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Dictionary of Astrological and Astronomical Terms

Compiled by Julene Packer-Louis, Evan Bortnick, and Jackie Goldstein

Copyright 2000-2020 OCA, Inc. All rights reserved. No portion of the dictionary may be reproduced in any form without written permission.


Void of Course

A planet is Void of Course for that period in which it is devoid of major aspects (0, 60, 90, 120, 180 degree aspects) on its course through the zodiac. In the modern definition, the Moon or a planet is void of course if it makes no further Ptolemaic aspects before leaving its current sign. Also, the outer planets Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are included in the modern definition.

In Lilly's usage, the Moon is void of course when it is not within orb of applying to a major aspect with any other of the seven classical planets (Moon through Saturn). A void of course significator is usually ineffectual, but this effect is mitigated in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Pisces

Being Void of Course may indicate a lack of purpose or an aimless endeavor. A void of course Moon usually means nothing will come of the matter, or there is nothing the querent can do to affect the outcome. Like a void check, it buys you nothing. Lilly said, "you shall seldom see a business go handsomely forward" when the Moon is Void of Course. He stated that a planet is Void of Course when it "is separated from a Planet, nor doth forthwith, during his being in that sign, apply to any other."

While the Moon is still separating, it is not void of course. Regarding Lilly's use of the term, Jonathan Clark mentioned that he has "a chart where the Moon is void of course in early Capricorn and yet still performs. I think it's important to look at the sequence-nothing happens while it is void of course but once it starts the next application then there is action."

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