Astrology of Religion, Atheism, and Belief | 4. Pope Benedict XVI

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In this article, we turn again to someone who is highly religious We are focused particularly on how Jupiter, the 9th, Saturn, and Mercury are placed and relate to the person’s sense of self.  The ingredients and recipe for this analysis can be found in the prior article which you can view here. Note that this series of articles is one on discovering indications of belief in the astrological chart and will not really address other aspects of the life or personality.

Pope Benedict XVI

The current Catholic pope is Joseph Ratzinger, who has taken on the name Pope Benedict XVI.  His natal chart is below and has been given a Rodden Rating of AA.

Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI
Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI’s Chart Analyzed in Brief


Extremely strong

Jupiter was conjunct the Ascendant, rising at birth.  This means that it was both strongly advancing in the strongest way possible, and in the strongest “stake”, the rising sign.  None of the planets in the chart are stationing, in phasis, nor combust.

Primarily benefic

Jupiter is naturally benefic.  It is in a good place, the 1st, where it directly affects the individuals sense of self, so there is a strong identification with Jupiter.  Jupiter has some malefic influences owing to being dominated by Saturn (right side square regard from Saturn, the out of sect malefic) and being out of sect.

Notes on Jupiter

Jupiter is both in and ruling the 1st. Therefore, the identification with spirituality, religion, and expansive wisdom is very strong with this person. Additionally, Jupiter’s effect in the affairs of the life are powerful and pervasive. 

Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI

9th Place:

Very strong and Martial

The 9th, Scorpio, is ruled by Mars.  Mars, like Jupiter, is strongly advancing in a “stake” of the chart. It is in the last degree of the 4th sign/place, Gemini.  Mars makes the matters of belief, wisdom, and religion signified by the 9th prominent.  It tends to make matters more competitive, quarrelsome, even violent, depending on the benefic/malefic tendencies of the planet.  A very Martial 9th can be found with those that actively crusade or attack those with different beliefs, as well as those that compete for positions of religious power. The Mars influence can also simply show contentions about particulars of their belief system.  It depends on many additional factors, but in either case some level of aggression and drive is connecting with matters of belief, wisdom, religion, dogma, and the like.

Mixed, somewhat benefic

Mars, while naturally malefic, is in sect, in a good place, and dominated by Jupiter (Jupiter regards from right side square).  Saturn regards Mars from the opposition, and Mars is naturally malefic, so the 9th place matters are likely to be beset with difficulties at time, particularly at activations of the Mars-Saturn opposition.

Notes on the 9th Place

The 9th place relates strongly to the Jupiter-Mars square in the chart which has Jupiter dominating. We see ambition and competition (Mars) strongly linked with the faith and self-identification (Jupiter in I; IX). .

Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI


Somewhat weak

Saturn is somewhat weak, as it’s retreating. However, it is in a “stake” of the chart (the 10th), so while not overtly pronounced it has a strong effect on important matters in life.


Saturn is the out of sect malefic, and is therefore malefic, even though in a good place, the 10th. However, this would be modified somewhat by other minor factors which add up. These include the placement of Saturn in the sign, term, and triplicity of Jupiter (Jupiter has a lot of power over the development of Saturnine activity). Jupiter therefore has an influence on alleviating challenges to his status or authority, and challenges from government and other authorities (i.e. challenges from 10th house figures/matters).

Notes on Saturn

Saturn is not strong in a general pervasive sense (not advancing, stationing, etc.) so its significations are more focused. It is in X and dominating the first house, so it does influence the character and career to a great extent. Saturn has the capacity to signify considerable challenges, but also can signify hard-won religious authority through its strong connections with Jupiter.

Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI


Very Strong

Like Jupiter, but not the same extent as Jupiter, Mercury is strongly advancing and is in the strongest “stake” of the chart, the 1st place.  Unlike many religious figures, Ratzinger self-identifies as an intellectual, as Mercury is in his 1st place, though he identifies more strongly with Jupiter (religion, God) because Jupiter is both in and ruling the 1st.  Mercury has a pervasive and powerful effect on the life, and there is much intellectual activity.

Somewhat malefic/mixed

Mercury is somewhat malefic in the chart, as Mercury is neutral, easily swayed. Mercury is out of sect and dominated by Saturn, and in a close applying square with Mars. However, Mercury is mixed because it is in the 1st, in a good place, and is assembled with Jupiter.  Still, we expect Mercury to be attached with difficulties.  Mercury strongly reflects this person’s own self, since it is in the 1st, so there is likely to be few qualms about putting forth inflammatory and hurtful comments, words, and intellectual positions on occasion.

Notes on Mercury

Pope Benedict does strongly identify as an intellectual, and doesn’t mind being controversial or contentious on intellectual pretenses. However, overall the chart shows a person who identifies more strongly with religion and spirituality (Jupiter).

Natal Chart of Pope Benedict XVI


In conclusion, in the Pope’s chart we see an extremely strong and pervasive influence of Jupiter and the 9th. This influence is for the most part positive. However, because of the influence of Mars, things can get competitive, zealous, and contentious.  This person identifies strongly with both religion/spirituality and with intellectualism, though more strongly and fundamentally with religion/spirituality.  Saturn is one of the weaker planets in the chart, and certainly the most malefic planet in the chart.



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

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