Rome - Stargazers reviewing the Pope's birth chart said today a massive build up of freaky asteroids in his natal Cancer is probably behind this morning's resignation.
Decades of space junk clashes in the crabby constellation had clearly worn down Papal soothsaying abilities and it was time to hand over to a new shaman.
"The sign of Cancer is the dimmest of all the zodiac's constellations," a Vatican expert on ephemeris stuff commented, "having just two stars above the fourth magnitude, both of them blighting Papa Ratzi's IQ."
The shock abdication comes just as the New Moon transits the sign of Pisces, the astrological sign ruling religion, superstition and daft old Germans.
Speaking on the lunchtime news Justin Welby, former Big Oil executive and newly elected Archbishop of Canterbury, said he suspected seismic fault lines in the internal Vatican debate on outer space fracking.
"About time we had a proper Exxon-Mobil kind of Pope," Welby explained, "maybe a proper Capricorn, just like me."