This article was first published in the Spring 2003 issue of the Journal of the Seasons for Astrological Society of NZ.
The Moon is considered Void-of-Course when it makes no applying aspects to any other planets in the chart before leaving the sign it is in. Primarily the aspects considered are the Ptolemaic aspects: conjunction (0°), sextile (60°), square (90° ), trine (120°), opposition (180°). I also add quincunx (150°) to the list as experience has shown that the quincunx works well.
To get a feel for when the moon reaches that point where it becomes void-of-course, follow the course of the moon in chart #1 cast for 6:00 am, on 19th May 2003 in Auckland. The Moon is in the 8th House of the chart in the 4th degree of the sign of Capricorn (3°36´). Two other planets in the chart are close to that degree, Uranus in the 3rd degree of Pisces (2°40´) and Venus in the 3rd degree of Taurus (2°47´). As the Moon has passed those degrees it is considered to be separating or departing from them. This shows the conditions immediately preceding the question asked.
From this point forward as the Moon continues its travels through the sign of Capricorn, it makes a square (90°) aspect to the Part of Fortune in the House (5°12´), quincunxes (150°) Jupiter in the 3rd House (10°E58´), then trines (120°) a retrograde Mercury in the 12th House (11°13´). The Moon then trines the Sun (27°23´) following soon after by a quincunx to Saturn at 28°00´. All these aspects are termed 'applying' or approaching aspects.
Once the Moon passes the quincunx aspect to Saturn it makes no more aspects in the two degrees before it leaves the sign of Capricorn. It is during this period that the Moon is considered void-of-course.
In a horary chart, a void-of-course moon is one of those 'considerations before judgement' which precludes the reading of the chart in question. The Moon is related very much to the timing of the chart, showing past conditions (separating or departing aspects to other planets) and future conditions (applying aspects). The sign it is in signifies the current territory - once it gets to the boundary of that sign it 'moves into new territory' so to speak. The conditions will change. Therefore, it can be judged that following the current pathway will lead nowhere, something needs to change.
Just over seven hours previously, a question was asked by a lady who wanted to know Should I invest in another house for a quick profit?
If ever the question to a horary chart yells No! very loud and very clear it is this chart.
A horary chart reflects the mood of the moment (primarily the Moon) as well as describing not only the nature of the question but the person asking the question (the 'querent').
In this chart the Moon is in the last degree of Sagittarius and makes no more aspects before it leaves that sign. This alone indicates that 'nothing will come of the question' and nothing will be gained by following the present course of action. On the strength of that we could leave the reading of the chart at that, and simply say 'No'.
In her book The Only Way to Learn Horary and Electional Astrology Joan McEvers, while noting this particular consideration, suggests that you may still answer the question as this often indicates there is nothing to worry about concerning the question.
However, the reading of such a chart can confirm the current conditions and explain why one should not proceed along the present line of action.
What of the querent? A strong Arian character, this lady is described admirably by Mars rising.
Sitting right on the ascendant from the 12th House, Neptune (ruling Pisces on the 2nd House cusp, the querent's finances) indicates the reason behind the question. It may be noted that Neptune reached its station about to turn retrograde at the same time Mars passed over it only three days previously. In John Frawley's Real Astrology he says that when a planet is stationary, about to turn retrograde, it is at its weakest and likens it to a person taking to his sickbed. So with Neptune describing the querent's current finances, this would suggest that they are weak, hence the desire for an investment returning a quick profit.
In horary astrology, the traditional rulers are considered to exert a strong influence: Mars the traditional ruler of both Aries and Scorpio, Jupiter the ruler of both Sagittarius and Pisces; Saturn the traditional ruler of both Capricorn and Aquarius.
In this chart Jupiter is the traditional ruler of the 2nd House of finances. It is in Leo in the 6th House, directly opposing Neptune and Mars. Jupiter/Neptune suggests inflated dreams or an over-active imagination, the opposition working against the querent. Being in cadent houses further weakens their positions. Jupiter opposing Mars suggests also that the querent is being over-optimistic at this present time and this does not work in her best interests.
Further, all three planets are square a retrograde Mercury in the 4th House (her present property). This suggests that her thinking is clouded (Neptune square Mercury), she is being impetuous (Mercury square Mars), and looking beyond her means (Mercury square Jupiter, ruler of 2nd House of finances). In any event, retrograde Mercury says that what seems like a good idea at the time, will no longer be relevant once it turns direct!
Furthermore, Mercury is ruler of Gemini on the 5th House, the house of risk and speculation. Saturn in the house is considered a malefic influence, again suggesting that the current climate does not favour taking risks. Furthermore, Saturn rules the 12th House, the house of self-undoing, as well as the traditional ruler of Aquarius on the ascendant: she brings about her own self-undoing by taking risks at this time.
Interestingly, the Part of Fortune is in the 5th House which is considered a benefic influence. Although it is sextile (a favourable aspect) Mercury, in horary astrology only the conjunctions and oppositions to the Part of Fortune are considered. Fortuna is in the sign of Cancer which in turn is disposited by the void-of-course Moon, so we are back where we started from: there may be the promise of some benefits through speculation, but the time is not right yet, circumstances need to change.
Finally, a look at the potential investment property. With the 4th House signifying the present property, the fourth house from the 4th signifies the second property. This brings us to the 7th House, with Leo on the cusp ruled by the Sun. The Sun is located in the 4th House of the chart (the present home) conjunct the North Node. The Moon's north node usually bodes well, indicating that the querent would be wise to retain her present property.
With the Sun in late degrees of the sign, and with its applying conjunction to the north node, this strongly suggests that future developments will see her 'moving into new territory' so to speak (a planet moving from one sign into another). This could happen in a time frame of two to three (just over two degrees before the Sun conjuncts the nodes followed shortly after by its ingress into Gemini): 2-3 days, 2-3 weeks, 2-3 months.
We'll be looking at the question of timing (always a tricky question) in a later article. Suffice to say at this stage that with the Taurus Sun in the 4th in a Fixed sign, the angular 4th house points to the shorter time span (in this case days) while fixed nature of Taurus slows that time frame somewhat, indicating months.
The outcome has been interesting. Just over two months later at the end of July 2003, and in true Arian fashion, our querent decided to sell her present home and look for another place more suited to her home-based business. On the 3rd August, she made an offer on such a place and this offer was accepted.
With this knowledge, it is interesting to go back to the Moon in the horary chart. After leaving Sagittarius, it moves into Capricorn, the sign of its detriment, not usually a good indication of satisfactory conditions . However, Capricorn is a professional and businesslike sign so it is appropriate that it was for these reasons that the querent subsequently sold her present home.
Before I am accused of reading more into the chart than what the original question intended, I think I'd better stop right here!
By Carol Squires, PMAFA, DTASNZ