Popes

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Jim Eshelman
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Popes

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 2:20 pm

123 men have sat on the Throne of St. Peter since the year 1000 AD or, rather, since Pope Sylvester II was enthroned April 2, 999 AD. Of these, we don't even know the birth date (often not the year) of 61 of them, but we do have the day, month, year, and place of birth of the other 62. For about half of these (28) we even have times.

These births reach from Leo IX's birth on June 21, 1002 when the SVP was 19°10' Pisces to that of Pope Francis on December 17, 1938 when the SVP was 6°08'. Because of the large spread, our usual list of probabilities for Sun being in each Sidereal sign don't exactly fit - maybe I will later calculate new theoretical values for the median date. For now, I'm using even 1/12 probabilities for Sun positions, knowing that some values will be slightly off.

SUN CONSTELLATIONS
For well over a thousand years, possibly dating back to St. Peter himself, the bull has been a symbol of enthroned papal authority, even lending its name (since the 6th Century, by a Latin pun) to papal decrees of great importance, the Papal Bull.

I'm therefore fascinated to see that the most popes in the history of the church for which we have birth dates have Sun in the constellation Taurus: 10 of 62 (about double the expected number) which, if probabilities were equally 1/12, would beat the 33-to-1 odds level. Here are all the numbers:

Tau 10
Gem 3
Can 4
Leo 3
Vir 4
Lib 4
Sco 5
Sag 5
Cap 7
Aqu 8
Pis 5
Ari 4

I rank this in the same level of symbolism as the discovery that lawyers tend to be born with Sun in Libra and physicians with Sun in Gemini, each of which conveys the primary symbolic image of their professions.

MOON CONSTELLATIONS
When it comes to No. 1 sign, Moon exactly matches Sun: Moon in Taurus is the most common placement, with 11 occurrences. (Moon distribution probabilities are even 1/12 in nature, so these can be taken as fully accurate calculations.) Almost as interesting (but causing me to wonder why Mariolotry was so passive in most of Church history), Moon was in Virgo 10 times. The Taurus value exceeds 100-to-1 odds of chance occurrence (.01), and Virgo eats 33-to-1 (.03) where anything at or smaller than .05 is a win.

Tau 11
Gem 3
Can 3
Leo 8
Vir 10
Lib 2
Sco 4
Sag 7
Cap 4
Aqu 3
Pis 6
Ari 1

MARS CONSTELLATIONS
Mars' natural distribution in the signs peaks in Leo and Virgo, where it spends most of its time, so, while taking even 1/12 probabilities for now we should be suspicious of any tendency for the numbers to favor that part or the sky. We don't have to worry about that, though, because even the slight favoring of Virgo doesn't reach the significant level. For Mars, the most common location is... Gemini.

I don't have a clear explanation for this, but it's a measurable fact: 11 of these 62 popes had Mars in Gemini. (The opposite extreme is easier to explain: In a preeminently celibate population, Mars was only in Scorpio 1 time.)

Mars in Gemini is more of a scientific-themed placement, and the Church is not known for a history of favoring science. I suppose one could say that it shows historic papal antagonism toward science, except that's not how Mars in Gemini works. I suppose it simply shows that very substantial intellect and power of dialectic is required for the job. (The placement does work better when the Mars in Gemini native is guaranteed - by definition - to be right!)

In fact, three of the last eight popes have had Mars in Gemini (and three more had it in Virgo). The others are spread across four or five prior centuries from Pius V who was enthroned in 1566 to Pius XI enthroned in 1922. An interesting literary study might be to study the tenure of the 11 Mars in Gemini popes to see what is most outstanding and in common among them. They are: Benedict XVI, John XXIII, Pius XI, Pius VII, Benedict XIV, Innocent XII, Innocent XI, Clement X, Paul V, Clement VIII, and Pius V.

Here are the Mars raw numbers:
Tau 3
Gem 11
Can 5
Leo 7
Vir 8
Lib 5
Sco 1
Sag 4
Cap 7
Aqu 3
Pis 3
Ari 5
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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Popes

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:11 pm

ASPECTS
I'm not as impressed with the aspect distribution. I suppose there aren't enough examples. Because only have the group had a time of birth, I excluded Moon aspects, which would have been nice to have. For the others, here are the most interesting items.

Checking only close HARD ASPECTS, Mars-Pluto has the most, with 10. This likely is a reminder that the job has usually been one of power politics, especially as Europe took form in the Middle Ages, and that the Church has had periods of seeming ruthlessly violent. I don't know if this holds up for the exact popes to have the aspect (all from the 1500s through 1700s), but here they are: Pius VI, Clement XIV, Clement XI, Clement X, Gregory XIV, Urban VII, Sixtus V, Gregory XIII, Adrian VI, Pius III. (The aspect does not speak toward easy celibacy or a tendency to abide within rigorous decorum except in a military sense.)

After those 10, we get 8 hard aspects of Saturn to each of the three outermost planets, and each of Mercury-Mars, Venus-Neptune, Mars-Uranus, and Jupiter-Neptune, group of aspects I rather like for this group of men.

Switching to include close SOFT ASPECTS as well, Mars-Pluto remains most common with 14, tied by Saturn-Neptune. (The mortification theme is probably operative, and Saturn-Neptune stretches across the last millennium.) I'm particularly taken with the lists of 12 instances of an aspect, where a great deal more mysticism enters along with practical considerations: Sun-Neptune, Venus-Neptune, Mars-Uranus, and Saturn-Pluto.

Or so I see it at the moment.
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An interesting sub-view of Moon numbers

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:31 pm

While Moon is highest in Taurus, just like Sun, we get an even more interesting view if we look at Moon distribution where Sun is not in Taurus.

Excluding the 10 examples where Sun is in Taurus leaves us with 52 samples. Ten of the 11 Taurus Moons fall in this 52 (and 9 Virgo Moons), as if Moon is filling in the Taurus element where Sun doesn't bring it. Because Moon has nearly the same frequency, but for a smaller set of charts, her presence in Taurus this many times would only occur once in many hundreds of cases. (She doesn't quite reach 1,000 to 1, but she's on her way.)

The odds of having either Sun or Moon in a particular sign may be estimated thus: The odds of having the Sun there are about 1/12, or 0.08333. The of the remaining 11/12, the odds of having Moon in the specific sign are 1/12 of that, or 0.07639. Together, this marks approximately 16% (0.15972). Out of our 62 examples, we would expect either one luminary or the other to be in Taurus 10 times and, instead, we got it 20 times.

That's quite a lot.
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Avshalom Binyamin
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Re: Popes

Post by Avshalom Binyamin » Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:29 pm

Hierophantastic!

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Jim Eshelman
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Re: Popes

Post by Jim Eshelman » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:25 pm

Avshalom Binyamin wrote:
Sun Aug 19, 2018 6:29 pm
Hierophantastic!
Exactly! For those not familiar, here is the Tarot card that in Medieval times was called "The Pope" and in modern times "The Hierophant." It's the Tarot trump assigned to Taurus.

Image
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Lance
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Re: Popes

Post by Lance » Tue Aug 21, 2018 12:26 pm

It's crazy how that works out.

Here's one with a little more traditional, more specifically Popish imagery.

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