When is the Moon truly void-of-course?

A recent horary chart posted by Lynn Holt in a Facebook horary group featured a void of course Moon, yet the outcome was favorable for the querent. Lynn kindly gave permission to reproduce her chart in this blog post.

The background for the horary question was that the querent had an idea for an article which she had not yet written. She send an abstract of her idea to a publisher to see if they would like her proposal and offer to have her write an article about the topic. Lynn adds, “It’s a completely new topic for her so she was a little worried that she might not be able to pull it off.” The querent’s specific horary question was, “Will the abstract be accepted?” Here is the horary chart:

Qurent has an idea for an article. She sends her proposal to a publisher and asks the astrologer: “Will my abstract be accepted [for publication]?”

It is a Venus day during a Moon hour. The Moon is slow in motion and the last aspect Luna perfected was a square to Mars, from which she is now separating. Lilly defines ‘separation’ (CA 110) as “Separation, it is in the first place, when two Planets are departed but six minutes distance from each other.” (italics mine).

Because the Moon is separating from Mars and is NOT within orb of applying to any other planet in with chart, the Moon is considered “void of course” about which Lilly writes (CA 112): ” A Planet is void of course, when he is separated from a Planet, nor doth forthwith, during his being in that Sign, apply to any other: This is most usually in the Moon; in judgments doe you carefully observe whether she be void of course yea or no; you shall seldom see a businesse goe handsomely forward when she is so.” (bold and italics mine).

Nonetheless, Lilly informs us that a void-of-course Moon can perform when in the domicile or exaltation of a benefic planet: Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius or Pisces (CA 122). In this chart the Moon lies in Pisces, the home of Jupiter and exaltation of Venus, so Luna can “perform” in this part of the zodiac even when void of course. Thus, the astrologer need not be concerned in this case that the void of course Moon likely indicates a negative outcome.

There is yet another reason not to be concerned about the void of course Moon in this chart, namely, the partile aspect between the Moon and Mars, in which Mars receives the Moon by term, face and triplicity (Mars is one of three triplicity rulers of water signs). According to Lilly, a partile aspect between significators is a strong indication that the matter will definitely be concluded in a manner favorable or unfavorable to the querent, depending on the nature of the aspect and the planets involved. Lilly writes:

Partill aspect is when two Planets are exactly so many degrees from each other as make a perfect aspect: as if Mercury be in nine degrees of Aries, and Jupiter in nine degrees of Leo, this is a Partill Trine aspect: So Sun in one degree of Taurus, and Moon in one degree of Cancer, make a Partill Sextile, and this is a strong sign or argument for performance of anything, or that the matter is neer hand concluded when the aspect is so partill, and signifies good; and it’s as much a sign of present evill when mischief is threatened.” (CA 106-107, highlighting mine)

The above discussion raises an interesting question. What if, as in this chart, the Moon is void-of-course because it is separating from the planet with the greatest ecliptic longitude in the chart and not apply to any other planet, but at the same time the Moon is in a partile major aspect with the planet from which is is most recently separating? Does the fact that a partile aspect is “a strong sign or argument for performance of anything” override the suggestion by the void of course Moon that “you shall seldom see a business go handsomely forward when she is so”?

In this case the business did go handsomely forward, and the outcome was that the abstract was accepted on May 26th, seven weeks after the horary question was asked. Where can we see this outcome in the chart?

Various astrologers took different approaches to delineating this horary question. My own approach is to start with the 12th part of the Ascendant degree. The Asc at 13 Pisces 31′ has its 12th part in Aquarius, the 6th whole sign from the Ascendant (the querent is worried about writing an article about a new topic and whether she will be able to pull it off). The ruler of Aquarius is Saturn in the 5th house of creative ideas (if I recall correctly, John Frawley uses the 5th house for creative projects like books, which are offspring of the querent’s mind). The 12th part suggests that the astrologer select Saturn to signify the abstract which describes her creative idea for an article.

The presence of Jupiter, the benefic of the diurnal sect in a diurnal chart, in Aquarius, the sign of the 12th part of the Ascendant, is favorable. Jupiter also rules the Pisces 7th house, which can symbolize the business deal she is trying to conclude, or the person with whom she is negotiating. Jupiter is about to receive a trine from Mars in the 10th (the business enterprise, in this case the publishing house), and Mars rules the 3rd house of written communications.

Mars occupies an Air sign and Jupiter is a ruler of the Air triplicity, so Jupiter receives Mars in one of Jupiter’s dignities. Mars is quite strong and dignified in this chart, being in the angular 10th house and fortified by a trine from Jupiter and a sextile from benefic Venus. Mars also received a square from the Moon, but the Moon occupies several of Mars’ dignifies. If we take Mars to signify the querent’s written communication with the 10th house publisher, then the dignified and powerful status of Mars in the 10th suggests that her document got the publisher’s attention.

If we take Saturn to represent the creative idea described in her document and Mercury, ruler of the 10th, to signify the publishing house, the Mercury applies to sextile Saturn in a little less than 2 degrees. Mercury and Saturn are in mutual reception by triplicity, which strengthens the sextile. We can conclude that the publisher (Mercury) will accept her abstract (Saturn). Mercury applies to Saturn from a Cardinal Sign and a Succedent House, which could mean just under 2 weeks, or at most just under 2 months.

Often a significator applying from a Cardinal sign and Succedent house suggests weeks, but in the case the VOC Moon suggests a longer time frame. Masha’allah writes about horary charts: “… if you found the Lord of the Ascendant and the Moon void in course, joining themselves to no one, foretell the slowness of the matter and its prolonging…” (italics mine, Dykes trans. of The Book of Nine Judges, 2011, p.687).

There are other arguments in favor of her idea being accepted by the publisher. The Moon’s North Node, which Lilly regarded as of the nature of benefic Jupiter, applies to conjoin the MC, suggesting an increase in her professional success (in less than a degree and a half). Judith Hill in her book on the lunar nodes associates the North Node with power, fame, self-accrual, material gain and general good luck.

In addition, the dispositor of the Part of Fortune in Leo is the exalted Sun, which applies to sextile Mars (her written communication) in 1 degree 39 minutes, again suggesting that material good fortune meets her written proposal in less than 2 weeks, or at most less than 2 months.

Note that the Moon’s last aspect was a conjunction with Jupiter, benefic of sect, and the Moon’s next aspect before turning void-of-course was a square to Mars, thus Moon tranferred the light of Jupiter to Mars just before the question was asked and remained in partile square to Mars at the time of the horary question.

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