26th January 1963,07:00; Setubal, Portual
Not a lot of people know this, but I am a Manchester United fan, in large part due to my partner who, although American, has been a passionate supporter of the team all his adult life. (I mean if you’ve got a football-mad husband either you leave home or get the t-shirt.) So, the falling fortunes of the club this past season have caused something of a trough of low pressure to hover over the Thornton household.
When a company fails, the CEO is replaced; and when a premier league football team fails, the manager must go. And so it was on Monday, 23 May the lugubrious but highly respected Louis van Gaal ended his tenure with Manchester United. Rumours of his replacement had been circulating for some months, and by Friday, 26th May it was confirmed José Mourinho, late of Chelsea, would be the man.
Jose Mourinho's soubriquet, the Special One was coined at a press conference in July 2004 when he was managing Chelsea for the first time: "I'm sorry I'm a bit arrogant... I am European champion... I am not one of the bottle... I think I am a special one." One look at his natal chart will confirm why he is perceived as arrogant and why be believes in himself. Why he is special.
Capricorn rises and ruler, Saturn, is sandwiched between his Sun and Moon in Aquarius. Not only this but also Mars in Leo opposes his Aquarius stellium boosting its high-octane properties. While Capricorn-Saturn combos inspire strength of purpose, leadership and staying power, Mars in Leo nurtures a powerful ego and more than a little arrogance - traits exhibited in force by Donald Trump and his Leo Mars in recent months.
Mourinho is renowned for his tactical skills. In keeping with his Mercury and Ascendant in Capricorn and Saturn's conjunction to the Sun and Moon, he is a technician. He is also ruthless and believes in order to have the best team you must have the best players. And sometimes that ruthlessness can express itself as intimidation. He is renowned for playing mind games.
However, this is not the whole picture. Neptune, the mystical, the nebulous and the illusory, sits on the Mid-heaven squaring his Aquarius stellium and Mars, thus creating a T-square in Fixed signs. It is the Neptune factor that inspires José to take leaps of faith; it is the Neptune factor that lends him a certain charisma, but it is also why he makes some terrible mis-judgements.
Mars-Neptune aspects have a saviour-sinner aura about them. While people with these planets in aspect can become great visionaries, even saints, the seeds of the opposite are firmly planted within waiting to pop out when their guard is down. While José has brought several of the world’s greatest teams to glory over the years his lack of self-control and poor decision-making has left much to be desired, not least his eye-jabbing attack on Barcelona coach, Tito Vilanova in 2011 and, more recently his harrassment, which bordered on abuse, of Chelsea's team doctor, Eva Carneiro.
Mourinho has two T-squares in his natal chart: the second involves Jupiter's opposition to a Uranus-Pluto conjunction squared by Venus in Sagittarius. The Uranus-Pluto conjunction prevailed from 1963-1968 and placed its iconoclastic imprint on a generation. If Mars-Neptune aspects produce saints or sinners Uranus-Pluto aspects inspire dissidents and anarchists on the one hand and the Richard Dawkins of this world on the other. And while we're on the subject of Uranus and Pluto, not only does Mourinho have this conjunction prominent in his own chart but Manchester United was "born" on a Uranus-Pluto opposition and we are currently living under the umbrella of a Uranus-Pluto square which announced itself with the birth of the "Arab Spring".
To return briefly to Mourinho's elevated Neptune. We can see the more compassionate and socially-minded qualities of Neptune emerging in his charity work, specifically his involvement with the Peres Centre for Peace which promotes peace by bringing together children from Palestine and Israel to play football and other sports.
And so to the big question: can José Mourinho rescue the fortunes of Manchester United?
In my heart I believe he can, and I certainly want him to succeed, but the astrology is not giving an overwhelming seal of approval, and it looks to be a bumpy ride for him and the team. Mourinho’s Mid-heaven in Scorpio is widely conjunct the Manchester United's Moon and in sympathy with its Taurus Sun. Also positive is the connection of Mourinho’s Moon at 14° Aquarius to Manchester United’s Jupiter. They’re going to win a lot of games. Less wonderful is the placing of Mourinho's South Node on the team’s Saturn and the fact that at the time he has been selected as manager the club's progressed Moon is conjunct progressed Saturn. This brings a karmic element into the mix, whether we view this as in both the team’s and Mourinho’s destiny to work through a tough period together or a time when just deserts will be handed out at regular intervals.
God speed and good luck to the good ship Mourinho!
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