Why is this weekend’s full moon - the flower moon - so unusual?
When an exceptional full moon peeks out of the sky on Saturday morning, a whole host of lunar vocabulary will come with it.
It’s no coincidence that the word “moon” looks like “month.” They share a Germanic base — plus, the moon’s cycle resets itself on average every 29.53 days. The period of time between new moons is known as the synodic month. (A new moon, also called a dark moon, is not visible to earthlings. It occurs when the moon’s orbit crosses exactly between the Earth and the sun.)
This month’s full moon is called the flower moon in English. Other religious and cultural traditions have different names for the flower moon. For example, in Algonquian, this full lunar phase is a called the strawberry moon.
This year’s flower moon, however, has an added component. For nearly four hours, a partial lunar eclipse will obscure half the moon. According to Space.com columnist Joe Rao, at its peak the moon will be “possibly tinged slightly with a mixture of faint orange and reddish hues.”
The moon will be crossing through the southern portion of the Earth’s shadow — also known as its umbra. (Notice the relation to “umbrella.”) Because of the moon’s southern position in the zodiac constellation Sagittarius, not everyone will have the best view of the eclipse. People who live on or near the Pacific Ocean should consider themselves lucky; those on the Atlantic, not as much.
The lunar cycle — which includes variants of waxing, waning, and gibbous phases — sometimes produces more than twelve full moons in a year. The most commonly known of these is a blue moon, the third full moon in a three-month calendrical season that has four full moons. Blue moons occur on average every 2.7 years, the next of which is due in August 2012.
The Native American Flower Moon Meaning:
Also known by its Native American name the Flower Moon, May 2017's full moon is set to occur on May 10. But, what does the Flower Moon mean in terms of astrology? During this time of abundance, when plants are blooming, and spring is in full swing, folklore claims that flowers grow at night, and even dance in honor of the moon.
While you probably won't actually see any flowers dancing during the Flower Moon — unless of course there is a gentle breeze — this moon definitely signifies a time for things to blossom after lying dormant for many months.
According to the Farmer's Almanac, "The May moon marked a time of increasing fertility with temperatures warm enough for safely bearing young, a near end to late frosts, and plants in bloom."
So how did it get the name Flower Moon? Moon cycles were named long ago by Native Americans to help them keep track of seasons and determine the best time for planting crops. The May Flower Moon is also known as the Mother's Moon, the Corn Planting Moon, and the Milk Moon.
The Flower Moon reaches it's fullest May 10 at 5:42 p.m. ET, and the Farmer's Almanac also offers dates through May for ideal crop planting. If you have a garden, you'll want to do your above ground planting on May 1, May 27, or May 28. Below ground plating should take place on May 19 and May 20. The best time for fishing is May 1 to May 10, and May 25 to May 31.
While this full moon is a time for blooming, Addicted to Astrology reports the May full moon in Scorpio is also the most crime prone full moon, and the sexiest and most romantic of all full moons.
"Crimes of passion, jealousy, and revenge could be on your mind," the site states. "Remain cool, calm, and collected at all costs. That goes double for Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius."
Over the course of history, flowers have been rife with symbolism. They are symbolic for love, hope, birth, unity, growth, elegance, connection, and inspiration. The Flower Moon is a perfect complement to the intensity Scorpio brings to this full moon cycle.
"This is a great time to do things with passion and intent," Addicted to Astrology advises. "Pay attention to your gut instincts, and spend time with someone you love. You can find chemistry to be explosive and intense. It's no wonder that Scorpio is called the sign of transformation."
I think it's safe to say that after having four planets retrograde at the same time (Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, and Mercury) a little bit of passionate transformation is a welcome change to all of the recent frustration and confusion.
During this full-moon cycle, astrologers say that following your instincts is key.
"Follow your intuition, everyone, and tone down any extremes when dealing in your communications," Addicted to Astrology advises. "The signs of Scorpio and Taurus will be the most popular signs [during the full moon] as they will radiate charm, sex appeal and can make strides in whatever they hope to achieve. Scorpio will capture the attention of strangers and the public, while Taurus might be feeling low on energy but can do extremely well in all personal affairs."
So, with all of this intense abundance coming your way, maybe there is a such thing as "flower power" after all.
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