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After securing a place among the top teams in the Western Conference early in the season, Seattle has recently lost momentum, sinking from super to just plain sonic. This is a team in trouble. Making matters worse, the Sonics have dropped down to the dreaded eighth seed in the Western Conference playoff race. What’s the point of working all season to make the playoffs if you have to face the Lakers at home in the first round?

This is the wrong time of year to be slumping. Dissension is breaking out in the ranks. A recent locker room brawl between Gary Payton and Vernon Maxwell resulted in injuries to the impromptu peacemakers, starting center Horace Grant and reserve Chuck Person. Perhaps astrology can help to shed some light on how a team that started out so right has gone so wrong.

A Team has a Birth Chart

A team is a corporate entity and has its own birth chart, but what constitutes the birth of a team? In many cases, the league votes at some point to grant a franchise to a particular city. Until then, the franchise is more of a dream than a reality, so that’s not a bad starting point. However, many astrologers prefer to use a chart set for the beginning of a team’s first regular season game. The NBA voted to grant a franchise to Seattle on December 20, 1966, during a daytime meeting in Chicago. The Sonics played their first regular season game on October 13, 1967, at approximately 7:30 pm in San Francisco.

In order for an individual to succeed with a particular team, whether as a player, coach, or otherwise, he needs to have some strong connections between his birth chart and at least one (and preferably both) of the team charts. Ideally, he would work with the team during a time when the shared areas between their charts are well supported by the current astrological conditions, such as transits and/or progressions. Of course, this isn’t always the case. The astrological conditions surrounding the Sonics and their key personnel currently leave a little something to be desired.

Paul Westphal: No Longer a Pluto Powerhouse

View ChartThe Sonics’ Head Coach, Paul Westphal, was born November 30, 1950, at 5:05 am PST, in Torrance, California. With his Sun in Sagittarius  and Moon in Leo, he is a natural, fiery athlete, and not just a little lucky. He has had a distinguished career as a player and coach in both college and professional basketball. There is no denying his drive, leadership and commitment to the game. He does share some close connections with the Sonics’ team charts, at least enough to have landed the job. However, the current transits are not helping him much.

It’s not easy fielding a winning team in any sport. The competition is tough, and coaches and players need all the astrological help they can get. The planets move constantly, even going backward (retrograde) at times, and consequently, momentum shifts within the league throughout the season. Things can go very well for a team when the current (transiting) Jupiter and Mars are casting supportive aspects (angles), while slower moving planets, like Saturn, can dog you all season.

In Coach Westphal’s case, he began the season with a lot of support from powerhouse Pluto in Sagittarius. The planet Pluto has an extreme, obsessive influence that intensifies whatever it touches. In Sagittarius, a traditionally athletic sign, Pluto’s fierce power can drive athletes to new heights of achievement. However, Pluto has since moved on and left Coach Westphal behind. It’s not that Pluto is doing anything particularly bad to his chart now, it’s just not making the same close connections that it did earlier in the season. The result is a noticeable decrease in power and intensity.

Gary Payton: Stifled by Saturn

The heart of the Sonics team is Leo Gary Payton, born July 23, 1968 at 12:52 am PDT, in Oakland, California (Source: BC). He leads the team in points, steals and assists, but Payton earned his nickname, “The Glove,” playing smothering defense. Payton is in a similar astrological fix as his coach. He had more support from transiting Pluto at the start of the season, while more recently, he has had too much attention from transiting Saturn in Taurus.

Saturn tends to be restrictive and limiting, and much of the responsibility for the team has fallen on Payton’s shoulders. No doubt his role as the leader of this frustrated team was a factor in the altercation with Vernon Maxwell (September 12, 1965, Gainesville, Florida). While there is no denying Maxwell’s talent, Gary Payton is hardly the first person in the NBA to find him annoying.

While the Sonics are still a good team, and will advance to the playoffs, they do make an interesting case for the power of astrological influences. They have a good coach and good players, but they’re not really in the right place at the right time. They are a little thin on talent, and would probably need about three Gary Paytons to keep up with the Lakers, Knicks, Pacers or even the overachieving Phoenix Suns. Ah, but there’s always next year!



Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Courtney Roberts Conrad:

  • Sports and Astrology: A Winning Team, Part 2   9/28/2013
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  • Doug Flutie and Michael Vick: Partners or Rivals   3/27/2001
  • Foot and Mouth Comes to a Head   3/18/2001
  • Dale Earnhardt Reaches the Finish Line   3/2/2001
  • The Philadelphia 76ers: On a Hot Streak   2/23/2001
  • Jennifer Capriati's Shocking Outback Comeback   2/6/2001
  • Super Bowl Recap: Scoring by the Stars   1/31/2001
  • The Super Bowl: Sitting on De-Fence   1/26/2001
  • Martin Luther King Jr.: In the Name of Love   1/14/2001
  • The Saints March Into the Playoffs   12/31/2000
  • The Capricorn Christmas Eclipse   12/21/2000
  • Soaring with the Eagles   12/3/2000
  • Uranus Rocks the Presidency   11/24/2000
  • Brian Griese: Like Father, Like Son   11/19/2000
  • The NBA Underway   11/14/2000
  • Troy Aikman: Requiem for a Superstar   11/5/2000
  • Alonzo Mourning: Say It Ain't So, 'Zo!   11/1/2000
  • Brian Billick and the Baltimore Ravens: Learning to Fly   10/22/2000
  • The US Economy—Running Out of Gas?   10/17/2000
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  • The Olympic Flame Burns Over Sydney   9/19/2000
  • Norv Turner and The Reservations About the Redskins   9/10/2000
  • Elise Ray: Ready for Sydney?   9/5/2000
  • Marion Jones Goes for the Gold(s)   8/29/2000
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  • The Lakers vs The Pacers: Kobe Grows up Fast!   6/8/2000
  • Knicks vs The Pacers: It’s Miller Time!   6/1/2000
  • Portland Trail Blazers: Rolling On   5/18/2000
  • Indiana: Setting the Pace in the East   5/11/2000
  • Playoff Fever   5/6/2000
  • Suns Shine On Phoenix   4/25/2000
  • The Knicks: Knocking on the Door Again   4/18/2000
  • Making Magic   4/11/2000
  • Spotlight on Shaquille   3/28/2000
  • Look Out! It's the Lakers   3/7/2000
  • Dennis Rodman Signs with the Dallas Mavericks   2/22/2000
  • Kurt Warner: The Super Bowl's Most Valuable Player   2/3/2000
  • Tennessee Titans Home At Last   1/25/2000
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  • The NBA: The Lunatics and the Asylum   12/17/1999
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