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The Indiana Pacers are the team to beat in the East, after leading the conference for the better part of the regular season and clinching the number one playoff spot. It would be only right that they advance to the Conference Championships, but between them and that lofty goal are Allen Iverson and the Philadelphia 76ersóno small obstacle! These are both excellent teams, playing up-tempo, exciting games. Indiana has maturity and experience in their favor, while Philadelphia has defense and raw, youthful talent. On paper, Indiana certainly has the advantage, but perhaps astrology can provide some extra insight into how this series might play out.

Larry Bird and the Pacers

Completing his third season as Head Coach for Indiana is NBA legend Larry Bird. He has proven almost as competitive and proficient a coach as he was a player. As a career Celtic, Bird was second to none, winning three NBA championships, an Olympic Gold Medal and a place on the NBA 50th Anniversary All-Time Team. He was rushed into the Hall Of Fame in 1998. In both his first two seasons as Head Coach, Bird has advanced his talented team to the Eastern Conference finals, but both times failed to make it to the big dance. He has already announced that he will retire from coaching after this season, so we should safely assume that he wonít be holding anything back in this final effort to return to the NBA Championship.

Larry Joe Bird was born December 7, 1956, in West Baden, Indiana. Even without the benefit of a birth time and the angles (Ascendant and Midheaven), this is an extraordinary chart. His fiery Mars in Aries directly opposes  his natal Jupiter, while both planets form a tight square (90 degree angle) to his natal Mercury. This dynamic configuration is known as a ďt-square,Ē and it generates a fierce tension that must be released in constant activity.

Perhaps the most important thing going on in Birdís chart right now is the approach of transiting Pluto (currently at 12 degrees Sagittarius) to a conjunction with his natal Sagittarius Sun. Even though the conjunction isnít quite exact yet, Plutoís intensity and drive have been evident in Birdís leadership all season. The approach of Pluto, with its transformative power, is also an indication of Birdís pending retirement. In the coming months as Pluto does make the exact conjunction with Birdís Sun, he will probably completely overhaul his life, regenerating a new existence from the ground up. For the time being, Plutoís influence seems to manifest as extreme focus, determination and athletic super-power.

The most important astrological event happening during the playoffs is the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus. It will be exact at 22 degrees Taurus at the end of May, probably during the Conference Championships. Barring anything we donít know about Birdís Ascendant or Midheaven, this conjunction doesnít seem to directly affect his chart. However, Birdís natal South Node, often an indicator of loss, is at 28 degrees Taurus, and transiting Jupiter will pass over that point in June, during the finals. Jupiter will be at approximately 28-29 degrees Taurus during the NBA finals, and while that position actually creates some very positive aspects in Birdís natal and progressed charts, letís just hope that he makes it that far. But he should fare well against Philadelphia.

Larry Brown and the 76ers

Having said that, I honestly donít think the 76ers look that bad! Head Coach Larry Brown (born September 14, 1940, in Brooklyn, New York) has some very tight trines (a harmonious, 120 degree aspect) between the transiting Saturn and Jupiter in Taurus and his natal Virgo Sun. Heís certainly in the spotlight and his team is performing well beyond expectations. Philadelphia had to make some heroic adjustments for injuries during their first round against the Charlotte Hornets, and they won new respect in doing so. Even though they have fallen behind early in this series, they should still have a few surprises in store for the mighty Pacers.

The grand prize for the winner in this series is the opportunity to play either the New York Knicks or the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference Championships, so there is plenty of great basketball to come! Weíll take a look next week at further developments in the Eastern conference, but for the time being, it looks like Indiana is on pace to advance to the next round.


Courtney Roberts, M.A.,is a writer, teacher, and consultant, originally from Miami, FL. Her work reflects a unique perspective: a real passion for the 'big picture' that combines cosmology, religious studies and history with a lifetime of observing the dynamic interaction of spirit and cosmos.

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For more information about Courtney Roberts Conrad, click here.

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