The well informed know that refrenation is when a planet is about to form an exact aspect to another planet but then goes retrograde. It simply means that the planet refrains from making the aspect.
But I have also come across a reference in, “Ye Clowne’s Almanack for the Yeare 1612″*, where it is described as a technique of food preservation. Refrenatione. Refrenatione was very popular in the 17th century it seems. Readers of William Lilly may recall his “Where is my fish?” horary. He eventually recovered part of the fish. If it hadn’t been for refrenation all would have been lost. Refrenatione was replaced later by quaint white boxes.
Recently a very clever young astrologer thought that it was the perfect description of what happens when a planet falls into a pitted degree. As he is convinced that this has an influence on the appearance he doesn’t want to tell his youthful clients that they have a planet on a pitted degree. It sounds too brutal. Refrenation somehow sounds scientific and his clients don’t become as upset about it. He has recently engaged in a joint-venture with a cosmetic company. They have developed a series of refrenation cremes and lotions which they expect will be very popular among adolescants. I wrote him, toute suite, and told him that he should refrain from this. It is disrespectful and false, as refrenation means something entirely different. He should call his cremes re-frezation, which sounds much freezer.
* Note, at that time “clown” meant a simple country person.