Fred Asks:

“I was reading your idea about Venus in the wedding chart and my question is the two points you mention (Hyleg and Alcochoden) how are they figured and given an example of their use. Where or how would I find them in my chart? How important are they in a person’s life?”

Laura Asks:

“I just completed reading a article relating to the Hyleg and Alchocoden. I have an intermediate understanding of astrology. Anyway, this article went on to predict timing of death in a chart. When I looked at my own, I discovered that in the year 2011 at around age 48, I have some of the aspects the article was mentioning…It REALLY freaked me out. I never even bothered to calculate the Alchocoden and don’t intend to. The 8th house stuff was enough for me. Please tell me if there is some other interpretation for such a thing. I really think that the person that wrote this should have considered the impact of an article like this before posting it. I don’t know why anyone would want to predict such an event. I am even sorrier that I read it. Having a strong 8th house, ruled by Mercury, my curiosity and investigative nature worked against me when I read it.”

Kevin Answers:

Fred and Laura,

First, I’ll explain how to calculate the Hyleg and Alcochoden in the chart (and be warned, you’re not going to like it) and then I’ll address Laura’s concerns.

The Hyleg is a point that relates to the overall health and endurance of the individual—it is the “giver of life.” The Hyleg, then relates to our overall vitality and strength. The Alcochoden is the “giver of years” and relates to length of life.

Step 1: If the Sun is in the 1st, 10th or 11th house it is the Hyleg. If the Sun is in the 7th, 8th, or 9th house and in a masculine sign, it is the Hyleg.

Step 2: If the Sun is not the Hyleg, look at the Moon. If the Moon is in a feminine sign and in an angular or succedant house (i.e., not in the 3rd, 6th, 9th, or 12th) the Moon is the Hyleg.

Step 3: If neither the Sun nor the Moon is the Hyleg, then look at the Ascendant and the Part of Fortune. If the chart has a waning Moon, start with the Part of Fortune. If the chart has a waxing Moon, start with the Ascendant. Look for a planet that both disposes (working down the list of dignities from Rulership down to Face) and aspects the point. If such a planet exists, then that point (Ascendant or Part of Fortune) is the Hyleg.

It is possible (although rare) for a chart not to have a Hyleg.

If the Hyleg is the Sun or the Moon, the Alcochoden is the almuten of the Hyleg (the planet with the greatest dignity at the degree of the Hyleg. If the Hyleg is the Part of Fortune or the Ascendant, the Alcochoden is the planet that made that point the Hyleg (by disposing and aspecting it).

You would then evaluate the strength and dignity of the Hyleg and Alcochoden and pay particular attention to transits by and to these points; when these planets and points are afflicted, it can result in physical illness or injury. Since the Part of Fortune and the Ascendant can have no dignity (as they aren’t physical bodies) having one of these points as the Hyleg already indicates a somewhat diminished vitality (or so the classical literature implies).

I told you that you weren’t going to like the explanation. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Solar Fire 5 will calculate the Hyleg of the chart.

The bad news is that it won’t calculate the Alcochoden, which means that if the Hyleg is the Ascendant or Part of Fortune you still have to figure out which planet made that point the Hyleg in order to find the Alcochoden.

Now, to address Laura’s concerns. A few hard aspects to the Hyleg of your chart are not harbingers of death! It is not possible (let alone ethical) to predict death, even working with classical techniques that seem to have been designed for this purpose. The thing that we must remember is that modern medicine has made a rather significant difference in our lives, and illnesses or accidents that would certainly have proved fatal in the 17th century are little more than an inconvenience to us today. If you do experience very stressful transits to your Hyleg (and by the way—you’d probably need rough transits to both the Hyleg and the Alcochoden at the same time to even begin to be concerned; and much of the classical literature indicates that the transiting planets must also include the planet that is either the Hyleg or the Alcochoden in the chart) you may be looking at a time of physical injury or illness, but it’s by no means an indicator of death.

Furthermore, the 8th house relates to the manner of death, not to the timing of death. If you want the timing of death, you look to the 4th house, which relates to all beginnings and endings.

And lastly, the chances are, Laura, that you’ve survived the same transits that you’re fearing in 2011 several times before already in your life, and they certainly didn’t kill you then, so there’s no reason to believe that they will kill you now.

I agree with you wholeheartedly that any article that covers classical techniques for predicting death (and yes, they do exist, and no, they have no real validity today thanks to the advances of modern medicine, and again, no ethical professional astrologer would ever predict anyone’s death under any circumstances) should include some strong disclaimers and cautions.

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