In early 2012 I asked a horary question about Milwaukee baseball star Ryan Braun: Was he guilty of using performance-enhancing drugs? He’d been cleared of the charge, but many had doubts. I’m afraid we have an answer now.
On July 22 Braun accepted a 65-game suspension from Major League Baseball, a tacit admission of guilt. It’s a major blow for his team and his fans.
Read more about the story here:
Now that the truth is out, let’s look at the chart again. For reference, here's my original post: http://silvestreastrology.blogspot.com/2012/03/did-he-or-didnt-he.html. The chart appears below.
I approached the question by looking at Braun’s significator--Lord 7, Saturn--to see what shape it was in, what was happening to it, and where it was going. Saturn has major dignity in exaltation, which I took as testimony that he was telling the truth in denying the drug use. On the other hand, Saturn is conjunct Neptune by antiscion, which I took as an affliction suggesting illusion or deceit, working from my understanding of Neptune at the time. My judgment was "I'm not sure, and we may never know."
In January of this year when I re-posted the link for discussion, several colleagues pointed out the mixed reception between Saturn and its dispositor, Venus. Saturn loves Venus, while Venus loathes it in return. This must be important, but I’m not sure exactly what it signifies. Venus is turned Lord 5 and 10. As turned L10 Venus could be the MLB itself, Braun's top bosses: they were furious when he was exonerated from the original charge.
Could Venus instead signify the drugs he was taking—now that we know he was taking them? Saturn is under the power of an Aries Venus in detriment that takes it into fall. But the logic isn't clear to me; wouldn’t Venus ‘love’ Saturn if it were boosting Saturn's strength? On the other hand, PEDs do have harmful long-term effects, and taking them has caused Braun dishonor. Bottom line: whether Venus signifies the drugs or not, I don’t think it's necessary for judgment.
Saturn is exalted: appearing stronger than it really is. That's what PEDs do: they make an athlete super-strong. I believe this testimony is telling us, 'Yes, he did use the drugs’. The chart is being very economical in giving us the answer with a single testimony!
Exaltation also suggests that Braun was up on a pedestal when the question was asked. And he kept himself there, pretending to be clean when he wasn’t and showing complete disregard for the collector, whom he accused of tainting his sample.
What the retrograde signifies is debatable, but I stand by my original interpretation that it shows Braun’s exoneration from the initial drug charge: stepping back from the brink of a guilty verdict and its consequences. Saturn had looked to be heading out of Libra into Scorpio where it would lose major dignity, but it turned retrograde before doing so.
What about Saturn’s antiscial conjunction with Neptune? Neptune is the Earth-shaker; this is clearly an affliction. Braun’s personal world must have been rocked to the core when the news first hit--one motivation, perhaps, for the vigorous defense he attempted.
It’s sad to see such a promising young star lose his shine in this way. Even so, we wish him the best going forward, for his sake and for the sake of the game.
Photo credit, above: By Johnmaxmena2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34474070