December 29, 2022 saw the passing of a man generally acknowledged as the greatest soccer player of all time, Pele. The mononymous sports superstar is the only player ever to compete in three winning FIFA World Cup finals, holds the Guinness World record for most lifetime goals, and was designated Player of the Century by international soccer’s governing body, FIFA. Raised in poverty in the Sao Paulo state of Brazil, too destitute to afford a real ball, Pele learned his sport by playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied off, or a grapefruit. He joined his first professional team at age 15 and was picked up by the Brazil national team a year later.
Pele fielded offers to play all over the world, but remained loyal to his home country until retirement from Brazilian club football in 1975, when he signed with an American team, the New York Cosmos, for three seasons before full retirement at age 37. In later life Pele was appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. Over the decades he has been involved in many charitable organizations and in 2018, established the Pelé Foundation, which endeavors to empower impoverished and disenfranchised children from around the globe. Pele died of multiple organ failure, a complication of colon cancer.
Born Edson Arantes do Nascimento, there is some mystery about Pele’s birth and nickname. Although an official birth certificate is extant, listing 21 October 1940 at 3 AM BZT in Tres Coracoes, Brazil as his birthdate (Rodden Rating AA), in his own autobiography of 2006, Pele lists the date as October 23. I have used the official birth record information to cast the chart. Pele also claims not to remember how he became associated with the nickname by which he became world famous, which has no meaning in Portuguese (the language of Brazil), but derives from a Hebrew term meaning “miracle”, surely an apt descriptor, however he came by it.
Not surprisingly, Pele has an asteroid named for him by that moniker, but I have also used asteroid Edisona, named for inventor Thomas Edison, for whom Pele’s parents originally named him “Edson,” dropping the “i”. As his career blossomed and his reputation spread, Pele also became known as “Rei”, Portuguese for “king”, and I have added asteroids King and Rey (the Spanish version) to the interpretation.
Natal Mars at 10 Libra doesn’t make the sort of statement one might expect of an international sports star, nor does asteroid Pele at 29 Scorpio, though the two are widely semisquare each other. Mars does oppose asteroid Brasilia at 7 Aries, named for the capital of the country Pele represented on the soccer field for 19 years. There is also a close inconjunct to an exact pairing of Jupiter with Saturn at 12 Taurus, which in itself implies a larger-than-life (Jupiter) career (Saturn) as an athlete (Mars). Mars is semisextile the 9 Virgo Ascendant, a weak aspect, while Pele is semisextile the 27 Libra Sun and opposes Uranus at 25 Taurus, perhaps the source of his phenomenal energy and inventiveness of play, with Pele pioneering many of the sport’s signature moves.
It is his given name of Edson, in the form of asteroid Edisona, which makes the greater impact; at 12 Scorpio this exactly opposes the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, and is just within orb of natal Mercury at 22 Scorpio, one of the four most common placements for one’s own PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid), which typically interact with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or Mercury (as ruling the naming function).
Asteroid King, which became another referent for Pele among his countrymen, appears at 13 Virgo conjoined the 9 Virgo Ascendant (one’s public image) and Venus at 16 Virgo, suggesting the universal admiration and esteem in which he was held, beloved of many. Asteroid Rey at 16 Pisces closely squares the 15 Gemini Midheaven, denoting status, reputation and place in the world.
The FIFA World Cup is a quadrennial event, occurring every four years; Brazil is the only nation to have won three of these competitions, in 1958, 1962 and 1970, and Pele the only player to have performed in all three. At the final of the Sixth World Cup on 29 June 1958, the first in which Pele participated, the Sun at 7 Cancer opposed asteroid Pele at 15 Capricorn, spotlighting the talented newcomer. A T-Square is formed with Mars, ruling sports and competitions, at 15 Ares on the fulcrum; a second T-Square involves Mars, Pele and Jupiter at 21 Libra, but this is too wide to be considered a Grand Cross with the Sun. It does, however, boost Pele’s reputation (Jupiter) as an athlete (Mars).
Brazil’s victory is seen in asteroid Brasilia at 21 Sagittarius, exactly conjoined Saturn and opposed asteroid Victoria, named for the Roman goddess of victory, at 23 Gemini. Pele’s personal triumph is reinforced by asteroid Nike at 13 Pisces, named for Victoria’s Greek counterpart. Nike is at station, and sextile to both Pele at 15 Capricorn, and asteroid Edisona at 9 Taurus, granting Pele his winning vibe.
At the subsequent World Cup, the Seventh, in 1962, Pele and Brazil again dominated. The final match occurred June 17th, and again shows Brazil in a winning position, with asteroid Brasilia at 29 Virgo in a T-Square with the 25 Gemini Sun and asteroid Nike at 22 Sagittarius. Pele’s role is seen in asteroid Edisona at 8 Capricorn, opposed Victoria at 11 Cancer, while asteroid Pele at 6 Gemini squares Jupiter at 12 Pisces, further heightening the reputation of the soccer star, fast on his way to becoming a global legend.
Brazil and Pele’s third World Cup win came in 1970, at the Ninth of the series, with the final match played on June 21st. Pele’s fame is now assured, with asteroid Edisona at 29 Cancer in square to Jupiter at 26 Libra, and asteroid Pele at 14 Virgo on their midpoint, semisquare to each. Asteroid Brasilia at 4 Gemini squares Victoria out-of-Sign at 28 Leo, granting Brazil the laurel wreath in that contest.
When Pele passed away on 29 December 2022, transit asteroid Edisona was stationary in the sky at 6 Virgo, having turned retrograde just two days prior, signaling a literal “turning point” for the soccer phenom. Edisona further conjoins Pele’s natal Ascendant at 9 Virgo, exactly squared by transit Mars at 9 Gemini.
Transit asteroid Pele at 8 Scorpio was exactly squared asteroid Atropos at 8 Aquarius, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death. Pele also rests on the Apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to both Mars at 9 Gemini and asteroid King at 7 Aries, for the sports (Mars) legend nominated “the King” by his countrymen. As if to confirm this, transit King exactly cojoins Pele’s natal asteroid Brasilia, and both are exactly squared by the transit Sun at 7 Capricorn; transit asteroid Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, makes this a T-Square from 3 Libra.
A precise pairing of Saturn, ancient lord of death, and asteroid Lachesis, named for Atropos’ sister Fate who determines the span of life, at 22 Aquarius, exactly squares transit asteroid Requiem at 22 Scorpio, named for the funeral mass for the dead, and is exactly trine Pele’s natal Moon at 22 Gemini and exactly squared natal Mercury at 22 Scorpio (which is exactly conjoined by transit Requiem), bringing news (Mercury) of the death (Saturn, Lachesis, Requiem) of Pele’s physical body (Moon). Transit asteroid Brasilia at 18 Pisces conjoins Pele’s natal Lachesis and Rey at 15 and 16 Pisces, signaling the death (Lachesis) of the man whom Brazilians (Brasilia) recognized as their “king” (Rey).
And so another global legend passes into the firmament, where a place has already been prepared for him by astronomers. RIP, Pele!