Category: Moon Cycles Written by Robert Wilkinson Views: 1302
When the Moon is Void of Course (VOC) it means the Moon makes no more "major" aspects to other planets before it leaves a sign. It is said “nothing happens of note,” which is ridiculous since something’s happening all the time, regardless of the position of the Moon. If you want to know more about this misunderstood phenomenon, read on.
The last time we visited this subject was 8 years ago, and I’ve added material to what I gave you then. There’s a lot of superstition about the VOC Moon, with many believing we should punt our lives and affairs during those times. It is said that since things begun on a VOC Moon come to naught, it’s supposedly a good time for filing tax returns, but a bad time for getting nominated for the presidency or inaugurated.
As I've made clear in many articles, I don't believe "nothing important happens when the Moon is Void of Course." No one thing determines whether important things happen or don't, though it could be said that our own free will, behavior, and responses to life circumstances and events determine our character and therefore our destiny, which is pretty important in the larger scheme of things.
The History of Void of Course Moons
What many astrologers never learn is that originally the use of the VOC Moon was strictly limited to Horary and Electional Astrology before the latter part of the 20th century. Horary is the branch of the Celestial Science which deals with posing a question at a certain time to find an answer or outcome to an event, or possibility, or offer. Electional Astrology is the branch where we begin with a desired outcome and find a time to initiate that event. The VOC Moon was never used in natal or mundane astrology, and generally wasn’t considered a factor in evaluating a Lunation where the Moon falls in the final degree(s) of a sign.
Also, in the traditional approach, technically the VOC Moon considers only transit to transit Ptolemaic aspects, such as we find on Astrological calendars. Usually these are limited to the conjunction, opposition, sextile, trine, and square, and occasionally include the non-Ptolemaic semisextile, semisquare, and quincunx. Of course there are many more aspects than these, which would change the picture radically were they to be included in what aspects we're considering in the context of the VOC Moon. If we take the non-Ptolemaic “minor” aspects into account, then there are very few times the Moon is not in some relationship with some planet.
For example, can anyone really state that the so-called "minor" aspects such as semisquares (45 degrees), sesquisquares (135 degrees), or quincunxes (150 degrees) are not powerful aspects indicating turning points, crises, agitations and adjustments in our lives? There are other harmonic aspect series which indicate important phase relationships between the Moon and the other planets.
This is where we cannot rely only on astro-calendars, since very few aspectarians account for any of the 5th or 10th harmonic aspects (Decile, Quintile, Tredecile, Biquintile), 7th harmonic aspects (Septile, Biseptile, Triseptile), or 9th harmonic aspects (Novile, Binovile, and Quadranovile – only the Trinovile, or Trine, is considered). Their absence is probably due to space limitations, since a pocket calendar would easily become a small book if they included every possible aspect of significance!
These are not traditional aspects as known in antiquity (unless we include the Keplerian aspects as “of antiquity”), yet while their influence can be subtle, they can also be quite dramatic! After 50 years of studying aspects and seeing how they work, I can definitely say that even “minor” aspects mark major points of specialization, "forks in the road of destiny," or stages in our larger spiritual development. We certainly would not dismiss the importance of a Yod, or “Finger of God,” simply because it has two quincunxes, since the quincunxes describe how that evolutionary configuration works!
If the Moon makes any aspect from any of these "minor" harmonic aspect series to another planet, is it still void of course? If we use only traditional aspects, then it is, but why, given what we now know about “the Whole Cycle,” would we dismiss important aspects which describe various phase relationships unrelated to the traditional aspects? We now use a plethora of aspects to describe the various relationships between the different parts of our inner and outer life, so I think it’s time to retire the limited notion that the Moon is VOC when it makes no Ptolemaic aspects but still makes these "minor" but significant aspects.
If You Have A Planet In the Final Degrees of A Sign
Even if we accept the concept of the VOC Moon as somehow meaningful beyond showing that it’s the end of a type of experience, I’ve found that those of us who have planets in the last degrees of their signs never experience a VOC Moon, since it’s always making some kind of aspect in our chart regardless of what it is or is not doing with the planets in the sky. For example, my chart has Saturn at 29 Virgo and Mercury conjunct the Midheaven at 30 Aries. The Moon always makes aspects to these planets in my chart before it leaves any sign.
As you can see, the Moon could never be VOC to me, since it's always in some aspect to my Saturn, Mercury, and Midheaven before it changes signs. The transiting Moon is always in some relationship to the rulers of Capricorn, Aquarius, Gemini, and Virgo in my chart whenever it transits the final degrees of any sign. That holds true even if we limit the aspects to the Ptolemaic angles. For those of us with planets at 29 and 30 degrees of a sign, there is no such thing as "void of course."
Then there are those who are born with the Moon in the final degrees of a sign. Certainly a person born with a “VOC Moon” isn't "doomed" to a life of nothing happening of significance. Also, if we factor in progressed planets, at some point in life one or more of our progressed planets will occupy the final degrees of a sign. That progressed part of you the planet represents will be triggered by the transiting and progressed Moon aspecting that planet, certainly indicating internal shifts in perspective. And if you have a planet in the last degrees of a sign in your Solar Return chart, you can expect things associated with that planet in the Solar Return chart, as well as the natal houses it rules, to be affected.
What Does the Moon in the Final Degrees of A Sign Indicate?
Of course the Moon at the end of a sign means something different than it does at the beginning or middle of a sign. Also, the Moon still has some meaning or influence whether it’s in a “phase relationship” (aspect) with some other planet or not. The Moon at the end of a sign just shows that it’s completed a good part of whatever its presence in that sign is about, and preparing to enter another sign experience. In Horary and Electional charts, the Moon at the end of a sign shows it’s the end of a period of experiencing that sign energy, and indicates a change must occur before the new conditions arrive.
When the Moon is at the end of a sign, it is true that often things "hang out" until it changes signs, since the Moon indicates the daily and weekly fluxes in lives and affairs, and when it's at the end of a sign it indicates those affairs symbolized by that sign are at an end. However, it is equally valid to say that simply because we don't note that something is happening, it doesn't mean that, in fact, nothing is happening. There are often pauses in life, when we catch a break before renewed activity. This may or may not be associated with a VOC Moon.
So it may well be that any time the pop astrology calendars note a "Void of Course Moon," it may or may not be entirely true. There may or may not be dramatic events in the outer world, but if the Moon still makes aspects in your chart, you can bet you will experience a definite energy associated with that aspect between the Moon and whatever planet you have in your chart, the houses they occupy, and the houses that planet rules.
The VOC Moon May or May Not Get Us Audited
Remember that the planets do not “cause” anything to happen or not happen; that power is within us, though of course we do not have full control over life and other people’s behavior. The planets merely symbolize the “phase” various parts of us and life are at, and the aspects show us how our phase relates to others’ phases, or the phase some activity is at in our world.
I am aware of many anecdotal tales of sending in tax returns during void of course Moons yielding no audits, negotiations supposedly going nowhere during these periods, and efforts apparently coming to naught. Of course, it’s also good to remember that these things also happen when the Moon is not VOC.
There are many tax returns that are sent in when the Moon is not VOC that are not audited, and I'm sure there are many audits that came about due to flaky numbers on a tax return, regardless of whether the Moon was VOC or not. The real world is like that. That means we cannot entirely attribute these types of events solely to a VOC Moon.
In another example of the illusion that "nothing important happens when the Moon is VOC," the presidential inauguration Moons of 2009 and 2021 were both allegedly VOC. As we know, plenty happened between 2009-2013, and plenty "will happen" in the coming years of this administration. As you can surmise, it’s absurd to believe that there is ever a time when nothing is happening, or when our honest and diligent efforts won't bear some kind of fruit in their season, even if the results don't look like we'd want. If we took that attitude then we’d be seeing entire days when supposedly nothing important could happen, or when our efforts would come to naught. That’s ridiculous.
In another example, during late February 2013, no planet occupied a degree between 21-30 in any sign. The Moon made its last major aspect, an opposition to Mars 6 ½ hours before entering Libra. However, in that supposedly VOC period the Moon made triseptiles to Venus and Neptune, tredeciles to Jupiter and Pluto, and a septile to Saturn. Those are fairly important aspects to be dismissed as having “no significant effect!”
Then we had a period of a week at the end of March 2013 when all the planets were in the first 13 degrees of their respective signs. According to VOC theory, nothing significant happened for large periods of time whenever the Moon was in the second half of a sign. Somehow I doubt “nothing important happened” when the Moon made no traditional aspects for 36 hours across March 20-21, 36 hours across March 22-24, 22 hours across March 25-26, 18 hours across March 27-28, and 31 hours across March 29-30! If nothing else, we had two very powerful interlocking Yods going on then, regardless of where the Moon was and what aspects it made.
These days, because Pluto is in the last face of Capricorn, there’s almost never a time when the Moon is technically VOC. And because Neptune is now in the last decan of Pisces, it also will be aspected by the Moon at the end of its transit of a sign. By 2023-2024, both Pluto and Neptune will be dancing around the final degrees of Capricorn and Pisces.
According to the ancients, since they didn’t know about the invisible planets, we will have times when the Moon won’t make Ptolemaic aspects to other planets before it leaves a sign for days at a time. Right now, if we exclude the outer Spiritual Triad, throughout the year the Moon will be VOC during large chunks of time when all the visible planets are in the first two decans of their signs. Certainly we cannot assume “nothing important will happen” during those time spans!
The Void of Course (VOC) Moon is said to occur whenever the Moon makes no more aspects to any other transiting planet before it leaves the sign it's in. Historically it was only applied to questions in Horary and Electional Astrology, and the only aspects considered in determining whether a Moon was VOC were the conjunction, opposition, sextile, square, and trine.
It is assumed by many pop astrologers that supposedly the VOC Moon is a time when nothing happens of note, or whatever you do will not yield desirable (or even undesirable!) results. It is said to be a metaphoric "black hole" into which our efforts fall into oblivion, and that nothing of importance occurs during a "void of course" Moon.
In my opinion after many decades of observation and practice, the Moon is never void of course, except perhaps for a few hours once in a while for a few people. The rest of us, especially those of us with planets in the late degrees of a sign, will always experience activity associated with those planets when the Moon is in the last degrees of any sign.
The VOC Moon merely indicates something must finish before something else commences. There is no time in our reality where "nothing happens." That's a superstition we’ve inherited from shallow thinkers centuries ago bound to limited perception. Moreover, because of advances in our understanding of Astrology, aspects, and “the whole cycle,” we now have a much more extensive understanding of the place and importance of the 5th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 15th, 20th, and 24th harmonic series aspects.
Factoring in these very important phase relationships, it's clear there is never a time when the Moon is not aspecting something, or being aspected by the horizon, meridian, or some other synthetic moving point like the Vertex. Whether the traditional aspects of the semisextile, sextile, square, trine, quincunx, or opposition, or the “minor” aspects such as quintiles, biquintiles, tredeciles, septiles, biseptiles, triseptiles, noviles, binoviles, or quadranoviles, we'll get a full dose of a Lunar aspect to a planet, whether it's making an aspect to any other transiting planet or not. Though the effect may be subtle, the Moon making any of these aspects will certainly trigger something in a chart.
And for the hundreds of millions of us with a planet at the final degrees of a sign, the Moon at the end of any sign will always aspect our planets, rendering the concept of “nothing happening” both obsolete and wrong. So please take a new look at the concept of VOC Moons with an eye to the fact it likely makes a lot of aspects in your chart even if the astrological calendars state the Moon is “Void of Course.” Regardless of all you’ve heard, “it ain’t necessarily so.”
© Copyright 2021 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
© Copyright 2020 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
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