The Sun Shines on Helio

Good news for Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves: A Florida jury has acquitted him of tax evasion charges.

Along with his sister and his lawyer, Castroneves could have faced jail time.

A Taurus, Castroneves was born May 10, 1975 in Sao Paulo. The time of birth is unknown. You can see transits to his natal chart here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Clearly, today’s Venus direct was good news for Castroneves, who has excelled on the dance floor on TV’s Dancing With the Stars as well as at the racetrack.

Breaking the Color Barrier

On Election Day, when Pamela Cucinell and I gabbed on our weekly BlogTalkRadio show, AstroChatter Radio, an interesting factoid came up: As Neptune turned direct over the weekend, a black man won a Formula One race for the first time. Lewis Hamilton of England made history in Brazil with his racing win.

Perhaps this breakthrough was also the result of the approaching Saturn/Uranus opposition, which was exact on Nov. 4.

In the U.S., we had Jackie Robinson break the color barrier in 1947 with Major League Baseball. We had Sidney Poitier do the same thing in Hollywood in 1963 with his best actor Oscar for The Lilies of the Field. Since then, we’ve seen Arthur Ashe win groundbreaking championships in tennis and Tiger Woods become king of the greens in golf, a sport known for its discrimination against Jews, blacks, and women.

Now, Barack Obama has been elected the first black President of the U.S. Dr. Martin Luther King’s dream has become a reality.

According to the AP, Obama won 52% of the popular vote, vs. 46% for Republican John McCain. The official Astrology Mundo Presidential Poll mirrored the electorate, with 45% saying McCain would win, vs. 54% for Obama.

We are not black. We are not white. We are American. Rest in peace, Dr. King. Your sacrifice was not in vain.

Tax Trouble for Helio

Yahoo! has a story up that Brazilian heartthrob Helio Castroneves, known for his moves on the race track and the dance floor, has been indicted for tax evasion.

Helio, who won the Indy 500 in 2001 and 2002, has been charged with failing to pay $5 million in taxes over four years.

The story is short on detail. I’ll assume that it’s the Internal Revenue Service that has caught up with the Team Penske driver and that he is a U.S. citizen or at least subject to our tax laws.

I happen to have Helio’s chart in my Astrodienst database because I looked at it earlier this year before the running of the Indianapolis 500 on Memorial Day.

Helio’s progressed Sun, at 21 degrees of Gemini, is traveling quite closely with his progressed Mercury. Natally, he’s a Taurus Sun, which is sextile Mars in Pisces. The chart is set for noon on May 10, 1975 in São Paulo, Brazil, because the time of birth is unknown.

Transiting Uranus is close to a conjunction with natal Mars right now while transiting Saturn is closing in on an opposition. The progressed Sun/Mercury forms a T-square to this opposition.

Transiting Mars was conjuncting Helio’s Uranus in Libra as the tax evasion charges were announced, not a good transit for partnerships or legal matters.

The transiting Aquarius stellium is squaring Helio’s Sun, suggesting he could be involved in some kind of deception. As an astrologer, I’ll say with all that Neptune hanging around, I’m not sure Helio understood the ramifications of a scheme that was allegedly set up by his sister and his lawyer to evade taxation.

When you’re dancing with the stars, it’s hard to keep your feet on the ground. Helio and partner Julianne Hough won the fifth season of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars reality TV show last year.

Gian Paul, our Brazil bureau chief, tells us that it’s the custom in Brazil to have a caixa dois, a hidden kitty or secret stash. Let’s hope that Helio has one to take care of this tax problem.

Since Helio is not from the U.S., he may not be aware of our tax authority’s penchant for going after high-profile tax evaders and making examples of them. Maybe he should talk to Wesley Snipes for the inside scoop on how the IRS likes to play hardball with celebrities.

Helio’s head is in the clouds right now. However, with Uranus close to his Mars and Mars close to his Uranus, he could be accident-prone, so he needs to take care.

The Kiwi Who Won Indy

Well, so much for my theory that Mercury and Neptune going retrograde would translate into victory at the Indianapolis 500 for a previous winner or a member of a prominent racing family.

The checkered flag was taken by Scott Dixon, a New Zealand resident who was born in Brisbane, Australia, on July 22, 1980. It was the first time won the race.

We don’t know the time of birth for Dixon, so he could either be a 29 degree Cancer or a 1 degree Leo. Because Venus was at 1 degree of Gemini on the day of the race, May 25, I’m going to guess that Dixon is a 1 degree Leo who was getting the benefit of a helpful sextile from Venus.

The weekend’s lineup in Aquarius — Neptune, the North Node, Chiron, and the asteroid Indiana — is fairly close to an opposition with Dixon’s North Node at 20 degrees of Leo.

As I mentioned in my post, I didn’t run the charts of all 33 competitors in the race so there’s no way I could have picked Dixon. However, it’s interesting that he was both the starter and the finisher in the race.

Clearly, I have a lot to learn about picking race winners based on astrology, but I’m having a lot of fun trying. I’d like to thank my readers for indulging me. I’m glad I was less definitive about my predictions for the Indy 500 than I have been with other competitions.

For the nonbelievers out there, without a time of birth, it’s hard to make accurate forecasts because you don’t know the sign or degree that is on the all-important first-house cusp, not to mention the other cusps.

It may not have been a great day for Astrology Mundo, but it was a great day for New Zealand.

Who Will Win the Indy 500?

This Memorial Day weekend’s Merc retrograde leads me to believe that the scion of one of America’s great racing families will win the Indy 500, or that this year’s winner will be someone who has taken the checkered flag in the past in Indianapolis. I think that means Danica Patrick will not win, even though she won the Japan Indy 300 last month.

It’s noteworthy that there’s a Dancing With the Stars connection between race opener Kristi Yamaguchi and competitor Helio Castroneves, a two-time Indy 500 winner and Stars champ, but I don’t think this is Helio’s year to win another Indy 500.

I don’t have time to look at the charts of all 33 drivers in the race, but I think the winner will be a member of a prominent racing family. This hunch has me zeroing in on the charts of A.J. Foyt IV, Marco Andretti, John Andretti, and Graham Rahal. Here’s the race lineup, in case you want to look at it: http://www.indy500.com/images/pdf/2008_ics_indy_starting_grid.pdf

Having recently suffered a couple of major-league strikeouts with my predictions, I’m going to be more cautious in my forecasts. Rather than declaring him the winner, I’m going to say that I think the prospects look good for Marco Andretti, especially because of his car name: Team Indiana Jones presented by Blockbuster.

Since the asteroid Indiana is traveling with the North Node, that could bode well for Marco Andretti, given that the new Indiana Jones film is opening this weekend. In other words, all things involving Indiana and the public are highlighted this weekend.

The Neptune/North Node lineup in Aquarius falls between the midpoint of Marco Andretti’s Venus and Mercury in Aquarius, which seems pretty auspicious to me. Andretti is a Pisces born March 13, 1987 in Nazareth, Pa. Here’s his chart, courtesy of Astrodienst:

http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?rs=0&lang=e&zod=&ast=&orbp=&gm=a1&sday=23&btyp=24&syr=2008&mth=gw&cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&hsy=-1&smon=5&nhor=241&go.x=18&go.y=7

His cousin John Andretti, another Pisces, is also getting a boost from the transiting Jupiter sextile Uranus right now. But his natal Saturn is the midpoint of the transiting stellium in Aquarius, which I think means he’ll feel old at this race. He’s 45, while Rahal, a Capricorn who is making his IndyCar debut this weekend, is just 19.

As readers of my blog know, I’m a believer that people do important things on or around their birthdays. Here’s an interesting factoid: Race day is the 24th birthday of A.J. Foyt IV. So the Sun in the sky will be shining on his natal Sun, giving him the solar power to do become the person he is meant to be.

Here’s Foyt’s chart, courtesy of astrodienst
http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598&lang=e&gm=a1&nhor=240&nho2=12&btyp=24&mth=gw&sday=25&smon=5&syr=2008&hsy=-1&zod=&orbp=&rs=0&ast=

You can see that his Sun is conjunct his North Node, which is great for connecting with the public. In the limited time I’ve been analyzing the charts of winners, including my successful NCAA prediction, I’ve noticed the North Node is very important.

But even though the Sun is on Foyt’s Sun/North Node conjunction on race day, that transiting Aquarius stellium of Neptune, Node, Chiron, and the asteroid Indiana doesn’t appear to make any major aspects to Foyt’s chart. As I mentioned above, it does in Marco Andretti’s chart.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines!

Bringing Back the Glory Days of the Indy 500?

The same day that Olympic champion skater and recent Dancing With the Stars winner Kristi Yamaguchi waves the green flag to start the Indianapolis 500 on May 25, the planetoid Chiron turns retrograde. Mercury and Neptune go retrograde the next day, when the victory celebration actually takes place.

Neptune, the North Node, and Chiron (the wounded healer) are traveling together in Aquarius these days, as they were during the Kentucky Derby, when tragedy struck and the filly Eight Belles had to be euthanized after placing second. With the help of Beth at www.astrologyexplored.com,  who commented on my post “Stars Rise Over Indiana,” I learned that the asteroid Indiana is conjunct the Aquarius stellium this weekend.

A conjunction of Neptune and the North Node can produce mass suffering or intoxication. I’ve never been to the Indy 500, so I’m hoping it’s the latter that’s going to take place at the 92nd running of the race this Memorial Day weekend.

With the Mercury “station,” a powerful time when a planet changes direction, there’s talk of the Indy 500 returning to its glory days. Some of this enthusiasm is due to the February merger between the IndyCar Series and Champ Car. From what I’ve read in the sports press, this gives racing fans more confidence that the best racers will be present in Indianapolis.

When Mercury is retrograde or about to go retro, there’s often a psychological return to the past or a physical trip to a place where you used to live. Anything that has the prefix “re” is favored. Here’s a link to a Fox News story about the pride being back at Indy: http://msn.foxsports.com/other/story/8165808/Starting-with-Indy-500,-the-pride-is-back-for-IndyCar?CMP=OTC-K9B140813162&ATT=166

Stars Rise on Indiana

I don’t know if you remember how I was arguing that Memorial Day weekend was not the best release date for the new Indiana Jones film (“Indiana Jones and the Search for the Best Release Date,” Apr. 11, 2008).

My thinking was that May 9, when Jupiter in Capricorn stationed and turned retrograde opposing Indy star Harrison Ford’s Cancer Sun, would be a great time for him to return to the screen as the swashbuckling hero.

Incidentally, this is also the post where based on the aspects of May 9, I predicted Speed Racer would do “boffo business,” a forecast that backfired.

So far, the buzz on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull has been mixed, but I’ve decided that maybe this weekend isn’t such a bad release date for the film after all. Why? Because it’s the weekend of the Indy 500 car race.

I’m rooting for Danica Patrick, who made history last month when she became the first female to win an Indy race by taking the checkered flag in the Indy Japan 300. On a less happy note, she was also in the news after her car struck another team’s crew member on May 9 during practice for the Indianapolis 500. Clearly, the stars weren’t in the right place for that guy, who wasn’t where he was supposed to be and got badly hurt.

Why am I backing Danica when I grew up in Albuquerque, where the Unser racing family is royalty? Because girls rule, as my 11-year-old niece would tell you. Seriously though, I like to see records being broken and new firsts being made. So far, no woman has won an Indy race stateside. It would be exciting if Danica could do it. 

The feminist in me wants Danica to win, but I’d also be happy with a victory from the multitalented Helio Castroneves, the hunky Brazilian  who was last year’s champ on Dancing With the Stars. Helio won back-to-back Indy 500s in 2001 and 2002. Yesterday’s Los Angeles Times reports that he’s contemplating a move to NASCAR. Here’s the link to that story: http://www.latimes.com/sports/la-sp-motors21-2008may21,0,1495689.story?track=rss

Maybe there’s an asteroid named Indiana that is conjunct the Sun or the North Node, which rules the public, this weekend. Clearly, all eyes will be on Indy this weekend. Let’s hope it doesn’t rain.