Sebastian Junger – near-death experiences

Sebastian Junger, American journalist, war correspondent and author of The Perfect Storm, is no stranger to death or danger. But a near terminal experience in 2020 from an internal medical rupture which evoked an image/hallucination of his father, who had died eight years earlier, sent him into an exploration of near death experiences.

  ‘As he felt himself hover over a terrifying black pit, “I became aware of something else: my father.” Eight years dead, this physicist and atheist reassured his dying son. “It’s OK, there’s nothing to be scared of,” he seemed to be saying. “Don’t fight it. I’ll take care of you.”

  The Times reviewer said: “It is fascinating to read a clear-eyed rationalist’s case for an afterlife.”

“Knowing that oxygen starvation produces euphoric hallucinations still does not explain why so many people see a loved one or even whole family reunions.”

  I wondered if there were any clues in his chart about what was going on when he nearly died and why he would have had the reactions he did.

 Born 17 January 1962 7.42pm Boston, Massachusetts, he has a 5th house Sun, Venus, Mars in Capricorn so attention-seeking, a performer. His Sun conjunct Saturn in Aquarius is on the focal point of a yod inconjunct Uranus and a Gemini Moon in his 10th. His father would have been a key though not easy influence in his life.

  He also has Pluto just below his Ascendant opposition Chiron on his Descendant.

  When his pancreatic artery ruptured in June 2020 he was exactly on his Second Saturn Return which is usually a weighty moment of decision-making, a significant marker in life. More so in his case given that his Saturn is loaded being beside the Sun and on the yod apex.

 Even more notable than that, his 7th house Chiron (opposition Pluto) was feeling the impact of an exact Progressed Mars conjunct his Chiron. Pluto opposition Chiron natally suggests an individual drawn to danger and excitement, almost to an addictive degree. With the suggestion that it may have emerged out of a lack of containment by the mother – which with  Uranus Pluto on the Ascendant indicating a traumatic birth would seem not unlikely.

  Melanie Rhinehart also talks of Pluto Chiron aspects bringing a connection to the ancestral line who bring a ‘protective membrane around the living, shielding them from direct exposure to the world of archetypal energies beyond.’ And with it comes a compulsion to study death, and where used constructively to ultimately transform society’s view of it.

  On his draconic chart his Uranus, Pluto and North Node all fall in his natal 8th, the house of death and rebirth.

  This is a fair amount of special pleading and rambling but intriguing all the same.

21 thoughts on “Sebastian Junger – near-death experiences

  1. Not an astrologer. Interested in near death topic. For consideration: Our viewpoint is upside down/back to front. We are spiritual consciousness locked into a physical vehicle not just a body. Bodies die. We carry on as part of a much larger enterprise. FWIW My birthdate 2.20 AM Perth Scotland. 19 October 1946 if this provides any grist for the mill.

  2. When I was nearly six years old, I went to a friend’s house where her parent’s had gone out. And we had a blast running around as fast we could. It ended abruptly when I went through a patio door. Blood and glass everywhere. And I remember the screams and my friend racing out through the front door.

    Anyway I was rushed to the hispital, and they worked on removing the glass from my thigh, my left palm and my forehead. Well at some point I wasn’t there anymore. Instead it was as if I had turned into a balloon with my head near the ceiling. I saw the backs of the doctors and nurses as they worked on me. That is basically what I remember. There was no white light, no tunnel, no meeting with a heavenly being or long dead relative telling me I needed to go back. I don’t even remember going back, just going home with plaster cast on my leg and gandxand a small hole in my forehead.

    Oh and of course the continued lectures of how I was never to play at anyone’s house without adult supervision. It was not a great summer and although I did get swimming lessons the next summer, I almost didn’t want to do it as I was so self conscious of this very long and very noticeable scar on my leg.

    But as to whether I died fir a moment or just passed out, I really don’t know. But I know I was near the ceiling.

  3. This guy irritates me no end. I’m sure it has NOTHING to do with his Saturn on my Sun. So the “clear eyed rationalist” had an NDE? Big whoop. I had an NDE before those initials were coined for the experience. I’ve been called and freak and a weirdo, but Mr. War Correspondent has the NY Times bow down before him? Get outta here. That black pit he saw is his inner architecture . . . feeding off the power of other people’s trauma until it comes a little too close. And as I say, my dislike of the guy has nothing to do with that Saturn of his.

  4. This topic has always fascinated me. What happens to consciousness after physical death? SOMETHING happens–I’m convinced of that. I’ve had a couple of mind-blowing ghostly encounters that made be a true believer. That said, I also have a healthy skepticism….I take all the near-death chronicles online and in books with a huge grain of salt. I’m especially leary of those that profit in any way from the telling of “near-death experiences.” But now and then I come across a person whose near-death recollections are, to me, absolutely genuine, very believable. If you’re interested, here are two that resonate. It’s clear to me that these women are not lying and have nothing to gain by recounting their experiences.

    –Google: Jayne Smith near-death experience–you tube

    –Google: Oprah interviews Cynthia Busch about her near-death experience

    (Sorry, a computer glitch prevents me from providing links.)

  5. Yesterday I bumped onto this BBC Bitesize description of Jewish beliefs on afterlife:

    “Jewish scripture has very little to say on matters of life after death. This is because Judaism puts far greater focus on people’s actions and purpose in their earthly lives which the call olam ha-ze, than on speculating about what might happen after people die. For many Jews, thinking about whether there is reward, punishment or even any sort of afterlife at all, is unimportant.”

  6. Raymond Moody and others have documented so much info on this subject since ? 1980’s. He has a website w/ lots of info on it. And, The Afterlife Frequency by a medium, but also an attorney, is one amazing book, combining a scientific/spiritual view on the subject.
    It looks like he’s been having tr Pluto conj. his Sun in late Capricorn, w/ Pluto ruling his 3rd house. A complete transformation of ideas and thoughts. Neptune has been squaring his Moon/Gemini and sextile to his Sun. He has a lot of practical earth, Capricorn, Virgo rising and a scientific Gemini Moon so this must have been mind bending for him. Neptune and Saturn will soon be transiting his 8th house.

    • I’m an 8th house Pisces moon and have lost count of the number of psychic experiences I’ve had in my 60 plus years. It’s an inherited ‘gift’. It was only through astrology that I realised why I should be so sensitive to seeing beyond the material world. I live with this every day and it’s exhausting!

  7. Thanks so much for this Marjorie. A vast and important topic, full of mystery – much like quantum physics!
    It’s interesting to look at the charts for Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, 8th July 1929, and scientist Rupert Sheldrake, 28th June 1942. Both have worked with our ideas about death and the afterlife, both have much to say I think, and both have quite striking charts.

    Sheldrake has Sun conjunct Jupiter in his 8th house (astro databank). His Mars conjunct Pluto is close to Chiron in the 9th house. Since tr Jupiter often appears in ‘death’ charts, the 9th house could be significant too?
    Kubler-Ross has Saturn in Scorpio in the 8th house (ADB again). Her Cancer Sun, trine Saturn, is conjunct Pluto and the NN and square Mars. Her life story is pretty intense too.

    Personally, I’ve experienced a wide range of ‘odd’ happenings when people close to me die – there is some kind of release of energy at such times that can create all kinds of quasi poltergeist type phenomena. Pictures fall off walls, electrical items blow up, objects move on their own, disappear and reappear, and so on. I also know deeply sceptical people who have had these experiences, which caused them to question their own beliefs and assumptions.

    I believe our culture’s love of binary arguments obscures a great deal. We miss out on the dawn and the twilight in our rush to nail everything down. There is far more mystery than we know.

  8. There are numerous accounts of near-death experiences, going back over decades; many well-documented and generally life-changing. Equally, there are numerous stories of reincarnation, with verified past memories that defy any logical explanation. My own view – completely without proof – is that neither are probably supposed to happen. A ‘bug in the software’, if you like! But I’m very pleased they do.

    • “Bug in the software” – I love it. A succinct modern definition of the rip in the fabric which allows some to see beyond knock-on-wood reality. Very 8th house.
      It makes me think of the man years ago who woke up after an accident in the shipyard where he worked after a jib fell on his head giving him a brain injury – and he had become psychic and thereafter earned a living as a clairvoyant. As I recollect he found it a mixed blessing since he could not switch off – the other side.
      And also Ernest Becker’s thought in The Denial of Death: “Man lives by lying to himself about himself and about his world. * “The individual has to protect himself against the world, and he can do this only as any other animal would; by narrowing down the world, shutting off experience, developing an obliviousness to the terrors of the world and to his own anxieties…..”
      We have evolved for survival and sanity reasons to block off 99% of non-materialistic experiences, since it would be too overwhelming if we were entirely open to – the collective unconscious or whatever you like to call it. But some information leaks through usually at times of high stress.
      I remember looking at reincarnation stories years back from young children in whom the ‘past life memories’ usually faded as they moved towards age five and on.

      • I had a conversation with my friend’s dead mother, when I was in the loo at a party. She appeared by the door and asked me to pass on a message of love and support for her son, who was going through a painful break up. It was very surreal, but I remained calm.

        Some pals said I made it up (I’d had a few wines). But, there was another women stood alongside his mother. When I described her, my friend was speechless. I had described exactly his dead aunt, his Mum’s younger sister, who had died years before. He’d never mentioned her to me and I didn’t know she existed.

        The feelings of love and compassion that she shared with me, for her son, stayed with me for days afterwards. It was incredibly beautiful and moving.

        I have natal Neptune in Scorpio in the 12th conjunct ASC.

    • My younger sister (who has Pluto, Uranus, and most of the major planetoids/asteroids in her huge 8th house), was speaking Russian words when she was quite tiny, and before she spoke English. We didn’t know that, of course, I only realised when I began studying Russian many years later. The strange name she gave her teddy turned out to be a very slightly bastardised translation of a Russian word meaning ‘beloved little one’.

  9. It certainly feels real to me. Materialistic explanations of such experiences always sound desperate and unconvincing. Materialists don’t want to know because it would upset their ideologically ingrained world view. It is a bit sad and primitive, really. I have natally a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in the 8th opposite Chiron, Pluto in the 8th conjunct the Moon inconjunct Chiron and Chiron exactly square Neptune. Our culture is about to change deeply with respect to the afterlife when Pluto enters Pisces and squares Neptune later this century.

    • I have Uranus in the 12th opposite Chiron in Pisces in the 6th and a very Chironic chart. Chiron squares my MC/IC exactly, it makes an exact trine to my Scorpio Moon, trines Mars and Mercury and also aspects my Sun. I had what I can only describe as a ‘spiritual’ experience when I was 23. I have no idea why this happened to me, though I had been hospitalised 2 months previously for mental breakdown after a very abusive and destructive relationship, but it happened suddenly and strikingly. When people describe the awakening to the sentience of creation and the reality of universal or divine love during their NDEs, it very much echos my own experience. Julian of Norwich’s ‘all shall be well’ is close to it, and later I remember reading a book by Colin Wilson where he describes a very similar experience which happened to him following a prolonged period of intense stress. It’s extremely difficult to put the experience into words. I was having my Jupiter return when the experience occurred and I also had Pluto in Scorpio exact on my Mercury/Mars midpoint which also trined my Chiron. Though I am not religious at all. This book sounds fascinating.

    • Feels is different from it is. And next time don’t be passive agressive. No one was out there to offend you, so there is no need for nasty veiled stabs.

  10. If I understood correctly, he had a near-death experience and in this state of particular consciousness, he felt his father was with him? But as with countless other such occurrences, it is difficult to say whether his father was really there or was it just imaginings of the mind, maybe brought on by a particular transmission through the neurons or blood flow to the brain. I don’t really think it is proof of much, if anything at all.

Leave a Comment

%d bloggers like this: