Lance Armstrong is back in the news as he surprisingly dropped his opposition to drug charges aimed at him through the US anti doping agency, the USADA. I say surprisingly, but it was not a surprise to me. If the charges are upheld, he may be banned from the sport of cycling and his 7 Tour de France titles may be stripped away from him, however this decision by Armstrong is a “clever” move as he will no longer be publically questioned over his actions, yet his continued protestations of innocence will throw doubt over any ban imposed. Seven years after his last victory, a rich man who is thankful for even being alive after suffering testicular cancer, Lance I think is prepared to leave the memories of those 7 yellow jersey wins in the world’s toughest race as a testament to his sporting greatness.
Lance Armstrong’s chart is one that has always troubled me. He was born on 18th September 1971 in Plano, Texas ( nobody seems to have a birth time for him). He is double Virgo with both Sun & Moon in the sign of the Virgin and they are joined in the sign by Pluto and Mercury. The thing that hits me about this chart is a complete lack of emotion. No planets in water signs, and the Moon lacking in pure emotion in precise and critical Virgo. If you are a bike rider in the Tour de France, any stray emotion saps your strength, so this is one reason why he was undoubtedly a successful bike rider. This chart also has 7 planets in mutable signs and this indicates a supreme strategist, someone who can adjust his position to suit the situation. As such, Lance Armstrong is cold and hard, very intelligent, logical & flexible and that is how he approached his cycling career and life in general.
Now with an ultra critical approach to his existence in questioning every aspect of it (Sun, Moon and Mercury in Virgo), a cool and ambitious Saturn square to Mercury, a need for recognition Sun Pluto conjunction I am making Lance out to be robot on a bicycle and when he entered competition, effectively that is what he became. He was not an exciting cyclist, he used team strategy and a relentless approach to drive his maybe more talented opponents into the dirt. However he does have a far more congenial side to his nature too with Venus in Libra, which is popular and inclusive and attracts people to him. This is the sign of the mediator, someone who can see all sides of a situation and react to them accordingly. Pluto also connects to Venus bringing with it an intense nature especially within relationships of any kind. When you see Lance speak, one is often struck by the passion and intensity of his arguments & statements; this is the work of Pluto on his Sun and on his Venus.
Lance’s Saturn (work and ambition) is in Gemini, and this explains his profession. Gemini is the sign representing local transportation (bicycles) ruled by Mercury and these two planets are in a tense square aspect. Saturn is one part of a grand air trine connection Mars in Aquarius and Uranus in Libra. There is only one fixed planet on this chart in Mars, and the will to win here is very determined indeed. Receiving a trine from Uranus pushes this determination to be victorious through the roof, and add in the ambition of Saturn and we have a circuit of energy that refuses to be beaten. To win any endurance race, one needs a store of not only talent, and there is plenty here because the the influence of Uranus and Aquarius, but also of unbreakable spirit. There is no break in the cycle of energy of a grand trine, and the one is one of the most powerful ones I have seen in a sportsman, but it is also troubling.
Uranus wants to push back the boundaries of sport and achievement and it’s influence is considerable. How would Lance do this? Firstly, through achievement in riding his bike, the square aspect emanating from Saturn, one of two “exit doors” from the grand trine. By the way, for all this stored trine energy and talent to be released, one needs a channel of tension or of action down which it can pass. The other exit door is through an opposition from Saturn to a close Neptune Jupiter conjunction in Sagittarius. Now this is interesting because Jupiter in Sagittarius is open to anything that can expand one’s life for the better, can bring international adulation and fame (remember the desire of Sun Pluto) and Jupiter in Sagittarius will take any amount of risks to achieve this. Neptune here expands the possibilities even further. Neptune is inspirational but also cloudy, deceptive, it rules drug use and illegal practices. Pose the aspirations of Saturn against the possibilities that Neptune and Jupiter can bring and you have a big choice (opposition) to make. Neptune allows one to hide what one is really doing on, to deceive others into thinking one thing, while you are doing another. The nature of deception within the structure of a grand air trine is also discussed by Bil Tierney in his excellent book “Dynamics of Aspect Analysis”. In it he says that those with grand air trines can use their powers of persuasion and their cleverness to coax others to work on their behalf for their advantage. In accordance with this idea, the Saturn to Jupiter Neptune opposition makes a wedge formation to that diplomatic Venus in Libra conjunct Pluto, so I think he could have used his charm and his popularity (Venus) and through technical and medical means (Virgo Stellium) to keep a huge secret (Pluto) from everyone.
The question is, did Armstrong cheat? Taking in his cold calculating Virgo nature, his adaptable clever approach to life, the ambition of the grand air trine and the questions posed by Saturn’s opposition to Jupiter and Neptune, I think it is highly probable that he used whatever means were at his disposal to achieve the adulation that this chart desires!!
The problem with Neptune is that eventually the mists do clear and the truth is unveiled. Right now, Neptune is square to the Nodal axis and this has been doing a considerable amount of damage to people’s reputations recently. Look at the chart above and you can see the North Node, point of destiny conjunct to that Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. When the doping charges were announced on 29th June 12, the South Node was sitting bang on Armstrong’s Saturn hurting his career name. You can see imagine how that have moved around clockwise. Neptune square to the Nodes is exposing all that is hidden now. Neptune is also making an nasty inconjunct to his Sun and Pluto which is deflating and defeatist to him personally.
Strong nodal connections in my view force you to change the direction of your life as fate takes it’s course and things you don’t expect hit you between the eyes. Take note of them, for they are as powerful as any planetary transit, if not more so. For Lance Armstrong, such a vocal and strident voice in the sporting world, it seems as if he has accepted that he can’t fight what is happening, and to do so would only hurt his reputation more and as well as his legacy. People can take away titles but they can’t take away memories, and who’s to say that other cyclists in those races weren’t using hidden illegal tactics against Armstrong? He is taking the clever path as he always has, a hero for some and a controversial and polarizing figure for others…
***** Update 16th January 2013 ****
Lance Armstrong met with Oprah yesterday to finally come out about his life of doping and cheating. This is happening as transiting Jupiter in retrograde closes in on his natal Saturn at 6:32 Gemini (Jupiter is now at 6:46 Gem) and squares his Mercury, the planet of the media at 9 Virgo.
Transiting Jupiter is activating his natal Saturn opposition to Jupiter and Neptune. Now we will see the real truth (Saturn) in an interview (Mercury) on TV (Neptune) as this conjunction will expose all his excesses (Jupiter) about doping (Neptune) to an expectant worldwide audience (Jupiter). It just shows you that if you have done wrong, Jupiter is not all sweetness and light as some think it is.
Focusing on his natal fixed star connections, his Saturn is in paran with star Zosma active for his middle age, which shows suffering associated with his work and career. That is now coming to pass.
Armstrong's Mars has a paran connection with Sadalmelek, the somewhat lucky star in the constellation of Aquarius, active for him in the early part of his life. This in a sporting sense (Mars) shows someone "who made his own luck", and good things would thus have happened to him because of his obsessional efforts.
Finally, his Sun was in paran with Antares, the royal Persian star of passion and obsession in Scorpio also in his early years. Here personal success comes through one's hard work and focus, but the Royal stars always promise that success can come, but at a price. The Sun here is connected to a star that is associated with transformation, and in doping he transformed himself into an athlete who seemingly could not be beaten. The thing is, if you abuse a Royal star, you will pay the penalty later on in your life and all the gains you made will be lost forever...
Now is the time for Armstrong to really face the music and lose all that he gained and much much more...