August’s Blue Moon in Aquarius

Happy Dog Days Full Blue Moon in Aquarius!
Welcome to Issue 8 of Volume V of Earth, Moon and Stars!

In this issue:

      • Wishing on a (Shooting) Star
      • Moon Names ~ Dog Days Moon
      • Seasonal Calendar
      • Culture ~ Blue Moons
      • Poetry and Art ~ Blue Moon Poetry
      • Folklore – Celtic Tree of the month
      • Astrology (Amazement and breakthroughs)


   In case you were not in the right place at the right time for the annual Perseid meteor display earlier this month, below is a photo from a recent Huffington Post article. Clicking on the link will take you to the full article, which contains a video and 23 other still shots.

   Since the advent of photography, then motion pictures, TV, and now CGI, we have become increasingly disconnected from the beauty and pulse of the direct experience of nature that has enthralled people for most of humanity’s time on Earth. Luckily, it’s not hard to get back in touch with this often-subtle force. Try giving yourself this gift by standing/sitting /lying down in silence under the stars on a clear night. We welcome you to share your experience by leaving a comment.

   So – where did the idea of wishing on a star – or a shooting star – originate? I’m not sure there is a single definitive answer, but here are a couple I found. According to one account, the ancient Greeks believed that finding a meteor would bring you a year’s worth of good luck and a fulfilled wish. Another source says this custom is believed to have originated with the Greek astronomer Ptolemy, who wrote that the Gods, while looking down on us out of boredom, occassionally let stars slip out from between the spheres, and since they are already looking at us at such times, they tend to be more receptive to any wishes we make.

   Or it could be that at such times we just feel more a part of the greatness of everything, and are thus more receptive ourselves to having goodness rain down on us! Whatever the explanation, it certainly does lift our spirits.

Dog Days

   Colonial Americans referred to the August full moon as the Dog Days moon. Although most people have heard of the Dog Days, few are aware of this term’s origin. While the summer heat might make you feel “dog tired”, the term actually originated with the Greeks, and then the Romans, who associated the summer heat with the star Sirius, also called the “Dog Star” because it is the brightest star in the Canis Major (Greater Dog) constellation.  [sources: Keith’s Moon Page, WikipediaWeekends in Paradelle.]

constellation Canis Major (Large Dog)

Constellation Canis Major

   The beautiful artwork you see below was created by Cyndi Lavin for the Bead Journal Project. She created one for each full moon; we are showcasing her moon beadwork in our blog this year.

August Sturgeon Moon (by Cyndi Lavin)

August Sturgeon Moon (by Cyndi Lavin)

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


August’s full moon:          Wednesday August 21 01:45 UT
.                                            Tuesday August 20 ( 9:45 pm ET, 6:45 pm PT)
September’s new moon: Thursday September 5 11:37 UT (7:37 am ET, 4:37 am PT)
September’s full moon:  Thursday September 19 11:13 UT (7:13 am ET, 4:13 am PT)
September equinox:        Sunday September 22  20:44 UT (4:44 pm ET, 1:44 pm PT)
                                                                                                                 [Ref: Moon Phases]

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Blue Moon

   What?! Another blue moon?! Well, if you have an interest in the way folklore develops, then tracing the definitions of what constitutes a Blue Moon will be of interest to you. At one time, when the cycles of the moon were more important to farmers, if a given season happened to incorporate four full moons (a typical season has three), the third of these four full moons was called a Blue Moon, so that the fourth moon could still be called the “Late Moon”.

   However, due to an editorial oversight at Sky & Telescope magazine in 1946, the definition became “the second full moon in a calendar month”. Decades later in 1980, an NPR radio show broadcast this error. The cat was now out of the bag, so this (non-traditional) definition now prevails. (If you would like a fuller explanation, click over to this article. And if you want an even fuller history, this is the best one I’ve found yet. A decent article, too, at Wikipedia.)

Astronomical Definition
.   While the above definitions are interesting, it’s important to note that only the third-in-season definition describes a truly astronomical event – something that one or many bodies do in space, independent of humans. And it’s quasi-astronomical at best, because the “third of four full moons in a season” can be called a true astronomical event only if the seasons themselves are defined astronomically.

   As it turns out, the seasons used by the Maine Farmers’ Almanac – which advanced the third-of-four definition – were those of the mean tropical year; they were equal in length and thus not truly astronomical. (Astronomical seasons begin and end with a solstice or an equinox; they vary in length because Earth’s speed in its orbit around the sun is not uniform.) By contrast, the second-in-a-month definition is purely social, based on calendars invented by humans, and thus is not astronomical at all. (ref: Wikipedia)

Astrological Definition
.   Enter the astrologers. While much of astrology contrasts with astronomy in that it adds a dimension of interpretation by humans, it does include its own definition of a Blue Moon that is loosely based on astronomy. In this definition, a Blue Moon is the second full moon in the same “sign”. (Astrology signs were derived from constellations in the sky, and originally coincided with them.) It turns out that tonight’s full moon is astrologically Blue because both it and July’s full moon are in the sign of Aquarius. (See below for some astrology related to this by Michael Lennox.)

Phenomenological Definition
.   Finally, on rare occasion the moon – full or not – actually does appear to have a bluish cast due to smoke or dust particles in the atmosphere. Famously, following the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, the moon appeared blue for nearly two years. Rarer than all the other types, such events can truly be said to occur “only once in a Blue Moon”.

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Once Upon A Blue Moon

I’ve been thinking about you lately,
But I’m not sure why,
You weren’t my first love,
But then again I guess you were.

I can’t help but wonder,
Even though you just recently seeped back into my mind,
It took me so long to realize what I felt for you

Did you ever realize before I did?
Did you even care?
Did you feel the same way too?

It doesn’t matter now,
I just wanted to know, for the record.
And I’ve never said this before to a real person
But I think, once upon a blue moon,
I actually fell a little in love with you.

by Hisa-Ai. Her full poem is here.

Full Moon Calling by Vladimir Piskunov

Full Moon Calling (by Vladimir Piskunov)

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # ## # # # # # 

The Celtic Tree Calendar consists of thirteen lunar divisions. Rather than follow 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.

Hazelnut orchard

Hazelnut orchard (treepicturesonline)

The tree honored this month (August 5 – September 1) is the Hazel or Hazelnut tree, known to the Celts as Coll, which translates to “the life force inside you” and is associated with wisdom and protection. This is a good month to do workings related to wisdom and knowledge. If you’re a creative type, such as an artist, writer, or musician, this is a good month to get your muse back and find inspiration for your talents. Even if you normally don’t do so, write a poem or song this month. (The above was excerpted from the article “Celtic Tree Months.”) 

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #


Molly HallAmazement

Here’s a brief excerpt from Molly Hall’s Full Moon article this month at

This full moon peak in Aquarius is a time of rare flashes, when there’s more far-scanning visibility. Be prepared for sudden, breathtaking plot twists, big surprises and breakthroughs. There can be a quickening, a surge of progress, a disruption, or a startling moment of clarity.

Summer lightning

Summer Lightning (Kamil Vojnar/Getty Images)

(For the complete read, see Molly’s article for this month Aquarius Full Moon – Stands Back in Amazement. For many more related helpful insights and the astrology behind these insights, see Molly’s full articles “Two Aquarius Full Moons, Summer 2013” and “Aquarius Full Moon in Houses“.)

# # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # # #

Dr. Michael Lennox ~ Once in a Blue Moon

Dr. Michael reinforces the gift of this second full moon in Aquarius:

The Aquarius archetype is about intuition, the power of the collective and taking action for the good of the Community. A Blue Moon is unusual in that it offers a second opportunity to enjoy the harvestable benefit of the particular archetype it is vibrating under, saying: “Take one more pass at this; it’s important that you get it on a deeper level.” So take a look at how your intuition was speaking to you at the time of the previous Aquarius Full Moon on July 23rd. The same energy will be available to you this time, only with deeper understanding and expanded consciousness.

(For the complete read, see Dr. Michael’s article Once In A Blue Moon.) 

Aquarius full moon (

Aquarius Full Moon (

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

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 September, here’s wishing you and yours a month of amazing breakthroughs!

§ § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §


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.


About aquarianman

Aquarian interested in anything to do with the Earth, our Moon, and anything flying around out there in space.
This entry was posted in astronomy, moon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Please leave a reply here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s