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Understanding the Void-of-Course Moon

Understanding the Void-of-Course MoonThe 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 (the conjunction, trine, square, opposition, and sextile) 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."

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. Some astrological calendars 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 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."