The Birth Moon

Murphy’s Law of Full Moons is that when there is a Full Moon there will be clouds over my head.

Look towards the southeast on Tuesday to watch the Full Moon rise above the horizon. This Full Moon will reach peak illumination at 7:52 A.M. Eastern Time. It will appear large and, yes, this is a “supermoon” – a term I find rather overrated. The Moon will be at one of its closest points to Earth all year so it will appear somewhat larger. Most people won’t notice the difference but just in case you want to compare its closest point will be at 7:21 p.m. Eastern Time.

Strawberry Moon is the most common name for the June Full Moon. It’s a bit unusual that the name was used by colonists and also by tribes such as the Algonquin, Ojibwe, Dakota, and Lakota. Mid-June is a time for ripening ”June-bearing” strawberries (there are others that produce in other months. The Haida used the broader name Berries Ripen Moon which probably covers other types of berries too.

I have also written in the past about this as the Mead Moon and Honey Moon. The name “Honey Moon” suggests a connection to marriage “honeymoons” and there are traditionally a lot of weddings in June. But the term honeymoon comes from the idea that “the first month of marriage is the sweetest” and just combines honey (sweet) and moon (a calendar month). Then again, the month of June is named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage.

The Tlingit people have used the name Birth Moon which refers to this being a time when some animals are born in their part of the Pacific Northwest. Geography certainly plays a role in Full Moon names. The Cree called this the Egg Laying Moon and Hatching Moon which also refers to a time of animal births.

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Ken

A lifelong educator on and off the Internet. Random by design and predictably irrational. It's turtles all the way down. Dolce far niente.

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