strawberriesToday’s Full Moon slipped into place at 12:21 pm behind rain and clouds here in Paradelle.  It beneath the horizon and under my feet but, like tonight, it’s still out there, hidden like a New Moon.

If you looking up at it tonight (or tomorrow), look for it grouped with the planet Saturn and star Antares in the eastern sky at dusk and nightfall.

As Earth turns, Saturn and Antares will move westward across the nighttime sky and the threesome will climb highest tonight around midnight.

If the clouds clear, I will see them low in the west at dawn.

A Rose MoonIn North America, we commonly call the June full moon the Strawberry Moon.

Though the Full Moon might appear today, or any month, to be reddish like a rose or strawberry, or amber like honey and mead, those names are related more to nature.

We have used the term “honeymoon” to connect to weddings going back to  1552. June once was the most popular month for marriages. Apparently, that has changed to August and September.  There was a Romantic notion that the first month of marriage was the sweetest, and that a marriage is like the changes phases of the Moon. The Full Moon was viewed as analogous to the wedding.

The Strawberry Moon was so named for that first crop of that ripening fruit. In Europe, where strawberries are not a native fruit, this moon was often called the Rose Moon since they also had first blooms at this time.

ChaucerMead_braggot_Some American Indian tribes knew this as the Green Corn Moon because it was the time of the first signs of the “corn in tassel.” It meant the start of preparations for the upcoming festivals in the growing season.

American colonists ancestors in Britain may have known it as the Mead or Honey Full Moon echoing back to medieval times. Those names are also associated with Druids and pagans. Beehives would be full of honey from the heavy pollen of spring and that led to the mead (honey wine) believed to have been discovered by Irish monks during medieval times.

Mead has a reputation for enhancing virility and fertility and acting as an aphrodisiac. Some etymologists say the term “honeymoon” came from the Irish tradition of newlyweds drinking honey wine every day for one lunar month after their weddings and so it found its way into Irish wedding ceremonies.