Tonight’s May full moon is known, like other months’ full moons, by several names.

It is sometimes known as the Full Flower Moon since in most areas of the country flowers are abundant.

It is also known as the Milk Moon.

Being a gardener, my favorite name is the Full Corn Planting Moon.

There is a long tradition of “moon planters” who believe that the gravitational force that pulls the tides and pulls a horseshoe crab ashore to mate, also causes crops (particularly those that bear fruit above ground) to sprout faster from the earth.

When the moon is waning and the pull decreases good old gravity has its way and roots and root crops have their way. Plant potatoes, carrots et al. Don’t plant anything when the moon is dark. That’s when plants rest. It’s a good time to kill weeds because they won’t grow back.

In the Native American tradition of the Medicine Wheel, the Corn Planting Moon is the third moon of Wabun, the Spirit Keeper of the East.  The stone on the wheel representing this moon is placed three quarters of the way between the eastern and southern stones in the outer circle of the Medicine Wheel.

Full moon names go back hundreds of years to Native Americans of the northern and eastern United States who kept track of the seasons by giving names to each full moon based on natural occurrences.

Variations in these names come from the European settlers who created some of their own names. Native Americans did not domesticate cows, so it was these settlers who named the May full moon the Milk Moon. During May cows, goats, and sheep enjoy sprouting weeds, grasses, and herbs in the pastures and produce lots of rich milk, full of vitamins.

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