Sports astrologer Andrea Mallis has long been fascinated by the movements of the stars—although, back when she was growing up in Queens, the stars in question were Tom Seaver, Jerry Koosman, and Tug McGraw.
Her older brother “created a monster,” she says, teaching her about baseball and sharing the joy of the Mets’ 1973 “You Gotta Believe!” season, which saw the Amazins claw their way back from last place to win the National League pennant.
She later moved to Berkeley, California to pursue a PhD in sociology, but left that course of study behind and became a certified astrologer in 1989. It was at an Oakland A’s game in 2001 that Mallis—who by that point had accumulated more than a decade of experience in astrology—had an epiphany.
“I bought the team magazine and [A's pitcher] Barry Zito was on the cover. It talked about him being eccentric, playing guitar, doing yoga. I was like, ‘Huh, I wonder what his chart looks like,’” she said.
On a whim, Mallis called into the A’s postgame show: “I figured, ‘All right, everyone else has their opinion, let me share mine.’” She was an instant hit. Mallis was soon given a regular segment, the Astrology Minute, on the program, then started writing for team magazines and attending MLB’s Winter Meetings.
In the years since, she’s worked with teams, coaches, GMs, players, players’ parents, and even players’ wives and girlfriends. (“I’ve counseled them on their husbands’ charts—and their fidelity, or lack thereof,” she explained. “That’s been an interesting branch.”) Currently, she contributes forecasts to KNBR, the San Francisco Giants flagship radio station, and Comcast SportsNet Bay Area TV.
But Andrea’s work isn’t limited to baseball. In 2015, she accurately forecasted the Golden State Warriors’ NBA championship, the team’s first in 40 years.
We asked Andrea to explain the unique practice of sports astrology and to share her Panthers vs. Broncos predictions for Super Bowl 50, which—for those of you charting along at home—will take place on February 7, 2016 at 3:30 p.m. in Santa Clara, California.
To what extent have you found that athletes and teams are open to hearing about astrology? Do you meet with a lot of resistance?
People don’t fully understand what astrology is. It gets lost in translation, and frankly, dumbed down into horoscope columns or little sound bites. It’s very complex in terms of [a] person’s uniqueness. That’s why astrologists always harp on, “Do you know what time you were born? Do you know where you were born—longitude, latitude?” It’s a metaphysical science.
Once you convince the team owners, coaches, and players that it’s a metaphysical science, then they’re very earnest about it. It’s about a map of optimum timing. It’s about upcoming opportunities, major cycles of growth and change. If you know it’s going to rain, wear a raincoat. You always have free will, but it’s about fine-tuning these cycles so you can make the most of a positive cycle and you can mitigate a challenging cycle.
Baseball is traditionally an old boys’ network, with a very male energy, but once I get past the barrier and explain what astrology can and can’t do, more and more teams are catching on. I’m not saying throw out all the scouting reports and sabermetrics and [legendary statistician] Bill James. You know, if you saw the movie Moneyball, it’s like all the stats and different ways of looking at things—astrology is another resource in the toolbag. Teams are always looking for a competitive edge, and baseball players are very superstitious.
I know you’ve described astrology as a “scouting tool.” What are some insights you could take away from a player’s chart?
Here’s the crux of it: [The sports industry] rewards athletes based on past performance. Sports astrology [talks] about the player’s future performance. Our charts change, every day, every week, every month, every year. They’re not static. Our forecast changes. It’s a big gamble when they just sign on the dotted line.
In Major League Baseball, there are guaranteed contracts. Once you sign a pitcher, you’re on the hook to pay them. In terms of scouting, you’d see whose star is on the rise, and who might run into some difficulties. There’s a big marker called the Saturn return, which occurs at age 29. That’s a cycle of endings and new beginnings. That’s when, for example, Jason Giambi bolted from the A’s to the Yankees. It’s when a lot of players have big endings and beginnings of their contracts. Obviously, they don’t stick around much for the mid-life crisis around 40, 41, but 29 is telling.
In terms of scouting, Mars is a crucial planet for an athlete. It rules energy, assertion, aggression. So you want to see—painting with a broad brush—what cycles, what transits (meaning what’s currently happening) for the next several years, to the athlete’s Sun sign, their basic vitality, and Mars. That’s in addition to clubhouse chemistry. Astrology can save a team millions of dollars, just in terms of how many players are on the disabled list.
Are there particular zodiac signs that are well represented among athletes?
I like to see fire signs—Aries, Leo, Sagittarius—and a strong Mars, but any sign can excel. [Warriors point guard] Steph Curry’s a Pisces. That’s not the first sign I would think of for an athlete. But he’s a beast. And guess what? He has Mars exalted in Capricorn, which means he’s got a super-powerful Mars. And he’s really intuitive. He flows—Pisces is a water sign.
To make her Super Bowl predictions, Andrea constructed birth charts—which reflect the position of the heavens at the place, day, and if available, exact time the subject was born— for both teams’ quarterbacks and head coaches, then interpreted the current passages of the planets in relation to those birth positions.
Cam Newton: Quarterback for the Carolina Panthers
Born May 11, 1989 in Atlanta, Georgia
He’s a Taurus, which is very strong, determined. But his Leo Moon is really what’s getting all the press: the dances he does in the end zone. The Moon is our emotions, it’s our habit patterns. And Leo is very creative, dramatic. Cam Newton’s Moon in Leo is flamboyant, playful, self-expressive. The dances, the whole Superman thing [Newton's signature celebration]: He’s just being true to who he is, a big bundle of fun. He has Mercury in Gemini—quick-thinking.
Transit-wise, for the Super Bowl, Jupiter in Virgo is trining [a harmonious relationship between planets 120 degrees apart] his Sun in Taurus. Jupiter’s the planet of expansion and abundance. It’s like the Santa Claus of the zodiac. He expands whatever he touches. This is a very excellent time, when Cam’s more buoyant and confident, more optimistic, lucky. Jupiter is in Virgo for one year, and when it’s in Virgo, all the earth signs, including Taurus and Capricorn, get a boost.
Mars will be in Scorpio during the Super Bowl. It will be opposing his Sun in Taurus. That means intense competition, seeking out a battle to test your own powers. With a regular client—who works, say, in real estate—that may or may not be good, but when you’re an athlete, that can be to your advantage. Venus in Capricorn will be trining his Sun in Taurus. Capricorn and Taurus are both earth signs, so that’s a positive aspect—Venus to the Sun being well thought of.
Peyton Manning: Quarterback for the Denver Broncos
Born March 24, 1976 In New Orleans, Louisiana
A couple background things about Aries: Pioneering, inspiring, daring, competitive. Again, a fair amount of athletes are Aries, or have planets in Aries.
But the transits, what’s happening currently, are really the most important dynamic. When I fine-tune my forecast for the Super Bowl, Peyton has a transit that has to do with saying goodbye, and that’s Mercury in Capricorn, opposing Saturn—a time of leaving, separating from friends, letting go of something that no longer has a positive purpose in your life.
People may be talking about the storybook ending, with Peyton riding off into the sunset with another ring, but I have to say, based on the information I have, Cam Newton’s chart looks stronger for the Super Bowl. It’s a heavier time for Manning, almost a dark night of the soul.
I really do think that the way planets are aligning, it would be an auspicious time for him to retire: Make it to a fourth Super Bowl and gracefully pass the torch. It would be a nice ending. But Aries, let’s face it, they’re pretty competitive. You’ve got to take it from him. He’s not going to give it to you. So there’s that.
Ron Rivera: Head Coach of the Carolina Panthers
Born January 7, 1962 in Fort Ord, California
His Sun is in Capricorn, his Venus is in Capricorn, his Mars is in Capricorn. He’s nothing if not goal-oriented and ambitious! If you see him at the post-game, he’s very Capricorn: practical, disciplined, conscientious, reserved. He's not dancing on tabletops.
And now, Pluto, planet of change, transformation, is in Capricorn. Pluto is power. He’s empowered, asserting himself, and leading with greater conviction. He’s already super-ambitious being a Capricorn, and this just intensifies it. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime transit, once every 248 years. Not to be too dramatic, but it divides his life into before and after. Steph Curry had Pluto to his Mars in Capricorn, had an incredible MVP season and continues to excel.
Gary Kubiak: Head Coach for the Denver Broncos
Born August 15, 1961 in Houston, Texas
There’s a commanding presence, a dignity with a Leo. Creative, dramatic. But again, the forecast—what’s happening on Super Bowl 50—is that the Sun’s in Aquarius, and it's the Dark Moon in Aquarius. It’s not a high-energy time for him. And Mercury is in Capricorn on his Saturn on Capricorn—that’s OK, realistic, no-nonsense—but it slows things down and it makes things more uncommunicative.
So whereas Ron Rivera—literally, his chart is off the charts—Kubiak doesn’t have that level of intensity brewing. It’s not showing indicators of extra vitality and leadership, that feeling of ‘This is it. This is your year.” Not quite as powerful.
Andrea’s Super Bowl prediction: a Panthers win, with both Newton and Rivera’s forecasts outshining their Denver counterparts.
She also weighed in on the Patriots’ crushing loss to the Broncos in the AFC championship game through an analysis of Tom Brady’s chart.
Tom Brady: Quarterback for the New England Patriots
Born August 3, 1977 at 11:48 a.m. in San Mateo, California
Tom Brady clearly has been struggling since Deflategate last year, and they threw him all over the football field [in the title game]. He is the poster child for very difficult transits. I have his accurate birth time, which was a coup. Let’s just say Giselle is interested in astrology—we’ll leave it at that.
Another Leo: creative, dramatic, authoritative. Moon in Aries, fiery and competitive. Libra rising—Libra is the pretty boy. Libra’s beauty and harmony. The minute I got that birth time, I was like, “Uh-huh, got it, that makes sense.”
Transiting Neptune in Pisces is opposing his Mercury, the planet of communication, in Virgo. Confusion, deception. That started last year, from Deflategate and continuing now through the playoffs. Neptune transits are really tricky. Whenever I see a Neptune transit, it’s a red flag. Because one, it’s a long-term cycle, it moves a couple of degrees a year, and two, it’s a confusing cycle. You’re being misunderstood and you’re subject to chaotic situations and difficult working conditions.
Mars is a crucial planet for an athlete—it rules energy, assertion, aggression. Saturn is opposing Brady’s Mars: Saturn being the planet of discipline, limitation, and karma. I couldn’t think of a worse transit for an athlete. Mars is your power, you don’t want anything limiting it. It’s like gas versus the brake. For lack of a better word, it’s very deflating. He feels frustrated, restricted, and blocked. The more he tries, the more futile it seems.
This interview has been condensed and edited.
Andrea Mallis has 25 years experience as an astrologer. Visit her website, find her on Twitter @virgoinservice, and email her at email@example.com. You can also reach her voicemail at (510) 874-4911.
Molly Fitzpatrick is senior editor of Fusion's Pop & Culture section. Her interests include movies about movies, TV shows about TV shows, and movies about TV shows, but not so much TV shows about movies.