Mars Over Melbourne
Between March 15 up to and including the 26th, Melbourne, Australia will host the 2006 Commonwealth Games. This premier sporting event will unite 4,500 athletes from around the globe in what is the greatest multi-sports event outside the Olympics. It will bring together 71 nations from India, Pakistan, and Canada, to most of the African and Asia/Pacific countries as well as the Caribbean. As the colored flags of the Commonwealth flutter around the stadium, on the day of a lunar eclipse squaring Pluto, the red planet Mars will hover directly overhead at opening time. It’s a fitting appearance in more ways that one, and the astrological symbolism for this event can hardly be denied.
The Mars Effect
Between 1949 and 1958 Michel Gauquelin undertook the mountainous task of compiling birth data of 16,336 eminent professionals and 24,961 ordinary professionals. The exhaustive astrological research project was most famous for uncovering the renowned “Mars” effect. That is that sports champions, and soldiers tended to have Mars near the angles of their horoscope at a chance factor of five million to one against. The study backed what astrological lore had said since Sumerian days. Mars was the stellar warrior, the hard line competitor. Gauquelin later refined his work to the more aggressive of the athletes and found the effect increased even more.
Australia's Mars Activated
Quoting the Games official website, “sites operating for the Opening Ceremony will be open from approximately 6:30 pm” across Melbourne. At that time the Royal Star Regulus appears on the eastern horizon, (the games will be officially declared open by the Queen later that evening) and Mars simultaneously reaches the highest point of the ecliptic, remaining the most elevated planet until well after 8 pm. As it does it will continue in testing square to Uranus, a planet of often unanticipated and revolutionary spirit. And as might be expected at this time, Mars will also be squaring the natal Mars of the Australian Federation horoscope (January 1, 1901 at 1:36 pm). Mars is natally positioned in Australia’s Fifth House of sports and recreation. As a relatively small country by population they have produced a greater amount of world sporting champions per capita than any other nation.
Mars' Dark Reflection
There is a shadow side to the Mars/Uranus effect. With such pageantry and world leaders including Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Phillip, British PM Tony Blair and many other Commonwealth leaders, violence is one Mars aspect that nobody wants. Of the $350 million that the Australian Federal Government is spending on staging the games, over one quarter, or $85 million will be channelled toward security. Fighter planes and helicopters will enforce a 75 kilometer no fly zone surrounding the city. Over a thousand army troops will join counter terrorism experts from around the globe, with five thousand security guards and thousands of state police officers deployed on the ground. The security costs amount to a ratio of 70 per cent of the funding that Australian athletes received to prepare for the event. It’s all a reflection of national, and world thinking, post September 11, 2001.
Many of the world leaders will be acutely aware of the uniquely martial experience. The Queen, the official Australian head of state, will be experiencing a progressed Solar Eclipse exactly square her progressed Mars. Her last progressed eclipse was the lunar one of 1992, the year she famously dubbed her “annus horribilis” following the break up of two royal marriages and a destructive fire at Windsor Castle. Australian PM John Howard has his progressed Mars opposite his birth Sun and Pluto. Tony Blair experiences the Mars/Uranus square in difficult aspect to his own Midheaven. It’s fitting the astrological allegory that each are officiating at a premier sporting event amongst the world’s elite athletes, but also sensitive to the potential danger of staging such extravaganzas, and totally surrounded by armed (Mars) security.
Australia is no stranger to security operations. They successfully staged the Sydney Olympics in 2000, a bigger and potentially more dangerous environment. But with Mars so active in the skies, it will be fingers crossed that the Commonwealth games goes off without incident, and that the forceful energy of the planet is solely played out on the playing fields, pools and gymnasiums of Melbourne. Michel Gauqelin’s extensive research also included 3,438 army personnel, whose incidence of a strong Mars rated above chance level at odds of one million to one. How true it is, for beginning March 15 there will be far more security in town than there are athletes.