torch has been a potent symbol of the idealism that underlies the games
for generations. That idealism lives on, particularly in the hearts of
the young athletes and volunteers. But it has also been forsaken and commercialized
with such regularity over the years that the golden image of the Olympics
has become tarnished, and many are mistrustful of the games’ true intent.
attacks to drug scandals, political boycotts, specious amateurism, blaring
consumerism and the recent disheartening revelations of bribery and corruption
within the site selection process, a whole host of negative associations
now overlays the original spirit of the Olympics, casting an all-too-human
pall on this ascent to the exalted throne of the immortals. Feelings are
so bitter in some quarters that an anti-Olympics organization has been
spawned, existing soley to protest the games and to draw attention to
the moral failings of the organizers.
Torch and Jupiter
still the torch shines on. Symbolized within that flame is a good thing—the
Olympic spirit. To the extent that the symbol of the Olympic torch transcends
national differences and promotes the love of sport for its own sake,
I would have to associate it with the planet Jupiter. After all, Jupiter,
or the Greek Zeus, was the king of the Olympians.
a “benefic,” or good, planet, the mythical king of the gods and the largest
planet in our solar system. As such, Jupiter does things in a big way,
and traditionally rules over such seemingly disparate realms as long-distance
travel and communications, publishing, philosophy, religion, law, sports
and outdoor activities. The unifying link among these various ventures
lies in their height and breadth. Jupiter’s largesse shrinks distances
and differences, spreading uplifting messages far and wide, and exalting
both the mind and the body in the exhilirating quest for freedom and immortality.
a downside to Jupiter, however, because too much of a good thing is still too much.
Privilege, preferment and all manner of excess fall under his rulership,
too. Some of these characteristics are evident in this year’s Olympic
I don’t equate
the torch with Jupiter for strictly symbolic reasons, either. In the last
two Olympic games, in Atlanta in 1996 and Nagano in 1998, at the moment
the torch was lit during the opening ceremonies, the planet Jupiter was
culminating at the Midheaven overhead, and dominating the scene. The Midheaven
is the highest point in the sky that a planet can reach in its daily journey
across the heavens.
Earthly perspective, a planet appears to climb up from the eastern horizon
until it culminates at the Midheaven, after which it slowly sinks back
down to set in the west. The Midheaven is a place of dominance and visibility.
When planets are found on the Midheaven, whether in a birth chart or event
chart, they have extra influence and generally make their presence known.
Olympic torch was lit in Atlanta, (July 20, 1996, 12:25 am EDT) Jupiter
was in Capricorn, and within one degree of the Midheaven. When the torch
was lit in Nagano, (February 7, 1998, 12:41 pm JST), Jupiter was at 0
degrees Pisces, and only two degrees from the Midheaven. So in both instances,
at the exact moment when the entire world was watching, celebrating together
as one, the great benefic Jupiter was peaking.
Downside for the Olympics
though, it’s a little different. Although it’s prominent in the chart
for this year’s torch lighting ceremony, Jupiter is not on the Midheaven,
and it has been under duress lately. Jupiter is currently in Gemini, the
sign of his detriment (the sign in which its energy is expressed with difficulty).
Jupiter is the natural ruler of the opposite sign, Sagittarius, and feels
a little constrained within smaller confines of Mercury’s sign. But more
to the point, Jupiter is currently opposed by the planet Pluto in Sagittarius.
Pluto is powerful, but subtle, preferring to pull the strings behind the
scenes. It’s been a struggle to get these two to cooperate lately.
power and its abuse. In the case of this year’s Olympics, the festivities
have been marred by misuse of authority. The Australian public was outraged
back in May when an Olympic official chose his own daughter for the honor
of running the first leg of the torch relay. A stinging controversy grew
out of this blatant display of privilege and preferment, and he was eventually
forced to step aside. More recently, the torch runners have been attacked
twice by youths trying to douse it as a prank. Just last week, one runner
was burned by the torch as the hot fuel splattered her hands.
in its finest hour, as Australian-Aborigine runner Cathy Freeman lit the
torch in the opening ceremonies, a technical glitch delayed the dramatic
rise of the burning cauldron for several tense and somewhat embarrassing
moments. In what should have been a unifying, worldwide Olympic moment,
the world’s largest television audience, the United States, was left out
in a dubious network decision to delay the broadcast for primetime.
incidents, let’s rejoice and enjoy the games in the spirit of international
brotherhood, the joy of youth and the celebration of excellence—the way
it was meant to be. After all, how bad can Jupiter be? As the Aussies
say, “No worries, mate!” and “Good’on’ya, Sydney!”