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The Magickal Full Moon

The Magickal Moon...
The Moon, in Astrology, is the ruler of Cancer. The Moon represents our deepest personal needs, our basic habits and reactions, and our unconscious. Where the Sun acts, the Moon reacts. How do we instinctively react or respond to problems? What do we feel we need for a sense of security? Look to the Moon in your natal chart for answers. The Moon is associated with the Mother and with feminine energy in general. The Moon is both our inner child and our inner mother. It is responsive, receptive, and reflective. The Moon is our spontaneous and instinctual reactions. Just as the Moon circles the Sun, in a symbolically protective manner, and reflects the Sun's light, the Moon in our chart shows how we protect ourselves, as well as make ourselves feel secure, comfortable, and safe. We can also think of the Moon as that which gives us animation. It rules rhythmic ebb and flow of activity and energy. The Moon is a mediator between the inner world and the outer world. While the Sun is rational, the Moon is irrational. Habitual behaviors and prejudices are ruled by the Moon. Prejudices may not be acted out, as our Sun may censor them, but the Moon rules our spontaneous reactions and feelings. For some of us, our Moons seem to drive our personalities more than the Sun does. This is particularly true if the Moon is in a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio, or Pisces), or if it is conjunct an angle in the chart (near the Ascendant, Descendant, 4th house cusp, or 10th house cusp). For true happiness in life, it is wise to neither give your Moon too much nor too little importance in your life. Grant Lewi, in Astrology for the Millions, offered the most evocative description of the Moon when he wrote the following: "When you "know what you mean but you can't say it," it is your Moon that knows it and your Sun that can't say it.

"Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears" are the thoughts of your Moon's nature. The wordless ecstasy, the mute sorrow, the secret dream, the esoteric picture of yourself that you can't get across to the world, or which the world doesn't comprehend or value - these are the products of the Moon in your horoscope. When you are misunderstood, it is your Moon nature, expressed imperfectly through the Sun sign, that you feel is betrayed. When you know what you ought to do, but can't find the right way to do it, it is your Moon that knows and your Sun that refuses to react in harmony. Also, when you "don't know why I said that," it was your Moon expressing despite your Sun (if you are innerly satisfied with the involuntary speech), or the Sun expressing against the will of the Moon (if you are displeased with what has slipped out). Things you know without thought - intuitions, hunches, instincts - are the products of the Moon. Modes of expression that you feel are truly your deepest self belong to the Moon: art, letters, creative work of any kind; sometimes love; sometimes business. Whatever you feel is most deeply yourself, whether or not you are able to do anything about it in the outer world, is the product of your Moon and of the sign your Moon occupies at birth. With respect to the other luminary (the Sun), the Moon infuses the past into our lives through the feelings, while the Sun reflects the present or the "here and now". When we are "acting out" our Moon, we are imaginative, creative, intuitive, sentimental, adaptable, introspective, and protective. On the negative side, we can be moody, restless, and irrational. In the natal chart, the position of the Moon by sign shows how we emote and respond to our environment, as well as our instinctual habits, especially in our homes and in private. By house, the Moon's position shows which areas of life we feel the most "at home" or comfortable.

The Moon has traditionally been connected with the three aspects of the triple Goddess.. Maiden ( Waxing New Moon to Full Moon), Mother (Full Moon), Crone (Waning Full moon to New Moon), there is also another aspect not readily mentioned and that is the Entrantress, or the Temptress, (Dark Moon). Rituals and spells always work better when they are done in sync with the proper Moon Phases. By doing this you combine the natural energy with you own energy and power. The Moon's cycle can affect the way we feel about things. In particular, when the Moon is Full or New/Dark, both males and females can experience dramatic changes in their mood and behavior. When the Moon is Full, stress becomes a major factor and people become more sensitive to details. An overload of work will add to the frustration and people will deal with their own needs rather than paying attention to others' needs. Often, a lack of assertiveness will be obvious. A Dark Moon brings with it the sense of calmness. In this Moon cycle, people's emotions get back to normal, their determination will return with the feeling that anything can be accomplished, and there will be more energy and acceptance of other other's ideas. 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 average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Here is the Farmers Almanac’s list of the full Moon names.

Apogee and Perigee of the Moon
Apogee and perigee refer to the distance from the Earth to the moon. Apogee is the furthest point from the earth. Perigee is the closest point to the earth and it is in this stage that the moon appears larger. Looking at the moon in the sky without anything to compare it to, you wouldn't notice any size difference. But the difference in size can in fact be quite significant. If you were to photograph a full moon at apogee and perigee (using the same lens), here's how the two sizes would compare:

The average distance from Earth is 237,700 miles (382,500 km). Effects of Apogee and Perigee of the moon have a definite affect on the weather and tides here on Earth. When the moon is at Apogee, the furthest distance from the Earth, it has less gravitational pull. Weather conditions can be more stable and the tides more predictable. When the moon is at Perigee, closer to the Earth, there is much more gravitational pull and it can whip up the tides and cause weather to become more unstable.


If there is a glow on the dark portion of the Crescent Moon It is caused by sunlight that reflects off the Earth onto the Moon's dark side, you can see the Moon's outline, and it's dark features, even though only a thin crescent is bright. We see the Moon because of reflected sunlight. (the Moon does not generate its own light). At times, however, the dark part of the Moon glows this is EarthShine. Just after the New/Dark Moon, the first Crescent Moon produces what is refered to as the "Old Moon" in the New Moon's arms. This occurs just after the New/Dark Moon just after Sunset. The same things happens to the old Cresent Moon in early morning.

Light from the Sun is reflected off of the Earth onto the Moon. Some of this light is then reflected off of the Moon back towards the Earth. Because of this we see part of the Moon illuminated by the Sun and the rest of the Moon dimly illuminated by this doubly reflected light. Earthshine is dimmer than moonlight because Earthshine is sunlight that has been reflected twice and moonlight is sunlight that has been reflected only once (off the surface of the moon). The reflectivity of the moon (its "albedo") is less than that of the Earth, which makes Earthshine even dimmer. During a Crescent Moon, only a sliver of sunlight is reflected to Earth, But when the Moon is a crescent, the rest of it is illuminated by sunlight reflecting off the Earth, hitting the darkside of the Moon, and bouncing back to Earth. In fact, if you were on the Moon when it was a crescent, you'd see a full Earth! We only see Earthshine during the Crescent phases of the Moon because during these phases only a small part of the Moon is lit up, The light of the Sun not only reflects off the face of the Moon, it also reflects off the Earth's surface. The reflected sunlight is referred to as Earthshine.

The Time of the Harvest Moon

A harvest moon occurs at a specific time of the year. The moon officially turns full when it reaches the spot opposite to the sun. The harvest moon happens on the Saturday nearest to the Fall Equinox, which is September 23rd. Once in every three years we get the same full moon in October, but the one in September is called the Harvest Moon because farmers can continue their harvest late into the night by the light of the full moon. The same moon appears three days in succession, but the one that appears on Saturday is the one that receives this name. Other names for this moon are the Wine Moon, the Elk Call Moon and the Singing Moon. It received the name of harvest moon because it appears in the Northern Hemisphere at the time of the year that coincides with the harvesting of crops. During a harvest moon there are other advantages for the bird lovers of our planet. This is the perfect time to watch the birds migrate past the light that emits from the moon. Some studies have proven that birds rely on the Harvest moon to migrate from one area to another. They have also proven that the birds wait for this moon to begin their migration. The moon during the year rises about 50 minutes later each day, but near autumn equinox the time shortens to 30 minutes. Some years there is an extra treat for moon watchers when they do their gazing between dusk and dawn. Wildfires in North America and dust storms in Africa sometimes fill our air with aerosols. A low hanging harvest moon can give an array of colors that is not usually seen. There is also an added treat to watching a harvest moon. This is called moon illusion because the rising or setting moon looks bigger than when it does high in the sky.

The Moon and the Ocean's Tides

Almost everyone is aware of the role that gravity plays in our lives. Not only does it keep our feet planted firmly on the ground, but it also keeps order in the solar system. The gravitational forces associated with the Sun and the planets interact to describe the orbits that we are familiar with, as well as keep the Moon trapped in orbit around the Earth. These forces aren't only limited to managing the dynamics of the celestial bodies, however. Gravity also has a more directly observable influence on our planet. Specifically, gravitational forces are responsible for the rise and fall of the ocean's tides all over the world. The two primary agents when it comes to the motion of the ocean are the Sun and the Moon. Since the gravitational influence of an object is directly related to its mass, the Sun has a definite advantage over the moon when it comes to the strength of its forces. However, since the Sun is over 380 times farther away from the Earth than the Moon, the smaller mass in orbit around us is able to exert its effects on us much more strongly than the star. The key when it comes to understanding how the tides work is to understand the relationship between the motion of our planet and its moon. Both the Moon and the Earth are constantly moving through space. Since the Earth spins on its own axis, water is kept balanced on all sides of the planet through centrifugal force. The Moon's gravitational forces are strong enough to disrupt this balance by accelerating the water towards the Moon. This causes the water to 'bulge.' The Earth's rotation causes a sympathetic bulge on the opposite side of the planet as well. The areas of the Earth where the bulging occurs experience high tide, and the others are subject to a low tide. However, the Moon's movement around the Earth means that the effects of its forces are in motion as well, and as it encircles our planet, this bulge moves with it.

The height of the tides can vary during the course of a month, due to the fact that the Moon is not always the same distance from the Earth. As the Moon's orbit brings it in closer proximity to our planet (closest distance within a moon cycle is called perigee), its gravitational forces can increase by almost 50%, and this stronger force leads to high tides. Likewise, when the Moon is farther away from the Earth (furthest distance is called apogee), the tides are not as spectacular. The Moon's influence can also be balanced out by the position of the Sun – if the Sun and the Moon find themselves 90 degrees apart in relation to an observer on the Earth, then high tides are not as high as they normally would be. This is because despite its greater distance from the planet, the Sun's mass allows it to exert enough gravitational force on the oceans that it can negate some of the effects of the Moon's pull. This phenomenon of lower high tides is called a neap tide. In the same way, when the Sun lines up with the Moon and the Earth, as during a Full Moon, then the Sun can act to amplify the tidal forces, drawing even higher tides. These are known as spring tides, named not for the season, but for the fact that the water "springs" higher than normal. The variance in the height of the world's tides also depends on the local geography of the coastline and the topography of the ocean floor. Tides occur regularly in the sense that they can be expected twice a day, but their periods do not coincide with the 24 hour day that we use for our calendar. This is because the Moon takes slightly longer than 24 hours to line up again exactly with the same point on the Earth - about 50 minutes more. Therefore, the timing of high tides is staggered throughout the course of a month, with each tide commencing approximately 24 hours and 50 minutes later than the one before it.

Dates and Times of Full Moons

Full Moons in 2011
January 19th Full Wolf Moon 4:21 pm
February 18th Full Snow Moon 3:36 am
March 19th Full Worm Moon 2:10 pm
April 17th Full Pink Moon 10:44 pm
May 17th Full Flower Moon 7:09 am
June 15th Full Strawberry Moon 4:14 pm
July 15th Full Thunder Moon 2:40 am
August 13th Full Sturgeon Moon 2:57 pm
September 12th Full Harvest Moon 5:27 am
October 11th Full Hunter’s Moon 10:06 pm
November 10th Full Beaver Moon 3:16 pm
December 10th Full Cold Moon 9:36 am