Many astrology enthusiasts become overly concerned with “void-of-course”, without realizing potent lunar aspects are often operative during a traditional void-of-course period. So, what is really meant by “void-of-course Moon”? Traditionally, the Moon is void-of-course from its last major aspect before changing signs until its next ingress (change of zodiacal sign). Void-of-course periods last from a few minutes up to two days. But what is a major aspect? Traditionally, the major, or Ptolemaic, aspects are those based on the division of the circle by 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6: the conjunction, opposition, trine, square and sextile. The problem is, there are lots more aspects than just these few, and this short set excludes the potent and dynamic octile and trioctile aspects of 45 degrees and 135 degrees.
      The sidebar below (using an example taken from KhaldeaCalendar for June 2003, Pacific Time Zone edition) shows that a traditional void-of-course period can be full of lunar activity.
      It has only been over the past few decades that modern astrologers en mass have taken much interest in void-of-course Moon. Other than for horary work, void-of-course didn't become widely known and ultized in the astrological community until the early 1970s, and during the mid-1970s makers of astrological calendars and ephemerides incorporated Moon void-of-course periods into their editions. “Void-of-course Moon” soon became a new-age catch-phrase, vaguely meaning, “Don’t do anything important because nothing will happen or work-out well.”
      Trouble is, constantly watching-out for Moon void-of-course tends to fragment the rhythm and continuity of our activities. As discussed in “Lunation Planning”, it is fruitful and effective to use the ordered and meaningful 29.5-day Lunation Cycle to plan and organize our activities, projects and enterprises. Within the larger frame of reference of the Lunation Cycle, daily aspects illustrate the day-to-day scene with its minor stresses and enjoyments, its small advances and delays. One of the most unproductive practices of astrology is that of merely scanning an astrological calendar to see if the Moon is void-of-course, or if Mercury is retrograde, before doing something. Void-of-course “true believers” will even actively manipulate situations and avoid meetings during void-of-course periods, never thinking their evasive, avoidant behavior may be self-defeating if others dislike being put-off and manipulated. More importantly, because important octile aspects can occur during a traditional void-of-course period, failure to act at a crucial time when dynamic activity (symbolized by octile aspects) is appropriate and needed could jeopardize the fruit of a whole cycle of endeavor.

So, what’s special about octiles? Octiles — semisquares and sesquiquadrates — are no more special than other aspects. The significant thing of concern here is that there are no logical grounds to disqualify octiles when determining void-of-course periods. Blind adherence to tradition and ignorance are the two main reasons they have been disregarded. A rationalization arguing that octiles “don’t make things happen” would be groundless. Anyone involved with physics, engineering, kinetics, electromagnetism, athletics and the martial arts knows the importance of the 45 degree angle. Significantly, projectile motion-kinematic equations show that the 45 degree angle is optimal for the projection of a ball, an arrow, or any projectile. That is, a 45 degree angle maximizes the range of your shot. An angle more or less that 45 degrees would not go as far. It naturally follows that from an astrological perspective, octiles would be an optimal time for taking well-organized, focused action.
      In conclusion, while the reintroduction of "void-of-course" into modern astrology was largely the work of a single diligent researcher/promoter, the widespread exploitation of "void-of-course" is characteristic of a marketplace astrology designed to at once create demand for the services of astrologers by instilling fear into a susceptible public and to enhance the astrologer's sense of self-worth and importance. The intellectual depravity of the current use of "void-of-course" is shown no where better than in its exclusive use of the Ptolemaic set of aspects. Any intellectually honest astrologer who hasn't fallen victim to pseudo-scientific thinking and self-validating, selective "observations" would be hard pressed to see any validity or logic in excluding octiles from a determination of "void-of-course" periods. Indeed, the only grounds for their exclusion is a blind, unquestioning acceptance of so-called tradition, a mentality sadly typical of astrological practice today.

Copyright © 2003 by Michael R. Meyer.
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