His natal chart has the classic Mars/Pluto aspect of achieving sporting greatness and although he did not get to win gold at an Olympic Games, he did manage gold at the Commonwealth Games, in Victoria Canada in 1994, as part of a four man, time trial team.
He went on to win gold at the inaugural Malaysian Tour de Langkawi in 1996, and also represented Australia at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta.
Sadly, Damian McDonald’s life came to an end as he set off on the morning of 23rd March, 2007 and just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, as he took that fateful journey through the Burnley tunnel at 9.55am, when three motorists were killed in a bizarre accident. Damian was born on 12th May, 1972 in Wangaratta, Victoria, Australia.
On the day he was born, the Sun (personality) was in the sign of Taurus and Moon (emotions) was either in the sign of Aries or Taurus.
After looking at the chart from both from the astrological personality profile angle and the tributes in our newspapers, I have set the chart for 1.30 am, in the town of Wangaratta, where he spent his childhood. It is more likely that the Moon was in the sign of Aries as it gives an active imagination and a fiery ambition which one needs as a competitive sports person. The Moon on 29 degrees of Aries, would also tie in with the chart of Victoria, the tributes in the newspapers and the personality profile attributed to a person with the Taurus/Aries blend.
On the other hand he could have been born just as the Moon went into Taurus as the Ascendant would then have been in Aries, giving a similar outcome. The newspapers describe him as lovable larrikin and a dedicated competitor.
He was witty, charming and everything he did, he did with passion. He loved life and he lived it to the full. The astrological blend of Taurus/Aries gives a person whose intellect and emotional nature is powerful in its own right. Energy and passion is high and there is a strong urge to succeed.
The Mars/Pluto aspect on the 90 degree dial also makes a connection with Venus. This gives a passionate disposition and strengthens the whole chart. It also adds a super human effort to the equation.
Another pattern on the 90 degree dial indicating success would be the Mercury/Moon’s Node/Moon which gives a great working relationship with the public. Damian McDonald was a dedicated competitor in the sport of cycling and his hard work paid off when he won gold at the Commonwealth Games.
Looking at his chart for that year we see, by Solar Arc, Jupiter, planet of luck and success was to the Mercury/Node/Moon of the natal chart. Ebertin, in his book, “Combination of Stellar Influences,” says of this aspect, that it is a successful partnership and he did win the medal as part of a team.
If we look closely at the Solar Return Gold Medal chart, on the second wheel from the outside, which is the progressed chart, we see that the Sun has just passed, Saturn, planet of disappointments and upsets. The Sun in progressions, moves like the Solar Arc, and that is, one day = one year and each year is one degree. So; if we subtract two degrees (which equals two years) and move the Sun back it makes an aspect to Saturn.
Two years prior to the Commonwealth Games, Damian was made a reserve for the four-man pursuit at the Barcelona Olympic Games, where the other team members won a silver medal. Obviously he was bitterly disappointed but using this method, and looking at the chart from many angles, we can see what ahead in life, and move forward.
As a Cosmobiologist, I find the 90 degree charts are very visual and easy to read. On a traditional 360 degree wheel one has to look to see where these aspects are. So many houses away are a square and, so many houses away they are in opposition. Trying to figure all this out when reading a chart, stops our creative and spiritual flow with the universe.
On the 90 degree dial the planets show up together, in the Cardinal/Fixed/Mutable spread and one can see the aspects straight away and just read them. Whether they are positive or negative, we can plan our lives accordingly. Sometimes a disappointment makes us more determined to succeed.
The Sun Herald Newspaper, dated March 25, 2007, in their tribute to McDonald said precisely this: “On his disappointment of being made a reserve for the four-man pursuit at the Barcelona Olympics, watching his team win a silver medal, he used the disappointment to motivate him to achieve Olympic selection four years later.
In Atlanta he finished 64th in the gruelling 221 men’s individual road race.” Looking at the chart for the day of his death, we see that for some time now transiting Pluto was in opposition to Mars and square to Pluto, indicating intense energies, which if not harnessed can lead to serious accidents.
I have put the pointer on the transiting Sun as it made a midpoint to Saturn/Node. The explanation, Ebertin gives for this aspect is, the separated husband. McDonald was a devoted family man and he is survived by his wife Bree, manager of the Melbourne Phoenix netball side and his young son Lachlan.
Symbolically, Phoenix was a fabled bird in Greek mythology. Only one bird existed, at any one time and it was always male. When one died a new one rose from the ashes and went on to achieve more greatness.
Maybe, the name of the netball team which his mother coaches, is an omen and we see Damian’s young son rise to even greater heights than he did. In the meantime, we surround his family with love and support as they grieve for their loved one. May he rest in peace.