Intro to Astrology Pt.2 - Ascendant, Void-of-Course & Retrograde

Intro to Astrology Pt.2 - Ascendant, Void-of-Course & Retrograde

Welcome back! Last time we went back in time and discussed the history of astrology, how it can benefit you and some more basics. If you haven’t read Intro to Astrology Pt.1, do so now – then come back here when you’re done.

Ascendant (Rising Sign)

The Ascendant (ASC) is the exact degree of your rising sign and represents how you present yourself to the world. It is not necessarily how you really are behind closed doors or with people you trust. If you often feel misunderstood or don’t relate to how others see you, you might have conflicting Ascendant and Sun Sign. Write down how you think you present yourself to others and include proof to support those thoughts. Ex: You may write down that others think you’re smart. The proof would be the mini library on your work desk or your book club instagram account.

Write a list. Then look up your ascending sign. Does it compliment your Sun sign and other parts of your birth chart? Or is it contradictory? We are multifaceted and sometimes there are no black and white answers. The interpretation is yours to make.

One more thing, which is kind of a biggie...if you really want to understand your birth chart as a whole, then make sure to look up the ruling planet of your Ascendant. That ruling planet is said to express your approach to life. 

Stephen Arroyo says the Ascendant is the approach to life but the Sun shows life itself. Keep that in mind when applying the charateristics of your Ascendant to the rest of your chart.


The moon is void-of-course (VOC or vaca cursus in Latin) when the moon makes its last major aspect to another planet and is moving between signs. If you hear someone says that the moon is feral, they mean it's currently VOC. The consensus is that you shouldn’t make any major decisions or acquire any possessions during this time. The moon is passing between the influence of a sign so you can say it’s misguided or uninfluenced. If you're practicing Horary Astrology and are looking to the moon for the answer to a question, then you definitely want to avoid VOC. When the moon is VOC it's said to not be recording any information, so asking your question will fall on deaf ears.

Horary Astrology aside, I can see both sides of the coin. For one, you can interpret this as the moon not having an influence on the action you want to take, thus taking full responsibility for your actions. Or if you’re a very emotional person and tend to make decisions based on those emotions, then you might want to take a seat back and wait for the moon to enter a new sign for more guidance. I say trust your gut! We can only look to the stars for so much.


Everyone pretty much freaks out whenever they hear that Mercury is in retrograde. Mercury Retrograde occurs when Mercury seemingly circles Earth in a backward motion. Scientifically speaking Mercury is not moving in a backward motion around the Earth. The illusion of retrograde happens due to Earth’s rotation. From our perspective, it most definitely looks like it makes a backward loop – but it’s not.  Because Mercury rotates faster than Earth is creates the illusion of retrograde as they pass each other. It’s just like when you’re sitting on a train and you pass another train going in the same direction as you. If you look out the window the other train can seem to be going backward. It’s not. It’s just an illusion.

Did you know that Mercury is not the only planet that retrogrades? Astrologically speaking, retrogrades will cause you to internalize or cause havoc around the themes of the planet in retrograde as it applies to your life. For example, Venus rules personal finances and possessions. When Venus is in retrograde you might want to cut up your credit cards or not buy a car. Leave your money alone as Venus is eager to build up your debt and take your cash. She's a gold digger! 

Read more about Mercury Retrograde.

Take a look at how a planet in retrograde can impact you: 

Mercury – thoughts, communication, learning style

Jupiter – education in all forms, experiences, travel

Venus – Personal finances, possessions

Saturn – Career, status, effort

Pluto – transformation, change

Neptune – Subconscious, spirituality, freedom from ego

Uranus – Individuality, expression, groups you associate yourself with








December 19

January 8



April 9

May 3



August 12

September 5



December 3

December 22



February 6

June 9



March 4

April 15



April 6

August 25



April 20

September 28



June 16

November 22



August 3

January 2




That wraps up Intro to Astrology! 

And don't forget to check your monthly TAROTSCOPE .




Book: Complete book of Astrology by Kris Brandt Riske, M.A.

Book: Stephen Arroyo's Chart Interpretation Handbook

Book: The Astrologu Book: The Encyclopedia of Heavenly Influences by James R Lewis

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