Full Moon – Saturday 24th July

The Moon will reach its full phase at 03:38am on Saturday, July 24th. The July Full Moon, commonly called the Buck Moon, is also known as the Thunder Moon, or Hay Moon.
The indigenous Ojibwe people of the Great Lakes region call this Moon the Halfway Summer Moon, or the Raspberry Moon. The Cherokees call it the Corn in Tassel Moon. The Cree Nation of central Canada calls the June Full Moon the Feather Moulting Moon  and the Mohawks call it the Fruits are Ripened Moon.

Because the Moon is full when it is opposite the sun in the sky, Full Moons always rise in the east as the sun is setting, and set in the west at sunrise. Since sunlight is striking the Moon vertically at that time, no shadows are cast; all of the variations in brightness you see arise from differences in the reflectivity of the lunar surface rocks.

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Full Moon – Thursday 24th June

June was traditionally the month for marriages – it is even named after the Roman goddess of marriage, Juno. Following marriage comes the “honeymoon,” which give may give some credence to this Full Moon’s name. The bees are indeed making honey at this time. It was traditional to gift mead or honey to a newlywed couple during their first moon of marriage.

June’s Full Moon on the 24th is also known as the Strawberry Moon by the UK and many other Eurpean countries, being the time of year for ripening strawberries.  All other names have sweet or romantic connatations:

  • Full Rose Moon.
  • Mead Moon.
  • Lover’s Moon.
  • Hot Moon.
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Full Moon – Wednesday 26th May

The Full Moon on Wednesday is known as the Flower Moon.  It will appear larger than usual as it is the second Supermoon* of the year (the first being April’s Pink Moon). On average, Supermoons are about 7% bigger and about 15% brighter than a typical Full Moon.

More favourable skies on and around 26th May are expected. Rain and showers are likely to clear away to the east, leaving drier and less windy conditions so one should get a good view of the biggest and brightest Supermoon of 2021.

There is a total lunar eclipse occuring but you need to be in Australia, parts of the western USA, western South America, or in South-East Asia to see it! However, there is a partial solar eclipse which will be visible from the UK on Thursday 10th June beginning at 10.04am.

Other names attributed to this Moon full of the promise of summer are:

  • Leaf Budding Moon
  • Planting Moon
  • Egg Laying Moon
  • Field Making Moon
  • Frog Moon
  • Moon Of The Shedding Ponies!

*Any full Moon (or new Moon) coming closer than 224,865 miles (361,885 km), as measured from the centres of the Earth and Moon, counts as a Supermoon in 2020, according to NASA.

One cannot talk of the moon without paying respect to Michael Collins who died at the end of last month at 90 years old.
Michael Collins took part in the first manned mission to land on the Moon in 1969. He remained in the Apollo 11 craft while Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the Moon’s surface. R.I.P.
A total of twelve people have walked on the Moon. Four of them are still living as of April 2021. Buzz Aldrin, now 91 years old, is the only surviving member of the 1969 mission.

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Full Moon on Tuesday, 27th April

April brings a Full Pink Moon. It is also the first of two Supermoons this year. A Supermoon is a Full Moon that will appear to be slightly larger than usual. The second Supermoon will occur next month.

This name is not because the Moon will be pink in colour. It comes from the pink moss, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the Spring in North America. Other names for this month’s Full Moon, all of which indicate the season, include:

  • Full Sprouting Grass Moon
  • Egg Moon
  • Full Fish Moon, among coastal tribes because this was the time that the fish swam upstream to spawn.

At the same time, April is a time when rivers and streams begin to fully thaw. Accordingly, April’s Full moon was:

  • Full Melting Moon, by the Shoshone tribe.
  • Moon Where Ice Breaks in the River, by the Arapaho tribe.
  • Sugar Maker Moon, by the Abenaki tribes
  • Sugarbush Moon, by the Ojibwe tribe. The Ojibwe tribe would journey north to their spring camps to tap maple syrup and engage in spear fishing. Maple syrup was integral to Ojibwe culture: not only was it a crucial method of seasoning all their foods (they did not have access to salt at that time), but it also symbolized harmony within the community and with the forces of nature around them.

In other religions:

Usually for Christians it is the Paschal Moon, and celebrate the first Sunday after April’s full moon as Easter Sunday. It’s possible that the reason why the Easter Bunny brings eggs is because April’s full moon is also known as the Egg Moon, given that animals such as geese begin mating and laying eggs in Spring. This year, the Paschal Full Moon fell on 28th March.

In Islamic communities around the world, April’s full moon is celebrated as Bara’at Night, also known as the Night of Innocence. Muslims offer up prayers, asking their God to absolve dead ancestors of their sins. They also prepare sweet desserts such as halva or zarda and give it out to children, the needy, and other members of their community.

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Full Moon – Saturday, 28th March

March’s Full Moon is known as the Worm Moon, which was originally thought to refer to the earthworms that appear as the soil thaws in Spring. This itself leads to the appearance of robins, chats and other worm eating birds.

An alternative explanation for this name comes from Captain Jonathan Carver, an 18th-century explorer, who wrote that this Moon name refers to a different sort of “worm”—beetle larvae—which begin to emerge from the thawing bark of trees and other winter hideouts at this time.

There are other names for this particular Full Moon all of which herald the transition from Winter into Spring.  Such names include:

  • Crow Comes Back Moon.
  • Sugar Moon – marking the time of year when the sap of sugar maples trees starts to flow.
  • Wind Strong Moon – referring to the strong windy days that come at this time of year.
  • The Sore Eyes Moon – from North Dakota where the blinding rays of sunlight reflect off the melting snow of late winter.

March’s full Moon often plays a role in religion too. Specifically, in Christianity, this Moon is known as the Lenten Moon if it is the last Full Moon of the winter season (i.e.: if it occurs before the Spring equinox) or as the Paschal Full Moon if it is the first Full Moon of Spring (i.e.: if it occurs after the Spring equinox).  This year we have a Paschal Full Moon.

Easter is a different date every year and some remember the date as 3 weeks after Mother’s Day. Another way to remember when Easter falls is that Easter is always observed on the Sunday following the Paschal Full Moon, which is the first Full Moon that occurs on or after the March equinox…. well almost…

Broadwindsor village churchThe ecclesiastical dates of the Full Moon and the March equinox are those used by the Christian Church. They were defined long ago in order to aid in the calculation of Easter’s date, which means that they may differ from the astronomical dates of these events.
In A.D. 325, a Full Moon calendar was created that did not take into account all the factors of lunar motion that we know about today. The Christian Church still follows this calendar, which means that the date of the ecclesiastical Full Moon may be one or two days off from the date of the astronomical Full Moon.
Additionally, the astronomical date of the equinox changes over time, but the Church has fixed the event in their calendar to March 21st. This means that the ecclesiastical date of the equinox will always be March 21st, even if the astronomical date is March 19th or 20th.

This year, the March equinox occurred on Saturday, 20th March. The first Full Moon to occur after that date is March’s Full Worm Moon, on Sunday, 28th March. This makes March’s Full Moon the Paschal Full Moon as well. Therefore, Easter will be observed on the first Sunday after March 28: Sunday, 4th April! 🙂

 It’s a period of new beginnings. Look for the spectacularly bright Moon as it rises above the horizon on Saturday evening!

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Full Moon on Thursday, 28th January

The Full Wolf Moon rises on Thursday, January 28, 2021. It’s thought that January’s full Moon came to be known as the Wolf Moon because wolves were more often heard howling at this time. It was traditionally believed that wolves howled due to hunger during winter, but we know today that wolves howl for other reasons.

The Gaelic word for January, Faoilleach, comes from the term for wolves, faol-chù, even though wolves haven’t existed in Scotland for centuries. The Saxon word for January is Wulf-monath, or Wolf Month. Meanwhile, the festival of the Japanese wolf god, Ooguchi Magami, is also held in January. The Seneca tribe links the wolf so strongly to the moon, they believe that a wolf gave birth to the moon by singing it into the sky! So just why are wolves so strongly associated with January’s full moon?

The most obvious answer is because wolves are much louder and more noticeable in January, which is when breeding season begins. Wolves begin to howl more frequently and aggressively to establish their territory, threatening neighbours and enemies alike to stay far away from their breeding grounds. A small pack of wolves may even try to make themselves seem like a larger pack by howling together. While a lone wolf can sustain a howl for the duration of a single breath, an entire pack may howl in unison for longer than two minutes during breeding season. Howling and other wolf vocalizations are generally used to define territory, locate pack members, reinforce social bonds, and coordinate hunting.

Wolves are so well-known for their tight-knit communities that the Sioux tribe called January’s full moon the Moon Where Wolves Run Together. The wolf is often seen as a symbol of loyalty and protection in many cultures. The Wolf Moon is the perfect time for you to reach out to loved ones and reaffirm your connections, in preparation for deepening your bonds and taking on new challenges together over the upcoming year. We’ve most certainly got those ahead.

Stay safe with your pack!

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Full Moon on Wednesday, 30th December

The last Full Moon of the decade is known as The Cold Moon. This is a Mohawk name that conveys the frigid conditions of this time of year, when cold weather truly begins to grip us. This Full Moon has also been called the Long Night Moon (Mohican), as it rose during the “longest” nights of the year.

Ancient pagans called the December Full Moon the “Moon Before Yule,” in honour of the Yuletide festival celebrating the return of the sun heralded by winter solstice.

December’s Full Moon shines above the horizon for a longer period of time than most Full Moons.  There is an old saying “If a snowstorm begins when the Moon is young, it will cease at moonrise.

This Full Moon will rise over the horizon just before sunset on the 30th December. Until the end of the year, Jupiter and Saturn, very bright and beautiful, will still be visible just after sunset, although they sit low in the South West sky.
Throughout December, Venus in its faster orbit around the sun will be going farther and farther away from Earth but being the brightest planet, it is still visible in the morning sky.

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Full Moon on Monday, 30th November

This month’s Full Moon is known as the Beaver Moon. So called as this was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes referred to as the Frosty Moon – no explanation required there!

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Blue Full Moon on Hallowe’en

This Saturday we will see the second Full Moon of this month which gives it the name of a Blue Moon. The Moon does not appear blue in colour.  What makes this event even rarer is that it will be seen in all parts of the world on Hallowe’en for the first time since World War II.

The entire 21st Century will see only six Halloween Full Moons: 2001, 2020, 2039, 2058, 2077, and 2096.

This Full Moon is known as The Hunter’s Moon or by others, Blood Moon. Traditionally, this time included hunting, slaughtering and preserving meats for use in the winter months ahead.

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Full Moon on Thursday, October 1st

The first of two Full Moons this month, this is the Harvest Moon.

Most years, the Harvest Moon occurs in September but approximately every 3 years it occurs in October. The majority of sources state that the Full Moon names originate from ancient Native American tradition. There are others who point out that Harvest month was recorded as early as in the 700’s in both Anglo-Saxon and Old High German languages.

As the Moon rises from the horizon around sunset, it may appear larger and more orange which is quite apt for the season. It’s the location of the moon near the horizon that causes the Harvest Moon – or any full moon – to look big and orange in colour.  For several evenings, the moonrise comes soon after sunset. This creates an abundance of bright moonlight early in the evening, which was a traditional aide to farmers and crews harvesting their summer-grown crops. Hence, the ‘Harvest’ Moon.

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