On Friday 13th July the Olympic committee, assembled in Moscow, chose Beijing as the venue for the 2008 Olympic Games. This announcement came just hours after Jupiter – the largest planet in the solar system – moved into Cancer, so perhaps it is fitting that that the most populous country in the world was chosen. It seems that when a planet makes its entry into a new sign, it likes to make an introductory flourish as it were. In this case Mercury joined Jupiter and they crossed the border from Gemini to Cancer hand in hand. Millions celebrated the news in China. They flocked onto the streets of the major cities, and police gave up trying to control them. Great joy was brought to the largest population on Earth.Human Rights Issues

Human Rights groups – especially supporters of the exiled government of Tibet – were less than enthusiastic. They believe that the choice of China as venue legitimises a regime which overwhelmed Tibet by force in the Fifties, and is now well into the process of wiping out the ancient culture. There was extremely strong lobbying to exclude China for human rights abuses – they had already lost one bid in 1993 – but in the end sheer persistence paid off for China. One could argue that with one quarter of the world’s population within their borders, it is simply unwise to ostracise them. When living in the West, it’s always difficult to discern how far opinions are orchestrated by the cultural model of the USA and Western Powers, who have little understanding of the culture of other countries. After all, many of China’s opponents in the US have a political agenda, which has nothing to do with the rights of oppressed peoples.

The Origins

In connection with the Olympics there are those who argue against the politicisation of sport, and those who say it is unavoidable. In actual fact, the Olympics have always been politicised. Even at their very formation in 776 BC, the Games were seen as a way of cementing peace. The tradition was that there should be no fighting as long as the Games were on. The chart for the initial Olympics would appear to have taken place at the time of an eclipse in Leo opposing Neptune in Aquarius, so the ideals of the merging of states into a giant melting pot through games was firmly integrated into the opening chart. However, the same chart shows a retrograde Mars conjoining Uranus and opposing Pluto, so the competition was no doubt extremely fierce. War by other means. The institution of the Olympics actually lasted for 12 centuries (!) without a break, and they were only abolished in 393 AD – the 293rd Olympiad.

Olympic Revival

After a break of 1500 years the Olympics were recreated and the first Games in modern time took place on the 6th April 1896 in its ancient cradle of Athens. The old traditions were revived, including the lighting of the Olympic flame at the temple of Hera whilst a hymn was, and is still, sung to Apollo. This revival took place with a wonderful grand trine involving Venus exalted in Pisces, Jupiter exalted in Cancer, and Uranus/Saturn in Scorpio. The position of Venus in Pisces is very significant for Greece, as it was in this sign at the time of its revolution in 1821, and the establishment of a kingdom in 1830. It’s a very suitable position for a nation founded on the gods and goddesses of Olympia.


See chart for Berlin Olympics

The grossest example of the appropriation of the Olympics for political purposes was at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. Hitler seized the opportunity to demonstrate the supposed superiority of the Arian race. The opening chart of August 1st shows Mercury conjoining Venus at 18 Leo exactly squaring the Pluto position for the birth of the German Empire (Jan 1st, 1871 at 0.00 Local Time in Berlin). At the same time transiting Pluto conjoining Mars is exactly on the IC position of the horoscope for the 3rd Reich. (Jan 30th, 1933 11.15 CET, Berlin). Obviously these Pluto combinations were rather good for concealing the ugly facts of the Nazi administration. All evidence of the persecution of the Jews was hidden, and the opening ceremony was characterised by the release of thousands of doves. However Hitler could not resist promoting himself and Nazi ideology, and there were rather more Nazi flags and photos of himself, than other flags. Germany won more medals than any other country at this Olympics, although there was a slight hitch, because black Americans won a large proportion of the athletic events. Hitler couldn’t quite bring himself to place awards around their necks, and absented himself from the prizegiving ceremony.


See chart for the Munich Olympics

In the latter part of the 20th century, the enormous focus of world attention on the Olympics has made them even more vulnerable to political statements. It was ironically in Germany again that the most catastrophic games in history played themselves out. It was at this time that Pluto had slipped into Libra after 15 years in Virgo. The Olympics in Munich proved the ideal place to demonstrate Pluto’s effect, namely that a small terrorist group could seriously change the balance of power. The Palestinian Black September group took the Israeli Olympic team hostage, and in a bungled operation 11 Israelis, 5 Palestinians , and one policeman died. With Mercury moving into Virgo at the time of the catastrophe and squaring Neptune, bad light and mist confused German sharpshooters at the airport where the terrorists were making their escape, enabling a surviving terrorist to execute the Israelis. At this time the Sun had moved from 3 Virgo to the Mars position at 7 Virgo, which just happened to be the exact North Node position in the horoscope for the 3rd Reich. Interestingly the North Node of the Munich Games was at 25 Cancer, the exact position of the 3rd Reich’s IC and Pluto, and Israel’s MC. The Games were suspended for one day, but continued in an atmosphere of sorrow and shame, aptly illustrated by the opening chart’s Moon in Pisces square Saturn, and the Sun/Mars square Neptune.


See chart for the Moscow Olympics

Subsequent to this Olympics, the 1980 Games in Moscow became the next victim of a political statement. The USA and some Western allies refused to take part because of the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviet Union on Christmas Day 1979. On the one hand it’s easy to see that US participation would have seemed like an endorsement of Soviet policy, but the argument can also be made that the USA suffered no similar retribution when they were bombing Vietnam and Cambodia. It’s interesting to see how there was an exact Saturn/Neptune square at this time. In fact Saturn at 22 Virgo was exactly on the US Neptune, and Neptune opposite the US Mars – a combination which suggests frustration and sacrifice on the American side, especially as regards their athletes, who had trained for so many years. Saturn/Neptune combinations are always significant for developments in the socialist world, and these games were a celebration of Eastern Bloc power, although the Saturn/Neptune square could also symbolise the morass of Afghanistan, which ultimately drained the Soviet Union of its ability to maintain structure. There are many who argue that the power of the world’s media in itself is enough to expose human rights abuse and force change in autocratic countries, but there was no apparent softening of Soviet control over the communication apparatus at this Olympics. The retrograde Mercury in a water sign squaring Pluto was perhaps sufficient to maintain secrecy and manipulate news stories, but it did not help that 62 nations boycotted the Games, including the USA, West Germany and Japan.

Changes in China

See the chart of China

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing will have enormous significance for China. This huge country has had many vast upheavals in its long history, and is well aware of the fragile nature of its national identity, seen from a historical point of view. Anything that threatens the cohesion of China is stamped out by its leaders at an early stage, as was the uprising in Tiananmen Square on June 4th 1989 when the Saturn/Neptune/Uranus conjunction was squaring China’s stellium in Libra. Similarly China has not been slow to crack down on the group Falun Gong over the last few years (with Neptune transiting their Moon and Ascendant in Aquarius). The 2008 Olympics will take place in Beijing in July/August around the time of a total eclipse in Leo opposing Neptune in Aquarius, rather like the original Olympics of 776 BC.

See map of the eclipse

The path of the eclipse goes through Siberia ending almost exactly at Beijing, which in itself should have been enough to predict that the 2008 Olympics would be awarded to China. With Jupiter at 14.41 Capricorn rising over Beijing at the time of the eclipse, exactly squaring China’s Neptune at 14.39 Libra, there will be tremendous media attention, but it is also likely that religious groups which use the opportunity to broadcast their views. This is a Jupiter return for China, which already has a natal Jupiter/Neptune square. The nodal axis of the eclipse, conjoining Chiron, falls exactly on China’s Pluto, activating the Mars/Pluto square Venus of the revolution horoscope, and therefore also revealing the massive autocratic power of the Chinese military underlying the government elite. But the eclipse itself in Leo together with Mercury and a glittering Venus/Neptune opposition speaks of happiness and joy. These Games are going to be one big media party. No one should expect the official media to reveal anything that compromises the integrity of China here.

The Effect of the 2008 Eclipse

See chart of the eclipse

In itself this horoscope is peaceful and happy, especially when compared to the 1936 Olympics with its Sun/Uranus square and Mars/Pluto conjunction. But then, the whole idea is for international sport to spread openness and peace, and therefore these Olympics should serve a good purpose. It’s what happens after the Olympics that is more important, because the event inevitably opens up the country to mass tourism, and this will bring the ordinary Chinese citizen more and more in contact with Western values. Like thunderclouds on the horizon, the 2008-eclipse chart shows a Pluto/Uranus square growing stronger and stronger. As Saturn travels through Virgo entering Libra in 2010, Pluto will have made its way into Capricorn, and Uranus into Aries. By June 2011 there will be a particularly virulent T-square between these three planets strongly activating China’s Sun at 7 Libra. The Chinese will try to resolve a crisis at this time through the heavy hand of authoritarianism. Over the course of the next three years, the square of Uranus and Pluto will evoke dramatic and transformative change in the Chinese leadership – and also for many governments whose formation was on the 1st of January of any particular year. (And therefore have the Sun at 10 Capricorn, like the United Kingdom). It is in these chaotic years that opponents of China will see a scenario developing which could mean their dreams, and the dream of a free Tibet, come true.

Adrian Ross Duncan