A good office witch or urban sorcerer will know about Moon phases. And will be aware of the void-of-course Moon, which occurs every few days for a number of hours. You won’t know when it’s void by scanning the skies for a runaway Moon. It’s something an astrologer sees in a chart or anyone can find in a good Moon calendar. But if you hear “Woe! All is lost when the Moon is void!” cover your ears. To borrow from the Harry Potter world, you’re in the presence of a Muggle who knows nothing about real magic.
That’s what happens when sorcery books fall into the wrong hands. True wizarding loses its nuance and becomes superstition. Consider the following: “During a void of course Moon don’t initiate anything, buy anything, sign anything, contact anyone important — nothing will come of it. Be wary of making decisions. Your judgment is faulty; any information you get will be wrong. Whatever you do will have to be done again.”
Scary, huh. At best you’re counseled to spend these hours adrift. Become a couch potato. Or if you must take action, clean your house. It’s sure to get dirty again.
A void is an opening, a gap, an empty space. It suggests a state of being without. Astrologically, the Moon is void when she’s without connections (or “aspects”) to the other planets. These gaps occur before the Moon changes sign, and can last from a few minutes, to a few hours, to a couple of days, depending on the other planets’ positions. The logic of divination is a symbolic one. Its gift of sight draws from the moment you choose to ask about your fate. If your query comes when the Moon is void, it’s presumed you likewise lack connections. Without outer assistance, your project is likely to fail.
But in Muggle hands, symbol gets confused with literal cause and context is lost. Everyone is thrown onto the same celestial assembly line–invisibly passing through good and bad times at once. By this logic, every one of a hundred thousand letters mailed during a void-of-course Moon will fly from the postman’s hands and disappear under the sewer grate. All contracts signed, everything bought will be bad. A true wizard can only shake her head!
There is another way to think of the void-of-course Moon. Pretend you’re Harry Potter in the last chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. You’ve gone through the trap door, escaped the tendrils of the Devil’s Snare, singled out the right winged-key from the hundred wrong ones. You’re alone now, your buddies out of reach, behind the purple flame. Everyone thinks you’re a great wizard but you’re not so sure… yet it’s up to you to retrieve the Sorcerer’s Stone before it falls into the wrong hands. As instructed, you take a drink from the little rounded bottle – it tastes like ice – you walk forward, not knowing what’s on the other side.
If you’ve read the book, you already know it works out in the end. But not before Harry enters a horrible gap in his luck. He finds himself standing before a powerful enemy, defenseless and alone. You could say he picked the wrong time to drink the potion—the wrong Moon. But in this awful void some interesting things happen. His enemy feels safe enough to spill his secrets; many of the book-long mysteries are finally revealed. And with no idea whether he will make it or not, Harry dives into action. He discovers his own greatness along the way.
Good Moons and bad are only what we make of them. Wise sorcery takes note of the moment and all that’s gone before, giving itself more than one option under any star. Harry’s triumph suggests what any good wizard will know: Most fates depend on your own readiness. And to be disconnected is not always bad. The void-of-course moontime can be potent for personal heroism and creative breakthroughs. You can cut loose from prevailing trends, sneaking past the cultural gates. Especially if things don’t work out as planned, study why. You could be within hearing distance of brilliant answers to old mysteries.
And sometimes (often, in fact) the void of course Moon won’t mean anything at all. If your life is marching along and you stand at no brinks, there may be little momentum for wizarding. If you’d like an excuse to drift and dream, go for it. Being Moon paranoid is silly. But stepping out of the action at times can be a good thing. Check it out. If you’re up for real magic, write your own truth on top of the old superstitions.
My favorite calendar for VOC Moons is Jim Maynard’s Celestial Guides. You can also find out this information online.
© 2000 Dana Gerhardt
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