|Benedict XVI steps down tomorrow|
Ceres was the Roman goddess of fertility and agriculture and as such, absolutely central to the Roman state. Unsurprisingly in a city of bread and circuses, she was one of the three chief deities honoured by the plebs, or workers. Today, the Vatican sits just across the River Tiber from where Ceres was celebrated most fiercely a millennium and a half ago.
In an astrological chart, the planetoid Ceres seems to stand strongly for fertility and motherhood. You see her active by transit during conception and childbirth. She also seems to have some relationship to the earth itself. I noticed she very engaged a few years ago when those miners were buried alive and then reborn from the earth in Chile.
|Our Lady of Fatima. John Paul II |
attributed his survival of an
assassination attempt to her. Benedict
wrote the commentary
on the "Secrets of Fatima."
Mother Mary is an avatar of the pre-Christian mother goddess. She is also the mother of the Church.
Benedict the XVI and especially the previous Pope were both strong advocates of the Virgin. John Paul attributed his survival of an assassination attempt to her intervention. His Mercury exactly conjuncts Ceres (0°orb). He made promoting the Marian cult a priority during his pontificate.
The Church's relationship with mothers is a strange one. Sex is profane, yet motherhood is worshipped. The Church itself is personified as a mother, with her great interior womb in which we are all children. Which brings us to the Church's attitude to children and mothering. If the Church is a mother, why are priests molesting children?
So I decided to look at the previous two popes to see if Ceres features in their charts prominently.
Holy Mary Mother of God, I muttered, crossing myself, when I saw Ceres applying to John Paul I's Ascendant (2°) and applying to Paul VI's Midheaven (5°).
(I noticed also Juno, the "marriage" asteroid, smack on the Ascendant of two of these Popes. I've seen this before in lifetime singletons: no need to get married if you're married to yourself, I guess.)
This is getting ridiculous, I thought, as I pulled up a random pope, Pius XII, and found that he too had Ceres Rising (orb 5°). OK, one more 20th Century pope to test, John XXIII. You guessed it this time: Ceres Rising (orb 0°).
Knock me over with a rosary.
So Ceres, the mother goddess, is big in the charts of 20th century popes at least. I need to go lie down and think about that for a while. I might have to start taking communion.
But one last thing to consider. Tomorrow, Benedict XVI steps down. Where's Ceres? Oh la di da - she is just exactly opposite his natal Ceres to the degree.
Here are the other charts to enjoy. All courtesy of wonderful Astrodatabank.