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Shall the native have issue?

Updated: Feb 13, 2020

John Gadbury, the 17th century English Astrologer, in his Doctrine of Nativities & Horary Questions, has given some aphorisms which are quite interesting related to the child birth. I read the below aphorism and found it interesting and I wanted to test the same with charts with practical examples.

Barren planets are Saturn and Mars; Ketu is also reputed as barren, fruitful planets are Jupiter, Venus, Moon; the north node are also termed fruitful. The Sun and Mercury are indifferent at this point. Barren signs are Gemini, Leo and Virgo. But, prolifical signs are Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces; all the rest of the signs are acknowledged indifferent. [Page 117, Doctrine of Nativities & Horary Questions, Aphorism #6].

Phaladeepika, an Indian classical text on astrology says the native will be deprived of children if Ketu is placed in the 5th house. The same text says that the native will be childless if Rahu is placed in the 5th house. Basically, Indian astrology views both the nodes of the Moon as maleficent planets. On the other hand, John Gadbury says that the north node, Rahu is fruitful planet. This certainly comes as a shock to anyone who practices Indian astrology.

There are many other aphorisms in Gadbury’s text and there are many other finer conditions in Vedic astrological texts to analyze the childbirth of a native. Yet, this striking difference in the basic is what I wanted to explore with two charts, one with Rahu in 5th place and another with Ketu in 5th place. Both are male nativities.

Anonymous chart - 1

Libra was rising during the native’s birth with Rahu in the 5th house. Rahu is placed in the 5th house of Aquarius and the ruler of Aquarius (termed as indifferent by Gadbury), Saturn is placed in the 3rd house of Sagittarius forming a sign based sextile but there is no close degree aspect as Rahu has already passed the exact aspect long before the birth. So, there is no considerable mitigation to the 5th house. One mitigating factor is, Rahu is in an exact sextile to the lot of fortune in Aries. This native was blessed with a girl child within two years after their wedding resulting in a very healthy mother and beautiful baby with the grace of the gods.

Looking at the primary motion of the chart with ASC being the significator, Saturn was the timelord from 24 April 2018 and the baby was born on March 21, 2018. The difference of just over a month is not so significant when it comes to primary directions as the progressed planet would anyway be close to reaching the signifying point. Saturn is the promissor and Saturn is the 5th lord of the chart. Saturn is also a functional benefic in a day chart ruling an angle and a trine for a Libra rising chart. The bounds of Saturn was indeed beneficial to the native and Saturn has clearly delivered!

Anonymous chart - 2

This is yet another Libra rising chart. In this case, the native is childless and we see Ketu in the 5th house of Aquarius where Saturn is placed in the 3rd house. In this case, there is also a sextile reception where Ketu is applying to Saturn which can act as a mitigating factor as Saturn receives Ketu in Aquarius. 5th lord or the affected planet placed with the lot of fortune can be a mitigating factor but in this case, the lot of fortune is placed in the 12th house of loss. Yet, I am considering the lot of fortune as a major factor as the lot of children would be more appropriate. Lot of children is placed in the 1st house of Libra. Yet, there is a strong opposition between the lot of children and Mars which is very close (lot of children is not shown in the chart from Delphic Oracle - I calculated using the planet dance software) and it is a very strong indication of affliction as the lot of children is struck by an opposition from a malefic star.


Eventhough there are various ways of determining the promise of childbirth in a nativity, considering Rahu as a lesser malefic in the 5th house is a worthwhile idea. Yet, I myself have seen charts of women where there have been abortions with Rahu in the 5th house. But after an abortion or two (obviously painful both physically and psychologically) the natives have had children. But, I know women who are suffering from issues like polycystic ovary with Ketu in 5th house who are unable to have kids even after multiple spells of treatment which is sad but again worthwhile considering as an astrologer.

Note: Both the charts are used with the permission of the natives but I have still used them as anonymous charts.

Let peace be!


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