By Elizabeth Michaud
Michael Sam, an all-American defensive end expected to be a top draft choice in the NFL, revealed that he is gay during an ESPN interview on Sunday. While the gay rights movement has gained ground throughout the United States, this revelation marks a first for professional football — a challenge to its stereotypical machismo and homophobia.
This disclosure came days after Mercury stationed retrograde in Pisces, aspecting several planets in Sam’s chart.
The most prominent of these aspects is a trine between Mercury and Sam’s natal Jupiter in Cancer — granting emotional sensitivity, depth and an almost clairvoyant quality. Jupiter has a flair for optimism, and this trine with the planet of communication (Mercury) facilitated an easy flow for the young, self-confident athlete.
During the interview Sam discussed the reaction of his University of Missouri teammates when he came out to them last August: “They rallied around me, they supported me and I knew in that moment, that this can happen anywhere, if my team could support me, any team could support me.”
As Eric wrote last month, “The truth comes out when Mercury stations either retrograde or direct.” In Michael Sam’s case, his truth may help transform the social stigma of being gay in professional sports. If drafted, he will be the first openly gay man playing in any of the four major leagues: football, basketball, baseball and hockey.
Sam’s faith in a positive outcome is a testament to his true grit and fortitude. He has seven siblings, including a sister who died at two years old and a brother who was shot and killed at 15. Two of his brothers are in jail, and one has been missing since 1998. He admits his family was notorious in their hometown of Hitchcock, Texas, but somehow Sam managed to convert these hardships into a triumph: he devoted himself to the sport he loved, and eventually became the first person in his family to be accepted into college.
Endurance and transformation are potent themes in Sam’s natal chart. He has a cluster of planets, including his Sun and Saturn, in Capricorn, a determined earth sign concerned with both pragmatic competence and realistic strategies for success. And Pluto, the mythic Lord of the Underworld, squares his nodal axis.
Delving into the depths and shining light onto painful or taboo secrets is part of his karmic process. Pluto is like the alchemical process of changing ordinary metal into gold — there is an ability to turn something that was dark and heavy into something that heals and inspires. He told The New York Times, “I wanted to succeed and be a beacon of hope in my family.”
Indeed, he may just be a beacon of hope for gay rights supporters everywhere. The Uranus-Pluto square, the defining astrology of our current era, is strongly aspecting Sam’s natal chart, signifying that his personal story is a catalyst for immense change. His Capricorn planets are receiving a conjunction from transiting Pluto and a square by Uranus in Aries. Meanwhile, Jupiter in Cancer is conjunct his natal Chiron.
There is a pressure here to break old modes of perception, destroying outdated structures and revealing a more inclusive and tolerant way of viewing homosexuality. His coach Gary Pinkel said in a statement, “He’s taught a lot of people firsthand that it doesn’t matter what your background is, or your personal orientation, we’re all on the same team and we all support each other.” Sam has brought the issue to the foreground in a sport that would normally deny its existence.
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