Lance Armstrong falls from grace as USADA strips him of titles

(Posted 29 August 2012)  On August 23, the world's most famous cyclist and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong, announced that he was no longing contesting the drug charges filed against him by the US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA).  His decision to no longer contest the charges means he will forfeit of all awards and prizes won after 1998, including all seven of his Tour de France wins. It was a sudden and complete reversal of fortune for Armstrong.  Although he gave up the fight to clear his name, he still maintains his innocence and feels he has been the victim of a witch hunt.  However, it is also true that Armstrong was quickly running out of legal options after his own lawsuit against the USADA had been dismissed in a Texas court  Also the USADA had recently announced lifetime bans for several of Armstrong's teammates, and more former teammates were slated to testify against him.  It seemed as if it was only a matter of time before Armstrong's drug use would become public knowledge and would reveal him as a drug cheat. 

Whatever one thinks of Lance Armstrong's character and integrity, he was undoubtedly a brilliant athlete and courageous survivor of cancer.  Even if he used performance enhancing drugs, he was certainly not alone in that respect as drug use is rampant in professional cycling. His record seven wins of the Tour de France is a phenomenal achievement of strength and endurance that may never be equaled.   This may be one reason that many fans and supporters of Armstrong have not lost faith in their hero.  While he likely did lie about his drug use, he nevertheless did carve out an impressive record of achievement under the most trying of circumstances. 

My interest here is seeing how the planetary alignments may have reflected Lance's singular abilities and how they may have hinted at his fall from grace.   Unfortunately, we don't know Armstrong's birth time.  There are several unverified times floating around but none are reliable.  For this reason, we have to accept certain astrological limitations and retreat to the more simplified Chandra Lagna chart.   Chandra Lagna means Moon Ascendant.  This is the chart we use when the time of birth is unknown.  After the ascendant (lagna), the Moon is the next fastest moving point of reference in the horoscope.  It can therefore act as a stand-in ascendant and 1st house around which the rest of the chart can be analyzed.  It is still a very rough approximation, however, so we can't attribute too much importance to its indications.  After all, there are thousands of people who were born the same day as Lance Armstrong (September 18, 1971) but only one became a world famous cyclist.  And yet at the same time, it is intriguing to see how patterns can emerge that seem to offer some insight into the ups and downs of his life.

Lance Armstrong  September 18, 1971 12.00 Plano, Texas - Chandra Lagna


Armstrong was born with the Moon in Leo. This royal disposition is clearly quite appropriate for someone with such a princely bearing. In keeping with the symbolism of Leo (the Lion), Armstrong has remained above the fray and has refused to admit wrongdoing.  He was the King of the cycling world, and no anti-doping bureaucracy is going to knock him off his high perch.  The other thing that stands out about this Chandra chart is that Mars and Rahu are closing conjunct in Capricorn in the 6th house of competition.  Mars represents sports and physical exertion and Rahu symbolizes the breaking of norms or boundaries.  Mars-Rahu together therefore can be interpreted as "an athletic ability that transcends the norm".  This was undoubtedly the case with Lance.  Here his unique physiology may have played a key role.  His lungs were apparently so big and so efficient at transforming oxygen into energy that he is considered a statistical freak of sorts.  His lung capacity is larger than 99.9999% of the population.  What is also interesting about this Mars-Rahu conjunction is that Mars is considered exalted in Capricorn where it can more readily deliver its benefits.   As an added plus, its dispositor Saturn, is well placed in the 10th house of status and fame where is favourably aspected by Jupiter. 

At the risk of stretching the analysis too far, we can see that this Chandra lagna chart also features some wealth-producing Dhana yogas.  For high levels of wealth, we like to see interactions between the 1st, 2nd and 11th houses.   1st lord Sun is placed in the 2nd house of wealth where it is conjunct benefic (but debilitated) Venus along with Pluto.   The debilitation of Venus with the 1st lord Sun might provide a hint that there may be some kind of blemish associated with Armstrong's persona (1st house) and wealth (2nd house).  Pluto can often act as a magnifying planet that intensifies any prevailing trend. Pluto is sometimes connected with notions of power and manipulation, perhaps symptomatic of Armstrong's illicit drug use.  Mercury is the key money planet here as it rules both the 2nd house (wealth) and 11th house (income, gains).  It is very nicely placed in the 1st house with the Moon where it is further strengthened by its sign exchanges with the Sun.  That connection between the 1st house and 2nd house should be seen as another supportive factor for increasing both his wealth and status. 

Perhaps more interesting is looking at the transits at the time of this announcement.  In my view, the key transit here involves both Rahu and Ketu. Rahu (North Lunar Node) was closely conjunct Jupiter (legal matters, ethics, "right thinking"). Rahu is considered a natural malefic of course, although its effects are often more unpredictable.  What made this particular Rahu transit more problematic for Lance is that Rahu was carrying more negative energy from its natal placement.  Rahu's natal conjunction with Mars in the 6th house therefore made his Rahu a lot more Mars-like.  Mars can produce sudden events and is more often implicated in frustrating or onerous situations.  When it came around to conjoin Jupiter, Rahu was therefore carrying with it more of this negative Mars energy.  Since Jupiter represents legal matters and ethical behaviour, we can see that Lance would be more likely to have these areas of life come under stress.  Rahu's penchant for distortion and disruption of the norm are suitably reflected by Armstrong's de facto admission of defeat in his long battle with the USADA.

Ketu, the South Lunar Node, also played a role in his undoing.  At the time of the announcement, Ketu was closely aspecting Venus by 5th house or 120 degree trine aspect.  Like Rahu, Ketu is also considered a natural malefic.  Ketu transits often bring about sudden and unwanted events that may force awkward or difficult adaptation. But Ketu transits are not always bad.  In this case, however, the Ketu influence may have been more difficult because Ketu is situated in the 12th house from the Moon.  The 12th house is a malefic house and is associated with losses and isolation.  Like Rahu, Armstrong's Ketu should be seen as more troublesome by virtue of its 12th house position.  It might therefore create more problems during transits to key planets such as Venus.  At its most general level, Venus represents happiness.  Ketu's transit to Venus was a possible reflection of the disappointment that Lance felt after his lawsuit against the USADA was thrown out by the court in July which forced his hand and left him no choice but to publicly give up his fight.  Venus also rules Taurus in the 10th house of status so this Ketu influence on Venus and the 10th house corresponded with an interruption and loss of status. 

To a somewhat lesser degree, we can also look at the role that transiting Saturn might have had on the Sun.  Although this was only a minor 30 degree aspect, it was near exact at the time of the announcement and may have at least reflected Lance's "loss of self" that Saturn-to-Sun transits often generate.  Saturn can erode confidence, and that is why it is often present in situations where our self-image is called into question.  As a more immediate reflection of the announcement on the 23rd, Mercury's quick conjunction of natal Ketu is a very apt correspondence of this event. Mercury is associated with news and communication, and its conjunction with Ketu is quite typical of unexpected and strange communications.

While it would obviously be better to see Lance's proper timed horoscope to make sense of his stunning fall from grace, it is fascinating to see how even the approximated chart offers some insights here.  It will be interesting to see how well this chart does in describing future twists and turns.  Ketu will shift its focus from Venus to the Sun by the end of 2012 so that is another potential trouble spot for Armstrong.  Perhaps his image will come under increased scrutiny at that time.  However, I would note that Jupiter will station in a close conjunction to his Saturn in early 2013, so that could well see a significant revival in his fortunes and his social profile.