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Full Moon Names and Their Meanings...
Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern
United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring
full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was
some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the
Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom
and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the aver-
age, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Here is the Farmers Almanac’s list of the full
Moon names. (6)
Full Wolf Moon – January... Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs
howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January’s full Moon. Sometimes it
was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule.
Full Snow Moon – February... Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native
tribes of the north and east most often called February’s full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some
tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in
their areas made hunting very difficult.
Full Worm Moon – March... As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw,
earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this
Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full
Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at
night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the
settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of
Full Pink Moon – April... This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox,
which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month’s celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes
the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn.
Full Flower Moon – May... In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time.
Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon.
Full Strawberry Moon – June... This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in
Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting
strawberries comes each year during the month of June.
The Full Buck Moon – July... July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer
push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also called the Full Thunder
Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for
this month’s Moon was the Full Hay Moon.
Full Sturgeon Moon – August... The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon,
since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon.
Full Corn Moon or Full Harvest Moon – September... This full moon’s name is attributed to
Native Americans because it marked when corn was supposed to be harvested. Most often, the
September full moon is actually the Harvest Moon, which is the full Moon that occurs closest to
the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in
some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by
the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night,
but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering.
Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Harvest Moon – October... This full Moon is often referred to as the Full Hunter’s Moon, Blood Moon, or Sanguine Moon. Many moons ago, Native Americans
named this bright moon for obvious reasons. The leaves are falling from trees, the deer are fattened, and it’s time to begin storing up meat for the long winter ahead. Because the fields were traditionally reaped in late September or early October, hunters could easily see fox and other animals that come out to glean from the fallen grains. Probably because of the threat of winter looming close, the Hunter’s Moon is generally accorded with special honor, historically serving as an important feast day in both Western Europe and among many Native American tribes.
Full Beaver Moon – November... 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 also referred to as the Frosty Moon.
The Full Cold Moon or the Full Long Nights Moon – December... During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called
the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the
midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The
midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun.
A Blue Moon occurs when the moon with its 28 day cycle appears twice within the same calendar month, due to that month's 31 day duration. Many consider the Blue Moon to be a goal moon where you set specific goals for yourself.
Updated: 18 Nov., 2016
Solitary New Moon Ritual...
The new moon is a time for starting new beginnings. The New Moon is as powerful in its
own way as the Full Moon. Seek a little time for yourself. Rest is crucial during the New Moon.
Many women menstruate with the New Moon. Rituals, spells and so on, should be performed
between dawn and sunset for the best use of this magick. (8)
What follow is a sample of a Solitary New Moon Ritual.
Items you will need:
Sage for smudging
Cast the circle:
Smudge the ritual space to purify it as you move around the circle.
Invoke the Goddess:
Ring the bell with your arms in the Goddess position (arms in a V above your head). Research
and choose the Goddess suited for a new moon ritual. Say the words you have written, such as:
"Great Goddess, (say her name)
Queen of the Underworld, Protectress of us all
It is my will on this night of the new moon to overcome my shadows and bring about change
I invite you to my circle to assist and protect me in my rite."
Invoke the God:
Hold your athame with your hands in the God position (crossed over your chest). Research and
choose the God suited for a new moon ritual. Say the words you have written such as:
"Great God, (say his name)
God of Protection
It is my will on this night of the new moon to overcome my shadows to bring about change
I invite you to my circle to assist me and protect me in my rite."
Statement of intent:
Write in your own words or use part of the sample below:
Dark is the night as I reach this turning point
Here is a time of death, yet a time of rebirth.
Endings and beginnings
Ebbings and flowings
A journey done and a journey yet to start.
As the wheel turns, I see birth, death and rebirth
and I know that every end has a new beginning.
Meditate for as long as you like, as you think about past frustrations, anger, hurt feelings and soon. Reminisce about the times when you felt depressed, lonely and like there is no reason to go on.
Now smile! Begin to feel a warm energy inside of you. You are almost laughing and feeling
joyous and happy.
Light your white candle and say in your own words:
In darkness, I’ve found light!
Happiness is in my sight.
I feel the warmth of energy so strong,
My pain and fear are almost gone.
I feel empowered and anquish free
The power of the Gods are within me.
So mote it be!
Snuff out the candle (never leave candles unattended).
Thank the God and Goddess for their presence
Open the circle.
The New Moon Ritual is complete.
Updated: 18 Nov., 2016
Updated: 16 May., 2016
Definition: This is usually the time for initiation ceremonies or healing magick to be done, as opposed to a Sabbat (holiday) celebration. An esbat is a Wiccan meeting held each month on or around the time of the full moon or in some cases the new moon.
The moon is linked to Wicca as the moon is linked to the Goddess and women, the new moon has been likened to a maiden, new and young and innocent, the full moon is the Mother, she who is wise and loving, the waning moon is the Crone - powerful in her own right but to be respected for her wisdom, the Dark moon is the moon of inner work - the time before birth.
The Waxing Moon is the period during which the moon grows from dark to full. It takes approximately fourteen days for this to happen. In many magickal traditions, people use this time of the moon to perform "positive" magick -- in other words, magick that draws things to you, or increases an abundance of things.
The Full Moon is the point at which we can see an entire side of the moon. For magickal purposes, most Wiccans and Pagans consider the full moon to include the day before and the day after a full moon, for a total of three days. This is a good time to do rituals focused on personal growth and spiritual development.
The Waning Moon is the period during which the moon goes from full to dark once again. Like
the waxing moon phase, it lasts approximately two weeks. In many traditions of Wicca and Paganism, this time of the month is used to do "baneful" magick -- that which sends away, gets rid of negativity or destroys things you no longer wish to be burdened by.
The New Moon will appear as a very faint crescent of silver low on the horizon. For approximately three days during each lunar cycle, after the moon has waned, it goes dark before waxing again. In many magickal traditions, this is considered a fallow time, in which one rests and rejuvenates before beginning more intense magickal workings again. In other traditions, it's a time to do magick related to wish fulfillment.
Updated: 18 Nov., 2016