February’s Icy Snowy Full Moon

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

IN THIS ISSUE
(click any of these section links)

MOON NAMES and MOON ART

February’s Ice and Snow Full Moon

     As we all now know, many cultures in both hemispheres kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon, appropriate for the month in which it occurred and keyed – naturally enough – to the goings-on in their natural environment . . . the weather, the plants, the animals.

    February was traditionally associated with cold, which has been abundantly clear to most people in the northern hemisphere this year. So no need for me to explain why the Celts called this month’s full moon the Moon of Ice and others the Snow Moon. I’ll leave it at that, adding some hope from that famous line by Shelley in his Ode to the West Wind: “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”, and noting that the March/Spring equinox is only 5 weeks away.

Blue Ice Moon

Blue Ice Moon (wikia.com)

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SEASONAL CALENDAR
Moon Dates and Times

February’s full moon:        Friday February 14  23:53 UT (6:53 pm ET, 3:53 pm PT)
March’s new moon:            Saturday March 1 08:00 UT (3:00 am ET, 12:00 am PT)
Daylight Saving Time        Begins Sunday March 9 (in most USA and Canada locales)
March’s full moon:              Sunday March 16 17:09 UT (1:09 pm ET, 10:09 am PT)
March Equinox                   Thursday March 20
                                                                                                                 [Ref: Moon Phases]

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STARWATCH

The Astronomy and Lore of the Zodiac

  In last month’s January post we introduced some basics about the zodiac. If you missed it, I recommend you take few minutes to peruse it, as it sets the stage for our theme this year of exploring the “astronomy behind the astrology”. I repeat below a diagram that you may find helpful in your visualizing.

   Briefly speaking, the astronomical zodiac consists of thirteen constellations that lie along the ecliptic. You may recall from discussion on this blog in previous months that the ecliptic is the annual path that the Sun seems to travel across the backdrop of the fixed stars.

Zodiac diagram

Zodiac diagram

  Early astrologers idealized the ecliptic as a circle, divided it into twelve equal segments or “signs”, and gave each sign the name of the constellation it was near on the ecliptic. Today the signs and the constellations, while still having the same (or similar) names, do not correspond with each other in the sky. This is due to a number of unrelated phenomena. (See last month’s post for details.)

Constellation of the Month: Aquarius

Aquarius in the sky

Aquarius in the sky (credit: space.com)

 A Southern Hemisphere constellation, Aquarius is among the oldest of the recognized Zodiac constellations. Aquarius in Latin translates to English as “water bearer” or “cup carrier”, and since ancient times has been either blamed or praised for bringing deluges of rain and floods. One tale in Greek mythology has Zeus deciding to wipe out mankind for its evils and commanding Aquarius to make it rain for nine straight days and nights, causing a great flood (sound familiar?). In this story Prometheus, not wanting to see mankind disappear forever, instructs his son Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha to build a boat to save themselves. They then help repopulate the world by throwing rocks over their shoulders, the rocks then turning into men and women. To the ancient Egyptians, this constellation depicted Hapi, the benevolent god of the Nile River, which gave life by flooding every spring. The urn that Hapi/Aquarius holds was a symbol of a fount of good fortune.

   There are no particularly bright stars in Aquarius and it can be difficult to view with the naked eye. However, it is large — spread out over 980 square degrees and the 10th largest constellation in the sky. The names of Aquarius’ two brightest stars – Sadalmelik and Sadalsuud – are thought to mean lucky one of the king and luckiest of the lucky. (ref Space.com, Earthsky.org)

   Because of the precession we described last month, the Sun won’t actually enter Aquarius this year until February 16 and will continue to move through it until March 12. Obviously, this makes it impossible to observe at this time of year, as the Sun is in the way. The best time to observe this constellation will be early October around 9 p.m. local time or one month later in early November around 8 p.m. local time. We will provide more details for observing Aquarius when we post about the full moon in October.
(ref Earthsky.orgSpace.comField Guide to the Night Sky, National Audubon Society)

Astrological Sign of the Month: Aquarius

Aquarius symbol

Aquarius symbol (Mary Lomando)

   Aquarius is the eleventh sign in the tropical zodiac, occupying the span from 300 to 330 degrees. According to this zodiac, the Sun transits Aquarius from January 20 to February 18. 

   The zodiacal symbol for Aquarius (above) represents ripples or waves in water.  

Gemini in sky

Gemini in the sky (universetoday)

  The zodiac constellation easiest to see right now is Gemini the Twins. (We’ll highlight this constellation and zodiac sign in our June issue.) Like any constellation, Gemini is much easier to make out on a dark, moonless night.  You can locate Gemini, again using Orion (see diagram below): draw a line from Rigel through Betelgeuse to find Castor and Pollux, two bright stars that are noticeably close together. (ref EarthSky.org)

Orion diagram

Orion diagram (EarthSky)

Gemini twins

Gemini twins (StarDate)

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THE MOON IN POEM and ART

Snow Moon

Around the moon,
a ring of mist
foretells the ground
will soon be kissed
by snow.

~Kelly R. Fineman

Full Snow Moon by Robin Samiljan

Full Snow Moon by Robin Samiljan

     This beautiful watercolor is by Chicago artist Robin Samiljan from her collection

A Year of Moons“. Prints are available for purchase at Fine Art America.

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ASTROLOGY

Molly Hall

This month Molly Hall has not one but two articles for the Full Moon in Leo on her about.com astrology siteShiny and Clear and Dramatic Tension. Here is a synoptic condensation:

     This can be a Full Moon of outbursts, with a building up of near-to-burst tensions and waves of raw emotional debris rising.  Take this as a sign of getting to core — and powerful — soul levels – there are death and rebirth energies afoot. What is demanding expression?

     If you’ve felt stuck, there could be some big squeeze-type energy to move in some way, with the tension. Fiery, courageous Leo is a sign of risk taking, for love or to make progress with a creative idea.

     For the complete read, see the above referenced/linked articles, and also visit Molly’s front page for more astrology.)

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Japa Kaur ~ Kundalini Yoga Horoscope: February 10-16

Japa Kaur from Spirit Voyage is our latest astrologer. Note that since the Moon makes a complete transit through the zodiac each month (as opposed to the year that the Sun takes), it moves to a new “house” every 2 1/2 days. The article covers the week of February 10-16, 2014. The below is aimed specifically at the Full Moon/Valentine’s Day:

     Rejoice in love – rejoice in creativity, self-expression, and individuality. This is what February’s Full Moon is asking from everybody. Share your unique gifts with the world – and don’t be shy about it! Use your flamboyant, dramatic flair to liven up any situation you are in. At the same time, realize that everyone is a bit more emotionally vulnerable than usual. People will need extra long hugs, and extra attention in general. Give it to them.

(For Japa Kaur’s complete article, see Kundalini Yoga Horoscope: February 10-16)

Full Moon in Leo

Full Moon in Leo

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FROM ME TO YOU

    Thank you, dear reader, for visiting EM&S this “moonth”. I hope you found something here that you liked.

   If you like something you see here, or have an idea about something you’d like to see covered in a future issue, or you have something interesting 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!

   Note that I have a separate post called ARCHIVES which contains a list of all the titles I’ve posted since the inception of this blog. The titles are clickable of course. Easier and more informative than just the dates that appear in the right-side Archives column. (I’m slowly learning more things I can make WordPress do. There’s a lot there!)

   Until the full moon in March,
here’s wishing all of us a month of
passion, love and taking risks!

~ Moonlight to all!
Marty

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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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