What’s in a name? When the Cleveland franchise was called the Indians, the name included controversy and 106 years of tenacity; perhaps what you could expect from an Ascendant in Capricorn afflicted by a square from Saturn and another square from a Moon in Aries. The Cleveland franchise recently put to rest the “Indians” mascot and renamed themselves the “Guardians.” A look through the astrology of the rise and fall of the Indians mascot and the christening of the Guardians is revealing. A mascot is a function of the Ascendant which rules outer personality and appearance; and the emergence and demise of the Indians mascot occurred under Mars and Pluto transits to the team’s Ascendant. Similarly, the arrival of the Guardians mascot came upon a Pluto transit to the team’s Ascendant.
The following is a timeline of the rise and fall of the Indians mascot and the arrival of the Guardians mascot.
Dec. 24, 1913 Louis Sockalexis Dies: Right fielder Luis Sockalexis, a Penobscot Indian, who played for the Cleveland Spiders of the National League in the 1890s, died on Dec. 24, 1913 in his home state of Maine. Sockalexis had been a sensation for the Spiders, but his career was cut short by alcoholism. He would die of heart failure at the young age of 42. On the day of his death, Mars, in retrograde transit at 22 degrees Cancer, was opposite to Jupiter in transit at 21 degrees Capricorn. Both these planets would make strong aspects to the Cleveland birthchart: Jupiter was exactly conjunct the Ascendant, while Mars was conjunct the Descendant. Mars, along with Pluto, is a planet of death. A Mars transit on the Descendant of a birthchart is closely symbolic to the sunset that brings death. The death of Luis Sockalexis under this Jupiter and Mars opposition would coincide with Sockalexis becoming the uncomfortable face of the franchise for more than 100 years.
Sockalexis’ birthchart includes Neptune at 22 degrees Aries, which is square to Cleveland’s Ascendant. Perhaps if a time of birth becomes unearthed or his birthchart is rectified, an axis point of his birthchart may include a degree of 21 Capricorn to match the Cleveland Ascendant. Lacking this, we have his Neptune of 22 Aries to contemplate. Squares from Neptune come with misinformation and scandal. A square from Sockalexis’ Neptune to Cleveland’s Ascendant demonstrates Sockalexis’ problematic connection to the team. The team’s fans and owners claimed the Indians mascot was meant to honor Sockalexis. Native American groups, however, strongly objected to how the team mascot characterized them. Others argue that the adoption of the Indians mascot had little to do with Luis Sockalexis, and that his picture in a Cleveland press guide was only used to justify the Indians mascot.
Jan. 17, 1915: Cleveland changes Its Mascot from Naps to Indians: After the 1914 season, second baseman Napoleon Lajoie left the Cleveland team. Cleveland would lose the literal face of its franchise as the team had been called the Cleveland Napoleons or Naps for more than 10 years after their most popular player. When Lajoie left Cleveland, a new mascot was needed. It is widely written that a newspaper poll of Cleveland fans was conducted in 1915 to determine the new mascot, and that Cleveland fans choose the name “Indians” to honor Louis Sockalexis who had recently died. I, myself, repeated this misinformation in my book, Baseball: An Astrological Sightline. But recent scholarship reveals that in 1915, the Cleveland franchise consulted sportswriters rather than fans for mascot suggestions. Some historians now consider that the name “Indians” was not intended to honor Sockalexis but was picked at a time when Native American mascots had become popular. In 1915, such mascots were likely inspired by the Boston Braves who had just won the 1914 World Series. Regardless of the true motive behind the christening and of the accuracy of the historians revisions, the transits that took place upon Sockalexis’ death have an uncanny synchronicity with the team’s Ascendant. Astrology demonstrates that the death of Sockalexis was very much a part of the naming of the franchise.
The transits for the announcement of the Indians mascot are illuminating. The name “Indians” was announced on Jan. 17, 1915. That day, Mars, in transit at 20 degrees Capricorn, was exactly conjunct the team’s Ascendant. One could say that Mars, with its mean edge, carried the stereotype of the Indian, depicting them as a savage, belonging-on-Mars race, and that the red planet even painted them its color. Less offensively, perhaps the mascot emerged from the Ascendant’s stony energy. Native Americans are sometimes described as having chiseled features. A face that is chiseled-in-stone corresponds with a Capricorn Ascendant. Regardless, the Indians mascot would endure for 106 years. Mars in Capricorn is very tenacious.
1947: Big Chief Wahoo logo added to uniforms: The origins of the cartoon caricature are not clear. Cartoon figures of Native Americans in association with the Cleveland team began to appear in the 1930s. The Cleveland Plain Dealer featured a cartoon called “The Little Indian” as early as 1932, which would express joy when the local team won and frustration after loses. In 1947, Cleveland owner Bill Veeck commissioned 17-year-old Walter Goldback to draw the cartoon image of an Indian that would be sewn on the team’s uniforms.
In my research, I could not uncover a date the for the launch of the Big Chief Wahoo logo. Documentation of this date can probably be found in the Cleveland newspapers of 1947. Interestingly, on Jan. 13, 1947, Mars was in transit at 20 Capricorn and conjunct the team’s Ascendant. The artist may have been given the commission on that day; or perhaps January 13 was the day that the logo became public.
1991: Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance Is Formed in Cleveland: The Committee was formed to protest the upcoming 500th year anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Western Hemisphere. The Committee would last beyond the 500-year anniversary, which took place in 1992, and soon focus its efforts toward compelling the Cleveland franchise to drop the Big Chief Wahoo mascot and change its name away from Indians. During the year of the Committee’s founding, the planets Uranus and Neptune were conjunct in the sign of Capricorn. In 1991, Uranus would travel from 9 degrees to 13 degrees Capricorn while Neptune would progress from 14 Capricorn to 16 Capricorn. These two outer planets are responsible for slow institutional changes. That year, they were loosely conjunct to the franchise’s Ascendant, and in closer conjunction to the team’s natal Venus of 15 Capricorn. Cleveland’s Venus is in the Twelve House of hidden things. Perhaps a hidden effort to change the mascot began somewhere deep within the franchise under this transit.
January 29, 2018: Big Chief Wahoo Retired: The Cleveland franchise announced that they would stop using the Big Chief Wahoo logo on Jan. 29, 2018 as the Sun at 10 degrees Aquarius was trine to the team’s Pluto. The Sun in Aquarius strives for inclusion and elevation of all peoples, as Aquarius is the sign of humanity. Here, the energy of Aquarius elevated the Native Americans by assisting in the removal of a demeaning logo. Also, Pluto at 19 degrees Capricorn was approaching an exact conjunction to the team’s Ascendant of 21 degrees Capricorn. The team announced that the logo would not be eliminated immediately but in the next year of 2019, a year when transitting Pluto was at 21 Capricorn and conjunct within a degree of Cleveland’s Ascendant.
December 13, 2020: Indian Mascot Retired: On December 13, 2020, the Cleveland franchise announced it was ending the Indian mascot. The year 2020 had brought much civil unrest to the United States as Pluto, Saturn and Jupiter formed a triple conjunction in Capricorn. The death of George Floyd brought a renewed call for racial justice and an end to long-standing racist practices. Confederate statues and other icons with racist elements were toppled. The Indians mascot would fall alongside statues of Robert E. Lee.
The announcement was made with the Moon in Sagittarius conjunct to the team’s Mercury and opposite the team’s Pluto. Venus was conjunct the team’s Sun in Scorpio. Pluto had advanced to 23 Capricorn, no longer exact the Ascendant but still within orb. But most interesting, Mars at 20 degrees Aries was square to the team’s Ascendant and opposite the team’s Saturn. The planet Mars, which was present at the birth of the Indians mascot, was there at its death.
July 23, 2021: Guardians Mascot Announced: On July 23, 2021, the Cleveland baseball franchise announced its new mascot as the Guardians. This announcement was made as the Moon formed an exact conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn. Pluto and the Moon were conjunct at 25 degrees Capricorn and transiting through the team’s First House, and just 5 degrees from the team’s Ascendant. Also, Mercury was near 21 degrees Cancer, conjunct the Descendant and directly opposite the team’s Ascendant.
The mascot of the Guardian asks to be deconstructed. What archetype is it representing? A video produced by the team highlights statues in Cleveland that are known as “the Guardians of Traffic.” These statues, like the chiseled-in-stone depictions of Native Americans, are consistent with a Capricorn Ascendant as individuals with Capricorn Rising often have a statue look to them. The Guardian is also an image of strength and power in keeping with Capricorn. But the Guardian’s strength is a quiet one and that of a protector rather than that of an attacker, Saturnian rather than Martian.
The Indian mascot held tight for 106 years. It endured decades of controversy and numerous outer planet transits to Cleveland’s Ascendant. But 2020 brought Pluto and a year of social unrest which forced it into retirement. The Cleveland Franchise, with its Sun in Scorpio, responded to Pluto, the planet most in vibe with its Scorpio energy. The future is now about the Guardians and how this archetype unfolds as the team evolves.