Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 8. Pope John Paul II

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This article continues the series on examining religion, faith, or lack of such in the astrological chart. In the last article, we looked at the chart of an atheist, Arthur Schopenhauer. In this article we turn to the chart of a religious leader, Pope John Paul II. The ingredients and recipes for this type of analysis can be found in the first article, on James Randi. The basics were reviewed with additional comments in a few articles back, on Madalyn Murray O’Hair.

Pope John Paul II

Pope John Paul II was the last pope before the current Pope Benedict XVI.  He was one of the more tolerant and well-liked popes. He encouraged interfaith dialog, in pretty sharp contrast to the current pope (Pope Benedict) who has made public derogatory remarks about other religions.  Pope John Paul II also heavily engaged in that other 9th House activity, travel.  You can check out his biography on Wikipedia by clicking here.  His natal chart is below, and has been given a Rodden Rating of A.

Pope John Paul II's Birth Chart
Pope John Paul II’s Birth Chart

Pope John Paul II’s Chart Analyzed in Brief


Extremely strong

Jupiter is extremely strong, strongly advancing on the MC.  That Jupiter is overcome by the Moon, dominated by the Sun, and in the domicile of the sect light, The Sun, also confers strength and prominence.

Extremely benefic

Jupiter is naturally benefic, and here is in sect, in perhaps the most benefic place, the 11th (the Joy of Jupiter).  It is also dominated by the benefic Venus, and overcome by the Moon by sextile.

Notes on Jupiter

Jupiter is one of the strongest planets in the chart, and the most benefic.  Lofty spirituality has a profound influence over the life, and is associated with very fortunate matters.  While Jupiter is only a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant, there is still likely to be a strong identification with Jupiter because Jupiter dominates the Ascendant and has some dignity there. Additionally, the domicile and exaltation rulers (Venus and Saturn) are both in aversion to (i.e. don’t regard) the Ascendant (i.e. less direct access to the self).  Jupiter, Venus, and Mars, all have a strong effect on the character.

Pope John Paul II's Birth Chart

9th Place:

Very strong, Lunar and Mercurial

The 9th, Gemini, is ruled by Mercury.  Most importantly, the Moon is in the 9th, bringing much prominence to matters of the 9th.  The ruler of the 9th, Mercury, is advancing and in phasis, so is very strong also.

Quite benefic, some mixed indications

The benefic Moon is in the 9th.  The ruler Mercury is also benefic overall, despite being in a bad place (the 8th), as Mercury is in sect and conjunct Venus (as well as ruled by Venus).  Saturn squares the 9th, so more negative associations can also be present, particularly with Saturn’s activation.

Notes on the 9th Place

Matters of belief are very prominent in the life, and overall associated with fortunate happenings.  The 9th is most directly Lunar (powerfully and vividly subjective, personal, even irrational).  The 9th is also quite Mercurial, and in fact, John Paul II put a strong emphasis on reason during his papacy. He drew on St. Thomas Aquinas in stressing how reason and faith can be mutually supportive of each other.  The Moon is the natural significator of journeys in ancient astrology. Mercury also pertains to movement. Therefore, it is little wonder that the association of the Moon and Mercury with the 9th signified such a globe-trotting pope (9th pertains to travel as well as religion).

Pope John Paul II's Birth Chart


Mildly strong

Saturn is mildly strong, as it is advancing, though also cadent.  However, Saturn is arguably the weakest planet in the chart, as it is the only cadent planet.

Quite mixed, somewhat malefic

Saturn is naturally a malefic so will indeed have some negative significations, particularly as it is in the 12th place.  However, Saturn is in sect and is overcome by trine by Venus, as well as overcome by both Lights, so we can expect things to be quite mixed overall.

Notes on Saturn

Saturn’s significations are not nearly so strong as those of Jupiter, nor of most of the other planets in the chart.  However, Saturn does make itself felt, and with mixed results.  Saturn is the exalted ruler of the Ascendant, but we don’t expect as much identification with Saturn because Saturn doesn’t regard the Ascendant.

Pope John Paul II's Birth Chart


Quite strong

Mercury is advancing, and is in phasis, so Mercury is quite strong.

Somewhat benefic

As mentioned, Mercury is overall benefic because it is in sect and assembled with a benefic.  There may be some difficult associations on occasion due to the fact that Mercury occupies the 8th, which is a bad place.

Notes on Mercury

There is not a strong identification with Mercury, but there is a little bit of one, as Mercury is a triplicity ruler of the Ascendant and is conjunct the Ascendant Lord, Venus.  Mercury is quite strong, and has mostly benefic associations, so there may be an overall pleasant relationship with rational intellectualism.


In conclusion, Pope John Paul II, like most religious leaders, had an extremely strong Jupiter, an emphasis on 9th house matters, and a relatively out-of-focus Saturn.  Through the Lunar and Mercurial characterization of the 9th, we see the stress on humanity and reason which characterized his particular brand of religion. The association of the Moon and Mercury (the swift planets) with the 9th also reflects his propensity for nearly constant travel.

Featured Image Attribution:

Image (cropped) by José Cruz/AbrAgência Brasil



Blogger interested in all things astrological, especially Hellenistic, medieval, Uranian, and asteroid astrology.

3 thoughts on “Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 8. Pope John Paul II

  • Pingback: Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 9. Bill Maher | Seven Stars Astrology

  • September 23, 2012 at 7:35 pm

    Dear Anthony,

    I would like to ask, if a naturely malefic is in his Joy, if it counts as a malefic, benefic or neutral indicator, as the joys of malefics are also malefic places as well (6th and 12th)

    Best wishes!


    • September 23, 2012 at 9:04 pm

      Hi Livio,

      I view house joys in a similar way to how I view sign-based dignities, as a form of strength but not as a form of beneficence. In other words, Mars in the 6th will be strengthened in some manner, or made somewhat more prominent in some form as far as its natural significations are concerned, such as facilitating connections with militant matters, etc. I don’t view it as Mars being more beneficent. For instance, Mars in the 6th may bring some greater prominence in some manner to Mars (there are different types of prominence and I think we are a long way yet from totally clarifying how they differ), but the judging of whether Mars tends to more frequently and saliently signify pleasant or unpleasant matters would be from beneficence/maleficence considerations, such as natural state, sect, regard of the Ascendant (place), and being regarded by malefics.

      My experience with charts has confirmed this repeatedly. I also think there is some precedent in some of the textual material. For instance, Paulus implies that Mars doesn’t harm in the 6th if trined by a benefic and/or in sect, but he doesn’t imply that it doesn’t harm when out of sect – similar for Saturn in the 12th.

      A great example of the issue of a malefic planet in joy and many sign-based dignities not being ameliorated in such significations is in the chart of Frida Kahlo –,_Frida . Kahlo was born with Mars in exaltation and triplicity, in its joy in the 6th house, Capricorn (she had Leo rising). Kahlo suffered debilitating health problems and an extremely traumatic physical accident (malefic Mars in the 6th phenomena) in her life and these were of extreme prominence in her life story and defining who she was. These were extremely malefic (i.e. difficult, unpleasant) events in her life (Mars out of sect, Mars ruled by the malefic Saturn which was in the 8th, Mars opposing the sect light/Asc lord), and disjointed from her goals when they occurred (Mars disregarding the Ascendant). If one were to look at Mars in her chart and declare it to be an accidental benefic due to being in joy and exalted, then one would be very greatly mistaken and would very drastically mis-characterize the central symbolic themes that this Mars stands for.

      Best wishes,



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