If you’ve read my monthly Forecasts over the years, you may have periodically noticed that sometimes I’ll describe days in which “nothing is happening,” and you may have wondered what use you could possibly make of information like that. These are days in which no planet is connecting with any other. That’s a very unusual kind of day, because the Moon moves through the zodiac quite quickly, completing all 12 signs in its monthly round and connecting with most of the other planets as it moves through each sign. So there are only a few days like this a year. But it’s connected to another phenomenon that’s more frequent, which is called the Void-of-Course Moon.
The Moon takes about 2 and a half days to pass through each zodiac sign. When the Moon has made the last aspect (connection) that it’s going to make in a given sign, it is said to go “void of course,” which basically means that there are no more connections due to happen in the Moon’s upcoming path. After the Moon changes signs, it’s like hitting a reset button and the Moon enters a new “course” which is not “void” until it again finishes the final connection it’s going to make with another planet while in that sign.
So if, for example, the Moon is in Capricorn and squares Saturn at 2:42 in the afternoon and trines Jupiter at 6:05 that evening, and leaves Capricorn at 9:22 that night, it will be said to be void-of-course between 6:05 (when it made its last aspect, which was to Jupiter) and 9:22 (when it left Capricorn and entered Aquarius). The period of time that the Moon can be void-of-course varies—it can be for just a few minutes or a whole day (although that’s rare).
So those rare days I’ve been describing in my Forecast pages as days when “the Moon makes no exact aspects” tend to have an eerie feeling, almost a feeling of suspense. It’s hard to know how to respond to anything on these days, and making decisions is about as bad an idea as it is during Mercury retrograde, and for similar reasons.
Not all these “no aspect” days are also void-of-course days, because it’s possible for the Moon’s course to have a sort of dead patch in the middle, followed by more planetary connections, followed by a real void period at the end. But when a “no aspect” day is also a void-of-course day, the effect is intensified.
While the Moon is void-of-course you may not know what you feel and your intuition may be off, so you may decide later that your decision was faulty. Astrologers have a catchphrase for what happens during the void-of-course Moon: “nothing will come of the matter.” One astrologer made use of this characteristic of the void Moon, with rather famous results.
You may know that Astrologer Joan Quigley was hired by President Ronald and Nancy Reagan to help set dates for meetings and other things during Reagan’s presidency. According to Wikipedia, Nancy hired Joan after the assassination attempt on the president, because Joan said she could have predicted that event. What you may not know is that Joan’s astrological help is probably the reason why Reagan came to be known as the “Teflon President.” Joan advised the Reagans about when to hold press conferences, scheduling them during void-of-course Moon periods so that “nothing would come of the matter.” So, no matter what difficult questions the press threw at Reagan, he was able to smooth things over. Nothing ever happened that seemed important enough to report on or to question in the press, and no ugly smear campaigns or rumors ever resulted. Nothing stuck to Reagan—and thus he was Teflon.
The Moon void-of-course is a powerful time, even though it’s also a “dead” time. So the conclusion that we must come to is that during a void-of-course Moon you have two choices: 1) take a load off and don’t make any important decisions or 2) call a press conference you don’t want negative repercussions from. And that’s what to do with a void-of-course Moon!
“Wake up!” says Pluto. “Recently I initiated some part of you into a death-and-rebirth experience. Now I’m telling you again: this is a time of profound change.”
(If you’ve seen this post before, that’s because Pluto goes retrograde every year. Some years it will affect you directly, some not.)
Today Is A Pivotal Day
When a planet turns retrograde it makes a pivot in the sky and also creates a metaphorically “pivotal” experience for human beings. Right now, that planet is Pluto. It’s as if Pluto is telling us, “You can’t go on avoiding this change forever. I’m delivering a wake-up call.” If Pluto is touching a planet in your chart this year, this message is for you and it will have very specific meaning, depending on what planet that is. That planet, and the part of you it represents, is being melted down to its essence. After this period, that part of you will be fundamentally changed. April 9 was the peak of Pluto’s wake-up call for 2011, but it could happen anytime within a week surrounding that date.
Initiation Leading To An Inner Journey
Sometime between now and the end of last November Pluto showed us an area of life in which we are due for a change. What he delivered was an initiation and it was our first chance to catch a clue about the profound metamorphosis to come. That clue may have been obvious or it may have been subtle, but we’ve been shown a place in our life that would benefit from letting go of control and accepting that the old way of being must go so that a new way may be born from its ashes.
The clue was delivered, but did we notice? It’s human to go into denial. During the winter we may have said to ourselves, “Maybe I don’t have to do anything about this. Maybe it was just a one-time thing. Maybe I can just move on. Maybe I can get away without paying attention to this.”
Or maybe not. Today Pluto turns up the volume and gives us a reminder. “That metamorphosis you’re going through?” he says, “You’d better get with the program.” Today, Pluto’s retrograde journey begins and with it begins our journey inward to discover what part of us needs to be allowed to die and how we can accept that death and grieve its loss. Only after we grieve can new life spring from the old. The upcoming few months of Pluto retrograde will demand that we trust our own process and allow things to unfold as they must. Pluto’s retrograde journey lasts until the day it turns direct, which is September 16, 2011.
Where Must We Face Death, Loss And Change?
The sign Pluto is in tells us how it will affect us. Right now Pluto is in Capricorn, a practical, ambitious Earth sign. While traveling through Capricorn, Pluto will transform our relationship to structure, discipline, order and career. Pluto asks, “How do you handle structure? Are you self-disciplined? Do you have good, healthy order in your life? Are you on a meaningful and purposeful career track? Are you building something real, concrete and useful to leave behind when you die?”
Pluto says, “There are things you need to let go of. Things that aren’t serving you. Places where you stop yourself from having the discipline, integrity and ambition you really want to have. I’m taking those things away from you now. You don’t need them anymore. You won’t know that at first–in fact, at first it will feel like you yourself are dying. But you’re not. You’re just changing. Let go of those things you don’t need. Grieve them. Then watch new life spring from the old. This is always my promise to you: new life comes from the passing of the old.” Pluto says, “This is me helping you get out of your own way.”
Is This Story Your Story?
If this resonates for you, it may be that you are personally touched by this transit. Pluto may be triggering a planet in your own chart, thus bringing these themes up for you. This year Pluto is covering the space between 4 and 7 degrees Capricorn. If there is anything in your chart in 4, 5, 6 or 7 degrees of Capricorn, Cancer, Libra or Aries, you will feel this. And knowing it can help a lot if you’ve been feeling like you’re melting down and like you want to hide under the covers and you’re generally more sensitive this year than usual. Pluto may be trying to tell you something important, and if you listen, your discomfort will ease and the change you’re in can begin to flow instead of paining you.
What Area Of Your Life Is Being Affected?
Good question. It will have to do with the planet in your chart that’s being triggered by Pluto. If it’s Mercury, Pluto is metamorphosing your mind and killing off old ways of thinking. If it’s Venus or Juno, Pluto is metamorphosing your relationships, giving you the possibility of a whole new way of being in relationship in the future. If it’s your Sun, the very core of you is being melted down and reshaped into a whole new person you will not even recognize. But whatever it is, you’ll have that feeling of emotional intensity, grief and loss and a powerful need to assert control as everything around you melts down. That’s Pluto. He’s a Big Scary Monster to meet in a dark alley, but his gifts are great. Because he lives in each of us, we all have the ability to leave behind our caterpillar ways and become the butterfly we always meant to be.
Want to know more about how this Pluto transit affects your life?
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