by Estelle Daniels
Many of the ancient wise ones practiced a rudimentary form of astrology, which only dealt with the Moon. This may seem limiting, but there is a wealth of information about the day-to-day affairs of the world which can be explored by just using the Moon, as she moves through her phases, moves through the signs of the zodiac and makes aspects to the other planets.
When a person starts working with Lunar energies, they start with maybe following the Moon as she moves from sign to sign, and learning about the influences which change as she changes signs every few days. Then a person may also start planning activities according to the phase of the Moon, starting projects at or after the New Moon, watching them come to fruition at full, and using the waning phases to evaluate and wrap up, and finally ending the project as the Moon becomes dark again.
Eventually, the interested person will come across the term, Void-of-course Moon or the indicator v/c or VOC. This is a special condition of the Moon, which occurs for varying amounts of time as the Moon moves from one sign to the next and makes aspects to the other planets, and if used can be a very effective way to get the cosmic energies to make life go more in your favor. This article will explain how to identify when the Moon is void of course and what that does to the ebb and flow of everyday life.
These techniques have little or nothing to do with your personal natal astrological chart. These conditions exist in the world at large and affect everyone more or less the same. Some people are more sensitive, and some are more aware of the influences than others, but the influences are there for anyone to use. These techniques should not be used in interpreting a natal chart. This type of astrology predates natal (birthchart) astrology, and is among the oldest arcane knowledge which has been passed down to us through the ages. The systems have been refined and added to as time passed, and some of these techniques are more modern than others. But this specialized branch of astrology, known as Horary and Electional Astrology, is usually practiced today apart from Natal Astrology – which is just the most popular, familiar and regular astrology the average person is familiar with from horoscope columns, to astrology magazines to most astrology books on the market today.
As with any specialized system, there are some rules to remember:
1) As the Moon moves through each sign of the zodiac, she aspects the other planets. Now, when dealing with a Void-of-course Moon (usually called "void" for short), the aspects which 'count' are the basic classical aspects, the conjunction, sextile, square, trine and opposition. Other aspects will still happen, and have effects, but they are considered minor aspects and are not to be counted in determining whether the Moon is void or not. REMEMBER THIS. It is an important concept here. This condition of the void Moon is very old, and was being used centuries before some of the minor aspects were even 'invented'.
2) Also highly important is that time is a crucial factor in this system. The Moon is constantly moving forward (some planets actually appear to stop and reverse direction from time to time [See the article on Mercury Retrograde]), and as she moves she makes aspects one after another. There is always another aspect coming up, it may be only seconds or it may be days away, but it is coming up. Once an aspect is past, the minute after it is exact (as listed in the almanac), it is done with, it is over. This is a specialized type of astrology (Horary and Electional) which only uses aspects coming up (applying) or exact. Aspects after the fact (separating) are in the past and no longer count for what you are doing. If you started something before the aspect was exact, then it has the stamp of the nature of that aspect on it, even if it takes longer to accomplish than it takes for the aspect to become exact. But in the flow of time, in daily events, only applying and exact aspects count. Once the Moon is Void, she stays that way until the minute she enters the next sign. Then she has received her next assignment and the work starts up again, until the next void Moon.
3) Another thing to remember, is that the only planets which 'count' for the aspects to the Moon are the standard planets most everyone uses; that is Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. THIS IS IMPORTANT. The asteroids, Chiron, Uranian (or imaginary) planets, and any others you might have heard of or use, do not count for determining if the Moon is void-of-course. The almanacs may list these other planets and/or aspects, but should only count voids from classical aspects of the Moon to the 'standard' planets.
4) And yet another thing to remember is that aspects between any planets other than the Moon are irrelevant to the Moon being void or not. They happen when they do, and they have their effects, but they have no bearing on the Moon's void condition. The same applies with other planets changing signs, they do not count. The Void-of-course Moon is determined from aspects made by the Moon to the other planets and by the Moon alone changing signs.
These are the rules for this type of astrology. They may be a bit archaic and stuffy, and even seem backward and restrictive, but they work. If you follow them, you can achieve some remarkable results.
How this all works is that the Moon is considered the fastest moving planet in the astrological universe. It can move from 11 1/2 to 15+ degrees in a day. The average motion for the Moon is about 13 degrees a day. Being fastest, it aspects all the other planets. The other planets make aspects to some and are aspected by others. It all depends upon the average relative speed of the planets: faster planets aspect slower planets and slower planets are aspected by faster planets. But aspecting, making the aspect is the active thing, and the aspecting planet is the active one. The planet receiving the aspect, or being aspected, is the passive one. Again, this is an archaic concept, but one which makes this system work.
So the Moon makes aspects to various planets as she moves through a given sign. Some she may aspect, some not depending upon where the other planets are in the zodiac. If the Moon is in Aries, and Mars is in Virgo, they do not make any of the classical aspects between them while the Moon is in Aries.
Eventually there comes a time when the Moon has made her last aspect, yet there is still a portion of a sign to traverse. It may only take a little time for the Moon to traverse the rest of the sign, if the last aspect was to a planet in a late degree. It may take a lot of time for the Moon to traverse the rest of the sign if all the other planets are in early degrees, or the last aspect in that sign was to a planet in an early degree. There is then this length of time, when the Moon is still traversing a sign, but it has no more aspects to make before it moves into the next sign. This time, short or long, is when the Moon is Void-of-course. An analogy I like to use is that while the Moon travels through a sign she is given an 'assignment' for the time she is in that sign, and the aspects she makes symbolize the 'work' she has to do. Eventually in this 'work period' there comes a time when the Moon has finished all her tasks (aspects), and yet she cannot start on any new work. The Moon must wait until she changes signs and receives a new assignment. So she just sits around, marking time until she gets a new assignment. This marking-time period, is the Void-Of-Course period. Cosmically speaking, the Moon is 'out to lunch' or 'gone fishing' or 'taking a break' from her normal daily routine. She has nothing to do, so she sits around, daydreaming and just hanging out on break until the time comes for her to start a new assignment. She is having her weekend, only these weekends are of varying lengths and occur every two to three days or so.
Among the many things the Moon rules is the masses, people in groups, daily routine, habits, instincts and personal patterns. It is the unconscious, and also the unconscious things we do to get through life. Unless you are just learning to drive, driving a car is pretty automatic for most of us, as long as conditions are normal. It's the same with all those things we do in a day, brushing our teeth, taking a shower, making coffee, walking to the bus, everything we would consider normal and routine. Things we don't really have to concentrate upon to get accomplished. These little tasks, which might not seem so important or interesting, are what make the ebb and flow of daily life, and we tend only to take notice of them when they don't go as we are used to, whenever our routine is broken. This is where the void Moon can come into play.
Well, we now know that the Moon experiences these cosmic break times, but how does that affect the populace at large? The Moon, which rules daily routines is on break, and so are we, so to speak. Watch and see how the ebb and flow of life changes as the Moon moves from sign to sign. Things which were very important one day, are pushed aside as new ideas and concerns move to the forefront of consciousness. There is an actual shifting of gears when the Moon changes signs. But, like a manual transmission car, there has to be a time when things are in neutral, so to speak, so the gears can be changed. That is the void Moon time.
The upshot of it all is that there are things which just don't go well when the Moon is void, and actually some things which turn out better.
During a void Moon you should not sign a contract, make plans, close a deal, start a project. Basically anything which you want to have a concrete real-world result should not be started or signed and sealed. If you do, these things will never get off the ground, or never materialize or have to be re-done, or have so many problems and setbacks as to be useless anyhow. False starts and errors abound. Judgment is more fallible. If you leave on a trip (some say arrive at your destination), on a void Moon, be prepared to take what happens – plans will be altered, itineraries go out the window, new and strange experiences will manifest. Fun for a vacation, bad for a business trip. Business moves fail to generate profits or meet with unexpected difficulties. Objects bought during a void Moon either never get used or are 'not right' in some way, or you don't find what you were looking for in the first place. You can go grocery shopping, but just stick to the basics, don't look for special items or try new ones. You either won't find them or they will just never get eaten and probably will have to be thrown out. And expect to 'forget' some absolutely essential everyday item (like milk or bread), and be sure to carefully count your change and look at the cash register receipt, silly little mistakes are more common during void Moons.
Delay and frustration run higher than normal. If you have to work on a void Moon, stick to routine and don't try strange new stuff. If you make plans on a void Moon (or some say, plan to meet during a void Moon), expect to have mutual misunderstandings; like you show up at the place you agreed, but at the wrong time, or your friend shows up at the right time, but in the wrong place. Or someone gets lost no matter how careful you were with directions, or how familiar you might be with the neighborhood. It's easier to get lost during a void Moon, but you may also discover those strange interesting out-of-the-way places you would never ordinarily go to. Just be sure to write it down so you can remember where it is if you ever want to return.
Void Moon time is when you lose objects which are in plain sight. You just literally don't see them. Or you put something away and cannot remember where it is afterwards, so it becomes effectively lost. Cheer up, you may find it again during another void Moon. During a void Moon, you can have a conversation, or read something and then totally forget about it later. Save the trashy romances for this time, since you probably won't be able to get any real effective work done. You could do dishes or laundry or clean house during a void Moon, but you might not finish due to interruptions or distractions. Staying on a diet can be tough, and you are more prone to rationalize cheating. Resolve and willpower in general are a little less strong. There is a feeling of, "what they don't know won't hurt them", or "if nobody knows, then I can get away with it". If you do succumb to temptation, you may have to pay the piper once the Moon moves into the next sign.
On the other hand, if you want to drop a bombshell, and yet have fewer repercussions in the long run, during the Void-of-course Moon is the time to do it.
REAL EXAMPLE. Remember President Reagan, how he was the Teflon President, in that he never got blamed for any of the bad stuff? Well he was very careful to schedule those Presidential news conferences where he would answer the hard questions about nasty controversial stuff during void Moons. There would be questions, and discussion, yet the next day in the paper or on TV, nothing would ever really be said, the topic was just dropped, or forgotten or glossed over, and nobody really ever noticed. The Void Moon was Reagan's Teflon. Even when Nancy Reagan admitted that they used astrology at the Republican national convention on live TV with Dan Rather in August 1988, it was during a Void Moon and nobody really noticed or cared. (This is the stuff which causes astrologers to tear out their hair). Of course, when President Reagan had something wonderful to say which would make him look good and he wanted people to notice, he was very careful to make sure the Moon was NOT void-of-course, so he would receive maximum notice and credit. He also used other astrological tricks, which also helped, but the biggest and easiest was the void Moon.
Void-of-course Moon is best for subjective, spiritual, non-material concerns, prayer, yoga, play, parties, psychotherapy, sleep, meditation. Take a warm bubble bath, listen to Yanni and relax. Decision making turns out to be non-realistic. Creativity takes unplanned directions, detours, improvisations. Routine and habit can proceed smoothly, but may need adjustment later (when the Moon is no longer void). ESP is more active (though not necessarily more accurate). Voids are good for mind expanding stuff – like getting drunk or high, or creative writing or role-playing. It is like a mini-weekend every few days or so, when the cosmos kicks back and takes a bit of a rest. A 'don't worry, be happy' atmosphere is what the thing is all about. Neurotic tendencies and bad habits are more open to change. Parties are more fun, but may not start on time, or last longer than planned or you end up with unexpected guests, who may end up being the hit of the party. Certainly everyone is more relaxed and open to fun and play. Just don't expect to get any business done if you're entertaining clients.
Emotions flow more freely though in a less controlled manner. If you see a movie during a void Moon, you may not remember the plot or actors, but come away with an impression of feelings, emotions and past memories the movie triggered. Nostalgia and sentiment abound during a void Moon, but so do paranoia and free-floating anxiety. All the irrational impulses become easier to indulge. Remembering the past is easier, but you may trigger strong flashbacks as well. Disassociation is more possible, but getting back to reality will take more work. Hypnotism is easier, but post hypnotic suggestions may either backfire or not take hold. Being sneaky, if you have to be called on the carpet or disciplined, try to arrange it be done while the Moon is void of course, and there will be fewer repercussions, and people will not remember as many details (If at all).
If some salesman insists on showing up at your home to demonstrate something you have no inclination to buy, schedule the appointment during the void Moon. It may be harder to say no, but chances are you won't end up buying anyhow, or he won't even show up, or he'll make some stupid mistake. If you have a fight during a void Moon, it could just blow over. If you're stopped and given a ticket during a void Moon, it will be easier to get out of it, or get a reduced fine because of mistakes, or lax record keeping, or just making them feel sorry for you, appealing to their emotions. If you have to date someone and don't really want anything to come of it, start the date on the void Moon. And if you break up on a void Moon, chances are you'll be back together in a couple of days.
Generally, if you want something to have a tangible effect, do not start it when the Moon is void. If you want meditation, or mind expansion, or a bit of play/rest/relaxation, then the void Moon is the time for you. Be careful, you have more of a tendency to get 'lost in the stars' during a void Moon. Things are not as grounded and centered. Space cadets are more spacey, and the old solid fuddy duddies have even been known to unbend and let their hair down.
If you pay attention to Void Moon times, you can be more effective in your life. Things which you want to matter should be done when the Moon is NOT void, and relaxation and fun can be maximized when the Moon is Void. Just using it for plans or signing contracts or avoiding negative repercussions can make life easier.
© 1995, 2002 Estelle Daniels, all rights reserved.