new millennium has come in with a bang for gymnast Elise Ray. After winning
the all-around gold medal in the 2000 U.S. Championships, she delivered
a masterful performance for a first place finish in the Olympic trials
in August. Cool, calm and collected, Aquarian Ray (born February 6, 1982,
in Tallahassee, Florida) is peaking at just the right time to lead the
U.S. team to the Sydney games.
United States team has lost its footing in the world of international
gymnastics since the golden days of the Magnificent Seven in Atlanta.
Russia, Romania, China and the Ukraine are considered the favorites now,
after the U.S. team crashed to sixth place in the 1999 World Championships.
But there was one bright Ray that came to light during that world-class
rude awakening. Seemingly from out of nowhere, Elise emerged eighth place
in the all-around and seventh on uneven bars, far ahead of her other teammates.
Since then, she has dominated U.S. gymnastics, her confidence growing
with each competition.
of the Pack
has obviously changed for Elise Ray over the past year, something that
has elevated her style and precision far above the rest of the pack. Even
coach Bela Karolyi has named her the de-facto team leader. All gymnasts
train hard, making constant sacrifices to improve themselves and advance
in their field, but there’s nothing like a little planetary assistance
to help them get the most bounce for their buck. Ray has been getting
a lot of help lately from the planet Uranus, currently at 17 degrees Aquarius.
has a way of unexpectedly bursting on the scene; shocking as a streak
of brilliance, a lightning bolt out of the blue, a cold, clear slap in
the face that suddenly shows you the world as you’ve never seen it before.
It’s the original oddball planet, but no genius was ever normal. It doesn’t
even spin normally. It’s the only planet that rotates around an axis that
is parallel to, rather than perpendicular to, the plane of the ecliptic.
In comparison, the other planets seem to be struggling to stand upright,
while Uranus is just rolling on its side along with the orbital flow.
The surprising discovery of Uranus in 1781 blew apart the boundaries of
the known universe, sparking off a scientific revolution that still continues.
Uranus doesn’t seek to fit in. By its very nature, it can’t. It always
stands apart, either in leadership or splendid isolation.
planet Uranus has been very active in Elise Ray’s chart for the past year,
crossing back and forth over her natal Sun at 17 degrees Aquarius. In
fact, Uranus sits right on her Sun now, and will remain there throughout
the Olympics. She has never performed more brilliantly, and with any luck,
the presence of this unpredictable planet could deliver a shock to the
rest of the gymnastics world.
chart is blessed with a stellium (group of planets) in the sign Libra,
the original balance beam. Blending strength and artistry, her Mars-Saturn-Pluto
conjunction in Libra makes a trine aspect (120 degrees) to her Aquarius
Sun, linking the energies together in a harmonious, fortunate relationship.
Libran athletes excel in rugged competition, making the impossible seem
pleasant and effortless. Many gymnasts, figure skaters and dancers have
strong Libra placements in their charts, conferring exceptional balance
and poise. Ray’s natal Mars in Libra is at 18 degrees, so it makes a close
trine (120 degree) aspect to both her natal Sun and the transiting Uranus,
further enhancing the benefits of that Uranus contact.
natal Saturn in Libra is performing a balancing act of its own, negotiating
between the two extremes of an opposition between her Moon in Cancer and
her Venus in Capricorn. Her Saturn forms a 90-degree angle to both ends
of that opposition, a dynamic configuration known as a t-square. Tremendous
energy and tension are contained within that alignment, generating a steady
stream of challenges and the willingness to face them all. The sophistication
and maturity of her artistry is testament to the power of that Saturn-Venus
square (90 degree angle). There is a timeless grace in her movements that
makes her seem not only older than her years, but older than her generation.
girl has also got a firm grip on herself. The Saturn-Moon square seems
to add extra emotional control, which has served her well in the jarring
madness of competition. In the recent Olympic trials, while other equally
talented gymnasts were falling apart, Ray was unflappable. Her Aquarian
detachment was very much in evidence. In the midst of every imaginable
distraction, she was pure focus. She seemed to be in her own sphere, above
it all. In her confident, commanding routines, incorporating the most
difficult elements with exalted artistry, she inspired her teammates while
serving notice to the judges and the rest of the the world. Elise Ray
is ready for Sydney. Let’s hope the world is ready for her!