Sunday, July 6, 2014

The astrology of sports: Messi and the World Cup

(6 July 2014) What does it take to be a great athlete?  A tenacious work ethic, fiery ambition, natural talent and a supportive family and community environment all play their part, but it doesn't hurt to have a great horoscope as well.  Argentine forward Lionel Messi is widely considered to be the world's best football player.  Whether as member of the FC Barcelona club or as captain of Argentina's national team, Messi tops all the relevant scoring and analytic rankings as the world's best player.   As the World Cup enters its semi-final round, it is worthwhile to take a look at the Messi's horoscope to see what it may reveal about his talent and fame as well as providing hints about the fate of Argentina in their upcoming games.

Messi was born June 24, 1987 at 5.55 a.m. in Rosario, Argentina.  There is some uncertainty about his time of birth as there is a second 8.20 p.m. time out there also.  I would tend to favour the 5.55 time as the chart seems to fit his life better. That said, we should keep an asterisk handy just in case.   One of the great things about this chart is the powerful 1st house.  The sign of Taurus (the Bull) rises with its ruler Venus and the exalted Moon also in the 1st house just below the horizon.  The 1st house represents vitality and self-projection and whenever it is this strong it describes a person who has a lot of positive karma who is successful and gets noticed for his efforts.  Rahu (North Node) is placed in the equal 11th house of gains.  This is likely Rahu's best house placement in a chart since this planet of material acquisitiveness can work well in a house devoted to monetary rewards and income.

Saturn actually provides a boost for him through its opposition aspect to Venus and the Moon from the 7th house.  While Saturn may repress his outward emotions, Saturn is lord of the 10th house (Aquarius) and its aspect to the 1st house lord Venus (within just one degree!) is a hugely significant astrological signature for achievement and success.  The tightness of the angular separation between Saturn and Venus intensifies Messi' potential for renown and fame.  Fame and success may also be seen through the placement of the last pre-natal lunar eclipse from April 13th at 29 Virgo 55.  Messi's Jupiter is less than two degrees from opposing this eclipse point.  Jupiter, of course, is the planet of success.

His athletic ability may be seen through the 1st, 3rd, 5th and 6th houses, their lords and the planet Mars.  We have already seen the strength of the 1st house, but his 3rd house of determination, courage and dexterity is also in excellent shape.  The 3rd house contains Cancer which is ruled by the Moon which is in Taurus its sign of exaltation and conjunct 1st lord Venus.  Ketu (South Node) is placed in the 5th house of sports which indicates an unusual or ingenious approach to games. 

More importantly, the 5th house lord is Mercury and it is very strong in Gemini, its own sign in a conjunction with Mars.  Mars is the planet of sports and competition and its close conjunction with 5th lord Mercury is very conducive to having a special talent in sporting activities.  In addition, Mercury is retrograde thus stronger than it would normally be.  The 6th house governs conflict and enemies and describes how an individual fares when faced with opposition.  The 6th house contains Pluto in Libra.  Pluto is a power-laden planet that speaks to great intensity when engaged in competition.  But Pluto's impact receives the bulk of its energy from the very good placement of the 6th lord Venus, which of course is in its own sign of Taurus in the 1st house.  The 6th lord in the 1st house describes a person who has a natural flair in competitive situations and who can rise to the occasion.  They are comfortable in the field of battle and have the stamina to outlast most rivals.

If Messi's natal chart is pretty much what one would expect from a great athlete, how does it look for the next week?  How will Messi fare in the semi-final on Wednesday and perhaps in the final on Sunday the 13th?  Transiting Ketu (0 Aries) is just moving a bit past its conjunction with Jupiter and thus activating the Jupiter-Uranus natal aspect.  This aspect is closely linked with sudden success so Ketu may well be playing a catalytic role here. To be sure, Ketu is a natural malefic but it is improved here due to the strength of its dispositor Mercury. Transiting Venus (25 Taurus) is just past a favourable conjunction with its natal placement for the semi-final game on Wednesday.  By Sunday's final, it will be in the first degree of Gemini, exactly opposite Uranus and thus activating the Jupiter-Uranus aspect again.  Pretty nice.

Transiting Saturn (22 Libra) and Uranus (22 Pisces) are backing into their respective direct stations at the end of July and form a near exact alignment with Messi's natal Venus, Mercury and Saturn.  While Saturn is normally a negative influence, it's alignment here with Uranus offsets some of its natural negativity.  I would tend to think that this alignment may actually be positive, especially given the importance of the natal planets involved.  A bigger concern would be the square between Mars (28 Virgo) and its natal position at 28 Gemini.  This is exact on Wednesday and a little past exact on Sunday.  Mars-to-Mars squares are usually bad influences and suggest too much energy to handle in a constructive way.  It can mean high levels of frustration and is generally not conducive with success.  It also increases the possibility of injury and conflict during the games.  Messi's chart would be better without this Mars contact, but it is what it is.  A more sanguine reading would suggest a very tense and emotional match on Wednesday (and perhaps Sunday) where perhaps his personal efforts come up short.  It is conceivable that Argentina may still win even if Messi experiences some individual troubles during the game.

Argentina is ranked #1 in the world and is one of the favourites to win the World Cup (after perhaps Brazil).   My brief analysis here would tend to favour the view that Argentina has a very good chance of winning.  I think the chart looks good on the whole, even if there are some reservations.   I have not looked at the charts of any of the other teams involved so I would be reluctant to make any categorical predictions.  We will be watching closely to see how these planetary influences play out.

Financial Markets Update

Stocks generally rose last week as the US jobs report showed the economy created more jobs than expected.  I thought there was a possibility of some early week problems on the Rahu influence but the late week gains did seem to reflect the ongoing Sun-Venus aspect as it aligned with Pluto.  The Dow pushed above 17,000 for the first time closing at 17,068 while India's Sensex enjoyed solid gains ahead of this week's Budget announcement. 

I would not rule out more upside this week as the Sun and Venus align with Saturn and Uranus on Monday and Tuesday.  This alignment isn't particularly great and actually carries with it some downside risk.  However, the sheer number of planets involved here may be enough to push sentiment a little further.  Friday's Mercury-Jupiter alignment also looks bullish.  That said, Saturn is slowly inching its way into an alignment with Uranus on 21 July.  This really does not look good.  It's hard to know when it will hit but it should hit nonetheless and with considerable force.