The Maine Farmers' Almanac claimed this caused the early Christian monks such distress when calculating their calendars that it is the reason why the number 13 became cursed as being unlucky. At some point this extra Moon became known as the Blue Moon, which was deemed to be the third Full Moon in a season that had an extra fourth Full Moon.
But wait a minute—the third Full Moon? Why not the fourth, which would seem logical as the "extra" Moon in a season normally populated by three?
Understanding the Blue Moon – Updated July 2015
For this we must go back to the Easter-related Christian holidays. The period of Lent, which begins precisely 46 days before Easter, must contain the Lenten Moon, which is considered to be the last Full Moon of the winter season, which ends at the vernal equinox. Ahhh, now we start to see the need to count the number of Moons per season!
The last Moon of a season is sometimes special e. So, the "extra" position falls to the second or third Moon in a season that happens to contain four. Why the third is designated as the "extra" rather than the second remains a mystery—no one seems to know where the Maine Farmers' Almanac got their Blue Moon rule from. One website I found speculates that Full Moons were simply counted as the "first," "second" and "last" of a season, so that the extra Moon defaulted to the third.
So: now all that's left to figure out is the beginning and end of the seasons, which is nice and straightforward—right?
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Seasons are defined by the solstices times of maximum and minimum daylight, in June and December and the equinoxes times of equal day and night, in March and September. These are also the days when the Sun moves into the Cardinal signs: Aries and Libra equinoxes and Cancer and Capricorn solstices. But anyone born near the cusp between two zodiac signs can tell you that the date when the Sun changes signs will vary slightly from year to year.
The Sun actually reaches the vernal equinox position when it moves into Aries anywhere from the evening of March 19 to the early morning of March 22, depending on the year and which time zone you happen to be in.
Full Moon Meaning
And then there's whether you calculate the equinox by the Sun's actual position or by averaging its position like the Maine Almanac did , or just using a fixed date like the Roman Catholic Church does. Just as time zones can complicate the date of Blue Moons rendered by the "monthly" method, your method of calculating the equinoxes and solstices can sometimes even change which season winds up saddled with the 13th Full Moon.
And we won't even go into the Gregorian versus Julian calendar, resulting in different Easter dates between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches! Suffice it to say that the Roman Catholic Church decided in CE that the vernal equinox, for their purposes, was deemed to reside henceforth on March 21, rain or shine, regardless of what the Sun happened to be doing at the time.
And does a Blue Moon have any astrological meaning? Nope, none that I've ever heard of. What would make more sense astrologically is to look at the significance of two Full Moons in the same sign , Again, see the table below for examples. When there are two consecutive Moons in the same sign, the second Full Moon will always be in the last couple of degrees in the sign. This alone is significant, since the last degree of any sign is a critical degree.
When any planet is 29 degrees "and change" it is in a process of transition from one sign to the next. It is neither officially in the next sign, nor fully present in the one it's leaving. This can be a frustrating energy, full of anticipation and yearning to get on with it in the new sign, yet held back by unfinished business and the need to do closure in the old sign. It's a bit like walking and being in mid-stride — you haven't landed on your stepping foot yet, and your pushing-off foot is still in mid-push. You're moving, but you're in a kind of suspended motion in between steps.
By the same token, the first of two Full Moons in the same sign will always be in the earliest couple of degrees in that sign.
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This is also significant, since these early degrees are initiatory energy, especially the first degree of any sign. It's like a newborn babe — innocent and pure; full of potential and bellowing its arrival at the top of its lungs! So this double Moon phenomenon is like getting the alpha and omega of that sign's energy - the burst of new energy and the closure of that energy.
To gain insight into some of the differences between the two Full Moons or New Moons, check out the two charts. The charts will often reveal some of the key differences in how you might experience this alpha and omega effect. For example, the Moon will be making different aspects to other planets in each chart. You could also look to the planetary ruler of the sign involved to see what differences there are in its aspects and placement.
Some astrologers feel that two Full Moons in the same calendar month i. My sense is that this might be more about the person's personal experience, rather than the phenomenon itself. Remember, this was originally something that was created to fit an extra Full Moon into the Christian calendar, not an ancient rite. Any direct astrological correlation there might have been with the calendar months would have been lost long, long ago, since the western calendar has been revised and adjusted many times over the centuries.
However, each definition yields totally different dates and even different years. Going back to our example: The next Blue Moon by the "monthly" definition was July 31, By the older "seasonal" calculation, there hadn't been a Blue Moon since in either August or November, depending on how you partition your seasons and there wasn't one again until August These Moons are listed below. In the meantime, here is a table with the dates of these various blu-ish Moons between and Watch for any special effects of these Moons and judge for yourself how they might be interpreted.
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Note: All times in the table above are in Universal Time. To convert the date and time to your time zone, add or subtract the number of hours you are from Greenwich. And so on. They included a solar new moon eclipse on March 20, in Pisces at 29 degrees, and later, a solar eclipse September 12 in Virgo at 20 degrees arrived. Two eclipses in the Aries-Libra family dotted the year too, with a lunar eclipse in Libra on April 4, at 14 degrees, and lunar eclipse full moon September 27 Aries 5 degrees. As you see we have two families of eclipses going on during the same year, and sometimes that happens.
In the same thing happened. Three eclipses in the Pisces-Virgo family of signs, including solar eclipses on March 8 in Pisces at 19 degrees, a solar new moon eclipse on September 1 at Virgo 9 degrees, and a lunar eclipse September 16 in Pisces. Earlier in the year we have lunar full moon eclipse in Libra, on March 23, at 3 degrees and that one will finally concludes two years of Libra-Aries family of eclipses.
By March 23, , the total number of eclipses that occurred in the Libra-Aries family will be six.
The Pisces-Virgo family will finish in February 26, with a total number of six eclipses as well, and in either case, that is enough to cause a transformation. If you have planets that correspond to the mathematical degree of the eclipse in you natal chart, you will note the news of the eclipse in a dramatic way. You will see an eclipse works retrograde, starting with a high mathematical degree and working backward to early degrees.
Most people do not feel every eclipse in a family of signs, only the ones touching planets, the Sun, moon, or ascendant in the natal chart.
Blue Moon Lunacy!
Eclipses are powerful so you would not need to feel all of them. The randomness of the degrees ensures a wide number of people will feel them in their natal chart at some point. A family of signs will keep occurring in pairs, coinciding with new moons and full moons, every five and a half months for 18 to 24 months, until they are done. At that point, your transformation will be complete. Once a family of signs is finished, it will not be back for about seven or eight years. The years that hold eclipses in your sign or rising sign will be vital for you and trigger fascinating turning points, so if you are a Pisces, Virgo, Aries, or Libra, and will be landmark years for you.
Back in , we saw a striking example of how two families of eclipses can overlap, with a solar eclipse in Gemini June 1, a lunar eclipse arriving two weeks later in Sagittarius on June 15, and a third — a solar eclipse — arriving in Cancer on July 1. Three eclipses in a row are somewhat rare, each two weeks apart. The July 1, , eclipse marked the end of a two-year series in Cancer-Capricorn.
That was a tough time, as we were all called to make many adjustments quickly. A solar eclipse occurs when the moon stands between the Sun and earth, cutting off the light of the Sun. A lunar eclipse occurs when the earth stands between the moon and the Sun, cutting off the light of the Sun from the moon. The moon has no light of her own, as she simply reflects the light of the Sun.
Here the moon basically disappears. A lunar eclipse is always a full moon and usually marks endings or culmination points. Any eclipse is a significant event in the heavens. In truth, a solar eclipse is really a new moon on steroids and a lunar eclipse is a full moon on steroids — they have the strength of three new moons or full moons. I have a lot of tips, so be sure to read all the points I have listed below. I start with the most interesting points to consider, but keep reading — I would like you to know them all.
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An eclipse can bring the sale or purchase of a house, a move to a new home across the country, the acquisition or loss of a family pet, surgery, or an important health development. It might bring a college graduation, or the eclipse may mark the start of your course of study. Eclipses sometimes bring on a divorce, a newly published book — you get the idea.
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