Muhammad Ali. Just saying his name brings to mind such strong images and memories! His athletic prowess. His confidence in himself, despite naysaying and the odds set against him. His bravery in declaring himself a Muslim and changing his name. His refusal to be drafted into a war that wasn't his, against other brown-skinned people with whom he had no quarrel. The involuntary tremors that shook his body once Parkinson’s disease took over. What an amazing man he was! He dubbed himself the Greatest and the title stuck, because it fit.
There is an excellent article on Ali’s natal chart written by John Frawley in his book Sports Astrology, pages 68-70. If you haven’t read this yet, buy the book and read it now! You can find it here: http://www.johnfrawley.com/#!sports-astrology/c1tr8
I have just a few points to add about Ali’s radix. In traditional astrology we calculate the temperament, mainly to see if there is a marked imbalance or any one quality predominates. In Ali’s case, heat predominates. Four of the five points used to determine temperament are hot: Ascendant, Lord Ascendant, Moon (by phase), and Lord of the Geniture (Mercury). This predominance of heat is no surprise given that Ali was the quintessential fighter, brave and fearless both inside and outside of the ring.
In my natal studies I am increasingly discovering just how important are the seven key Arabic parts (those corresponding to the seven planets). At the end of this post please see a list of these, the formulae for calculating them, and their positions in Ali's chart. Several of these are conjunct planets and outer planets in his chart:
* Spirit or ‘super Sun’ (4.23 Leo) is conjunct Pluto (4.48 Leo Rx). However we might understand him from the myth, Pluto is a force to be reckoned with. This combination seems to convey Ali’s personal force and power. He was a formidable opponent! Uranus is conjunct these by antiscion (26.28 Taurus Rx/3.32 Leo), packing even more to this punch.
* Love or ‘super Venus’ (19.14 Cancer) is conjunct Jupiter by antiscion (11.57 Gemini Rx/18.03 Cancer). Even with Jupiter debilitated, this conveys a sense of abundant luck and optimism. Reportedly Ali declared that he would be the heavyweight champion of the world while he was still a youth at school (TIME magazine, June 20, 2016, page 6).
* Captivity or ‘super Saturn’ (0.32 Sagittarius) is conjunct Ali’s Sun by antiscion (27.17 Capricorn/2.43 Sagittarius). This seems to signify both the discipline required to become a superior athlete and the barriers and opposition he would face along the way. It also can symbolize the disease that later confined him.
Progressions to January 1, 1960
The first event I studied is Ali’s winning of Olympic Gold in the summer of 1960. Here are his progressions to Jan 1, 1960:
Prog Asc 3.41 Virgo
Prog MC 29.40 Taurus
Prog Sun 15.32 Aquarius
Prog Moon 28.59 Virgo
Prog Fortuna 17.08 Aries
Prog Spirit 20.14 Capricorn
Prog Asc (3.41 Virgo) picks up natal Fortuna (4.40 Virgo) for a big emphasis on ‘Me’ at this time when Ali first comes to public prominence as a boxer.
Prog Moon (28.59 Virgo) is conjunct prog Neptune, ‘the Earthshaker’ (29.33 Virgo Rx), showing us that this is a year of some powerful stuff happening for ‘Me’.
Prog Fortuna will move into Taurus this year, bringing Venus matters onto the main stage. Venus is Lord 10 in Ali’s chart, signifying his career.
Prog Spirit (20.14 Capricorn), moving clockwise against the zodiac as it does, will oppose the natal Love/ Jupiter conjunction at the Cancer end (19/18 Cancer) this year, bringing this natal pair into play. Prog Venus (11.52 Aquarius Rx) also trines Love/Jupiter at the Gemini end (11/10 Gemini). This signals us to observe whether Love/Jupiter will show up at other times of victory in Ali’s life.
Prog Spirit (20.14 Capricorn) will also cross over natal Courage (21.08 Sagittarius/8.52 Capricorn) by antiscion this year, bringing Mars matters onto the stage in a big way. Prog Mars (12.37 Taurus) is in a spotlight at the natal MC (12.13 Taurus) for more emphasis on Mars. Here Mars/Courage seem to be acting as the natural rulers of sports and fighting.
Solar Return – Jan 18, 1960 (5 Sagittarius Asc)
One of the things I first noticed here is that SR Pluto (5.45 Virgo Rx) picks up natal Fortuna (4.40 Virgo), and both are in close mundane square to the SR Asc/Dsc axis (5.14 Sagittarius/5.14 Gemini). This confirms Pluto’s importance in Ali’s chart generally and it puts ‘Me’ in a major spotlight for this year.
There are a cluster of planets/parts highlighted at this SR MC (20.18 Virgo). Natal Arc Courage falls here by antiscion (6.51 Aries/23.09 Virgo), natal Necessity (19.48 Virgo) is conjunct, and the Moon is within a few degrees as well (17.37 Virgo).
Necessity is the Mercury part: why would that be highlighted during a year of athletic achievement? Necessity could be here for reasons other than his Olympic Gold, of course. But Mercury is key in Ali’s natal chart, tied in with his fast-moving, sanguine Moon. His quick punches and prancing feet were signature components of his fighting. Perhaps, as Mr. Frawley has suggested in a recent natal lecture, Necessity is standing in for Mercury here.
We know Uranus is important in Ali’s natal chart by virtue of its antiscial conjunction with Pluto and Spirit. This SR Uranus (19.56 Leo Rx) falls on Ali’s natal Ascendant (19.31 Leo)!
Neptune speaks up here as well. SR Neptune (8.59 Scorpio) picks up natal Venus by antiscion (20.40 Aquarius Rx/9.20 Scorpio), and therefore also the natal Descendant (19.31 Aquarius), giving it additional emphasis.
SR Venus (19.17 Sagittarius)--natal Lord 10--is conjunct Natal Arc Fortuna here (20.23 Sagittarius), bringing career and ‘Me’ together. SR Saturn is also conjunct these two by antiscion (11.29 Capricorn/18.31 Sagittarius).
Lunar Return – September 3, 1960 (12 Leo Asc)
The Summer Olympic Games took place between Aug 25 and Sept 11. The September 3 return covers much of this period and contains several powerful testimonies.
The LR MC (3.00 Taurus) picks up natal Mars (3.03 Taurus), putting it in a major spotlight for this month. Meanwhile, LR Mars (20.11 Gemini) is conjunct Natal Arc Victory (19.56 Gemini). These are very fitting expressions of athletic achievement!
LR Venus has just gained major essential dignity (0.41 Libra). Venus is both natal and LR Lord 10: career.
Mercury and Necessity have their say in this LR, too: Natal Arc Necessity (12.39 Virgo) is conjunct LR Mercury (14.02 Virgo) and the LR North Node (15.29 Virgo Rx). The stars are telling us that when Ali wins, Mercury and/or Necessity are important and will be speak up.
The Moon (12.25 Aquarius) is spot-lit at the LR Descendant, a setting position. Perhaps this is relevant in that once a person becomes famous, they can never be just ‘Me’ again. The public spotlight is forever on them to some degree, limiting privacy and conferring much responsibility.
Derived Lunar Return – August 23, 1960
This is the DLR cast from the Solar Return for 1960. There are some marvelous testimonies here!
To start, there is a tight conjunction of DLR Venus (17.45 Virgo), natal Lord 10, and the Moon (17.37 Virgo), joining career matters with ‘Me’. The North Node is also conjunct (15.27 Virgo).
DLR Neptune (6.43 Scorpio) is conjunct Natal Arc Victory (5.02 Scorpio), highlighting the emotional impact of Ali’s first major athletic achievement.
Natal Arc Fortuna (12.37 Capricorn) falls on the DLR Saturn (12.14 Capricorn Rx), suggesting that the Saturn principle is likely to speak up at important event's in Ali’s life.
NA Necessity falls exactly on Ali’s Sun (27.45 Capricorn).
Natal Victory (27.05 Gemini) is highlighted at the DLR Descendant (27.28 Gemini).
Last but not least, NA Courage (3.05 Taurus) is conjunct natal Mars (3.03 Taurus), almost exactly, for a huge emphasis on ‘Mars stuff’!
In the next post, I will discuss the testimonies in Ali’s unfolding charts for the event of winning his first Heavyweight championship title in 1964.
I leave you with a quote that seems to show destiny intervening at an early age to lead Ali down his life’s path, from his website (http://muhammadali.com/man/):
Cassius Clay Sr. gifted his son a new red-and-white Schwinn in 1954, which was promptly stolen. The 12-year-old, 89-pound Cassius Clay vowed “I'm gonna whup whoever stole my bike!” A policeman, Joe Martin, told young Cassius Clay that he better learn how to fight before he challenged anyone. After 6 months of training with Joe Martin, Cassius won his debut match in a three-round decision. Young Cassius Clay dedicated himself to boxing and training with an unmatched fervor. According to Joe Martin, Clay set himself apart by two things: He was “sassy,” and he outworked all the other boys.
Other articles about Ali:
SEVEN KEY ARABIC PARTS
Note! These formulae remain the same whether the birth is by day or by night.
Part of Spirit (aka Solis or Abundance), ‘super Sun’: Asc + Sun - Moon
Part of Fortune (aka Fortuna or Hunger), ‘super Moon’: Asc + Moon – Sun
Part of Love, ‘super Venus’: Asc + PS – PF
Part of Necessity, ‘super Mercury’: Asc + PF – PS
Part of Courage, ‘super Mars’: Asc + PF – Mars
Part of Victory, ‘super Jupiter’: Asc + Jup – PS
Part of Captivity, ‘super Saturn’: Asc + PF – Saturn
Their positions in Muhammad Ali's natal chart:
Spirit: 4.23 Leo (natal arc = 15.08 degrees above Asc)
Fortune: 4.40 Virgo (natal arc = 15.08 degrees below Asc)
Love: 19.14 Cancer (natal arc = 30.17 degrees above Asc)
Necessity: 19.48 Virgo (natal arc = 30.17 degrees below Asc)
Courage: 2108 Sagittarius (natal arc = 58.23 degrees below Dsc)
Victory: 27.05 Gemini (natal arc = 52.26 degrees above Asc)
Captivity: 0.32 Sagittarius (natal arc = 79.39 degrees below Dsc)
KEY TO ABBREVIATIONS
Asc = Ascendant (1st house cusp)
DLR = Derived lunar return
Dsc = Descendant (7th house cusp)
LR = Lunar return
MC = Midheaven (10th house cusp)
NA = Natal arc (method of placing the Arabic Parts in the same place relative to the Ascendant as they held in the radix)
PF = Part of Fortune
Prog = Progressed
PS = Part of Spirit
SR = Solar return
Above, artwork John Stango, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=24121520. I've cropped the image. The full artwork appears below.
Below, Polish Press Agency (PAP) - , #5/28, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=40461551
Below, Photographer Unknown (ANSA.it) -  #6, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=47807830
CHARTS, in order of appearance below:
Ali, Muhammad, Radix: Jan 17, 1960, 6:35 pm in Louisville, KY; 19 Leo Asc.
Ali, Muhammad, Solar Return: Jan 18, 1960 in Louisville: 5 Sagittarius Asc.
Ali, Muhammad, Lunar Return: Sep 3, 1960 in Louisville: 12 Leo Asc.
Ali, Muhammad, Derived Lunar Return: Aug 23, 1960 in Louisville: 27 Sagittarius Asc.