Monthly Archives: February 2019

A Brief Introduction to (some) Vatican Astrology – Part V

In the first four parts of “(some) Vatican Astrology,” I laid out the astrological charts for four major milestones in the Vatican’s promotion of the Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits.  They are:

  1. Regimini militantis ecclesiae — First approval — Sep 27 1540:
    Jupiter = Regulus; Saturn = Spica.
  2. Exposcit debitum — Second approval — July 21 1550: Jupiter = Venus; Sun opposite Saturn.
  3. Ascendente domino — Third approval — May 24, 1584: Lunar eclipse on Aldebaran/Antares axis; eclipse axis sextile and trine to Saturn.
  4. Consecration of Chiesa del Gesu — November 25, 1854:  Sun conjunct Antares (opposite Aldebaran), Mars = Regulus.

These four charts are, at this time in this series, the basic foundational charts of the Jesuits.

We do know that the Jesuits — as a Vatican-approved company — has two distinct epochs, as the group ordained in 1540 by the Vatican was suppressed formally in 1773; 41 years later, the Vatican un-suppressed them as a reformed society, in 1814.

The first period lasted 233 years; the second period has lasted 203 years.  In all of this time, though, no Jesuit had ever been elected to the Holy See’s highest office – the Papacy itself.  That is, until 2013, when Argentinian Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, S.J., was elected as Pope on March 13, 2013, at about 7:05 pm, local time.  He chose the name of Francis, a first for that particular name.

The chart for Pope Francis’ Vatican election is:


The sidereal chart for this event is:


As we can see in either of these charts, Jupiter is conjunct Aldebaran.  When juxtaposed to the earlier Jesuit charts, remarkable alignments occur.  The first bi-wheel is of Ascendente Domino and the Bergoglio election moment:


As we can see, the Bergoglio election Jupiter of 14º14′ Taurus is exactly conjunct the Ascendente Domino Sun of 14º14′ Taurus.  And, it is aligned with the Chiesa del Gesu consecration as well:


Another alignment is Pope Francis Venus opposite Chiesa del Gesu consecration Moon; thus, the two benefics, Jupiter and Saturn, in the Francis chart, are opposite the two luminaries in the consecration chart.  Could it be that these alignments are all just circumstantial?  “That’s how astrology works, Ed,” an associate told me, implying that, of course we’ll see such alignments when comparing relevant astrological moments.  We’re all just riding the waves of the cosmic gears of the celestial mechanics, fated.

Yet, the elevation of Bergoglio to Francis was a very contrived affair.  Normally, popes are popes until they pass away, but Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, apparently chose to resign his papacy, somewhat suddenly, and to the surprise of basically everyone.  His last day as the Bishop of Rome would be on February 28, 2013.  He cited his declining health as the main reason for his departure.  (He is still alive, btw, and is 91 years of age.)

That gave enough time for a congress, or conclave, of Cardinals to assemble at the Vatican, and vote in a new pope.  That began on March 12, 2013, and ended with the vote for Bergoglio on March 13.  So, thus far, we have these Jesuit charts at this point in my “(some) Vatican Astrology” series, and an update of our chart elements is appropriate:

  1. Regimini militantis ecclesiae — First approval — Sep 27 1540:
    Jupiter = Regulus; Saturn = Spica.
  2. Exposcit debitum — Second approval — July 21 1550: Jupiter = Venus; Sun opposite Saturn.
  3. Ascendente domino — Third approval — May 24, 1584: Lunar eclipse = Aldebaran/Antares axis; eclipse axis sextile and trine to Saturn.
  4. Consecration of Chiesa del Gesu — November 25, 1854:  Sun conjunct Antares (opposite Aldebaran), Mars = Regulus.
  5. Cardinal Bergoglio elected — March 13, 2013:  Jupiter conjunct Aldebaran.

In Part III, I brought up the Gregorian Calendar Reform of 1582, and listed a chart for the moment that the calendar dating skipped the 10 dates of October — one which showed that the Moon was conjunct Aldebaran that night.  I also listed a chart for the eclipse of Christmas, 1582.

At this point, I need to add one more chart, that of the Papal Bull entitled Inter gravissimas that announced and codified the Gregorian Reform. GregorianCalendarBull-1


This chart is interesting, as it, again, aligns, this time by squares, or 90º angles, a conjunction of Mercury and Saturn with the Aldebaran/Antares axis.  In addition to having rulership of agriculture, Saturn also ruled time itself.  It was called “Cronos” in the Greek tradition, from which we get our modern words like “chronology” or “synchronous.”  As a ruler of time, one has to be ruler of the notions of time that we now call calendars; to operate a calendar, one needs to understand the celestial motions of the Sun and Moon, as months (Moon) and years (Sun) are what define calendars.

Having Mercury in the mix, conjunct Saturn and aligned with Aldebaran and Antares, the notion of Hermetic concerns come up, such as the transmission of knowledge, wisdom, and the basic process of sky-mathematics itself.

In any event, we can see that the sidereal values for the Sun in both Inter gravissimas and the opening of the 2013 conclave that elected Bergoglio, which I time to about 9 am on March 12, are quite similar:


So, not only does Jupiter conjoin Aldebaran for the conclave of 2013, and the imminent election of Bergoglio, it also squares quite nicely the Mercury/Saturn of Inter gravissimas.(The new moon of March 11 — 26º27 Aquarius — is also conjunct the Sun of the conclave.) The calendar reform was, as pointed out in Part III, was the domain of the Jesuits, and Christopher Clavius, who was a top astronomer, and a finalizer of the reform schema.

(The choice to publish Inter gravissimas on February 24 is of note to calendar historians, as this was the date in the old Julian calendar that was “doubled” in leap years.  In other words, the old calendar dating count did not use a numbering system of 1 through 28, 30, or 31 in month day-counts.  Instead, the Romans used a system of Kalends, Nones, and Ides.  Kalends (which is where our word for “calendar” originates) were a backwards count for the six-day period before the beginning of the next month, and so Inter gravissimas was issued on “sextile kalends Marti,” with the “sextile” meaning 6th, and March being named after Marti, or Mars.  When the leap day was added, it was the day after sextile kalends, and called “bissextile kalends,” technically causing a second “February 24” to take place, giving that year’s February 29 days.  In the modern day, we just plop a February 29 in the calendar and move on.)

In the pope’s role as the “pontifex maximus,” he is also the authority of timekeeping, and something the Church considers to be their “temporal power” when it comes to world leadership.

Wrapping up this installment of “(some) Vatican Astrology,” we now see that much of the important 16th Century astrology surrounding the Jesuits is connected to the very contemporary reality of Pope Francis, who is about to celebrate his 6th anniversary as pope.

But, as Todd said, “There’s always more!”  There’s a lot more, and we are barely at the end of the beginning of this study.  And, you might be asking, “Ed, what starry thingie do we have at the sidereal 27th degree of Aquarius?”  We’ll find out!

Here we are again, the start of the end, but there’s More
I only want to see if you’ll give up on me, but there’s always More
There is More, International Feel
And there’s More, Interplanetary Deals
But there’s More, Interstellar Appeal
Still there’s More, Universal Ideal
Still there’s More, International Feel



(Yes, there’s a good reason for Todd being here, dressed up like an astronaut during the 2009 AWATS tour.)

~ Ed

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A Brief Introduction to (some) Vatican Astrology – Part IV

In the previous three installments of “…(some) Vatican Astrology,” I put forth three possible astrological charts for the Vatican’s approbations of the Society of Jesus, also called the Jesuits:

The three chart moments take place from 1540 to 1584, at the height of the Italian Renaissance, and also the final years of the Italian Wars.  More importantly, this was the period of the Counter Reformation, a reactionary era that began with Pope Paul III and his Council of Trent, which was scheduled to commence on May 23, 1537; a series of circumstances delayed the effort, and it finally commenced on December 13, 1545.

The Counter-Reformation saw the advent of numerous new religious orders, but none proved as impactful as the Jesuits.  By the time of Loyola’s death, on the last day of July in 1556, the Society had swelled to 150 members, possessed over 100 houses in twelve different regions of the world, founded 35 colleges for the higher education of youth.

Loyola was buried in the little chapel of Santa Maria della Strada, which was adjacent to the house he lived in since 1540.

Shortly after, it was decided to demolish the chapel to make way for the first Jesuit place of worship, the Chiesa del Santissimo Nome di Gesù all’Argentina, or the Chiesa del Gesù for short.  This church is considered the first truly baroque façade.

Construction began in 1568, and was mostly completed by 1580.  The church was consecrated by Cardinal Giulio Antonio Santorio, the delegate of pope Gregory XIII, on Sunday, November 25, 1584.



In Part III of (some) Vatican Astrology, I discussed the chart for Ascendente domino, the Papal bull of May 24, 1584, that was the third and final confirmation of the Order before its suppression.  If we draw up a noon chart for the November 25 consecration, we find that the Sun has indeed traveled nearly 180º, arriving within one degree of Antares, opposite of Aldebaran:


And, in the sidereal zodiac:


Keen observers may notice that May 24 and November 25 are near-opposite dates in calendar, and indeed they are 185 days apart, which is a bit more than the 182.5 days that comprise one half of a year of 365 days, but surely there is something to this.

Reprising the chart for Ascendente domino, we see that an eclipse is along the meridian axis, aligned also with the fixed “royal” stars of Aldebaran and Antares:



AND… we can also see that Mars is precisely conjunct the fixed star Regulus on this day as well!  Both charts directly above are calculated in the tropical zodiac, but the next bi-wheel is in sidereal, for comparison:


Thus, these two dates feature Sun, Moon, and Mars on three of the four “royal stars,” and this matches up with Regimini militantis ecclesiae in 1540, the originary Papal chart for the Jesuits, where Jupiter is conjunct Regulus.

I don’t see how all of this can be pure coincidence.  These alignments must be part of an elective astrological scheme.  The question is, then, what importance would all of this have for the Roman Catholic church in the first place?  Or, was this astrology only important to the core Jesuit company, and they directed an oblivious papal contingent to act at the times the company wanted?  Or, was it the other way around?

Pope Paul III, as any expert on the papacy might know, was obsessed with astrology.  He wasn’t the first, though. Pope Julius II (1443–1513) and Pope Leo X (1475–1521) were also defenders of the craft; Leo X actually established a chair of astrology at Sapienza University of Rome, the most prestigious college of the Papal States.

Historian Benson Bobrick counts at least twelve popes who were “votives” of the craft, and most of those assumed the Papacy during the Renaissance:  Julius II, Sixtus IV, Innocent VIII, and Urban VIII.

Astrology was quite the rage in those days, and even Martin Luther’s close friend Melanchthon advised him on matters astrological.

So, it should really come as no surprise that the Society of Jesus was wrapped up in astrological timing.  But, what does this astrology signify?  Was this simply an astrology of self-promotion, or were they trying to pay astro-homage to Jesus himself?  Or, more crucially, were they telling us that Jesus, the concept, was an astrological construct to begin with?

Thus far, with the few charts introduced in this series, we see an emphasis of certain fixed stars, and those stars had their own astrological influences.  First, Ptolemy, in his Tetrabiblos (Ashmand translation), gives these insights:

Leo. Of the stars in Leo, two in the head are like Saturn and partly like Mars. The three in the neck are like Saturn, and in some degree like Mercury. The bright one in the heart, called Regulus, agrees with Mars and Jupiter. Those in the loins, and the bright one in the tail, are like Saturn and Venus: those in the thighs resemble Venus, and, in some degree, Mercury.

The 1540 Jesuit chart has a precise conjunction of Jupiter and Regulus.

Virgo. The stars in the head of Virgo, and that at the top of the southern wing, operate like Mercury and somewhat like Mars: the other bright stars in the same wing, and those about the girdle, resemble Mercury in their influence, and also Venus moderately. The bright one in the northern wing, called Vindemiator, is of the same influence as Saturn and Mercury: that called Spica Virginis is like Venus and partly Mars: those at the points of the feet and at the bottom of the garments are like Mercury, and also Mars, moderately.

The 1540 chart features Saturn conjunct Spica, and here is a departure from Ptolemy, though other astrological and astro-lore influences should be noted.  Saturn, as a planetary deity, ruled over agriculture, and Virgo’s lore was closely tied to agriculture.  The word “Spica” comes directly from the term “spike,” as in “spike of wheat,” which is virgin, or just-harvested wheat:



Here, we might find some correlation with Matthew 9:3738, which reads:  Then He said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest.” The “Lord of the harvest” would be Saturn.  Saturn, Sun, and Spica are in Saturn’s exalted zodiac sign of Libra, which gives Saturn much dominance in the chart.

Saturn is highly dignified again in the Exposcit debitum chart, being in the Capricorn and Aquarius nexus:



The Sun/Saturn opposition, along with the Venus/Jupiter conjunction, highlight the two chronocrators, and strengthen them in astrological rules.

Finally, the chart for Ascendente Domino finds an eclipse aligned across the local meridian, conjunct Aldebaran and Antares.  Ptolemy says of these two stars:

Taurus. Those stars in Taurus, which are in the abscission of the sign, resemble in their temperament the influence of Venus, and in some degree that of Saturn: those in the Pleiades are like the Moon and Mars. Of the stars in the head, that one of the Hyades which is bright and ruddy, and called Facula*, has the same temperament as Mars: the others resemble Saturn, and, partly, Mercury; and those at the top of the horns are like Mars.  *The little Torch; now known by the name of Aldebaran.  (Footnote added by Ashmand.)

Scorpio. The bright stars in the front of the body of Scorpio have an effect similar to that produced by the influence of Mars, and partly to that produced by Saturn: the three in the body itself, the middle one of which, called Antares*, is ruddy and more luminous, are similar to Mars and moderately to Jupiter: those in the joints of the tail are like Saturn and partly like Venus: those in the sting like Mercury and Mars. The nebula is like Mars and the Moon.  *Adams’s Treatise on the Globes calls this star “Kalb al Akrab, or the Scorpion’s heart,” and adds, that “the word Antares (if it is not a corruption) has no signification.” But it should be observed that Ptolemy states that this star partakes of the nature of Mars: it seems therefore not improbable that Antares may be a regular Greek word, compounded of αντι pro and αρης Mars, and signifying Mars’s deputy, or lieutenant, or one acting for Mars.  (Footnote added by Ashmand.)

So, Mars, Mars and a little Jupiter.  We find Aldebaran as signifying Mithras and Ahura Mazda, as well as Zoroaster, in Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, but her reasoning was that Aldebaran was the marker of the spring equinox when those deities appeared on the scene (see page 233 of Brady’s Book of Fixed Stars, 1998 edition).  Brady also goes as far as to assign Aldebaran to Horus, citing the Egyptian mythological tale in which Horus appears (pages 84-5), but that connection seems a bit fantastical.

I’m not sure about the precision of these claims, but there is a tradition of associating Ahura Mazda, and perhaps Mithras, with bull-slaying, which we would have to guess means the Sun entering the constellation of Taurus, and making the bull disappear for about a month, right around the spring equinox.

Kunitzch and Smart, in A Modern Dictionary of Star Names, tell us that “al-dabaran” means “The Follower,” as in being the lunar mansion (with the Hyades) that follows the first lunar mansion – the Pleiades.  Pleiades as the beginning of the “zodiac” has ancient, pre-Babylonian roots.  The “zodiac” in this sense means stars mark the moon’s path, though not necessarily near the ecliptic.

Allen’s Star-Names and Their Meanings tells us:

In all astrology [Aldebaran] has been thought eminently fortunate, portending riches and honor … Sharing everywhere in the prominence given in its constellation, this was especially the case in Babylonian astronomy, where it marked the 5th ecliptic asterism Pindu-sha-Shame, the Furrow of Heaven, perhaps representing the whole zodiac, and analogous to the Hebrew and Arabic Padan and Fadan, the Furrow.

Here we can connect the “furrow” as a trench a plow might make, which then goes back to the “V” shape in the Hyades.  This in turn has some connection to Virgo, and more specifically Spica, which was also associated in Babylon with the furrow, as grains were the product of the furrows of agriculture.  So, agricultural (Saturn) planting (Taurus) and harvesting (Virgo) of the wheat (symbolic, transubstantiated body of Christ), are all nicely represented in our Jesuit charts.

Are you hungry for more?  I’m not loafing around, so we’ll take another bite out of this in the next installment of “(some) Vatican Astrology” as I plow through more data that is sure to give you a rise.

~ Ed

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A Brief Introduction to (some) Vatican Astrology – Part III

In the last two installments of “(some) Vatican Astrology,” I posted the charts for two major Papal dicta on the Society of Jesus, also called the Jesuits.

I stated that there might have been some kind of “elective” astrology involved, as the two charts have certain astrological elements that would point to such astro-planning, centered on the two great chronocrators – Jupiter and Saturn.

A third chart for the Jesuits is the date of the Ascendente Domino, on May 24, 1584.  This is the final Papal Bull concerning the Jesuits before the Society was suppressed in 1773.

The Bull reaffirms the original mission of the Society, and offers some clarification on minor issues:

Ascendente Domino, a Bull issued by Gregory XIII, May 24, 1584, in favor of the Society of Jesus, to confirm the Constitution of the Society and the privileges already granted to it by Paul III, Julius III, Paul IV, and Pius V. It recalls and confirms the means which St. Ignatius had prescribed in order that the Society might attain the end for which he had founded it.

So, 43 years and 8 months after Regimini Militantis Ecclesiae, we have another Bull.  The astrology chart for this edict is nothing short of astounding:


As can be seen, this is a chart for a full moon at 3º Gemini/Sagittarius, and with Moon being very close to the North Lunar Node, is an eclipse!  This particular eclipse is a doozie – one of the longest in duration of all lunar eclipses:

This total eclipse is central meaning the Moon’s disk actually passes through the axis of Earth’s umbral shadow. It has an umbral eclipse magnitude of 1.8146, and Gamma has a value of -0.0065. Because they are so deep, such eclipses typically have the longest total phases. In this case, the duration of totality lasts 106.1 minutes. That qualifies the eclipse as a member of a select class of exceptionally long total eclipses with durations exceeding 100 minutes.  (emphasis added)

Although this lunar eclipse would not have been visible in Europe, the fact that the lunation neatly aligned with the meridian over Roman Christendom should not be ignored:


Not only is this a remarkable eclipse in terms of duration, it is also along a most important fixed star axis – that of Aldebaran and Antares – the alpha stars of both Taurus and Scorpio.

There is no other pairing of fixed stars quite like Aldebaran and Antares.  Both are alpha stars of their respective constellations, and both are close enough to the ecliptic that they can be occulted by the Moon.  They are, along with Regulus and Fomalhaut (alpha Cetus) the Royal Stars of Persia, which aren’t necessarily Persian, or even royal, but the moniker has been adopted in astrological lore because of the great antiquity of their origin as markers of the heavenly quadrature.

Most importantly, they are almost precisely opposite each other in terms of ecliptic longitude, as can be seen above, where their values are both 3º58′ of Gemini and Sagittarius, which translates into the “sidereal” astrological values of ~15º Taurus and ~15º Scorpio.


For newcomers to the historical study of astrology, the noted researcher and author Cyril Fagan re-introduced the notion of a fixed zodiac in his 1951 treatise on the matter entitled “Zodiacs Old and New.”  He demonstrated that there was once an ancient zodiac that was based on the fixed stars, rather than the Sun’s precise solstices and equinoxes.  This ancient zodiac used the Royal Stars as fiducials, and Aldebaran and Antares marked 15º Taurus and 15º Scorpio, respectively:


Graphic from:  Sidereal Astrology – The Tropical and Sidereal Zodiaks & The Cycle of Earth’s Precessional Cross, by Nick Anthony Fiorenza. ©2001-2018 Nick Anthony Fiorenza, All Rights Reserved

The values of 15º Taurus/Scorpio are at 45º angles from 0º Aries/Libra and 0º Cancer/Capricorn, which define the cardinal cross of the sidereal heavens.

Nabu “the proclaimer,” who is accorded the highest honors on the monuments at Adad-Nirari, was “par excellence” the god of astrology and prophecy, as well as being the genius of wisdom, mathematics, reading, writing, teaching, and schools. In Babylonian astro-theology he was identified with the fixed star Aldebaran in the constellation of Taurus, and with the planet Mercury. Nabu had charge of the Tablets of Fate on which he inscribed the names and destinies of mortals. His monuments portray him holding the stylus which was his special symbol. On the statues of this god Adad-Nirari caused the following exhortation to be inscribed in cuneiform characters:

“Thou who shalt follow after, trust in NABU; trust not in any other god.”

Zodiacs Old and New, pp 21-22.

Earlier in Zodiacs Old and New, Fagan wonders aloud why the fixed star Spica was not chosen as the fiducial for the zodiac of fixed stars, which he calls “the hypsomatic zodiac,” but instead was placed about one degree off, at 29º Virgo. He acknowledges that, of course, Spica is in Virgo, and not Libra, so having it as the marker for Libra would be a bit odd. He then espouses that Aldebaran and Antares are the true anchors of this fixed zodiac:

Considering Spica as being in Virgo 29.00º of the sidereal zodiac puts Aldebaran (Al-debaranu — “Forecaster” and ‘Writer,” Babylonian = “Tablet,” according to Langdon) almost in the mathematical centre of Taurus, and Antares, in the centre of Scorpio…

– Zodiacs Old and New, page 18

Fagan then lists the longitudes for Aldebaran and Antares, showing proper motion, if Spica is fixed at 29º:


If the astrological chart for Ascendente Domino is to be taken as an astrological election, we then must ask, why?  What do they hope to tell us about themselves through such astrology?

One possible facet could be that Ascendente Domino comes in the aftermath of the Gregorian calendar reform conferences from 1572 through 1582, of which the Jesuit Christopher Clavius was placed in charge by Pope Gregory XIII.  The reform did not happen overnight.  It was the culmination of various ideas and calculations from experts all around Europe, with Clavius as the point man who had to explain all of the plans, and then convince everyone to accept the final plan, which was implemented in February of 1582.

The reason for the reform measure was the astronomical sanctity of Easter, which has both astronomical and calendrical components in its computus.  Easter is based on the idea that the first full moon after the spring equinox sheds the most light on the Earth, but by the 16th Century, the calendar had slipped behind its astronomical mooring of March 20 or March 21 being the actual date of the spring equinox.

In other words, Clavius needed to be an expert on lunations in order to understand how Easter is timed, and thus he was surely an expert in charting out the motions of heavenly bodies with serious precision.

The Gregorian reform did shorten the year of 1582 by ten days – they were taken out of October – but there was no need for this number to be ten.  It could have been eleven, for instance, but the ten-day mandate did mean that a solar (annular) eclipse would fall on Christmas Day of 1582.  This eclipse was not visible in Europe either, but, at the moment of greatest eclipse, at the location of the Vatican, the star Aldebaran was setting, and Antares was rising:


Another possible connection is the calendar adjustment itself, which took place at midnight of October 4, 1582, which became not October 5, but October 15, 1582.  The Moon is conjunct Aldebaran that night:


Another obvious facet is that Nabu, in the celestial form of Aldebaran, is associated with the very same activities that the Jesuits undertake: astrology, prophecy, as well as being the genius of wisdom, mathematics, reading, writing, teaching, and schools….  The Jesuits, as well as the Papacy, did, and still do, believe in the temporal power of the Holy See, and that the pre-Christian world’s wisdom and achievements were there to be subsumed into Roman Christianity.  The ends justify the means because this is a fight for the soul of mankind, etc.  And, of course, the exhortation to “Trust no god before Nabu” sounds an awful lot like the First Commandment.

We will get into more with Aldebaran in the coming days, because there is a lot more.

The point of all this thus far is: for the third time in a row, the Papacy and the Jesuits have teamed up on an astrologically significant chart-moment with which to promote the Society of Jesus.  To recap:

  • Regimini militantis Ecclesiae — First approval — Sep 27 1540:

 Jupiter = Regulus; Saturn = Spica.

  • Exposcit debitum — Second approval — July 21 1550:

July 21 1550:  Jupiter = Venus; Sun opposite Saturn.

  • Ascendente Domino — Third approval — May 24, 1584:

  Lunar eclipse on Aldebaran/Antares axis; eclipse axis sextile and trine to Saturn.

We are still a good distance away from the punch line of this series of blog posts, so stick with me, as, like Nabu, one should trust in me, and not any other blogger.

~ Ed

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A Brief Introduction to (some) Vatican Astrology – Part II

In the last (Feb 4) installment, I introduced a possible astrological chart for the Society of Jesus, or The Jesuits.  This chart, as seen below, is drawn for the astrological default of Sun on the overhead meridian, or the “Midheaven,” and the central focus of the chart is that Jupiter conjoins the fixed star Regulus on that date, as well as a very tight conjunction of Saturn and the fixed star Spica:


I had also argued that this chart-moment was likely “elected,” meaning that it was astrologically chosen well ahead of time to be the day that the alliance between the Papacy and Ignatius Loyola’s group of papists became official, by way of a Papal bull called the Formula of the Institute.

The Society of Jesus moved quickly with their mission after September of 1540, helping the Vatican reach out to distant “new” lands, and also helping the Vatican defend itself against the Reformation.

The Vatican was pleased with this, and on July 21, 1550, Pope Julius III issued an expansive bull entitled the Exposcit Debitum that bolstered the Jesuits as in institution:


Two very interesting features of this chart stand out.  Jupiter and Venus are in close conjunction in Gemini, and Sun and Saturn are in close opposition across the meridian, from Leo to Aquarius.  In fact, Jupiter and Venus make a partile conjunction on this day, just after sunset, locally.  A conjunction of the two “benefics” would be highly auspicious, and a nice touch to any elective astrology chart.  Saturn in Aquarius is opposite Sun, this time in its ruling house of Leo, and in its own ruling sign of Aquarius.  When in opposition, Saturn is at its brightest magnitude, so we see that this pair of planets is indeed strengthened.

Comparing to the 1540 chart with Saturn in its “exaltation,” helping Sun along, it is easy to see that these two Jesuit charts are all about Jupiter and Saturn.

If we place that “noon” chart in a bi-wheel with the 1540 chart, we have this:


In this bi-wheel, we can see that the 1550 Jupiter/Venus conjunction is conjunct the 1540 Descendant, or the cusp of the 7th house, which is where one might find natural “enemies” (meaning other people who might want to cause you some trouble).

Other elements are notable, such as Mercury in both charts are at the very favorable “sextile” 60º aspect, and the 1550 Sun/Saturn opposition is at a similar angle to the 1540 Lunar Nodes.

So, thus far, what we are seeing is more than likely a very careful and expert astrological effort on the part of the Jesuits and the Vatican.  Of course, at this point in our study, it could simply be just dumb luck that two important Jupiter conjunctions and three important Saturn alignments (to Spica and the Sun) are in the only two Papal bulls on the Jesuits.  As we trudge on with more posts on the topic, the case for a covert astrological paradigm will become clearer, and it will lead us to the present-day situation with our first Jesuit Pope, Francis I.

~ Ed

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A Brief Introduction to (some) Vatican Astrology

It has been said that the only institution in Western Culture to survive the Dark Ages was the Catholic Church of Rome.  Yet, it may be even more remarkable that the Holy See has survived the Enlightenment and the industrial revolution.

The reasons for Catholic longevity have taken up many volumes of historical analysis, and we have no room for that here, but we should ask if this survivability has any discernible astrological strengths or patterns.

To start such a quest, I want to first look at an era when the Holy See was at its most vulnerable – the 16th Century.

The early 1500’s saw the rise of Protestantism, fueled by the Renaissance. Countermeasures by the Vatican included the sanctioning of the Society of Jesus, more commonly called the “Jesuits.”

The Jesuits were the creation of Ignatius of Loyola, a Basque priest who took to studying at Paris University in his 30’s. He formed a group of friends in 1534 that would be the nucleus of a sort of non-monastic Christianity-defenders who would pledge loyalty to the Papacy, and who would also set out on a spiritual and educational crusade that would last for centuries.

The Jesuits became very powerful within Catholicism, perhaps rivaling the ethos of the Papacy itself. As Malachi Martin wrote in his 1987 book on the Jesuits (pp 162-3):

It was the morning of September 27, 1540, in a private reception hall of the Palace of the Popes on Vatican Hill, Rome. The Pope was Paul III, a Farnese of the noble Farnesi and a genuine Roman, seventy-three years old, six years on the Throne of Peter… With one long, thin hand he held out a document he had just signed.

Ignatio Loyola … rose and went forward to take the document from the Pope’s hand … He bowed on one knee, kissed the lapel ring, and took the document from the Pope’s hand. No one could foresee it then, but by approving that document – The Formula of the Institute, in which Ignatius had described the organization he wished to place at the disposal of the papacy — Pope Paul III was launching the most efficient and the most loyal organization the Roman Catholic Church has ever spawned in its near-2000-year history… It established the Society of Jesus, and authorized Ignatius Loyola to make an initial recruitment of up to sixty new members.

Cutting to the quick, the moment of Paul III’s signature is not known, but we can look at a default “noon” chart for that date, with the known planets of that era:


Interpreting this chart through the practices of the day could reveal some ideas as to why such a chart would have been considered beneficial.  Sun and Saturn are in conjunction, in the best sign for Saturn, but the “fall” of the Sun.  Such a combination could have been seen as a way for Saturn to bolster the weakened Sun, and given that Jupiter, the great benefic, is in the Sun’s own sign of Leo, perhaps this was not such a bad placement for the Sun, astrologically.  Venus is also in its  “detriment” in Scorpio, with no other planet to “rescue” it in terms of reception.  We also see a Moon in square to Mars from Virgo to Sagittarius, not really a very “happy” alignment; both lights are not in favorable signs for those planets.  Moon makes favorable rays to Venus and Mercury in Scorpio, however, Scorpio is the sign of the Moon’s “fall.”  Basically, this chart is not what would have been considered all that favorable for an “electional,” or a chart drawn for an event in hopes of selecting the best moment for an enterprise to commence.

Was there anything special about this date?  It is the observed date for the Sainthood of John Mark, who is mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and is considered to be one in the same as Mark the Evangelist, author of the Gospel bearing that name which is the source for the Gospel of Luke.  Much is unknown about the exact identity of John Mark, and Saint Mark is venerated on March 25.

We do know that Loyola and ten of his fellow papists were in Rome, vigorously making the case for Paul III’s approval of their order for many months prior to the Pope’s signatory approval on the 27th. And, we do know that the early Jesuits were learned men, who understood the sciences of the day, which included astronomy, and thus astrology.

Could there be something more to the astrology?  As it happens, if we include a couple of fixed stars into the mix, we arrive at a very interesting pair of alignments:Jesuits-1540-radix-3

Here we can see that Jupiter is exactly conjunct the fixed star Regulus (alpha Leo) and Saturn is conjunct the fixed star Spica (alpha Virgo).  

In fact, September 27, 1540 is the only day in all of Church history that both planet/star conjunctions occurred simultaneously with such close proximity.  Jupiter makes the exact “partile” conjunction with Regulus in the morning hours, and Saturn makes his partile conjunction with Spica the next day, but the date on which both conjunctions are the least distant in total is the 27th.  Even though Saturn is swift in motion, it does move relatively slowly when behind the Sun; Jupiter, also direct in motion, is swift in motion as well.

If a pair of conjunctions like this were in the consciousness of the budding Jesuits, and seen as some sort of remarkable situation in the heavens, then this election makes sense.  Surely, the astronomical data was available at the time, and it’s hardly a stretch of the imagination to think that the people involved could have been aware of it.

Virgo, after all, is the Virgin Mother amongst the constellations, and Leo, the lion, was known to be the constellation of the House of David from which Jesus himself was heir.

Jupiter and Saturn were the two “outermost” planets in the classical era, and as such had the greatest, and most lasting, dominion over time itself, or at least long periods of time – time needed to do big things.

Are Spica and Regulus the two most important fixed stars in the heavenly kingdom of God itself, as they relate to the saga of the Savior which is the foundation of the Church of Rome?  Such a notion is debatable, though there is no mistake that the constellation of Virgo (as opposed to the astrological sign of Virgo) is definitely the iconographic constellation of the Virgin Mary.

So, if we take this chart for the Society of Jesus as an elective, what message might Paul III and the eager Jesuits be leaving us?  Could it be that such a chart provides a clue, of sorts, to the very astrology that was thought to be “in play” for the birth of Jesus himself?

To take such a speculation any further, we need a few more blogs, and hopefully I can provide them in short order.

~ Ed



Filed under Jesuits, mundane affairs, Vatican

I miss you, John.

When I started this blog 11+ years ago, it was meant to be a joint project between myself, Ed Kohout, and researcher John Ballantrae, who also had a keen interest in astrology.

John is no longer with us, and I continue to mourn his loss. He was a voracious reader and researcher, and offered insights into history that I had never hoped to imagine.

As I began to insert some of our ideas into this blog those many years ago, we lost a bit of steam early on, due to the many wild swings in both of our personal lives. I had met a woman, who would eventually become my wife. I relocated to the mountains in Riverside County, California, with the aim of having a secluded place to live, and also to study the heavenly motions in a dark-skies setting, in the shadow of Mount Palomar Observatory.

The economy had turned south rather rapidly, and I found myself in a financial pickle, and so my astrological projects (which I considered to be somewhat iconoclastic and well off the beaten path in terms of the normal stuff astrologers were interested in) were put on indefinite hold.

John and I began getting back into the swing of things in 2012, and we enjoyed countless Skype sessions, which mostly consisted of John doling out information on historical matters in waterfall fashion – enough to drown even the most ardent history geek.

In 2014, I bought a small, local newspaper, in partnership with my wife, and set out to do some more practical journalistic damage. We sold the paper in 2017, sold the house, and moved to Idaho for a new adventure. Thus, the time is right for me to get back into the old astro-studies and explorations.

Astrology, if it is anything, is the study of the cycles of celestial motion in relation to the motions of mankind. Humans are in constant motion, as are the heavens, but humanity as a whole has had ramped up its own momentum by many orders of magnitude over the past few centuries, while the motions of the heavens grind on at their very steady and predictable rate. Humanity’s industriousness has been on an upswing as well, with most of the planet now engaged in business activity and interactivity beyond the wildest dreams of anyone 200 years ago. How this is explained by astrology is, well, anyone’s guess, but I’m not here to explain how the whole thing works.

What I do want to accomplish here is a rekindling and reexamination of those many things we used to talk about, and to share them with the public. The time is now. There is plenty to publish here, and I will be using this blog as a portal to some other extensive works I have in the foundry.

I miss you, John. I miss you dearly. But, I still have much of your research legacy at my fingertips, and although new events and insights continue to manifest on this crazy plane of existence, your efforts will remain alive amidst it all.

See you in the stars, my friend!

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