3 Stars are Born: Gabby Douglas, Kayla Harrison & Katie Ledecky Win Gold Medals
Dateline Thursday August 2, 2012 (with updates Aug. 3 & 4):
Senator Eugene McCarthy (Democrat of Minnesota) was running for president in 1968 during the primary season. He had achieved a virtual tie in the New Hampshire primary with the then sitting-president Lyndon Johnson, and President Johnson decided not to run for re-election as the tragic events of the still ongoing Vietnam War were exploding in the city streets and colleges around America.
I was 18 years old, attending Michigan State University, and writing for our university newspaper as an editorial columnist. I decided to travel to Fort Wayne, Indiana for a weekend to be part of a group knocking on doors in the hopes of helping the senator win that primary over Senator Robert Kennedy (Democrat of New York). By June 5 – after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. on April 4 – Senator Kennedy had been shot after winning the California primary, and he, too, was now dead. [Note: Martin Luther King, Jr. was killed on the one day in 1968 when the Sun united with Saturn in the sky at 15 degrees of Aries -- where both celestial bodies were precisely opposite America's Saturn from our birth as a nation on July 4, 1776. When Senator Robert Kennedy was also assassinated two months later, Saturn in Aries was precisely making an off-kilter, 150-degree link to America's natal Neptune.]
The nation went through a wave of revolutionary activity that spring, summer and fall – almost indescribable – as it included the shocking return and rise to power of former Vice President Richard Nixon, the gradual disappearance of Sen. McCarthy from the race, riots in Chicago at the Democratic National Convention, and even a Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia to put down the so-called “Prague Spring” energized by the liberal Czech leader Alexander Dubcek.
Being 18, Remembering 1968, and McCarthy the Sportsman
The reason I mention any of this is that I was watching Gabby Douglas (age 16) and Kayla Harrison (age 22) win Olympic gold medals today in the women’s all-around gymnastics (Douglas) and women’s judo (Harrison). My great passion as a child and teenager was sports, and – in an odd way – that was what drew me to campaign for Sen. McCarthy during the spring of 1968. Here is a quotation about Sen. McCarthy’s early life when he attended St. John’s University in Minnesota
“He was also an excellent athlete and loved sports, particularly baseball and hockey. He left home for Collegeville, Minnesota at the age of 15 to finish high school at Saint John's Preparatory School, and he subsequently attended Saint John's University
McCarthy has been described by his teachers at Saint John's University as ‘brilliant, and a student who had set a standard that was...one of our all-time records.’ He was also known for his wit. His classmates referred to him as the ‘Watkins Wonder.’ While in college he continued to be passionate about sports. A lanky, 6-foot-4 first baseman, he played semi-pro baseball for the Great Soo League during the summers, and in 1934-35, he was top scorer on Saint John's University's hockey team, taking it to its first state championship. He graduated from Saint John's University with highest honors in 1935 at the mere age of 19.”
As I watched the excitement this evening of the London Olympics and the outstanding individual achievements of Gabby Douglas and Kayla Harrison, I was reminded of something Sen. McCarthy once said in answer to a question about what part of the newspaper he turns to when he opens it up. He replied (approximately) that he always reads the Sports section first as that is where you find human beings excelling and in triumph whereas the News section mostly shows our human failings and self-destructive urges.
From the Astrological Perspective
While the great American swimmers Michael Phelps (born June 30, 1985) and Ryan Lochte (born Aug. 3, 1984) have garnered many of the athletic headlines back here on our home turf, you want to take a good look at the Solar Charts generated with this article for Gabby Douglas and Kayla Harrison.
Gabrielle (Gabby, “The Flying Squirrel”) Douglas – born with the Sun at 10 degrees Capricorn – has been going through a once-in-a-lifetime Pluto transit on her solar degree in 2012. Whoever said this transit has to be negative! In rare situations, Pluto seemingly selects relatively unknown individuals and transports them to greatness, fame and fortune. Gabby also has a Sun-Moon flowing trine in earth signs as her Moon is exalted in Taurus.
Kayla Harrison is born almost exactly at the half-birthday point to Gabby Douglas – having her Sun at 10 degrees of Cancer.* Therefore, in 2012, she is receiving a once-in-a-lifetime polarity from Pluto. Because she is born with the Moon in Scorpio, she – like Gabby – is born with a Sun-Moon flowing trine, although her trine is in water signs. [*By the way, the 10 degree Cancer-Capricorn axis is also the Heliocentric Nodes or Orbit of Jupiter. People born with either degree strong will be powerfully influenced by Jupiter, and Jupiter – when working favorably – is always associated with providence, benevolence, good fortune (although sometimes at the 11th hour), golden opportunities, and the power of positive thinking. Extra Unusual Note: The NY Times online is reporting that Kayla Harrison had been sexually abused by a coach when she was 13. To overcome that horror and win the first gold medal in Judo by any American at the Olympics is quite amazing. Ironically, when I was 18 at MSU in East Lansing, Michigan and during the very term I campaigned for Senator McCarthy, I took a class in Judo. Seeing Kayla Harrison in the usual Judo attire, the same we wore 44 years ago in Michigan, perhaps is the reason I am writing this feature now.]
Both women have something significant in the Aquarius-Leo axis just activated in the last 24 hours by the potent Full Moon igniting 9 degrees of Leo-Aquarius. Gabby Douglas has her Venus at 12 Aquarius while Kayla Harrison has her fate-destiny oriented Lunar Nodes at 9 Aquarius-Leo.
If you look at their charts carefully, you will also realize that transiting Saturn at 23 degrees of Libra** is igniting both of their natal Mars placements, and Mars has always been considered the major planetary archetype of individual athletic excellence. Saturn, in this transiting role, represents their hard work and their winning a high accolade, unique award, and rising to the top of their sport. [**Two fixed stars – Arcturus and Spica, both considered highly fortunate ones to the ancient and medieval astrologers of the world – have their zodiacal placements at 23 degrees of Libra.]
It is also noteworthy that the asteroid Pallas (representing mental brilliance, genius, problem-solving and strategic thinking) comes into play for both women as transiting Venus in late-Gemini is exactly on Kayla Harrison’s natal Pallas right now while transiting Venus is closing in on a trine to Gabby Douglas’s natal Pallas in Libra.
Gabby Douglas (the first Afro-American to win a gold medal in all-around gymnastics at the Summer Games) may not be done at the London Olympics. She already has two gold medals, and the performance on the uneven bars (August 6) and balance beam (August 7) will test her resolve and stamina once again next week.
In case you are wondering about Rebecca Soni (born March 18, 1987) and who won a couple of medals at the 2008 Olympics, she has just won a gold medal in the same race -- the 200 meter breaststroke -- that she won a gold medal in 4 years ago, and she broke the 2 minute and 20 second record at the same time. She is a Pisces Sun (great for a superb swimming champion) who also has a Scorpio Moon approaching Pluto. The transiting Nodes of the Moon are right on top of her natal Pallas now -- showing a similar success factor appearing in the charts for Gabby Douglas and Kayla Harrison. Rebecca Soni is also born with the Sun approaching its annual union with Jupiter.
P.S. I watched part of the Opening Ceremony of this Olympics last Friday night – a $42 million entertainment extravaganza – and found it quite moving. Maybe after the week-long sadness concerning the horrible shootings in Aurora, Colorado – by a clearly deranged young 24-year-old – I, like Senator McCarthy back in the turbulent year 1968, and like millions of others around America and the world at this time needed something to cheer about. And, every so often, just when you need it, exceptional individual or team athletic performances can stir and thrill your soul in a positive manner, and remind you that life can have its exalted moments that all of us can share.
P.P.S. Let's add another young American phenom swimmer to the mix, Katie Ledecky (born March 17, 1997). She -- like Rebecca Soni -- is a Solar Piscean, and also has the Moon in its own sign of watery Cancer. And she just beat the UK favorite in the 800-metre free style for a gold medal with a nearly world record time of 8 minutes 14.63 seconds. She did this while the transiting Moon was in Pisces. Katie has a Sun-Venus conjunction at birth, and her Sun is exactly opposite Mars (key ruling planet of individual sports achievement). She is also born with a Mars-Pallas trine, and Sun-Pallas sextile, creating a precise triangle in her chart, composed of 1 opposition, 1 sextile and 1 trine. Transiting Venus ignited all three parts of this triangle as she won her historic gold medal as a 15-year-old. And in concert with Gabby Douglas & Kayla Harrison, Katie Ledecky had this week's Full Moon strongly activate her birthchart as the Sun and Moon illuminated her natal Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius.
© 2012 by Mark Lerner and Great Bear Enterprises, Ltd. All rights reserved.