|image from surfersvillage.com|
Today I thought I'd reflect on the rare observance of a Blue Moon that occured August 31st. Now, when we say there's a blue moon this month, what does that mean? According to modern folklore, when there are two full moons in one calendar month, it is called a blue moon. But is the moon really blue? I thought I'd check. Last Friday night the sky was clear and I looked at our beautiful full moon and determined that it wasn't blue at all, but even so, it was absolutely brilliant.
Typically, there is a full moon every month, although sometimes there isn't one in February. Our word 'month' came from the word 'moon.'
So let's consider why we call this a blue moon and why it is so rare. In order for a month to have two full moons, the first full moon has to be in the first few days. This year, the full moon occured on August 1st and August 31st. This happens every 2 to 3 years, the next one not occuring until 2015.
According to folklorists, the term "Blue Moon" is at least 400 years old. The earliest known references to a blue moon were intended as examples of improbable events or something that could never happen. As time passed the expression evolved to mean something that rarely or never happened. Hence the expression "Once in a Blue Moon" which is still popular today.
The idea of a Blue Moon as the second full moon in a month stemmed from the March 1946 issue of Sky and Telescope magazine, which contained an article called “Once in a Blue Moon” by James Hugh Pruett. Pruett was using a 1937 Maine Farmer’s Almanac, but he simplified the definition. He wrote:
Seven times in 19 years there were — and still are — 13 full moons in a year. This gives 11 months with one full moon each and one with two. This second in a month, so I interpret it, was called Blue Moon.In the 1970s, EarthSky's Deborah Byrd happened upon this issue and began using the term Blue Moon for the second full moon in a calendar month in her radio shows and the term stuck.
But many scholars consider that this is in error. They say the article found in Sky and Telescope Magazine says the original definition of a Blue Moon referred to 4 Full Moons in one season. The article also indicates a season is defined as the time between a Solstice and Equinox or an Equinox and Solstice.
There is another speculation that the original term Blue Moon came from observing the bluish tinge of a full moon through smoke.
Here is a 2012 YouTube from Nasa on Blue Moons produced by volcanos and fires. Video
This is modern folklore's take on this lunar occurence, but what about ancient cultures. Did they perform ceremonies using the full moon's powers?
When I was doing research for my books in the White Bird series, I was not surprised to learn that many ancient cultures around the world experienced the moon as the essence of the Divine Sacred Feminine. Because her nature and wisdom is that of transformative powers, during a full moon the Sacred Goddess can gather full power. But what about a Blue Moon? Is this more powerful? Did ancient Shamans, healers, medicine men and women harness this power for healing and growth?
In the pagan community, the origins of the meaning of a Blue Moon vary. Follow the link to discover how the second full moon is observed in the pagan community.
Here is a message from the Pledian Delegate pertaining to this year's Blue Moon.
There are some great resources online for taking advantage of the Blue Moon and suggested rituals. Here are a couple for your information:
How to celebrate the Blue Moon.
Ritual for the Blue Moon (Wiccan rite)
The Rare Blue Moon
Full Moon Ritual - Casting the Full Circle
Celebrating the Full Moon
This is some information about this particular and heavenly rare occurence. But what about the stories I am hearing about people experiencing so much chaos in their lives. Remeber, we are in a quantum shift and things are changing very rapidly. We are releasing the old making way for the new. As the messenger from the Pleidias said: Stay Present and Stay in Love. Two full moons in one month can cause mass confusion, and I for one have experienced this in my own life. I had to make a conscious effort to stay in the present moment and not dwell on the chaos surrounding me. It was very, very difficult but I managed not to be drawn into the drama.
We are making history, stepping into a new age consciously and it will get a bit rocky. But remember, you are never alone.