“Float like a butterfly sting like a bee – his hands can’t hit what his eyes can’t see.”
-Muhammad Ali, 1974
Possibly the greatest boxer of all time, Muhammad Ali, has died. There will of course be the usual outpouring of grief and tributes, articles celebrating his career, his social activism, his personal integrity… and because it’s the Internet, there will be a bit of trolling based on his race or politics or religion or whatever. Like many great figured we’ve lost recently… David Bowie and Prince are two that come to mind… Muhammad Ali will tend to reflect back to us what we want to see about him. So, without falling into any of those traps, I’d like to show you just how remarkably accurate astrology can be when looking at a person’s physical being by looking at Ali’s birth chart. Astrology can do wonders at delineating someone’s personality (whatever the heck a “personality” is, even) — but it’s how astrology points out the obvious and physical traits that really show its power.
Muhammad Ali was born January 17, 1942 at 6:35 PM in Louisville Kentucky. Here’s the chart… click on it to make it bigger so you can play along at home.
The Midheaven is in Taurus, with Mars nearby — a natural indicator of athletic potential. This is all ruled by Venus in Aquarius. Now, normally one might look at Mars in Taurus (which is a naturally “debilitated” placement according to traditional techniques) squared by both the Sun and Pluto and assume that this guy was a rageoholic (those squares) who turned his propensity for violence towards his spouse (Venus on the Descendant). Of course, this is not at all how things turned out (so much for reading your interpretations out of a textbook, people!).
In fact, he was physically powerful (strongly aspected Mars) gifted with unusual boxing technique (the ruler of Mars is in Aquarius). Ali had a tendency to fight with his fists down and his head up — which is the first habit any YMCA boxing instructor would normally berate his students for. Jimi Hendrix had an oddly-placed Midheaven ruler (also Venus) taking a difficult aspect from Saturn, just as Muhammad Ali did. Nonetheless, Jimi became the best at his career by doing things his way — by playing a right-handed guitar re-strung and held upside down (Hendrix was left-handed). Similarly, Ali made his quirks a strength. His fighting style wasn’t textbook… it was merely perfect. Keeping his head up provided a huge target to any opponent, but Ali’s almost supernatural reaction speed (Mercury conjunct the Moon, both aspecting the Midheaven) meant few of those punches would land. His style was uniquely suited to his strengths, as befits Aquarius. And yes: Ali’s Venus closely aspected his Ascendant in Leo, so he was pretty good looking for a guy who got punched for a living… and wasn’t afraid to point it out to you either.
One more thing worth noting is the Moon-Pluto aspect. This can make a person an emotional powerhouse (for good or ill), but one of the things that often comes with that aspect is physical toughness. His Sun in the 6th House, part of a Grand Trine with Uranus and Neptune, contributed to that ability to endure physical punishment.
Oh, and all that stuff about Muhammad Ali being incredibly famous, being a social advocate, and protesting injustice? Yeah, that’s all in his birth chart too. But for now, let’s just all sit back and appreciate the incredible physicality he (and his birth chart) demonstrated.
As almost everyone on the Internet knows by now, on Saturday there was an incident at the Cincinnati Zoo where a three year old child wandered into the gorilla enclosure, resulting in staff killing Harambe, a male gorilla.
Before we get into the astrology, I suppose something should be said about the whole issue of zoos and animals in captivity in general. Yes, on the one hand, it’s not “natural.” On the other hand, zoos are hardly the chamber of horrors they once were, and frankly some members of some species (like gorillas) need to be protected and nurtured because of the threat of extinction presented to them by other primates (looking at you, Dear Reader).
I love all primates, and gorillas are easily in my Top Five. Humans, for the record, are somewhere in my Top Twenty, just ahead of chimps (who are kind of jerks) but well behind howler monkeys and the Emperor Tamarin. Now, having said all that: I believe that shooting Harambe was justified in order to save the child. Furthermore: yes the mother of the child should probably have kept a closer eye on her kid… but if you don’t think three year old humans aren’t capable of some serious shenanigans, then you don’t know your three year old primates very well.
If you have a problem with any of that, the comments section is below. Now, on with the astrology.
Harambe was born May 27, 1999 in Brownsville Texas. His transits for the time and date of death are interesting, but they’re not the most obvious astrological “victim” of the incident. Without birth data for the mother and child in question, it’s amazing how damaging this incident could prove to be for the zoo itself.
There’s no “time of birth” on record for the Zoological Society of Cincinnati, but it was “born” on July 11, 1872 in Cincinnati. Most notably, the chart features a close Sun-Venus conjunction in Cancer which is closely opposite Saturn in Capricorn. This might normally be kind of a “hard luck” combination, except that those points are closely aspected by Pluto in Taurus and Moon in Virgo. Put all that together and it’s a durable and successful aspect pattern.
No placement in a chart can go forever without having difficult transits, and May 28 2016 provided what turned out to be a highly damaging combination of effects. Transiting Saturn is now closely opposite that Sun-Venus conjunction, and was within less than a degree to the exact conjunction with the Zoo’s natal Saturn. This becomes even more significant if the Society was “born” around noon, which would make Venus the Ascendant ruler (public perception) and also make it conjunct the natal Midheaven (“purpose”).
Furthermore: transiting Jupiter in Virgo was opposite Neptune in Pisces, and both were closely square the natal Nodes. One could argue that the Zoo’s “karmic destiny” was about to be challenged by someone’s misjudgement, or the cumulative effect of small misjudgements, starting with whoever designed the gorilla enclosure. Transiting Saturn conjunct the Zoo’s South Node certainly didn’t help either.
These transits will be in effect for a while yet — at least the next couple of months in fact. There will be undoubtedly some sort of permanent ramifications for the Zoo and its mission. All we can really ask here, I believe, is this: let’s be kind, understanding, and patient with the primates… even if they can’t always be bothered being that way with each other.
The Sign: Pisces, the Fish
The Hero: Groot, Guardians Of The Galaxy
Known For: Doesn’t look intimidating, and isn’t… until he very suddenly becomes very intimidating. Lives with his best friend. Actually, his best friend lives on Groot, but he’s good with that, because that’s what friends are for. Isn’t a big fan of expressing himself, at least not verbally. How he lives his life is how he expresses himself, and not with just a bunch of talk. Travels the galaxy seeking fortune and adventure, but would likely be just as happy hanging out in a field watching fireflies and pollinating.
Favorite things: Making children smile, producing new branches of himself (literally), and approaching life with childlike glee… whether it’s the simple act of drinking from a fountain, or opposing the maniacal intentions of Ronan the Accuser, who wants to dominate the galaxy with his stolen powers. Mostly though, Groot just seems to enjoy sprouting new limbs and appendages as required. Also: he’d like it if we could all just get along.
Quote: “We are Groot.”
Compatible with: Cancer and Scorpio
Fatal Flaw? Flammable. Seems to get limbs hacked off and blown up and such a lot, but hey: just re-plant him in fertile soil and he’ll be good as new in time for the sequel, no hard feelings.
The Sign: Aquarius, the Water Bearer
The Hero: Superman, DC Comics and various works
Known For: Leaving his dying world behind as an infant and becoming the greatest protector of his new-found home world, despite both being an undocumented alien and constant interference from one of his new home’s leading intellects (Lex Luthor). Looks and acts like an ordinary person, except for the whole flying, heat vision, and that whole “being able to crumple a bus down to the size of a basketball with his bare hands” thing.
Favorite things: Maintaining a quiet, mundane life as a journalist and an on again, off again girlfriend — in between rounds of saving the Earth, avoiding attempts to kill him by various evil/alien freaks and/or conquerors. Developing new superpowers as required by the needs of the story he’s in at any given time. Long relaxing breaks in his Fortress Of Solitude, which is in an undesirable neighborhood (but he loves the place anyway). But other than that, he’s just a regular guy, honest!
Quote: “Dreams save us. Dreams lift us up and transform us. And on my soul, I swear…until my dream of a world where dignity, honor and justice becomes the reality we all share–I’ll never stop fighting. Ever.”
Compatible with: Gemini and Libra
Fatal Flaw? Kryptonite, obviously.