Thursday 13 December 2012

Understanding the Void-of-Course Moon

by Jenni Stone

The Moon makes a complete circle through the twelve signs every 28.5 days and spends approximately 2.5 days in each sign.

Some Moon signs are felt more acutely than others: In the sign of Aries, for instance, the energy is physical and sometimes angry, a dynamic force that can be used to tackle tasks and start projects; the Moon in Taurus is a more laid-back and sensual urge to enjoy fine dining and good music. As the Moon arrives in the sign of Gemini, the telephone starts ringing and the messages begin to pour in. There are, of course, other influences at work in the solar system, but the Moon is always playing "background music" that keeps us connected to the Earth and the stars.

There is a time, however, when this connection is interrupted and we "float" between signs. This is the time we call the void-of-course Moon. It starts after the Moon has made its last major aspect (1) to the Sun or planets and is still within the sign, and the Moon is considered void of course until it enters the next sign.

The Moon goes void of course every two days or so, and this can last anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Sometimes, the Moon is void of course for two consecutive days; in August 2002, it lasted for almost three days when the Moon failed to make any aspects while in the sign of Cancer.
There is a distinctive quality to the energy during a void-of-course Moon: Stores and restaurants are unusually quiet, judgment is impaired, and many people have a hard time making decisions. Business meetings can take a strange turn, and people find it difficult to work together as a group.

Few astrology books mention this phenomenon, and there seems to be a lack of published information in this area. In an article about interpreting the void-of-course Moon in natal charts, Robert Hand quotes Julius Firmicus Maternus, a 4th-century Roman astrologer. "If however the Moon is so positioned that she is carried toward nothing, nor is she joining herself to any star by a proper ray, and no benevolent star occupies the angles, it will make degraded paupers, and those who are destitute of all things that are necessary, and those for whom the things which are an aid to daily living are denied, and those who always require the support of strangers in order to sustain life." (2)
These grim consequences appear to have been combined with the horary interpretation of a chart with a void-of-course Moon, which says that "nothing will come of this." The conclusion is that action is unproductive during this time. Llewellyn’s astrological calendar says that people are "fuzzy – or vague – scattered even" and that "action initiated during this time is often wasted, irrelevant, or incorrect."

However, this is not always so. Over the past two years, I have conducted research (3) with a group of friends who know nothing of astrology beyond their Sun-sign column in the local newspaper and are therefore not interested in either confirming or denying our current pet astrological theories.
This is what we found, plus some suggested ways to plan ahead and use the void-of-course Moon in positive ways.

1. Routine goes well, but take care when starting new projects.
2. Organize and throw out the clutter: This is an opportunity to get rid of the piles of papers and junk that have been accumulating. Files may be reorganized, desks and closets cleaned out; it is easy during a void-of-course Moon to see what is needed and what should be discarded. With blockages cleared, the natural flow of harmony and balance is restored. When the Moon enters into the next sign, there is a noticeable "sweetness" to the space that is created.
3. Spiritual disciplines like yoga or meditation take on a new dimension. Problems can be put on hold, and a state of inner peace is possible at these times. A luxurious timelessness pervades the senses. Music can be felt more deeply, and nuances of emotions are distinct.
4. Edit and correct: Writers use this time to revise their work. New ways of expressing ideas can be found during this time.
5. Take stock of your surroundings: Shortages, mistakes, and missing items are more noticeable during the void.
6. Sleep: Lazy morning and afternoon naps are especially tranquil when the Moon is void of course, and the line between sleeping and waking is deliciously blurred. Lucid dreaming can be encouraged by instructing the mind to find answers through dreams.
7. Relax and "hang loose": Take time off to restore and replenish your internal batteries.
8. Look ahead and be prepared: This can be a most productive time for making "to do" lists and reviewing the status of projects. It is easy to see what needs to be brought up to date during the void-of-course Moon. Much can be accomplished, and a profound sense of clarity and satisfaction is often experienced.
9. Social events with friends can be giddy and intoxicatingly fun. Throw an impromptu party or a potluck dinner. Then add an element of surprise with games like charades or Scrabble where you make up the words and the rules. Do not serve food that takes too much preparation: Pick up some Kentucky Fried Chicken, and ask guests to bring cookies or a pint of their favorite ice cream for a taste test.
10. Travel: The void-of-course Moon can be a good time to take a trip, if someone else is doing the driving. A journey by air, train, boat, or bus can be relaxing, and the time will pass easily. This is because the trip is routine to the bus driver or pilot and airline attendants.
During the three-day void in August 2002, I traveled via Virgin Atlantic to England. The plane was only half full, and the trip was trouble-free. The only challenge was the car ride to the airport. My driver did not speak English, and I didn’t happen to speak his native language (Russian).
11. Try something you’ve never done before. It’s not sensible to try rock climbing for the first time or to make a demo tape to launch your singing career, but it can be liberating to try a new activity when the Moon is void of course. A pioneering attitude in artistic pursuits brings results that range from groundbreaking to bizarre; intellectual and philosophical brainstorming can yield innovative ideas.
12. The inner voice can be heard keenly now: Intuition is strong during this time. Inner reflection can be more profound, and inner conflicts can be resolved.

What not to do during this time.

1. Do not start important or life-changing projects during the void-of-course Moon: The outcome will not be what you want or expect. We all have undertakings that remain unfinished; this is just one of the causes. In Africa, I understand there is a tribe that buries women with all of their unfinished projects – and they would have to dig a mighty big hole for my grave.

2. Try to avoid meeting new people: A first date or job interview should not be scheduled during the void. People you first meet while the Moon is void of course will not be who they appear to be; you tend to see them through rose-colored glasses, and this kind of euphoria doesn’t last. Disappointment and frustration result when they (or you) don’t live up to the image.
I have personally tested this tenet many times. My own rule is this: If the other person suggests a time that is void for a first meeting, I will counter with a time of my choice, but if this person insists, then I will go ahead – while staying alert for setbacks and hindrances to a long-term relationship.
One man (a prospective boyfriend) insisted on meeting for lunch when the Moon was void of course. He told me of his foot and shoe fetish, and I assumed that would be the extent of his weirdness. But on the third date, I learned that he was a "recovering" alcoholic. This became obvious when he soaked up three double scotches and peed on the floor.
I have noticed that relationships started when the Moon is void of course usually end with telephones being slammed down.

3. Do not start a new job when the Moon is void of course. My friend Rebecca called to tell me that she had no choice but to start her civil service position on a day when the Moon was void of course all day.
"What will happen?" she questioned. "I can’t put it off, but I feel superstitious."
I told her that her job would either turn out to be something other than what she expected, or she would leave in an unforeseen way. She called a couple of months later to say that she’d be leaving her job before the year was out because, after three years of trying, she was finally pregnant!
For the sake of research, I asked: "Were you pregnant when you started the job?"
"No," she said.
(This is not suggested as a means of getting pregnant!)

4. Plans made during the void-of-course Moon do not turn out as expected: This can be used in a constructive way. Say, for example, that there is a luncheon you don’t want to attend, a relative you don’t want to meet, or an astrology reading you don’t want to give. By making plans during a void-of-course Moon, it is sometimes possible to steer clear of these events.
The only times this doesn’t seem to work are during Mercury or Venus retrograde. Plans made during Mercury retrograde usually have to be revised anyway, and since Venus retrograde is a test of ethics and integrity, the truth is likely to be exposed and the outcome will not be to your advantage.

5. Items bought during a void Moon do not fulfill their intended purpose. For more than 20 years, since first learning this rule, I’ve avoided purchasing high-ticket items during this time. However, on one occasion when I needed a watch, I knew that the Moon was void of course, but I decided to make the purchase anyway. It was a $10 watch and, I told myself, what the hell if it fell apart after a couple of months? That cheap watch, however, kept perfect time for seven years! The band was replaced three times. Only when I dropped the watch and the glass cracked did I decide to throw it – still ticking – in the garbage.

The void is a perfect time to go to the dollar store. Sometimes, the bargain-basement item proves indispensable, and the inexpensive gift intended for someone else is something you’ll want to keep and treasure forever.

Knowledge Is Power

Knowing ahead of time is empowerment. In a perfect world, we would all embrace the natural rhythm of the Moon and stars – and we’d instinctively know the right moment for action – but in the real world, business meetings are scheduled in advance, and jobs have to be completed by a deadline.
However, friends who were involved in my research over the past two years reported success by starting projects when the energy is there to move forward easily and by using the void-of-course Moon productively – to organize, plan, or just relax.

Some friends found considerable business and financial success, while still taking time off to spend with family and friends. Others felt spiritually satisfied, and all seemed to achieve better balance by living in harmony with the energy of the cosmos.

"Knowing ahead helps people to focus," said my friend David, "not on business, but on the business of life. Being successful takes talent, tenacity, and drive, but good timing can make a significant impact and broadens the net. Busy people … hard-driving and successful people want to see things through to the end, and they think that this is the most productive way to get the job done. But knowing ahead and taking time off during the ‘void’ helps me to take a step back and then to finish the project at a time of my own choosing."

References and Notes
1. The major aspects are the conjunction, trine, square, opposition, and sextile.
2. Robert Hand, "Ancient Astrology and the Void-of-Course Moon," in The Mountain Astrologer, Oct./Nov. 1997, p. 42.
3. These two years of research helped me put together a Web site with a calendar that clearly shows, by using a gray shaded area, when the Moon is void of course. Check out the free forecasts at:
© 2003 Jenni Stone — all rights reserved
Jenni Stone has studied, researched, and written about astrology for more than 20 years. She has a Web site ( that shows void-of-course Moon times and Power Days, with advice about how to use these, and other astrological events, in positive ways. Readers can contact the author via e-mail; any comments, success stories, research results, or suggestions are welcome.

Wednesday 5 December 2012

Basics of Classical Astrology

When a chart is cast, it is classified diurnal (day), or nocturnal (night), depending on whether the Sun is posited within houses 1-7, above the horizon, or houses 7-12, below the horizon.
If a chart is diurnal, then heavy consideration is placed on the position of the Sun, and the triplicity rulers of the sign position. In general, an individual with a diurnal chart, is more extroverted, less shy or hesitant, and more outgoing.
If a chart is nocturnal, then heavy consideration is placed on the position of the Moon, and the triplicity rulers of the sign position. In general, an individual with a nocturnal chart, is more introverted, shy and less outgoing.
  • Day Rulers – Sun – Jupiter – Saturn
  • Night Rulers – Jupiter – Sun – Saturn
  • Day Rulers – Venus – Moon – Mars
  • Night Rulers – Moon – Venus – Mars
  • Day Rulers – Saturn – Mercury – Jupiter
  • Night Rulers – Mercury – Saturn – Jupiter
  • Day Ruler – Venus – Mars – Moon
  • Night Ruler – Mars – Venus – Moon
In a diurnal chart, where the Sun is posited above the horizon, you will consider the placement of the Sun and it’s relevant triplicity rulerships to gain a detailed overview of the natal chart at hand.
For example, today’s chart finds a 12th House Sagittarius Sun. The 12th House is a Cadent house, which is deemed not overly positive for determined achievement and public success. Looking towards the triplicity list, we see that the Day Rulers for Sagittarius are the Sun, Jupiter and Saturn. Jupiter is also posited in a Cadent house (not overly strong), which is the Gemini ruled 6th House, and is retrograde, and also considered in detriment. We will discuss detriment placements later on. Saturn in this chart, is posited in the 11th House, a Succedent house, and is ruled by Scorpio, a Succeedent sign. To analyse this for an individual, you could assess that the client would experience a restlessness regards daily direction, and perhaps even struggle with authority figures. There would be an elusiveness regards long-term aspirations and moments of lacking confidence in one’s talents and abilities. You could advise this individual to take small steps regards their long term goals and aspirations, and to encourage them to take the time necessary to explore a possibility fully, as they could be prone to quitting before they even begin. On the upswing, themes such as health and law would be appealing to this individual and would bode well as career possibilities.
To locate the planetary ruler of the chart, you are looking at a lot of mathematical equation. Thankfully, we live within the technological age that makes these equations easy for us, andskyscript has an exceptional listing of the necessary tables for your studies.
Essential Dignity
Each planet or luminary has a special place in the astrological chart that it calls home. This sacred space is ascertained by determining the sign and degree position of the planet or luminary. In general, a planet or luminary that is deemed to be in ‘essential dignity’ is considered to be most beneficial to the individual.
Here is a link to the essential diginity table
Accidental Dignity
Another important consideration regards Dignity, is accidental dignity, when the strength of a planet or luminary is ascertained by its position to the angles,  to other planets, or if it is within its sign of exaltation. In general, a planet or luminary considered to be in ‘accidental dignity’, does have beneficial effects, but it can also be a powerhouse of unpredictability, depending on any negative possibilties that may be experienced by the planet or luminary.
For example, today’s chart finds Mars in accidental dignity. Mars is posited in the 1st House and is ruled by Capricorn, the sign of his exaltation. The basis of this positioning is positive, however, Mars is also experiencing a square to the MC (career or public standing challenges) and a quincunx to Jupiter (authority issues). Possibilties of this placement could be experienced as either positive experiences with others, or within the career realm, or as some level of confrontation or disappointing revelation regards future goals.
Each planet is given a time of being in Exaltation, and a time of being in Fall. When in Exaltation, the planet or luminary is deemed to be positive, powerful in beneficial ways, and free to express its energy potential in a natural way. This position of exaltation is deemed by sign rulership and degree placement. However, a planet is considered in exaltation during its entire journey through a sign, with the specific degree position being a particular point of power and strength.
Here is a link to the table of dignities
Below is a list of the degrees of exaltation
  • 19 degrees Aries – Sun
  • 3 degrees Taurus – Moon
  • 15 degrees Virgo – Mercury
  • 27 degrees Pisces – Venus
  • 28 degrees Capricorn – Mars
  • 5 degrees Cancer – Jupiter
  • 21 degrees Libra – Saturn
As a planet or luminary will experience its moment to shine brightly and with purity, it will also experience a time where its light shines dimly, or beneath a dappled shadow. The opposite sign of the planet or luminary being deemed in exaltation, is considered as being in Fall, and an individual with planet or luminary in Fall, will find it tougher to achieve the positive intention of that celestial body.
Below is a list of the planets and luminaries, and their position of Fall
  • Sun in Libra
  • Moon in Scorpio
  • Mercury in Pisces
  • Venus in Virgo
  • Mars in Cancer
  • Jupiter in Capricorn
  • Saturn in Aries
When a planet or luminary is posited in the sign opposite its natural ruler, it is considered to be in detriment. This means that the energy of that planet does not run as freely or as smoothly as it does when in its natural sign position. An individual or situation will need to work harder to achieve the goal of that energy when a celestial body is in detriment, but it is not not essentially a negative. Many notable individuals experience an energy in detriment. For example, Richard Branson experiences Mars in detriment, and Bill Gates experiences both Venus and Mars in detriment, yet both men are considered to be a few of the most successful men of the 21st century.
Below is a list of the home of the planets and luminaries, and where they are considered to be in detriment.
  • Sun
  • - home = Leo – in detriment = Aquarius
  • Moon
  • - Home = Cancer – in detriment = Capricorn
  • Mercury
  • - Home = Gemini  and Virgo – in detriment = Sagittarius and Pisces
  • Venus
  • - Home = Taurus and Libra – in detriment = Scorpio and Aries
  • Mars
  • - Home = Aries and Scorpio – in detriment = Libra and Taurus
  • Jupiter
  • - Home = Sagittarius and Pisces – in detriment = Gemini and Virgo
  • Saturn
  • - Home – Capricorn and Aquarius – in detriment = Cancer and Leo
A planet or luminary is considered to be in ‘mutual reception’, when they are within each other’s signs. For example:- Mercury in Cancer would be considered in mutual to reception to the Moon, if the Moon was also posited in Capricorn. This is generally a positive union, where the effects are both influences are intensified and powerful. There are however times where this mutual reception is considered to be weakened, or less helpful in effect.  This would be when one, or both of the planets or luminaries are considered to be in detriment, or in fall, if the planets or luminaries are not in aspect to each others, or if they are being impacted by an opposition.
If you enjoyed this article and would like to explore Classical Astrology on a deeper level, please take the time to visit these exceptional websites:-
Deborah Houlding’s Skyscript
Renaissance Astrology – William Lilly