The “Third Rome” and the War on Ukraine – an Astro-iconological Perspective

The recent invasion of Ukraine by the regime of Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been a hot topic in online astrology discussion groups.  Here at Occursion, it is my aim to present data that won’t be found anywhere else, so I won’t be discussing the standard take on things.  Instead, this article is intended to “unpack” possible astrological markers found in religious aspects of Russian nationalism, which is rooted partly in a unique religious identity of the Russian realm.

A full understanding of that very complex topic that has evolved over the last thousand years would take us well beyond the limited confines of a blog, but there are some key historical moments that can help us shed light on the current hegemony in what is a very mysterious part of the world. This blog article will show ritual astrological patterns using fixed stars.

What is the “Third Rome”?

The idea of a “Third Rome” goes back over 500 years, beginning in Moscow.  The first Rome was, of course, the Eternal City, Roma – the center of the empire that expanded outward to conquer the entire Mediterranean, and beyond, from Britain to the Persian Gulf.  It is now home to Vatican City, allegedly founded by St. Peter, on the site of the Roman Circus, and is a State in its own right as of 1929.

Rome, as a city, dates back to the 8th century BC, though the date of its exact founding is uncertain. It was the center of the Roman republic from 509 – 27 BC.  Historians basically agree that the empire, the “pax romana,” began with Augustine’s ascension to Caesar in 31 BC, and lasted for four centuries.  The empire began falling from its zenith at the end of the third century, and Rome was sacked during the Visigoth campaign of 410 AD.

From there, it was a long, slow decline for the once-great city.  Rome was sacked three more times in the next 600 years, and finally in 1527, troops fighting for the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V rioted in the city, decimating its population and much of its culture.

But, before that long, slow decline, and perhaps contributing to it, was a second Roman capital, a “New Rome,” eventually called Constantinople.  Sited in 324 AD by emperor Constantine the Great, who is credited with normalizing Christianity in the Roman Empire, it was dedicated on May 11, 330 AD. 

Constantine had ascended to emperor in the year 313, and about ten years later set out to build a new capital center in the east after successful military campaigns brought him to the region.  He ended up selecting the site of Byzantium, located on the Bosporus, mainly for its strategic location.  He did not intend it to replace Rome, but instead be an updated campus for the empire’s security.  This city survived as a Roman and Eastern “Greek” or “Orthodox” Christian stronghold well after the western part of the empire atomized.  The eastern part of the empire fared much better, surviving for over 1,000 years, but that stronghold devolved as well, and at the end, in 1453, when Constantinople finally fell to the Muslims, it was basically the only part of the empire left to defend.

This is where the “Third Rome” concept comes into play.  The Second Rome had ecclesial outposts over a wide area, and one of those was in Moscow.  More on that in a bit.


Though the exact time of day that Constantine dedicated the New Rome is not known, we can draw a chart for “high noon” on that day for that location, as is customary in such mundane astrological matters.

Ignoring the three outer planets that were unknown to the 4th Century, we may see the dedication of Constantinople as an astrological “elective,” where the date of the event was chosen for its astrological benefits, based, of course, on the astrological milieu of that era, which we identify as the “Hellenistic” era.  That school of astrology relied heavily on sun signs and rulerships, as well as things called “sect,” but for now I’ll leave that kind of intricate interpretation to the experts.  For this analysis, we are going to look at only a few alignments that should prove critical for understanding the February 24 invasion of Ukraine.

The dedication chart has a nice Venus/Jupiter conjunction, which is very fortunate, and a Mercury/Mars conjunction, which could indicate a center of military and knowledge.  The Moon and Saturn are in Leo, the sign of the Sun, and traditionally the sign of strength.  In Christian lore, Leo is the sign of the heritage of Jesus, so the Moon being in conjunction (loosely) with Regulus makes sense, and in the Hellenistic framework, it will have a resonance, or “reception,” with the Sun in Taurus. 

While a Saturn in Leo would be considered as in a “detriment,” given that it is the sign opposite of one of the signs Saturn “rules,” the reception with the Taurus Sun here would alleviate the negatives of the sign posit.

From here, a closer look at the posit of Saturn is in order.  It is conjunct a lesser-known fixed star called sigma Leonis, also known as “77 Leonis” in the Flamsteed numbering system.  (I’ll call it simply “77 Leo” moving forward.) When we place an array of fixed stars on an extra ring of the Constantinople radix, we find that 77 Leo, at 26°02′ Leo, is also precisely on the ascendant, at 26°33′ Leo, in what we would now classify as a “paran.”

Given that there are no other fixed stars in close conjunctions with other planets, let’s isolate 77 Leo in the extra ring:

We can observe that there was only one day in that year when the Sun would be directly overhead while that star is on the ascendant. (I should note here that Solar Fire’s value for 77 Leo is a bit off, being overstated by as much as 30′ in that epoch.)

We can see that Saturn, at 24°04′ of Leo, is in a wide “square” to the Sun; that square is applying, or becoming closer to the precise 90° aspect, as the Sun moves faster through the zodiac than Saturn.  Prior to this date, Saturn had just stationed prograde in late April of that year, so it had already made two partile conjunctions to 77 Leo – first on September 25 of 329 AD when moving direct, and then, when retrograde, on March 4 of 330 AD.  The final partile conjunction took place on June 17 of 330 AD. All of these partiles would have been visible.

On to Moscow

We know the date of the proclamation of independence by the Russian Orthodox Church [ROC] from the Patriarch of Constantinople, and it is December 15, 1448

These were turbulent times for the Grand Duchy of Moscow, and the region in general, who were striving to break free from the yoke of the Tatars.  It was at this same time that the Eastern Roman Empire was about to fall, and so it seems sensible that the Moscow church would become an heir to the Orthodox realm, or at least a good chunk of it.  It is generally agreed that the peoples of the Grand Duchy were allowed to maintain their Slavic, pagan, and Orthodox traditions, for the most part, under the Tatar domination.

Church independence took place under the rule of Vasily II.  It was he who, perhaps taking advantage of the Council of Florence, made the move to appoint bishop Jonah as the “Metropolitan” of Kiev and All Rus’, which was tantamount to declaration of independence of the Russian Orthodox Church from the Patriarch of Constantinople.  Jonah was also the last Metropolitan to keep the Kiev part of that title.

A chart for this indepencency, or “autocephaly,” is below, again drawn for the Sun at midheaven as a default:

The main similarity between the ROC autocephaly radix and the Constantinople dedication radix is that we again find the Moon and Saturn in constellational Leo, but this time the conjunction of Saturn to 77 Leo is nearly precise:

77 Leo here has the value of 11°12′ Virgo, as the fixed stars move ahead in the zodiac about 1° every 72 years due to precession. Furthermore, Saturn here is retrograde [Rx], having just stationed; the precise station (by modern calculations) was on December 13, 1448, at about 11:51 AM, LMT (in Moscow -2:30:20 from GMT). This means that Saturn stopped its forward progress and began moving backward when it was conjunct 77 Leo.

Using Sky Map Pro, Saturn’s trek for the years 1447 and 1448 look like this:

Above the path of Saturn is shown; moving from right to left, Saturn makes three passes to Regulus in 1447, and then stations Rx at 77 Leo, turns retrograde, and eventually leaves the constelation.

A closer look at the trek by 77 Leo is here:

Stationings were, and still are, highly important astrological occurrences, but in the ancient world, where phenomena were primary indicators of importance, a stationing this close to a fixed star would be highly auspicious.

Comparing Second and Third

To better visualize these two radices, let’s switch over to the Fagan-Allen sidereal zodiac, and look at the bi-wheel:

Not only are Moon and Saturn at virtually the same places, but the ROC nodes are aligning with the Constantinople ascendant/descendant axis; ROC Black Moon is on the Constantinople ascendant, and the ROC’s Part of Fortune is nearly the same, smack-dab on the Constantinople meridian. It is easy to see that these charts are highly resonant.

Adding the outer ring to the bi-wheel shows 77 Leo as prominent:

The Third Rome and the 2022 Invasion of Ukraine

Is the ROC somehow intricately tied-in with the war? The short answer seems to be yes.

It is my contention that this invasion was timed to begin at 4 AM Kyiv time, and this is backed up by military observers on the ground:

Here is a bi-wheel radix of the ROC and the invasion:

The obvious connections here are that invasion ascendant is on ROC Sun, and that invasion Jupiter is on ROC North Node. The less obvious is that invasion Sun is opposite ROC Moon and Saturn, and actually on the midpoint: Invasion SO = ROC MO/SA. Invasion Sun is also square to ROC point of fortune, while invasion Moon is conjunct ROC point of fortune. Invasion Saturn is square to ROC Jupiter. The most important part of this, symbolically, is that 3° of Capricorn is where the Sun is on Christmas Eve in our current Gregorian calendar. This is the day, astronomically, when the Sun’s position in the sky begins to noticeably move northward again, and the days noticeably begin getting “longer.”

All of this together means very close affinity between both radices, and we can safely say that this is probably by design – astrology is quite socially acceptable in Russia, and quite popular, and I would not be surprised if this invasion-moment was chosen astrologically – an elective chart.

We needn’t look to only astrology to figure this religious nationalism as true, as it is basically out in the open. Jack Jenkins of Religious News Service sums up the religious fervor for this war:

“Ukraine is an inalienable part of our own history, culture and spiritual space,” [Putin] said.

Two days later, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, head of the Russian Orthodox Church, spoke to military leaders and published a statement in honor of Defender of the Fatherland Day. The cleric congratulated Putin for his “high and responsible service to the people of Russia,” declared the Russian Orthodox Church has “always striven to make a significant contribution to the patriotic education of compatriots,” and lauded military service as “an active manifestation of evangelical love for neighbors.” Within hours, bombs began to rain down on Ukraine.

This religious ramp-up to war was the culmination of a decade-long effort to wrap Russia’s geopolitical ambitions in faith — specifically, the flowing vestments of the Russian Orthodox Church. Fusing religion, nationalism, a defense of conservative values that likens same-sex marriage to Nazism and a version of history that seeks to define Ukraine and other nearby nations as mere subsets of a greater “Russkiy mir” (Russian world), the partnership of Putin and Kirill laid the ideological and theological groundwork for the current invasion.

Here is a rare find on social media, where Kirill is all but blessing the invasion:

We might expect such from Moscow, but the invasion has cheerleaders in the First Rome as well. Vatican Archbishop Calrlo Maria Viganò penned a lengthy reactionary screed championing the dogmas of the ROC.

In it he claims that the media of the West is conspiring to lie to us about the war at every turn, and that Western democratic nations are actually responsible for the war – a silly conspiracy theory that one might find in a hyenic Glenn Beck radio show.

He then goes on to champion the Third Rome as the institution that can save humanity from itself by reinstating Christianity:

“The Rome of the Caesars and popes is now deserted and silent, just as for centuries the Second Rome of Constantinople has also been silent. Perhaps Providence has ordained that Moscow, the Third Rome, will today in the sight of the world take on the role of κατέχον (2 Thess 2:6-7), of eschatological obstacle to the Antichrist. If the errors of Communism were spread by the Soviet Union, even to the point of imposing themselves within the Church, Russia and Ukraine can today have an epochal role in the restoration of Christian civilization, contributing to bringing the world a period of peace from which the Church too will rise again purified and renewed in her ministers.”

For good measure, he tosses in the usual phantom boogey men – the “deep state” and the “New World Order” – because he knows what audiences will gravitate to that schtick.  Viganò is an outlier within the Vatican with these extreme rightist views.  A few years ago, he wrote a screed against the current Pope, Francis, who he feels is allowing the usual evils to destroy the Church – mostly homosexuality. Francis is a Jesuit, and that society is estimated to have about 40% of its membership identify as homosexual.

Viganò laments that the West is rejecting the old time religion, and indeed this is true:  atheism is the only category of belief (being the rejection of belief) that is increasing in numbers in every First World country.  He sees a last, great hope in Vladimir Putin, of all people, to restore Christianity to the world.

I know, you just can’t make this up!  Viganò fears that COVID-19 pandemic was a conspiracy to help usher in a “one-world government,” and has aligned with none other than Donald J. Trump and the Trumpian movement on this.  Of course, Viganò would have no problem with Christianity dominating the planet as a theocracy, but like all religious extremists, they think they have “God” on their side, and therefore are the ones that should be in charge of our lives.

There is so much more to be repulsed by with Viganò.  His ties to the USA are extensive, having been the Vatican’s USA ambassador under Benedict XVI.  For instance, it was Viganò who surreptitiously snuck Kim Davis – the fundamentalist (and four-times married) woman who denied marriage licenses to same-sex couples when she was a county clerk in Kentucky – into a meet-and-greet with Francis when he visited the USA.  It’s all insane, in my opinion, but characters like Viganò and Davis are, I guess, what helps the world go ‘round.

Back to 77 Leo

In closing, readers of this blog will probably remember that I have mentioned 77 Leo before, in the context of the events of 9/11/2001. As it happens, 77 Leo is the star that the Sun conjoined on that axial day, amidst some other remarkably precise (read: elected) alignments, such as Mercury being precisely on the ascendant for Flight 11, and Spica being precisely on the ascendant for Flight 77:

Is it just a coincidence that the Sun on 9/11 just happens to be conjunct a star that features prominently in both the Second and Third Romes? The following tri-wheel reveals remarkable precision in the sidereal zodiac:

What gives with this? Thesis: The actual Third Rome is not Moscow, but Washington DC. It is the capital of a republic, and it even has a Senate, just like the Roman republic. We do know the date that the first Federal City boundary stone was laid a Jones Point in 1791, and we also know that it was laid in a Masonic ceremony, attended by Federal City surveyor Benjamin Banneker, a bit after 3 PM in the afternoon.

Perhaps the time was elected for the rising of Jupiter, according to David Ovason, author of The Secret Architecture of Our Nation’s Capital (cf Chapter 3) or, perhaps for the time of the rising of the Moon in conjunction with 77 Leo:

Here’s the rub: Constantinople was indeed a Christian metropolis from the time it was established as such by Constantine, who dedicated the city to the “Christian martyrs.” However, it was still an imperial capital, seeing over a re-unified empire that was still mostly Pagan in the west. It would take many years before Rome itself would become a Christianized citadel.

This can’t really be said of Washington DC. It was founded by non-Catholic Christians and secularists (mostly Deists, though Thomas Jefferson was an atheist), under the rubric of a secular Constitution which had “no religious test” for officeholders. It was given the name “Washington” well after it was founded as the “Federal City” to be the capital of a secular government that, at least in theory, was open to all religions. This tolerance of religion is quite similar to ancient Rome.

However, if there was any religious foundation to the Federal City, it could have only had to do with the fact that an already extant Jesuit college – Georgetown – was subsumed within the 10-mile square boundaries of the Federal City. Those Georgetown Jesuits were not from Rome, though – they were from England, a faction of the Jesuits that settled the State of Maryland. The college’s founder, John Carroll, was appointed as head of the Roman Catholic Church in the United States by Pope Pius VI.

If that isn’t enough, we are told in Ovason’s Secret Architecture that Capitol Hill was once called “Rome.” Ovason even refers to the Federal City as a sort of “…second Rome…”:

Having said all of that, It is doubtful that Washington DC is the “Second Constantinople.” Rather, we can see that Washington DC is located at nearly 90° of longitude distant from Rome, as Rome’s longitude of 12°29′ East can be added to DC’s longitude of 77°00′ West to arrive about about 89.5 degrees. Quadrants are important, after all. I briefly explained in a previous post how 77 West longitude was known to be special in temporal terms to Rome, where the Roman calendar began, and where the Gregorian calendar reform was initiated, but not the John Dee calendar reform proposal of a 33-year long “leap-year” cycle.

I have also argued that DC is perhaps a “second London,” as the venerated fixed star Sirius makes a locational paran between DC and London:

One could argue, then, that DC is both a New Rome and a New London. (Sorry, Connecticut!)

To conclude, the question as to where Vatican City lies in all of this must be answered. We do know that Vatican City is now a nation in its own right, having been granted such during the Mussolini regime through the Lateran Treaty. The date that the treaty went into effect was June 7, 1929.

There was a new moon on this date, and the noon chart is as follows:

Here it is in the Fagan-Allen fixed star zodiac:

77 LeoSaturn AscendantSunMoon
Russian Orthodox ChurchXXnode / black moon
Washington DCXXX
Vatican CityXXparanparan

I suppose one could contend that, given all of this data, the struggle for who gets to run Western civilization is partly about who gets to establish the best and most current Rome. Let’s call it the New Rome World Order Theory [NRWOT].

The nagging question we will explore next time is: why is that faint, unnamed star in Leo so darn important? An expert whole-sky astrologer will probably already know that answer, but the rest of you will have to wait until I get some more free time to slap-up a new blog host post.

– Ed

One thought on “The “Third Rome” and the War on Ukraine – an Astro-iconological Perspective

  1. Reblogged this on Jude's Threshold and commented:
    From Occursion Media comes an awesome, comprehensive perspective concerning Russia’s war against Ukraine and its cosmic links to historical events, world religions, Washington DC, a prominent fixed star that few people are familiar with, and much more.

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