January’s Rowan Ice Wolf Moon

快樂的滿月!
(“Happy Full Moon” in Chinese)

Welcome January Full Moon!

Welcome to Issue 1 of Volume V of Earth, Moon and Stars!

(My apologies to those of you who looked – in vain – for the update to my November blog, and/or a December issue. In case you were wondering if the 2012 demons had gotten me, I say “We’re back in the saddle!”)

IN THIS ISSUE
(click any of the section links)

MOON NAMES

   People have been giving names to full moons since antiquity. Native Americans of the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon, usually related to the weather or the behavior of plants and animals at the time. The association for the month would last until the next full moon. European settlers followed the custom and even created some of their own names. 

   January’s full moon has many names. We note this time: The Hopi, who called this the Joyful Moon. The San Juan peoples called it the Ice Moon, which is also the Neo-Pagan name. The Inuits’ named it the Avunniviayuk Moon, while the Choctaw called it the Cooking Moon. In China this is the Holiday Moon (for reasons explained below in the section on the Chinese New Year).

   Our highlighted full moon name this month is taken from the Celtic tradition. The Celts named each full moon for a different tree that had significance during the month. This month (actually Jan 21 to Feb 17) is dedicated to the Rowan tree.

See the Folklore section below for more on the Celts and the Rowan Tree.
[refs: Everything Under the MoonKeith’s Moon Page, Celtic Tree Months.]

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MOON ART

January Wolf 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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SEASONAL CALENDAR

January’s full moon: Sunday Jan 27 04:39 UT (Jan 26~11:39 PM ET, 8:39 PM PT)
February’s new moon: Sunday Feb 10 07:20 UT (2:20 AM ET, Feb 9~11:20 PM PT)
February’s full moon: Monday Feb 25 20:26 UT (3:26 PM ET, 12:26 PM PT)

[Ref: Moon Phases]

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SKYWATCH

   In February, Mercury – the “elusive” innermost planet – will travel far enough from the glare of the sun to be readily visible in the western sky soon after sunset. On the evening of Feb. 8, Mercury will skim within less than 0.4 degrees of the much-fainter planet, Mars. Mercury will arrive at its greatest elongation from the sun on Feb. 16. It will be quite bright up to this date and will fade rapidly thereafter. [From “13 Must-See Stargazing Events in 2013”, courtesy of Space.com]

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MOON-INFLUENCED CELEBRATIONS

Tu Bishvat

   Tu Bishvat is a minor Jewish holiday, also called “Rosh HaShanah La’Ilanot” – literally “New Year of the Trees”, which was historically related to the cycles of the fruit trees.  The modern name Tu Bishvat is derived from the date on which it occurs: the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Shevat. (This places it on or a day after the full moon, as the Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, with each month beginning at a new moon.) Tu Bishvat began last night at sunset (25th), the night of the full moon, and will finish at nightfall tonight (26th). (Ref: Wikipedia~Tu Bishvat)

Almond tree in blossom

Almond tree in blossom

Dried fruit and almonds

European Jews traditionally celebrate Tu Bishvat by eating dried fruit and almonds.  Modern Israelis celebrate by planting trees in ecological awareness.

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Chinese New Year

   The Chinese New Year, officially known as the ‘Spring Festival’, is the most important (and, at 15 days, the longest) of the traditional Chinese holidays. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western Carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar. This is always on a new moon – usually the second new moon after the Winter Solstice, but sometimes the third new moon. (This variability is because the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar, which type is basically a lunar calendar, but with adjustments inserted as needed in order to not get too far out of sync with the seasons.)

   The Chinese New Year is always at the new moon. Thus the Year of the Black Water Snake will begin on February 10 this year. By confusing contrast, however, the Chinese astrological Year of the Snake will begin on February 4. This is because the astrological reckoning for determining the animal year uses a traditional counting system and thus is not determined by the moon as the common or business calendar is.

Lantern Festival (Dream Walker)

Lantern Festival

The two-week Spring Festival ends with the Lantern Festival, which occurs on the night of the first full moon of the lunisolar New Year, the 15th day of the lunar month.

The Lantern Festival will be celebrated in many countries this year on February 24.
(Refs: About.com, Wikipedia~Chinese New Year, Wikipedia~Chinese zodiac, Chinese Fortune Calendar)

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FOLKLORE

The Celtic Tree Calendar ~ The Rowan Tree

   The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each “month”, rather than following the actual waxing and waning of the moon, so as to stay in sync with the (solar) Gregorian calendar. The modern tree calendar is based on a concept that letters in the ancient Celtic Ogham alphabet corresponded to a tree.

   Rowan Moon (January 21 – February 17) is associated with Brighid, the Celtic goddess of hearth and home. Brighid is a fire goddess who offers protection to mothers and families, as well as watching over the hearthfires. (You can read more about the Celtic zodiac at the about.com article “Celtic Tree Months” and at Celtic Radio. )

Rowan Tree and Green Dragon ~ Celtic Zodiac

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ASTROLOGY

Molly Hall ~ Invitation and a DemandThat Special Glow

Here are brief excerpts from Molly Hall’s Full Moon articles this month at About.com:

The Leo Full Moon can be a time to commit to being self-centered, in a healthy way. To do the healing necessary to move out of drama and trauma, and into the creative life of your dreams. The conflicted energies may make it wise to wait to act, as energies shift and do their thing.

This Full Moon illuminates emerging from family to reach potential; ambition; a strong will; extroversion; celebrations; radiating confidence; warmed from within; reveling in life’s color; creative fires; play — hobbies, games, everything that’s just for fun.

It’s a Good Time to:

          • Celebrate, play, party with friends that encourage you to be your most over-the-top self.
          • Give the artist within a signal that you’re “serious” about self-expression.
          • Get away from melodrama, by finding a medium through which to express life’s grand drama.
          • Surround yourself with colors that lift your spirits.
          • Show some playful affection to a friend.
          • Kindle the romance in your life.
          • Promote yourself and your ideas in a new way.

Molly has a lot more on this. For the complete read, including the astrology behind these insights, see Molly’s full articles: Leo Full Moon – Invitation and a Demand; (and) Leo Full Moon – That Special Glow.

Jeff Jawer ~ A Constructive Blend

Here is what Jeff Jawer writes about this full moon in his column on Star IQ:

    This fiery Full Moon in expressive Leo invites us to celebrate life to the fullest. It’s the sign of the heart where love, play and creativity are loud and proud. Emotions heat up with drama, which can open hearts to romance or exaggerate our self-importance. It’s challenging to tell the difference between a performance and an honest reaction with this over-the-top lunation. Messages are decidedly mixed as favorable lunar aspects with erratic Uranus and expansive Jupiter encourage risk taking, yet stern Saturn’s restrictive square imposes limits. A constructive blend of these diverse influences balances unbridled optimism with a strong sense of purpose and responsibility.

(Jeff covers the influences of the Sun and planets, too. For the complete read, including the astrology behind these insights, see Jeff’s New Moon Report)

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  If you especially liked something you saw 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 feel free to leave a comment. I’m always interested in how folks who stop by here are moved/influenced/affected by what they encounter here. And please don’t be shy about sharing this post with friends if you like it!

  Until the full moon in February, here’s wishing you and yours a month of warmth, love, and romance.

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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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