Lilly writes in his Christian Astrology (p.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 judgements do you carefully observe whether she be Void of Course yea or no; you shall seldom see a business go handsomely forward when she is so .
With this quote, we gather an understanding, that the VOC Moon is considered as something negative, which either prevents the positive outcome of a question or else describes that “nothing” will happen, things will stay as they are, for the good or the bad. Following this logic, in a question “will I get the new Job”, the answer would probably be “no” , while in “will I be fired “ the VOC Moon might be considered as relieving, nothing will change about the situation, he will not be fired.
Nevertheless, there are discussions about what it actually means that the Moon “does not make an aspect”.
There are two possibilities.
- The Moon is completely separated from its last aspect, but still not in orb of its applying aspect.
In this scenario, the postman has nothing to deliver, there is no contact between any sender and receiver. In practice, this is a very rare situation, due to the speed of the Moon.
It might describe a situation of general disinterest, boredom or a similar situation. Possibly the question has lost its importance. This is why “nothing will come out of it”. There is no efford.
- The Moon is still in orb of its last aspect but still not in orb of its applying aspect.
What happens here, is that the postman has a letter to deliver (separative aspect in orb), but he is stuck in traffic, red traffic lights everywhere (no application in orb)!
This kind of aspect usually describes a situation of stand-bye (or temporaneous loss of contact). In another kind of horary, there is no story to tell. For example, in a question such as “where is my credit card?” we might not be able to tell the client how the card got lost. There is some kind of black hole. This happens sometimes.
Often, the number of degrees lacking before the aspect becomes “in orb” tells us about how long a situation might keep disturbed or broken off. Sometimes, horaries are to be taken quite literally!
Either way, if there is an applying aspect from the Moon to another planet, we can tell what will happen afterwards. We might not know, how an object got lost (lacking aspect) but can see how and then it will be found again (applying aspect).
Do we need to consider sign boundaries? What I mean by this is that the Moon could technically be in applying conjunction (trine/Square) but needs to enter the next sign in order to perfect that aspect. Some astrologers consider an aspect after the sign delimitiation, even if close, as “lost”. They judge such an aspect as a “non aspect”, and thus the lack of a contact between the things signified by the two planets. This corresponds usually to a negative answer. There is an interesting quote from the German astrologer Johannes Schoener (1477-47) in his Opulus Astrologicum, which shows, that such a consideration of “lost aspect” might not be correct.
When a planet is separated from any other planet by conjunction or aspect, and is not joined to another by body or aspect, for as long as that planet is in the same sign, it is called void of course. However, this ought to be understood according the orbs and rays of the planets. Take for example the following: If there is the Moon conjunct Jupiter in Sagittarius, and after her separation from Jupiter there is no planet in Sagittarius to which she can be joined by the moiety of orb or of the ray of any planet which she can aspect, in that case the Moon is said to be void of course until she leaves Sagittarius and is joined to any planet in body or in aspect. But we do not observe this only in the Moon. Another example, Saturn 9 Aries, Jupiter 10 Gemini, Mars 17 Gemini, Sun 20 Aries, Venus 5 Pisces, Mercury 24 Aries, Moon 26 Taurus. There the Moon is aspected by nothing in 26 Taurus, nor is anything joined to her, while she is in Taurus, wherefore she will be reckoned void of course.
Coming back to our previous example, in this case, the receiver has moved. He has left his house (sign) and is now living elsewhere (following sign). But he has left a redirection order, so the delivery service knows where to deliver the letter. In this case, the delivery is not smooth and quick, but might require time. Usually there is something about the question, which changes as soon as the Moon changes sign. New elements do come up which are described by the quality of the sign. Often the querent changes his/her mood regarding the thing he/she asks for.
This easy concept is the reason, why I use the Moon’s applying aspects also beyond the sign border, as far as they are in orb. To make it clear, if the Moon is at 27° Cancer , Mars at 3°Cancer and Venus at 2° Leo, I would speak of an applying conjunction.
This somewhat more liberal understanding makes the VOC Moon so rare and particular, an invitation of the Moon to check carefully all the chart details because there will be “nothing” come out of the question: There is no post for you.
Resuming: The VOC Moon lacks an applicative aspect in orb, regardless sign boundaries.