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As NFL teams go, the Baltimore Ravens occupy their own unique category. In a controversial move that’s still enough of a hot topic to incite barroom brawls in certain parts of the American midwest, the former Cleveland Browns abandoned the Dawg Pound in 1995, forsaking the fans and the city that loved and needed them so. It’s hard enough to manage an expansion team, but how do you get out of a karmic doghouse like that?

It’s not like the Baltimore fans aren’t familiar with that fear of abandonment. It’s also not just a little ironic that they got the same treatment, once upon a midnight weary in 1984, when their beloved Colts bolted and ran away to Indianapolis. In a new twist on “what-comes-around-goes-around,” Baltimore didn’t think twice about taking Cleveland’s team, but you know somebody’s conscience had to be haunted by more than a twinge of guilt. How else do you explain the goth moniker? Regardless of how proud the town fathers feel about Poe’s place in the literary pantheon, how inspiring is a football team named for some creepy crow in the corner, constantly carping on your tragic loss?

I made up my mind not to like them from the very first. It just seemed all wrong. But that was then. This is now. Whoever he works for, there’s just something very right about the Ravens’ head coach, Brian Billick. A Pisces, born February 28, 1954, at 11:53 pm EST in Fairborn, Ohio, Billick is widely regarded as both an offensive genius and a genuinely nice guy. Billick was the brains behind the record-setting Minnesota Vikings offense in 1998. So how did this points-meister wind up heading a team feared for their suffocating defense, but whose offense hasn’t scored a single touchdown in their last three games?

Quoth the Ravens, “Never Score!”

The Ravens’ defense pitched three shutouts in the first six games. Admittedly, two of them were against the Cincinnati Bungles and the Cleveland Clowns, easily the two worst teams in the NFL, but an impressive feat, nonetheless. Meanwhile, the offense, presumably Billick’s forte, started strong under quarterback Tony Banks, but seems to have lately pulled a “Lenore.” Can Coach Billick resurrect the dead in time to save this once promising season?

You’ve probably heard a lot in recent weeks about the current opposition between Jupiter in Gemini and Pluto in Sagittarius. It has been a dominant astrological influence lately, affecting everything in general, and Brian Billick in particular. The Jupiter-Pluto opposition occurred at 10 degrees of Gemini and Sagittarius. Because Coach Billick was born with his natal Mars at 10 degrees Sagittarius, and his natal Sun and Mercury at 10 degrees Pisces, the Jupiter-Pluto opposition has had a particularly strong impact on him.

Jupiter in Gemini has formed a 90-degree square aspect to his Pisces Sun and Mercury, while exactly opposing his natal Mars. Meanwhile, transiting Pluto has been conjunct his natal Mars while also forming the 90-degree square aspect to his Pisces Sun and Mercury. On the one hand, this configuration has intensified both his focus and his energy (Mars). His team has “arrived,” and he along with it. But it has also been very troublesome, as squares often are.

Football is always difficult. If it doesn’t hurt, you’re not doing it right. However, the Ravens’ offensive misfirings have been nothing less than embarrassing in recent weeks. Tempers are flaring, accusations are flying. At this new plateau in the team’s development, the life-or-death, regenerative influence of Pluto seems to be driving them back to square one. They may need to break it back down to build it back up.

Naturally, a lot of fingers are pointing in the direction of quarterback Tony Banks. An Aries, born April 5, 1973, at 10:48 pm PST in San Diego, California, Banks has the dubious distinction of being the former quarterback of the St. Louis Rams. The Rams parted ways with this Aries, and the rest is history. There is no shortage of talent in Banks’ chart, but talent is no substitute for execution and consistency on the field.

Banks’ chart features a brilliant combination of fire and air. His Sun-Venus-Chiron conjunction in Aries is forming both a harmonious trine, or 120 degree angle, to his fiery Sagittarius Ascendant, and a sextile (60-degree angle) to his Saturn in Gemini on his Descendant. These unusually close alignments are an indication of an inspired and integrated personality. The tight conjunction of Mars and Jupiter at 7 degrees of Aquarius is linked by another helpful sextile, or 60-degree angle, to his Neptune at 7 degrees Sagittarius. Sometimes helpful aspects like trines and sextiles make it so easy to be good that it’s hard to be great. Will Banks ever be able to fully implement all this dynamic potential?

Tony Banks’ most productive time may well be next season. He will get a tremendous planetary boost when transiting Pluto in Sagittarius, now at 11 degrees, finally arrives at his Ascendant (15 degrees Sagittarius) in December 2001. At the same time, transiting Neptune will be at 7 degrees Aquarius, conjunct his Jupiter and Mars. If the Ravens continue to develop their offense around him, they could be flying high in the playoffs next season. It takes time for a team to "jell"—for the individual parts to blend and complement each other—especially if there are outside distractions, such as bad football karma. The Ravens are just starting to spread their wings. If they continue to develop their offense around Tony Banks, they should be flying high in the playoffs next season.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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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