|Front line veterans of the 2nd World War had the conviction in the first month or two of fighting, that it was possible that other soldiers in their division might get killed, but they would not. After two months at the front, when they had seen their units get decimated, they realized that there was a reasonable chance that they might die. After four months at the front, they knew they would die… it was just a matter of time. This is a speeded up version of how we all feel. In the twenties and thirties we are convinced of our immortality, but not so in the forties. When we reach the fifties, we have no illusions. We will die, sooner or later. This realization affects different people in different ways, but we have to come to terms with our mortality.In the fifties, women may enjoy the arrival of their children’s children, but they will not have children themselves. Men in their fifties would have to be very naïve to think that their chances of scoring beautiful women were very high. It’s not a pretty sight seeing a 50 year old chatting up girls at a disco. Both men and women who have worked their way up the professional ladder live in nervous anticipation of being unceremoniously ejected by the younger upwardly mobile. Those who lose their jobs in the mid-fifties can find great difficulty getting employed again. Those who lose their spouses feel as if they have landed on the scrap heap far too early.Yet there are those for whom the fifties are their best years. Their professional credentials fully established, they gain highly paid positions and full respect. Relationships find new life as children fly the nest, and there is the economic freedom to indulge those things sacrificed for the family cause. Symptoms of male and female menopause wane, and new erotic pleasures can be found in non-performance related sex. There is the time to develop spiritual interests alongside professional concerns. Providing there is material security and good health, the fifties are fine.The early postwar generation of children are in their fifties today. This was a period with Pluto in Leo and Neptune in Libra… the generation that refuses to grow up. This was the first generation to be shaped by television, and they grew up in a world shaped by dreams and ideals of perfection. They are still searching for immortality and the perfect love. Tony Blair was born in 1953 with Saturn conjoining Neptune in Libra, Uranus in Cancer, Jupiter in Taurus, Chiron in Capricorn and the North Node in Aquarius – he turned 50 on May 6th 2003 just 2 months after the invasion of Iraq. In the following analysis of the fifties, these planetary positions will be used to gain detail on the significance of each year.
The age of 50 is crucial because it is in this year that most of us experience the Chiron return. As this minor planet is related strongly to teaching and healing, and is often an indicator of where there is a lifelong wound, the age of 50 will always be a time when issues connected with these things inevitably surface. This is also a year when Jupiter makes the waxing square to itself after the 4th return age 47. So:
– As you enter your fifties and commence a new decade, there is the realization that your character is now fully developed – you are who you are – it is now more a question of building on your talents, resources and achievements rather than proving yourself anew. You can be assessed by what you have achieved so far in life, and what there is to come is very much a bonus defined by your attitude and will. The challenge at this time is to find renewed hope and vision, yet it is a time when misjudgments tend to take place, either through lack of confidence or through being overly hopeful about the future. You tend to insist on following your own convictions without being sensitive to the opinions of others. (Jupiter) This is very much related to material values and beliefs which you have consolidated through the years, and which now have become guiding pillars of conviction. (Jupiter in Taurus in Blair’s horoscope). At the same time, there are deeper issues connected with your mortality, and your ability to pass on the body of wisdom you have acquired to those who follow after you. You are poignantly aware of areas in your inner life that need healing, or where there are flaws and weaknesses, for they will surely surface in your 50th year. (Chiron) For you this is profoundly connected with your professional position and ambition, and it is important for you to investigate just what you hope to achieve, and how these ambitions serve to allay inner pain. (Capricorn)
At the age of 51 the final square of Saturn takes place before the Saturn return age 59, and this is sure to be related to serious career restructuring. Fortunately Jupiter now moves to make the waxing trine to its birth position, providing every chance of growth:
– During your 51st year there are pressing professional issues that have to be addressed. This is a time when challenges pile up, both in connection with your relationship to authorities, and in terms of your goals and ambitions. You need to define exactly where you wish to apply yourself, and exactly what you want to achieve. As you are under pressure now, this is not easy, but with extra effort and determination you can carve out a position for yourself that can stand you in good stead for the next five years at least. (Saturn) This is very much connected with how you handle interpersonal relationships, for it is at this time that structural changes take place as far as alliances are concerned. (Libra) Fortunately, this is also a time when a further expansion of your influence is possible, if you adopt a positive and visionary attitude. Bearing in mind your achievements so far, you are justified in pursuing a confident and self-assured path. (Jupiter)
At Mercury returns to its birth position around the birthday both every 10th and every 13th year, the age of 52 is a Mercury year. For many people it will also be the year when Pluto trines its birth position, and as Pluto’s aspects to itself are so rare, then its effects are proportionately significant:
– Your 52nd year is a time when you breathe new life into communication and educational influences and are very active in networking with others. (Mercury) It is also a period of personal transformation that can see you both go into the depths and re-emerge newborn. It is at this time that buried emotional drives surface, and you can be quite unable to bury them again. These feelings fuel a deep-seated change that can lead you to rediscover sexual drives and psychological power. A new authenticity can come into your life based on releasing repressions and living life to the full. If there are features of your life you are tired of, now is the time to get rid of them. If there are bonds that drain you, then they need to change or go. There may be a power battle now, but it serves the useful purpose of evoking your survival instincts and bringing empowerment. (Pluto) This is connected with a deep unconscious drive to assert your ego, even if it means flirting with self-destructive impulses. (Leo)
The age of 53 is a year when many influences peak. Quite apart from the continued Pluto trine, both Neptune and Uranus trine themselves, whilst Saturn sextiles its natal position, and Jupiter opposes. But it is the outer planets that have the most profound effect:
– During your 53rd year you are very sensitive to the generational factors of your birth period, and there can be far-reaching changes that bring many opportunities if you are willing to embrace the future and let go of the past. You are still very much in a transformation period which has brought new life and empowerment. (Pluto) At the same time your visionary capacities now peak, and you are able to transcend your normal life structure and enter new realms of the imagination. There is a kind of global consciousness that pervades your being, and you are extremely sensitive to, and motivated by, the needs and sufferings of others. (Neptune) For you this is very much connected with a tendency to idealize the ability of mankind to relate in a positive way, and in your personal relationships to dream of an unreachable ideal. (Libra) This is also a period that can bring travel to exotic lands or contact with exotic people. You are willing to take a risk to experience something new, and you want to be involved with people who get together with a shared vision. This is a wonderful time to experiment and innovate. (Uranus) This has a lot to do with an alternative vision that you have for the human family. (Cancer)
At the age of 54, the Neptune and Uranus trines will still be operative, and – equally significant – the progressed Moon returns to its birth position for the second time (the last time being age 27 and 4 months):
– During the course of your 54th year, you are still in a period of dynamic consciousness growth that sees you experimenting with your life on several fronts. You are open to any changes that bring renewal and excitement, and this can bring international travel and input from cultures very different from your own. This is the time to embrace new technology and surf the wave of change in society, rather than holding on to established tradition. At the same time there is a dawning spiritual sensitivity, and activities connected with nature, music or religion can bring inner enrichment. Furthermore this year is a time of emotional rebirth, and your feelings connected with home and family come strongly to the fore. Now is the time to confront latent emotional issues connected with bonding that can relate back to your childhood, so don’t be surprised if this a bit of an emotional roller-coaster year when you are concerned about creating security and a safe base.
Whilst the influence of Uranus and Neptune begin to fade as the age of 55 dawns, Jupiter will now make the incoming trine to its natal position, prior to the 5th Jupiter return at age 59. And during the course of this year, the Moon’s nodes return to their birth position for the 3rd time:
– Many things come together during the course of your 55th year, and if you have prepared the ground well, this can be a time of rapid growth and expansion. If you have listened to your visions and dreams over the last two years, and allowed yourself to be guided by your imagination and creativity, then you will now feel that the years ahead will be fulfilling and full of promise. Likewise, if you have been willing to move with the times and take a risk or two, then the future will hold no terrors for you. You can enjoy the fruits of increased awareness, and may feel a strong bond with humanity, ecology and nature itself. Now is the time to slip into overdrive whilst enjoying the fruits of past efforts. As the year draws to a close you have also to consider the general direction of your life. Are you associating with people who give a meaningful contribution to your life? Are you doing work which corresponds to your mission? (Node) For you this has a lot to do with finding the right balance between asserting your ego, and being receptive to the voice of the community… the latter being the most crucial in your case. (North Node in Aquarius)
At the age of 56, Venus returns to its birth position around the birthday, awakening themes of relationship and economy. The nodal return is still very relevant, and at the same time Jupiter will make a closing square putting the focus on expansion and issues of judgment:
– During your 56th year self-worth issues come to a head in relation to your love life and economy. If you are lucky in love, then more luck is due now. If you are looking for a relationship, then there is likely to be one, and if you are currently in a relationship, then this is a time to consolidate and cherish it, not least by cultivating the art of romance. As your aesthetic values become more important to you now, you may want to spend more money on life’s pleasures, and this brings your whole economic situation into focus. With your senses and desires so stimulated at this time, good judgment is required in the management of your economy. However you tend to be unresponsive to the advice of others, or too inclined to be guided by your personal convictions. Take care not to overreach yourself; seek the advice of experts. You need to be especially careful in matters connected with justice and the law. It is crucial at this time that you take stock of your life situation and make the adjustments necessary to work and relationships, so that they accord with your inner convictions of what your life is about.
There are no major planetary cycles at the age of 57, unless Jupiter’s final sextile before the conjunction is taken into consideration. However, the 3rd Saturn return is already looming on the horizon, and along with that the whole question of future life structure:
– General trends during your 57th year bring some consolidation and calm, and a time when you can enjoy the fruits of your labors, especially in terms of your social life and friendships. However there is a growing awareness that the solutions which have served you so well during the course of the fifties will not last forever, and thoughts of how you would like the future to take shape begin to arise. As yet your main concerns are of how you maintain the professional momentum that you have achieved over the last few years, and there is the sense that hard-won achievements are getting washed away by the sands of time. Under these circumstances it is wise to develop your inner life and your creative or spiritual interests, for these will always be with you whether you have professional success or not.
At the age of 58 Saturn will return to its birth position for the second, and perhaps the last time. This is a major milestone at the age of 29 to 30, and it is no less of a milestone as the fifties draw to a close. This has traditionally been the time of retirement plans and preparations for old age:
– During the course of your 58th year there is the sense that life has come full circle. Ambition has served its purpose, and you can look back on a series of achievements that have crowned your professional life. Now, with the wisdom of years, you realize that there is little sense in driving upwards and onwards to satisfy ambitions… what would be the point? The question is: what can you take from your current professional status to work on and continue to develop? Or has the time come to bow out from the rat race, wind down, and maximize your life quality in the last phase of your life? You cannot build your future on the framework of the past… you can either build a new framework, if you have the willpower and energy, or allow the old one to dissolve. You still have the chance to define what is uniquely you. There is nothing to prove, but if you allow yourself to be guided by your ultimate life purpose, there can still be mountains to conquer in the years ahead.
Jupiter and Saturn have a planetary cycle that repeats every 20 years, so that as the fifties draw to a close they both simultaneous return to their birth positions, marking a definitive watershed in life:
– As you enter your 59th year you appreciate the significance of your age… on the threshold to the sixties, with the realization that your greatest achievements may well lie behind you, whilst the future both professionally, economically and in terms of relationships is dependant on the structures you have already created. Yet this very realization has a settling affect; you are too wise to struggle against the inevitable, and fully aware that any decisions you make now will have effects that can last the rest of your life. It is at this age that you really can plan how you would like your future to be, using your knowledge and experience of the society of which you are a part, to maximize the benefits that the future can bring, and minimize the limitations. Radical experimentation can be left to those who follow in your footsteps, but if your economy is strong, and your professional foundations firm, you can easily build further on what you have achieved.
If childhood is like the water that springs out from the mountainside, surging in rivulets to join the larger stream, and middle age the powerful flow of the river through the plains, then the sixties and beyond show the river estuary as it flows into the sea and merges with the ocean. The strong tones of individuality that characterize the early stages of the flow finally make way for a merging into the collective. Outwardly the individual during the later stage of life steps back and sees himself as part of something greater. Inwardly he or she may smile at earlier self-importance and ambition, knowing it is all over far too soon. The time comes to embrace universal values that are not dissolved by the passage of time. In modern times many will live to experience yet another Saturn round, with perhaps thirty full years to consolidate and digest their existence and this is a great opportunity to prepare for the most exciting transition of all – death and the after-death state.
Adrian Ross Duncan 20.11.2005
Month: August 2005
|During the twenties it can seem that anything is possible. The energy is there, there is naivety in abundance… the path is paved to be Master of the Universe. There are finance geniuses, football stars, successful models, rock idols – possibilities that are there simply because of youth. If these successes are not to be like a comet illuminating the sky just for a short period, there has to be a dramatic readjustment by the age of thirty. It can be marriage and children, or divorce and independence, or a career reorientation – the crucible of the Saturn return and the first sextile of Pluto to its birth position at the age of 29 demands soul-searching and change. Many “personal” motivations during the twenties lie in the conditioning of parents and society, and the unconscious reaction to them.It is possible to ignore the signals as the age of 30 approaches – lack of motivation at work, lack of love at home, lack of desire to get up in the morning – and struggle on. Much has been built up, must it be sacrificed? But life is too short for compromise. Burn out during the thirties, and a sizeable life crisis around 40 is the price. And it is far more difficult to start anew at 40 than it is at 30.In the last article on the twenties, I pointed out that it is in fact possible to outline an individual’s life in quite some detail if you know the person’s age. Also, if you know the year of birth you can be even more specific through an understanding of the position of the outer planets at birth. Many people in their thirties today were born with Uranus and Pluto on the move from Virgo to Libra, and the relationships of people in their early thirties, when both planets are in Libra, are deeply affected by the gender transformations that took place in the seventies.
Supermodel Helena Christensen (25 th Dec 1968) and actress Rene Zellweger (26 th April 1969), who have Uranus in Libra, but Pluto still in Virgo, are classic examples. They come from a generation who find it a real challenge to make a commitment to a relationship. Helena Christensen changed her lifestyle around the age of thirty, and gave birth to her son, Mingus. However, when asked if she had married the father, her response was:
“Nej, vi var aldrig gift… når vi gik fra hinanden var det mere noget med at sige goddag til hinanden langsomt. Vi var nødt til at gå fra hinanden for at blive venner. Nogle mennesker er bare bedre som venner, ikke?”
“No we were never married… when we left each other it was more like just saying hello to each other slowly. We had to leave each other to be friends. Some people are better as friends, aren’t they?”
Rene Zellweger’s role as Bridget Jones is also a classic example of the plight of the singles culture that seems to have resulted from the influences of the outer planets in Libra. In 1969 Saturn and the Node were in Aries, Jupiter in Libra, and Neptune still in Scorpio (just).
The age of thirty is characterized by the ongoing transition engendered by the Saturn return. The pieces are just beginning to fall into place after a period of transition. Every 15 years Mars returns close to its birth position on the birthday, so 30 is also a year when Mars is strong and ready for battle. Therefore it would be possible to say of a person born in the very late sixties or early seventies entering their 30 th year:
– As you enter your thirties and a new decade, it is important to harness the lessons you have learned from the twenties, whilst letting go of the parental and social conditioning that could lead you along a path that is not uniquely yours. During the course of this year, you will lay the foundation stones for a new life structure on which you can build your life, especially professionally, during the course of the next 10 years. For you this is partly connected with overcoming any fear of taking an initiative, and any resentment that there are blockages on your path (Saturn in Aries). It is now you need to apply all your energy and willpower into achieving what you really want for yourself – not what others want for you. By mobilizing your resources for battle, setting your sights, and investing all your energy, you embark on the first steps towards creating your own unique and independent future.
After the struggles of the previous three years, much resistance has been swept aside, and with Jupiter trining its natal position age 31, there is a good chance of a smooth run. Helena Christensen had her child at this time. For our hypothetical client…
– At the age of 31 you can slip into overdrive as you begin to reap the benefit of the changes that have been so much a part of your life for the past two or three years. The basic structure is in place for you to expand your influence and harvest some initial results. There may be a hint of overconfidence, but your potential for good fortune is strong, and an optimistic attitude attracts success. For you the greatest bonuses can come in connection with your personal relationships, and there will be an expansion not only in your social life, but also perhaps in connection with a deeply significant romantic bond. (Jupiter in Libra)
32 can be a magical year – especially if Venus and Mars are strong in the chart, because the birth relationship between Venus and Mars will repeat themselves. Jupiter squares its natal position at this time, so this is a year when there is a tendency to do things against one’s better judgement too…
– During the course of your 32 nd year you have the need to realize your relationship potential. It is important that your romantic needs are met at this time, and that you feel valued in your relationships. Feelings and passion need to be integrated – love and Eros go hand in hand, and you want fulfilment on all levels. If you are unattached, then this is a year when your attraction peaks, and potential partners come your way. If you are in a relationship, it needs to be satisfying; otherwise your eye may stray. As this is not a year characterized by the best judgement, or wise ethical choices, you may be tempted to allow yourself to be guided by your passions, though this may not necessarily be a bad thing in the long term.
At the age of 33, Saturn makes its first sextile after the return, and the Nodes make a square to the birth position. This is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position at the birthday so…
– As you enter your 33 rd year, you are in a positive development phase of your life, and the new structures you established as you entered your thirties are beginning to show their potential. (Saturn) Confronting fears of going it alone, you have been able to take personal initiatives and establish your independence on the career front. (Aries) This is a year in which you are filled with curiosity and there is much to learn. You may wish to attend courses, study and travel. (Mercury) Questions arise during the course of the year as regards the direction in which your destiny lies. You encounter people, or get involved with groups, who may not be aligned with your mission in life, but who nevertheless inspire you to consider an adjustment in direction. (Node) A crucial question for you is whether to pursue independence or whether to make compromises for a relationship, and finding a balance is not easy at this time. The ideal is to avoid dependence on others, so that you can give your strength to a relationship. (Aries/Libra)
During the 34 th year, the Saturn sextile is still effective, whilst Uranus is quincunx its birth position, which is its last aspect to itself before the coming opposition…
– As you enter your 34 th year you are building strongly on firm foundations, and making concrete progress on your path, acquiring useful communication and educational skills and building a solid network. (Saturn) Your initiatives are beginning to pay off, and there is a sense that what you are building now will stand you in good stead for the future. A sense of restlessness may also inspire you to make some adjustments at this time; on the one hand you don’t want to rock the boat, whilst on the other you would like to distinguish yourself from the norm. Your unique choices as regards relationship come to the fore at this time, and you may be chafing at the bit if you feel there are too many restrictions. At work you seek out a personal niche.
The 35 th year brings the third return of Jupiter to its birth position…
– This is a year when you gain deep insight and expand your understanding of your role in the world. This gives rise to strong views about your life situation, and some concerns about what is right, what is wrong, and whether justice is being done. During this year you propagate your views and express your latent wisdom with confidence and optimism. (Jupiter) The principle of fairness is particularly important in terms of relationships, and you do your best to ensure that balance is attained according to the enlightened principles that are so important to you. Your capacity for success is at its highest right now, and if you catch the wave, you can expect a surge of progress and good fortune. If you do not have a relationship, then good fortune can smile on you. If you do, then it can move to a higher level. (Libra)
At the age of 36, Saturn now makes a square to its birth position, and this is a time to review past progress and plan the future…
– During the course of your 36 th year you encounter a number of challenges, particularly in your professional life. The progress you have made over the last seven years is up for review, and structural adjustments are called for. Pressing demands on your time force you to improve your organization and planning. There are times when it may seem too much, but hard work and effort put in now will help you attain goals set earlier. (Saturn) You may feel that the burden rests on your shoulders alone, but this may be your personal choice and the price of maintaining your independence. By mobilizing your determination and fighting spirit, you overcome the obstacles the year presents. (Aries)
The Saturn square will often drag on into the 37 th year, but the main feature of the year is the second return of the Node to its birth position at the age of 37 and four months. These cycles are immensely significant, because the Nodes relate to eclipse cycles and have the capacity to occult the Sun and Moon, suggesting a cosmic consciousness factor superior to the forces of personality…
– During the course of your 37 th year you are rounding the corner in terms of overcoming challenges and realizing professional goals, after putting considerable effort and determination. Success is within grasp, but what does success mean for you, and are the goals you are striving to achieve in accordance with your higher mission in life? Equally important: are the people you are associated with, your friends and partners, conducive to a happy future? This is the year to say goodbye to those who are no longer relevant to your spiritual growth, and welcome new people who are… both in your personal and in your professional life. (Node) For you this is concerned with any dependency situation, and this is the year when you make choices that emphasize your independence. (Aries/Libra)
After the somewhat disjointing effect of the nodal return, 38 is a year when the waxing Jupiter square brings exhilarating change, warming up for the next two years, when the Uranus opposition will make its presence felt, as well as Neptune’s square to itself, and, for those born in the late 20 th century, the Pluto square.
– As you enter your 38 th year there is a sense of exotic promise. New experiences are awaiting on the horizon, but you may not know what they are to be as yet. After a period of effort and measured growth, the urge is now to pull out all the stops and expand your horizons. It may seem as if your local environment cannot supply the inspiration that you need, in which case you may start investigating possibilities farther afield. There is a growing sense that meaning is more important than achievement, and therefore a need to expand on the new circle of acquaintances you acquired last year to attain personal growth and consciousness change.
During the last year of the thirties, there are many changes in the air which are keenly felt because of the impending Uranus opposition. Nevertheless, with both Saturn and Jupiter trine their birth positions, this can be a year of unprecedented growth and consolidation of everything that has been achieved in the preceding nine years. As 39 is also a year when Mercury returns to its birth position for the solar return, it’s a busy year…
– Your 39 th year is the culmination of the choices you made as the thirties began, and a time to harvest the results of all the efforts you have made. It is at this time when you both establish and advance your position in society, and maximize your influence and success. You are eager to gain more knowledge, and to spread the word about what you know. Whenever a peak is reached, then it also heralds the time for a new start, but at the same time it is important to enjoy the results of your labours and realize the assets you have built up. (Saturn/Jupiter) With your foundations firmly established, you may feel that you have the resources to take a few risks and experiment with your life. On the one hand you may want to see the world, and experience exotic cultures, whilst on the other you would like to manifest a more radical side of your nature. (Uranus) This can be connected with your interest in experimental forms of relationships that combine freedom and intimacy.
During the last years of the thirties a person will normally have established a life framework that serves well for the future, both spiritually and economically. But for those who perhaps compromised too much as they entered the thirties, and allowed the demands of society to have more say than their own personal needs, the price is paid during the period from 40 to 44 as the Uranus opposition, and Pluto and Neptune squares force readjustments that culminate in the Saturn opposition. For some this will be a period of soul-searching and inner upheaval, whist for those firmly established on their path, these influences bring turbo-charged growth and a sense of personal fulfilment. More of that in the next article.
Adrian Ross Duncan September 19 th 2005
|If you’ve got to die, the age of 84 is a good time to do it. After 84 years, the first trans-Saturnian planet Uranus returns to its original position, rounding off a complete heavenly cycle. It is as if you have managed to encapsulate in your life the lessons of Uranus – consciousness, revolution, liberation and internationalism. I remember meeting astrologer Alexander Ruperti (Note 1) when he gave a lecture at a congress in Prague , 84 years and still completely fresh and uncompromisingly original in his ideas. He seemed in perfect health, but died shortly after, his life a testimony to that planet most commonly associated with astrology, Uranus.The life of pope John Paul II – born Karol Wojtyla – was similarly encapsulated by an 84-year Uranus cycle, and he was a man who played an extremely powerful role in the revolutionary changes affecting the world in the second half of the twentieth century. His encouragement of Solidarity in his native Poland accelerated changes that were the beginning of the end for that arch enemy of Christianity – Communism. Pope John Paul was born at an eclipse, and buried on an eclipse, and his shadow stretched far over the countries of the world. As the most travelled pope in history, he was instrumental in converting millions of people in Asia , Africa and South America to the catholic faith.
Though there is some disagreement about the exact time of his birth, the pope said on several occasions that is was at about 5 p.m. , which places Mars retrograde in Libra exactly on the Ascendant, and the eclipse on the cusp of the 8th house, strongly emphasizing struggle and transformation – and also putting the focus on sexuality. It is possible that the fact that Mars is in exile and retrograde, is not unrelated to pope John Paul II’s message of sexual restraint. He certainly raised some eyebrows when a couple of years after becoming pope he remarked in St Peter’s Square that a man would commit: “adultery in the heart” if he looked at his wife lustfully. (Note 2) Obviously even men would now have to close their eyes and think of England . The pope later qualified his remark – after an outcry of public opinion – by saying that sexual arousal could be ethical. Whew!
Progressed Mars went retrograde during the first 12 years of his life, and basically conjoined his Ascendant within a degree for over 30 years. This was not a pope who just preached peace and harmony – this was a fighter, and a man who was willing to struggle for justice and was quite comfortable with confrontation. In those first 30 years he saw the Nazi occupation of Poland , and subsequently the Soviet occupation. His mother died at the age of 8 and his father during World War II. Violence and trauma became a part of his life. Initially, as a priest in Poland, the communist rulers did not see Karol Wojtyla as a threat to their system, and with Mars in Libra he probably kept a low profile. Just after his progressed Mars moved into Scorpio, he became pope, and his true power became evident.
There are a number of key factors in Karol Wojtyla’s chart, which show the potential for him to become powerful, apart from the position of Mars. Firstly he is born at the time of the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction. These two planets meet every 13 years, and represent the start of a cycle, where the highest human aspirations are propagated. Pope John Paul II died when Jupiter in Libra was exactly trine Neptune in Aquarius, an apt expression of the outpouring of religious devotion at his death. The 1920 conjunction in Leo is a perfect expression for the pomp and glory of the Catholic Church and the Vatican , which became his home for the last 26 years of his life.
Jupiter/Neptune constellates by square with Pope John Paul II’s Venus in Taurus exactly conjunct the lunar nodes, and this is the key to his mission and nature. A Taurus himself, and with ruling planet Venus in Taurus, it is obvious that the role of this pope was the guardianship of the traditional values of the church. There is no doubt too that with Venus conjoining the South Node – and exactly on the “avatar” degree of 15° of fixed signs – his message was also one of love. True to his Taurean nature, though, he never budged on major issues like the unacceptability of contraception, gay relationships, and female ordination. In the last years of his life dissident Catholic theologians were dismissed or excommunicated and liberal cardinals and bishops were replaced.
This was his job, and he did it well. As birth control unleashed a wave of promiscuity in the last half of the 20th century, the moral authority of the church went into decline. Pope John Paul II actually reversed this, at least in the Third World , and actually managed to attract many young people through his uncompromising stance.
Another major theme in his chart is the exact opposition between Saturn and Uranus, which is squared by the Moon in Gemini. This T-square suggest the country he was born in, torn by the implacable forces of East and West, just as it also symbolizes the capacity to unify opposites and build a bridge from the old to the new. It is the enormous forces of this opposition that appeared to coincide with both great pain and great change in Karol Wojtyla’s life. At his mother’s death when he was 8, his Sun progressed to square both planets. Later, when his ruler Venus reached 5° Gemini and squared the opposition, the Nazi invasion of Poland meant his university was closed, and he had to work in a stone quarry. If the 5 p.m. birth time is correct, he became bishop in Kracow when his progressed MC conjoined Saturn in 1958, and he was shot when his progressed Ascendant squared Saturn and Uranus in 1981.
As head of the Catholic Church, the opposition between Saturn and Uranus showed the enormous stresses between the old and new… the need to modernize and the need to preserve. As could be expected with a Gemini Moon, pope John Paul II was a prolific writer – he was the author of a least six best-sellers, and hundreds of articles and essays. Saturn in Virgo demands an attention to detail and dogma. Where is was necessary the pope created transformation – Pluto is both trine Uranus and sextile Saturn – and where necessary he resisted change. He was prepared to make radical moves, being the first pope to worship in a mosque and a synagogue. He met with Arafat eight times, causing political uproar, and at the same time he mended relations with Israel , re-establishing diplomatic ties with the Vatican in 1994.
The movement of progressed Mercury can be seen as the trigger for many of the key developments in Karol Wojtyla’s life. It conjoined the progressed sun age 8 at the time of his mother’s death. During World War II when Mercury conjoined Pluto, he secretly studied to be a priest. At this time he had two near fatal accidents, one involving a tram and the other a runaway truck, which left him with a damaged shoulder for life. By the 1970’s Mercury began to slow up, preparing to retrograde, and just 43 minutes of arc from Jupiter it stops – and it is at this time he becomes pope. The years 1971-1982 are characterized by the progressed conjunction of Mercury with Neptune, the sublime meeting of the rational with the irrational, of man with God. In a sense this can be seen as the time when God speaks through his agent on Earth – the pope.
God’s message was rather heavy at the start, and as retrograde Mercury conjoined Neptune for the second time, Pope John Paul II was shot in St Peter’s Square on May 13th 1981 (when Pluto transit conjoined his Mars/Ascendant) – he nearly became a martyr. The pope visited his assassin in jail two years later and forgave him.
Mercury retrograded through Leo, entering Cancer in 1997, where it turned direct in 2000, which was the time when the pope made a public confession of the sins of the Catholic Church over the previous 2000 years, which included such things as the Inquisition, forced conversions to Christianity etc. When Mercury, now direct, entered Leo again, the pope passed away.
The pope died just prior to the eclipse in Aries, when the Sun and Venus were in precise conjunction at 13° Aries. With the light and love of Venus subsumed by the greater power of God, Pope John Paul II passed into another sphere. The Moon’s South Node was now at 22 degrees Libra, precisely on the pope’s Mars/Ascendant, whilst Saturn in Cancer was square the Ascendant/Descendant axis. A few days later – when hundreds of thousands of people congregated in St Peter’s square for the funeral – the Moon joined the Sun and Venus, and as they travelled through the heavens and encountered the North Node of the Moon, the light of the Sun flickered and was extinguished… just as it did at his birth.
The eclipse chart for the burial of the pope could also be considered as the start horoscope for the conclave of cardinals, and may therefore provide a clue to the future pope. Eclipse chart for Rome : 8.04.2005 22.33 Rome AS 22.52 SC
Most notable in this chart is the emphasis in Aries, with Mars disposing of all planets in the chart. Mars in Aquarius shows the international nature of the papal funeral, with vast TV screens both in Rome and in major Catholic centres in the world. The conjunction of Mars with Neptune , and its strong trine to Jupiter should indicate the next pope, who with this astrological signature could hardly be European. Interestingly the shadow of the eclipse raced across the surface of the Earth from New Zealand and ended in Venezuela , after passing through Costa Rica , Panama and Columbia . The most prominent Cardinal from that area is Cardinal Castrillon Hoyos from Colombia . Hoyos, born on 4th July 1929 , has, interestingly, an exact Mars/Neptune conjunction on the fixed star Regulus at 29 Leo. However, at age 75 he is getting on. It would not be so good for the Catholic Church to repeat the disaster of Pope John Paul I, who died just one month after coming into office, thus paving the way for John Paul II immediately after.
Adrian Ross Duncan 14th April 2005