Astrological Musings

I am always suspicious when a couple is excessively demonstrative in public, constantly talking about how happy they are as if they have something they need to prove, even if only to themselves. And even though I’m a big Sheryl Crow fan, something about this relationship bothered me from the beginning. Then when I heard her new Wildflower CD it seemed she had changed, softened but not necessarily in a good way. So I wasn’t really surprised to hear that Sheryl and Lance announced that they were splitting up.

Sheryl Crow has an extreme chart – she has a whopping 6 planets in Aquarius: Saturn/Mars/Mercury and Jupiter/Sun/Venus. Jupiter/Sun/Venus indicates a strong attractive (Venus) power that can bring success (Jupiter). Saturn/Mars/Mercury gives her a good head for business but a temper too (Mars/Mercury). Aquarius is a rational air sign, and not by itself well suited to personal relationships. (See this post on Aquarius for more details.) Her Jupiter/Sun conjunction gives her a taste for adventure and a need for freedom, but her Sun/Venus conjunction shows that she seeks to be in relationships (Venus) in order to fully express her Self.

To complicate matters, that Sun/Venus is opposed by Uranus, the planet of individuality and rebellion. This sets up a relatively common conflict called the “freedom/closeness dilemma,” where part of us wants to be close in relationships and another part of us does not. We’ve seen several other women in this column with similar dynamics: Angelina Jolie and Evangeline Lilly. Often people with this kind of inner conflict handle it by consistently attracting partners who are remote or unavailable.

Lance Armstrong is a miracle on the bicycle. After recovering from testicular cancer he went on to win the Tour de France seven times. A Virgo, he has four planets in that sign including Mercury and his Moon, and Pluto conjunct the Sun. Pluto deals with issues of death and rebirth, and when Pluto is so close to the Sun as it is in Lance’s chart the individual often is forced to deal with these issues from a front row seat. Virgo is concerned with matters of health and healing, and can be meticulous about nutrition and exercise. Lance Armstrong is known in the sporting world for his diligence in training and technique.

Pluto also conjuncts Venus in Lance’s chart, although they are “out of sign” which weakens the conjunction somewhat. Still, the force of the underworld (Pluto) strongly marks his relationships (Venus), showing that he can be intensely passionate with his loved ones. Jupiter (opportunity) and Neptune (creativity) are in harmonious relationship (sextile) to Venus in his chart, showing that he has a strong creative streak (Neptune/Venus) and that his relationships with others bring him good fortune (Jupiter/Venus).

Astrological compatibility is an interesting adventure. The textbooks would say that Lance as a Virgo and Sheryl as an Aquarius are incompatible, yet they had some strong attractive qualities between them. Each one’s Mars conjuncts the other, showing strong sexual chemistry and compatibility. Each one’s Saturn makes a harmonious aspect (trine) to that of the other, showing that they felt a strong commitment (Saturn) to each other and a desire to formalize (Saturn) their relationship. However, the difficulties were evident: Lance’s strong Virgo need to continue to focus on his work in order to achieve the famous Virgo perfection could not accommodate Sheryl’s need to continually reinvent her life (Aquarius/Uranus) and break free of the routine that Virgo craves. There is some evidence in their chart interaction that Sheryl may have overwhelmed Lance with her intensity (her Pluto conjunct his Mercury), especially since his chart predisposes him to conflicted emotions regarding that kind of Plutonic intensity. There is also some evidence that she could be deceived by him (his Mars squaring her Neptune), or that she failed to clearly see where the relationship was going.

Sheryl has been having a rough time over the past year or so. Transiting Uranus has made a pass over Pluto in Sheryl’s chart, turning her world upside down and disorienting her completely. Ironically, the final pass of this transit occurred on February 3, the date the split was announced. Saturn has been testing her with an opposition to her natal Saturn, creating blocks and disappointments and keeping her from moving forward. In addition, transiting Chiron (in Aquarius) is just beginning a pass of Sheryl’s Aquarian planets. However, transiting Pluto is beginning a harmonious dance with Venus in her chart, showing us that this experience will help to facilitate a powerful transformation (Pluto) in the way that she approaches relationships (Venus) in her life.

Previous interviews with Lance Armstrong show that marriage was never a strong goal for him, and the gossip mill indicates that he was the instigator of the split. His transits (including several harmonious transits of Chiron, the wounded healer archetype) marking the period before the breakup seem to indicate that he was in an evolutionary process of healing. But he also was experiencing transiting Uranus in stressful aspect to Mercury in his chart, instigating sudden changes in direction and unpredictability. Rumor has it that Lance had already broken it off with Sheryl several times during this period and perhaps they will ultimately reconcile. In order to achieve lasting happiness in a partnership, however, the individuals must realize the truth of their own direction and that of their partners.

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