by Robert Wilkinson
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. Traditionally, the only aspects considered in this way of viewing things are the conjunction, opposition, sextile, square, and trine. Supposedly the VOC Moon is a time when nothing happens of note, or whatever you do will not yield undesirable (or even desirable!) results, and is a metaphoric "black hole" into which our efforts fall into oblivion. It has been said that nothing of importance occurs during a "void of course" Moon. Is this true?
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. 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. 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.
Then there's the issue of whether the Moon is actually ever really free of aspects. The popular astro-calendars often do not note the so-called "minor" aspects such as semisquares (45 degrees), sesquisquares (135 degrees), or quincunxes (150 degrees), yet these are very potent aspects that most definitely show turning points, crises, agitations and adjustments in our lives.
They also never account for any of the Quintile, Septile, or Novile series aspects, probably because there is a lot of confusion in pop astrology as to what these actually mean, with many conflicting speculations. And of course, they would also take up a lot of valuable print space.
These are not traditional aspects as known in antiquity, some of them are not so obvious in their workings in the moment, but they definitely mark major points of specialization, forks in the road of our "destiny," or stages in our larger spiritual development. If the Moon makes any aspect from any of these series to another planet, is it still "void of course?" If we use only traditional aspects, then it is, but how many astrologers confine themselves to the traditional aspects? We now use a plethora of different aspects to describe the various internal relationships between the different parts of our inner and outer life, so I'm not sure the Moon should be considered VOC if it makes any of these "minor" but significant aspects.
And in what I believe is the most important consideration regarding the VOC Moon in some charts, I have found the Moon is NEVER void of course for you if your chart has a planet at the end of a sign, 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.
Thus I do not experience a Moon void of course, since it's always working something on my Saturn and Mercury before it changes signs. It's always in a relationship to the rulers of Capricorn, Aquarius, Gemini, and Virgo in my chart whenever it transits the final degrees of any sign.
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, and the houses that planet rules.
Also note your progressed planets, since if you have a planet in the final degrees of a sign, the progressed part of you that planet represents will be triggered by the Moon aspecting that planet. 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.
In my opinion after 35 years at this craft, 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.
Whether semisextile, sextile, square, trine, quincunx, or opposition, we'll get a full dose of the Lunar aspect to a planet, whether it's making an aspect to any other transiting planet or not. Quintiles, biquintiles, tredeciles, septiles, biseptiles, triseptiles, noviles, binoviles, and quadranoviles included. Though the effect may be subtle, the Moon making any of these aspects will certainly trigger something in a chart. Some may disagree, but this is my experience after studying VOC Moons for decades.
© Copyright 2006 Robert Wilkinson