Spooky season starts off with a truly spooky and rare astrological phenomenon: a Hellenistic Void-of-Course (VOC) Moon. Under this definition, the Moon does not make any Ptolemaic aspects with any of the visible planets within the next 30 degrees. It was called “running in the void” by Porphyry, and kenodromia by the Greeks.
This is much rarer than the more common medieval definition of VOC, which is when the Moon doesn’t make any aspects before it changes signs; upon changing signs, it’s no longer VOC. Under the Hellenistic definition, sign changes don’t matter. The VOC condition depends only on aspects, regardless of signs.
Also note that because this is a Hellenistic concept, only Ptolematic aspects (sextiles, squares, trines and oppositions) count, and only the visible planets are considered. The Moon will make non-Ptolematic aspects, as well as aspects with the outer planets, during this time. For the Moon to be running in the void, therefore, it must be averse (inconjunct – either by semi-sextile or quincunx) the other visible planets.
The Hellenistic VOC Moon does not happen very often – only once every few months or even years. The last one to occur was in August 2020.
This October VOC Moon starts right after the Moon (in Leo) squares Venus in Scorpio on October 2, at 5:43pm MT. It is then Void-of-Course for the next 57 hours and four minutes (just over two days) until the Moon (now in Virgo) sextiles Venus in Scorpio in the early hours of October 5.
In comparison, under the medieval definition of the VOC Moon, after that square to Venus on October 2, the Moon is only void for just under nine hours, until it changes signs and ingresses Virgo early in the morning on October 3.
What does a Void-of-Course Moon mean? Well, the image of “running in the void” tells you all you need to know about it. This is a time period where no progress will be made; any efforts will be fruitless, empty, or otherwise null. It is a terrible time to begin anything new – anything of significance, anyway. I’ve heard of some people waiting to do things like file taxes until the Moon is VOC, so that nothing comes of it (i.e. they won’t owe any money). That’s almost always during the modern VOC periods, since the Hellenistic versions is so infrequent.
Mercury is also retrograde as this same time, so that just increases the likelihood that nothing will come of anything started then – or that things will need to be fixed afterwards.
So, from the early evening of October 2 to the early morning of October 5, try to avoid starting anything that’s important to you. The skies are simply not favourable for anything fruitful to come out of any efforts made during this time. Instead, it’s a good time to dream and to wander, to let your mind and your heart dabble in whatever captures your attention.
Going back to the first of the month, October starts with Mercury having just stationed retrograde in Libra. The messenger planet will move back through Libra towards the Sun and Mars, which conjoin and separate in the early part of the month. (This conjunction goes exact on October 7 at 15 Libra, with Mercury only three degrees away).
So, the first week of October will have increased tension as the Sun and Mars inch closer together. The combination with retrograde Mercury means it’s probably a great time to get into all sorts of arguments or other conflicted communications with other people. Try to keep a calm mind and not get drawn into petty gossip or bickering. And keep that VOC Moon in mind too, because that occurs during this same period – people might talk big, but probably nothing much is going to come of the bluster and hot air being spewed about. (This applies to whatever happens in the news, doubly so.)
October 7 will be a big day for astrological weather – keep an eye on it and try to weather whatever storms come your way with as much equilibrium as possible.
Venus is still trudging through the cesspools of Scorpio, but will happily move out of that sign – improving her dignity significantly – and ingress Sagittarius on October 7, right before that Sun-Mars-Mercury conjunction. This should be a nice lift on the Venus-ruled parts of your chart, as well as all Venusian parts of life.
Mercury stations direct on October 18, bringing the retrograde period to an end. Now is the time to start sorting out all the stuff that went haywire over the last three weeks. You may find yourself particularly focused on interpersonal relationships.
The Sun enters Scorpio on October 22, followed by Mars on October 30. On the 30th, the Sun will be exactly square Saturn in Aquarius, opposite Uranus in Taurus. This T-square will probably feel pretty intense, but it’s only a preview for what we’ll experience a few days later when Mars takes the Sun’s place in a T-square with Saturn and Uranus. I’ll write about this in the November forecast.
For now, just know that October ends with increasingly powerful skies. It feels like storm clouds gathering on the horizon, about to unleash their fury.