The Popes and the Mother Goddess

Wednesday February 27th 2013
Benedict XVI steps down tomorrow

Pope Benedict XVI has the chart of a true “Prince of the Church“. He has the two planets of power, Saturn and Jupiter,  near the axes of his chart. This is something you see in royalty, people born to rule. In the case of the Pope, Jupiter is in the spiritual sign of Pisces, and Saturn is in the sign of priesthood, Sagittarius. But the planet (OK don’t quibble) that is really at the top of Benedict XVI’s chart is Ceres, the mother goddess..

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.”

What could she possibly have to do with the Catholic Church – and is the fact that she’s at the top of Benedict’s chart significant anyway? To deal with the second part of that question first. Yes, the MC is what we see. It’s his career and vocation. MC or Ascendant must be important in a public figure.

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.


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  1. Locus Beatus says:

    Good Lord! What an amazing find. Excellent work

    I see Ceres as the planet of nurturing and look closely at its placement in a chart. What could be more indicative of someone’s innate human qualities? – or lack of them. I see quite easily how this quality relates to the Pope’s role as both mother and father of the RC ‘family’

  2. Oh my! Now I want to know where Ceres is in Berlusconi’s chart….

  3. Anonymous says:

    Agreed, amazing find through your search — just fascinating.

  4. Hello Christina, What an interesting find! As a Roman Catholic I can relate in my own small way to this finding. When transiting Pluto conjuncted my natal Ceres (Sagittarius 26), my mother died suddenly – this was hugely traumatic for me, but also changed my life. I had distanced myself from my faith until my mother’s death and now – wait for this – I have returned to my faith in a most dramatic way, I am living and teaching in Poland (Home of John Paul II, and the famous Shrine of the Black Madonna at Czestochowa) and I am an active parishioner in our town where we are building a new Church in our town, dedicated to Blessed John Paul II! I have a profound love of the Holy Mother and I can relate to this astrological find about Ceres. Many thanks for your work. JeM

    • Christina says:

      Thanks for sharing that lovely story, Judith. Very perfect. I have wanted to make the pilgrimage to that Madonna for a long time. Maybe I should plan if for when I have the right Ceres transit!

  5. mm says:

    Very very interesting Christina. I am leaning strongly toward Ceres being the ruler, or co-ruler, of Virgo and it is significant I think that Benedict’s departure is occurring when it is, in the cycle of the Virgo Full Moon.

    • mm says:

      Ooh,I look forward to that post! I have Virgo ascendant and have only recently started to pay attention to Ceres as I am dealing with severe diet/digestion related issues. Looking back in the ephemeris it has been notable how many new stages in my life have been tied into Ceres aspecting her natal place in my chart.

      Re the zodiac,I wouldn’t be at all surprised!

    • Christina says:

      I completely agree with you mm about Ceres/Virgo. And I’ll explain why more fully in a post. Also yes to Virgo Full Moon plus the whole Pisces emphasis. Pisces is the sign of Christianity.

      Just a thought, Benedict himself mentioned the Zodiac in St Peter’s (see previous post). I often wonder if the Vatican uses astrology for timing…. so he would pick this Full Moon.

  6. Isy Aweigh says:

    I’m going to have to look more closely ar Ceres transits myself. She sits 1.5 degrees above my ascendant; the first major planet above her is Mars (as I’m a 12th house Aries anyway, it seems tautological to have Mars 5 degrees above my Asc. A fishy Aries.)

    No existing organized religion appeals to me, but I’ve been developing more and weirder food allergies. (In what other context could those phrases go together? LOL) Just got a stack of blood tests last week to tease out some details and maybe get some guidance. Food should be medicine, not poison.

  7. Gilly says:

    Good grief! That is astonishing. What other careers and callings might have similar planetary line ups I wonder…?

  8. Dharmaruci says:

    Great research! You could place a lucrative bet on who will be the next Pope with this info. DR

  9. How absolutely fascinating. I’m going to study this in some other charts too. My Ceres is conj Chiron, both Aquarius and on my 10th/11th cusp.

  10. Sabrina says:

    This post is on fire!
    What I’ve notice among few mere mortals I know with Ceres rising, is that people Trust them. They have what we call in spanish ‘confessional face’. I Don’t know if that is relevant but was my first thought.

    And…I couldn’t help checking Berlusconi’s chart after Acquafortis comment. What poped was Lilith at 29°Libra, conjunct Venus at 0°Scorpio, squaring Pluto. Oh!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Hi Christina,
    Very interesting and extraordinary post. Congratulations.
    I wonder : how about Ceres in your own chart when you were discovering all thi?. Is there by any chance an aspect between Ceres and Uranus or Mercury by transit in your chart ??
    And did you check the Anglican Church – how about the Archbishop of Canterbury ?

    regards mimi

    • Christina says:

      Mars in Leo in the 12th = cloistered male king. Ceres in the 9th = female spiritual leader/or in this case a man in a dress.
      Thanks Rollan – I shall have a luck at your piece

    • Fascinating but perhaps a bit of nuancing is still needed.

      In the Vatican chart I find that Ceres is at 14 Taurus in the 9th of religion square the 14 degree Mars in Leo in the 12th, an aspect I am not quite sure how to interpret that unless maybe that Mary as Ceres is used to sublimiate/repress with difficulty the erotic? I had heard that Ceres, at least in in the 9th or Sagittarius can be a guru function. Abundance can come in more than one form and I do wonder if Ceres on the angle for Popes could be the guru. Ceres in near the ascendant of Madonna (a guru of something?!)

      The real reason I wonder is that the Vatican chart as I say in an article I may or may not release on the announcement of the new pontiff, shows at elevanted Maria in aspect to Ishtar and I think this is the connection more than Ceres.

      I am finding the Vat chart rather fascinating. See my two most recent articles at
      on “Vatican Destiny, The Possible Turkson and Lightning Strikes”
      “It’s not all gossip at the Vatican Babylon”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ceres in my mind rules Virgo, but could it also be about planting the seeds of religion into humanity ?? It would be obvious for a pope to have Ceres prominent in his chart then ! Wouldn’t it?

      Your Moon must have picked up on Ceres for us to understand the way she can work. Thanks for sharing this knowledge with all of us.


    • Christina says:

      Ha! Yes I checked. And transiting Ceeres is conjunct my Moon — in Gemini!

      I woke up thinking about the Archbish & will check. Very interesting, since one of things the Anglicans don’t hold with is the Virgin Mary.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Coincidentally, here is something which popped up yesterday

    Basically talks about right wing catholics who believe in suffering for the poor. And guess what her image was hyped by the Main Stream Media (MSM) (sound like a familiar propaganda initiative/tactic?) Which incidentally was convenient for the catholic church with a flagging flock.

    In other words I would not go as far as to say that those at the head of this religion are in the business of mothering their children/flock. And for that matter that ceres is the mothering principle. Ceres is to do with contracts in particular marriage. Maybe they were married to the church.

    Incidentally I got divorced when saturn squared ceres. But that is a typical thing to happen with this aspect.

  13. Dharmaruci says:

    They’ve got the names of the most likely contenders – – but your post indicated Angular Ceres for Popes, so we need some birth times as well if we’re going to make any money out of this one 🙂

  14. Anonymous says:

    Great article, I’ve always been fascinated about ceres. I always include it in my research and it seems to be very significant in childbirth and death. Clearly there’s alot more to ceres, as your article points out. Very interesting links between the popes! I have ceres at 21 taurus conjunct my north node at 21 taurus in my 11th house, so I’m really curious about what this might mean for me. I’m still young, no kids yet! But I do love cooking healthy dishes for my family and friends, my way of nurturing others through the use of food (taurus). The upcoming solar eclipse in May will conjunt my ceres/north node..wonder how that will pan out!!!

    • Christina says:

      Aha! Thanks for this. I have found Ceres very significant in childbirth too, also fertility. But death is news to me. Now I have to go investigate.

      Food would be good for NN-Ceres – especially baking!

  15. […] other asteroid who plays an important part in papal charts is Ceres. (Read about this more here.) Not only that, Ceres is the goddess of agriculture. She is a steward of the earth’s […]