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The seas and the skies: an astrological look at Brandon Tanev

Stats, stars, it’s the same thing, right?

Brandon Tanev’s headshot with a background of a starry night sky
Be kind to my Photoshop efforts, thank you

In the grand history of seafaring, the stars have always played a crucial role. Picture it: you’re on a boat in the middle of the ocean, no land in immediate sight. The winds are determined to blow you away off your path. How can you truly be sure that you haven’t steered off course? How do you know that you’re still going to reach your destination? The night sky can tell you.

Well, we’re not seafaring. We’re just covering a hockey team that’s set in a seaport city and uses mythical ocean creatures and nautical motifs in its branding.

Yet, there’s the idea that the stars can play a role in navigating our lives. We don’t need to be a seafarer to look to the skies and try to make sense of where we’re at and who we are in the grand scheme of things.

For a brand new hockey team, there are going to be lots of feelings of being lost, of having to course correct, and not always knowing if the path forward is actually going where it should. So, why not try to see if maybe the stars are giving this team signs on how their first season will turn out?

Brandon Tanev (13), Alexander Wennberg (21), Jamie Oleksiak (24), and Joonas Donskoi (72) line up on the ice during the pregame anthems. Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

As I start on this series, my goal is to look at the birth charts of one player at a time and make connections between what’s being shown and how these players do on the ice. There’s also a little bit of personality analysis here too, because it’s a little hard to avoid it when talking about astrology.

Astrology 101

I’m sure that not everyone that’s reading this understands every concept of astrology. Some of you might know just a few things, and some of you might know nothing at all. So, I’m going to use this time to create a quick cheat sheet of terms for this series. I might not use all of these terms in a single piece, but I wanted them all in one space for people to refer back to. It’s also not an exhaustive resource, but that’s because I’m choosing to focus only on certain things (and in some cases forced to, because we don’t know the players’ birth times, which would reveal even more chart info).

Planets

These are the major building blocks of your chart. Each planet focuses on a different aspect of your full self. Each planet is also located within the realm of a specific constellation at the time of your birth. Whatever constellation a planet falls in is its sign, which is how that planet expresses itself. As a quick example, someone with a moon sign in Capricorn is going to express their emotions (or, more accurately, not want to express them much at all) much differently than someone whose moon sign is in Cancer, which will be more likely to spill their feelings all over the place.

  • Sun: This is the main planet everyone thinks about when we talk about astrology. It’s the one determined by nothing more than what day you were born, which is part of why it’s the go-to for casual-level astrology talk. It’s also the sign that’s focused primarily on your sense of self, on your ego, and the purpose of your life.
  • Moon: This planet is focused primarily on your deepest self. The way you respond to and handle emotions is determined here.
  • Mercury: This planet is focused on your communication style and how you process information.
  • Venus: This planet is focused on love - how you love, what you love (including things such as aesthetic taste), etc.
  • Mars: This is the planet of energy, drive, anger, and ambition. It’s one that I’ll probably come to a lot when it comes to hockey players because of how sport is a realm that Mars can thrive in.
  • Jupiter: This planet is focused on abundance and optimism. It takes about 12 to 13 months to enter a new sign, so this is where certain planets begin to stop feeling unique to each person.
  • Saturn: This planet is focused on structure and discipline (almost like Jupiter’s opposite in a way), and can be a very harsh one in the chart. It takes about two and a half years to enter a new sign, so it’s again not going to be as unique from person to person.
  • Outer planets: These planets - Uranus, Neptune, Pluto - I’ll primarily talk about when they’re involved in aspects (defined below) with other key planets. They have their meanings that I’ll explain when I do bring them up, but they take so long to transit out of their signs that they tend to explain generational trends rather than individual people.

Signs

Again, this is the way each planet expresses itself. When someone says “I’m a Taurus,” they’re communicating that their personality can be grounded, stubborn, a hard-worker, a stable force, etc. The easiest way I’ve found to begin to understand why each sign’s personality is the way it is is to break them down into two categories. The first are elements (the kind of energy they can bring such as passionate fire, grounded earth, cerebral air, or emotional water), and the second are modalities (how they channel that energy - cardinal signs are starters, fixed signs are see-it-through kinds, and mutable signs are flittering around constantly). Combine the element with the modality and you get the basic blocks of all 12 signs.

Aspects

These are the connections between signs in your chart. It might be easier to conceptualize when you see a full circular diagram, but planets make angles between each other in the sky, and the types of angles they make either mean that these planets help each other (sextile, trine), create tension between each other (square, opposition), or begin to merge together (conjunct). It might feel like geometry class talking about these, but you won’t need to know too much for it to make sense, I promise. Aspects matter because they can help explain things such as why a person’s sign placement doesn’t seem to make sense or why a certain aspect of their personality is so strong. The planets don’t exist in isolation, they bounce off of each other.

Chart: Brandon Tanev

I start my series with Tanev not just because he’s a popular fan favorite already with the Kraken. No, in fact, I start the series with him because a casual question one day of “What sun sign is Turbo anyways?” turned into a full dive of his chart* to make sense of a placement that, at the start, made absolutely no sense to me.

Chart listing all the placements for Brandon Tanev. Sun: Capricorn. Moon: Scorpio. Mercury: Sagittarius. Venus: Sagittarius. Mars: Sagittarius. Jupiter: Virgo. Saturn: Aquarius. Uranus: Capricorn. Neptune: Capricorn. Pluto: Scorpio.
Tanev’s placements - generated from cafeastrology.com

Yet, as I began to look beyond just his sun sign, a fuller and clearer picture came to be, and suddenly I realized that his chart explains a lot about not just his personality, but the way in which he shows up to every shift on the ice. That’s when it dawned on me that this could be worth exploring for the blog.

*Note: his Venus placement could possibly be in Scorpio instead if he was born early enough in the day (this site defaults to noon if you have an unknown birth time), because December 31, 1991 was a day when Venus switched signs. How fun.

Analysis

In just five games with the Kraken so far, a few things stand out. The first is that he’s an early frontrunner to be a top-scorer for Seattle as he co-leads the team with 3 goals. The second is that he’s a speedy force on the ice who’s also not afraid to go out there and be physical. The third is that he’s a bold and exuberant personality.

The two main planets that point to all of this are his Sun and his Mars.

His Sun is in Capricorn, which is a sign that mixes the earth element (stability, groundedness) with a cardinal modality (taking charge and initiative), which turns into a conception of a serious, no-nonsense, “get to business” sign. It is supposed to be extremely disciplined.

Now, that might sound weird upon first hearing it. After all, Tanev decided to go even more crazy and bug-eyed on purpose for his headshot this year, and he celebrated his first goal with the team by blowing kisses at Nashville fans. This doesn’t seem like a no-nonsense kind of person. This the placement that had me scratching my head and needing to dig up his chart in the first place.

Brandon Tanev plays the puck on a breakaway while Golden Knight Shea Theodore (27) tries to stop him. Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

As it turns out, he has three aspects that really mess with how a Sun sign might come across to people. His Sun is trine to his Jupiter, which is a really positive aspect that generates exuberance. Regardless of which signs Sun and Jupiter are in, this aspect adds luck and positivity. So, this gives Tanev more of a jovial spirit than a Capricorn Sun would usually carry. His Sun is also conjunct to his Uranus - the planet of revolution. This aspect means Uranus’s more eccentric tendencies blend into whatever Sun sign someone has. His Sun is also conjunct his Neptune - the planet of spirituality and the subconscious. In short, the fact that Tanev claims to see ghosts shouldn’t be entirely surprising. That’s Neptune’s realm right there, and it’s jumping out because of this aspect.

His Sagittarius Mars placement is also key to understanding Tanev on and off the ice. Sagittarius mixes the fire element (energy, passion) with a mutable modality (freeing, adaptable). This means that this is the kind of placement that just wants to go, go, go. It’s not enough to just have energy, it needs to be shared and expressed constantly. Tanev is someone that feels like he could be the Energizer Bunny out on the ice. He’s not only speedy out there, but he can sometimes skate in a stride that has his legs moving so fast it looks like he’s about to start hopping along the ice.

Combine that expansive energy in his Mars sign with the drive of a Capricorn Sun, and we get a player who is unafraid to throw as much passion as possible into each and every shift played. This is a chart that feels reflective of a player who can thrive in the kind of fourth-line role Pittsburgh placed him in because of his ability to play gritty hockey. He’ll sacrifice the body enough to make hit after hit (he led the Penguins with 139 hits last season) because he’s got both the energy for it and the singular dedication to do whatever is needed of him to win. In fact, when the playoff series between the Penguins and Islanders last season began to turn into an unhinged penalty fest, the voice of reason in the locker room to “calm down, play a simple game” was Tanev. He’s usually a beacon for chaos, but the level-headed Capricorn focused only on the true goal jumped out in that moment.

Brandon Tanev scores an empty net goal. Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images

Additionally, someone with a Capricorn Sun is the last person you want to tell they can’t do something. Don’t get drafted? “I’ll go to college and make the NHL anyways.” People say the Kraken won’t be able to produce offense? “I’ll score three goals in two games.” If a Capricorn has the goal and the vision to do something, they will do it.

Well, maybe Hakstol should have considered that Tanev’s Sun sign is that of the overachieving Capricorn. There’s no better Sun placement to describe the act of being the first Kraken player to step up and score on a consistent basis. It may not be an immediately clear placement based on how he interacts with the world, but the effort he puts into his game makes the Capricorn energy loud and clear.


If you have any questions that need answered (I did throw a lot of info at you all), want to argue about how I interpreted things (astrology isn’t a definitive science and has plenty of room for debate) or want to make observations on parts of his chart I didn’t cover, toss it all into the comments below.