square to natal Saturn (co-ruler of natal Ascendant), again preceding event.
  • Gianna’s RA Moon 10:09 Cancer (sixth house ruler) conjoins natal Mars 10:06 (natal Midheaven co-ruler).
  • Gianna’s RA Pluto 10:02 Capricorn opposes natal Mars 10:06 Cancer (co-rulers of natal Midheaven). (Note the Moon/Pluto natal opposition/natal promise activated.)

Gianna’s father, Kobe Bryant, was born Aug 23, 1978, 5:00 PM EDT, Harrisburg, PA; 41.5 years old (40˚50’ RA). Highlights follow:

  • Kobe’s natal Neptune 15”33’Rx Sagittarius is tightly conjunct crash Mars and square crash Venus/Neptune complex.
  • Kobe’s RA Midheaven 12:55 Sagittarius is 3˚ conjunct natal Neptune. This could indicate a discrepancy in birth time (Rodden C) about 12 minutes forward on the birth clock. This could be critical because Kobe’s natal Neptune is conjunct the crash Mars and square crash Venus/Neptune. Speculation.
  • Kobe’s RA (unchanged) Ascendant conjunct natal second/eighth axis 18:34 Aquarius/Leo. (If we moved the Midheaven as noted in the prior RA Midheaven comment, all cusps would move forward simultaneously, effectively eliminating this exact aspect! Hmmm, pause for thought about possible time correction.
  • Kobe’s RA Ascendant ruler Saturn 14:20 Libra is conjunct natal Pluto 14:52 in the natal long-distance-travel ninth house. Helicopters are amazing extensions of travel in general (third house).
  • Kobe’s RA Sun (ruler of and in natal eighth) is 11:12 Libra conjunct natal Mars 12:17. (Note: natal Sun/Saturn conjunct in eighth and Mars/Pluto/Venus conjunct in ninth, all natal promises.)
  • Kobe’s (unchanged) natal Ascendant is tightly conjunct crash South Node.
  • Crash Uranus 2:45 Taurus opposes Kobi’s unchanged natal Midheaven 2:05 Scorpio.

With only a handful of highlights and using only one technique (RA), the connections revealed are amazing.

All of the people who died in that crash were worthwhile in their own right, but their info is sketchy and to my knowledge, charts are not available. I respect their loss equally but have no way to tell their story astrologically. Do check out the web link mentioned, eye-popping timed map! And they say this stuff doesn’t work!


2 Pilot had violated weather-related flight rules previously:

NY Post – see above link

Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Mar 2020 vol 82#3, republished with slight editing.

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