July 15, 2022

"Heart Star" - Book Excerpt

In my long-in-progress book,  The Spiritual Mission of a Princess: Diana and the Return of the Heart, I often reference an anthology published months after Princess Diana's death...When A Princess Dies: Reflections from Jungian Analysts. In my chapter, "The Sight of Stars," I quote Renos Papadopoulos about distinctions of stars in the heavens and celebrities who have a 'star quality': 

Stars are self-sufficient and independent entities in so far as they shine from within and do not follow anybody else's orbit. It must have been these attributes of stars, in addition to their distant, mysterious and magic qualities, that have prompted people to describe certain celebrities as 'stars'.

Enjoy an excerpt of "The Sight of Stars" chapter....



She was a 'flawed' star and this brought her

closer to the people, who loved the idea 

 that a star could also be so near to them.

-Renos K. Papadopoulos, 

When A Princess Dies: 

Reflections from Jungian Analysts

“The etymology of the English word ‘star’ comes from a very old root with similar words in most ancient languages,” wrote Renos K. Papadopoulos in When a Princess Dies. However, the Greek version of the word, aster, “reveals an interesting twist.” It is related to the word teirea that translates to “‘the heavenly constellations, signs’…and to teras which is ‘a sign, wonder, marvel, of any appearance or event, in which men believed that they could see the finger of God, and read the future,’” Papadopoulos continued; “hence, teras also refers to ‘anything that serves as a divine sign or omen.’” Many viewed such ‘star signs’ and ‘divine omens’ in the life and death of Princess Diana.

An “incandescent star that illuminated both the earth and skies,” wrote Stewart Pearce about Diana, not seeing the Princess’ stardom as simply superficial celebrity, but saw her as a divinely-inspired being following her spiritual mission. Pearce, who spoke about his confidential position as a voice and presence coach during the last two years of Diana’s life, writes ardently about her celestial connections and “world saving” fate which was “set to illuminate the conviction of love, joy and charity….”

Oprah Winfrey wrote eloquently about how we are all precious human beings “given an almighty gift,” destined to live a life we love. And she also acknowledges there are those who shine a bit more brilliantly. “Then along comes an anointed one, who given the chance shines as brightly as the pole star. These are the shining ones who lead the way, and Diana was such a one!” Divinely touched, yet poignantly human.

photo by Mario Testino
The star-lit words used to describe Princess Diana in life and death: luminous, radiant, inner light, shining from within, incandescent—whether used literally or metaphorically—also suggested something of a spiritual nature. Just as such words also point to that person’s life being a guidepost of sorts, a sign, a message to pay attention, changes ahead. And for Diana, her message was through the heart, she was signaling the world that it was time for change. It was time for a return to love…and she was indeed shining a light to guide the way.

But there was another etymological twist Papadopoulos pointed out relating to Diana and her complex persona. Those ancient star-related words, teirea and teras, are related to the verb teiro which he defines as “to rub away: of the effects of pain, sorrow on body and mind…to suffer, to be distressed. This is the root of ‘trauma’, as well.” We see this in Diana and other celebrity stars. In addition to “the glitter and glamour there is often something ominous, even dark about them…likely to have traumatic histories.” Papadopoulos connected Diana’s star quality with her trauma this way: “Her sparkling disposition had a sense of tragedy about it, her splendor was closely associated with disarming simplicity, and her joy was almost visibly linked with her pain.”

Diana greeting and shaking
hands with AIDS patient.
Yet the other side of the meaning of teiro, Papadopoulos explained, is also a reference to “healing and rubbing away the effects of pain and anguish. In other words, in addition to their external twinkling grandeur, stars could be the agents of both distress and healing.” Clearly with Diana, healing was part of her spiritual mission in life and death. In life, she demonstrated the nature of loving touch and attention; when her death cracked open hearts around the world, a deep cleansing began in the soul of humanity. Diana’s “radiating shine,” as Papadopoulos defined it, spread far and wide, “affecting the widest possible variety of people”…no one was left out. And twenty or so years after her death, Diana’s sons, left traumatized and suffering as boys, found their way, through love, especially the loving support of their wives, to healing their own mental and emotional anguish—and courageously shared about their experiences as a healing gesture to help others find their way to wholeness, and to love.
Indeed, being an advocate for mental health has become the main focus of Prince Harry's work, using his 'star' quality to draw attention to the well-being of others. ~

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