It’s been a pretty interesting 2013 Aquarius period. We saw meteorites hit Russia, an asteroid come very close to earth, and lightning strike St Peter’s Basilica on the day Pope Benedict XVI resigned.
Of course many people, including astrologers, went into print or were very vocal about what this might mean symbolically. Clearly for many, even non-astrologers, there is a belief somewhere deep down, that the sky has something to tell us. As an astrologer, I would think these signs herald a wake-up call of some kind.
But the thing that set me wondering, was that not only did the Pope throw in the towel, but our queen here in the Netherlands abdicated as well. I love the web and Facebook when something like this happens. Apart from everyone speculating endlessly about why and what does it mean and is there more behind it and …. , the jokes are wonderful. I think my two favourites that are doing the rounds about the Pope are (can’t find the originators):
and because I love patterns – being an astrologer:
I thought it was interesting that these abdications occurred at the time of year when the sun was in a sign (Aquarius) that has to do with authenticity and being true to yourself. I have spent a lot of time on this subject, especially during the writing of my book about Vocational Profiling for astrologers. So I had to ask myself: “Can you abdicate from a vocation?”
We use many words for the work we do – profession, job, work, calling, vocation – and I have wrestled with these definitions. Astrologers are always discussing the difference between fate and destiny. Not to mention the whole topic of fate vs. free-will. I don’t know the answers to any of these questions. They are philosophical issues, and perhaps there are no answers. However I would like to think that what we think, decide, and do has some influence on where we end up. I am also a firm believer in the idea that we do have a calling or a vocation. Profession and work are words that describe the more practical things that we do. A calling or a vocation (which comes from the Latin root to call) seems to me to refer to more of an inner drive.
In days gone by, (and maybe still), we thought of a queen and a pope as having been called to office. There is still a feeling that neither can/will really resign. It is interesting that we indeed have another word for their quitting – abdication. Apparently the pope also abdicates rather than resigns. It obviously has something to do with giving up power and responsibility but what happens to the inner calling? Are the Dutch queen and the pope both finally free to do what they would really love to do? Has a burden been lifted? And if so, what have they been doing all this time if it is not their true vocation?
Further investigation was needed!
I think most people do follow a calling, consciously or unconsciously. So if I look at what I say in my book about vocation and how to find it, what does it say about the pope and the Dutch queen? And what about Willem-Alexander, the Dutch queen’s son, who will become king on April 30th, with the celebrations taking place down the road from me in Amsterdam? (What does one wear? – advice so far: hats – definitely hats.)
The Pope’s calling
The way I define calling is by using archetypes. We all have several of these that must be used if a true vocation is to be followed and Pope Benedict is no exception. In his case they are: Aries and the planets Neptune, and (very prominently) Ceres. Words that come to mind are pioneering, starting, initiating (not finishing?), being bold and direct. Spirituality, victims (hmmm), compassion and bringing the world together. Ceres suggests an interest in the environment. Interestingly he has been given the name the ‘Green Pope’, because of his environmental focus. I would expect a deeply religious/spiritual man to have the Neptune archetype highlighted. But Aries, although it is good for a leader, must be a difficult one for a pope. He probably would like more time to contemplate challenging issues, instead of having to fulfil many obligations. Being pope wouldn’t immediately make me think of Ceres, but I think he has been ‘sneakily’ pushing this agenda in his job. It seems we can follow a calling anyway even in a role that seems, superficially at least, not to highlight the archetypes involved. Maybe he will become an advocate for the Green movement. In his younger days he could have followed a path of saving trees and letting animals out of experimental facilities! That would have suited these archetypes very well.
Clearly there are many ways to be a pope or a queen.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is an Aquarian, and she surprised many by her abdication. Not the abdication itself, as she has been saying she would do that for some time. But the timing was a surprise – just before her 75th birthday rather than on it. She said a lot of very Aquarian things – about passing on to the next generation, and having a lot of other interests – and she abdicated on her own terms. She is known to be very intelligent, but also very stubborn intellectually. Her archetypes in terms of vocation are Aquarius (a lot!), Uranus, Venus, Jupiter and the Moon. One of the ways this can work is as a savvy business person and Beatrix is indeed a very wealthy woman. She needs to travel, explore distant horizons and experience other cultures and clearly that is easy to do as a queen. She is best known outside her royal role for her support and love of art. I imagine she will continue to follow this part of her calling (Venus), which she has managed to combine with the duties of her job. She will also need to continue her search for knowledge and I suspect the main thing she will cherish is her independence (Aquarius /Uranus)! The lack of personal freedom in the royal role must have been a huge burden for her. The astrological timing has this love of doing your own thing, heavily triggered. My favourite internet joke says it all: ‘Finally I can take it off’ from Maurice van Berkel shows her without the hairstyle she has had for what seems like forever!
I hope both she and Pope Benedict find what they love to do. It feels good when we can ‘come out’ with our true calling rather than having to fit it around other tasks. In my book, having a calling and a job that match is the way to go.
So what about our new king then?
Well, I don’t think he’ll be like this picture from Carina Dumasm, where he is a replacement for his mother!
Willem-Alexander’s vocation archetypes are Taurus (along with his wife Maxima who will become queen and is also a Taurus), Ceres, Pluto and the Moon. He is a very different monarch from his mother. A practical, down-to-earth, do-er who loves getting his hands dirty. A lover of nature and who, like Pope Benedict, maybe has a very green agenda. He will also want to have power and influence in anything in which he is involved. I hope he can continue to follow his vocation using these archetypes. Interestingly, the timing (astrologically) is perfect! In the Life Clock model, he is exactly at the mid-life crisis point – coming to the age where he must fulfil his purpose here on earth! I hope he likes it.
Maybe we should all quit if we are not following our inner drives. I did just that long ago, and I can thoroughly recommend it.
Website of the Month
Here is Lance Secretan, who teaches leadership skills and gives me hope for the future, talking about authenticity.
Quotes of the Month
All the quotes, which I think are relevant to the topic, are from one person.
“A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist.”
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
“Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires courage.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson, US writer and poet, 1803-1882.
Notes for astrologers
Pope Benedict – 16 April 1927, 4:15 CET, Marktl, Germany.
Interesting that the closest transit around his resignation is Ceres triggering his Jupiter-Ceres square which is on the ASC (Jupiter) and MC (Ceres). Also the 2nd Progressed Moon was trine natal Uranus.
Queen Beatrix – 31 Jan 1938, 9:47, Soestdijk,The Netherlands.
She has a stellium in Aquarius which the Sun conjuncted at the time of the abdication announcement. Transiting Uranus is squaring her MC. In the Huber Life Clock she is nearing the crisis/turning point of the first house. A point which is about creating a concrete new identity in the coming year. This method also highlights the whole stellium and Uranus this year – clearly an important year for her.
Prince Willem-Alexander – 27 April 1967, 19:57, Utrecht, The Netherlands.
The main thing I noticed was that in the Huber Life Clock he has reached the Low Point of the 8th house. Huber calls this the main life-crisis point which is not necessarily negative just a major turning point.
To determine vocation I use the Sun and aspects.