Fate can be a cruel altar boy sometimes. Not only has it seen fit to depose Pope Benedict XVI, it has now got rid of Cardinal Keith O’Brien, Archbishop of St Andrews & Edinburgh. Unfortunately, given the circumstances of his departure, he only had twenty more days before retirement anyway, so in terms of damage to the Catholic Church the point is almost academic.
Nevertheless: when looking for the stars of the day, I cannot help but notice that the same planet that figured so highly in the chart for the Pope’s departure is also prominent in that of the Cardinal’s, viz. Uranus. However, whereas in the Pope’s case I am willing to believe that His Holiness’ departure is genuinely due to the decrepitude of old age (because he is currently undergoing a Uranus-return), O’Brien’s recession is far more intriguing.
O’Brien (born 17th March 1938, Ballycastle, Northern Ireland), has Uranus, the planet of forced resignation, transitting Venus, the planet of inappropriate touching, Saturn, the planet of bringing things like one’s career to an end, and Mercury, the planet of public scandal. Of these three, Saturn is the slowest moving one, indicating what we already knew, that the end of O’Brien’s career would happen in this general time-period, whilst Venus and Mercury indicate the particular nature of his departure.
Hence, Uranus has seen off two senior figures in the Catholic Church, though for different reasons. This has given the Sumner Family Brain Cell an idea.
There is a saying bandied about by some astrologers that the discovery of each of the new Planets had something to say about the age in which it was discovered. Uranus was discovered in 1781, leading some to associate it with the birth of USA (the American Revolutionary War ended that year), or of the Industrial Revolution, but more generally speaking it came at the end of the Age of Enlightenment – which from a philosophical point of view marked the beginning of the decline of the Christian Church. (NB: from a Postmodernist point of view, the decline in popularity of a thing is not a valid indicator of its worth). Hence I am tempted to speculate that this is the real meaning of the Age of Uranus – that of the decline of Christianity as an organised religion. We may therefore keep a track of this planet’s movements to see how much further it goes down the plughole of history in the future.