Despite all my efforts on Tuesday–well, I started writing this on your day, dear Björn–it seems there was just so much I could do just to get this out before the day had actually passed. I didn’t make it, but at least you’ll know a fan thought of you and wanted to create this special card. I was ready to post this yesterday, on the 7th of June But some internet issues even precluded that thought!
If you’re afraid of losing, then you daren’t win. – Björn Borg
Where have the years gone? It can’t be your 61st birthday already! It seems like yesterday that you won your fifth consecutive Wimbledon final, that memorable one against John McEnroe, not to mention the great matches, some of which I saw–against McEnroe and Ivan Lendl while I’d missed those between you and Jimmy Connors, Roscoe Tanner and Ilie Nastase…
You started your 5-time consecutive Wimbledon championship run first against Ilie Nastase in 1976. You were only 20. I hadn’t seen it but I found this clip tonight:
Five times! So many players dream of doing it once! Wimbledon, for many the most imortant Grand Slam tournament. Your style of play impressed me, no, “awed” is a better word. You made the serve, the rally, the slice, everything look so easy! Even the court looked small when you were there. Quite the contrast to my getting on the court and feeling like I was on a full American football field. How did one take that distance to make solid contact with the ball before it whizzed by???
And then I found this delicious walk back through your career before your retirement at 26.
Who retires at 26?! “When he was king” I brought this article up for two reasons: It’s not only outstanding, it’s a correction to something I read several years back that you had had a wicked temper. And yet you had the on-court nickname of “Ice Man.” John McEnroe was Fire, and you were Ice. Apparently that wasn’t the case when you were 9 and threw the temper tantrum that got you suspended for six months. Although the story caught in my memory was a bit twisted from that truth I just mentioned, it was pretty close. I’ll own the corrections now.
But then you were number 1 in the world, the one many thought was the best player yet. Your game seemed to be the standard by which all others were measured, and that was how it was for years after you’d left. And then along came Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal, and we at last had magic on the courts again. So much magic, in fact, Federer and Nadal could even make you respond to thoughts of seeing their match, like the sirens call to the sailors. Are you watching the French Open this weekend? I wonder whether your son Leo will ever show on the courts like you did. What a dèjá vu treat that would be!
Well, I did say a brief article, so I’ll keep it brief–right after I take a peek at your chart.
The Aquarius rising opens to a Western below-the-horizon dominated chart with the emphasis splt between the 1st and 3rd quadrants. Now take note of his having been born so far into the Northern latitude, the first house encompasses 79°48. While a different house system would balance the houses better and produce less interceptions than this one, if any, I still find this partcular one easier for my use. Even when I’m working with the Solar and Lunar Returns, I opt for the Placidus system. But look carefully, and you’ll see Pisces and Aries intercepted in the 1st house with their opposing signs of Virgo and Libra intercepted in the 7th.
I wasn’t especially surprised to see the 1st house Mars in Pisces in square to Mercury Retrograde in one of the signs it rules, Gemini on the 3rd house cusp. At the same time, the Taurus Moon forms a semisextile to the Gemini Sun-IC conjunction and resolves at 2 Sagittarius 54 with the third point forming a Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile. Not only is the third point conjunct the 9th house cusp, it opposes Mercury. Perhaps such an aspect with that added “twist” might have created a simultaneous fear of being so much in the public eye with all of those bodies below the horizon–and yet the ability to stay unfazed while owning the spotlight seemed to be part of the presence you commanded on the courts. I suppose it could be a matter of maintaining control over how much and when someone would or would not be in the limelight. Jupiter-Pluto conjunction needs to have the structure in place. This pairing could be even stronger in Leo.
Borg’s ability to maintain his cool on the courts (Ice Man) seemed to be easy for him. Easy, that is, after his earliest years when he displayed that personally costly but unforgettable temper. His strength and energy, on the other hand, were stunning and memorable for his fans. Here, we see Chiron conjunct the Ascendant with a 31-minute orb. The placement offers a remarkable display of those abilities. Yet Chiron is far more than just a highlight in the chart beyond the initial view: Our Swedish sensation’s chart boasts a semisextile (30°) between 6th house Uranus at the anaretic degree of 29 Cancer 51 and the 7th house Jupiter-Pluto conjunction midpoint formed at 25 Leo 42. The semisextile resolves in the Blooming Undecaquartisextile third point at 12 Aquarius 47, forming a tight conjunction to Chiron.
Regardless of the reasons Borg left tennis at such an early age (I look to that below-the-horizon prominence), he displayed enough charisma and on-court sizzle to keep everyone enchanted while he was there. He was, after all, considered the best!
I don’t deny there might be a disadvantage when one looks at this chart with such a skewed sense of the houses. What seems like it should be a semisextile or a sextile at first glance turns out to be a square, and what one thinks is a square turns out to be a trine. But once one becomes accustomed to the shift in the focus, that first house Mars in Pisces suddenly stands out as an out-of-sign oppostion to the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in square to Saturn Retrograde at the 9th house cusp. These placements form a very clear fixed T-square with a slight softening at the expression of first house Mars.:
The T-square itself, while quite possibly challenging to Borg, has helped him to become the player and businessman he is today. His timings on the other hand–when he should depend on his own instincts and perhaps when to show himself as the romantic partner he can be–may be a huge challenge for him. He does have a nice outlet however with Saturn falling in a trine aspect to Uranus. Hard work, concentration and focus can do much to help him hone his game or whatever the current goal might be while also preventing him from getting into situations he shouldn’t have.
I was all set to close this article when I suddenly realized Borg’s Fixed T-square with the out-of-sign placement to Mars in Pisces can simultaneously stand as that T-square–but that’s not all! While Mars forms the out of sign opposition to the Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in the 7th house, Mars doesn’t only form an out of sign square to Saturn on the 9th house cusp but also squares Mercury on the 3rd house cusp in opposition to Saturn! We can’t, therefore, call this a Fixed or a Mutable Grand Cross because half of it falls in fixed signs and half falls still well within the normal range of orb in mutable signs! To Björn Borg’s credit, that trine from Saturn to Uranus offers a healthy outlet that can help him to keep going most of the time when it might otherwise get rough.
Nothing in my research indicated that Borg had anything actually wrong with him when he announced his retirement in January 1983; but in the last two weeks of January that year, Uranus made a transiting conjunction to his North Node–and transiting Neptune had formed a conjunction to natal Saturn–the Peeling of Life’s Onion. Whether he would have even identified that as depression is, of course, hard to say. I haven’t done the Solar or Lunar Returns for that period. But at the very least, he most likely had felt downright exhausted and didn’t know what else to do. With natal Mercury opposed to natal Saturn, he is likely to suffer from depression or hypercritical perspectives of himself.