With Pope Benedict now retired as Pope, the first to do so in 600 years since Gregory XII stepped down in the year 1415, the cardinals have now all convened in Rome, the conclave has begun to select a successor, and a new Pope will emerge before the start of the Easter celebrations. This episode probably caused consternation in the Catholic Church and in the Vatican City, as it was an unprecedented set of circumstances and a decision that I guess no-one was expecting. Now the big questions is who will come out on top. Lets have a quick look at the Astrology to find out who may do so…
The sky at the beginning of the conclave of March has five of the planets in Pisces including Mercury in retrograde motion until the 17th of the month. Mercury is now conjunct to Neptune and this conjunction will cloud the cardinal’s thoughts. Mercury is in retrograde until 17th March, and I cannot see them making a positive decision at this time, indeed I do not think they will start to get anywhere near to agreement until this retrograde period ends.
Throughout the first week or two, if the deliberations go this long, we will have Pluto sitting at the point of a mini grand trine connecting Saturn making a trine to Neptune and Mercury. Pluto shows the power, Mercury, the deliberation, Saturn the serious nature of the talks and the need to make an administrative decision and Neptune shows the spiritual side of what is going on. Jupiter in Gemini makes a square to both Neptune and Mercury, so I suspect ideas will be spread around and they may not come to an easy decision.
Jupiter throughout this period will be at the point of a Yod (completed by the Pluto Saturn sextile) and also conjunct the royal Persian star Aldebaran. This significance of this conjunction is important as Robson says that this combination favours high ecclesiastical honour. Is this Jupiter a clue to who may be chosen? Mars very interestingly is poised to enter it’s home sign of Aries and over the days it will be moving closer and closer to Uranus, making it more and more likely that they will make a brave and radical choice, and quite possibly a move into new territory for the Papacy.
I have been reading about the possible candidates, and although it is possible there may be a surprise, I suspect they will look for a man with enough youth and experience to take on the position for some years to come. I have narrowed my search down to a few potential candidates.
Odilo Pedro Scherer – Born 21st September 1949 in Cerro Largo, Brazil
Odilo, archbishop of Sao Paulo in Brazil seems to be one of the main candidates from South America and is a Sun sign Virgo with his Moon also in the sign of the Virgin. He has a fair minded Mercury Neptune conjunction in Libra square to Jupiter the other faith sign in administrative Capricorn. That rather ambitious Jupiter makes trines to his Sun and to Saturn, so he will be optimistic in nature and will be able to see the wider picture, in stark contrast to the Virgo Sun Moon and Saturn which is much more conservative. These three Virgo planets will not make him comfortable on the wider stage in front of the adoring masses, and this may ultimately count against him. I do see him as I see it as a moderate and someone open to change, although the independent and rather stubborn streak shown by his Uranus square to his Sun may hinder his ability to unite the church. Towards the middle of March transiting Saturn will be close to a conjunction with his natal Venus and square to his Mars, which might hamper his chances to make the relationships vital in gaining the support needed to become Pope. Transiting Jupiter will be square to his natal Saturn, so will his spiritual vision be opposed by some of the more progressive members of the conclave? Transiting Pluto is trine to his natal Saturn so here is an indication that power may be coming his way, however the exact trine will not be made as Pluto turns retrograde in the middle of April, so he may be denied the ultimate accolade.
Angelo Scola – Born 7th November 1941 in Malgrate near Lecco, Italy
Angelo is the main Italian candidate and Archbishop of Milan. Again he is a Sun sign Scorpio with his Sun unusually peregrine (unconnected by major aspects) although a focused quindecile from Uranus to his Sun will see him as rather stubborn and unmoving in his attitude, in short is is a conservative candidate. There is deep compassion and love here with the Sun at the midpoint of Venus and Neptune. His Saturn sits with Uranus in a close conjunction, which shows in my eyes a need to keep the status quo, and if any changes are forthcoming a redistribution of the wealth and power that lie within the Vatican rather than actual reforms and changes. These attitudes go right to the heart of his spirituality making as they do form a trine to Neptune in Virgo, so I suspect that should Cardinal Scola become Pope, the it will be very much “steady as she goes” situation. This man I suspect is a writer and theologian of human and emotional issues. He will want to communicate these issues with Jupiter and the Moon conjunct in Gemini, the sign of communication trine to Mercury in Libra, the planet of communication in the sign of relating, justice and equality. He may be an active writer with Mercury quindecile to Mars in Aries and he will have a sharp tongue or pen if he is challenged in debate.
In mid March, he has transiting Jupiter sextile his natal Mars and transiting Mars square his natal Venus and trine his natal Pluto which is passionate and risk taking. Transiting Pluto will be square his natal Mars too, so I feel a lot of resentment and anger but no blockbuster aspects to his Sun, and no favourable Saturn or Pluto aspects showing a gaining of power that accompanies such a promotion of note.
Marc Ouellet – Born on 8th June 1944 in La Motte near Roc D’Or in Quebec, Canada
Marc is the cardinal of the region of Quebec and is a Sun Sign Gemini with his Moon in stable and reserved Capricorn. In keeping with this theme, his natal Neptune make it obligatory connection to the planet of ambition Saturn, this time in a square. With Saturn conjunct his Gemini Moon and faith orientated Jupiter in proud Leo in a tense fixed square to Mercury in Taurus, he will garner support from those cardinals who are far more hard line and conservative in their views. Yes he will want to spread his message, but this will be one of consistency, of unchanging values, of adherence to the word and law of God. Seeing as Joseph Ratzinger was the same type of candidate last time around, will the conclave go for the same approach again?
Looking at his transits, Marc does have transiting Jupiter approaching his dynamic and compassionate Uranus Venus and Sun conjunction which suggests good fortune and support. With the transiting Nodes square his natal Jupiter, fortune could come his way and he may get the votes he needs to get over the winning line. Transiting Saturn will be making a square to his Mars Pluto conjunction and an inconjunct to his natal Venus and Uranus as will Pluto forming a yod with transiting Jupiter too which remember sits on Aldebaran. A turning point in his life awaits, but of what type? If the cardinals want someone who will back the traditions of the church then Mark Ouellet and his conservative views will be a very popular choice and I seem him as possibly one of the slight favourites. The thing is that these views do not stack up well with the forward nature of the planets in Aries that I think will ultimately decide this election, which casts doubt in my mind.
Peter Turkson – Born 11th October 1948 in Nsuta, Ghana
Peter is the cardinal of Ghana and Africa’s main hope of gaining the Papacy. He is a gentle Sun sign Libran with his Sun in a compassionate conjunction to Neptune, both of which are sextile to his natal Pluto showing power in spiritual matters. He has a very modest Venus Saturn conjunction in Virgo sextile to both Mercury and Uranus both retrograde. That Venus and Saturn is quite perfectionist in nature and is cool in a relationship sense, he will not tend to trust others very readily. In truth with Mercury in Scorpio trine to Uranus, this is quite an independent yet deep thinking man, he is definitely independent of thought and he will make his own mind up on many of the issues he will come up against. With his Moon in Aquarius, there is much kindness here and his motivations will not be so philosophical as human in nature, how to help people will be his mantra in accordance with what the bible actually preaches – he is socially aware. His Jupiter in Sagittarius the other main faith indicator on the chart opposes Uranus in Gemini, a cheerful and rather playful combination that will give him a very positive and free and easy outlook. I get the feeling that he will be rather moderate in outlook in faith terms and open to moving the church on in a more reforming nature.
In the middle of March, Peter has that transiting Jupiter trine to his natal Neptune and his Jupiter is quindecile to his natal Jupiter both of which look like a favourable indicators. Transiting Neptune will be trine to his natal Mercury and Uranus but opposing that natal Venus/Saturn conjunction. Might this opposition drain away support, bring false hope, so near but so far? It is interesting that natal Saturn is not making any significant aspects too and this is certainly one thing I would expect to see if he were to progress to the top job in Rome.
Joao Braz de Aviz - Born 24th April 1947 in Mafra, Brazil
Joao is another Brazilian candidate, the Cardinal of Brazilia. He is a Sun sign Taurean with his Moon probably in Gemini. This man is a bit of a survivor with his Sun square to a tough Pluto Saturn conjunction in Leo, and yet this square will severely limit him in a public sense and he will be very self-conscious and inhibited when it comes to presenting himself to the world. If his Moon is in Gemini conjunct to Uranus then it will help get his message across, however I think the the restrained nature of that Saturn Pluto square to the Sun will tend to hold him back. Yes, he will be very disciplined but and loyal to any cause, but these days, one would think that any Pope will need a slightly more outgoing nature? Neptune the planet of spirituality is opposite to Mercury and Mars, which is a very dreamy and idealistic combination. Certainly there is much compassion here to actively help those in suffering here, but this is a man whose actions will tend to speak louder than his words, despite a rather creative mind. Jupiter is in a lovely gentle trine to Venus, so this is a man with a very generous nature and probably a soft and kind heart.
The transits for his chart in mid March indicate thre nice Jupiter aspects, sextiles to Mars and Pluto and a trine to Neptune and his natal Neptune is going to be sextile to his natal Sun. He has however an exact square forming between transiting Saturn in retrograde and his natal Pluto, a very difficult aspect which will probably put any block on him succeeding during this conclave.
Luis Tagle – Born on 21st June, 1957 in Manila, Philippines
Luis is the youngest of the main contenders who have got a chance of becoming Pope. Cardinal of Manila, he is a Sun sign Gemini with a go ahead and direct Aries Moon. His Sun sits as part of a very powerful mini grand trine, making a trine to Neptune which brings him compassion and sensitivity and a sextile to Pluto which gives power and belief in his own abilities. His Neptune also makes a square to a dynamic Uranus Mars conjunction, Uranus also in Leo and Mars just still in Cancer. This is a very protective and humanitarian conjunction and he will not want to see anyone in his flock suffering, indeed he will tend to act to ease any pain. That non aggressive Mars in Cancer is enhanced by the presence of Uranus. His Venus in Cancer is unaspected and this is a very powerful trait that will dominate his chart. He is a traditionalist and someone who respects the past and this position brings powerful compassion and love for his family, including his followers. This is a man who will want to be loved and will give out the same amount of love to those around him. He has a grand fire trine on this chart, Saturn in Sagittarius, showing ambition in working in faith trine to the Moon in Aries which wants to get to the top and be number one trine to that Uranus in Leo which does rather want to do it’s own thing. Saturn makes an opposition to Mercury in Gemini which is very communicative and savvy in broadcasting one’s message as well as monitoring what is going on around you. Luis’ mind and his message will be serious and disciplined, yet rather conservative in nature. His Jupiter sits in Virgo a wide square to his Sun which might lead him to being a little over confident at times, however most of the time a very modest side of him will prevail, shunning excess and extravagance.
His transits see transiting Jupiter opposing his natal Saturn. Does this mean he will be opposed by too many of his fellow Cardinals to get elected this time, or does it mean that he will be taking a step up the ladder, it’s hard to tell? Interestingly, the transiting North Node is returning to it’s original position so fate will be on his side this time as unexpected happenings make him have to adapt his position. What might this be? His natal Uranus will be potentially close to his natal Moon and making a trine to his natal Saturn and it’s own position. Does this bring more freedom, or will his life change as his freedom is curtailed through the limiting influence of Saturn? I think he has a chance, but tradition dictates that Cardinals don’t normally vote for a young Pope. Maybe the new precedent set by Benedict that it is ok to resign may make them think that a younger Pope could be acceptable now?
Christoph Schoenborn – Born 22nd January 1945 in Litomerice, Czech Republic (formerly Sudetenland, Bohemia)
Christoph is the cardinal of Vienna in Austria and more than likely the leading candidate from Europe outside of Italy. He is a Sun sign Aquarian and his Moon is in steady Taurus. His Sun sits opposed to his Pluto in Leo and trine to both faith planets, Jupiter and Neptune, so he is an optimistic man yet quite humble too with Jupiter being in modest Virgo which curbs much of the potential excesses in his life. His Moon possibly makes a sextile to Venus in Pisces so this would be a wonderfully soft hearted, gentle and imaginative influence in his character. This conjunction is far reaching and Neptune’s trine to Uranus suggests someone who is open to reform. If he did become Pope, would that mini grand trine from Neptune to Uranus focusing in on Pluto indicates someone who would use the power of his office to radically change things? I am a little torn on this as his Taurean Moon suggests someone who likes the status quo and does not appreciate radical change and his Aquarian Sun is rather fixed too. Saturn in Cancer which can need emotional support opposes Mars and Mercury in Capricorn making a t-square onto Neptune, bringing a serious and rather sceptical mind, certainly someone who is a real scholar of religious thought even if he will have a rather conservative way of thinking. He may be wanting to change things around the edges, but I am not so sure if he would completely take the church in a new direction, and I am not sure if he is tough enough to take the role.
For him, the conclave comes with Pluto on his Mercury Mars conjunction activating that natal t-square in his chart, opposing Saturn and square to Neptune. Uranus is also making a square to this opposition and is opposing his natal Neptune. As this conclave goes on, a group of planets including the Sun, Mars and Venus will also start to oppose this Jupiter Neptune conjunction. Transiting Jupiter is conjunct his natal Uranus and is making an encouraging sextile to his natal Pluto. Transiting Saturn for him is making a couple of sextiles to Mercury and Mars and a tense square to Pluto. I think he has some kind aspects but I wonder if his natal chart is strong enough to carry the role as Pope. I also believe that Saturn square to Pluto and the transiting planets in opposition to his natal Neptune could just block his progress.
Leonardo Sandri – Born 18th November 1943 in Buenos Aires, Argentina
Leonardo Sandri comes from Argentina born from Italian parents, so he bridges both South America and Europe. He has a Scorpio Sun and a very intense, secretive and emotional Leo Moon, one which does require and love attention. His Sun and Mercury (possibly just into Sagittarius) make a double square to Jupiter in Leo, so this is a very optimistic and whole hearted influence, open, confident and very communicative (if that Mercury is in Sagittarius), this is someone who loves travel and would love the global nature of the role. We have a really compassionate and sensitive Neptune Venus conjunction trine to Uranus focused in on that Moon Pluto and South Node conjunction, so I think this is someone who could make compassionate and deep heart felt change if in the role of Pope. His Mars and Saturn together in Gemini shows someone who knows the value of hard work and I think he would not stop travelling if he got the role with Mars sextile to Jupiter. I just wonder if he is as intellectual as some of the other candidates and he has not got the deep ecumenical experience of some of the others, so this may count against him, however if the conclave want a global ambassador and someone to connect to the people then I think he would be a good choice.
He has some tricky transits with Saturn now moving square to his Pluto Moon and South Node conjunction, Pluto square to his natal Venus and Uranus opposing. On the plus side, transiting Jupiter is making a sextile to that same triple conjunction. A square to the Nodal axis is not normally a beneficial aspect and so the Papacy may pass him by this time.
Timothy Dolan the cardinal of New York I rule out simply because I cannot see the conclave picking an American Pope. in my view, there is just too much potential baggage that comes with the position, and the Catholic Church in the United States has been tainted by rumours of scandal for years now, something I think the cardinals will be keen to avoid. There are another 100 odd potential candidates and one of them may come out of the pack, as was proven in 1978 when no-one had even an idea who Karol Wojtyla (Pope John Paul II) actually was.
Ok, now to pin my colours to the mast again. This is a really difficult one as we have no birth times to work with and as such no connections to the angles, which could be key. One can however get the feel of these men, and in conjunction with the state of the planets, I think it is just possible to catch the mood of what kind of decision the cardinals may be drawn into making, although with 115 runners in the field I am more than likely to be wrong. I advise you not to go and put any money on my following assessment.
I have two candidates in mind who I think may go very close. Marc Ouellet does seem to be favoured by some good Jupiter transits and he stands out in my mind as the best conservative candidate, but I think this time around we will see a brave choice. My guess is that the Cardinal of Manila, Luis Tagle might pip him to the winning post. His natal Pluto sits conjunct on the star Regulus, the heart of the Lion in Leo, the sign of kingship and transiting Jupiter now on Aldebaran is opposing his natal Saturn which sits on Antares, the heart of the Scorpion. All these stars are royal Persian stars which confer honour and leadership.
He is young, he is the rising star out of all the Cardinals and his compassionate treatment and his humble attitude in helping the poor in Manila will go down as a big plus, he represents the wider world of the Roman Catholic church, he understands technology and I think deep down that the Cardinals know that the church needs a boost and an influx of energy. He is young enough to be around for when the next conclave occurs, but the old adage says if you are good enough, you are old enough. I think it may just be his time…
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