Monday, April 28, 2010  is the full moon for this month. As readers of this blog know, I chronicle each of the full moons and try to delve into the names that are attached to them by different cultures.

If someone asks, “What is THE name for this month’s full moon?” I would not be able to answer. There really are not any definitive names for the full moons that are accepted universally.

Last year, I wrote about April full moon as the Full Pink Moon. That is a name that is associated with the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the early flowers of the spring that is commonly found in the United States.

Full moon names are most often taken from nature signs – our natural calendar – so, other names include Full Sprouting Grass Moon, Fish Moon (a time when fish, like shad, would move upstream) and Waking Moon (as in the end of hibernation) or Awakening Moon in Neo-Pagan traditions.

A Medieval name was Seed Moon and a Celtic name was the Growing Moon. In the Chinese moon sequence, this is the Peony Moon.

The New World colonists were always concerned with their own manipulation of nature and referred to this month as the Planter’s Moon.

Snow melt, rains and warmer days, finds farmers preparing fields for planting. Farmers, at least at one time, could be found in their fields late into the night, working by the light of the Planter’s Moon.

Farmer folklore says to plant root crops during the waning moon (after the full moon and until the new moon) and planting above ground crops during the waxing moon (as the moon thickens, like the wax drippings of a candle) from the new moon until the full moon. This month’s New Moon is on April 14th.

The “science” behind this was that the moon’s magnetic force pulls all that contains water – ocean, our blood, and the water in plants and seeds – and so affects that life force within each living thing. If not scientifically sound, it’s still a nice idea.

Our green leafy plants will seek the moon during its waxing phase, while root crops growing below the ground will need to push their energy down, away from the moon, during its waning phase.

The Native American names always vary according to the part of the country and don’t always follow our monthly/yearly formalities.  Northern Native Americans were the ones most likely to call April’s full moon the Pink Moon. The  Dakotah Sioux called this the Moon When Geese Return in Scattered Formation (or at least that’s our translation). The  Choctaw called this the Wildcat Moon and the Cherokee called it the Flower Moon.

In some years, the April moon is called the Egg Moon, if it is the full moon before Easter. That was true in 2009, but not this year.

Besides hens laying more eggs with longer days, many bird species also lay their eggs now, and eggs have long been a symbol of spring, regeneration, rebirth.