The Next Pope
NewsScope for April 5, 2005
As Pope John Paul II* passed though death's portal Saturday, the world's one billion Catholics praised his leadership, with many calling him a saint. Meanwhile, the Church's cardinals began trekking to Rome to ponder, politic, and elect the next pope. Astrologers can monitor the profound changes through the lens of the Vatican's modern horoscope, set for the city-state's independence from Italy.
The Vatican was born on June 7, 1929 (11:00 am; Rome) with the religious planet Jupiter conjunct the Midheaven. Jupiter is in Taurus, a reflection of the church's deep traditions, as well as its immense wealth. Jupiter is precisely square Neptune, the planet associated with spirituality, but also secrecy, a combination manifest in the Vatican's hidden processes, art treasures, and bank accounts.
Authoritative Saturn in religious Sagittarius is also closely linked to Jupiter (by the inconjunction, 150º aspect). These three planets form a tight network of aspects that foster fundamental changes when activated by outer planet transits or major progressions. At the moment, the Vatican's progressed Sun is nearly exactly conjunct Neptune (orb: -0º10'), describing John Paul II's slipping away.
Pope John Paul II was elected on October 16, 1978 when transiting Uranus, Neptune and Pluto were all closely aspecting the Vatican's Gemini Sun. He truly expressed the travel and communications blend of this sign. At the moment, transiting Neptune is trine the Vatican Sun, offering a window for the next election. However, transiting Pluto is heading toward the Vatican Saturn in a few years, indicating that an older, or more transitional pope is on deck.
The Eclipsing of Tom DeLay
House majority leader Tom DeLay has long been a flash point between the religious, political right and the rest of the geopolitical spectrum. Hailed by his colleagues as an effective vote-getter, DeLay is often called the most corrupt politician in Washington. The tide turned last week when the conservative Wall Street Journal castigated him for being the "living exemplar" of Big Government's "worst habits".
Tom DeLay was born with his Sun in the fighting sign of Aries (April 8, 1947; Laredo, TX; time unknown). Mars, as the natural ruler of Aries, becomes a key planet in his horoscope, and it's found in the faith-oriented sign of Pisces. By traditional interpretive accounts, this Mars is well-placed, with a trine to Jupiter in Scorpio and Saturn in early Leo.
What then could account for his religious zeal, his determination to bring his biblical world view to American politics? When expanding the analytical tool chest to include so-called "minor aspects" and the asteroids, the picture becomes clearer. His Mars squares the asteroid Juno, and is tri-octile (135º) Pluto. Both Juno and Pluto develop extreme attitudes when under stressful planetary aspects. In politics, Juno is especially adept at counting who is "for" and who is "against".
Over the past year, as DeLay's progressed Mars formed an exact square to Pluto, he engineered a redistricting in Texas that secured Republican incumbents their seats for years to come. He accrued much enmity during this political maneuvering, but survived transiting Saturn's square to his Sun. He still has major celestial hurdles ahead, the most immediate of which is this coming week's Solar Eclipse right on his Sun.
Michael Schiavo's Ceres-Venus
Most astrologers are not yet using Ceres in their charts, but the Schiavo case is a clear demonstration of this asteroid's symbolic relevance. As described in the January 4, 2005 column, Ceres is associated with the parent-child relationship, nurturing, food, and the caretaking professions. That same column also previewed the crisis atmosphere around transiting Uranus's conjunction with the U.S. Ceres on April 1.
As Terri's parents battled to have her feeding tube re-inserted, she finally died on March 31, as transiting Uranus was almost exactly conjunct the U.S. Ceres (orb: 0º03'). Last week's column described the role of Ceres in Terri's horoscope, but Ceres is also a powerful player in Michael Schiavo's chart. The closest planetary aspect, and therefore the most powerful psychological dynamic in his chart (set for April 3, 1963; Levittown, PA; time unknown) is Venus opposite Ceres.
In a man's chart the opposition between two feminine archetypes can manifest as competition between two women in his life. Not all Venus-Ceres oppositions are destined to create such international attention and strife, but in Michael's horoscope, his Ceres is sandwiched between Uranus and Pluto. Ceres here is said to be "besieged", and attracts enormously difficult situations.
Michael's Venus-Ceres opposition manifested as a wife who needs constant caring (Ceres) and a live-in girlfriend, Jodi Constance (Venus). He has said that they plan on marrying as soon as Terri dies, and many see this conundrum as his primary motivation for pursuing her peaceful death. In February, as transiting Uranus entered his Venus-Ceres axis, a Florida judge ruled that Terri's feeding tube could be removed.
*See NewsScope March 1, 2005 for details of John Paul II's chart and the forecast of his imminent death.
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