by Boots Hart, CAP

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pope Francis I: The Papal Election Chart

The Coat of Arms for Vatican City is considered a de factor symbol of the Papacy

There’s something truly beautifully metaphysical level about a Pope being elected with Jupiter conjunct Aldebaran. Jupiter is after all, the ruler of Sagittarius (the sign of religion) and Jupiter is also the initial co-ruler of Pisces, the sign of spirituality.

Fixed star Aldebaran is the first of the zodiac’s Royal Stars – first in zodiacal order, that is. Positioned at 9 Gemini, Aldebaran is a celestial promise of success which is achieved and maintained through integrity of intent, word and deed. It’s presence in Gemini makes Aldebaran the most mentally-oriented of the Royal Stars, and though Jupiter isn’t known for being wonderful in Gemini, it would seem likely that integrity was something the Cardinals had in mind when electing Pope Francis, especially since (as it has been commented on a lot of late) the Vatican needs a Pope capable of dealing with the Curia and the ‘business machinery’ of the Vatican.

The famous white smoke went up from Vatican chimney at 7:06 on the evening of March 14th. And here is the chart for that moment:

The Election of Pope Francis I
March 13, 2013 - 7:06 p.m. (CET/-1) - Vatican City, Italy

The strong set of squares from Ceres and the Black Moon in the 9th house to the Sun and Venus in the 6th is exactly what we are talking about with regards to the Vatican’s ‘machinery.’ But let’s not be bashful here: the Scorpio Saturn conjunct Deucalion (Deucalion being ‘finding our moral way’) in trine to the vulnerability or injury point (Chiron) at 10 Pisces in the 6th house (with Pisces conjunct Kalypso) is a statement in big and bold about the money being hemorrhaged by the Church by various ‘bad acts’ on the part of the clergy (as in sex abuse) as well as the Curia.

With Kalypso being a point all about asking us whether love is about what you get or the happiness of the one (or the thing) being loved, Chiron conjunct Kalypso in the 6th house of this chart with Chiron-Kalypso in square to Aldebaran (integrity) –Scheherazade (the tale told) – Jupiter in the 9th is a poignant astrological statement about the need to bring the Church back to loving those it serves and the love of why it serves them.

Calypso (astrology's Kalypso) as sculpted by Celestin Anatole Calmeis
(photo credit Vassil, artwork c. 1853, Musée Picardie Beaux-arts)

That said, this is a square. So the task isn’t easy. Fortunately (for the Catholics of the world and the future of the Church) Saturn-Deucalion trining Chiron-Kalypso from the 2nd house says there will like as not have to be some 'threat’ installed in order to bring everybody who has gotten out of line back into line.

If you look around the ring of the chart, you’ll notice that all the house cusps are in early degrees. That tells us that this election is about doing something. And the four cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn) appearing on the prime horizontal and vertical axis points tells us that things will get done. Cardinal signs ‘act’ and learn through their accomplishments. Where modification is required, they then act again.

That of the four cardinal signs Libra comes up at the Ascendant (the Ascendant being the ‘action’ point of a chart) tells us the Cardinals have voted to act in the spirit of connection with others and with an eye to how the Church affects others.

Libra being ruled by Venus, Venus in Pisces and in the 6th house tells us that those who work in the Church are supposed to ‘exalt’ in service. That this Venus is conjunct the Sun (at 23 Pisces) says this election is about finding a man and a ‘life’ for the Church which is dedicated to that sort of service.

And yet…Venus is not comfortably placed in the 6th house. So we can expect some problems to surface inside the Vatican (whether we hear of them or not) in the years ahead. With the mid-point between Venus and Chiron being the fixed star Achernar, we can assume many problems will be found – even more than this Pope probably expects to find going into the job.

 Pope Francis I (then Cardinal Bergoglio) on official business in Argentina
(photo courtesy of the Agentine Presidency website, dated March 17, 2010)

It would seem that we can trust one thing: this new Pope is going to need all the faith in this world (and maybe the next) to deal with what he finds. 19 Pisces (Venus’ position) is known for the kind of frustrations and ‘imbedded’ problems which lead to stomach aches or with difficulties with being able to emotionally ‘swallow’ something. Add to that Achernar’s reputation for being ‘one thing after another’ and there would seem to be a tough road ahead for this Pope and the Church, starting with the necessity to deal with the ‘health’ (6th house) of the institution.

Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it), the Sun at 23 Pisces is all about the spiritual and psychic realm. But with this degree come tests and temptations, which leads us back not to just the pock marks of world-wide sex abuse on the part of clergy, but probably also to the ‘ca-ching!’ of serious (not to mention numerous) financial scandals which we may or may not hear about.

Just ‘south’ of Chiron’s position in the 6th house we have Neptune and Mercury at 3 and 6 Pisces respectively. Mercury is in retrograde but barely in motion, heading for a station/direct point which will occur four days after this election at 5 Pisces.

Any time we see Neptune and Mercury in conjunction we know there is some sort of lie or fantasy going on. The principle ‘vibe’ for 5 Pisces (Mercury’s position) involves ‘friendship’ and that loving regard for other people and things of this Earth that Christians call ‘agape love.’ Neptune’s position, on the other hand speaks to good fortunes which may lead to weakness. Both of these degrees are so strongly associated with (read: close to) Royal Star Fomalhaut’s present position at 4 Pisces that whatever else they may be, both Neptune and Mercury here become ‘adjuncts’ to Fomalhaut’s promise of success only if one’s choices and acts are neither corruptive, corrupted or straight-on corrupt.

Since Mercury and Neptune are in the 5th house and not the 6th, we know the ‘fantasy’ (or lie) they indicate have to do with what the Church election would like to be true. And it’s not unreasonable to think that the Church very much wants to think that a change of Pope, a little staunchness in the homily and the bad stuff will go away.

That’s probably not true. Pisces is always about facing the truth and knowing that we can endure that and work towards better times.

Of course, there is an up side here…which would be that this is a papal election chart, and with asteroid Kleopatra exactly astride the 6th house cusp, this Pope is being elected with a ‘wise eye’ to the fact that things do need to be faced, things need to change and that – in the collective opinion of the Catholic Cardinals – Pope Francis is the man with sufficient breadth of wisdom, openness of mind, cleverness of wit and warmth of being (all those being Kleopatra qualities) to (6th house) do the job and see the job done.

If we had any doubts that there is a ‘business’ side to this election, that should be dispelled by Capricorn being at the bottom (the IC or Nadir point) of this chart with Cancer at the top. Capricorn is the sign of structure and business. It’s the sign of governance and the ‘punishment’ (penalty) side of the law.

The IC itself is presented at 5 Capricorn, a degree which is highly self-occupied and often not willing to deal with the weaknesses of others. With Industria at 6 Capricorn, Facies at 8 Capricorn and Pluto at 11 Capricorn, this is an indication that the Church is likely to go through a period of intense self-involvement. Is that before it gets to the ‘business of the people’ (pastoral attention) or after?

Link to posts:

We have one thread of hints there: with Capricorn at the bottom of the chart and the Saturn (in Scorpio) so very involved – as discussed – in the operational imperatives of this chart, that would tend to say that this is an image of the Church dealing with it’s internal business first, with the ‘needs of the people’ (portrayed in this chart as the Cancer Midheaven) being the ultimate aim.

However! Since this is a nocturnal chart (ruled by lunar considerations like feelings, money and – one would hope – spirituality), that means Saturn in the 2nd may be unpleasant as all get-out and ugly as sin (so to speak…) but the choice of what to attend to first is dictated by the rulers of Scorpio.

And those are Mars (the choice) and Pluto (the outcome of the choice).

In this chart, Mars is in its own ruling sign of Aires, which raises Mars by a tick on the volume scale. This is also, as noted, a nocturnal chart, which raises the Mars volume a little more. Mars is also in the bottom half of the chart – even louder. And lastly, Mars is positioned in the degrees immediately preceding one of the chart’s four angles – which also amps up the noise.

Then we add in the modifiers: Photographica and (trumpets please) the infamous fixed star Scheat, which sort of operates as the Gilbert and Sullivan chorus which says we the people like what we like and want what we want. Considering that Aries on the Descendant in this sort of chart would be all about how the Church is seen – with this quality also being amplified by Photographica’s “the image of the thing” presence, it would seem pretty obvious that this election is as much about the image of the Church as anything else.

Is this cynical? Have the Cardinals nominated a man who will ‘put a good face’ on things? Or is this the ‘real deal’ Pope so many Catholics have been waiting for, a Pope who will hear the people and deal with them fairly, and care that the Church’s image is based on some sort of ethical reality?

The Sistine Hall of the Vatican Library
(photo credit: Maus-Trauden, September 2006)

That’s where Pluto comes in as the ‘outcome ruler’ of Scorpio. We already know from having talked about Pluto’s transit of Facies that we have seen maybe the worst of this transit’s intensity…but that we’re also not done yet. Pluto will be going station/direct at 8 Capricorn (in exact conjunction with Facies) during September, 2013. Will we hear of changes happening at the Vatican at that time?

We’ll have to wait and see. But this combination of Mars in the 6th house pressing on the Descendant against Pluto in the 4th house is a square by sign (Capricorn against Aries) and a sextile by house – a combination which reads making an effort to get a difficult thing done.

Meanwhile, we do have one other good ‘clock’ for this activity in the chart: Saturn. In being located at 11 Scorpio in this election chart, Saturn is in an exact sextile to Pluto at 11 Capricorn. Saturn went retrograde at 11 Pisces during February, as Pope Benedict announced he was going to step down, an act which validates our use of Saturn (which is still at 11 degrees) as our timer in this instance. So in a sense, the whole of this Saturn retrograde-and-back-to-direct motion which has Saturn coming back to (and clearing) 11 Scorpio is all about this ‘change of Popes’ or the passing on of the staff of St. Peter, if you will.

And when will that happen? Well, Saturn goes direct in July. And it will go direct at 4 Scorpio – in perfect trine to Fomalhaut at 4 Pisces and in a semi-sextile (‘ego bruising aspect’) to the Ascendant of this election chart.

I’m not sure we’ll hear what’s going on at the Vatican or with Pope Francis at that point, but the Vatican may feel obliged to ‘speak out on the ills’ of that moment.

But to answer the principle question posed here, when does Saturn come back to 11 Scorpio and clear that degree? Answer: October 2013, in the weeks following Pluto’s stationing atop Facies.

Coincidence? Probably not.

Is it worth marking our calendars? If the problems which have plagued the Catholic Church are important to you, probably yes.

Much has already been said about the new Pope’s basic conservative views on doctrine. Jupiter-Aldebaran-Scheherazade in the ‘teachings’ 9th house would seem to support that. The ‘integrity of the body of religious teachings’ is likely to be upheld. But so is the need to apply such teachings with integrity on the part of the teachers, and that’s where Pope Francis as a ‘man of the people’ probably comes into play. This 9th house of ‘dissemination’ (what the election would have the new Pope teach) has in it not just Jupiter, Aldebaran et al, but also Vesta conjunct Rigel, which is the price of teaching or the cost of what it takes to adhere to the teachings of Christ, pretty much across the board (meaning both for the clergy and for Catholics around the world).

There’s another interesting note in this 9th house which is astro-labeled “Black Moon Lilith conjunct Bellatrix conjunct Ceres.” On one hand this would seem to speak to ‘things denied’ by the Church up until now as all these objects being in Gemini points us to the Mercury in conjunction with Neptune. Bellatrix always indicating a difficulty, it will be hard for people to believe things have changed and very hard for the Church to get past damage already done.

Ceres-Black Moon also speaks to a sense of history, with Bellatrix being ‘difficulties’ of the time, most likely. We are likely to hear a lot about Pope Francis’ past and how he did and didn’t deal with various issues.

But this trio of factors also speaks to one other thing: that ‘female half’ of the whole, which in the 9th house would seem to represent the position of women in the Catholic Church hierarchy. Will that change?

 Lady Lilith by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Black Moon Lilith is a ‘rejection’ of that ‘shadow part of the self’ we cannot or choose not to cope with. It comes from an interesting astrological idea, that of the position along the Moon’s shifting orbital cycle where the Moon is physically closest to Earth. What this represents is a ‘reflection’ of ourselves which has come so close to us that we ‘back away’ (or reject) coping with it.

And yet, without that thing, ultimately we are not whole.

Given how the Black Moon ordinarily works in astrology, as represented here, calculated Lilith (Black Moon Lilith) would apply to question of Church attitudes towards homosexuality, birth control and whether women will be given greater latitudes of roles in the Catholic Church. And it would appear from this election(al) chart that the answer to that would be ‘no.’ But to all those who look at this and feel rejected or alienated, two comments. Vesta-Rigel here is closely enough to being the midpoint between Jupiter/Aldebaran and Black Moon Lilith/Ceres/Bellatrix to say that this Pope's tenure in office is in many ways a learning experience for the church. So there is a chance that some sort of change or shift may at least begin being talked about when Saturn reaches Sagittarius in a couple of years. 

Astrologically, religion as a codified body of teachings is a 9th house entity. (Spirituality - the emotional 'faith and belief' component is 12th house.) Considering that sexuality, birth (and thus birth control) and 'associations of the genders' are 8th house concepts, that makes such things astrologically associated with the house just behind that of religion - the 12th derivative harmonic. This means that all things 8th house (which includes money as power, by the by) are put in a karmic position which in being a '12th harmonic' has some of the Piscean quality of 'fear of what I might fear' sort of quality.

And that feeling which we know as something we all have problems with when it comes to Pisces challenges is very typical and something of a kindred concept to the whole idea of Black Moon Lilith.

So metaphysically, the Church's positions aren't about rejecting women or homosexuality or birth control per se - it's a rejection of fear of how all those 'scary powerful' things could affect a body of teaching...a religion which as an institution is ‘founded in spirituality.'

(For you astro-techy types, this would be the Piscean 12th as the derivative 4th ‘foundational’ harmonic to the Sagittarian 9th.)

As we move into the Aquarian Age, Pisces moves from the 1st house to the 2nd on the wheel of the Age.

Pisces ("Pi") is on the second house of this wheel - look for the house color coded to the picture's frame

And that means that in time, with Scorpio at the top of the native chart of this incoming age, things are going to have to change. All things secret and powerful will be flaunted, and only in being dealt with as a reality will our lives...and our world become more normalized and secure.

That's across the board. But in the meantime, we have Pisces - the sign of spirituality, on the 2nd house of the Age.

 Scorpio ("Sc") is at the top of the wheel (look for the blue which matches the frame of this picture) occupying the 10th and most worldly position in the chart of the Aquarian Age, which would be why for the next 2,000 years are so, sex is going to be out in the open and a subject for discussion - for better and worse.

And what do people do when they feel threatened? They look for ways to be secure - that's the standard 2nd house (Taurean) solution. And I'd say that this tendency is so pronounced that sometimes you'd think all those bulls were clamming up (which is an interesting mental picture) except for the fact that when things feel threatened in the world of the 2nd house/8th house axis, we tend to react with...what? Threats and aggressive stances. And since Virgo is always in opposition to Pisces, religions have (by and large) always responded to that which threatened spiritual power with moral criticisms and strictly defined "lessons" on how we should be...which is very Virgo!

But things will change. Just don’t hold your breath waiting for it to happen. Considering how Pluto will enter Pisces in 2044, we should look to a time starting then for any real changes yet to happen.

Still, in the meantime, this election chart suggests we can expect discussions on this matter. They may arise in various ways from any of a variety of quadrants, and the timing on such a discussion coming up for grabs is likely to be late 2016 and on into 2017. The trip-wires here will be Saturn rolling over the election chart’s Black Moon, Bellatrix, Ceres and the Galactic Center (located at 27 Sagittarius) as Uranus arrives at the position of the election chart’s Eris (discord) as Neptune conjuncts this election chart’s Chiron.

So set your mental alarm clocks.

We may have a precursor ‘eruption’ on this subject (in some capacity) as Uranus hits the Aries degrees 16 through 18 (Moon, Pelion/asteroid Lilith) which happens in 2014 and extends through 2016. That may be framed around the concept of families, whether that involves priests having families or otherwise. Violence against women would also fit this bill as would (sorry to say) personal use of Vatican funds.

And yes, this would seem to be a good moment to mention that there are indeed two astrological Liliths (as if we needed more than one?) One is the calculated form of Lilith - the Black Moon. The other is the asteroid Lilith. For more information on them, here's a link to a blog post which will explain which is which and more about why either Lilith is what it is in the astrological sense. (You'll recognize the image in the header there, too - it's what happens when there's limited artwork on a given subject!)

Speaking of Uranus, it’s position at 7 Aries in this chart conjunct Niobe (pride) is plainly meant to ‘explode’ the pride of the people in their Church (which seems to be happening) and explode the image of the Church as an institution too prideful to care.

Photographica-Mars-Descendant coloring this Uranian position means though the joy may be real, the jury should still be out on whether real change is to come. But given all the low degrees involved, fortunately people will have their (initial) answers sooner rather than later. 

There’s one other interesting Jupiter-Aldebaran note worth making here…namely that Pope Benedict (now the Pope Emeritus) will evidently be returning to life somewhere inside the vastness of the Vatican soon enough. So there will be not one, but two Popes in the Vatican – how very Gemini, right?

Since Pope Benedict stepped down before Jupiter hit Aldebaran (though granted, Jupiter was well within orb of said fixed star) the onus for Papal integrity is squarely in Pope Francis’ court. But it is an interesting situation to contemplate, and no one could blame anyone for wondering what will happen going forward or if these two men will occasionally meet up for tea and pastries.

Maybe the Vatican’s kitchen could come up with a new pastry for such an occasion? I know…they could call them popeovers!

* * * * * * * * * * *

This post was begin with the full intention of getting to the chart of the man himself. It obviously didn’t get that far. But it may be worth waiting. At present, there is no time of birth available for the new Pope, though astrologers being as diligent as they are about such things, it’s likely someone will find that information and get it sent around in the next week or so.

Either way, I will post something about the man himself. If it takes too long for some enterprising soul to come up with a birth time we’ll go with a chart which looks at only the day, with no Moon or house placements involved. And having already taken a look (yes, I peeked!) I promise there is much to be discussed...and that we will be discussing it soon enough!


  1. Important UPDATE:

    The birth time is 21h (9 PM).

    An hour ago, the Argentina astrologer Claudia Rizzi has sent a copy of the birth certificate. The pictures of it are on the Astro-Databank page.

    1. Thank you so much, Giovannina! According to Blogger I gather you posted your note to me just a few minutes before my post for today went up.

      Yes, I saw the listing at Astrodatabank and am delighted that there is now a real birth chart to work with. I heard the news myself (here in Los Angeles) about mid-way through yesterday afternoon (Friday) and spent part of the evening looking up asteroid information which will post in front of the post on the Pope's chart so we'll all have more to work with on the astrological side.

      Thanks ever so for taking the time to write. I'm always happy to know the community is alive and sharing!