A compilation of longevity techniques using the prenatal lunation with other techniques

I did not go into details with the each longevity technique to find the releaser (hīlāj) and its lord (kadukḫudhāh). I mainly wanted to see how each major astrologer treated the prenatal lunation in that context. It is clear there were 2 main lines of technique; Dorothean & Ptolemy. Valens methods were only cited in a few cases and often the techniques were not quite what we find in Valens but a derivative most certainly. There were many techniques using the prenatal lunation in delineation. I have only touched briefly on some of them in this compilation

I think it is safe to start with Dorotheus.

Dorotheus used the prenatal lunation for indications concerning the native and his mother; whether free or slaves.

[Prenatal lunations and their triplicity lords]
24 I command you to look (for one born in the meeting)[1] at the degree of the meeting, so it may be known who the lord of the triplicity of that sign is (and for one whose nativity was in the fullness, so that the lord of the triplicity in which the fullness was, may be known). 25 So you look at these two signs: who is looking at them?
26 Now if you found the first lord of the triplicity in a bad place and the second one in a good place, then those people will go out from slavery to emancipation.
27 And if you found the first lord of the triplicity in a good place and the second one in a bad place, then say that in his first years he will be free, and at the end of his life poverty, baseness, and service will come to him. 28 (And the bad places are the sixth, twelfth, eighth, and third, except that the Moon rejoices in her alighting in the third.)
29 And if you found the first and second lords of the triplicities of the meeting and fullness in a bad place, then one born like that will not cease to be a slave or servant, from the beginning of his life to the end of his life.
30 And if they were both in a good place, then he will be free from the beginning of his life to the end of his life.
31 And if you found an infortune in the sign of the meeting or fullness, and you found the other infortune looking at it, you report his [terrible] fate, and misfortune will overwhelm him.
32 And <if you found> the lord of the bound of that degree in which the meeting and fullness was, in a bad place or in the sign of the seventh or the fourth from the Ascendant, then it indicates slavery and poverty. 33 But if a planetary fortune looks at it, and the lord of that bound is in a good place, and the meeting or fullness is in a bad place and the infortunes look <at it>, then the father of the native will be esteemed and his mother will have poor esteem. [2]


Dorotheus’ gave instructions when to use the prenatal lunation as the releaser (hyleg); as translated by ´Umar:

[Chapter III.2:] The releaser
1 <Now I will explain to you> the releaser (and it is the indicator [of the matter of life]), and the house-master (and it is the governor of the matter of life). 2 So the releaser by day is the Sun, and by night the Moon, then the degrees of the bound of the Ascendant, then the Lot of Fortune, and for one whose nativity is from the meeting to the fullness,[3] [the next strongest is] the degree of the meeting,[4] and for one whose nativity was in what is between the fullness and the meeting,[5] [it is] the degree in which the fullness was (and it is fifteen [days] in the month, and its night is more powerful [for] that).[6]
3 And by day the Sun and by night the Moon and the better of the two is the one in a stake, and especially the Ascendant. 4 And there is no escaping [that] if the one whose lord of [its] bound is looking at the releaser (or the lord of its house, or the lord of its elevation,[7] or the lord of its triplicity, or the lord of its image [8]), then it was in this status, it is the releaser. 5 But if the lord of the bound or one of those I mentioned (the lord of its house, or its triplicity, or its exaltation, or its image; the primary one of them being the lord of the bound, then the lord of the triplicity) is not witnessing it, then it is not fit to be made the releaser.[9]


To continue reading you can find the full PDF under the New Articles menu.


[1] ‘Meeting’ is referring to the ‘meetings’ of the luminary; i.e. either the prenatal new moon ( ‘the meeting’) or the prenatal full moon (the ‘fullness’).

[2] Book I chapter 10 (p. 74) – Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus of Sidon – Translated and edited by Benjamin Dykes PhD, Cazimi Press 2017

[3] i.e. from the new moon to the full moon.

[4] I am not sure why been inserts the text [the next strongest] because what Dorotheus is saying is that if the Moon in the nativity was from the new moon up to the full moon then use the degree of the new moon.

[5] i.e. when the Moon is found between the full moon to new moon.

[6] This seems to mean that the degree of the prevention is more significant for people born at night. But this sentence could also be understood in the following, more simple way: (1) for people born after the meeting, the degree of the meeting is the next strongest releaser; (2) for people born after the fullness, the degree of the fullness is the next stronger; and (3) the fullness happens on the fifteenth day of the month, which includes the night. –Ben Dykes 
[My opinion is that it simply meant that in a nocturnal chart, if it was a prenatal full moon, it was more significant; not that should be preferred in a nocturnal chart. It might be desired but not necessary. He most certainly does not choose one above the other but obviously in a diurnal chart one could say that the new moon is perhaps more weighty in delineation than the full moon simply because the new moon is not visible and the sun predominates, i.e. it is of the diurnal sect; just like in a nocturnal chart a prenatal full moon would be ‘of the sect’ and therefore more weighty. If Ptolemy were working from the same root text as Dorotheus, or maybe even citing Dorotheus here, then I would say Ptolemy has extrapolated a rule that was not in fact a rule but a comment on how strong the prenatal lunation would work in the nativity. We know Hephaistio was working with the original manuscript and poem because he cites it. And the diurnal/nocturnal distinction is not in that citation he gives from Dorotheus. Therefore it is hard for me to believe Dorotheus’ intention was to say that the prenatal full moon should only be used in nocturnal charts. The number 1 problem with Ptolemy’s astrology is that he NEVER tells us his sources! This is odd in itself but even odder knowing the fact that he always cites his sources in the Almagest! -Steven Birchfield]

[7] Exalted ruler

[8] This is not included in Hephaistio’s quote from Dorotheus…perhaps a Persian addition?

[9] Book III Chapter 2 (p. 189) – Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus of Sidon – Translated and edited by Benjamin Dykes PhD, Cazimi Press 2017

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