Saturday, September 23, 2006

Pope Benedict's Great Islamic Debate

Pope Benedict's Great Islamic Debate

10:37 AM 09/23/2006 Sat

The controversey surrounding Pope Benedict XVI's comments involving Islam, gives us astrologers pause to consider the question - is there something to be said for certain key elements of any religion (in this case, is there something inherent within the Islamic faith that is more violent-prone, than other faiths?), and if so, can this be seen astrologically? These are the questions that ran through my own mind, as the events in the aftermath of the Pope's speech in Southern Germany recently manifest itself to the world.

To recap briefly, the Pope was attempting to make the point that, Europe - and by that he meant specifically, Western Europe, of which his native Germany is a part - should not be seduced into the notion that Reason and Religion cannot go hand in hand. To illustrate this point, the Pope mentioned a 14th century text wherein lies a debate between Manuel II, a Byzantine (Eastern Orthodox) Emperor, and a Persian (Iranian) Muslim. At some point in the dialogue, King Manuel is said to have said something along the lines that the Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) had brought nothing but inhumanity and evil, and that his command to his faithful was to bring Islam to the world by way of the sword - the point being, that the idea of violence and religion going together is inherently incompatible.

Unfortunately, to no one's surprise, the response from the Islamic World, and the Arab World in particular, was swift and sure - several churches in the Palestinian territories were burned, a nun in Somalia was shot dead along with her bodyguard, and the entire Pakistani Parliament demanded an unequivocal apology from the Pope regarding his remarks. The Pope did give a statement, saying that he was very sorry for the pain his comments caused in the Islamic World, but did not give a full apology, as he maintained that the comments mentioned were not his own, nor did he agree with such notions.

It is hard for anyone with any sense of irony to miss the significance of these events - on the one hand, the Islamic World (at least the militants who are the dominant voices therein) reacts to the claim that Islam is inherently violent, with violent response; that the Pope went ahead with such potentially explosive comments in his speech, seemingly not aware of the fact that he is the head of the Christian World, as well as a Head of State; that the Catholic Church is hardly free from blemish, still reeling from the decades, even possibly centuries, old issue of Pedophilia on the part of its priests; and the fact that this whole thing conjures up memories in the Arab World, of the Crusades.

With these facts in mind, it is highly useful and instructive, to consider the charts of both the Christian and Islamic worlds, and to see if the questions posed above, can be seen at work:

Saudi Arabia Sep 21 1932 12PM LMT, Riyadh; Placidus 19 Sag 41

Vatican Jun 7 1929 11AM CET, Rome; Placidus 4 Vir 50

Sources for both sets of data: Campion

These are the horoscopic representations of the Islamic and Catholic worlds, respectively, and the charts do indeed give glaring witness to the facts laid out above.

Note in the Saudi Arabian chart, the Sagittarian Asc, with chart ruling Jupiter in Virgo, in conjunction with Neptune, and placed in the 9th House, along with the Sun and Mercury - THIS is not only a strong, strong religious worldview at work here, but here is also the very strong hold that Wahhabism, a strain of fundamentalist Islam, has on the whole of the Islamic World. A Virgo/Sagittarius combination, suggests arch-dogamitism, a highly reactionary and pendantic, anal-retentive expression that leads into fanaticism, militancy. We have to note that the funding of most of the Islamic World's Madrassas (religious schools) as well as religious literature, comes from Saudi sources, often those connected to the House of Saud, the Royal Family.

We can note also, that the Saudi chart has Uranus in the 4th, opposed the Saturn-Pluto axis, itself running from the 2nd to the 8th, highlighting a massive struggle of the Saudi leadership against the militants and radicals, over national values, and of course, money. Uranus=Saturn/Pluto, says Tyl, is a "brutal effort to start a new order". Indeed - now, the Saudi government, which had funded the madrassas in the first place, are in the fight of their lives to combat the very radicals that they created. Similar occurances are obtaining in Egypt and Pakistan.

Mars, planet par excellence of violence, is opposed Saturn, which means that there is now a Martian element in the Uranus-Saturn/Pluto mix - there can be no doubt about it, Islam does indeed have a violent side, in the modern context, in the form of militants who wish to forcibly bring back the worldwide Caliphate.

The hope for the "Islamic Reformation" lay in the aforementioned Jupiter-Neptune conjunction, a signal of spirituality, temperance, and tolerance, in square to the Moon - women will play a large role here. The recent transit of Uranus in opposition to this conjunction (and square to the Moon) brought about intense debate within the Islamic World on the role of women in public life, which includes being able to vie for public office. Note that the Saudi/Islamic World Moon is in Gemini, education, divserified interests, in the 6th House of Work and sextile Venus, the ruler of the 10th House of Career and Public Life.

For the Vatican, the issues are just as clear-cut, as being representative of the Christian World. A strong emphasis is on yet again, the Signs of Mercury, as Virgo rises, and its Asc ruler is the final dispositor of the chart in Gemini. However, it is also Rx, suggesting a contradiction between what it says and what it actually does, and this leads us into the issue of pedophilia.

The Sun, Moon and Mercury are all in Gemini, a Sign known for its bi and homosexuality; Virgo rises, the Sign most associated with "purity" i.e., children; and the 5th House of the Vatican is highly challenged, with Saturn, ruling the 5th, placed in Sagittarius, being Rx. Additionally, note that Saturn is in exact trine to Neptune, placed in the 12th, while also trine Venus in Taurus, in the 9th - within all of the dogma concerning one's own celibacy to serve to Church, there is much turmoil, confusion and secrecy involving sexuality - leading to outlets that are at the least, controversial, at worst, that are downright immoral.

We have to keep in mind that, in the Western World, Pedophilia has become more and more an issue to be dealt with.

The recent transit of Pluto in opposition to the Gemini cluster brought with it the uncovering of the pedophilia scandals, worldwide and in particular, the USA. This transit also saw the death of one of the Papacy's most popular Popes, Pope John Paul II, who nonetheless was criticized in some quarters for not being more aggressive in addressing the pedophilia issue.

It is also interesting to note that, in the entire history of the world, there have only been two religions who have laid claim to the whole of Humanity - Christianity and Islam. And the two have been in fierce competition for at least the past 1000 years.

The synastry between the two charts is striking - note first of all, the strong Mercurial emphasis in both charts, suggesting that conversation, dialogue, debate, can take place between the two. Additionally, note that the Saudi Jupiter-Neptune conjunction is conjunct the Vatican Asc, while the former's Mercury in Virgo rises in the latter's Asc as well; they both share the Moon in Gemini, Uranus in Aries, and Pluto in Cancer; Saudi Arabia's Venus is conjunct the Vatican Mars (while BOTH having Mars in Leo - "getting away with murder" as Tyl would say), and more. But the potential fly in the ointment is the Vatican Saturn square the Saudi Sun, which to my mind manifested itself in the recent comments made by the Pope. The square is exact, again, highlighting I think, the intense competition between the two.

There can be no doubt that the Islamic World has reached a crossroads; it must decide whether it wants to join the rest of the world, on the path to moderation, tolerance, and the persuasion of others through example and debate, rather than intimidation and violence, or, if it will allow Islam's good name over the years to be dragged down into the moral and spiritual abyss by those who do their foul deeds in the name of Allah. This situation is likely to increase as transit Pluto inches closer to square with the Saudi Sun, and while transit Uranus moves to square the Saudi Asc. We know, from astrological study, that whenever we see a chart where both Uranus and Pluto are operating, we have to expect some massive seachange, often radical, often violent, often ugly. The radical elements in the Islamic World have taken generations to get to this point - it will take some time to root them out.

As for the Christian World, and in particular the Pope, with transit Uranus moving to square the Sun, Moon & Mercury in Gemini from the 7th, we have to take the recent death threats made on Pope Benedict's life by Islamic radicals very seriously. His coming trip to Turkey in Nov willl no doubt have the tightest security available, and even then the Pope will have to be carefully watched. Here again, one cannot escape the irony here - the last Pope, John Paul II, was nearly killed by a Turkish man, now the present Pope prepares to go to Turkey amidst a sea of controversey. Aside from this, the Vatican still has to mop up the issues surrounding the pedophilia scandals, which threaten to financially ruin the world's oldest religious institution - transit Pluto will conjunct the all-important Vatican Saturn position very, very soon (Feb, Jun & Dec 2007). Hmm.



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