This is from the new ECLIPSE, out tomorrow; I’d just finished this section when they announced the election of Cardinal Bergoglio. Make of it what you will–
The Vatican Vote The Cardinals seemed to be dragging their feet when it came to getting together to vote on a new Pope–and that made me wonder if they don’t have an astrologer on staff–I’m betting they do. Benedict announced his intention to resign on 11 February, with Mercury direct, square Vesta, semi-sextile Pallas, sextile Pluto, and close to trine with Saturn. That suggests a message that was itself direct, though in conflict with what is most revered (this could apply to the 600-plus years tradition since the last living Pope stepped down–until now the Pope has been expected to serve until death), but wise, particularly in choosing a point of easy transition, and that this is both permanent for Benedict (no take backs!) but may also have created a new tradition of retirement for Popes to come.
The foot-dragging on gathering the Cardinals for the Conclave only makes sense in astrological terms: with Mercury retrograde a vote on a new Pope might be a very bad idea, promising that whomever was elected would likely end up being significantly different in enacting the Papal role than he seemed as a priest; however, it is a good time for them to get together and re-consider, re-hash, and perhaps re-volutionze the Church with a progressive choice. Voting has already started (afternoon of the 11th); typically there are an average of nine days of voting in order to choose a new Pope. Mercury goes direct early afternoon Pacific time of the 17th (so even before the day’s voting begins in Rome, if they will indeed be assembling every day). It’s reasonable to expect that voting could stretch into Mercury direct, that perhaps it’s even intended to do so. Just after direction on the 17th the transiting Moon will conjunct Jupiter, symbol of the office of the Pope, and puts both very close in square to Chiron. This could signal the point of election, with a ‘hurt or heal’ scenario the challenge for whomever is elected
Update: A Pope has just been elected on 13 March, Cardinal Bergoglio of Argentina, with Merc still retrograde. Does this mean they really weren’t using an astrologer? Not necessarily, since Bergoglio is known as a social progressive who is actively for a clean-up of both conduct and business within the Church, certainly a vote for effective re-vamping (Merc retro appropriate) of existing practice. At the approximate time of the announcement the Aries Moon was acting as a Finger of God base with Jupiter, apex North Node–so they may have listened to the Universe/ God, bending human emotion and Will to the need of the Church to re-make itself, in order to survive successfully into the future.