This question was posed by a desperate (married) acquaintance of mine who was having an affair. He wanted to know whether his ‘new girlfriend’ was pregnant, as her period was delayed for about two weeks, this being the first instance of such irregularity since the two got involved more than a year ago.
Sahl bin Bishr instructs us to look at the ascendant, its ruler and the Moon. Basically, he says that if the Moon/ascendant lord are in the 5th and/or the lord of the 5th is in the 1st, free from the malefics, the woman is pregnant. If the Moon/ascendant lord are joined to a planet cadent from the ascendant, it signifies detriment (more strongly so if the ascendant is a movable sign or there’s a malefic in an angle or if the Moon is joined to a malefic). But if the planet receiving the Moon’s/ascendant lord’s disposition is free from the malefics and it is in a ‘good place’, the woman is pregnant.
The lady of the ascendant, Venus is in the angle of the earth in a barren sign of Leo peregrine and not received, which is the first testimony against pregnancy, reinforced by the placement of her twelfth-part in Aries, a sign “of few children, sometimes none” (according to Abu Ma’shar/Al Qabisi’s Introduction to Astrology) in the unfortunate 12th WHS/in detriment. She is joining no planet and none of the planets is being joined to her so I turned to the Moon in Libra for supporting testimonies. Libra is again a sign “of few children” and being the cadent 6th WHS of the chart, made me think about some health/stress related issue which probably caused the delay – after all, air signs generally symbolize blood and Libra ‘rules’ ovaries as well and the Moon is separating from Jupiter, lord of the 8th by square! Additionally, the Moon’s twelfth-part is in the sign of its detriment in the 9th, the house opposite of its joy – further testimonies against successful conception.
The Moon is joined to Mercury, lord of the 5th (the matter inquired about), by square with mutual reception but he is cadent, retrograde and under the beams, making him unable to retain the Moon’s light (his twelfth-part in the 8th in detriment, in a tight conjunction with Saturn’s twelfth-part!) Though the return is theoretically with amelioration (due to Mercury offering reception by triplicity/term) I judged the woman not pregnant, first and foremost because of the bad significations pertaining to the retreating 6th WHS where the Moon gets its light returned. I thought the cadency of both planets (and Mercury’s other grave impediments) would overrule the reception existing between them, making it a case of light being returned with detriment/corruption – since both are incapacitated to act, the matter never gets developed. The conflicting testimonies of light being returned with both amelioration and destruction still favored the latter, because of the preponderance of negative indications through twelfth-parts and the position of Venus along with the square aspect connecting the Moon/Mercury.
Now one might ask what’s the difference between this case and the one presented here https://7heavenastrology.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/an-example-of-mashaallah-al-kindi-in-action/ since the outcomes are different but the charts pretty similar. I think there are several important points to consider. First of all, while the Moon in Pisces does get its light returned by a cadent, peregrine and combust Jupiter in Taurus with amelioration, it has additional strength to deal with it because of its position in the 4th WSH where it has testimony of triplicity/term while the aspect itself is a harmonious sextile having the strength/nature of a trine (Paulus Alexandrinus, Introductory Matters); the Moon in the latter case is only in its face in Libra. Furthermore, its following application is to a strong angular, benefic Venus in the 7th in its sect/halb with reception, whereas in the pregnancy question, if we allow for the possibility of the Moon’s ‘recovery’ through reception provided by Mercury, its next joining is again to a cadent planet (the Sun) which doesn’t offer reception. To the contrary – the Moon is downright rejected, as it approaches the Sun from the sign of its slavery/depression by square!
But probably the most important thing to bear in mind is the different context of the two questions – while any real estate does eventually find its buyer/renter despite the potentially problematic chart indications, the conception of a new life is a much more fragile,sensitive issue which cannot ‘survive’ the hardship/strain involved in the return of light.
The outcome – two days later, greatly relieved, the man sent me an SMS confirming the veracity of my judgment. I was glad to hear the news too, because the old masters’ techniques proved their accuracy and reliability once more 🙂