William Lilly and Void of Course.


Could anyone please direct me, to where in the CA books, William Lilly refers to Void of Course, and its meaning that nothing will come of the matter? Even directing me to the right book would be helpful.
If anyone could help that would be fabulous.



Well-known member
I am unfamiliar with the author you are attempting to research. As far as the void of course moon 'meaning that nothing will come of the matter', I have found a reference to that on pg. 84 of the 1975 version of Ivy M. Goldstein-Jacobson's book Simplified Horary Astrology.

On the page, titled "The Moon Void of Course", she says, "the keyword for you to remember to use is NOTHING. If completely void of course, a project or anything begun will be abandoned or reversed so that NOTHING is to come of it and the querent gives up his objective & eventually stops worrying about it."

Previous to this the author says when the moon is void of course the chart is usually dismissed as unreadable, but that she thinks no chart is really unreadable, because " everything in it has significance and is there to be read, particularly a void-of-course Moon because the answer is immediate."
She says the answer is NOTHING.

Best of luck in your research.

Sag Moon

Well-known member
Do a Search here "VPC Moon" or another wodrding.

One must understand that the description given to VOC Moons are from a period when mariners and it was a different age.

Plus there are certain things which will null the effect of them such as Having Jupiter highly placed or angular.

Robert Hand did xtensive research into them also.

Look at the chart of Malcom X as one example.


Premium Member
Try page 122 of the first book of the edition you have. There are a number of exceptions: Moon in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius, and Pisces or if the principal significators are strong. This is one of the considerations before judgement, but I find they only apply if you are doing charts for others. You can always read your own chart if you if you follow the basic rules for a horary chart. VOC is often an indication that the answer to the question is no.

Sag Moon

Well-known member
Of the ancient astrologers MAternius(?) was referenced by Robt.Hand as for exceptions which will null the effecs of the VOC Moon.

I was born with a VOC Moon,but I have Jupiter angular and otu of sign Cj. to Ju. SO it nulls the VOC effect I think.
Thanks everyone,

I found it!

The reason why I have been so keen to actually find Lilly's wording in the book, is because it was brought to my attention yesterday, by a very reputable astrologer, that he doesnt actually say that nothing will come of the matter.

Lilly states
"All manner of matters goe hardly on (except the principall significators be very strong) when the moon is void of course; yet somewhat she performs if void of course, and be either in Taurus, Cancer, Sagittarius or Pisces."

Now personally, I think this reputable astrologer is totally right. It says nothing of the sort that the void of course moon, means nothing will come of the matter.

The first thing I think of when reading this Old English, is the phrase, "To be hardly done by". Meaning in fact, to have had a hard time with something. Like this astrologer mentioned to me by email yesterday, (I'm not sure I can say who this astrologer was, as they dont know I am writing this:confused:), I think it is actually saying in Lilly's text that, that the void of course moon, will actually make the situation queried about, hard. Are we infact, by saying that nothing will come of the matter, making decisions for the querent? It may be, that some folk will decide to not go ahead with doing something because of the struggle they may have with the matter, but I dont think it is our decision.

I wanted to find out more about the wording of this term "goe hardly", because I think now a days, we are have read the term "hardly", to mean "barely", which I have found to be wrong.

I refer you to something I found on line at "Answers.com" ( I need to go and check this information again from another source), but I think we have a significant problem here.

Middle English hardli, from Old English heardlīce, harshly, bravely, from heard, hard. See hard.]USAGE NOTE In Standard English, hardly, scarcely, and similar adverbs cannot be used with a negative. The sentence I couldn't hardly see him, for instance, is not acceptable. This violation of the double negative rule is curious because these adverbs are not truly negative in meaning. The sentence Mary hardly laughed means that Mary did laugh a little, not that she kept from laughing altogether, and therefore does not express a negative proposition. But adverbs like hardly and scarcely do share some important features of negative adverbs, even though they may not have purely negative meaning. For one thing, they combine with any and at all, which are characteristically associated with negative contexts. Thus we say I hardly saw him at all or I never saw him at all but not I occasionally saw him at all. Similiarly, we say I hardly had any time or I didn't have any time but not I had any time and so on. Like other negative adverbs, hardly triggers inversion of the subject and auxiliary verb when it begins a sentence. Thus we say Hardly had I arrived when she left on the pattern of Never have I read such a book or At no time has he condemned the movement. Other adverbs do not cause this kind of inversion. We would not say Occasionally has he addressed this question or To a slight degree have they changed their position. The fact is that adverbs such as hardly can be said to have a negative meaning in that they minimize the state or event they describe. Thus hardly means “almost not at all”; rarely means “practically never”; and so forth. This is why they cannot be used with another negative such as not or none. See Usage Notes at double negative, rarely, scarcely.
Now as you can see, modern usage of the word hardly, refers to rarely, scarcely. But if you note, in old english terminology, the term actually means harshly, bravely. Which actually brings the modern translation of Lilly, that nothing will come of the matter, to being a total fabrication.

Any comments?
Just to add some more weight, to this idea, the oxford dictionary, (unfortunately the compact edition), says:



adverb 1 scarcely; barely. 2 only with great difficulty. 3 no or not (suggesting surprise at or disagreement with a statement).
Please note, the second meaning of the word "only with great difficulty".
I think it is presumptious of us, to assume that the term only means, that nothing will come of the matter, when this meaning also exists. We are not doing querents a service, in telling them that nothing will come of the matter, when in fact we should be telling them things could happen with great difficulty. It almosts suggest that we have the right to be making this decision for them.


Senior Member, Educational board Editor
looking to Jupiter,
To me, *all matters shall goe hardly on* is pretty clear-*Hardly anything will happen* (with the exceptions of very strong sigs applying to one another in some way or when the moon is in certain signs....)
william Lilly was liberal with his definition of a void of course moon too. In my honest experience I have seen many many charts with a void of course moon play out in such a way as hardly anything happened, in regard to the question.
Its a bit more complex though.If the moon will be VOC for a long time, or *Feral* (void for a whole sign) to me it means hardly anything will happen for a long time. If the moon is VOC for only a short time, then something may happen *after a while* depending on whether fixed signs are on the (relevant) angles, or sigs in cadent houses....etc etc.
In horary, the moon tells us *what has happened* and what *will* happen. If the moon makes no aspects for a long time, then nothing can happen for a long time, (symbolically speaking).
This brings into the equation orbs and moieties.William Lilly used much wider ones than many of us do today.
I have *yet to see* a chart with VOC moon yield a change in the situation within that cycle, but I am totally open to viewing charts where the VOC moon did act positively for the querent because of strong sigs or receptions etc....
Cheers, Lillyjgc


Well-known member
Hi all,
To add to the confusion LOL, I would suggest that people do a search for "void of course moon" at skyscript.com and look at the article "The Moon as a transmitter
Of Influences", which is Ms.Houlding's excellent analysis of William Lilly's views on this matter, complete with numerous example from Lilly's own charts.
I myself follw Lilly's views here, which means that the moon today at 21 degrees sagittarius is NOT void of course. This really helped to clear things up for me.
BTW, I think it makes more sense to have a more traditional foundation for astrology. But yes, I still look at the outer planets....
Anyway, I hope that this reference will help someone.


Well-known member
Looking to Jupiter said:

Could anyone please direct me, to where in the CA books, William Lilly refers to Void of Course, and its meaning that nothing will come of the matter? Even directing me to the right book would be helpful.
If anyone could help that would be fabulous.


I noticed through my own charts, if the significators are strong and have mutual reception / essential dignity / aspect and placed in strong houses where the significator either at joy or angular (the strongest) or succeedent (neutral) .. the issue will be solved in the way you want it.. Moon void cannot say "ohh planets i dont care if you are strong and aspecting each other but i will shut the door because i am stronger!" Moon in void can perform under pisces, taurus, cancer and sag i believe. the chart must tell the story!



Account Closed
One thing that happened under a void moon was that a lost object...a wallet, that was thought to be lost, was found. As if to say, this thing was not really lost at all. I have no idea how to explain that, except that I've seen this kind of thing repeatedly under voids. Something you thought was one way reveals itself under a void moon to be a completely different situation that what you previously had thought. What's that about? Accidents happen a lot under void moons too, which is definitely something coming from the matter, and not nothing. Always lots of fire engines and police sirens when its void. I'm sure the car trip did not turn out as expected for the poor person in the accident, but its not nothing. I think the term 'hardly goes well' speaks volumes. It won't turn out as expected. It doesn't necessarily need to be negative though. I had one instance when I went to take a blouse back to the store and get a refund. When I got there, this store had the same blouse on sale, and in the right size, so instead of a refund, I got what this great blouse dirt cheap! Now, you can't really have an agenda when you shop like that, but it does have its rewards sometimes!
I'm constantly experimenting with void moons and have tons of void moon stories, as I'm sure we all do. :)
This does not really pertain to horary rules however, but in the charts that I've done, I agree with lillyjgc.

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Well-known member
The way Deb Houlding explained it to me was, besides the Ivy Goldstein-Jacobson "nothing will come of the matter" context, that the void of course moon describes a 'lapse of energy', wherein nothing can move forward because there is not strength or power available to move it; much like the wind suddenly going out of a boat's sails. When the Moon leaves VOC, the wind suddenly puffs the sails out again. (This is how I view it in my mind, at least.)

Thanks everyone for your replies here.

I guess its a matter of seeing what happens in practise. At the moment I feels its necessary to question some of the things I have been told and what I have read. Especially when good astrologers tell you to watch out for what can be a misinterpretation of someone like W. Lilly. Its a text that can be interpreted the wrong way, and I guess this astrologer that told me, was just keeping me on my toes. I like that!

I like the analogy there AG. It will be something I will keep an eye out for.

Talking about Deb Houlding aswell, skyscripts down again. Makes me realize how much I use that site, for reference and inspiration, when its not up and running. Hope they get it together soon.

Cheers everyone for your input.