Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, born Joseph Ratzinger in Bavaria, Germany, in 1927, passed away on 31 December 2022, age 95, at his monastic apartments in Vatican City where he had been living since his retirement from the papacy almost a decade before. Ratzinger was elected Pontiff in 2005 after the death of Pope John Paul II, whose enforcer of doctrine he was. Uncompromisingly conservative on social and theological issues, Benedict’s tenure in the Vatican was rocked by continued sexual scandals among the priesthood, by financial irregularities, and by breaches of security. Ratzinger’s health was the avowed reason for giving up the Ring of the Fisherman in 2013, and though he lingered for another ten years, he became increasingly feeble and made few public appearances. His health had taken a dramatic downturn in recent weeks, culminating in his passing on New Year’s Eve.
Asteroid Astrology: International
December 29, 2022 saw the passing of a man generally acknowledged as the greatest soccer player of all time, Pele. The mononymous sports superstar is the only player ever to compete in three winning FIFA World Cup finals, holds the Guinness World record for most lifetime goals, and was designated Player of the Century by international soccer’s governing body, FIFA. Raised in poverty in the Sao Paulo state of Brazil, too destitute to afford a real ball, Pele learned his sport by playing with a sock stuffed with newspaper and tied off, or a grapefruit. He joined his first professional team at age 15 and was picked up by the Brazil national team a year later.
WNBA star Brittney Griner’s unexpected release from Russian custody on December 8th, after almost ten months in detention for a drug trafficking violation, sent waves of relief through family, friends and fandom. Griner had been arrested February 17, 2022 on smuggling charges after customs authorities found vaporizer cartridges containing less than a gram of hash oil in her luggage. Griner had a prescription for medical marijuana use from the state of Arizona, but all forms of the drug are illegal in Russia.
It’s ironic that Britain’s longest-reigning monarch should be succeeded by its shortest-serving Prime Minister, but that’s just what happened when Liz Truss stepped down from office after only 45 days in power. The fact that they both had the same first name is just icing on the cosmic cake in this bizarre juxtaposition. Truss stepped into the breach in the Conservative Party when embattled PM Boris Johnson resigned in the wake of scandal on July 7, but it took two months to wrap up those loose ends before she was officially appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on September 6. Now, just six weeks later, she’s gone.
Although national mourning and celebration of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s life has been protracted for more than ten days after her passing, the official State Funeral ceremony is slated to begin in Westminster Abbey at 11 AM BST on Monday, 19 September 2022. Much of the passing chart remains in effect, but there are significant changes and additions which reflect the funeral itself.
She advised 15 Prime Ministers, interacted with 14 American presidents and 7 popes, but the long life and seventy-year reign of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II came to a peaceful close on 8 September 2022, when the 96-year-old sovereign passed away in her sleep at her private estate of Balmoral Castle in Scotland. Most of the United Kingdom’s population – indeed, most of the world – cannot recall a time when Elizabeth was not Queen; her reign spanned the post-World War II era to our post-Modern society, and her life saw massive technological change, from telegraphs to Twitter.