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It’s a full moon tonight. It’s a supermoon. And it’s a blue moon, too. This late August moon phase is classified as a supermoon because the elliptical orbit of the moon passes super close to Earth this time around. There are two possible calculations for the blue moon label. The 2nd full moon in one month, or the 4th full moon in a season, is what is known as a blue moon. Tonight’s full moon arises as all of the above.
This blue moon phenomenon comes about because we have 12 months and 13 moons to be accounted for according to our current calendar. The next blue moon will occur a year from now in August of 2024, and they are not guaranteed annually.
The circumstances are unusual enough when considering celestial events, that it has become a well-known idiom. “The term ‘once in a blue moon’ originated as a proverb first recorded in 1528, as the saying goes, ‘if they say the moon is blue, we must believe that it is true.” (Wikipedia)
Other possible origin stories explaining what a blue moon means include one from the Far East, “In the late 1800s, following an Indonesian volcanic eruption, people around the world reported seeing strange-colored sunsets and a moon that appeared blue. The phrase “once in a blue moon” then evolved to mean rare rather than impossible.” (Encyclopedia Britannica)
And yet another plausible definition is derived from the Western denomination of Christian theology, “The appearance of a 13th full moon in a year ‘upset the arrangement of Church festivals.’ The unlucky status of the number 13 and the difficulties of calculating the occurrence of such a full moon led to the extra full moon being named a Blue Moon.” (Farmer’s Almanac)
Blue skies. Blue oceans. Blue planet. What we see as the color of the sky is reflected in the color of the sea. Blue is a primary color, and the blue hue is easy to notice in nature. Blue can be extreme at both ends of the spectrum and ranges from lightest cyan to darkest indigo. Blue ice is the coldest form of frozen water. Blue flame is the hottest part of a burning fire.
The song Blue Moon is a ballad sung somewhere between a cabaret showtune and super soulful blues music, depending on who is performing it. Blue is generally considered calming and soothing. It is the color of peace. But it’s also known the color of sadness such as “feeling blue.” And blue has spiritual symbolism across many of the world’s religions as the color of wisdom.
The sun is now in the Virgo constellation, which lines up across the astrological chart, shining light on tonight’s Pisces full moon. It’s a dreamy moon time ruled by the element of water. We can use the potency associated with this moon cycle to heighten our awareness. Strong enough to move mountains little by little, the undulating fluid nature of water can be an overwhelming element. It mirrors the ebbs and flows of the moon.
And, so, we need to be cautious. Not too high, nor too low, not too hot, nor too cold. If we focus on what feels fulfilling, this moon can illuminate a flow of gentle positive vibes to alternative states of mind. Imagination is the key to possibilities! By believing in ourselves enough, no matter what the situation is now, we can work with hope and have faith in the future.
We can learn to empty ourselves of negative influences, so that we can have space to fill ourselves with more positive ones. This kind of recalibration works best as a daily practice. And it can lead to a lifetime of mindfulness. Year by year, month by month, day by day, we can tune in and measure how far we have come by where we are now. In the toughest of times, tending to ourselves, body and mind, moment by moment, can get us through anything!
Here’s a good mantra to help us navigate this moon cycle, “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, Merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, Life is but a dream” (unknown for sure, but often attributed to Eliphalet Oram Lyte).
Our most compassionate and open heart houses our clear intuition. This place of balance is where we have access to our gut instinct, which can help us to be able to respond to our challenges in less reactionary ways. Everywhere is an opportunity to expand our love, any time, all the time. We can simply use our senses; look, listen, smell, touch, taste, feel. We can heal ourselves by doing what it takes to find the blessing and or the lesson in all our life experiences. We keep growing.
It is an exciting time in the garden. An abundance of food and cannabis are also growing in earnest now. Full moons are all about fertility, and this one is no exception. We sequestered male plants earlier this summer and we recently collected pollen from them, before feeding them to the goats aka fuzzy compost machines. On this moon, we will hand pollinate a few branches of some of our dominant female plants. We saved pollen from two different male cultivars, and we have even more varieties of females. This will make for fun future pheno hunts among the hybrids. We take good notes and mark the pollinated branches well with colored twist ties. This is how we make seeds for the following season.
And, since California recreational laws went into effect, the only part of the plant we are legally able to still sell ourselves is seeds, so we do. In fact, seeds do not contain THC and so are considered legal in all 50 states, like hemp, under the farm bill. We’ve been told they do really well in various environments from full sun to greenhouse to even some indoor home grows. We have been able to quite literally spread our seed around the county.
The weather is shifting here noticeably now. Our always full-term sun grown flowers are responding accordingly by starting to stretch toward the sky. The buds stack up as the crystals emerge and form their stickiness. Exuding more and more terpenes as they grow toward their finish, the scent is quite literally intoxicating.
But, on these long hot days, we are busy, busy, pruning, staking, feeding, and watering the plants. We are elbow deep in tomatoes while deleafing the sun leaves on the weed. We are also beginning to get ready for the harvest that is already coming up right around the corner. This year, the September full moon is the Harvest Moon, as determined because it’s the closest moon to the equinox. That’s only a month away!!! And before then, summer will turn to fall, in the dramatic transitional nature of the season.
Take a moment. Take a deep breath. Take moon bath. For now, tonight, be here. Take a deep dive within. We can allow this blue moon to cleanse us and our surroundings. Revel in the power full moon energy. We can strive to be in tune with the miracle of possibilities.
Every single day is a new dawn. Every single moment is a new chance. Now is that moment. We are never nowhere; we are always now here. We have come so far this year already, but there is so much more yet to come. Soak it in! This full moon is an extra special opportunity. Remember, in circular patterns, like the moon cycles, to finish is also to begin again.
A blue moon prayer for our blue planet:
Peace in our hearts. Peace in our minds. Peace in our hands. Peace in our words. Peace in our world.
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All photos: Martyjuana