On 12 March 2013 at 17:35 CET, the Latin command extra omnes was issued, the room was cleared of all non-participants and all the entrances and exits of the Sistine Chapel were sealed. The cardinals were ready to elect a new pope.
The chart below, cast for this moment, shows the event:
(click on chart to enlarge)
It is understood that voting could begin immediately and the cardinals had the option to hold a single ballot on this day. We know that this first vote was unsuccessful and can therefore from now on expect two ballots per day until the new pope will be chosen.
Looking at the event chart above, we can see that Mercury is the ruler of the Ascendant and the 10th house, which makes this chart highly significant. Jupiter is located in the 9th house, another good indicator that the chart is radical and fit to be judged.
Mercury is also the natural ruler of communication and is seen as the messenger of the gods. He represents the intellect but also everything to do with business and commerce. Jupiter, on the other hand, is the natural signifcator religiosity and faith. He is also associated with the heavenly king and being an intermediary, symbolising the pope also. The 9th house is associated with knowledge and matters of faith and religion, an ideal placement for Jupiter indeed.
What immediately springs to mind is the fact that Mercury is highly debilitated. He is in his detriment and fall, retrograde and he is also located in the 6th house of illness. Mercury is also squaring Jupiter in Gemini and we can see that they are in mutual reception by rulership and face. The problem here is that both planets are also in debility, indicating the problematic bigger issues, overshadowing this election. What seems to be certain is the fact that the new pope will have his work cut out to bring the Church back on track. I would conclude that debilitated Mercury indicates the problems of the Church, seen from the point of a business that needs to be run professionally and successfully (Mercury ruler of the 10th house). I also see the debilitated Jupiter as a pointer towards the faith of the new pope, which will certainly be tested to the limit, once he will be in power.
As for the duration of this conclave, looking at the signs at the angles, we can see that these are mutable. This indicates that the conclave will be of average length and therefore we should not expect very quick results. Mercury will be stationary direct on 17 March @20:03UT which could also be a turning point in the balloting and we may see white smoke over the Sistine Chapel around that time. Should the cardinals decide to vote for then new pope with Mercury still being retrograde, we may see the problems stemming from this action during the whole period of the new pope’s reign.