I pulled these cards on June 2nd. All of this is alleged and for entertainment purposes only. 🙂
As everyone knows by now, Naomi Osaka was fined $15,000 for refusing to be interviewed after a match. Shortly thereafter, she withdrew from the French Open altogether. She issued an apology on her social media accounts a day or so later. But why did all of this even happen?
On May 26th, Naomi tweeted:
Hope you’re all doing well, I’m writing this to say I’m not going to do any press during Roland Garros. I’ve often felt that people have no regard for athletes mental health and this rings very true whenever I see a press conference or partake in one. We’re often sat there and asked questions that we’ve been asked multiple times before or asked questions that bring doubt into our minds and I’m just not going to subject myself to people that doubt me. I’ve watched many clips of athletes breaking down after a loss in the press room and I know you have as well. I believe that whole situation is kicking a person while they’re down and I don’t understand the reasoning behind it. Me not doing press is nothing personal to the tournament and a couple journalists have interviewed me since I was young so I have a friendly relationship with most of them. However, if the organizations think that they can just keep saying, “do press or you’re gonna be fined”, and continue to ignore the mental health of the athletes that are the centerpiece of their cooperation then I just gotta laugh. Anyways, I hope the considerable amount that I get fined for this will go towards a mental health clarity. xoxo [brown peace hand emoji][red heart emoji]
On May 31st, Naomi tweeted:
Hey everyone, this isn’t a situation I ever imagined or intended when I posted a few days ago. I think now the best thing for the tournament, the other players and my well-being is that I withdraw so that everyone can get back to focusing on the tennis gong on in Paris. I never wanted to be a distraction and I accept that my timing was not ideal and my message could have been clearer. More importantly I would never trivialize mental health or use the term lightly. The truth is that I have suffered long bouts of depression since the US Open in 2018 and I have had a really hard time coping with that. Anyone that knows me knows I’m introverted, and anyone that has seen me at the tournaments will notice that I’m often wearing headphones as that helps dull my social anxiety. Though the tennis press has always been kind to me (and I wanna apologize especially to call the cool journalists who I may have hurt), I am not a natural public speaker and get huge waves of anxiety before I speak to the world’s media. I get really nervous and find it stressful to always try to engage and give you the best answers I can. So here in Paris I was already feeling vulnerable and anxious so I thought it was better to exercise self-care and skip the press conferences. I announced it preemptively because I do feel like the rules are quite outdated in parts and I wanted to highlight that. I wrote privately to the tournament apologizing and saying that I would be more than happy to speak with them after the tournament as the Slams are intense. I’m gonna take some time away from the court now, but when the time is right I really want to work with the Tour to discuss ways we can make things better for players, press and fans. Anyways hope you are all doing well and staying safe, love you guys I’ll see you when I see you [red heart emoji]
Naomi cited that her mental health was the reason, stating that she has been depressed since the 2018 US Open. For those who don’t know or have forgotten, this is the tournament that Naomi beat Serena in the finals but how she won was a bit contentious. During the match Serena received two code violations from the umpire, both of which awarded Naomi a point each time. This quickly shifted the game from Serena to Naomi. Serena continued to stand up for herself, refusing to give into the assertion that she was cheating. This resulted in the final code violation, effectively giving the game to Naomi, 5-3. Naomi eventually won the match, 6-4.
Understandably, the crowd was upset and booed at the presentation ceremony. Serena tried to take control, telling them not to boo and commend Naomi’s efforts. But one can only imagine how Naomi must have felt in that moment, especially since Serena was her idol as well. Because of the racism and sexism in the tennis world, Naomi being the first Japanese person (Naomi had to recant her American citizenship to play for Japan) to win a Grand Slam singles tournament was unfortunately not entirely the result of her own merit. It was brought about through the persistent hatred of Serena because she is a black woman. And now, Naomi is feeling some of that racist scorn from the tennis world as well.
Sorry you have to deal with racist ESPN but they have the full ceremony on YouTube
Saturn Retrograde Conjunct Moon in Aries
So, I began my questioning by asking, how is Naomi currently feeling? I got:
Sun: Paint the sun back into your life. Escapist: Come home to yourself. (bottom of the deck) Aries: I Am, Pisces: I Believe (reverse), Neptune: Sacrifice, Jupiter: Abundance (reverse; bottom of the deck) The High Priestess, 9 of Pentacles, 9 of Cups (reverse), 4 of Cups (reverse), 7 of Wands (bottom of the deck) The Mask (reverse? sideways?), Eros (bottom of the deck; ???)
With the astrology cards, I get that Naomi is trying her best to control her anger because it has been brewing for a while now. I also get the sense that she wanted to assert herself in some way, which she did by refusing that postgame interview. She let everyone know who she is and that she will put herself first when need be without hesitation moving forward. She is not one to be messed or played with. Even so, however, on the inside she seems a bit lost in her emotions with the reversed Pisces card. Perhaps she is curled up somewhere disconnected from the world. She is now realizing that tennis comes with a lot of sacrifices, maybe sacrifices she wasn’t ready to make.
With the imagery of the Neptune card, it seems like Naomi tried her best to shut out all the anti-blackness (which includes a Japanese commercial lightening her skin; some Japanese comedians saying she should bleach her skin because she’s “too tan”; the backlash she got when she was posting about Black Lives Matter on her social media and when she wore masks with the names of police brutality victims in games; the backlash she got when she withdrew from the Western & Southern Open semifinals in solidarity with BLM, etc.), abuse, and harassment she was facing and just focus on her craft but she simply couldn’t.
To have peace of mind, she has to give up something. And to have this career she has, she has to give up something. The two cannot coexist peacefully. Which should she choose? Naomi has been choosing her career for around three years now and it seems like she is finally choosing herself for once. But in doing so she is facing the wrath of the tennis world. She feels their scorn as represented by the lightening in the Jupiter card. They will no longer be generous with her, showering her with money, recognition, and praise (all things Jupiter happens to rule). Instead, the tennis world will rain lightning from the sky on to her like Zeus.
With the tarot, I think the High Priestess is Naomi. She is seeing everything online, or if she has been off social media as of late, she intuitively knows how everyone is reacting—poorly. In either case, she seems firm in her decisions as of right now even though she or a publicist apologized as the woman in the card seems steadfast and grounded. She said what she said and was honest.
The 9 of Pentacles is interesting. It typically represent luxury and financial security. It can also depict taking a break or vacation. Perhaps Naomi is looking around at all that she has amassed and is questioning whether or not if it is worth all this trouble she finds herself in as the 9 of Cups is reversed following this card. Emotionally, Naomi is not happy, she has made that clear. Upright, this card often means a wish coming true. Therefore, reversed, the card denotes that this dream is a nightmare. And that can very well be what she is feeling right now.
At every turn, Naomi being herself or asserting what she believes has been met with consequences, many unfair ones in her and many other people’s minds. This is not surprising as I looked at her chart and found a fallen retrograde Saturn in Aries. But even so, the tarot is saying Naomi is not fulfilled by her tennis career as of currently. Right now she is disappointed. All that glitter was not gold. And because of that, Naomi has decided to take some action—to leave. She does not want to hear anything anyone has to say; she just wants to be left alone.
Naomi Osaka is a Libra Sun, Aries Moon (if born at noon or earlier)
This sentiment is reflected in the Believe in Your Own Magic cards. Naomi is just trying to place herself at the center of her world. And to do so, she had to leave, as she said, for her mental health. But with Pisces reversed, I have to wonder if all of this alone time is entirely healthy. It could be maladaptive or it can simply be the wrong time (Mercury is retrograde currently) to take this break as she has so many responsibilities (Saturn is retrograde as well). However, the 9 of Pentacles can indicate that money-wise she will be fine. $15,000 is not a lot of money to her now perhaps. Naomi is apparently the highest-paid female athlete ever as of 2020. So, although the penalty may seem steep, it is not in reality.
So, now we come to the Wild Unknown Archetypes cards. With Mask, regardless if it is reversed or sideways, it indicates to me that Naomi is finally showing more of who she truly is. With the imagery of the card I do not think she is showing her entire face, but it is a lot more than the public is used to, I believe. Simultaneously, she is also taking a step back to retreat into the shadows. With Eros, I think this is just reiterating what this spread overall is saying, which is that Naomi is questioning her career, if tennis is what truly makes her happy. Is tennis the love of her life? What does she truly desire right now? I don’t think even she knows, but as of right now, she is taking some time out to regroup.
“I Said What I Said”
So, why did Naomi refuse to give that interview? I got:
Part of Fortune: Increase, Gemini: I Think (reverse), Void of Course Moon: Missing, Aquarius: I Know (reverse), Aries: I Am (reverse; bottom of the deck), Uranus: Genius (reverse; bottom of the deck) Queen of Wands (reverse), 8 of Pentacles (reverse), 6 of Swords, 10 of Cups (reverse), The Moon (reverse; bottom of the deck)
So, right away with the bottom of the deck energy of the astrology oracle, not giving that interview was an impulsive decision. It was the spur of the moment. It seems as though Naomi was angry and fed up and just wanted to leave so she did. And in doing so she asserted herself and her boundaries (remember her Saturn is in Aries). But because this was so sudden, Naomi wasn’t thinking—Gemini reversed. With Aquarius also reversed, I do not think Naomi realized the wide-reaching and long-term consequences of doing this which we will see in the next spread. Indeed, with Saturn in the imagery of the Aquarius card (Saturn is Aquarius’s traditional ruler), this decision has many consequences attached to it and not just that $15,000 fine. This one interview, probably insignificant from the outside looking in, has ripple effects that Naomi didn’t see. This is reflected in the Void of Course Moon card. This card can also show that Naomi was missing from this interview as well. But this card specifically denotes things not going the way you expect them to because the timing is just off. The Moon was missing from the sky during this period, so everything is slightly thrown out of whack. Uranus can also explain this strange energy as well or Naomi’s sudden and peculiar decision to not show up. But what about the Part of Fortune card?
It was reversed in the deck but it fell onto the floor. When I picked it up, it was upright. This card talks about, well, fortune. Things going in your favor. But we already have a card that says otherwise, so what gives? Perhaps this was exactly the right moment for Naomi to take this action. Something aligned or she was divinely given the okay to go forth. Gemini being reversed then can indicate that she was operating from her intuition and emotions, not her logical mind that likely would have talked her out of doing it or stalled her momentum. In either case, let us move on to the tarot.
The Queen of Wands reversed is clearly Naomi. As I said in the previous spread, she has been holding back her anger and here it is the same. Perhaps to not blow up on public, Naomi decided it was better and smarter to just remove herself entirely. The Queen of Wands reversed can also indicate that she was just burned out. Depression is often like that. Nothing is inspiring or invigorating. You feel tired and sleepy while also overwhelmed and sometimes frustrated. When I was pulling cards I myself felt very heavy, like I didn’t get enough sleep or wasn’t really refreshed. This was odd because I actually woke up well rested the day I pulled, which is why I even decided to read on Naomi but I digress.
“anger is a lack of understanding. change makes people uncomfortable.”
The 8 of Pentacles speaks to how not doing the interview was spontaneous. Often this card denotes that native’s work is sloppy, unrefined, or rushed. In this context, whoever runs the tennis tournament at the French Open could have saw Naomi as such, but I think this is more Naomi just throwing caution to the wind and leaving. Her physically leaving is reflected in the 6 of Swords. The atmosphere interviews create could be anxiety-inducing, frustrating, and irritating among other things for Naomi. So, she thought it was best to move to calmer waters, wherever that was. You can envision the woman that’s steering the boat as a manager or coach while the woman in front is Naomi. You can also see it as a tired Naomi at the front while a more determined Naomi is in the back taking her tired self somewhere else. Regardless, there is a very tired and lethargic energy to the 6 of Swords which I clearly felt while reading.
The 10 of Cups is very interesting. Upright, it represents having a big, happy family essentially. So, reversed, this is not the case. When researching this card, however, I found out that it could mean no longer keeping up appearances. I think this more fits what has occurred here. I do not watch tennis (or sports in general lol) but I know athletes basically gotta tap dance for the media when they are interviewed, especially if they are black. Like Naomi has said, these reporters ask questions that “[are like] kicking a person while they’re down.” So, if you have any sort of mental health issues going on or you just lost a game you are not taking particularly well, it’s hard to always act as though you are okay for the entire world. And I think Naomi was at her breaking point as I have alluded to earlier. You can tell just by looking at pictures of her throughout her career that this was in the making for a while; how sad or pensive she often looked. With the Moon reversed, she just finally let us all know that. She has been depressed and struggling with anxiety since her first Grand Slam and she is tired of pretending otherwise for an often racist crowd.
The Uppity (Half) Negro
So, why did Naomi withdraw from the French Open? I do not think she did. I believe she was forced to, and you will see why below.
Saturn: Truth (reverse), Air Element: Communicating (reverse), Water Element: Sensing, Fourth House: Roots (reverse; bottom of the deck), Chiron: Healing (reverse; bottom of the deck), Fifth House: Creativity (reverse; bottom of the deck) Judgement, 6 of Wands (reverse), Knight of Pentacles (reverse), Death, Hierophant (reverse), The Lovers (reverse; bottom of the deck)
Right when I pulled Saturn reversed, I knew that this withdrawal was a punishment. If you Google around articles on this incident, apparently it is true that Naomi could be threatened with suspension from not giving that postgame interview.
We have advised Naomi Osaka that should she continue to ignore her media obligations during the tournament, she would be exposing herself to possible further Code of Conduct infringement consequences. As might be expected, repeat violations attract tougher sanctions including default from the tournament (Code of Conduct article III T.) and the trigger of a major offence investigation that could lead to more substantial fines and future Grand Slam suspensions (Code of Conduct article IV A.3.).From Roland-Garros’s official statement
I didn’t know this while pulling. Most of the research I have done that is linked and transcribed in this article is after the fact. Even so, from Naomi’s social media, you would think this was a personal decision but nothing from these cards nor their energy suggests that is true in the slightest in my opinion. Again, Saturn represents “long-lasting punishments,” “importunate,” “accusations,” and “pettiness” (Brennan, 2017). So, to be reverse suggests that this was a joint decision by the people who run the French Open, not Naomi’s in my opinion. With air reversed, they had a very stern talking to her, maybe they even tried to appeal to her emotions and say that “[t]he mental health of players competing in our tournaments and on the Tours is of the utmost importance to the Grand Slams” like they did in their official statement and other fluff with Water upright. But ultimately, Naomi didn’t give in so they retaliated.
Judgement shows that the organizations running the French Open were deliberating on what they should do with her. As their statement outlines, “A core element of the Grand Slam regulations is the responsibility of the players to engage with the media, whatever the result of their match, a responsibility which players take for the benefit of the sport, the fans and for themselves.” So, they were not going to budge on their rules. This is why they issued that fine—Knight of Pentacles in reverse. But since Naomi was already on her way out (6 of Wands reverse), they felt as though they had to escalate the consequences and make her withdraw altogether (Death).
To be honest, I get a racist energy here. Shocking, I know given tennis’s history and the French Open’s in particular. But it is interesting that the 4th house and Hierophant both came out reversed and under each other. The 4th house is not just about one’s family and the father or mother. It is about traditions. Saturn was said to joy here back in the day because of this I can assume. The Hierophant also represents tradition, rituals, divine law, religious beliefs, etc. So, to the tennis organizers, Naomi was destroying all of that. Talking to the media was an obligation, not a suggestion. It is in their handbook they referenced in their official statement. There are penalties when you refuse to do your contractual duty as an athlete and participant in the tournament. You as an individual cannot do as you please. They say they care about athletes’ mental health but we all know that’s bullshit. Because if so, why fine them then? Wouldn’t that make their mental health worse? Regardless, Chiron in reverse shows that this organization is full of it. I see the woman gripping Chiron’s hair as this organization gripping Naomi’s hair, looking at her in the face indifferently. If they said you have to go out there and dance, that’s what you’re going to do. Period. But Naomi refused and now she is no longer in the French Open and they got their “apology” from her. This “amicable” relationship the two had is now over (Lovers reversed).
So, I wanted confirmation for this hunch. Therefore, I straight up asked, “Did [the people who run the French Open] force [Naomi] to withdraw?” For that, “TAKE ACTION” initially fell out. Since that’s neither a “yes” or “no,” I kept shuffling. A bunch of cards wanted to fall out and some flipped over in the deck, so I stopped. When I did, “YES!” was staring back at me so I took it. I pulled out the flipped over cards in the deck and they were “YES”, “A YEAR FROM NOW,” and “PEACEFUL RESOLUTION.” Under the previous “YES!” card was “FORGIVENESS” and “LET GO.”
So, we got both “yes’s,” signaling that Naomi was forced to withdraw. “TAKE ACTION” is interesting, however. Maybe the organizers of the French Open felt as though they had to take action against her because they saw her as defiant. That wouldn’t be surprising. But then we have “PEACEFUL RESOLUTION,” “FORGIVENESS,” “LET GO,” and “A YEAR FROM NOW.” When I read Naomi’s statement about withdrawing, I found it very odd that she was apologizing. Considering what the cards are saying and reaffirming, perhaps to not drag this out or make it nastier, she had to be appear apologetic to the public. If she did, maybe the organizers would eventually let this situation go but I highly doubt it, especially with the next question I asked. Maybe Naomi cannot play at the French Open for one year, or perhaps this incident won’t be scrubbed from her record for one year. I do not know all the intricate rules that go into playing at the French Open but it is possible. Nevertheless, let’s get into my next question.
Considering all the bullshit Serena (and Venus) has faced and continues to go through in her career despite being one of the greatest tennis players ever it seems, I had to ask, “Was this forced withdrawal racially motivated? Did they do it because [Naomi] is not white?” While shuffling, a card wanted to come out and it was “COMPROMISE.” I kept shuffling, though, because that’s not definitive on anything. Shortly thereafter, a card flipped over in the deck. It was “YES.”
So, I don’t think I have to explain what this all means. I will say, however, that “COMPROMISE” suggests that once again, they tried to talk with Naomi and give her an ultimatum. But it seems like she didn’t want whatever they were trying to give her and now she’s out of the tournament. To be honest, I feel like they think Naomi is uppity. I know some people get upset when black people “claim” mixed black people as black/“our own” or interact with them very sympathetically and protectively, but when you see incidents like this, you know it’s because she’s half black and not because she is half Asian, you know?
Naomi was born to a black Haitian father and ethnic Japanese mother. She even had a “disrespectful” black rapper boyfriend as well.
The world of tennis hates black people, point blank period. They have wanted Serena to quit or “retire” for years and she refuses. And now you have a mixed black girl who is “causing a storm” with her black activism and claims of mental health. I’m sure the largely white tennis world is sick. They can’t get rid of us because if it’s not Naomi Osaka then it would have been Coco Gauff. If it wasn’t either of them, it would have been some other black girl, mixed or otherwise. So, I think that’s why they disqualified Naomi; it’s just plain ol’ misogynoir.
From left to right: Venus Williams (40), Serena Williams (39), Naomi Osaka (23), Coco Gauff (17)
Time for a Break?
Finally, I closed out this reading by asking, “Where [will Naomi’s] career go from here?” I got:
Grand Trine: Blessings (reverse), Sixth House: Routine, Ninth House: Faith, Sun: Spirit (reverse), Grand Cross: Provoker (reverse; bottom of the deck) 2 of Wands, The World (reverse), 8 of Wands (reverse), The Hermit (reverse), The Magician (bottom of the deck), Judgement (bottom of the deck), 5 of Wands (bottom of the deck), The Emperor (reverse; bottom of the deck), 4 of Swords (reverse; bottom of the deck)
So, overall this isn’t a good spread in my opinion… With Grand Trine reversed, it seems like the direction of Naomi’s career is rather bumpy and full of roadblocks. It is interesting that the 8 of Wands is also reversed, further affirming that her path may be restricted and rather slow. Naomi has to make a decision with the 2 of Wands. Again, it seems to be her mental health/asserting herself or her career. This seems to be an either/or situation, not a both/and. Because of that, she feels stuck (World reversed). She has a lot of responsibilities on her shoulders, so she can’t just “throw away” her tennis career, especially not now. I don’t know the whole history behind why her older sister Mari is retired, but that coupled with the fact that she represents Japan and is doing so well, Naomi cannot easily walk away from the burdens that are attached to her career. Her career is not just her own, but so many other people’s as well, and that may be the problem. When can she just be Naomi Osaka and not Naomi Osaka, the esteemed tennis player, the highest-paid female tennis player, the next Serena? That’s why she had to isolate herself (Hermit, Sun reversed). Everyone else’s voices were drowning out her own.
I think she may travel in the future if she isn’t already. The 2 of Wands, Ninth House, and even the reversed World and 8 of Wands suggests that. Maybe going away for a while will help Naomi reconnect with tennis and she’ll remember why she chose this sport to be her life. However, all of the cards at the bottom of both decks suggest that Naomi’s comeback may be a difficult one regardless if she takes an extended break or not.
The Grand Cross is apparently equivalent to the 9 of Wands according to the guidebook. It is about going through hard lessons in order to have a better perspective on things moving forward. If it is reversed, it may suggest that these lessons are not having the right impact. They may make the person feel like they are backed into a corner being brutalized. They may give up as a result. Conversely, this card can suggest that the native is being overly stubborn and disruptive. In this spread I feel like Naomi will come back to tennis after a break…but the same problems will still persist. With Judgement and the 5 of Wands showing up, the former of which we have seen pop out before and the latter of which I saw at the back of the deck in the withdrawal spread, I think not giving this one lousy interview will continue to have consequences for Naomi’s career. (Saturn has been retrograde in Aquarius for around a week by this time remember…) The tennis world is not pleased with her, and it may start to be more openly antagonistic towards her like they are with Serena. Perhaps this is why that “A YEAR FROM NOW” card popped up. Maybe they won’t let this incident go for around a year even though she apologized to them.
With the Emperor reversed next to the 4 of Swords reversed, some man, I don’t know if Naomi’s father, a coach, or someone in the tennis world with influence and power, may force her to get back into tournaments. I don’t think he will block her success—that’s not the energy I’m getting. Instead, I feel like he will be on her ass to get back into the sport. Perhaps that explains the Sixth House because when I look at it, it suggests to me that Naomi may have her nose to the grindstone just practicing. She may not be in games but she will be honing her craft. As punishment? I’m not sure. But I see her practicing, which may be why the woman in the 4 of Swords looks exhausted. She doesn’t want to be up nor get out of bed. With the Hermit reversed, however, Naomi may be away “too long.” “Too long” is subjective (is this what the “A YEAR FROM NOW” card is referring to?) but someone, this Emperor or someone else, will grow impatient with her, I believe. So, once again, Naomi has to sacrifice something: her career or her well-being. She may have to choose her career once more. But it seems like when she does return, people will celebrate her and she will do great with the Magician upright. So, I guess we just have to wait and see.
The last question I asked was, “Is this the end of her career?” The cards flipped out in pairs: “LOOK FOR A SIGN” and “YOU’RE READY”; “MEDITATION BRINGS ANSWERS” and “REMAIN POSITIVE.” I also pulled from the bottom of the deck: “UNLIKELY,” “NO NEED TO WORRY,” and “WAIT.” I was curious what was at the top of the deck as well and I got “THE SITUATION WILL IMPROVE” and “COMPROMISE.”
So, no, this is not the end of Naomi’s career. I think it is interesting that most of these cards are reassuring while the card that is a clear “yes” or “no” is tentative—“UNLIKELY.” I wonder who this is for, Naomi’s fans or Naomi herself? I’m not too sure. But it seems like us onlookers will have to wait and remain positive because the situation will improve. “COMPROMISE” shows itself once more, however. I do think that Naomi’s career and her health will remain an either/or type of deal into the future. She may have no real choice but to come back and be more “cordial.”
Naomi is a Virgo North Node and while her lunar nodes don’t really hit any planets tightly be degree—at least with a noon birthtime—her Mercury is in Libra, suggesting that learning to be more gracious, especially through her words, is her soul’s lesson in this lifetime. However, her Mercury does oppose her retrograde Saturn and Moon, indicating that there is some deep karma that is being carried over from past lives. Her birthday is a 16/7 along with her Life Path, so indeed, there is some karma playing out for her. I might have to read on her numerology in the future…
But in either case, that is all I have for you all. Tell me your thoughts! I don’t think we needed cards to know the tennis world is racist, but the extra spiritual confirmation is interesting! See you all in my next article. Think about supporting me through Ko-Fi or my Amazon Wishlist.
Brennan, Chris. (2017). Hellenistic Astrology: The Study of Fate and Fortune. Denver, CO: Amor Fati Publications.