With our cities lit up by electric lights...most of us are distracted from what is happening in the night sky. Our ancestors, however, watched the rhythm of the heavenly bodies with great interest.Different cultures used different names of course, but a few names show up across many cultures. Interestingly, these common names tend to coincide with parts of the wheel of the year. Here are a few of those names, you might consider coming up with names that are significant to you throughout the year.
Each night marks a subtle but discernible change in the shape of the moon. Sometimes the moon is not visible at all. And then it seems to magically reappear, as a slender crescent, getting bigger and bigger each night until finally it is a complete sphere of light. And then it begins to shrink until once again it disappears. This cycle, from new moon to new moon, is called a lunation. Lunations vary somewhat in length, but average twenty-nine and a half days. We now know that a lunation is the period of time it takes for the moon to orbit the Earth.
We have evidence that humans kept track of lunar cycles as early as 25,000 BC. Lunar calendars were probably the first calendars developed throughout the world, underscoring how intimately the moon is connected to our concepts of time and measurement. Our ancestors connected the cyclical rhythm of the waxing and waning of the moon to the changes in seasons of the world around them. Ancient and traditional cultures often developed evocative names for the different lunations that corresponded to the seasons, and to the natural phenomena that nature replayed in their environment year after year.
--excerpt from Full Moon Feast by Jessica Prentice
- A full moon in January (between Yule and Imbolc) is the Hunger Moon or Purification Moon.
- A full moon in early spring (around Ostara/Equinox) may be called the Egg Moon or Seed Moon.
- A full moon in late summer (near Lammas and grain harvest) may be the Corn Moon.
- The full moon in early fall (near Mabon/Equinox and vegetable harvest) is the Harvest Moon.
- The full moon in late fall (near Samhain) is the Hunters Moon or Blood Moon.
Thanks to RasJane for sharing these 2 calendars that may be useful in planning your Esbats this year.
This one is in "traditional" calendar format which may be easier if you are looking at a specific date and wondering what phase the moon will be in then.
This one is organized by phase of the moon just click on the appropriate year). So, if you are wanting to know when to schedule full moon celebrations, you can go down that column and see the date and time for each full moon.