“I make a heartfelt appeal for an all-out battle against the abuse of minors both sexually and in other areas, on the part of all authorities and individuals, for we are dealing with abominable crimes that must be erased from the face of the earth: this is demanded by all the many victims hidden in families and in the various settings of our societies."
– Pope Francis I, from his concluding address at the Feb. 21-24th Meeting for the Protection of Minors in the Church.
Optimism is so easily twisted into cynicism these days, but despite the reservations of many, I welcomed the Vatican’s recent special “Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church” (February 21-24) as a sign that the Catholic church is finally starting to take serious responsibility for the sexual abuse of minors by its clergy members. Some encouraging signs also exist that this time, the church is committed to rooting out this problem and working with civil legal authorities to banish the predators from its ranks. Hope springs eternal--maybe.
Many are rightly impatient or frustrated that Pope Francis didn’t immediately defrock the individual priests and bishops accused of this behavior and turn them over to civil authorities, but again, signs exist that things are moving in that direction. Between July and now, the Pope first accepted Cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s resignation, banned him into seclusion, examined the evidence against him, and then—just before this week’s historical meeting—did defrock him (expel him from the clergy). Those who want to see McCarrick prosecuted may have a better chance at it now.
On the other hand, maybe McCarrick was just a “token”—he was on the verge of retirement, anyway…so goes the cynical response, but then word is out today (Feb. 25) that the Pope’s former top financial advisor, Cardinal George Pell, was just convicted by Australian authorities of molesting two choir boys some 20 years ago, when he was Archbishop of Melbourne. Inch by inch…one case at a time.
The fact is, Pope Francis is presiding over an existential crisis in the Roman church, and as with all institutions, the outcome is far from certain. I’m an outsider in this discussion, but as an astrologer, I’ve been following the evolution of this papacy. I was happy to see Pope Francis support the effort to combat climate change and to address its causes in his 2015 encyclical Laudato Si, and I’ve been impressed with his advocacy for the world’s poor—including those who have been landing on Europe’s shores as migrants and refugees.
|Pope Francis welcoming Al-Azhar imam of Egypt to the Vatican.|
I give him credit for reaching out to other churches and faiths, most notably Muslims: he’s the first pope to visit a Arab Muslim country. He’s apologized on behalf of the church for a host of historical oppressions—noble gestures, all—but now he’s faced with an issue that defies these kinds of solutions.
As so many victims of gun violence have lost patience with receiving “prayers and condolences” in the wake of mass shootings instead of real solutions, victims of sexual abuse have grown impatient with great talking points that go nowhere, and are demanding substantive change, now. Can we blame them?
|A grim-faced pontiff presides over his church's existential crisis.|
So at this juncture it appears that the long insidious history of sexual abuse in the church threatens to upend and overshadow anything else this Pope might want to accomplish. When he speaks about sexual abuse in the church, the Pope’s demeanor turns understandably weary, like he’s stuck in some toxic spiritual quicksand. My astrologer’s eye sees Neptune and Pluto in that muck, and it’s quite possible that Francis’s papacy, if not the church itself, will be sucked under if satisfactory, credible change isn’t forthcoming.
We’ll consider ahead how these two planetary forces, among others, are in play, and we’ll also examine some astrological “echoes” from another critical moment in the Roman church’s history.
Before we do that, however, let’s quickly frame what’s at stake here: sexual abuse is a primal, soul-destroying assault on the very dignity of humanity. It invalidates the victim’s Being and autonomy, and casts them in the role of less-than-human plaything. This is especially pernicious in a religious setting, where the faithful are told to think of themselves as beloved “children of God.” And how are these children supposed to respond when the so-called representatives of God on this earth steal their innocence and destroy any sense of self-worth in them?
|The Pope convenes the Feb. 21-24th Vatican meeting with a prayer.|
In his final speech to the Vatican special meeting this past week, the Pope minced no words about the evil he sees in the sexual abuse of minors—again, as a growing global phenomenon that takes numerous forms, but most painfully, within the church:
“The brutality of this worldwide phenomenon becomes all the more grave and scandalous in the Church, for it is utterly incompatible with her moral authority and ethical credibility. Consecrated persons, chosen by God to guide souls to salvation, let themselves be dominated by their human frailty or sickness and thus become tools of Satan…We need to recognize with humility and courage that we stand face to face with the mystery of evil, which strikes most violently against the most vulnerable…”
To victims, sexual abuse is a devastating personal assault, and a consulting astrologer would no doubt be able to see evidence of a victim’s trauma in his or her astrological profile, in transits, progressions and so on. Here, however, we’re examining the collective dimension of this issue, especially in relationship to the Roman Catholic church as an institution that’s allowed this corruption to fester for so long that it now threatens its “moral authority and ethical credibility.” In other words, its very raison d’être.
To represent the precarious moment the church finds itself in now, I’ve cast a 9 a.m. chart for the February 21st, the first day of the “Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church.” This is speculative—a reasonable, but unconfirmed time to launch a big conference of this type—so we won’t be considering angles, houses, or precise Moon placement.
Thankfully, we have a timed chart for Pope Francis, rated AA for birth record in hand, so we’ll be considering that chart against some interesting charts from critical moments in church history. The most ancient one harks back to the Catholic church’s own “origin story,” to the beginning of the “Christian Era,” or January 1, 0001, 12:00:01 am in Jerusalem, Israel (source shown below).
Whether this chart is historically accurate or not is beyond my scope here, but it certainly represents the beginnings of Christianity as a cultural force, and from what Pope Francis has said above, it sounds as though the church’s responsibility for being a positive cultural force weighs heavily on him today.
Let’s begin our exploration by setting these two charts against each other in Biwheel #1 below.
Biwheel #1: (inner wheel) Christian Era, January 1, 0001 AD, 12:00:01 a.m. LMT, Jerusalem, Israel (Source: Chart 464, p. 483, Book of World Horoscopes; (outer wheel) Pope Francis I (nee Jorge Mario Bergoglio) December 17, 1936, 9:00 p.m. DST, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
The Christian Era (Era) chart is significant here because it establishes a beginning point for the Roman church’s 2000+ year lineage of leadership and moral authority, as church historians and the faithful see it. As Pope, Francis supposedly embodies and carries on that authority—and the responsibility that goes along with it, so these charts together will hopefully give us some idea of how the “Fisherman’s shoe” fits.
Interchart Grand Mutable Square: Pope Sun conjoins No. Node (Sagittarius) and opposes So. Node-Chiron (Gemini); Pope nodal axis conjoins Era nodal axis (Sagittarius-Gemini); this axis squares Era Uranus (Pisces) opposite Era Pluto (Virgo). This amazing configuration suggests a deep-rooted resonance between the Pope and the original philosophy and ideas (Sagittarius-Gemini) of the Christian church, especially when it comes to manifesting those ideas and carrying on the original mission of culture-building (Era Uranus-Pluto).
But this is a difficult task, fraught with potential chaos, making the constructive management of change a major part of the job. There’s a particular degree of difficulty in it for this Pope (Pope Chiron also t-squares Pope Saturn in Pisces opposite his Neptune in Virgo), who could be challenged to heal some personal wounds inflicted by authority figures (Chiron-Saturn) in the process. Whether from experience or from his empathetic nature (Neptune), Pope Francis may be uniquely qualified to shepherd the healing of his church.
Those who believe in a Christian form of Creation spirituality (the “Cosmic Christ”) may like the fact that the Pope’s Sun and both Nodal axes also conjoin the Galactic Center (26°-27° Sagittarius) and very widely square the Pope’s natal Neptune. The ancient spiritual ideals represented in the Era chart appear to resonate deeply with this Pope, but his Chiron probably reflects his naysayers—not everyone has been happy with the non-materialistic, anti-consumerist culture shift he brought into the Vatican.
All of this signals that the destinies and public mandates contained in both these charts are linked across the millennia as well: time will tell, but it seems that he could be the one to drive a true renewal of church culture—including on the sexual abuse issue.
It’s interesting that the Pope’s natal angles (not shown here) span Cancer-Capricorn (ASC-DSC) and 0°+Taurus-Scorpio (MC-IC), with natal Uranus conjunct his MC in Taurus. It seems that he is natally equipped to handle the “descent into the underworld” (Scorpio IC) that his present challenges demand. Will he shepherd the revolutionary change (Uranus-MC conjunction) that so many are hoping for?
His nurturing ASC-DSC axis suggests that he possesses the nurturing impulse and the ability to hold others accountable (Cancer-Capricorn), but Uranus seems to play a key role here, as well. In fact there is a tight dispositor relationship between his natal Uranus (Taurus), Moon and Venus (conjunct in Aquarius): it’s no wonder that he is naturally inclined to think scientifically (his Laudato Si encyclical made that clear, as does his educational background), and to see protecting the Earth as an important personal, social and spiritual quest.
When we consider the transits for February 21st (the meeting) against the Pope’s chart, we’ll see that Uranus is also playing a key role in his current challenges.
|"Icthys" - an ancient symbol denoting the Christian mission to be "fishers of men."|
Interchart Grand Square: Pope Jupiter-Ceres-Mercury (Capricorn) widely conjoins Christian Era Sun (Capricorn and squares ) and opposes Era MC-Pope Vesta (Cancer); this axis squares Pope Mars-Era Jupiter-Juno (Libra) opposite Era Mars (Aries). Christianity is often associated with Pisces because Neptune evokes Christ’s sacrifice and compassion—yet here we see its more institutional Saturnian roots (Capricorn), and its public mission of shepherding (Cancer MC) souls.
As mentioned earlier, the Pope’s ASC-DSC axis falls across this cardinal axis as well—in fact, his ASC exactly conjoins Era MC, putting his DSC conjunct Era IC. Taken all together, this grand square is another signal that Pope Francis is closely aligned with Christianity’s original mission.
It’s interesting to see how the asteroids Ceres, Vesta and Juno are woven into this complex configuration. Asteroids experts Demetra George and Douglas Bloch note that these three “goddesses” are the sisters of Jupiter, and that along with Pallas, they represent “aspects of the feminine principle that are now emerging into mass consciousness….now demanding power, recognition, justice, and equality in our society.”
Clearly, the Pope is called upon to listen to these compelling yin voices (abuse victims, nuns and the “faithful”) in his present challenge—note that his Moon (Aquarius) exactly conjoins Era Pallas (Aquarius), as well. It appears that he is emotionally equipped to see that cosmic justice wins out.
|At the February 21-24 Vatican "Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church"|
The fact that the February 21-24 “Meeting on the Protection of Minors in the Church” happened under intense media scrutiny was hopeful, yet cynics might also wonder if it was all for “show,” a public relations stunt designed for effect. Will anything real come of it? Okay, two high profile cardinals have been ignominiously deposed in one short week: are we seeing the start of something big, or were those two simply sacrificial lambs turned over for media slaughter? This question would depend upon the seriousness of Pope Francis’s intent, his long-term commitment to change, and perhaps even the way in which he frames the issue.
In this sense, the meeting was significant because he apparently framed the issue of rooting out sexual abuse from church culture as a project that the entire church hierarchy must tackle collaboratively—not just a top-down sort of imperative. This is probably wise; to succeed, such a monumental effort requires a rallying of the “troops”—without cooperation, very little will happen.
It’s also interesting to me that the Pope is framing his (and therefore the church’s) approach to all this in very broad terms—as a global problem, as opposed to one that’s limited to clergy behavior. To this point, the church seems to have amassed an impressive body of research that should help going forward. The Pope referenced this in yesterday’s speech:
“Our work has made us realize once again that the gravity of the scourge of the sexual abuse of minors is, and historically has been, a widespread phenomenon in all cultures and societies. Only in relatively recent times has it become the subject of systematic research, thanks to changes in public opinion regarding a problem that was previously considered taboo; everyone knew of its presence yet no one spoke of it. I am reminded too of the cruel religious practice, once widespread in certain cultures, of sacrificing human beings – frequently children – in pagan rites. Yet even today, the statistics available on the sexual abuse of minors drawn up by various national and international organizations and agencies (the WHO, UNICEF, INTERPOL, EUROPOL and others) do not represent the real extent of the phenomenon, which is often underestimated, mainly because many cases of the sexual abuse of minors go unreported, particularly the great number committed within families.
Rarely, in fact, do victims speak out and seek help. Behind this reluctance there can be shame, confusion, fear of reprisal, various forms of guilt, distrust of institutions, forms of cultural and social conditioning, but also lack of information about services and facilities that can help. Anguish tragically leads to bitterness, even suicide, or at times to seek revenge by doing the same thing. The one thing certain is that millions of children in the world are victims of exploitation and of sexual abuse.”
By addressing the worldwide nature of the phenomenon and pointing out several persistent obstacles victims confront (inability to speak, lack of helpful service and facilities, etc.), the Pope broadened his focus beyond the wrongdoers in the church’s ranks. This focus upset many observers, who just want to see those clergy members behind bars. Again, who can blame them?
Even so, it appears that the Pope is offering a big-picture action plan for working with international agencies (UNICEF, INTERPOL, EUROPOL, etc…) to tackle the root causes of the “scourge” of child sexual abuse, and this may be the only way that sustainable change can finally take hold. For instance, cultural and social taboos surrounding this issue run deep, but perhaps no deeper than the same taboos were regarding the AIDS epidemic years ago, and through a concerted public health campaign, those have been addressed in many areas. Over time this has helped to prevent further spread of the disease.
Perhaps Pope Francis has something similar in mind for the challenge of child sexual abuse?
|Protestors in Australia.|
Not everyone cares about the international scope of this challenge, however: they want a list of specific accused clerics to be put behind bars, full stop, and any other approach simply looks like the church is evading responsibility. The NYTimes.com editorial board captured this legitimate frustration very well:
“It doesn’t wash.
And not only because activists in the West are fed up with pledges of change in the 17 years since The Boston Globe revealed systematic abuse in the Boston diocese. The revelations have accelerated in recent years — the grand jury report from Pennsylvania of abuse by hundreds of priests over many years; a similar report from Illinois; nuns finally speaking out about what they’ve been subjected to.
As the revelations have escalated, so has the rhetoric. “Prepare for divine justice,” Pope Francis warned abusive priests at Christmas. “Ravenous wolves,” he called them in his speech to the Vatican gathering. But when it came to action, the talk was once again of changing hearts and minds, of changing a centuries-old culture.”
So we can appreciate why this probably feels like a “do or die” moment for the church and for Pope Francis, trying to strike a balance that keeps people coming to Mass in local churches, but addresses the church’s global mandate and perspective as well. As we’ll see, the astrology reflected in Biwheel #2 below reflects this tension and the importance of this milestone moment.
Biwheel #2: (inner wheel) Pope Francis I (born Jorge Mario Bergoglio) December 17, 1936, 9:00 p.m. DST, Buenos Aires, Argentina.; (outer wheel) Vatican “Meeting,” February 21, 2019, 9:00 a.m. ST, Vatican City, Italy. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Meeting Neptune (Pisces) disposes Meeting Sun (Pisces), conjoins Meeting Mercury (Pisces) and Pope Saturn and opposes Pope Neptune (Virgo). In other words, the Pope is experiencing a transit that only a person in advanced years does—Neptune is transiting opposite his natal Neptune, but in this case the transit is made more difficult by the presence of his Pisces Saturn. Transits expert Robert Hand characterizes a Neptune transit conjunct Saturn as a “dark night of the Soul” event,
“the period of confusion that precedes the understanding that you can live with a reality that is different from what you had thought. At the highest level this transit can be a prelude to enlightenment, understanding the true nature of the ‘illusion’ we call reality.”
Making clear decisions is not easy under this transit because one’s vision and thinking are often prone to distortion. Perhaps this explains why the Pope wants the church as a whole to tackle this crisis—solving it has to be more than a top-down exercise of his authority. He’s 82+ years old at this juncture: what happens when he is gone? Note that this is all happening while Neptune also transits opposite his natal Neptune and Uranus (Aries) transits opposite his natal Uranus (Taurus).
This latter aspect will become tighter as Uranus returns to Taurus in March, but the major point here is that the Pope’s entire worldview is being challenged by the crisis he’s in charge of solving, and he may have to let go of some dearly-held beliefs and ideas before the dust settles. Only he can know what those beliefs and ideas are, but we might speculate that his defense of celibacy among priests and an all-male priesthood may be among them.
|Will the church take on the tough issues, like the all-male priesthood?|
It’s interesting that Meeting Uranus (Aries) also trines the Pope’s Sun-No.Node (Sagittarius). As we discussed under Biwheel #1, Pope Francis has an Aquarian sensibility about him that qualifies him as a change-maker, and this Uranus transit is supporting and highlighting that side of his nature at the same time it is challenging his preconceived views on things and heightening his sense of purpose. Uranus challenges us to take on unfinished business, and to change anything that stands in our way.
Meeting Jupiter (Sagittarius) conjoins Pope Sun-No.Node-Pallas (Sagittarius) and opposes Pope Chiron-So. Node (Gemini). This axis turns the Pisces-Virgo aspects we just discussed into a Grand Mutable Square between the two charts, but it’s worth noting that the Pope’s chart already includes such a grand square. The meeting transits do a great job of manifesting dynamics that have been in play for some time (Neptune has been transiting within orb of his Saturn and opposing his Neptune for years already), but the challenge has probably felt like a confidence-busting, dull toothache for even longer. Meeting Jupiter is giving him a boost here, but it’s also stimulating old wounds (Pope Chiron) as it goes.
The Meeting Jupiter-Neptune square challenges not just preconceived ideas, but deeply held beliefs—it’s probably not just nice words to say that the Pope feels abuse victims’ pain, and that he “gets” the crisis of faith that many Catholics are experiencing these days, whether he’s communicating that well or not (his Chiron).
|From the Second Vatican Council (1960s)--major reform is possible.|
Even so, conjunct the Pope’s Pallas, this Jupiter feels hopeful, a sign that justice for victims is in the Pope’s hands and its gaining support. Support is often elusive, of course—the media and social media add to and possibly even create a lot of confusion, at a time when clear messaging would be helpful (Mercury conjunct Neptune).
Meeting Chiron (Aries) conjoins Pope Eris (Aries) and squares Pope Jupiter-Ceres (Capricorn). Chiron expert Martin Lass characterizes the “wound” of Chiron in Aries as:
“A profound sense of loss of self-worth, a core feeling of worthlessness, unworthiness and even undeservingness of life itself. Self denial. A feeling of not being wanted, needed or useful. A feeling of being uncentered, unfocused, lacking solidity.”
How appropriate this placement is for the issue at hand! It perfectly reflects the wounding experienced by the victims of sexual abuse—especially as children. Every time the Sun ingresses Aries in March, we celebrate a new astrological year: here, zero-point Aries encompasses not just the wounding, but the collective, even archetypal nature of the challenge. Deep wounds to Humanity itself are captured in this one point, and it’s notable that this is happening within a couple degrees of the Pope’s Eris—his inner warrior—and square his Saturn-fortified Jupiter-Ceres (Capricorn).
He’s faced with a great deal of responsibility in his 80s, but it may actually be that his advanced age gives him the cosmic perspective to take it all on. Ceres’ involvement here evokes the wise truism, that “A man reaps what he sows.” Of course, it takes time to grow a crop.
Interchart T-Square: Meeting Eris (Aries) opposes Pope Mars (Libra); this axis squares Meeting Saturn-Venus-Pluto, all conjunct in Capricorn. This strident cardinal configuration demands action, and the consequences for inaction could be serious. Financial responsibility is key here—apologies won’t suffice. The Pope may be called upon to make some difficult decisions about church assets, to “manage” its potential liabilities and to satisfy claims.
Amazingly, he will be experiencing Pluto transiting opposite his Pluto in the coming year (at the same time Uranus and Neptune continue pressing upon him, discussed above). His legacy will be written in these critical times—the consequences of “reaping and sowing” are very real here.
|Martin Luther's "95 Theses" sparked the Protestant Reformation in 1517.|
It’s possible that the challenges addressed by this past week’s church “Meeting” actually end up transforming the Catholic church as we know it, and if we consider historical precedents like the Protestant Reformation, we know that a mass exodus of the faithful is more than possible when the church is caught up in what seems to be intractable corruption. The Roman church has been through cataclysmic times of corruption and renewal before and it’s evolved, as most institutions that touch billions of people do. It’s been through several cycles of hard Pluto transits, in other words, and it’s had to reinvent itself over and over.
One such challenge was the Protestant Reformation, usually thought to have been triggered by German professor of theology Martin Luther nailing a list of 95 Theses on the door of All Saints Church in Wittenberg, Germany to protest what he viewed as corrupt Catholic practices of the day. Reportedly, Luther did this on October 31, 1517 (old calendar), however the modern calendar would move this date to November 10th.
I bring this up because the planetary echoes between that dramatic Reformation period and today’s challenges in the Roman church are substantial. It should be noted that Luther didn’t set out to break away from the church—he was part of it—but he did object to certain corrupt practices he was seeing and decided to act. He was declared a “heretic” by Holy Roman Emperor Charles V in 1521, which triggered an even deeper split, so the actual Protestant schism took years, as developments on this scale often do. Could a similar fissure happen in today’s Roman church?
Let’s take a very brief look at how the chart for that day looks next to the Christian Era chart in Biwheel #3 below. I will note some compelling correspondences with this week’s Meeting chart as we go—please see Biwheel #2 above to follow those.
Biwheel #3: (inner wheel); Christian Era, January 1, 0001 AD, 12:00:01 a.m. LMT, Jerusalem, Israel (Source: Chart 464, p. 483, Book of World Horoscopes; (outer wheel) Protestant Reformation (Luther nails 95 Theses), November 10, 1517, 12:00 p.m. LMT, Wittenberg, Germany. Source: Wikipedia.com. Tropical Equal Houses, True Node.
Interchart Grand Mutable Square: Nodal Reversal (PR So. Node conjoins Era No. Node); this axis squares Era Uranus-opposite Pluto (Pisces-Virgo). Era Saturn (Sagittarius) also ties into this, conjoined Era No. Node, suggesting that the church had come to a crossroads where it was either change or pay the consequences, and things have never been the same with the Vatican since. The spiritual imperative here is reinforced by PR Sun conjunct Era Neptune (both Scorpio) and PR Neptune (Aquarius) square Era Neptune (Scorpio).
|The English Reformation broke England away from the Catholic church in 1534.|
The clash between spirituality and profit is clear here: Luther had basically accused the church of betraying people’s trust by selling church “indulgences”—assurances that their sins were forgiven—and the impact on church finances was about to be felt with PR Neptune beginning a long transit to Era Venus (Aquarius).
PR Pluto-Vesta (Capricorn) widely conjoins Era Sun (Capricorn). This is a pretty reliable sign that the church was forced to reinvent itself over a period of years, as Pluto transited slowly over this Era Sun. This echoes very clearly with today’s situation. Note that Pluto has been in Capricorn since 2009, and if we trace some of the major revelations about clergy sex abuse in the past decade, they’ve coincided with Pluto transiting conjunct Era Sun. In September, 2015, the film Spotlight was released with its story about the Boston Catholic diocese’s cover up of rampant sexual abuse by its clergy—Pluto fell at 13°+Capricorn.
Public awareness may have been seriously raised by this film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture that year—perhaps Spotlight was our modern day “95 Theses” nailed on a door? The investigations and revelations have continued to mount from there.
|Pope Francis also referred to predator priests as "ravenous wolves."|
It’s quite possible that the Catholic church’s long, dragged-out crisis has already inspired an exodus, but those who hang in there to hold the institution accountable instead of simply leaving are doing a great service. Many victims and others seeking justice are understandably upset by the “Meeting” this past week, despite the Pope’s strongly worded condemnations of abusive behavior. From NYTimes.com:
“Francis had barely finished speaking before some abuse victims and other frustrated faithful began expressing outrage and disappointment at his failure to outline immediate and concrete steps to address the problem.
‘Pope Francis’ talk today was a stunning letdown, a catastrophic misreading of the grief and outrage of the faithful,’ said Anne Barrett Doyle, a leader of BishopAccountability.org, which tracks incidents of abuse in the church. ‘As the world’s Catholics cry out for concrete change, the pope instead provides tepid promises, all of which we’ve heard before.’”
Those cries should not be ignored, of course, and the pressure on the church to get this right needs to continue, but in fact, the Pope’s concluding speech at the Meeting did enumerate 8-points of major concern that he feels the church must act upon. Perhaps it’s not quite articulated as a business-style action plan, but the intent and the direction are clear. The points (without explanation—see this link for more) are:
1. The protection of children
2. Impeccable seriousness
3. Genuine purification
5. Strengthening and reviewing guidelines by Episcopal conferences
6. Accompaniment of those who have been abused
7. The digital world
8. Sexual tourism
So it will be interesting to see what reforms finally come out the February 21-24 meeting and to see if they begin to address the eight points laid out above. Perhaps we’ll see an encyclical that encompasses and addresses those eight points and calls for concrete changes to church law, among other things. Perhaps something approximating cosmic justice will begin to crystallize: from the astrology, I sense that Pope Francis seriously wants to see this crisis through.
One highlight that stands out to me from the charts we’ve reviewed, in fact, is the pontiff’s advanced age. He’s experiencing major late-in-life transits, and he may need all the support and cooperation he can get to carry the responsibilities heaped on him by this crisis. Astrologically, he appears to be the right person to lead this daunting renewal—he’s reform-minded and not afraid to shake things up, but the weight of the crisis (not to mention Neptune) is probably eroding his self-confidence and making it difficult to please anyone, much less everyone.
Bottom line, I hope that those who really want the church to do the right thing will support the efforts begun this week in the Vatican. Cosmic justice, please!
Raye Robertson is a practicing astrologer, writer and former educator. A graduate of the Faculty of Astrological Studies (U.K.), Raye focuses on mundane, collective-oriented astrology, with a particular interest in current affairs, culture and media, the astrology of generations, and public concerns such as education and health. Several of her articles on these topics have been featured in The Mountain Astrologer and other publications over the years.
She is also available to read individual charts—contact her at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
© Raye Robertson 2019. All rights reserved.
 Nicholas Campion, Book of World Horoscopes, The Wessex Astrologer, Ltd., Bournemouth, UK. Revised/updated ed. 2004, p. 283.
 Demetra George and Douglas Bloch, Asteroid Goddesses: The Astrology, Mythology, Psychology and Astrology of the Re-emerging Feminine, Ibis Press, Lake Worth, FL, updated/revised 2003 edition, p. 2.
 Robert Hand, Planets in Transit: Life Cycles for Living, Whitford Press, Atglen, PA, 1976, p. 456.
 Martin Lass, Musings of a Rogue Comet: Chiron, Planet of Healing, Galactic Publications, Nyack, NY, 2001, p. 319.
 See Note 1 above.