Back in the days when they were only four TV channels most of us got our entertainment and education in equal measure by watching Eastenders. Up to 25 million at any one time were plugged into a thrice weekly tour around the moral questions of the day with seminars taking place the following morning at work to review the issues that arose. Now we have hundreds of channels and noone watches live TV anymore so the only time you’re likely to find Eastenders is by accident and even then there’s so many old characters coming back from the dead that you wonder if you’ve stumbled upon a Life on Mars style spoof.
Fortunately we have Luis Suarez to keep us both enthralled and entertained by his fantastic movement on the pitch but also to continue our education in life and social skills. It all began even before he arrived on these shores when the whole nation had to do a PHD style thesis on whether it’s acceptable to blatantly cheat and then be seen laughing about it afterwards if your own self interest and that of your country so obviously requires it when playing Ghana in the World Cup. Since Suarez arrived we’ve had more essays to do on topics like what constitutes racist language in South American countries and is repeated diving and biting worse than deliberately setting out to break another player’s leg. We have to appreciate Suarez contribution our moral education however and when we look back on his Liverpool career we will see that his chief role was to instruct us in the retrogradation cycles in planetary transits.
The planets of the solar system all orbit around the Sun in the same direction. Astrology is concerned with the relationship between planets as viewed from the Earth. As the Earth is also moving forward there are periods when the other planets can appear to be going backwards in terms of their position in the Zodiac relative to us. The result of this is that most planetary transits have 3 points of impact.
If you were born on Midsummer’s day June 21, you would have the Sun at 0 degrees Cancer. At some point in your life a planet which was travelling through the previous sign Gemini would arrive at your Sun’s birth position, this we call a conjunction by transit. It would then move on for a little while but some days, weeks or months later,depending on which planet it was, would turn backwards and move towards your Sun’s position again. This backwards motion is called retrogradation. The planet would reach the Sun for a second impact but then continue moving backwards into the previous sign. A little while later it would turn forwards again and make the third and final connection with the Sun’s position then finally continuing on its path through the sign Cancer. The whole period from the first contact to the last would have an effect but those three particular points in the cycle would be the strongest.
Transits often have a pattern. The first time a planet contacts a birth point would be the most dramatic not least because it’s unexpected and a new energy has come onto the scene. When the planet comes back to make a second contact there is a renewal of the energy but it may even be felt as if things are returning to the situation before the transit started as the planet moves back behind the birth point. The third and final contact would confirm the experience of the first two but it’s often felt as being a milder experience not least because the person concerned has already had two hits from this planet and is beginning to get used to it.
Some of the astrological background can be found in a blog written in the middle of the £ 40 million plus 1 saga, What Next for Luis Suarez. Most of this story occurs around transits to his ultra assertive, shoot now and ask questions later Mars in Aries. This placing gives Suarez his incredible speed of thought and foot, his capacity for sudden and unpredictable change of direction and his great courage and single-mindedness, it can also get him into a lot of trouble even on a day when its not being transited. Since the spring of 2013, Suarez has had Pluto, Uranus and Jupiter all aspecting his Mars often at the same time.
On 21 April 2013, Luis Suarez appeared to bite Chelsea’s Branislav Ivanović. He was charged with violent conduct by the FA and banned for 10 games. Up to this point, Pluto, ( the planet of sudden and sometimes even violent change ) had been going forward but it stopped exactly square to Suarez Mars and then started to go backwards. Pluto has been slowly going backwards over the summer but stops again and starts to go forward on 22nd September, Suarez is due to return from his ban to play against Man Utd on the 25th, the first game after Pluto’s turn round.
Uranus ( the other planet of sudden, unexpected change ) moved into the picture and was exactly conjunct Suarez Mars at the end of May when he said that he would be seeking to leave Liverpool giving English media intrusion into his life as the reason. Inevitably such a statement would instantly be guaranteed to multiply the media focus so Suarez soon became the centre of all kinds of speculation. His hope for a bid from the likes of Real Madrid did not materialise but Arsenal soon declared an interest and Suarez, possibly not aware that Arsenal are also in England seemed happy to encourage their advances. Liverpool’s owner laughed at Arsenal’s famous bid and stated that Suarez would not be leaving. On 14th August Suarez did a turnaround stating that he would stay at Liverpool because of the tremendous support given him by the fans – that and the fact that Uranus had turned backwards and was exactly conjunct his Mars again. In fact the noble and expansive Jupiter had come into picture that week making a square to the same Mars, so everyone came to their senses just in time for the new season and each game has been punctuated by camera clips of a happy Luis watching from the stands.
So Pluto going forwards means no more ban and Uranus going backwards means no more angling for a transfer. So what next – probably the winning goal against Man. Utd on his comeback but what about the slightly longer term. Uranus, still going backwards moves away from Luis’ Mars in mid October which could mean either everything is forgotten as if he’d never mentioned the t word in the first place or the novelty of everything going swimmingly starts to wear off. Ominously Pluto reaches the overworked Mars in December and is exact when the next transfer window opens on January 1st moving away on the 30th. So it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see the saga starting up all over again, much probably depending on Madrid’s position in La Liga and Arsenal’s relative to Liverpool. Jupiter moves to square Mars again on the 31st Jan so this suggests good sense will continue to reign and Suarez will stay where he is. Jupiter stays until the end of March, but Uranus comes to make its final conjunction on 20th Feb also to the end of March. No transfer window here but we might get another little incident to savour and debate over.
Pluto makes its final contact with Mars from early July 2014 to early December so who knows what will happen then. After all that would you believe Suarez will have a relatively quiet time for about 3 years, a few nice little Jupiter transits but nothing else. He might even keep out of trouble, probably saying that he has matured and settled down etc. If he’s still with Liverpool, the club should benefit from a player who spends more time on the pitch, unless the lack of Pluto / Uranus takes the edge off his game and turns him into a mere mortal like the rest of them.
Whatever our views on him we have to thank Luis Suarez for providing all this education for us. Some souls are sent to earth purely to sacrifice themselves for the betterment of mankind. But he’s handsomely paid for mostly sitting in the stand cuddling his WAG so….
Suarez’ s own defence is “These are just things that happen out on the pitch. It was just the two of us inside the area and he bumped into me with his shoulder.” …. I know he was lying on the floor but he nutted my foot, honest guv. But when Pluto is square to Mars in Aries these things really do just happen.
Instead of casting Suarez as a moral pariah and the equivalent of Hannibal Lecter we should thank him for providing us with such a beautiful demonstration of the workings of a transit. Its education for the outraged masses, with a great deal of entertainment thrown in along the way.