February’s Full Moon of Snow

Šťastný úplněk!

(“Happy Full Moon” in Czech)

Welcome to Issue 2 of Volume IV of the Earth, Moon and Stars blog!
In this issue:

      • Moon Names (some nice artwork and photos to go with them)
      • Seasonal Calendar (dates and times)
      • Poetry and Art for February, the Month of Love
      • Celestial Mechanics (Leap Year)
      • ‘2012’
      • Astrology and Folklore (Dichotomies & Balance | Heart’s Desire | Drama)

MOON NAMES

   Many cultures kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring Full Moon, appropriate for the month in which it occurred. Since for many areas of North America February is a time of the heaviest snowfall, Native American tribes of the north and east often called this the Snow Moon. Other tribes referred to it as the Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult. The Choctaw called it the Little Famine Moon.

   The ancient Druids marked this as the Storm Moon; it occurred during the fifth month of their year. The first day of Carmoil is the Full Moon and it runs until March 1 which is the Moon of Ice. The Colonial Americans called this the Trapper’s Moon, while for the Chinese it’s the Budding Moon. [sources: Weekends in ParadelleKeith’s Moon Page]

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MOON ART

February Snow Moon [Cyndi Lavin]

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 The beautiful beaded embroidery you see here was created by Cyndi Lavin for her Bead Journal Project (a part of her Beading Arts Facebook page) where you can see all twelve of her Moon creations. Cyndi also has her own websites Mixed Media Artist, and Beading Arts, rich with examples of and information on beads, jewelry, and other art mediums.

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Maple, Moon and Snow (Molly Hashimoto)

Maple, Moon and Snow (Molly Hashimoto)

This painting of the Moon reflected in a snow-frosted pond is by Molly Hashimoto, found on her Artist’s Journal website.

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SEASONAL CALENDAR

February’s full moon: Tuesday Feb 7 21:54 UT (4:54 PM EST, 1:54 PM PST)
February’s new moon: Tuesday Feb 21 22:36 UT (5:36 PM EST, 2:36 PM PST)
March’s full moon: Thursday Mar 8 09:40 UT (4:40 AM EST, 1:40 AM PST)
U.S. Daylight Saving Time begins: Sunday, March 11, 2012
Spring (March) Equinox: Tuesday, March 20, 2012
March’s new moon: Thursday Mar 22 14:37 UT (10:37 AM EST, 7:37 AM PST)

MOON ART and POETRY

FEBRUARY – The Month of Love

Snow Moon: Full Moon in Leo © by Maharani Rutan

   This beautiful fantasy of romance was found at Maharani Rutan’s 2011 astrology page Snow Moon: Full Moon in Leo, and depicts the feeling of floating like a butterfly that lovers under the Moon often experience.

   Reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet, the famous poem The Highwayman, by Alfred Noyes, tells a tale of dedicated love, malfeasance, jealousy, death, and reunion in eternity.

The Highwayman (Alfred Noyes)

The Highwayman (Alfred Noyes)

   Here the highwayman (a mounted robber in pre-19th century days) courts Bess, the innkeeper’s beautiful daughter. The stanza on the inset below her window uses moonlight to emphasize the depth and dedication of his love for her.

“One kiss, my bonny sweetheart, I’m after a prize tonight,
But I shall be back with the yellow gold before the morning light;
Yet, if they press me sharply, and harry me through the day,
Then look for me by moonlight,
Watch for me by moonlight,
I’ll come to thee by moonlight, though hell should bar the way.”

The Highwayman (Alfred Noyes)

The two graphics above were found here at That Woman’s Weblog, where you can read the entire gut-wrenching poem of extreme true love.

CELESTIAL MECHANICS

Leap Year

   Calendars are human-invented devices used for thousands of years in an attempt to organize, track, and predict both natural and social events. Periods in a calendar (such as years and months) are usually, though not necessarily, synchronized with the cycle of the sun or the moon. (Wikipedia – Calendar)

   Phases of the Moon were popularly used to measure time because of their obvious cyclical, predictable, and easily observable nature. A difficult problem immediately arises, however, because the cycles of the Moon (months) are not coupled in any significant way to the Earth’s orbit around the Sun (year). (We will look into this topic further in future issues.)

   Leap years are an attempt to reconcile months (in lunar or lunisolar calendars), or days (in solar calendars) into one complete year (the time the Earth takes to make a complete transit around the Sun). We’re interested in the year, of course, because it allows us to predict the seasons and the length of daylight on any given day in that year. However, just as the Moon doesn’t cooperate to neatly fit the length of its cycle into an Earth year, neither does the Earth itself fit its days (the time it takes to rotate once around its own axis) neatly into a year’s time.

   Before leap years were invented, the seasons slowly drifted through the calendar. So calendar makers began to tidy things up by adding an additional day or month into the year to correct for the drift. In solar calendars (ones that attempt to synchronize with the Sun and not the Moon), the drift occurs because the Earth takes 365.242374 days (the vernal equinox year) to revolve once around the Sun. As you can see, this is just a tad less than 365 1/4 days. To account for the extra 1/4 day, a whole day is added to our modern Gregorian calendar once every four years.

   But that niggling difference between 1/4 (0.250000) and 0.242374 adds up over time, so further tweaking is required. Thus the rule is refined so that years evenly divisible by 100 are not leap years, unless they are also evenly divisible by 400 (in which case they are). That’s why 2000 was a leap year, while 1900 was not. Even this tweak does not precisely even things out, because the Moon, in fact, is slowing down the Earth’s rotation rate, gradually increasing the length of a day. (We’ll explore this phenomenon more in future issues.) We’re talking multiple millennia here, so neither you nor I will probably be around to notice it. 

‘2012’

Each issue this year will include this section where we’ll take a look at interesting aspects of the significance of 2012, especially as it relates to astronomical events.

  Much ado has been made over the past few years about the ending of the Mesoamerican “long count” calendar, with some eschatologists claiming the Mayans were predicting the end of the world, or the end of the world as we know it.

End of the Mayan Calendar (Mike Gruhn)

End of the Mayan Calendar (Mike Gruhn)

   According to a compilation of Maya creation accounts, we are living in the fourth world, which succeeded three previous failed worlds created by the gods. This fourth world will end on December 21, 2012.

   In 1966, Michael D. Coe wrote in The Maya: “…there is a suggestion … that Armageddon would overtake the degenerate peoples of the world and all creation on the final day of the [fourth world], when the Great Cycle of the Long Count reaches completion.”

   Coe’s interpretation was repeated by other scholars through the early 1990s. In contrast, later researchers said that, while the end of the long count would perhaps be a cause for celebration, it did not mark the end of the calendar. “There is nothing in the Maya or Aztec or ancient Mesoamerican prophecy to suggest that they prophesied a sudden or major change of any sort in 2012,” said Mayanist scholar Mark Van Stone.

The above was excerpted from the Wikipedia article 2012 phenomenon. In coming months, we’ll delve deeper into more of the astronomical aspects of various 2012 theories, along with some metaphysical interpretations.

ASTROLOGY and FOLKLORE

Carola EastwoodDichotomies and Balance

Here is what Carola Eastwood writes about this Leo Full Moon in her Planetary Cycles column this month in the Life Connection magazine:

This full moon in Leo reveals tension between the part of us that wishes to make a contribution and work for the good of the whole, with the part that wants personal gratification and individual recognition. This need not be a contest with a winner and a loser. Ideally, we work with inner dichotomies to reach an equitable balance, which then supports our growth in wisdom and promotes greater effectiveness.

See Carola’s Planetary Cycles article for more astrology and horoscopes for each sign. 

Carola Eastwood provides in-depth personal astrology readings that open the doorway to fulfilling your life-purpose. Her office is in San Marcos. 858/259-1590. www.HumanDesignForUsAll.com.

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Molly HallThe Heart’s Desire

Here’s a brief excerpt from Molly’s Full Moon article this month at About.com:

The revelations at this Full Moon can be startling, stimulating, and be experienced as breaking through to see from a new vantage point. A brilliant vision of the future shows you how to see this extraordinary time as an adventure. This Full Moon illuminates: burning desires; urge to make a mark; artistic longings; the thrill of a romance; who has your heart; the pure play of children; your natural enthusiasms.

She says it’s a good time to:

          • Cheer yourself up, in perhaps a new way.
          • Celebrate, play, party with friends.
          • Surround yourself with colors that lift your spirits.
          • Kindle romance in your life.
          • Promote yourself and your ideas in a new way.

(See Molly’s full article “Full Moon in Leo: The Heart’s Desire” for more insights.)

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Jeff JawerGet Ready for Drama Around February’s Full Moon

Here is a summary of Jeff’s Full Moon page for this month:

The Full Moon in self-conscious Leo on February 7 opposes the Sun in collectivist Aquarius, which can trigger conflicts between those who want to act on their own and those willing to sacrifice for the team. But any good leader knows that star quality is needed to power the success of a group.

Dramatic personal expression and ego needs can complicate cooperation, but this lunation is a reminder that strong-willed individuals are invaluable assets when given the attention they deserve.

The above is from the intro to Jeff’s full article. Check out the full article “Full Moon in Leo Horoscopes” for horoscopes for each zodiac sign.

Full Moon in Leo

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If you especially like (or dislike) something you see here, or would like to see something in particular covered in a future issue, or you have something interesting about the Earth, Moon, or Stars you would like to share, please leave a comment. I’m always interested in how folks who stop by here are moved/influenced/affected.

Until the full moon in March, here’s wishing you and yours a month of moonlight blessings and love.

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INTENTION FOR THIS EARTH, MOON AND STARS BLOG

The Earth, Moon and Stars blog is published once each Full Moon with (hopefully interesting) facts and lore about our moon and other sky phenomena. My wish is that you will have fun learning a bit more about our one and only natural satellite and how all of us — people, animals, plants, water, even rocks — are affected and connected by her.

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About aquarianman

Aquarian interested in anything to do with the Earth, our Moon, and anything flying around out there in space.
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