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additional children? I’ve read that the 7th or 9th house is the house of the second
Kevin Answers:


As you can imagine, children and fertility was of great interest in the middle ages (it still is today, of course) and so
there are a number of astrological techniques designed to predict the number and sex of children. However, I must
emphasize that these techniques are based on 17th Century Medical Ability. In the 17th Century (and earlier, even—
some of these techniques date back to ancient Greece) we had no fertility drugs, and no pre-natal and post-natal
care. At best, today, these techniques should be viewed as an indication of how easy it may be to conceive a child,
not whether or not it is possible in the first place.

All of these techniques rely on assessing the dignity or strength of the planets in question. If the planets are strong,
well-dignified, well-aspected, and free from the evil influences of Mars and Saturn (the malefics in classical
astrology), this would be a positive indication of children. If the planets are debilitated or afflicted in any way, this
would, conversely, be an indication that children are probably not in the future. Also: these techniques can be
applied to anyone’s chart, regardless of gender. Even though men don’t bear children, they do “have” them. It does,
after all (or at least it did in the 17th century) take two people to make a child. It helps if both of them are
predisposed to fertility.

The 5th house is the house of children, and the simplest approach is to start out by looking at the sign on the
5th house and the ruler of the 5th house and determining if they are in fruitful signs. The “Fruitful” signs are the water
signs: Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces. The Ascendant, the ruler of the Ascendant, the 5th house cusp, or the ruler of the
5th in a water sign is an indication of fertility. The barren signs are Gemini, Leo and Virgo. Taurus and Capricorn are
sometimes considered to be “moderately fruitful.”

William Lilly took this approach to children. He looked at (in this order) the 5 th, 11th, and 1st houses and the planets in
these houses. The Fruitful Planets are Jupiter, Venus, the Moon, and the North Node. The Barren Planets are Saturn,
Mars, the Sun, and the South Node. Finding, for example, Jupiter and Venus in the 5th house would be an indication
of children, while Saturn and/or Mars there would tend to deny them.
Going back to the Greeks, Vettius Valens looked at Jupiter, Venus and Mercury. Mercury related to sons, and
Jupiter/Mercury aspects translate to “fruitfulness with sons.” Venus, related to daughters, and Jupiter/Venus aspects
would then be “fruitfulness with daughters.” Affliction to any of these planets by Saturn or Mars, according to Valens,
causes childlessness or the destruction of children.

Valens would then look at the Lot or Part of Male Children (Ascendant + Mercury – Jupiter) and it’s lord (ruler), and
any aspects to its ruler. The Lot of Female Children is Ascendant + Venus – Jupiter. If these Lots are well placed
(particularly if they are in fruitful signs), if their rulers are well-dignified and free from affliction and well-aspected, it’s
an indication of children. Valens also states that “masculine” planet aspects to the child-bestowers give male children,
while feminine planets give girls. Here, I can only assume he’s talking about Jupiter, Venus and Mercury as the “child
bestowers” and not the Lots of Male and Female Children.