And so we come to (quite possibly) the trickiest chart of the tournament on which to give judgement.
Not least because, as an England supporter, this astrologer must work especially hard to put any natural bias to one side.
For the first time in this tournament, England go into this match as the outsiders, with the odds strongly favouring current World Champions the USA.
The research of astrologer Sally Kirkman
has found that essential dignity can play a crucial role in the event charts of sporting contests. As favourites, the USA are represented by Saturn, strongly placed in his own sign. However, Saturn has also to contend with a powerful affliction; an exact conjunction with the debilitating South Node. Furthermore, Pluto, who John Frawley notes in his book "Sports Astrology"; "seems to hold some kind of grudge against the favourites" (p90, Apprentice Books 2007) although too far from Saturn to do any direct damage* partners with the South Node in beseigement of the USA's main significator - a highly pernicious influence.
Fortuna conjunct the ascendant may appear to favour the USA, but this placement is common to all matches which kick off at the same time around the New Moon: It is usually the placement of Fortuna's antiscion, and her dispositor which are of more significance. However, this is no run-of-the-mill Saturday afternoon match, but a World Cup Semi-Final, so the favourable placement of Fortuna, exactly on the 1st house cusp, cannot be completely ruled out, particularly as she is disposited by Saturn, the USA's main significator.
So we have one wholly positive testimony for the USA (Saturn in his own sign) and a very favourable if slightly unorthodox testimony (Fortuna conjunct the ascendant), counterbalanced by Saturn's beseigement between a debilitating South Node and malevolent partner-in-crime Pluto.
But what of their opponents, England? Here, we are presented with a problem: The Moon, whose role as significator of the action is paramount in contest charts, is also ruler of the 7th house cusp and hence England's main significator. John Frawley counsels us to substitute the Moon's dispositor in such situations, but here this avails us little as the Moon is in her own sign of Cancer. This means we only have one planet (Venus, Lady of the 4th at 28 Gemini 57) to represent England. The antiscion of Venus (at 01 Cancer 03) is conjunct the 7th house cusp; a favourable testimony as it shows a connection between the 4th house (victory for the outsiders) and the house which signifies the team themselves (7th house). The antiscion of Venus placed just inside the 7th house would be better, as it would show victory in the possession of England. Here, placed on the 7th house cusp, it merely shows that thoughts of victory are upmost in the minds of the players (if they win this game it will be the first time England will play in a World Cup Final since 1966). Nevertheless, this is a guarantee (if any were needed) that England will be bringing their A-game to the match, and is therefore a favourable testimony.
If the primarily Moon represents the action, what is she telling us? The Moon is placed inside the 7th house cusp, a potentially favourable sign which will show England taking control of the game. The orb is slightly wider than would usually be considered effective, but the Moon is strong in her own sign of Cancer, so we can perhaps allow ourselves a little leeway.
But most significantly, the Moon also applies to a total Solar Eclipse, which (although not visible in Lyon) will take place during the first half of the match. Eclipses are rarely an auspicious omen, and can often indicate a lack of clarity, or the obscuring of truth or events. In the context of the match in question, it may mean that the match officials have a harder task on their hands than usual.
A more poetic interpretation would be to see the Sun (placed in the 7th house) as symbolic of England (the Sun as ruler of Leo, signifying the Lionesses). In which case, do we interpret the eclipse as the darkening of England's World Cup hopes, or the Moon's conjunction with the Sun awarding them victory? The unfortunate reputation of eclipses would suggest the former interpretation, but this England supporter holds out hope for the latter.
Sports Astrology by John Frawley
Christian Astrology by William Lilly
Chart calculated with Astrogold for Mobile
Astrological Analysis by www.louiseofarabia
Image of goddesses Athena and Nike by Robert Auer
*John Frawley notes that an orb of 1-2 degrees is most effective for the outer planets in contest charts