Void of Course Moon:
As the moon moves through the signs of the Zodiac, there comes a time when it has made the last connection it can make while in the present sign. From that time until the Moon enters the next Zodiac sign it is said to be VOID OF COURSE. It means that things are "in neutral". It is a time to maintain routines but NOT a time to begin new projects. Ideas and opportunities which come up during VOID of COURSE moon periods rarely amount to much. It's not a good time to schedule an important first meeting or to make decisions. This VOID OF COURSE time can last from a couple minutes to almost 48 hours depending on the arrangement of the planets in the signs.
All the planets except for the Sun and Moon will periodically appear to reverse their direction of motion across our sky and move backward or RETROGRADE for a period of time. After this period they resume normal West to East motion. The energy represented by the planet increases for a few days before and after the day it changes direction. This is especially true for the outer planets: Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto.
Mercury does this more often than any other planet: 3 times a year. It remains in "retrograde" motion for 3 weeks each time before it stops and resumes direct motion. Mercury retrogrades are associated with mis-communication, lost personal items, information from the past surfacing, and are excellent opportunities to reorganize files and information.
Contacts between Planets
Alignments (Conjunctions): When two planets come together in our sky, they are said to be aligned or in "conjunction". Their energies and the activities they represent are blended. Sometimes these energies work well together, like Venus and the Moon to produce social ease and warm connections. Sometimes they don't, like Mars and Saturn, which can be like driving with the brakes on. Alignments also symbolize an ending and a beginning like a New Moon does.
Oppositions: Planets passing opposite each other produce an awareness of choice. We must balance the two energies in a see-saw fashion, doing first one then the other. Furthermore, when we choose one, the other reacts and thus our consciousness is expanded. Most of this action-reaction comes through the people around us.
Squares: Two planets seen to form a right angle are said to be "square" each other. Their activities work at cross purposes and produce tension. Squares are formed between signs that have similar modes of action. Signs that are instigators are called cardinal (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn). Signs that focus energy into power are called fixed (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius). And signs that make connections and adjustments are called mutable (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius, and Pisces).
Trines: When planets are four signs apart (120 degrees), they form a harmonious connection called a trine. The astrological elements of fire, earth, air, and water are found in signs that are four signs apart. Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius are the three fire signs. So when planets connect in a "trine" angle they are both using the same basic energy and reinforce each other. There's an easy flow and momentum building quality to trines.
Sextiles: Planets make "sextile" angles when they are two signs apart (60 degrees). They are connecting from zodiac signs that easily cooperate like fire and air or earth and water. Unlike "trine" angles, sextiles represent doorways of opportunity that must be entered to activate.
Quincunxes: Five signs separate planets making the "quincunx" connection. The planets involved are operating from incompatible signs like Cancer and Sagittarius. The need for roots and security of Cancer conflicts with the need for freedom and space of Sagittarius. This conflict won't be ignored; it pushes us to progress to the next sign. If the Cancer opens out into Leo, it would ease this stress, and if the Sagittarian moved to Capricorn's solid ground, he could balance with Cancer.
The times used in the reports are given for local time on the U.S. West Coast and local time on the U.S. East Coast. For example, an event occurring at 10:00am Pacific Daylight Time would be shown as 10:00am/1:00pm. I apologize to non-U.S. readers for this national bias, but the vast majority of readers are in the U.S.