On February 23, 2012, Ryan Braun became the first major league baseball player to be exonerated from a drug doping charge since the drug-testing program began in 2006. Ryan plays for the Brewers—my home team—and was League MVP last year. Along with everyone else, I found myself wondering, “Did he, or didn't he?"
So I asked the question. The data is Feb 28, 2012, 1:46 p.m. CST in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; 25 Cancer Rising (chart below).
Braun, as ‘some other person,’ is Lord 7, Saturn. Saturn is in Libra, where it is exalted. It’s in the last degree of Libra and retrograde (Rx), moving back into the sign rather than out of it. When someone is exalted, it’s as if they are on a pedestal. They are more highly esteemed than perhaps they deserve, but there is genuine dignity. If Braun had used performance-enhancing drugs, I would expect his significator to be peregrine or in worse shape, signifying bad behavior or character. Saturn is exalted, which lends credence to Braun’s claim of innocence.
What does the retrograde status signify? Braun’s reputation and character were cast into doubt when the positive drug test was leaked to the public in December. Had he been found guilty, the public’s estimation of him would have plummeted. But he was found innocent, so he pulls back from that precipice and maintains his dignity. This fits with the picture of Saturn in the last degree of exaltation, stationing retrograde just before it leaves the sign. Braun has been redeemed, although lacking the same luster as before.
I can't definitively conclude that Braun is innocent, however--much as I want to. Look at the antiscion (shadow) of Neptune: It is at 29.03 Libra, conjunct Saturn almost to the minute. Neptune involves illusion and deception. This conjunction accurately reflects the shroud of mystery surrounding this case. Ryan vehemently declares he did nothing wrong. The sample handler vehemently declares he did nothing wrong. They can’t both be telling the truth. What really happened??
We may never know. Unfortunately, Neptune casts the shadow of a doubt on Braun's claim of innocence. One could argue that this suggests Braun is lying. On the other hand, Neptune's shadow is an affliction to Saturn (Braun). One could also argue that this shows he has been deceived in some way.
Note that Moon, Lord 1, is on Algol. I am the querent, so this could be me; but I am not important to the question, so it is possible that the Moon is Braun's opponent in this situation, the sample handler (Braun's open enemy, 7th from the 7th). Seen this way, one could argue that the sample handler is in the wrong somehow; or perhaps he's just beside himself with the situation, having been accused himself of possible wrongdoing. I don't feel we can be definitive about it, so perhaps it's best to set that thought aside.
Ryan was exonerated, but the experience has marred his reputation. Some fans will never see him the way they did before. Others will remain steadfast, putting the whole thing aside and moving on. How this will affect his standing longer-term, or his performance in the upcoming season, remains to be seen.
First published March 11, 2012 on silvestreastrology.blogspot.com
Postscript: On August 23, 2012, Ryan admitted to drug use and was suspended. A few months later on November 27, 2013, he broke his silence, answering questions about the case and apologizing publicly.
Note also that when I first wrote this piece I understood Neptune as signifying illusion and/or deception, the common modern interpretation of this planet. I have since learned that Neptune and the other outer planets are best interpreted working from the original myths.
PHOTO CREDIT: By Johnmaxmena2 - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=34474070. Cropped by me.