February’s Quickening Raccoon Moon

ბედნიერი სავსე მთვარე!
(“Happy Full Moon!” in Georgian)

Welcome to Issue 2 of Volume V of Earth, Moon and Stars!

In this issue:

    • Moon Names ~ Raccoon Moon
    • Moon Art ~ Cyndi Lavin
    • Seasonal Calendar ~ Full/new moon dates and times | Equinox
    • U.S. Daylight Saving Time (March 10)
    • Moon poetry (“Moon Language” by Hafiz)
    • Skywatch (asteroids, meteors, and meteorites – oh my!)
    • Astrology (challenges | experimenting)

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. 

   Among the many names given to February’s full moon, we highlight this time the Sioux, who called it the Raccoon Moon. The Omaha called this moon the Geese Moon (though to me February does seem a bit early for geese), the Arapaho people named it the Sparkling Frost Moon, while in China this moon is known as the Budding Moon, and Pagan/Wiccans know it as the Quickening Moon

Raccoon Full Moon

Raccoon Full Moon

[This painting by Cyra R. Cancel was found at EBSQ]

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   Last month we began a new thread, noting that the Celts named each full moon for a different tree that had significance during the month. This month (actually Feb 18 to Mar 17) is dedicated to the Ash tree. (See the Folklore section below for more on this.)   [sources: Everything Under the Moon, Keith’s Moon Page, Celtic Tree Months.]

The Ash Tree on a Dark and Scary Night

[This photo was found at Petta Fiesta.]

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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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SEASONAL CALENDAR

February’s full moon:           Monday Feb 25 20:26 UT (3:26 PM ET, 12:26 PM PT)
March’s new moon:              Monday Mar 11 19:51 UT (3:51 PM ET, 12:51 PM PT)
Spring (March) Equinox:    Wednesday Mar 20
March’s full moon:               Wednesday Mar 27 09:28 UT (5:28 AM ET, 2:28 AM PT)
[Ref: Moon Phases]

Daylight Saving Time in the United States begins Sunday Mar 10 (2 AM local time).
Set your clocks ahead one hour.
[Note: Many locations do not observe DST; those that do often begin on different days. To find out if/when DST will be observed in a given location, you can consult “Daylight Saving Time Around the World 2013“]

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MOON POETRY
Moon Language

Admit something:
Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect.
Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye
that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in this world is dying to hear?

~Hafez of Shiraz (from “The Gift” by Daniel Ladinsky)

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SKYWATCH
Asteroids, Meteors, and Meteorites – Oh My!

   Whoever’s in charge of the heavens seems to have a strange sense of humor. On Feb 15, while telescopes from Israel to Australia were trained on the night sky to capture the predicted and anticipated flyby of asteroid 2012 DA14, another totally unanticipated asteroid decided to become a meteor and, taking direct aim at Earth, hurtled headlong into the Chelyabinsk region of Russia. Heated by the friction with our atmosphere, the space rock exploded and burned in a giant fireball that some reported was brighter than the Sun.

   The energy released in the explosion was equivalent to almost half a megaton of TNT, 20–30 times more powerful than either of the atomic bombs detonated over Japan in World War II. While most of this energy was absorbed by the atmosphere, enough of  it caused shock waves that shattered glass and destroyed buildings. About 1,500 people were injured, all due to indirect blast effects such as shattered glass, not by fragments from the meteor itself. 

Feb 15 Russian meteor -- brighter than the sun

Feb 15 Russian meteor — brighter than the sun (BBC)

  About 15 hours later asteroid 2012 DA14 made its closest approach, coming within 17,200 miles from the surface of Earth, a record close approach for a known object of this size (much closer than the Moon…less than 1/1o as far away). Although some at first speculated that these two events were related, the European Space Agency and NASA, after analyzing the data, declared the events were unrelated, as the two objects had “significantly different orbits”.

   Comparing the two … asteroid 2012 DA14 has an estimated diameter of 30 meters (98 ft) and an estimated mass of 40,000 metric tons, while the Russian meteor was estimated to be just one-third of DA14’s diameter and one-fourth as heavy.

What about this oft-confusing terminology? Just in time to avoid larger headaches, here is a simple glossary:

asteroid                 a small body that orbits the Sun as the Earth and other planets do
meteoroid             a small particle from a comet or asteroid
micrometeoroid   a tiny meteoroid
meteor                  the visible streak of light from a meteoroid or micrometeoroid
.                              that has entered and burned in the Earth’s atmosphere
.                              (also called a “shooting star”)
meteorite              the part of a meteoroid that has not burned up in the atmosphere and
.                              has hit the ground
micrometeorite   a tiny meteorite

   There are other distinctions, such as source and composition. If you’re still curious, you can find out more by clicking on any of the above links, which will take you to the respective Wikipedia article. Further reading on asteroid 2012 DA14 can be found at Earthsky and Wikipedia. Articles on the Russian meteor can be found at BBC News and Wikipedia.

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CELESTIAL MECHANICS

March Equinox

   The March equinox signals the beginning of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and autumn in the Southern Hemisphere. It marks the moment when the sun crosses the celestial equator going from south to north. On this day the sun rises due east and sets due west, wherever you are. (More details can be found at last year’s EarthSky article: Everything you need to know about the March equinox 2012)

Seasons at a glance (Ben McGee)

Illustration that weather seasons are related to the Earth’s axis tilt; Summer on the hemisphere (northern or southern) pointed toward the sun, and winter for the hemisphere pointed away. (Credit: Ben W. McGee, astrowright)

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FOLKLORE
       The Celtic Tree Calendar

   The Celtic Tree Calendar is a calendar with thirteen lunar divisions. Rather than following the actual waxing and waning of the Moon, most contemporary Pagans use fixed dates for each “month” 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 various trees.

   The tree honored this month (February 18 – March 17) is the Ash, one of three trees sacred to the Druids. Associated with ocean rituals, magical potency, prophetic dreams and spiritual journeys, the Ash can be used for making magical (and mundane) tools, which are said to be more productive than tools made from other wood. This impressive Standing One has been revered and honored for centuries as the connecting path between heaven and earth. (The above was excerpted from the about.com article “Celtic Tree Months” and The Mystic Hearth.)

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       ASTROLOGY

                                     Molly Hall ~  Virgo Full Moon – Practical Magic

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

   This Full Moon in Virgo has potential breakdowns or meltdowns. Sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed in the moment — to fall apart. Be gentle with yourself, yet firm about staying healthy. This is a time to experiment, listening to the soul’s promptings, on what will aid in the integration process, give you confidence to ride the waves and, even if you’re knocked down, find your center again.

   This can be a time of clearing, simplifying and purifying. You become the Virgin, whole-unto-yourself, able to take in new experiences, and be changed by them.

Molly has a lot more on this. For the complete read, including the astrology behind these insights, see Molly’s full articles: Virgo Full Moon – Practical Magic (and) Moon-Day Musings.

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                                                Dian Bustillo  ~ Full Moon in Virgo

Here is what fellow WordPress blogger Dian Bustillo writes about this full moon on her blog SimplyAstrology:

   This is the last full moon of the season. The Spring Equinox occurs in March and will start the New Year, astrology style. Use this full moon to seek insight into what you have accomplished this past year and what you want to do for the coming year. Quiet your mind and then let it open to whatever message the universe wants to send. Begin gathering anything you need to create your next dream board.

This full Moon will begin a period of challenges. You will feel like you are meeting mountains to climb. This is not just a feeling, it’s a reality. However, these are the challenges that lead to growth IF you face up to them and seek solutions. During the next few weeks remember that “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”.

Use your creativity. This cycle you must work hard to achieve your dreams. Conquer every obstacle. You can do it!

(Dian covers the influences of the Sun and planets, too. For the complete read, including the astrology behind these insights, see Dian’s blog SimplyAstrology.)

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                                                Eye of Horus  ~ Full Snow Moon in Virgo

Virgo Full Moon

Virgo Full Moon

Here is an excerpt of what our friends at Eye of Horus have to say about this full moon:

Pagans call this the “Quickening” Full Moon, marking a time when new life is beginning but hasn’t broken through the surface yet. A time of quiet, renewal and rebirth, the next journey has yet to begin. Use Virgo’s energy to look at your dreams and where you are on your path. Take stock of the specific gifts you bring, the ones which only you have to offer – do they line up with your profession or do you still need to find what Buddhists call Right Livelihood?

Seek your greatest vision, and don’t let anyone block your intentions or talk you down. Ask which parts of your life have the greatest connection between your head and your heart. What makes you both full of well-being and full of service?!

(Much more good stuff in the full article Full Snow Moon in Virgo)

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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 readying your inner garden for the coming season of growth.

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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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COPYRIGHT DISCLAIMER

Unless otherwise noted, this blog claims no credit for any images appearing on it. Copyrighted images remain the property of their respective owners; attribution and/or links are provided when known. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and you do not wish for it appear here, please leave a comment with your email address and a link to the image in question and it will be promptly removed. Your comment will not be published.

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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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3 Responses to February’s Quickening Raccoon Moon

  1. Cyndi L says:

    I wasn’t aware of the name Raccoon Moon! That’s pretty cool 🙂

  2. Karissa says:

    Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am
    impressed! Very useful info particularly the last
    part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this certain information for a long time.
    Thank you and best of luck.

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