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 Chart Analyzed in Brief
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.
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.
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).
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.
Mercury is advancing, and is in phasis, so Mercury is quite strong.
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.