Void of Course Moon

I'm on a mission to change the way folks think about the Void of Course Moon. Because Void Moons are cool.

Full disclosure. I was banned from talking about Void Moons by a popular horoscope publisher for which I wrote. Not once, but twice.

The reasoning: folks who follow horoscopes aren't sophisticated enough to understand what a Void Moon is. Ergo, best to ignore it.

Now that I'm the managing editor of Astrology Hub, I say we talk about them. Because I believe you'll understand just fine.

And, by the time I'm done, maybe you'll realize how they can help you. And then you'll love them too.

Our Magical Moon

So let's start at the beginning. Back in 200 BCE or so when the Hellenistic Greeks were inventing “horoscopic” astrology, planets, signs and houses didn’t mean exactly the same things that modern astrologers are familiar with today.

The planets were Gods. Or at least, they were avatars of the gods. According philosophers such as Plato (remember him, the fellow who wrote The Republic?), it was the planets' job to spin out Time. They set the meter and rhythm for the dance that creates Nature in all its forms.

Of these seven “Celestial Governors” (the Greeks of course could only see seven — the Sun, Moon and the five visible planets – Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn), it was the Moon that was seen as the most Earth-like. In fact the entire natural world was also called the “sub-Lunar realm.”

Consequently, one of the Moon's jobs was to serve as emissary for all the other planets.  Since she produced no light of her own, she helped the other planets carry their light down to the physical plane. In so doing, heavenly will was made manifest. (Truly, the mistress of magic she was!)

When those early Greek astrology innovators envisioned a system of 12 houses, each of the seven  planets took their “joy” in one of them. The Moon's Joy was the Third house  — which became known as the “House of the Moon Goddess.”

(And here you probably thought that the Third House was the house of messages and messengers because of Mercury (or Gemini). Nope. It's because it's the Moon's Joy.  If you're eager to delve deeper into the planetary joys, I suggest Chris Brennan's recent scholarly paper on the subject.)

What's a Void of Course?

There's a reason for all this backstory. It's to help you understand what a Void Moon actually represents.

So, let's imagine the Moon performing her duties, pouring the planetary rays down to the Earth. She makes a trip around the solar Zodiac every 27 -1/4 days (called a sidereal month). That means approximately every 2- 1/3 days she enters a new Zodiac sign.

Galadriel, Queen of the Elves in Lord of the Rings, captures the essence of the Moon.

Galadriel, Queen of the Elves in Lord of the Rings, captures the essence of the Moon.

Along her trek across a sign, Luna aligns with some of the other planets. Astrologers call these aspects, which derives from a Latin word that means “to see” or “to behold.”  The aspects they believed most aligned with the perfectly mathematical symmetries of the divine mind are conjunctions, sextiles, squares, trines and oppositions; we call these Ptolemaic aspects.

Once the Moon has made the last Ptolemaic aspect to a visible planet within a Zodiac sign, she's called “Void of Course.” She's traveling along with an empty mail bag, so to speak, with no other heavenly missives to deliver — until she enters the next sign that is.

So, the Moon turns Void of Course once every 2-1/4 days. Void periods of a few minutes to a few hours are not uncommon. Void Moons of a half-day or more are rare. The longest Void Moon I've ever seen was almost 48 hours  — we may only see a few of those a decade.

Why You Should Care

Void of Course Moons (that’s VC for short) are marked on astrological calendars for a reason.

If you have a magical bone in your body, you'll want to pay attention.

Since the planets' light is what gives Divine “Oomphiness” to creation, a Void Moon is akin to a celestial lacuna. A trough between the waves on the cosmic ocean.

In a sense, Void Moons are like the Moon's equivalent of a retrograde. Of course, the Moon can't actually retrograde. (It would be a very bad day for all earthlings if it did.) But it carries a similar tone — one of Nature's built-in times for reflection and consideration.

By now I hope you can see where I'm going with this…

Traditionally speaking, Void Moon's are a lousy time to make magic. That's because your undertaking won't get the usual energetic boost from the Moon's translated planetary light.  Workings tend to fizzle before coming to fruition. They just run out of gas.

By modern analogy, that means Void Moons aren't the optimal time for starting a new project. A new relationship. A new anything really.

However, Void Moons are an excellent opportunity to do some Deep Work. Without the typical frenetic planetary buzz, things are just a little quieter.  You can spend hours working on one of your existing projects with fewer distractions.

Void Moons are also amazing times to commune with the deeper forces of the psyche. Energies turn inward toward the movements of soul and spirit. We meditate. Float. Or just sleep and rejuvenate.

See, what did I tell you? Void Moons are cool.

How to Find Void of Course Moon Times

I mark all the really long Void Moons on my own calendar. I know my phone will ring less, and my inbox won't fill up quite so fast.  Therefore, I can more easily slip away and get some amazingly productive work done on projects that require my undivided attention.

I bet you want to know when the next Void of Course Moon times are for yourself…

As I mentioned, most Astrological calendars will have them listed — including the Astrology Hub Planning Calendar. (Sign up for the Astrology Hub email newsletter, and it's yours free.)

If you don't have a calendar easily accessible, just Google “Void of Course Moon Tables” for the month or year you need. There will always be several websites with tables available.

And, yes, there's an app for this, too. Several in fact. Search for “Void of Course Moon app” and see what strikes your fancy. (Or, if folks leave a comment below, maybe I'll write a post on my favorite Moon smartphone apps.)

So, have I changed your mind? See I told you — Void Moons are cool.

 

full moon essentials

 

18 Comments

  1. Sarah on April 5, 2016 at 5:22 pm

    Thank you so much for that lovely description. I didn’t know the history behind a void of course Moon, and that’s going to make remembering the feeling behind the transit so much easier to remember! This was a great=o)

    • Donna Woodwell on April 15, 2016 at 12:34 am

      You’re welcome Sarah! It was fun (and therapeutic) for me to write!

  2. Majie Swindell on April 6, 2016 at 3:48 am

    Your article was not only informative but it felt like you were lovingly giving away a secret yummie – and you were. I loved it. I never equated the VOC Moon to a retrograde Mercury?! Nor did I know the 3rd house was the House of the Moon Goddess, and I love the moon (Cancer sun, of course I love the moon). I will pay a lot more attention to VOC moon times and see how that works. Thanks for this information and magical writing.

    • Donna Woodwell on April 15, 2016 at 12:50 am

      Thanks! I also believe the ancient names of the astrological houses (and the planetary joys) give a rich depth to understanding why the houses mean what they do — and I love the Moon too!

  3. Layne Arlina on April 6, 2016 at 7:12 am

    This is fantastic, I feel I understand sister moon a whole lot better now. And how beautiful that she pulls us deeper into ourselves between visiting planets, taking time for herself. I love this! Thank you!

    And yes, smartphone VC apps would be great to know about. Thanks 🙂

  4. Devi on April 6, 2016 at 11:32 am

    This is wonderful! Really clear and informative. Thank you for not underestimating the intelligence of your readers!

  5. Lina on April 7, 2016 at 3:46 am

    Thanks for the info, It makes sense. I’d appreciate the info for the app please. Thank you.

  6. DJ on April 8, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Love it!

  7. Kat on December 31, 2016 at 12:16 am

    Thanks! That is useful! I feel like I have a new tool/toy

  8. Mike Towey on April 23, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Donna you have a wealth of information. With a 0 degree Cancer Rising, a Pisces Moon and 4 planets in Aries I need all the balance I can find. The Taurus Sun helps. Thanks

  9. Rose Mary Dotson on June 3, 2018 at 1:49 am

    Thank you so much for your information on VOC. I try to look it up in preparation of important project, staring relations, etc. I especially enjoyed reading about the 3rd House as the House of the Moon Goddess. All this time I referred to the 3rd House as Mercury. I’m a Cancer with Leo Rising.
    So happy I found your website.
    Kind regards
    Rose.

  10. Truth Hurts on November 19, 2018 at 11:02 pm

    Ancient Greeks were given this knowledge by AFRICANS; the only thing the Greeks did invent was sodomy and pedophilia.

  11. Alex Mitchell on March 14, 2019 at 9:55 pm

    My friend and I had a creative convo and decided to start a women’s group…. I realized later that day that the moon is vc. We didn’t put any plans into motion, but does that mean I should avoid the whole scenario? How serious should we be about these void of course times? Sometimes creativity hits, even in vc times

  12. Haru on March 17, 2019 at 3:27 pm

    Thank you very much for this insight, I have a love and hate relationship with astrology because it’s sometimes dark point if view, that doesn’t creates consciousness at all, and this is refreshing, if we are going to pay attention to planets I guess is for a contribution and open more possibilities In life not to cut them.
    So, how will this apply for a solar return, a sabatic year?

  13. Myabritt Tolbert on April 6, 2019 at 5:06 am

    The pause has just as much power as the push.

  14. diane powers on May 12, 2019 at 4:14 pm

    Thank you for confirming my own feelings about void of course moons!

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