“One moon lights a thousand forevers.” Meng Chiao

It’s not easy learning language is it?

I remember once my then five-year-old daughter listening to me talk to another parent about when school was due to break up for the summer holidays. When we got into the car, Anna burst into tears.

“What’s wrong, baby?” I asked her.

“I don’t want school to be all broken up,” she wailed.  “I like my school.”

I thought I’d got to an age where – at least with words – my stock in trade after all, there was not too much I didn’t understand, but a few days ago I finally discovered the meaning to something which has been mystifying me for years.

As an amateur follower of astrology I’d often noticed the phrase: the moon void of course. For years I’d wondered why all the astrologers said ‘of course’ – completely misreading and misunderstanding the phrase to mean: the moon void, of course. I thought it was odd that they should all say this – did the moon being void mean something so blindingly obvious that we should all automatically understand it?

It wasn’t until I was talking to an astrologer friend of mine who mentioned to me on the phone that the moon was void of course, that a small glimmer of comprehension dawned.  I dashed to the computer and let google work its magic – and there it was!  The period of time when the moon is between signs it is considered to be ‘void of course’! Of course!  And hello, what a blinking idiot did I feel?

So what happens astrologically when the moon is void of course?

Basically it’s a time of quiet limbo – it doesn’t last long, usually a maximum of a few hours until the moon transits into the next sign.

It takes 27.5 days for the moon to orbit the earth, and as it does it interacts or makes aspects to various planets. The VOC (how professional does that sound) is like a nap-time for the moon before it starts on its path into the next sign. We can tend to feel a little out of sorts with a VOC moon, and astrologers recommend not initiating any major projects at those times.

It’s more about the three R’s – Reflection, Rest and Recuperation.

Living in the country I’ve become much more aware of the moon’s cycles than I ever used to be – even it it’s only to make sure there are batteries in the torch for the nights when the moon is new. I’ve noticed for instance, that often on a full moon the weather is good and that there is very little wind – why that is I have no idea, but perhaps its nature’s way of counter-balancing the alleged ‘loony’ aspects of the full moon!

Symbolically speaking in many cultures the moon is literally the dark to the sun’s light – the sun is symbolic of the fraternal (yang) aspect, and the moon to the maternal or yin influence. (Although contrary to our Western appropriations there are many other cultures that see the moon as a masculine force.)

The moon produces no light of her own, instead she relies upon the sun to reflect her image to us, which no doubt unconsciously colours our feeling about her as the softer, more passive, more underlying influence than the sun.

It’s impossible to imagine our world without the moon.

There’s the almost unimaginableto science of it – it has no atmosphere, so there is no wind or weather of any description; because there is no weather the footprints left by the Apollo astronauts will be visible for at least ten million years.  There’s the magic and mayhem of werewolves and ‘lunacy’ attached to the full moon, and there’s the creativity and romance of it – where would our romantic poets, or musician, or singers, or even romance itself be without it?

“I am tired, beloved, of chafing my heart against the want of you; of squeezing it into little ink drops, and posting it.  And I scald alone, here, under the fire of the great moon.”  So wrote the wonderful American poet Amy Lowell, whose brother, incidentally, was the astronomer Percival Lowell.

Where would we be without the moon – in the dark, permanently void – of course.

Quote of the week

 “When the Moon is void of course it’s a soulful phase where the energy and excitement of life distills on an inner level. This is the perfect time to allow for serenity, and the cool, beautiful insights that rise from a state of total ease. As Rumi said, ‘When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.’” Astrologer and author Kim Falconer

More midweek meditations under wellbeing on http://thehoopla.com.au/