New Pope Elected During Mercury Retrograde
The Birth Chart of Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict is reputed to have been born at 4.15am on 16th April 1927 in Marktl, Germany. His chart shows a wonderful affinity with religious rulership. For starters, Pisces rises, giving a mystical approach to life, someone who can always feel a pull towards the intangible, towards the mysteries that lie beyond everyday waking consciousness.
Jupiter, strongly placed in its own sign of Pisces, rises powerfully close to the Ascendant, and also rules the career point, suggesting good fortune in rising to high places, and a personality that is simply a natural for leadership and high honours.
Surprisingly, Pope Benedict has a first house Uranus, suggesting he is more radical and unconventional than is often portrayed - on the other hand we might say that to be an orthodox Catholic in the 21st century is indeed a radical position.
Mars in Gemini conjoins the IC from the 4th house, suggesting a powerful inner drive, a sharp intellect that propels the individual out and into the world and to achieving one's desires.
With Saturn in Sagittarius placed in the 9th house of religion, we see a strong potential for religious authority, for becoming an upholder of a particular set of beliefs.
While more could be said on the birth chart, perhaps the most interesting developments at the current time concern the progressed chart, the chart that shows how one's nature has unfolded to date. In this chart we have several amazing developments. The first is that Pluto is almost exactly with the Ascendant, implying that the Pope is ready for a total transformation of identity. He may be feeling compelled to destroy his current identity as Pope through powerful inner promptings, and instead to take on a new role in the world.
The conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in Aries in the 10th house of the chart is also particularly striking; this speaks of a sudden burst for freedom, a breaking out of one's career to fresh pastures. In contrast, the progressed Moon sits heavily with Saturn; this may be a very difficult time emotionally and there is something about the current time that involves facing the consequences of the past, and of coming to terms with the way things really are. This will be echoed in July and August 2013, when the progressed Moon meets natal Saturn, suggesting a further time of reckoning and appreciation of 'reality'.
The Pope's shock resignation may yet reveal further circumstances around it; yet the striking configurations in the progressed chart suggest that on an inner level, he feels bound to enter this period of deep change; the urge to break free, albeit with a heavy heart is in tune with his unfolding development.
Laura Andrikopoulos is a professional astrologer from England. She is President of the Faculty of Astrological Studies, one of the oldest and most prestigious schools of astrology in the world.
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