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Traditional Aphorisms for Pregnancy Charts

'Will I ever have a child?' - sooner or later all horary astrologers are confronted by this question, but before they attempt to answer it they should first reflect upon how emotive and sensitive the issue can be. Pregnancy charts touch upon fundamental issues connected with life and death and require a great degree of delicacy in the way that they are dealt with. Some astrologers feel that it is better to avoid certain aspects of this topic altogether - a pregnant woman asking if everything will be O.K., for example, leaves the astrologer in a terrible predicament if miscarriage is foreseen in the chart. In such instances there is a need to discriminate between the querent's wish to know the future and the degree to which it may safely be foretold. On the other hand, if someone genuinely and sincerely wants to understand about a particular problem, and wants to learn of ways in which it can be alleviated, then horary should certainly furnish the answer.

One modern-day complication that you won't find dealt with in Christian Astrology is that, whereas it may once have been a case of being 'fertile' or 'barren' and living with the consequences, today's society no longer expects women to sit back and let nature take its course. Infertility is a widespread problem, affecting one in six couples, but major advances such as the use of in-vitro fertilisation can often help to find a solution. Treatments can be terribly expensive, traumatic and unreliable however, which is why our ethical dilemma is not solved by simply refusing to answer awkward questions - the querent may have a real need to know the truth, even if it is hurtful and distressing at the time.

One practical suggestion is to consider redefining the limits of certain questions. For example I refused to answer my sister's question 'Will I ever have a child?' but agreed to judge a more immediate horary 'will I have a child this year?', feeling that I could only give her an honest and unbiased answer on those terms. Another thing we can do is to heed the advice implicit in the chart, by taking note of the planetary hour-ruler and paying close attention to the traditional 'Considerations before Judgement'. Because they have such a strong emotional pull, pregnancy charts usually produce beautifully clear and striking symbolism, but that does not mean it is appropriate to pass the answer to the client undiluted; if the chart has a 'stricture' such as an early or late ascendant, take this as a warning, not that the chart is wrong necessarily, but that you need to be careful in how you venture your judgement.

The aphorisms that follow detail Lilly's main considerations for dealing with pregnancy charts. Most of them rest upon the condition of the 5th house, the traditional house of pregnancy and children. Where you are advised to beware of an infortune, remember that this can be any planet that is detrimentally placed. All bad aspects of the lord of the 6th, 8th or 12th, for example, can be regarded as an affliction, even if the planet is naturally regarded as benefic, and especially if that planet is affected by bad aspects and is peregrine or in detriment. Conversely, Saturn and Mars, the traditional malefics, are not inevitably unfortunate. If they are well placed, strong in essential dignities and direct in motion they can be relied upon to show the more positive sides of their natures. In general however, it is the fortunes that we hope to see strong and well-placed in pregnancy charts: Jupiter, the natural significator of children, and Venus, the natural significator of fertility.

Indications of Pregnancy:

Pregnancy is shown by some kind of promising aspect (conjunction, sextile, trine or square) between the asc-ruler or Moon with the 5th house ruler. (Be careful, however, if the 5th-ruler is applying to, or is in aspect with, an unfortunate or detrimented planet as this will suggest difficulties and problems.) If there is no application look for some kind of translation, collection or antiscion relationship by or from the principal significators, which may show delayed success. The latter is a promising sign, but is not as good as a direct application between the main significators. Other positive indications are:

o Fruitful signs upon the ascendant or 5th cusp (Cancer, Scorpio, Pisces).
o 5th-ruler or Moon in 1st house.
o 1st-ruler or Moon in 5th house.
o 1st-ruler in 1st, 5th, 10th or 11th house, if it aspects well-placed benefics and Jupiter is strong in the chart.
o The above, but with 1st-ruler in 4th or 7th house, suggesting that pregnancy will occur but will be delayed.
o Benefic planets in the 1st house, or angular, or in a promising aspect with 1st-ruler (look for Jupiter, Venus or Sun well placed, dignified and direct, and preferably in a sextile or trine with a principal significator).
o Jupiter in the ascendant or free from affliction in a strong house (providing it is not in a barren sign - see below).
o The asc in a fixed sign with a fortune placed in the first house or the 5th-ruler strong in the asc or MC.
o Venus in the 5th, free from affliction.
o Lord of the hour angular, in reception with the ruler of his angle; or in the 5th or 11th house in reception with the respective rulers.
o 1st-ruler, 5th-ruler or Moon in aspect with, and in reception with, an essentially dignified planet in an angle (Lilly warns that in these judgements accidental dignity gives hopes, but no real assurance).
o Asc-ruler in good aspect to ascendant or Moon in a good house and in a favourable aspect to a beneficial planet in an angle.
o Moon in good aspect to 5th cusp or having essential dignity there.

Lilly also mentions another method of judging pregnancy using the planet from which the Moon last separated and that to which it next applies: if the Moon's last planet rules the 5th sign from the position of the Moon's next planet, and there is an application or aspect between the two, the pregnancy will be successful. If this is the case but there is no aspect, yet the planet to which the Moon applies is angular, the pregnancy will be successful. He also notes that if the dispositor of the main significator is well placed and strong it increases the arguments for success.

Indications of Infertility:

o 'Barren' signs on asc or 5th cusp. (Lilly lists barren signs as Leo, Virgo and Gemini).
o Infortunes or detrimented planets in the 1st house with the 1st-ruler poorly placed and Jupiter weak or unfortunate.
o Moon, 1st-ruler, 5th-ruler or hour-ruler unfortunate and badly afflicted.
o An infortune in the 5th denies pregnancy unless it is direct, swift, dignified and generally well-placed.
o 5th-ruler retrograde, combust, peregrine or otherwise unfortunate shows problems connected with children.
o Jupiter afflicted in the 5th house indicates that the woman is not pregnant or that the pregnancy will not be successful. The same if Venus is afflicted by Mars or Saturn, is under the Sun's beams or is combust. A fortune in the 5th house, however, mitigates unfortunate indications and improves the chance of a successful pregnancy.
o Saturn, Mars or especially South Node in the 1st or 5th house. Lilly says that South Node in the 5th house usually shows abortion (miscarriage), in the 1st house extreme fear and mistrust of it. o 5th-ruler retrograde, cornbust or cadent from its sign or exaltation.
o Saturn or Mars in opposition to the 5th-cusp or 5th-ruler denies pregnancy, their square aspect hinders it.
o 1st-ruler conjunct or aspecting a retrograde or combust planet, or one in a cadent house.

Will I ever have a Child?

If the querent has been trying for a child for a long time without success her chances of pregnancy are good if she has:

o 1st-ruler or 5th-ruler in 7th.
o 5th-ruler or 7th-ruler in 1st.
o Moon with 7th-ruler.


o To see how many years before a woman has a child, judge by the house position of the 5th-ruler, i.e., the 1st house indicates the 1st year, the 2nd house indicates the 2nd year, and so on. The nature of the sign should also influence the judgement: moveable signs hasten time, common signs are less swift and fixed signs are slow. Above all consider whether the significator is swift in motion and direct, which is the best indication of speed.
o Venus or some other fortune, unafflicted in the 5th house suggests an early pregnancy. The nearer a fortune is to the ascendant, the sooner the pregnancy will occur. The more remote, the more time must be allowed.
o Mars well dignified in the 7th house suggests the woman is newly conceived. If a woman is not sure how long she has been pregnant judge by the closest separating aspect between the Moon, 5th-ruler and hour-ruler. Trine = 3 or 5 months; Sextile = 2 or six months; square = 4 months; opposition = 7 months, conjunction = I month.
o The time of birth is often triggered by the transiting conjunction of the Sun or Mars with the 5th-ruler, Moon, asc or hour-ruler, or is sometimes shown by the querent's signiftcator changing signs.
Another method is to judge by how far the 5th-ruler is removed from the 5th cusp, allowing one month for each sign.
If you need to judge whether the birth will be by day or by night, go by the majority of significators; that is, whether they are in diurnal signs (showing a day birth) or nocturnal signs (night birth).


o Twins are indicated by common signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, Pisces) on the 1st or 5th house cusp, with a fortune placed inside the house. More so when the Sun, Moon or 5th-ruler are also in common signs.
o North Node conjunct Jupiter or Venus in the 5th house can indicate twins, the same is true if one of these casts a partile (within 1 degree) sextile or trine to the degree ascending or 5th house cusp.
o Fixed signs on the asc or 5th cusp deny twins.
o Moveable signs on the asc or 5th cusp, with the Sun and Moon inside these houses, also denies twins.

Sex of Child:

Look for strong indications, shown by a collection of testimonies, i.e., 1st-ruler, 5th-ruler, hour-ruler and Moon all in a masculine sign, degree or quarter would indicate a male child and vice-versa. Additional considerations are:

o Jupiter. in the 7th suggests a male child.
o Pisces or Sagittarius on the 7th cusp indicates a female.
o Moon in the 5th applying to Jupiter or Venus signifies a girl.
o Of the signs, masculine signs denote male children; feminine signs denote female children.
o Of the planets, Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Sun denote male children, Venus and the Moon denote female children. Mercury varies according to its aspects and position.

**** Always form your judgement upon the majority of testimonies. If the indications look equally balanced - defer judgement.

© Deborah Houlding.

Horary Astrology