As we begin March a stellium of planets remain in the sign Pisces, including Neptune, the planet ruling spirituality and religion as well as scandal, betrayal, deception and lies, confusion, delusion and illusion. Pisces is ruled by Neptune, and 5 out of 10 planets are in this sign on March 1. This is a tremendous amount of Neptunian energy in the world, and it will play out its nature in our personal lives and the world over the next few weeks. Each of the planets entering Pisces-the Sun, Venus, Mars and Mercury have or will conjunct Neptune now at 3 degrees of Pisces. All Neptune transits tend toward confusion, deception, scandal and misunderstanding the facts, although Neptune transits hold the potential for illumination of the highest order and connecting with the divine.
Jupiter is considered the planet of gain and expansion and is direct in Gemini, a sign Jupiter is not comfortable in and is considered at its detriment. This means Jupiter in this sign operates in a weak, negative state or energy is misused. Jupiter is the planet of gain and finance and rules expansion, money, wealth, religion, and younger men to name a few. Jupiter is square Neptune, and this is unreliable energy that is prone to scandal. In Mundane Astrology, authors Baigent, Champion and Harvey write, " this cycle has a strongly idealistic, humanitarian and ideological quality about it. It seems to be related to the enfoldment of idealistic and religious belief systems, and as such, its hard angle aspects can often relate to sectarian quarrels, political differences, and religious wars. The 90 degree phase (square) can be particularly prone to precipitate action to fight for a particular idea. Economically, it can produce periods of boom and optimism, but also 'pie in the sky' plans and rampant inflation if not well earthed."
Mercury is retrograde in the sign Pisces where it is considered at its detriment and fall. This means the planet of thinking and communication is operating on a weaker level and as it retrogrades we have a tendency to find out information that we had not known before and many things will be revealed this month.
The February 25th full moon in Virgo squared Jupiter and opposed Neptune setting off the Jupiter-Neptune square and revealed a scandal brewing in the Catholic church on the heels of the resignation of the Pope, and his final public appearance. It has been 600 years since a Pope has resigned, and the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI has rocked the world and the religious community no less than when Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1414.
On the eve of the Pope's last Angelus blessing, the Vatican sought to downplay rumors involving gay priests, sex and money. Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles is facing fresh attention for his role in the cover-up of sexual abuse by priests. Two Italian publications are reporting that Pope Benedict had decided to resign not because of age, but because of a brewing scandal over the blackmail of gay priests by male prostitutes in Rome, and Scotland's Cardinal Keith O'Brien, accused of improper behavior with young priests, quit as Edinburgh archbishop and pulled out of the Sistine Chapel conclave to elect a new pope.
Pope Benedict XVI was born April 16, 1927 in Marktl, Germany and is a 25 degree Aries with a 19 degree Pisces ascendant. No surprise his ascendant is in the sign of spirituality and compassion, as well as his Jupiter and Mercury. His natal Pluto lies at 13 degrees of Cancer in his 4th house and transiting Pluto at 11 degrees in Capricorn sets off a grand square in his natal chart opposing natal Pluto and squaring his moon in Libra at 14 degrees.
This Pluto transit will represent a lengthy cycle and in 2014 will square his natal Pluto/Moon exact. His moon lies at 14 degrees of Libra in his seventh house of partners, open enemies and courts. Pluto-moon cycles deal with emotional changes, and beliefs are questioned and often one changes beliefs and attitudes that can involve women or deep seated opinions and issues that were formed or one experienced in early life. This transit can dredge up many deeply held beliefs and ideas and transform them into healthier, fuller ideas representative of the time the individual is living. During this period the individual may have to let go of ideas that are no longer valid and it can be a painful and difficult process. Pluto oppositions to itself transform many ideas and represent a rebirth of deep emotional attitudes and ideas and life situations. With this transit involving the seventh, fourth and tenth houses and an opposition, it is possible the Pope's resignation was not his decision alone or he felt pressured.
The fourth house is often considered the 'end of the matter,' in this case, the Pope's working life as Head of the Church. His progressed moon has just changed signs and lies at 1 degree of Sagittarius conjunct Saturn, indicating his decision was well thought out and final. When a progressed moon changes signs the individual often pursues a new life course. But there is a heaviness to Moon-Saturn and it can deal with ramifications from the past, and it can be a type of 'forced reality check.' His progressed Jupiter and Uranus are conjunct at 3 degrees of Aries, indicating that whatever the case, he is looking forward to a personal new beginning. This transit can indicate a sudden break with tradition and the past.
Saturn lies in his ninth house of religion natally, and over the next several years as Neptune squares it from the twelfth house it is likely that controversy and scandal will continue to follow this Pope into retirement. He will seek questions to many answers and live a life of seclusion and contemplation probably until the end of life as Neptune will be transiting his twelfth house of seclusion (and karma). Sometimes Neptune-Saturn transits can represent degenerative types of disease as well as regret for past actions.
Cities and entities like people, have birth charts and the chart for Vatican City State is cast for June 6, 1929 at 11:00 a.m. Here lie the headquarters of the Roman Catholic Church, papal apartments, St. Peter's Church, the Vatican museum including its treasures and the famed Sistine Chapel as well as the extensive Vatican library. Vatican City's natal chart shows change and disruption that will alter the course of events to come for a very long time.
In 1929 Uranus and Pluto were square each other in Aries/Cancer. In June of that year the Vatican became an independent city state. On p. 431 of The Book of World Horoscopes, Cinnabar Books, 1988, Nick Campion notes that "Independence was gained by the Vatican at 11.00 AM on 7 June 1929 when Mussolini, the Italian Prime Minister, and Cardinal Gasparri exchanged the instruments of ratification in Rome."
How ironic the first Pope in 600 years would resign amid allegations of scandal 84 years later during the next and current Uranus-Pluto square in Aries-Capricorn. Furthermore, Pluto is squaring Uranus in the Vatican City natal chart at 10 degrees of Capricorn-Aries in the eighth house, exact in March. In national and group related charts the eighth house represents international finance, issues involving foreign investment, death, public mortality, national death and death and rebirth on a psychological or spiritual level. The eighth house is connected with sex. In the Vatican natal chart Uranus squares Pluto from the eighth to eleventh house of groups and collectives, and the history of the church over the past 84 years has included many cases of child molestation by priests that have been brought to light.
In April-May Uranus will conjunct Uranus in the natal chart and Vatican City will experience a Uranus return and the Uranus-Pluto square will fall almost exact on Uranus in the eighth house. This powerful transit will surely change the course of the future and shake the Vatican city state to its core, initiating a financial and possible spiritual crisis. Further secrets/issues will be disclosed that will seem to come out of the blue and the Church may be put in a position of having to deal with abuse of power or the clergy's handling of child abuse and the victims of abuse that have been wronged. Death of prominent individuals could occur. By late 2014 Saturn will square Jupiter and the midheaven, or public place of the natal chart which can bring public disgrace and the potential for lawsuits. The future of the Vatican looks shaky and filled with conflict, and the ramifications of and after the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI have just begun.
Throughout history major events including, important births, and events surrounding religious figures have been proceeded or followed by the appearance of comets. Pan-STARRS 2011, is expected to become visible to the naked eye in the Northern Hemisphere in March. The comet is currently visible in the Southern Hemisphere. From about March 7, it will appear above the horizon. To see it, you will need an unobstructed, cloudless view of the western horizon. "When beggars die there are no comets seen; The heavens themselves blaze forth the death of princes." - Shakespeare.
Finally, there is the "Prophesies of the Popes," published by Benedictine monk Arnold de Wyon in 1595, attributed to Saint Armagh, a 12th century Archbishop of Ireland. According to proponents of the prophesies the next Pope will be the final one, and mark the end of Rome.
According to published reports the Vatican is expected to elect a new Pope by Easter.
Seven planets in Pisces isn't all bad, especially for water or earth signs. Venus entered Pisces February 25, and is considered exalted in this sign, meaning love energy works well. Venus and Mars in Pisces works well for water signs, and especially Scorpio as the two planets ruling love transit through Scorpios fifth house of love affairs and children. Sometimes this can bring important new people into the life and it boosts social activity and creative leanings.
On the positive end, planets in Pisces are about creativity, inspiration, intuition, compassion and the higher elements of love and spiritual love and growth. It can be a time of spiritual illumination and great compassion for others. Jupiter square Neptune can enhance these feelings, and for some this can be a dreamy period full of joy and inspiration. Who can complain about this?
March 21, Venus enters Aries, joining Mars and the planets of love once again join together in this fire sign. The energy and the beat of life will pick up with Mars in Aries, and this works well for fire and air signs, especially Sagittarius, as Mars and Venus transit Sagittarius's fifth house of creativity and love affairs until April 16.
April 21-May 9, Mars and Venus are together in Taurus, excellent for Earth and water signs especially Capricorn as the two move through Capricorn's fifth house. Love may find you yet.
Some other transits of interest in March include:
March 11, a new moon occurs at 21 degrees of Pisces at 3:51 p.m. EST. This new moon adds to the energy of the stellium already in Pisces. Mars enters Aries, the sign of its rulership and energy will start to shift, and the pace of things will pick up.
March 17, Mercury goes stationary direct at 5 degrees of Pisces for the next 4 days. While Mercury is officially direct, the stationary direct period is often when glitches occur and new information is revealed. We are not out of the woods yet.
March 20, the Sun enters Aries at 7:02 a.m. and spring begins!
March 21, Venus enters Aries, and love energy starts to change and become more forward and evident.
March 22-23, Mars conjuncts Uranus and this is a volatile, changeable transit prone to sudden changes of direction, anger, break ups, accidents and change of direction. People will be willful or difficult, and we will likely hear news of military or police activity in the news, and otherwise big news events.
March 26, Mars squares Pluto and this is a transit of ambition and desire to better situations on one hand, but it is prone to conflict, anger, issues over taxes and money, sex, and the media may be in the spotlight. Personal issues and agendas may come to light.
March 27, a full moon occurs at 6 degrees of Libra at 5:27 a.m. EST. Libra is the sign of relationships and partnerships and the ruler of the 7th house of courts and 'open enemies.' The moon conjuncts Uranus and the result will be unexpected events we can consider shocking or events may seem to come from out of the blue. Uranus rules explosions, aircraft, cutting edge technology and revolution. There may be many partnership changes.
March 28, the Sun conjuncts Uranus and this transit falls on the heels of a full moon bringing unexpected changes, news and events. Sun-Uranus transits bring a desire to overthrow existing conditions and Uranus is about personal freedom, and the desire to free oneself from anything oppressive. It can be an explosive day.
March 31-Easter Sunday. Venus sextiles Jupiter and for many this will bring pleasant feelings and religious inspiration to the forefront. But, the Sun squares Pluto and this is a transit of change, forced change and agendas. Pluto rules the deep and dark undercurrents and the transit will deal with situations that have broken down and need repair. Ambition may come into focus.
News stories of interest:
The Pope seeks immunity
The Rose Prophesy
Vatican City State website