MARCH 19th : A WRONG INAUGURATION DAY
There was once a time that popes employed astrology, but there is no chance they are doing so now. In one of the few changes Rome has made, its catechism has ruled against astrology. Since astrologers came to Christ’s birth this is controversial. But no astrologer in their right mind would elect, and no pope – unless perhaps he was Petrus Romanus, the last of them all and Pope at the time of Rome’s supposed destruction – would consent to the inaugural mass for his ministry to be set for this March 19th. It doesn’t look healthy. It is the day the sun is on the fateful last degree of Pisces (drownings, murder, suicide, and any permanent endings), the same degree that malefic Mars held at the last lunation just prior to the conclave.
Since not everyone and everything is invariably ruined on this degree – Ibsen was born with the sun well aspected here so he just wrote about death and endings! – one looks for other more helpful factors. But in this instance the picture seems unmitigated by even one decent lunar aspect (there’s just moon square Sun and Venus before leaving its sign). And in the background the fated nodes have now reached 19 Scorpio, by tradition supposedly the most unfortunate degree on the zodiac along with 29 Pisces. The single saving grace is that the inaugural mass starts at 9.30 am (Rome time) in the last minutes of 28 Pisces rather than on 29 degrees itself which hits around 11.30. I suppose one could say, as someone observed to me, that there are already indications, as when the Pope refused the ceremonial cape and remarked “the carnival is over”, that as far as any papal king and court are concerned Vatican pomp is receiving a death blow. Well, maybe, but I think there’s more. It’s hard to say quite what future is promised by such a negative picture at inauguration, and I won’t repeat here the nostrums of the late Catholic seeress, Jeane Dixon, about a last Pope (though I should mention that astrologers have noticed the bizarre fact that the 266th Pope is born on the 266th degree of the zodiac). Nevertheless somewhere, something is wrong, especially given the other signs mentioned in my other recent Vatican and Pope related articles. The new Pope himself is however optimistic…
A PAPAL FAITH JOURNEY
“Come on a journey…of faith” were some of the first words of the new Pope Francis. Sagittarius is the sign of faith and distance travel and the invitation was the expression of the mind of a Jupiter ruled Sagittarian, one brought from afar and who has already made clear he very much aligns with in his sign’s concern with beliefs, evangelization and mission, without which, he says, Christianity is merely another charity. Which is true enough – Christianity justifying its existence as an arm of charity only won’t do. But what’s in a name? Despite the modesty, simple life, known work among slum dwellers of Buenos Aires and even humour, this first third world and Jesuit Pope has perhaps as much identification with the far ranging Jesuit missionary St Francis Xavier as with the St Francis of Assisi (and St Francis de Sales, also devoted to the poor) he more consciously emulates.
And how identified Pope Francis is with the Jesuit tradition and order is a pertinent question since by tradition the Jesuits, though specially sworn to the Pope, have had very special loyalties to their Superior General, the “Black Pope”, head of their order, currently Alfonso Nicolas. This could mean that a modest person like Pope Francis might finish much influenced by his order and/or its leader. The Jesuit asteroid surely has to be LOYOLA (name of the order’s founder, suitably placed too in the Vatican’s house of religion, at 5 Taurus, itself within calling distance of the natal sun of the current Black Pope at 9 degrees. This Vatican degree of LOYOLA is exactly conjunct Francis’ Uranus. This indicates an unusual, special relation to the Jesuits and the Jesuits to him. Of course he’s the first Jesuit pope which is itself a Uranian fact, but given that Francis’ Aquarian Venus is square his Uranus and his Venus is conjunct FINI (finished) and in Aquarius (same sign that produced RATZINGER conjunct FINI in the Pentecost chart for Christianity) what might we be looking at? What might Jesuit influences do or precipitate or help end?
Francis’ birth chart bespeaks someone with power issues either controlling or being controlled (Saturn is directly opposite Neptune, Jupiter is in Capricorn quincunx Pluto not to mention that Francis got chosen, as it’s said any underdog figure can be, when the moon was “void of course”). As someone with virtually no Vatican experience he might need to be much supported and advised (controlled?) by others to manage the tangled web the Vatican represents. Charity and idealism, however worthy, might not suffice…..It may not have sufficed in the Argentina of the generals where, though some of the charges against the new Pope may be left wing gossip and libel, nothing quite alters that he, like the hierarchy, more or less took the side of an oppressive Junta when the rank and file of priests did not. This is a person who has been and can be influenced. If one is aware of conditions in Latin America the talk about desiring a church of and for the poor is fine….up to a point, provided the idea is not penitential compensation for having been controlled by the rich or an alibi, a form of emotional blackmail even, that deflects criticism in the hope the voice of poverty establishes absolute priority and privilege. This can finish in itself a classic form of passive aggressive control.
Whether or not I am being too harsh here, as said, idealism could prove inadequate to the task, especially if retiring Pisces rises at Francis’ birth. It probably does – normally a Sagittarius sun with moon Aquarius could give character traits closer to a freedom tripping bikie so there’s a reason it doesn’t? The birth time appears unknown and looks set to remain so, but not only does Pisces rising with a birth time between 12 and 1 pm fit the shy demeanour, but it’s what any substitute symbolic midday chart anyway supplies. And it makes a lot of sense. Pisces is the sign of the servant and Bergoglio even humbly asked Protestant evangelist Luis Palau to lay hands on him to pray he would remain a servant. Widely accepted work done on the chart for St Francis Assisi has established Pisces, probably 15 degrees (conjunct the Pope’s Saturn), was rising. Regardless, if the person is unassuming they will then need something like the sun at or near their career Midheaven to propel them towards world prominence. A time between 12.30 and 12 45 pm is to be suspected. This supplies a 20+ degree of Pisces ascendant probably hit by the 21 degrees Pisces lunation just before the conclave and it’s a pattern that places the FRANCIS asteroid (at 1 Aries, the sign of Francis Xavier) in the first house while it places the sun high. And Francis’ probably elevated sun is at 25 Sagittarius – the same degree that Pope Benedict, whose birth time is known, had at his Midheaven of destiny.
This 25 degrees is interesting in its own right, or it could be if – big question! – this Pope is Petrus Romanus of the St Malachy prophecy with its end of era persecution scenario for the church and the destruction of Rome. The reason I say this is because, as pointed out in my Vatican Destiny article of 13 Feb, of the difficulty of around 2016 and 17 for Catholicism. But if I look at the chart for St Peter’s Basilica, which would necessarily be attacked or destroyed if Rome were to be destroyed, it looks to be in trouble for the same period. Eclipses would hit its crucial MC and IC angles at 25 Pisces/Virgo and of course this is then square Pope Francis’ 25 degree Sagittarius sun. It’s speculative, but it’s a major point all the same.
A CONSERVATIVE POPE….AGAIN
Rather more certainly, with Pisces rising the sign’s ancient and modern rulers Jupiter and Neptune assume heightened significance within the Pope’s pattern, and this again makes sense. Francis’ Jupiter is in Capricorn, a reserved, practical but above all conservative position, while Neptune with its charity, dreams, idealism and compassion, not to say links to Jesus, is severely challenged by its direct challenge to Saturn.
This self-effacing person who has Saturn in Pisces opposite Neptune, an aspect which sets reality versus dream and ideal – will struggle to realize his aims as Pontiff within the Vatican. With his Saturn in affliction to the Vatican’s sun (its identity), as is already clear, his modesty doesn’t fit the Vatican’s princely profile. The most positive thing for him is that despite all the humanity, modernity and novelty of sorts (first Jesuit pope signaled through moon and Venus in Aquarius), with his Jupiter in conservative Capricorn and then his sun conjunct the Vatican’s Saturn, he is a moderate conservative. He won’t upset the Vatican too much… or at all at the level of doctrine however much it might need it beyond reform of the corruption And that might upset other people when the initial excitement wears off.
If this Pope happens to be St Malachy’s Peter the Roman the conservatism might eventually contribute towards some promised persecution as there could even be, or seem to be, a touch of the self-imposing St Francis Xavier in the character. Xavier was the missionary saint who more or less lost Christianity for Japan not least due to an incomprehension and insults (“lower than pigs and dogs”) as regards gays and homosexuality as it affected his converts and Japanese society. The president of Argentina, however unfairly, has accused the capital’s Archbishop of having opinions fit for the Inquisition when it comes to the often criticized gays, and Francis Xavier was not so ideal a figure that, beyond homophobia, he didn’t help inflict the Inquisition upon an innocent unsuspecting Goa.
Pope Francis who is so misogynist while Archbishop he declared women “naturally unfit for political office” (this is his quirky afflicted moon to Uranus speaking) is firmly against all the liberal things from women’s right to abortion – never a solution, never justified in his view – to contraception and gay marriage which his country (where the saying goes “all priests are gays”) was the first in Latin America to institute. And ironically Francis’ elevation occurred a few days after a UN agency, (not without all reason in certain cases like, one feels, that of a needy Hindu woman refused abortion in Catholic Ireland), enlarged the definition of torture to include refusal to permit abortion. Pope Francis’ humanity manifests more in a kind of generosity like his known assistance to the poor and victims of AIDS his macho homeland has often overlooked and despised. In traditional Italian/Catholic style which he might inherit from his Italian parents, he is generous to a fault – he lambasted priests who refused baptism to the offspring of single mothers – but he doesn’t see changing laws that might affect the situations he treats. It would not for example impress his kind of outlook that the death rate among gay men has gone down since the introduction of same sex marriage in Denmark in 1989.
THE LIMITS OF CATHOLIC REFORM AND THEOLOGICAL MATHEMATICS
This should remind us that there are limits to the reform of anything or anyone in proudly semper idem (always the same) Catholicism, limits some Catholics fail to see but which they should realize are integral to the Vatican’s heavy and fixed sign Jupiter (its religion and philosophy) in its house of beliefs and philosophy in worldly but philosophical Taurus. Was Thomas Aquinas whom people called the ox and who invented the exhaustive mathematics of God and ethics approach to religion a Taurus? Probably. The church which canonized him wasn’t warned by the vision Aquinas had before the end of his life which silenced him because he saw that his teachings were so much straw.
The Vatican has been following the straw vision of his mathematics and geometry of faith ever since and reinterpreting the Judaeo-Christian traditions in light of it (as on natural law) firmly excluding everything from common sense to leadings of the Spirit. After all, if you once have infallible theorems to apply on all occasions, what do you have to know or change? Change is for appearances only, a new church design, a new order of nuns or a Pope from a new region, but it’s all shuffling the pack. And it’s tiresome when for example because homosexuality and masturbation could be rated “contra naturam” they got deemed worse than rape by the Inquisition because rape can have “natural” outcomes in fetuses.
Such thinking is nonsense and absorbing it could be a contributing factor to the twisted minds behind the sex abuse practiced and covered up and Aquinas’ thought legacy is one the church can only get round by ignoring or forgetting rather than openly denying because no tradition can be undone once established. Jesus was opposed to precisely “the traditions of men”. As at Joppa (Acts 10) St Peter was even told by the Spirit, and initially resisted, that he should go against what the scriptures taught Jews to do as regards gentiles. The Spirit must be allowed to modify traditions against the cycles of time God oversees (there is a theological aspect to astrology!). A willingness to change could even be considered fundamental to Christian spirituality itself. But could the Spirit convince a Pope to change? It wouldn’t be easy and of course since some issues are anyway extremely complex or specialized it would often be better if a council rather than any one person made a decision for certain changes. Semper idem is a dubious boast for any branch of Christianity. Only the essence of the gospel can remain the same.
But before commenting further on the Pope’s chart I shall look again at the Vatican chart considered in the article (26th Feb) and frankly state what seems most controversial about Catholic religion today which this Pope is set if not to change, at least renew. It has taken the extreme emotions and opinions surrounding recent events of papal resignation and election for me to realize just what some traditional Protestant charges against the religion were and maybe how crucial…..
A CULT OF POPE AS SUBSTITUTE SPIRITUALITY
First and foremost I became impressed at just how much the faithful depend upon “Christ’s Vicar”. At elevation he is even announced as being Eminentissimum ac reverendissimum Dominum (“most eminent and reverent Lord”….) as though Christ was himself scarcely Lord of the Church. Followers were describing themselves as “orphaned” and “rudderless” until a new one is found. Another almost felt reborn with the new Pope. People were in tears of joy as previously tears of distress when Benedict left. The seriously devout were praying at the tomb of the late John Paul 11 to supply them a new leader. The extreme of focus is controversial. The faithful are scarcely related to God in their dependence upon a half deified priest and saints rather as formerly pagans prayed less to the gods than genii loci, the spirits of place. Grace is scarcely recognized within the system. As opposed to Christ as advocate with the Father Creator there is the Pope and/or Mary and saints as intermediary with the mediator. And one gets heard with them the more one does good works. This itself is one of the reasons for the mess around the unbiblical tradition of priestly celibacy that should be thrown out but never gets cleared up. Pope Paul V1 declared one obtained more grace if one was celibate. This is misleading. It is because one has obtained grace that one may be stimulated to greater effort, may request more grace and might feel called to celibacy.
Even if Catholics were right about Peter as first leader in the way non Catholics question, there is still no evidence the early church was emotionally and otherwise attached to Peter in the way we have been recently seeing and hearing. (If anything there was more emotion around Paul). To the extent the Bible forbids contacting the dead (Deut 11:18), the cult of saints is controversial and risks persons finishing communing with merely tricksy spirits who appear as those invoked. Biblically “answering according to your idols” such would be the penalty of idolatry which means invoking anything or anyone less than God, and in effect the new Pope concurs. He has already said:
“He who does not pray to the Lord prays to the devil. When we don’t proclaim Jesus Christ, we proclaim the worldliness of the devil, the worldliness of the demon,” he added. “We must always walk in the presence of the Lord, in the light of the Lord, always trying to live in an irreprehensible way.”
Yet he hasn’t attacked, and is unlikely to criticize, all this praying to deceased popes and saints, and one of his first acts was to go to pray before a Byzantine icon of Mary whom he told the crowds was Rome’s protectress (aren’t God and his angels sufficient to look after Rome?) and to whom like many in South America he is said to be inordinately dedicated. It’s true one can argue that what comes to us from laws of the Pentateuch no longer count or must be modified in Christian interpretation, but Catholicism has always imported the Old Testament for everything from tithes to war to sex so there is unresolved contradiction here.
RELIGIOUS INEFFICIENCY AND HOW CHRISTIAN IS THE VATICAN?
As author of Temple Mysteries and Spiritual Efficiency ( See amzn.to/U350gX ) I feel what I have been witnessing is a degree of spiritual inefficiency whose inevitable end would be precisely the not easily avoided or healed manifest corruption afflicting the church. I am beginning to see mainstream Catholicism as much like its periphery’s renewed exorcism rites. The latter can go on periodically for years like ongoing psychotherapy and because, I would maintain, the wrong principles are employed, including that Lucifer is not even seen as a name of the devil. Exorcists keep encountering spirits in dramatic ways but instead of fully expelling them in Christ’s name they employ the agency of exorcism’s patron Mary and various saints and angels, confusing the entire process away from its known earliest practice. Catholicism is like Hinduism, a patchwork of too many sources weighed down by “tradition”, a tradition which doesn’t seem to realize the core crucial biblical principle for the entire religion that God is absent from or departs from whatever is unholy. Nothing is more misleading than the belief,repeated by the Mayor of Rome in the face of scandals, that the Church is perfect even if its members aren’t. But religion is never so automatic, so objective or abstractly determined.
The prophet Ezekiel sees God leaving the Jerusalem temple because of priestly sins tolerated there Ezek 10). To imagine, contrary to claims like “the Spirit blows where he wills” (Joh 3:8) that God is automatically present to the affairs of a place or ordained persons serving there belongs with the magical/political kind of Catholicism entrenched since St Augustine. According to this mass is always miraculously grace supplying even if the priest is a gross adulterer or pedophile; benedictions are effective whether those giving or receiving them are right with God; persons are eternally Catholic even if debaptized, since the infant baptism to which they never consented cannot be undone. It is this belief in objective automatic presence that has enabled the excess of scandals marking the papacy historically as recorded in books like the Jesuit Peter de Rosa’s Vicars of Christ. How could even a saintly Pope such as Francis aims to be hope to reform things against such a background of false belief? Right mindedness which includes right belief is as important as any practice and it defines practice.
The Vatican has entertained more than enough corruption so that unsurprisingly and as mentioned in my article of Feb 26th, on the Vatican Babylon its chart doesn’t even reveal the institution as notably Christian and not only by the way its Jupiter to Neptune affliction (in Leo sign of children) would assist pedophile cover ups.
The fact is that whereas the CHRISTIAN asteroid directly trines the CHRIST asteroid at Christianity’s Pentecost foundation, neither the CHRIST nor CHRISTIAN asteroids are even aspected for the Vatican, albeit ISA the Jesus asteroid is between sun and moon. It is however rather trumped by a more elevated MARIA conjuncting The Part of Success near the reputation Midheaven. It’s a pattern suggestive for the long standing “to Jesus through Mary” formula by promotion of which Catholicism might be said to have enjoyed precisely most success. One ex-Catholic rebel Argentinean theologian (the impossible late Marcella Althaus-Reid) has proposed that without Mary the South America that historically Catholicism harried and persecuted into submission would not have gone Christian and it scarcely is Christian, it is just Marian. I also note that from surprising Aquarius the asteroid DEVINE (divine) makes easy trine to MARIA strongly hinting that despite the denials, the “Mother of God” is unofficially treated as divine by many Catholics. At the same time this Mother is (as Protestant and skeptics generally have long suspected) much related to the Babylonian Ishtar since ISHTAR conjuncts DEVINE while it trines MARIA.
VATICAN REFORM AND THE ATTITUDE TO GAYS
Almost anything Pope and Church now say and do about homosexuality is controversial. If there’s any truth (and factually and astrologically there looks to be), that the Vatican has gay cabals, in the wake of the blizzard of priestly child sex scandals and given South America’s treatment of gays historically (everything from conquistadores throwing gays to wild dogs to modern Brazil’s world highest murder rate against gays), to say almost anything about gays is controversial short of the church going into deep repentance first. Which it isn’t likely to do. And though Bergoglio has been kinder than many, including washing and kissing the feet of AIDS patients, that doesn’t necessarily address the problem. It is almost the Catholic way and survival mechanism not to address too many core issues and past failures.
Despite its history of death-dealing religious wars, the Vatican happily forgets this so as to accuse persons of murder and excommunicate them if they remove life support from a patient who can only blink an eyelid or give an abortion to a woman traumatized by rape, the latter not necessarily even Christian tradition but become so by medieval mathematics of God ruling – in the early church Tertullian understood the life of the mother came before the child not vice versa as in Catholicism. Given the treatment of sinful women under ancient OT laws, how could it possibly be God that would be opposed to all occasions of abortion when the capital sentence for sinners meant many a babe would be killed in the womb? Neither Jews nor early Christians were ever agreed the soul had even entered the fetus from the first (some thought it was at 3 months). None of these issues are so clear cut they can be regulated quite as Catholicism wishes, and even if by law they could be, that merely produces the kind of corruptions common under Prohibition. Christians can protect the defenceless and support ethical policies in societies, but not absolutely or by purely legal/political means.
Already as Archbishop of Buenos Aires Francis has treated the gay marriage as a spiritual issue. He regards it as a move of the devil to destroy “God’s plan” for the children of God with gay adoption. a form of discrimination against children. While even as a gay theologian as an aspect of gay unions and marriages I have to question gay parenting and adoption as have even some leading gays including the actor Rupert Everett who thinks the who idea is selfish and repulsive, the Archbishop’s objections are typical cart-before-the-horse, fear mongering stuff. It belongs in the order of Pope Benedict’s bizarre claim that gay marriage threatens world peace and undermines the whole basis of marriage and society. Please! First, most gays are not and do not aspire to be parents, only a minority of society’s gay minority so aspire. And while it would seem better for a child to have a father and a mother, the fact is that death and illness prevent many from having that experience while we hear about so much bad upbringing among regular parents that gays would have a hard job to be worse. And some actually do have parenting skills. In short, the Catholic case is special pleading around a secondary social issue and by a church that as usual reckons to impose upon the secular laws on the basis of artificial, abstract notions of natural law following the notions of the philosopher ox, Aquinas. The Jesuits particularly have had a philosophy of total domination akin to the modern evangelical heresy of Dominionism which believes it can and must help Christ return by imposing biblical laws upon the whole world.
All this special pleading and convoluted argument which paints Catholicism into a corner, derives from semper idem. Because it concedes almost nothing to anything or anyone it a) piles up occasions for hypocrisy – if all priests must be celibate, inevitably some are going to have affairs on the side and if gays can never declare or describe themselves or have relationships they will have them by stealth and in exploitative corrupt ways and b) in the increasingly secular world by conceding nothing it gets increasingly excluded from arguments where it could contribute as on gay marriage and parenting which as said not all gays are agreed upon. As it is, secular equality theories trump everything while the Catholic response to exclusion is the paranoia which suggests the world is threatened by gays and/or the devil.
VATICAN POLICY AND AN END OF ROME
In Pope Francis’s Argentina the saying goes “all priests are gay”. Undoubtedly many priests are and Jesus always knew and realized this connection of spirituality with homosexuality. On this sensitive topic see
and especially Chaps 11,12,13 of Testament of the Magi
I don’t suggest Pope Francis is unconsciously gay. For the record he had a girlfriend with whom he was so enamored he promised if refused he could never marry but would become a priest and so he became. However, gays represent a problem for this Pope. Any aspects of Uranus to planets is liable to represent either a gay disposition or a conflicted, problematic relation to gays.
The Pope shows Uranus in affliction aspect to Venus certainly and probably also the moon if we are near correct about the birth time. He doesn’t get it about gays and probably doesn’t want to and that’s true for many in Christianity whose horrified response whether to gay unions or marriages overlooks the psychological problem Christianity presents of Jesus married to both female and male believers (we are “the bride of Christ” says Francis without thinking too deeply what that means) and historically that David and Jonathan had a covenant, a word sometimes used for marriage in the OT. Unquestionably Christianity has to nuance and revise its entire management of the gay issue. [ These comments have proved wrong. I simply couldn’t have imagined the alternative explanation, namely that the Pope could run into trouble because he was regarded as too liberal on the gay theme! On the other hand despite his liberalism against history he has not been for same sex marriage so he has offended left and right ]
It is my suspicion that overly rigid interpretations of sexual issues, a refusal to compromise or reform will be a contributing, indirect if not a direct, cause of any persecution that Pope Francis, if he is a final Petrus Romanus, will occasion and suffer. He will just not seem sufficiently to favour human rights despite all the works of charity. True, secularism may exaggerate the degree of offence. There is already far too much abortion for us to say the status of women and just any reason should justify it, but it must be conceded to as a human right in certain instances and only stubborn traditionalism won’t do so.
Although it has been denied, it is widely believed intrigues of a gay cabal in the Vatican contributed to Benedict’s decision to resign. The Vatican chart (see my article 13th and 26th Feb) gives every appearance of being a rather gay place, and it’s interesting that the RATZINGER conjunct FINI in the Pentecost chart for Christianity is in Uranus ruled Aquarius, sign of the sudden, shocking and also gay with RATZINGER opposite PRAXITELES. It’s like a hint that the cult of beautiful young men that even somewhat got attributed to the Pope himself with Gorgeous George, could be linked to the resignation. As for Benedict so for Francis. Gays or gay issues could (along with other things) precipitate an end to his rule and even possibly problems for the faithful within the secular world. Pope Benedict believed Catholics should be prepared to suffer persecution in pursuit of opposing gay marriage.
But if there would be other problems, what could these be? What about the politics and policies beyond sex? Controversially Francis has declared the Falklands (regardless what its inhabitants have just voted and the Hague Declaration supporting their vote) belongs to the Argentina which has never really owned them but feels they should because they are reasonably near, rather as China thinks it should own Taiwan on much the same basis. What if other political beliefs prove still more contentious? Francis’ relations with the Jews appears to have been good but how will he deal with the current Mid East situation which if he is Petrus Romanus is a distinctly thorny issue and takes us deeply into how we should read the Malachy prophecy? I hope to look at these things in due time. Meanwhile, if you watch the inauguration you are witnessing history in the making.