The Void of Course Moon:
When we were all novice astrologers we learned about the meaning
of the Natal Moon. We examined every chart that we could find and,
over a period of time, we refined and honed our understanding of
the Natal Moon. Later, most of us learned to examine the Transiting
Moon and its effects on our lives and the lives of those we care
about. Both the Natal Moon and the Transiting Moon are clearly shown
in charts drawn by our computers or in a quick examination of an
But there is another facet of the astrological interpretation of
the Moon which is known by the most advanced astrologers, and the
value of this facet can be vital in day-to-day considerations. This
is the consideration of the "Void of Course" Moon. Astrologers
owe much to my dear friend, the late Al H. Morrison, who worked
long and hard to bring attention to the importance of observing
the Void of Course Moon. He was responsible for some of the earliest
compilations of ephemerides for the Void of Course Moon.
What is a "Void of Course" Moon? Technically, it is defined
as that period of time after the Moon, in its current zodiacal sign,
has made its last Ptolemaic aspect, and makes no more Ptolemaic
aspects before it enters the next zodiacal sign. Actually, any planet
can have a period of time when it is "Void of Course"
either natally or by secondary progression, but this discussion
is directed to the Moon.
The Moon goes around the Earth in a little more than 29 days, thereby
spending about two to three days in each sign of the zodiac, depending
on the rate of speed of the Moon, which is not constant. As the
Moon travels through a sign, it may or may not make a Ptolemaic
aspect to a planet. Ptolemaic aspects are only the conjunction,
the opposition, the square, the trine, and the sextile. I stress
the word only because only these five aspects are to be considered
in the Void of Course discussion.
A Void of Course period can be as short as a few minutes, or as
long as three days, depending on the planetary positions at the
time. Let me give you some current examples. I shall use Eastern
Daylight Time (EDT) unless otherwise noted. The Moon will enter
the sign Aries on Tuesday, October 14, 1997 at 11:25 AM EDT. While
the Moon is moving through Aries, it will make Ptolemaic aspects
with Pluto, Uranus, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, the Sun, and Mercury.
The last Ptolemaic aspect made by the Moon while still in Aries
will be the square to Neptune at 6:46 AM EDT on Thursday, October
16, 1997. At this time, because there are no further Ptolemaic aspects
to be made (while the Moon is still in Aries,) the Moon is said
to be Void of Course. The Moon will remain Void of Course until
it enters the sign Taurus at 11:16 AM EDT. Here is an example of
a Moon that is Void of Course for four hours and thirty minutes.
While the Moon will be in Taurus, the final Ptolemaic aspect that
it will make is a trine to Neptune at 7:45 AM EDT on Saturday, October
18, 1997. After this time, the Moon will be Void of Course until
it enters Gemini at 12:26 PM EDT. This is an example of a Moon that
is Void of Course for four hours and forty-one minutes.
Do not be fooled into thinking that these two examples signify
a pattern. Neptune, at twenty-seven degrees Capricorn, will be the
last planet aspected by the Moon in Aries and in Taurus, but Neptune
will not receive a Ptolemaic aspect from the Moon during the time
that the Moon will be in Gemini. Moreover, do not be fooled into
thinking that the typical length of time of a Void of Course Moon
is about four hours. When there is a planet at a high number, such
as 29 degrees, then the Moon does not have far to go before it reaches
the next sign so it might be Void of Course for only a few minutes.
On the other extreme, on Saturday, January 18, 1997, the Moon made
its last aspect at 3:12 PM EST and was Void of Course until Monday,
January 20, 1997 at 3:29 PM EST, a total of 48 hours and 17 minutes.
Let us go back to the Moon in Gemini. On October 20, 1997, the
last aspect that the Gemini Moon will make is a trine to the Sun
at 11:52 AM EDT. The Moon will be Void of Course for 4 hours and
53 minutes until it enters the sign Cancer at 4:45 PM EDT. On Thursday,
October 23, 1997, the Moon's last aspect in Cancer will be a square
to the Sun at 29 Libra 49 minutes at 12:48 AM EDT. The Moon will
be Void of Course for only 22 minutes until 1:10 AM EDT when the
Moon enters Leo. On Friday, October 24, 1997, the Moon will make
its last Ptolemaic aspect while in Leo when it trines Mars at 1:45
PM EDT. The Moon will be Void of Course for almost 24 hours until
it enters the next sign, Virgo, at 12:59 PM EDT on Saturday, October
I would like to give you one more example. This occurred in 1989.
On Monday, November 13, the Moon in Taurus made its last aspect
and went Void of Course at 3:24 AM EST. When it entered the next
sign, Gemini, there were no Ptolemaic aspects for the Moon to make,
so it stayed Void of Course until the Moon entered Cancer, on Wednesday,
November 15, 1989 at 3:51 PM EST after a total of 60 hours and 27