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The Pope Retires
By Mari Garcia
n Monday 11th February 2013, at approximately 11 ami the world was stunned by the announcement that Pope Benedict XVI was resigning from the papacy effective the th 28 of February 2013. He is the first pope to resign in almost 600 years. Benedict XVI, formerly Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, was elected Pope in 2005, the oldest man to ascend the throne of St Peter’s in almost 300 years. He will now become the first pope to resign his position since Gregory XII was forced ou of office in 1415 and the first to have done so voluntarily since Celestine V in 1294.

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The Vatican press has revealed that the pontiff is stepping down citing increasing infirmity which has made it difficult for him to dispatch his duties with energy and diligence. The announcement was met with disbelief and caught many in the Church, clergy, laity and Vatican hierarchy by surprise. As an astrologer, I was intrigued with what was happening in the Pope’s chart and just what signatures could be identified as describing the recent action.
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The Natal Chart A quick overview of the natal chart shows Pisces rising, describing a person whose primary motivation is driven by emotional need. The ruler of Pisces, Jupiter is in the sign of its rulership in the 1st conjunct the Ascendant. This is a person who realises their motivation through their own personal actions and volitions. Additionally, Jupiter is also the ruler of the Sagittarian 10th house and MC, underscoring the drive that this person has to realise their personal ambitions (MC) to inspire and

With the ruler of the MC in the 1st conjunct the Ascendant.3 ¸ 14 Apr 2041114. There is a story told of Joseph Ratzinger (the Pope’s secular name) that at the age of five.4 º / » 6 Jun 1995 68.2 philosophise.4 5. Ratzinger is a well-respected theologian.0 13.4 º / ½ 9 N ov 1989 62.4 » / ¶ 28 Jul 2053126. he was already well-established as Prefect in the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and was consecrated a Cardinal a few years later.1 » / º 5 Jun 2052125.1 » / º 6 Jun 1977 50.4 37.4 25.9 26.9 Ê 14 Apr 2000 73. The Quality of Time Now we look to see the quality of the time that colours Ratzinger’s life at present.0 ¶ / ½ 9 N ov 2004 77.7 30. 1956.0 ¶ / ¼ 22 Feb 2006 78.0 ¸ / ¶ 28 Jul 2045118.9 40.0 ¼ / » 14 Apr 2036109.3 º / ¶ 22 Feb 1986 58. he experienced his first Saturn return in December.0 23.6 33. What does this tell us? ¶ 16 Apr 1927 ¶ / ¾ 28 Jul 1928 ¶ / ½10 N ov 1929 ¶ / ¼ 22 Feb 1931 ¶ / ¸ 6 Jun 1932 ¶ / » 19 Sep 1933 ¶ / º 1 Jan 1935 ¾ 15 Apr 1936 ¾ / ½10 N ov 1937 ¾ / ¼ 7 Jun 1939 ¾ / ¸ 1 Jan 1941 ¾ / » 29 Jul 1942 ¾ / º 23 Feb 1944 ¾ / ¶ 19 Sep 1945 ½ 16 Apr 1947 ½ / ¼ 1 Jan 1949 ½ / ¸ 19 Sep 1950 ½ / » 6 Jun 1952 ½ / º 22 Feb 1954 ½ / ¶10 N ov 1955 ½ / ¾ 28 Jul 1957 ¼ 15 Apr 1959 ¼ / ¸ 15 Apr 1960 ¼ / » 15 Apr 1961 ¼ / º 15 Apr 1962 ¼ / ¶ 15 Apr 1963 ¼ / ¾ 15 Apr 1964 ¼ / ½ 15 Apr 1965 ¸ 15 Apr 1966 ¸ / » 19 Sep 1967 ¸ / º 22 Feb 1969 ¸ / ¶ 28 Jul 1970 FIR D AR IA (Al Biruni/Schoener) 0.0 12.4 » / ¶ 28 Jul 1978 51.0 ¾ 15 Apr 2011 84.6 ½ / ¾ 27 Jul 2032105.0 ¾ / ½ 9 N ov 2012 85.0 ¶ / º31 D ec 2009 82.0 ¸ / ¾ 1 Jan 1972 44. according to whether the birth is a diurnal or nocturnal one.0 2. Saturn has always been prominent in his natal chart and now it is echoed in the firdaria. Putting together a variety of techniques we will see not only the nature and quality of the time but what pertinent matters are brought to the surface as a consequence.0 21.9 ¼ / º 14 Apr 2037110. his forced stint in the German army.3 43.4 1. philosopher and author. At his second Saturn return in 1986. we have someone who will be driven to realise his goals.0 ¾ / ¼ 6 Jun 2014 87.7 ¾ / ¶ 18 Sep 2020 93.6 38.1 ¸ / » 18 Sep 2042115.0 15.9 º / ¾ 1 Jan 1988 60. These are planetary periods which vary in length and start with either the Sun or the Moon.3 ¸ / ½ 6 Jun 1973 46.4 ¾ / ¸ 1 Jan 2016 88. this suggests that the Saturnian issues to do with authority. highlighted by the elevated Saturn in the 10th house.0 ¸ / ¾31 D ec 2046119.6 ¸ / ¼10 N ov 1974 47.6 ¶ 15 Apr 2002 75.9 7.7 » / ¾ 18 Sep 2054127.3 ¶ / ¾ 28 Jul 2003 76.6 9.3 28.7 » / ¾ 19 Sep 1979 52. In the case of Ratzinger.6 ¸ / ¼ 9 N ov 2049122.3 ½ / º 21 Feb 2029101.6 ½ / ¼ 1 Jan 2024 96.0 ¶ / » 18 Sep 2008 81. .1 6.3 10.0 ¸ / º 22 Feb 2044116.3 36. credibility and control will now be very prominent and pertinent. In this period he experienced this Saturnian flavour in his life living with the rise of Nazism.4 ¼ / ½ 14 Apr 2040113.0 41.1 ½ 15 Apr 2022 95.7 º 15 Apr 2059132. he was born in the early morning before sunrise placing his Sun below the horizon hence his is a nocturnal nativity and so the Firdaria starts with the Moon.1 É 15 Apr 1997 70. Struck by the cardinal's distinctive garb.1 » / ¸ 21 Feb 2058130. responsibility.1 32.1 » / ¸ 22 Feb 1983 55. he entered the Jupiter sub-period. The last time he experienced the Saturn firdaria was from the age of nine years and spanned the years from 1936 to 1947.7 ¼ 15 Apr 2034107.9 ¼ / ¸ 15 Apr 2035108.0 18. he later announced the very same day that he wanted to be a cardinal.0 34.9 Primarily.9 » 15 Apr 2051124. time spent as a prisoner of war and eventually release and repatriation at the end of World War II and finally entering the seminary.0 » / ½ 9 N ov 2055128.7 3.7 º / ¸ 28 Jul 1993 66.4 ½ / ¶ 9 N ov 2030103.1 ½ / » 6 Jun 2027100.6 » / ¼31 D ec 2056129.6 ¼ / ¾ 15 Apr 2039112.3 ¸ / ½ 5 Jun 2048121.1 35. A final point.0 20. Ratzinger was in a group of children who welcomed the visiting Cardinal Archbishop of Munich with flowers.0 » / ½ 9 N ov 1980 53.3 ¾ / º 22 Feb 2019 91.9 ¾ / » 28 Jul 2017 90.6 » / ¼ 1 Jan 1982 54.0 16.7 ¼ / ¶ 15 Apr 2038111. Firdaria Benedict entered his Saturn firdaria in April 2011 and in November 2012. Coincidentally. He will also pursue these goals as a means of control and authority.ii Ratzinger established himself as a highly regarded university theologian by the late 1950s and was appointed a full professor in 1958 at the tender age of 31.9 » 15 Apr 1976 49.7 39.0 º / ¼ 19 Sep 1991 64. Mercury conjuncts Jupiter in the 1st and adds the love of learning and knowledge.0 ½ / ¸ 18 Sep 2025 98.7 º 14 Apr 1984 57. The first of these is the Firdaria.0 ¶ / ¸ 6 Jun 2007 80. his recruitment into the Hitler Youth.

The void of course Mars also describes something that is coming to an end or whose time is limited. Taking one step at a time: Mars is the planet that is in charge of his year. On his birthday in April. albeit slow forward motion. it will immediately conjunct the North Node. describing a waning or diminution of power. perhaps reflecting the sense of indecision and then eventual. If we apply this to the Pope. the period he is currently in.3 Now. The Solar Return Mars in the 12th echoes this sense of ‘disappearing’ or finishing and with the opposition to Neptune. The most common point to profect is the Ascendant and every 12 years it comes back to the same starting point. its dispositor. Additionally. suggesting that matters ruled by Mars are different or perhaps expressed in a non-orthodox way. matters do with wealth & value are the focus. Profections The technique of profections simply means ‘profecting’ or moving a planet or point one sign forward every year. Mars in his natal chart is at 29 Gemini in the 4th in a tight square to Mercury. the Solar Return Mars is in a tight opposition to Neptune. In the current Saturn firdaria. A void of course planet marches to the sound of a different drum. Mar becomes the lord of the year. albeit a spiritual and philosophical one. Mars is stationary about to go direct. The Pope turned 85 in 2012 and had just had a Uranus return earlier in 2011. his second house has Aries on the cusp and so its ruler. His most recent role in the Catholic Church prior to his election to the seat of St Peter was as the head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Ratzinger. he is a warrior. So at this first level we have an indication through the profected lord of the year Mars. we see the same issues highlighted and it is interesting that in the Saturn period when he was a young boy. a direct reference to his active role in defending traditional Catholic doctrine and values. Now. it is angular in the 4th however it is void of course.iii Here we have a Mars whose planetary nature demands challenge. Mars is stationary about to go direct in Virgo in the Solar Return 12th house. 2012. conflict and victory. We can say that in this year. we must find other factors which would support this judgement. formerly known as the "Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office". 2012 he entered a profected second house year. the historical Roman Inquisition. Mars is also tightly conjunct the IC and is void of course. He was also known as “God’s Rottweiler”. just because the lord of the year indicates this in the natal chart. was the enforcer of these and imposed sanctions and recommended punishments for those who transgressed. as one of the staunchest defenders of catholic dogma and tradition. that something is ‘waning’ or at an end or heading towards seclusion. Natally. Additionally. he experienced the 10th house Saturn as oppressive and controlling authority with the Hitler youth. the same issues again emerge but this time he is the authority and he uses his power to divest himself of responsibility. In the Solar Return for his birthday in April. the German army and prisoner of war camps and later the controlled environment of the seminary. although as it leaves Gemini. We will also see later in the article how the Saturnian echoes resonate throughout this period. which starts with his birthday. .

Solar Return 00° ƒ 00' 00° „ 00' 00° Ï 02° 00' Ì 20° „ 39' ƒ 22' » 09° ‚ 33' ‚ 00' … 00° ¼ 03° Ý 24' 16° ½ 00° Ý 00' … 41' S P ope B enedi c t X V I So l a r Re t u rn 14 Apr 2012.4 We know that the main reason given for the Pope’s resignation was his health so it is interesting to see what the lord of the year. This is also a very Saturnian decision: weighed up. went on to conjunct the natal Descendant in June. Finally when the resignation comes into effect at the end of February. and on the day of the announcement. the point of life and vitality. oppose the Moon in July. and we place his Cross of Matter on that chart. I expect that Benedict is probably a much frailer man than we have been led to believe.2 billion Catholics. conjunct the Saturn in August. Jupiter in the Solar Return 8th house. Mars started at 3 Virgo in April 2012. again suggesting that the Saturnian issues highlighted by the firdaria are brought into the spotlight again. Italy 41°N54' 012°E29' 08' Ü 25° ¸ 00° † 00' 41' Ü05° 07' ‹28° ¿ º 00° Ë 17° 00° ¾ 00' 26° †15' 15'Œ † Geoc entric Tropi c al Whol e Signs True Node Ü 00' 27' ‹ 02° À 00° ASC 00' ‡ Œ 55' ˆ 05° 00° Œ 33' ‰ 32' Š ‹ 10° ¶ 00' ˆ 00' É 09° Á 00° ‰ 00' 00° Š MC If we look at the Pope’s Solar Return for the period April 2012 – April 2013. Mars the profected lord of the year had just squared natal Saturn. We also have Saturn in the 1st house and conjunct the Ascendant of the Solar Return. measured and made against the responsibility and authority he wields versus the expectations of the world and his diminishing vitality. We could say that the decision that he has made is supported by the fact that he is feeling the weight of expectation which he cannot meet physically or emotionally. sitting in the 6th house of illness in the Solar Return and the lord of his Ascendant. Mars will conjunct his natal Ascendant and natal Jupiter. reinforcing the responsibility issue. Mars does as it moves through and makes contact with different points and planets in the natal chart. . Not a very encouraging picture for his physical well-being. conjunct the MC and oppose itself in November. we see the natal Ascendant. The lunar phase of the Return is a Third Quarter phase suggesting this is a time of action borne out of wisdom and experience and we have been told that Benedict no longer felt he could do justice to his role as leader of the world’s 1. Sat (±1 s ec s ) 7:05:06 pm CEDT -2:00 Rome.

“I am well aware that this ministry. What we have with this transit is his own sense of responsibility to the office he holds (Saturn in the 10th) is actually challenging his physical vitality and power through the opposition to the Sun. Election and Resignation Finally. as well as the key issues affecting Catholics namely contraception and Aids. and women's role and place in the Catholic church. the lack of options and limited independence. the Pope said. and not debilitated by essential dignity. the industrial scale abuse in church-run institutions. While this in itself does not flag the Pope’s physical demise. With Jupiter in the 1st house natally and transiting the 4th. due to its essential spiritual nature. abortion. crisis and death. 2012 and then the next two hits in January and February 2013. With Saturn ruling the natal 11th and 12th. We can say too. houses one could say that the result of this transit would brings up the issues of associations and fears. He has also been struggling ineffectually with problems within the Church with regard to paedophile priests on three continents. when he celebrated his 85th birthday. that his position and career are also under threat or vulnerable as Jupiter is also the exalted ruler of the Solar Return MC in Cancer. but no less with prayer and suffering. An interesting point.”iv Jupiter as the lord of his Ascendant and his MC and natal 10th house is in the Solar Return 8th house and although direct. His natal Saturn is in the 10th house. it does add a note both of concern and caution suggesting that indeed it is a time of both physical and psychic (as regards the psyche) vulnerability. Pope Benedict began his papacy at 5:50 pm on 19th April 2005v and this repeats certain features of his natal chart: • • Saturn in the 10th house although the Saturn of the election is in detriment in Cancer. echoing a draining of power and vitality and perhaps also of confidence and purpose. it is presently transiting the natal 8th house and ruling the natal 11th and 12thhouses. However. Jupiter is in the 1st house and it is the exalted ruler of the MC . Ratzinger also experienced transiting Saturn opposing his Sun in April and August 2012. At his resignation. it is not in a strong position. we see that his private world is where he experiences the difficulties. must be carried out not only with words and deeds. The 8th house is the house of vulnerability. The Sun rules the natal 6th suggesting that the outcome of this ‘opposition’ is possible illness or ill health. he rode on a mobile platform down the length of the aisle of St Peter’s basilica to the main altar in order to conserve his energy to say the high mass commemorating the occasion. homosexuality and same-sex marriage.5 Transits Let us now add another layer and see what the transits indicate as to the nature of the action around him. Benedict has experienced transiting Jupiter opposing his Saturn first in July. in today's world … strength of both mind and body are necessary.

bringing into focus the inherent weakness that was already a feature in the election chart. We know from his natal chart that he is someone whose motivations and actions are both unpredictable and unorthodox (Mars. we have a sense of sacrifice on the altar of expediency. M on 11:03 am CET -1:00 28' ‡11° Rome. Italy 41°N54' 012°E29' É ¾ 00° † 09' ½ 11° † 58' Œ Geoc entric Tropi cal Pl ac i dus True Node º Ü 09' Ý 00' Geoc entric Tropi c al Whol e Signs True Node ‡ 00' 31' 02° ‹ 09° ‡ 29' Œ 22' ˆ 40' 21' Š Š 21° 42' Š 17° ¿ ‹ 10° 52' 00° Ë 00' 25° 17' Ý 34' ‚ 53' 00' ‚ 06° ‚ ½ 09° † 00° 09° 03° 24° Ï 10° ¼ À 52' Ï ˆ14' Á 07° ‰ 12' Š 00° ƒ 00' 00° „ 00' 00° … 00' The election chart has experienced the waxing Saturn square (in 2011 Saturn squared the position when it hit 21 Libra) and it also features a Mars-Neptune conjunction which echoes the Mars-Neptune conjunction of the announcement of the resignation and also the Mars-Neptune opposition in his solar return for 2012-2013. which offers a four year course in astrology. One could also say that there is also an element of sacrifice: either as victim or rescuer.com. Mari Garcia 14th February 2013 Copyright Mari Garcia 2013. duty and responsibility. authority. A parting note: the resignation chart features a stellium in Pisces and so it will be interesting now to see who will next be elected to wear the shoes of the fisherman. Tue 5:50 pm EET -2:00 Rom e. Additionally. In summary. it also receives the opposition from Neptune. void of course) and in a year when Mars is the profected lord. emphasising the diminution of energy which seems to be a feature of this period. She runs a consulting practice in Adelaide and is co-principal of ASTRO MUNDI.6 07° ƒ 12' 00° Š 00' 10° „ 52' ¾ 21° ƒ 07' 03° ‚ 14' 00' 52' … 10° ¶ 02° 03° … 13' 04° Ý ¸ 29' 42' Ü29° E l ec t i on of P ope B enedi c t X V I 40' É Na t a l Ch a rt Ü22° 19 Apr 2005. The resignation chart also echoes Ratzinger’s natal chart with a Saturn ruled MC (Aquarius) highlighting the issues of responsibility.astromundi. Mari Garcia is a consulting astrologer who has been involved with astrology since 1990. we can say that looking at the Pope’s predictive work it is not surprising that he has taken such an unusual step in announcing his resignation. Ital y 41°N53' 012°E30' » Ý Ü 00° À 22° 11° ¼ 02° Š Š ¶ 07° ‹ 50' 39' º 07°‹ ‹ 27' 09° 22' ‹ 26' 28' 00° ‹ 00' ¸ » Ì 02° Š 35' 00° Á 10° ‰ 41' ‰ 00' 00° ˆ 00' ¿ 06° 46' 06° 06° 57' Ü03° 00° Ü P ope B enedi c t X V I R es i gnati on 04' ‡21° Na t a l Ch a rt Œ09' 11 Feb 2013. Keep abreast of developments at Astro Mundi on Facebook. Mari can be contacted on 08 8563 9182 or check out the website at www. She has lectured widely both in Australia and the USA and has published articles in Australia and overseas and writes for several local and national publications. It is therefore not surprising that when we put these charts together we get an understanding of how important it is for the Pope to have made the decision he did fuelled by his innate sense of authority and responsibility as well as a strong awareness of his own frailty. a Traditional Astrology course as well as special interest workshops and Master Classes. . In some way. control and credibility. the resignation chart also features a Mars-Neptune conjunction seemingly underscoring the ‘weakness’ that seems to feature so strongly.

at the Vatican.7 Endnotes: ABC News sourced view-source:http://www.au/news/2013-02-12/latin-helped-journo-get-scoop-onpope/4513416 [accessed 12/2/13] ii “Pope Benedict XVI” Wikipedia.org/wiki/Pope_Benedict_XVI [accessed 13/2/13] iii Ibid. He greeted the public from the Papal balcony delivering his blessing in his first "Urbi et Orbi" speech at 6:48 PM local time according to the Vatican press office. iv Paul Owen and Tom McCarthy. i .07 GMT.net.abc.uk/world/2013/feb/11/pope-resigns-live-reaction [accessed 12/2/13] v Data sourced from various news reports at the time. “Pope Benedict XVI announces resignation” The Guardian. Sourced at http://en. Sourced at http://www. The election results were released about 5:50 PM local time. Joseph Ratzinger was taking the name of Benedict XVI.co. Monday 11 February 2013 17.guardian.wikipedia.

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