are rising in a recent outbreak of NBA playoff fever. After a season
of relative calm and order, remarkable for the absence of outrage,
the NBA has been happily superceded in its bad-boy image by the
calamitous NFL. Shaquille O’Neal is finally living up to his billing,
emerging as a total player and the most dominant force in the league.
Allen Iverson continues to mature, albeit slowly, both on and off
the court. Latrell Sprewell hasn’t choked anyone for some time now,
and the next generation of NBA superstars is charging down the court,
led by the startling Vince Carter. Meanwhile, the old guard isn’t
backing down, as warhorses like Karl Malone, Patrick Ewing and Reggie
Miller still get the job done, night after night.
the biggest surprise of the season, and in hindsight, the most obvious,
is the reemergence of Phil Jackson as the league’s premier coach.
His Lakers seemed a lock for the championship, playing head and
shoulders above the rest all season, but their playoff performance
so far has been a bit disappointing. Astrological influences, while
no substitute for talent and training, do play a role in determining
the eventual winners and losers, so let’s have a look at how the
stars stack up for the playoffs.
hard to pinpoint the exact dates of the finals, but the playoffs
should last until approximately the June 20. Unlike certain other
championships, the Super Bowl, for instance, where the time and
place of the kickoff is determined months in advance, the NBA finals
schedule is determined by the results of the preceding playoff rounds.
While that does present a certain challenge, if we look at the most
important of the upcoming planetary alignments, we should be able
to get a pretty good sense of who will win or lose along the way.
both Saturn and Jupiter are in Taurus and closing in fast on a square,
or 90-degree angle, to transiting Uranus in Aquarius. This buildup
of pressure on a volatile, unpredictable planet like Uranus can
cause some big surprises or sudden reversals of fortune. Already,
under this influence, the reigning NBA champions, the San Antonio
Spurs, have fallen in the first round to the scrappy upstarts, the
Phoenix Suns. Meanwhile, the mighty Lakers struggle in their series
against the eighth-seeded Sacramento Kings. It is the nature of
Uranus to not only cause shocking upsets, but in particular to try
to bring down the king or the leader. This is probably due to its
associations with the sign Aquarius, which puts it in natural opposition
to the royal sign Leo. I tend to think that the Lakers will make
it past the Kings, but they hardly look as invincible as they did
when that series started.
By far, the most important planetary event during this playoff period
is the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus. These two
giants hook up once every twenty years, and the cycle of their meetings
and partings is one of the most powerful and obvious timing indicators
in astrology. The exact conjunction of the two occurs on May 28,
2000 at 22 degrees of Taurus. This conjunction will have a profound
impact on everyone, at all levels, and will most certainly affect
the coaches and players in the NBA. By comparing the interactions
between this major conjunction with the planetary positions in the
coaches’ birth charts, we should be able to get a sense of who will
be helped or hindered the most during this time.
no surprise that of the NBA coaches that actually have a chance,
Phil Jackson appears to have the most aspects, or connections, to
the upcoming Jupiter-Saturn conjunction. Jackson’s natal Saturn
is at 22 degrees Cancer, exactly sextile (60 degrees) the Jupiter-Saturn
conjunction, while his natal Sun at 24 degrees Virgo is only two
degrees past a trine aspect (120 degrees). These are both easy,
supportive aspects, but that does seem like a lot of Saturn, doesn’t
it? Saturn is hardly a happy or lucky planet, but it can indicate
great discipline and professional success. After dominating the
league for the entire season, Jackson’s team now appears to be struggling
to make it past the first round. Perhaps a little less confidence
and a little more concentration will get the job done, but hats
off to the Kings for the splendid job they have done in defending
their home court. Barring serious injury to Shaquille O’Neal, without
whom the Lakers play like mere mortals, L.A. still seems a lock
to win the Western Conference. But who will win the East, where
the competition is considerably closer?
Bird’s Pacers have played consistently all season and represent
a serious threat. The Knicks are right where they want to be. Having
swept the inexperienced Raptors in the first round, they prepare
for an East Coast street fight of a series with their archrivals,
the fiery Miami Heat. And what about Allen Iverson and the 76ers,
who overcame a plague of injuries to trounce the Hornets and advance?
We’ll take a closer look at the Eastern Conference next week, and
also examine the energizing influence of the macho planet Mars,
currently transiting through Gemini and raising the playoff intensity
to a fever-pitch.