This weekend’s Earthy Grand Trine coincides with the Mutable Grand Cross mentioned in a previous post. It also coincides with one of the most grueling athletic events in South Africa, if not the world, namely the Comrades Marathon.
This marks the second Earthy Grand Trine this month, the first being when the Sun and Moon joined the Jupiter – Pluto trine in the first week of May. Now it’s the chance for Mercury to join the Jupiter – Pluto alignment and again make their trine aspect a grand one. Curiously Jupiter is the one pivotal planet involved in both the Grand Trine and the Grand Cross. Since Jupiter is in Virgo now, the multiple alignments could bring material challenges, like service delivery, health issues and financial challenges for example, but it also provides the ability to surmount these same challenges, either through refining the daily regimen, being dutiful, attending to details, going the extra mile or putting service before pleasure.
Even in the run up to the Olympic Games in Brazil later this year, crises are arising with only months to go before the kick-off. Just this week – during these alignments – Rio was seen to be medically unfit to host the event due to pollution, particularly in the surrounding waters, so high that contamination and sickness is almost guaranteed for participants who will arrive from all over the world. This is practically unprecedented in Olympic history, where the entire international event could be scuppered due to lack of attention to health, to cleanliness and sanitation – all Jupiter in Virgo issues. Remember Jupiter has been going retrograde for some months now, and is still hardly moving forward after its recent station direct earlier in May. As a result the Olympic clean-up is moving slower than expected, but there is hope that it will be sufficient and timely. The other problem is of course the Zika Virus, a life threatening disease plaguing Brazil on the eve of its finest hour. All these health issues combined may just be too much for the politically and economically embattled country to deal with. With Jupiter in Virgo now, purity and refinement are the issues at stake. So many planets are symbolically applying pressure on Jupiter here in this rare simultaneous Grand Trine, plus Grand Cross, that it will take an Olympian effort to rise to the standards required to clean up the act and meet the needs on all levels. The same may apply in our individual personal lives too.
I want to focus though on the current Grand Trine and Grand Cross, falling simultaneously on the Comrades Marathon event of Sunday 29 May, which will be an equally daunting test of one’s mettle, and what it takes to endure such super-intense athletic stress when running around 90km in just over 6 hours. Not only does an athlete here require topmost physical fitness, but more importantly steely mental stamina to run a race such as this. If you look at the logo of the Comrades Marathon and the images on the medals, you will see that Mercury, the winged messenger features as the patron god. Coincidentally this race is run every year during the month of Gemini the twins, which just happens to be ruled by Mercury himself, that fleet-footed, winged-ankled racer of the zodiac. So it is no surprise I suppose that last year’s winner and second place in the women’s category, both South Africans, have in their horoscopes Sun conjunct Mercury. That is too much of a coincidence. Also the second place Charne Bosman, is herself a Gemini Sun sign, with Mercury obviously also then in Gemini. Certainly these two women perfectly fit the archetype of the Gemini twins, personifications of the Mercurial winged runner so aptly pictured on the logo and medals.
Although last year’s winner, Caroline Wostmann (January 18, 1983), has Sun conjunct Mercury in Capricorn, and second place Charne Bosman (June 11, 1985) has Sun conjunct Mercury in Gemini, both are blessed with Mercury’s fleetness of foot it seems, if these results are anything to go by. This adds further evidence to the astrological data base of case studies, generally speaking. Now we have a degree of correlation between marathon winners and their horoscopes. However, that’s not the only coincidence between these winners’ charts. Although they are unique individuals with differing abilities and strengths which enable them to perform these Olympian feats, both also share the super powerful Mars trine Pluto aspect in their horoscopes. This is known to provide enormous vitality and potent willpower. Also the self-discipline required to direct that will is just the ingredient that seems to enable these marathon winners. Caroline, the gold medallist, actually also won the Two Oceans Marathon earlier last year too. So in other words here we have a psyche that is able to focus all its reserves into one direction, one goal, so that internal friction is eliminated. Thus no energy is lost due to conflicting demands due to obvious exhaustion in other parts of the psyche or body, and the will is able to override the need to alleviate the suffering involved to win. Mars is the athletic influence and Pluto is the dynamic willpower, combined harmoniously in a trine aspect in these two winning athletes. Caroline said in an interview just after winning last year: “I’m in a huge amount of pain, I pushed myself to the limit…I’m aching all over but I’m so happy – it’s worth all the pain.” Now that is what you get from an “eye on the prize” Capricorn, hill-climbing goat, with the material strength and singleness of purpose Capricorn confers. Added to that the Mars trine Pluto and you have a marathon winner. Add to this the fact that in her chart Saturn is also conjunct Pluto and in trine aspect to Mars, and you get the ambition, discipline, desire for status and determination to get gold or achieve record-breaking feats. Let’s hope her knees and skeleton (associated with Capricorn and Saturn) hold out under the tremendous pounding of winning marathons.
Lacking these Saturnian influences in her chart, Charne Bosman, the silver medalist, does however have natal Mercury also in a wide trine to Pluto. And that is exactly part of the current Grand Trine alignment with Jupiter that we have occurring this weekend. So she will show us how it’s done. For ultimately we all have to run our own marathon, namely our long race called life on earth. And to pace ourselves during this marathon event lasting decades generally, it ends up being the mind that is the most important muscle in completing the event in style and with grace and in a position where we can say we deserve a medal. After all, we don’t need to compete against the other runners, but rather against our own minds, or against the modes of nature that sway our minds. We have to compete against our own lower selves to bring out our personal best, thereby saying we have qualified, passed the test, won the marathon of life. And this current Mercury trine Pluto, as seen in our silver medallist, and in this weekend’s Grand Trine, is part of what it takes.
I say this because Mercury, the winged messenger, represents in astrology the rational mind, and Pluto, as mentioned earlier, suggests will power amongst other things. The trine aspect between the two in a chart is thus known by some as “the transcendent mind”. Pluto is traditionally the higher octave of Mars, both rulers of Scorpio. In other words we are not talking any more about athletic Martial strength or physical stamina as the ingredient required to succeed in this marathon of ours, for naturally the body weakens with age and strength is lost. Yet the mind endures, and carries us onward until our last breath, much longer than the body sometimes. And it is therefore mental stamina that really makes a marathon winner. Even Arnold “the governator” and Mr Universe body building winner, said that it is more in the mind than in the muscle that success is first to be found. And Mercury trine Pluto guarantees the ability to concentrate the mind. It is the gift of the meditator, who can focus that mind to the exclusion of any outside distractions. We all need this current Mercury trine Pluto quality of mind, for it provides a determined desire to succeed on our journey – the desire required to win an ultra-marathon like the Comrades.
When combined with Jupiter, as it is this weekend, the Grand trine formed between Mercury and Pluto should allow us to harness our wondering minds, focus them in meditation practice, fitness training or scholarly study, to the exclusion of distractions, but also to the degree that we are not overly self-absorbed, but rather discover our hidden mental abilities and the way in which they can be utilised for the betterment of all society. Also Jupiter reminds us here that we all gained our skills by learning from a guide or teacher in our chosen field. Curiously even our gold and silver Comrades Marathon medallists here both happen to be trained by the same coach – Lindsey Parry, which goes to show that having a qualified guide or trainer in your corner goes a long way to mastering the mind and harnessing the magic that lies within.