Asteroid Kassandra (number 114) was discovered by Christian Heinrich Friedrich Peters on the 23rd July 1871. The asteroid is part of the main asteroid belt and a rare T class with unknown composition. Her orbital period is 4.38 years and she is named after the prophetess Cassandra in Greek mythology.
The Myth of Cassandra
Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy. She was also the twin sister of brother Helenus. Both children were gifted with the art of prophecy. In some accounts, it is said that the children slept in a temple overnight. Whilst they were sleeping, snakes whispered into or licked their ears, giving them the ability to know the future. The gift itself came from Sun God Apollo.
Said to have long red hair and beauty to rival Aphrodite herself, Apollo was captivated by Cassandra. In some versions of the story, it’s said that he gave the gift of prophecy to her as a precursor to taking her as his consort. There is a suggestion that there was initially an agreement between the two but at the last moment, Cassandra decided not to go through with giving herself entirely to Apollo. Enraged and unable to take away his original gift, he asked for one last kiss at which point he spat in her mouth and cursed her prophecies never to be believed.
A tragic figure in mythology, Cassandra is depicted as descending into madness as those around her refused to listen to her warnings about the fall of Troy or any of her other predictions. The constant denial of her predictions coupled with the horror of knowing her prophecies would come true drove her towards insanity. Eventually, she was raped in the temple of Athena by Ajax then forced to become the consort of Agamemnon. Finally she was murdered by Agamemnon’s wife.
There is also an asteroid Helenos (named after her brother Helenus) which is asteroid number 1872. In the myths, Helenus was believed, unlike his sister. Helenus argued with his brother over beautiful Helen [of Troy]. When his brother took Helen as his wife, Helenus left Troy and eventually told the Greeks how to win the war. It is unclear whether this was because he was forced to reveal the prophecies or whether it was a form of revenge. Helenus may perhaps represent where we speak the truth but where maybe should stay silent
The name Cassandra has an uncertain origin. It has been suggested that Cassandra means ‘she who entangles men’ but whilst I have seen several references to this, I cannot locate an origin. Otherwise, it is suggested that it comes from Greek and means ‘shining upon man’ or ‘to shine’. When I read this, I immediately thought of Stephen King’s novel ‘The Shining’ and how the author used the word ‘shine’ to refer to someone with psychic abilities. Out of interest, in King’s chart, Kassandra is in the 12th house(imagination), contra-parallel to Jupiter, the latter being a significator related to publishing. Upon checking the chart for the date The Shining was published, at 9am that morning, the Moon (ruler of Kassandra in King’s chart) was exactly opposite to Jupiter from the 10th house.
Kassandra was at 24 Aquarius on the discovery date, exactly sextile to Neptune which is in keeping with the story. Neptune spiritualises what it touches and can often come up to represent psychic impressions and that which is beyond the veil between the worlds.
In wired Aquarius though, here we start to get the feeling that the energy of Kassandra has an electric quality to it – it’s easily overloaded and feeds into the idea of the ‘craziness’ which ensues when the truth of experience is dismissed.
Kassandra is on the Sabian symbol :-
A Butterfly With The Right Wing More Perfectly Formed
Immediately here too we have a suggestion of ‘imbalance’, something beautiful but fragile, rather like Cassandra herself. There is beauty in truth but these truths can easily be crushed. Lynda Hill notes that this symbol is associated particularly with emotional imbalance. The right side is associated with the intuitive self, the left with rational and logic. Kassandra is quincunx to level headed Pallas who herself is conjunction Apollo, almost as if Apollo is siding with the logical approach of Pallas – or perhaps reminding us of the haunting rape in the temple of Athena. The quincunx is awkward, twisted, fated and Apollo certainly twisted Kassandra’s fate! I notice the Sun too, Apollo in a different form, burning bright in the first degree of its own sign Leo and conjunct scientifically minded Uranus. There’s a sense that Kassandra is up against the burning light of masculine rational thought. Note Saturn conjunct the South Node which can also be connected to a sense of despair and sometimes vulnerability. Saturn conjunct the South Node can also be seen as a karmic obligation.
Active masculine Mars is at odds with gentle, sensitive Neptune by opposition. Typically, Mars in difficult aspects to Neptune can give rise to feelings of apathy, illness, self-defeat or simply an inability to act. It’s like seeing nothing for your effort. Mars is in a quincunx to Pluto – representing perhaps the violent attributes of Cassandra’s story as well as the powerful desire to act on truth.
Mercury is square to Pluto which makes me think of mind control. It is also depth of perception that needs to be voiced but which can also evoke a negative reaction. It’s an inner struggle. Even though this chart has no time which puts the Moon in a dubious position, I cannot ignore the painful opposition to Chiron.
It’s a challenging chart which speaks of high nervous energy, psychic awareness, a different understanding and consequently feeling at the mercy of outer – specifically masculine forces.
Meaning in Astrology
The Cassandra complex’ is spoken of in psychology. First coined by philosopher Gaston Bachelard, it was used in reference to a belief that things could be known in advance. In psychology, the Cassandra metaphor is used to refer to those who tell their personal truths but who are disbelieved – and the agony that comes from this.
Psychologist Melanie Klein goes further, suggesting that Cassandra represents the moral conscience whose main task is to issue warnings and highlight the consequences of ignoring those warnings. This is driven by the ‘cruel super ego’ otherwise known as Apollo. The consequence of ignoring the truth is denial – a word very much associated with Saturn. Note again, Saturn in the discovery chart debilitated through a conjunction to the South Node. The South Node can represent a weak point.
Jungian analyst Laurie Layton Schapira specifically relates the Cassandra complex to those who are involved in dysfunctional relationships with Apollo archetypes. It makes me think of woman in jobs who are told they are too emotional when they speak out against sexism or partners who tell women it’s all in your head or it’s hormones when they try to voice problems.
But it should be noted that Cassandra can relate to a man or a woman who is not being heard and the pain and even madness (at the extreme) that results.
One of the greatest difficulties of Cassandra is that she is drawn to tell the truth regardless of consequences to herself because the truth MUST be heard.
In charts, I have noticed that Kassandra is often indicated when the subject hasn’t been listened to as a child. In some cases it can be extreme such as telling someone about abuse but not being believed. In other circumstances it can be more subtle with responses such as ‘don’t be stupid’ following a declaration of ones truth or belief. And this may follow into adulthood, when the newly actualised person decides to confront parents or those in authority regarding the past, only to be met with cries of denial and desperate attempts to heap shame upon the one who dared to speak the truth. Like Cassandra’s sorry story, disbelief and denial of the absolute truth of self becomes a form of psychic rape.
The house position of Kassandra may show the area of life :-
- Where you feel others aren’t listening to you
- Where you know you are right but you are seen as wrong
- Where you may be ridiculed for what you believe in
- Where you feel you lack credibility
- Where you feel obligated to tell the truth of what you see
- Where you have to listen to your gut and not allow other’s to swamp you
- Where you must trust yourself because your sanity depends on it
Planetary aspects to Kassandra indicate parts of the psyche that are in danger of being unexpressed through fear of ridicule and where you can access pieces of yourself in order to trust in your own intuitive knowing. Kassandra is where you must trust your gut despite what others say and despite not having any tangible evidence.
In my own chart, I have Kassandra exactly conjunct Vesta in Pisces in the 8th house. I would often talk of the unseen things I could see as a child. I would hold up the light to those things that were considered taboo to talk about. It could also be read as absolute dedication to prediction/prophecy, whether believed or not and that certainly has been a hallmark of my life with tarot, dreams and astrology. My focus is on speaking the truth of what I see which, in the 8th house, is a transformative process for me. It can feel like ‘on pain of death’ (8th house) if I don’t allow these experiences into my awareness. It can also feel like death when I am ridiculed for my beliefs.
Keywords and Phrases
Prophecy, prediction, psychic knowing, foreboding. Giving advice. Deafness (possibly).
Falling on deaf ears, silenced, unheard, denounced, derided, where you doubt your sanity, crazy making. Hysteria, unbalanced, madness (through being denied true expression). Trust yourself.
I have also found that looking at the position of Apollo in contrast to Kassandra in the chart may give further information as these two archetypes work hand in hand. Do check out Jeremy Neal’s excellent article Apollo, Cassandra and the Archetypally Dysfunctional Marriage
I am also wondering whether Kassandra may have a relationship to physical deafness – for example Evelyn Glennie who is a famous deaf percussionist has Kassandra conjunct the MC. Helen Keller has Kassandra conjunct the Moon (but the birth data is conflicting). Lou Feringo has Mercury opposite Kassandra. More research is necessary here.
Kassandra at 22 Gemini in the 9th house parallel Vesta in Virgo 11th house
Parallels work a little like conjunctions – Perhaps focus on publishing the truth to help humanity. David Icke heard a voice telling him to look in a certain section in a book store. He came across a book by Betty Shine (!), whom he later met and his whole life changed from that point. He received much of his initial information through automatic writing (Gemini). He is famous for being ridiculed on television on TV’s Wogan show. Icke also has Apollo directly conjunct his Sun.
Martha Beall Mitchell ‘The Cassandra of Watergate’
Kassandra at 10 Scorpio – conjunct Mars, sextile Sun and trine Jupiter.
Famous for telling journalists that President Nixon was covering up the Watergate scandal. Nixon famously said there would have been no scandal without her – blaming her for speaking the truth. She was discredited and vilified. In psychiatry the ‘Martha Mitchell Effect’ is used to reference a psychiatrist who deliberately or erroneously identifies a patient as delusional when they are not (a strong example of Apollo action!).
Interestingly her husband John Mitchell (Attorney General) who was found guilty of involvement in Watergate has Kassandra conjunct his South Node
Kassandra in Aries 7th House conjunct Ceres, trine Sun
Directed the famous film Rosemary’s Baby which hinges on the Cassandra complex of no one believing the mother (Rosemary) that the people next door are poisoning her and are evil.
Kassadra 27 Libra Retrograde, 10th House conjunct Uranus
In the public eye for his eccentric, electric presentation of political truths that the establishment don’t want to listen to. He launched his Youtube series The Trews (a play on Truth and News) on the 27th February 2014. Mars was conjunct his Uranus/Kassandra conjunction at the time.
He is quoted as saying of his series he “analyses the news, truthfully, spontaneously and with great risk to his personal freedom’.
Kassandra 13 Leo, 8th house, semi-sextile Jupiter in the 7th
Nick-named the ‘wall street Cassandra’ he predicted the 1990’s rise in stocks was a bubble that could burst.
Kassandra 22 Scorpio
Painted ‘Cassandra Fortells the Trojans Their Fate and is Not Believed‘. Kassandra is in an exact grand trine with Uranus in Pisces and Mars in Cancer.
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
Kassandra 7 Aries conjunct Pluto in the 11th House
Painted ‘Cassandra’ – the painting used to illustrate this post.
Kassandra 26 Aquarius 5th house
Famous for speaking up and ultimately probably being killed for speaking out against the company who ran a nuclear plant for their health and safety practices. On the date of her death, her progressed Kassandra was exactly conjunct transiting Juno and Black Moon Lilith which immediately brings to mind ‘contract’ (Juno), killer (Lilith). Apollo by the way, was exactly conjunct transiting Pluto!
How to Find Kassandra in Your Chart
Go to astro.com > Free Horoscopes > Extended Chart Selection.
Enter asteroid number ‘114’ into the additional asteroids box at the bottom
I would love to hear your thoughts or experiences regarding Kassandra in your chart. If you have questions regarding Kassandra in your own chart, please book a reading.