by Lynn Hayes

There are few astrological concepts that are the source of as much disagreement among astrologers as the Moon “void of course.”  The Moon is said to be void of course, or simply void, after it has made its last major aspect to another planet and before it enters the next sign.  For example, as I write this on Thursday November 12 the Moon is in Taurus, and it will oppose Mars in a 180 degree angle aspect at 12:12 pm EST.  The Moon will not finish its travels through Taurus and enter Gemini until 3:11 pm today, so that period between 12:12 pm and 3:11 EST is said to be the “void of course” period.

One of my guiding principles as an astrologer, a counselor and teacher is advising students and clients not to let their lives be ruled by the ephemeris (the book of planetary positions), but instead to use the planets as a weather report so that we can be prepared.  Planetary cycles do not doom us to certain experiences – they do provide us with climate changes that can facilitate or challenge us as we live our life.  It’s all too easy for people to use planetary possibilities as a vehicle for fear and put their life on hold when, say, Mercury is retrograde or when the Moon is void of course.  Please visit my article from June of 2007 quoting an article by astrologer Dana Gerhardt on this very subject. 
The Void of Course Moon was a big topic during the discussions over the past year about who would win the Democratic nomination since Obama made his announcement when the Moon was void (February 13, 2007 at 10:13 am in Springfield Illinois). Obama was officially nominated at 4:47 pm on August 27, before the Moon went void (thank you Madame Lichtenstein).  Perhaps the DNC has an astrologer on staff.
The concept of the void Moon comes from ancient electional techniques which rely on aspects from the Moon as the fastest-moving planetary body.  When the Moon did not make an aspect, it was thought that there was somewhat of a limbo period where nothing was likely to change.  
If we have a choice, it is better to take the planetary configurations into consideration when timing an event.  But sometimes these things are not under our control, and then we must forge forward without fear, knowing that the planets “impel, but do not compel.”
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