So today we're going to be looking into one of the most publicized and epic rivalries in motor sports: that between Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna. Through the TV screens, these two appeared as having very different personalities and driving styles, but exploring their birth card spreads with the help of Cards of Truth and Jaimini elements will reveal many inner similarities as well.
Senna (left) and Prost, when they were teammates at McLaren
We're going to start off by looking at their names: since they start with vowels, both names carry the energy of the Sun. Then, Ayrton Senna's birth card is a 3 of Diamonds, while Alain Prost is an Ace of Diamonds (by the way, you can calculate your birth card and spread here). So we have two Diamonds, with their root personality concerned with concrete realizations of their talents, but in different manners: the Ace is of course a manifestation of 1, the Sun, while the number 3 - of Mars. Another interesting thing about the two drivers is they have the same Atmakaraka (Soul planet): the competitive Mars.
So it's already becoming clear that these two men are deeply ingrained with the Kshatriya (warrior/ruler caste) qualities, since the Sun and Mars are the Kshatriya planets. As we go deeper into the analysis, you will see more hints confirming this observation.
Moving on with the Self factors.
Senna's Atmakaraka inhabits the 9 of Spades Saturn card, while Prost's Mars is in the 3 of Clubs Mars card (their birth spreads are pictured below). 3s and 9s are good together, they energize eachother, but Spades and Clubs are both masculine, active suits that are inherently competitive. Prost was the one who convinced his McLaren team manager to hire Senna in 1988, but as Senna won the championship that year, things naturally turned sour. For many years to come, they would publicly provoke eachother, their cars collided several times in key races thus deciding the championship between them, and also, on different occasions, they both accused racing authorities or their team of favoring the other driver. After leaving McLaren, Prost even put a clause in the contract for his new team not to hire Senna - to which the Brazilian driver responded by calling him a 'coward' during a press conference. So as two black cards, they pushed eachother's buttons heavily, but as a 3 and a 9, that got them to be better drivers and made the sport more entertaining for the public and more profitable for the organizers.
With Ketu in the 5 of Hearts Moon card, Prost was prone to feel he was being treated unfairly. During his years as a driver, he got fired twice for publicly criticizing his teams- another tense aspect pointing to that is the 3 of Spades on the Mercury card, with his Ascendant. His Atmakaraka being on a 3 of Clubs on the Mars card must have contributed to him being called 'The Professor', due to his calculated driving style, as opposed to Senna who was an enthusiast for the most dangerous maneuvers. Here are a couple of quotes from Prost talking about himself:
'Sometimes I think I could have got some better results if I had a different mentality; if I could have pushed hard and attacked. But then I would have had a good chance of making a mistake.'
'I always work the same way, starting from the beginning of the weekend, so I know at the beginning of the race, from all that I have analysed during the practice, whether I will win the race or not.'
In many charts, I noticed that having the Soul planet with the 1st cusp would make one more attuned to their soul purpose earlier on. Senna has his Soul planet sharing a card with the Ascendant - and he became interested in motor cars at the tender age of 4. He was an awkward kid diagnosed with a motor problem, but behind the wheel of the kart his father got him, he became completely transformed. No wonder that at age 4, his Ecliptic card was a 2 of Spades: coming together with a cure. The 10 of Clubs on the Venus card with Venus in it points to the kick-off of a new cycle of inspiration and magic that will heavily involve Venus: vehicles.
Anyway, at the age of 8, Senna was already driving his family's car. However, he could only start kart racing when he was 13, as that was the minimum age required in Brazil.
Age 4 quadration of Senna
Besides the Lagna, Senna has four planets with Saturn as their Lord (Moon, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), so they all occupy the solitude-oriented 9 of Spades. Any combination of two of either Jupiter, Mars or Moon is favorable for wealth. Unfortunately, Mars, Moon and Jupiter feel starved in Saturn's presence, but they do get some delight from one another (you need to know your planetary relationships to understand why - I talk a bit about that here). Here's a couple of interesting quotes of Senna that illustrate his busy 9 of Spades Saturn card very eloquently:
“The harder I push, the more I find within myself. I am always looking for the next step, a different world to go into, areas where I have not been before. It’s lonely driving a Grand Prix car, but very absorbing. I have experienced new sensations, and I want more. That is my excitement, my motivation.”
“I’m very privileged. I’ve always had a very good life. But everything that I’ve gotten out of life was obtained through dedication and a tremendous desire to achieve my goals…a great desire for victory, meaning victory in life, not as a driver. To all of you who have experienced this or are searching now, let me say that whoever you may be in your life, whether you’re at the highest or most modest level, you must show great strength and determination and do everything with love and a deep belief in God. One day, you’ll achieve your aim and you’ll be successful.“
Isn't it great how the above quotes describe the drivers' personalities? Even the way they are phrased show the two rivals' modus operandi: Prost, more practical, technical, uses short and to-the point phrases while Senna is more poetic, inward-oriented and referring to a higher experience or power.
Birth spread of Ayrton Senna
Birth card spread of Alain Prost
We saw Senna's path to karting, but how did the Frenchman Prost get into it?
Well, he inadvertently discovered karting during a family holiday - he was already very athletic, and in spite of his stature- he grew up to be 5'5 - he was practicing roller skating, wrestling and soccer with such a vigor that he broke his nose several times. Young Prost was thinking of becoming a gym coach or a soccer player. Internet sources quoting his biography mention he started karting officially at 14, but do not mention the exact time of that life-changing holiday. However, I can speculate it took place a few months before turning 14, when he was running a King of Spades on his Pluto year card, and Pluto the planet was in his 4 of Clubs Mercury card, which is related to him being secure in planning his future career. So the path of him letting go of his former inspiration was all set by the long-lasting effects of that fixed King of Spades card.
His year quadration at age 14 (pictured below) shows a busy Mars card with its Lord there, joined by the karaka of vehicles, Venus. We also have separating factors - Rahu and Saturn, with the Saturn card being a 4 of Clubs. So he had to give up the other inspirations and security he had with the other sports in order to pursue karting. The Mars card is a Queen of Hearts, a very devotional card, which only fueled his martial passion.
Age 14 quadration of Alain Prost
So we talked about the Soul planet, now let's compare their Rising signs: again, they are both in competitive black cards - Prost in the 3 of Spades Mercury card and Senna in the 9 of Spades Saturn card. However, since they are both Spades, there is a mutual unspoken understanding/empathy between them, adding to the 3 and 9 synergy.
For instance, when Prost retired in 1993, Senna confided in a close friend that only then had he realized how much of his motivation had come from battling with Prost. Just a few days before his death, when filming an in-car lap of Imola for French television channel TF1, he greeted Prost, by then a pundit on the channel, by saying "A special hello to my,... to our dear friend Alain. We all miss you Alain." Prost said that he was amazed and very touched by the comment. When Senna died on May 1st 1994, Prost did not give any statement about the tragic event. It was only four years later that Prost finally opened up and stated that "a part of himself had died also", because their careers had been so bound together.
In the old days, Kshatriyas would use elephants or horses to battle. These two battled driving race cars - keep in mind that all vehicles, including animals or man-made, are manifested by Venus. If we look at their birth spreads, we see Prost has Venus with the 10th cusp in the Saturn card of 5 of Diamonds, while Senna has the Venus with Ketu and Mercury, in the fixed Jack of Hearts Jupiter card.
So that displays part of their relationship towards vehicles. For Prost it was born out of a switch in skills (5 of Diamonds), from one sport to another, also, a Diamond card is always something of value. For Senna, it was a matter of the heart, a long-lasting, ever-giving passion. If we look at Senna's 0-6 progressed year spread, he will (obviously) have the Jack of Hearts card on the 4th year, when he started.
Having the 10th cusp with Venus, Prost was involved with racing world even after retiring as a driver- he was a pundit for a French TV station, a PR, a technical adviser for racing teams, and then went on to he manage his own Formula 1 team for a few years, until he became financially exhausted. Senna had his 2nd and 11th cusps with the Venus planet in the Jupiter card, so his 2nd house talents and environment (his father was also a racing fan), and his 11th house of groups and gains.
If we look at the Venus card, Prost has a 7 and Senna has a 9, both Clubs. So the suit being the same, the attitude is similar, of being inspired, but the 7s and 9s are not compatible. The 7 of Prost's spread mirrors that one time in 1983 when workers from Renault went to his house and set his land car on fire, after him publicly blaming Renault for the poor quality of the race car that (he claimed) cost him the title. As a consequence, Prost permanently moved from France to Switzerland (fun fact: he had a King of Spades on his Ecliptic that year, and his Venus is in a 5 of Clubs of change of ideas with Saturn and the 12th cusp- separation, expense).
So going back to his birth spread - a black 7 relates to the falling Tower in Tarot, a card of destruction. However, in 2012, nearly 30 years after the incident, Prost became an international Ambassador for Renault. That rekindling can also be seen from the Navamsa, where the Venus is in the changing-of-heart card, 5 of Hearts, cancelling the bad luck of the 7, for eventual fulfillment.
For Senna, 9 is an important card since he has the Lagna and several planets in another 9. So through his Venus card, he was aspiring for a divine friendship . Worth mentioning - Senna was a devout catholic, always reading his Bible and mentioning God. So this 9 Venus card is helpful towards spirituality and the pursuit of a divine friendship.
Another similarity between Senna and Prost- they both have Venus as the Pitrukaraka, the significator of the Father. I had mentioned before how Senna's father got him into driving. I haven't found any info online about Prost's father being supportive so i can't comment on that.
Senna and Prost were both on the Ecliptic path of Diamonds - the former, King, and the latter a 9. Very compatible cards, as they are of the same suit and the King encompasses the 9. After his death, Senna was discovered to having quietly donated millions of his personal fortune to help poor children, and shortly before his death, he created the framework for an organization that would help Brazilian children, which later became Instituto Ayrton Senna.
After retiring from Formula 1, Prost took part in several charity races that would donate the money to various causes. He also acted as a consultant for the French Government on developing an eco-friendly fuel.
So obviously these two drivers both have what Jaimini describes as Sri Mantaha status- wealthy, glorious persons, who at the end of their lives are satisfied with their achievements. Senna has an Exalted Sun in the 11th from the Uppa Pada, while Prost has Jupiter in the 11th from his Uppa Pada. It's fun to correlate that nickname Prost had, The Professor, with Jupiter, also taking into account that many of his post-racing jobs were as an adviser. Prost's Swamsha in Sagittarius illustrates his fallings - twice fired by teams and going bankrupt trying to create his own F1 team, while Senna's in Aries shows he had to overcome many small but irritating things in his life in order to mature. Both of them have benefics with or aspecting the 10th from the Swamsha, which confirms again they are important people.
And one last thing to wrap up the Kshatriya parallel and this post: when Senna died, the President decreed 3 days of national mourning, and 3 million people crowded in the streets to pay their respects in Sao Paolo, Brazil alone (people were weeping worldwide, as he was such a charismatic figure, so nothing less than the funeral of a king. Also, please notice the number 3 showing up again. As for Alain Prost, his Kshatryia merits have been officially recognized by having been appointed Knight in the National Order of the Legion of Honor, the highest order of merit for military and civil merits in France, established by Napoleon in 1802.
Statue of Ayrton Senna in Italy
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Research and musings on astrological topics I find interesting