2023’s first Full Moon is at 23.56hrs on Friday, 6th January.
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!
December’s Full Moon is aptly known as the Cold Moon. It will look its’ largest on Wednesday night as it is at its fullest at 04.08am on Thursday. Sunrise is at 7:52am on 8th December, so the best time to see the Cold Moon will be between 4am and 7am, as it lingers low on the horizon in a pre-dawn sky. The Moon will then slip below the horizon at 8:29am.
Other names that indicate the cold and snow given to this Full Moon are:
- Drift Clearing Moon (Cree),
- Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree),
- Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala),
- Hoar Frost Moon (Cree),
- Snow Moon (Haida, Cherokee),
- Winter Maker Moon (Western Abenaki)
- Moon When the Deer Shed Their Antlers (Dakota)
- Little Spirit Moon (Anishinaabe).
This Full Moon has also been called the Long Night Moon (Mohican), as it rises during the “longest” nights of the year, which are near the December winter solstice.
In Europe, 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.
Here are the Full Moon dates for 2023:
|Full Moon date and time
||Full Moon name
|6th January (11.07pm)
|5th February (6.28pm)
|7th March (12.40pm)
|6th April (5.34am)
|5th May (6.34pm)
|4th June (4.41am)
|3rd July (12.38pm)
|1st August (7.31pm)
31st August (2.35am)
|29th September (10.57am)
|8th October (9.24pm)
|27th November (9.16am)
|27th December (12.33am)
The November Full Moon, known as the Beaver Moon, will be at its fullest at 11.02am so will look its fullest on Monday night.
Full Moon names date back to Native Americans of North America. There was some variation in the Full Moon names, but in general, the same ones were consistent among regional tribes – those who rely on Full Moon periods to track crops and harvest.
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. In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver heard this Native American term during his travels.
The brightness of the Full Moon is when the Sun and the Moon are aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and 100% of the Moon’s face is illuminated by the Sun.
It is time to come back down to Earth. Time to settle down. Time to regroup, find your feet and ground yourself back into what’s important to you, what works for you, and what you want in life.
Rising just after 8pm on Saturday evening, the Full Moon will brighten our skies. While September’s Full Moon is usually known as the Harvest Moon, if October’s Full Moon happens to occur closer to the autumnal equinox (September 23rd) than September’s, it takes on the name “Harvest Moon” instead. In this case, September’s Full Moon is referred to as the Corn Moon.
A transitional time between summer and autumn – many of the names (with the associated tribe) for this Full Moon reflects this:
- Autumn Moon (Cree)
- Falling Leaves Moon (Ojibwe)
- Leaves Turning Moon (Anishinaabe)
- Moon of Brown Leaves (Lakota)
- Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine)
Other Indian tribes would refer to this moon as:
- Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet (Lakota Sioux)
- Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth (Omaha)
- Moon When the Calves Grow Hair (Sioux)
August’s Full Moon is on Friday, 12th August at 02.36hrs so will appear slightly larger and brighter on Thursday evening. It is the final Supermoon of 2022.
This lunation is known as the Sturgeon Moon. This is because the giant sturgeon of the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain were most readily caught during this part of summer.
The Sturgeon Moon is also referred to as:
- Full Green Corn Moon, signalling that the corn was nearly ready for harvest.
- Grain Moon,
- Fruit Moon,
- Barley Moon,
- Wheat Cut Moon
- Blueberry Moon.
August also brings us the most popular meteor shower of the year. As our planet rotates the sun, every August, the Earth crashes into a cloud of debris left behind by the comet Swift-Tuttle. As the debris burns up in the Earth’s atmosphere, it produces the meteor shower that we call the Perseids.
The Perseid meteor shower gets its name as it appears to come out of the constellation Perseus. They can appear from any part of the sky, so the more sky you can see the better.
They are active now and set to peak on 13th August. Enjoy!
The July Full Moon falls on Wednesday, 13th July at 7.38pm. It is also a Supermoon: the closest, brightest Full Moon you’ll see this year.
Commonly called the Buck Moon (because the antlers of male deer (bucks) are in full-growth mode at this time), it is also known as the Thunder Moon, or Hay Moon. Traditionally, each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not solely to the Full 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 Full Moon the Feather Moulting Moon
- 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 🙂
Today’s Full Moon is also known as the Strawberry Moon, being the time of year for ripening strawberries.
There are many different names for the Full Moons experienced each year. Usually they’re not based on a colour, but on a common activity that takes place that time of year:
- Blooming Moon is indicative of the flowering season.
- Green Corn Moon and Hoer Moon suggest that it’s time to tend to young crops.
- Birth Moon, referring to the time when certain animals are born in their region.
- Egg Laying Moon and Hatching Moon are Cree terms that also hint at a time of many animal babies.
- Honey Moon
- Mead Moon
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 credence to one of this Full Moon’s names.
This is the second Supermoon of the year – Supermoons are often known to appear slightly larger than a normal Full Moon, up to 30% brighter and 17% larger, but in reality it seem to appear much the same, observed as a bright orb casting a slight golden tint.
The Summer Solstice is next Tuesday, 21st June.
The Full Moon is when the Sun and the Moon are aligned on opposite sides of Earth, and 100% of the Moon’s face is illuminated by the Sun.
This month’s Full Moon is at 19.56hrs. on Saturday, 16th April and is known as the ‘Pink Moon‘.
It is also the Paschal Full Moon. Simply speaking, the Paschal Full Moon is the first full Moon after the Spring Equinox. This Moon can sometimes occur in March and sometimes in April. The first Sunday after April’s full moon is celebrated 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 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:
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.
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.
Traditionally, each Full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred, not only to the Full Moon.
It’s a period of new beginnings. Look for the spectacularly bright Moon as it rises above the horizon this evening!
The Full Moon is today at 16.57hrs.
Known by many as the Snow moon, due to the seasonal weather, it is also known as the Black Bear or Bear Moon: referring to the time when bear cubs are born.
About once every 19 years, February does not have a Full Moon, known as a Black Moon. In 2018, this was the case in most time zones. This can only happen in February, as this is the only month which is shorter than a lunar month. When this occurs, both January and March have two New Moons, instead of just one, creating a double Blue Moon.