Void, Of Course

On the implications of the variance of the Void-of-Course Moon

A few minutes ago, I was about to click “Send” on an important email, when I thought to check for a “Void of Course” moon. This technique comes from Horary Astrology, and is generally considered to signify a time in which nothing comes of actions taken. So, if the Moon just happened to be Void of Course, maybe I should wait before sending the email, since, in this instance I want an affirmative reply to the message. All this is pretty standard stuff. Quoting fellow astrologer Tony Howard, who runs Find an Astrologer
“Void moon all day today. You know the drill by now. Chill out or play catch up”.

What I’m posting about today is that I think this goes deeper.

To get there, consider the definition of a Void of Course moon. Because the moon moves much faster than any other planet, it is always zooming into a new sign (every 2 1/2 days or so) , aspecting all the other planets, and then leaving that sign before entering the next sign. Each time it does so, you can ask “What is the last planet aspected by the Moon before leaving the sign it’s in, and when did that happen ?” This last aspect is considered to color, or condition, the moon. Once this final aspect has happened , no more aspects occur until the Moon enters the next sign. After this last directive from the final aspect has completed, the Moon is considered to be on it’s own, bereft of guidance and direction, or “void” of “course”.

In a Solar world, dominated by the premise that thinking, logic, and ego are the One True Path, times in which feelings, moods, whimsy hold sway are dangerous. Hence the ancient injunctions about not doing anything of import during a void-of-course Moon.

If you hold, however, that the sky’s patterns are guidance, then wouldn’t it be just as valid to say that the void-of-course Moon times are when we are advised to let go, to chill, to be irrational and indulge our feelings ? That our Lunar , soulful, intuitive nature needs to be nurtured, and the VOC (void of course) moon shows when and how long to let go of Logos and chill.

Today’s VOC lasts until 2:56 AM tomorrow. Sixteen hours and forty-eight minutes.
Last Sunday, the VOC Moon was from 1:46 PM to 6:44 PM – Only about 5 hours.
Sometimes, the VOC Moon lasts only minutes.

At any particular moment, one of the planets will have a higher degree than all the other planets. It is to this planet that the Moon makes it’s last aspect (traditionally, only Ptolemaic aspects are used, and thus the planet last aspected by the Moon may not be the planet of highest degree, but the same principles apply). If this planet is of relatively low zodiacal degree, then amount of space between this planet and the end of it’s current sign will be relatively large – resulting in a long period of VOC Moon. If that last aspected planet is very close to the end of a sign, then the VOC Moon is of short duration.

12_Sep_2013-Void Of Course

As an example, today the planets range from 2 degrees (Venus in Scorpio) to 21 degrees (Sun in Virgo). The Moon’s last aspect was to the Sun, at 10:08 AM (PDT). Last Sunday, Venus was still in Libra, at 27 degrees. Today, there are 9 degrees for the Moon to travel before entering a new sign, and receiving it’s new flavor. The Moon takes about 2 hours per degree, which is around 18 hours – and the length of today’s VOC Moon is explained.

We therefore have varying lengths of our cosmic parents recommended ‘time-out’s, which are inversely correlated with how closely the other planets are clumped. If the other planets are all closely clumped, then they will tend to have more aspects among themselves, and hence more action and stress. And. in precisely these periods we also have long void-of-course Moon’s, giving a naturally arising rhythm of action and repose. Almost as if there were balance built into the system.

I have one more point for your consideration – an astro-nerdy digression:

If the duration of the VOC Moons vary, then there exist maximum, average, and minimum durations. If you call the minimum VOC time “0.0” and the maximum “1.0”, then we can create a standardized measurement of social action intensity, by placing today’s void-of-course duration on this scale. Maybe today’s is 0.8 – fairly intense, I should say. I haven’t made this calculation (the 0.8 is just a guess), but wouldn’t it be interesting to find this average value, and compare it to, say, the amount of sleep we tend to need, or to the length of the Sabbath, and other chill-out times that most religions recommend.

This same approach could be applied to your birth chart as well: Find the duration of the VOC Moon that first occurred after your birth, compare that value to the ‘average’, and you have a (sort-of) objective measure of how much you, personally, need to cultivate a healthy irrationality, with respect to humanity’s average.
I haven’t made this computations, nor will I today, because after posting this blog, I’m going to take my own advice. Maybe a long, hot bath.


I sent the email anyway, at the moment noted above. The answer was ‘yes’. Sometimes you just live your life, regardless of what the Stars suggest.