“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.