May’s Full Milk Flower Moon

Happy May Full Milk Flower Moon!

Welcome to Issue 5 of Volume VI of Earth, Moon and Stars!

  The moon will become “exact” full this Thursday (15th) at 3:16 am in Manila, this Wednesday (14th) at 10:16 pm in Jerusalem, 3:16 pm in New York, 2:16 pm in Chicago and Quito, 1:16 pm in Denver, 12:16 pm in Los Angeles, and 9:16 am in Honolulu. Thus, for folks just about everywhere she will look fullest all night Wednesday. As we have pointed out before and you may have noticed in your previous moon gazes, she also tends to appear full both the night before and the night after exact fullness, so if you have clouds on one of those nights, you still have two other chances.

  I hope you got to see at least some part of the total lunar eclipse last month. Fortuitously, the next lunar eclipse will also be total (and thus also a “blood” moon). This will occur in October, followed by two more in 2015! This “tetrad” is somewhat unusual. We will be going into more detail on this topic as we approach October.

In this issue:

      • Full Milk Moon
      • Seasonal Calendar
      • Skywatch ~ Saturn Steals the Show
      • Starwatch ~ Astronomy and Lore of the Zodiac ~ Taurus and Virgo
      • Moon Art – Robin Samiljan
      • Astrology ~ Living true values| Digging into fear


May’s Full Milk Moon

     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.

    As with any month, the May full moon has been called many different names. (You can see comprehensive name lists here and here.) Popular names include Flower Moon and Corn Planting Moon, for obvious reasons. The English, borrowing from the Algonquin, called it the Milk Moon. I haven’t found a good explanation for this name yet. Does the full moon look more milky in May than in any other month? I’ll keep looking… In the meantime, here’s an interesting photo from St. Petersburg (Russia). (A long telephoto lens or home telescope is required to capture such a photo.)

Full Milk Moon with Airplane

Full Milk Moon with Airplane


May’s full moon:                  Wednesday May 14 19:16 UT (3:16 pm ET, 12:16 pm PT)
.                                              9:16 am HAST; Thursday May 15 3:16 am PHT
May’s new moon:                Wednesday May 28 18:40 UT (2:40 pm ET, 11:40 am PT)
.                                              8:40 am HAST; Thursday May 29 2:40 am PHT
June’s full moon:                 Friday June 13 04:12 UT (12:12 pm PHT, 7:12 am IDT)
.                                             Friday June 13 12:12 am ET
.                                             Thursday June 12 9:12 pm PT, 6:12 pm HAST

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Saturn Steals the Show from the Flower Moon

  On Saturday, Saturn reached its highest point in the sky. This optimal positioning occurs when Saturn makes its closest approach to the point directly opposite to the Sun in the sky. Thus that bright “star” you will see close to the full moon tonight will actually be Saturn – the most distant planet visible to the naked eye. (Atlantic CTV News)

Full Moon and Saturn

Full Moon and Saturn

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The Astronomy and Lore of the Zodiac

  If you’ve been following this blog since last fall, you should be familiar by now with the basics of the zodiac. See the January post to brush up on the basics of the “astronomy behind the astrology”. Below is a diagram we’ve been using 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

Astrological 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 the January post for details.)

Constellation of the Month: Taurus

   Taurus “the bull” is the zodiac constellation this month. 

Taurus the bull (The Needle)

   Taurus marked the point of vernal (spring) equinox in the Chalcolithic and the Early Bronze Age, from about 4000 BC to 1700 BC, after which it moved into the neighboring constellation Aries. Because of the precession we described in January, the sun entered Taurus this year on May 13 and will continue to move through it until June 21. 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 evenings in January. We will provide more details for observing Taurus when we post about the full moon in January. (ref Wikipedia, EarthSky,; Field Guide to the Night Sky, National Audubon Society)

Astrological Sign of the Month: Taurus

  In Greek mythology, Zeus fell in love with the Phoenician princess Europa and transformed himself into a white bull with golden horns to whisk her away to Crete. (Apparently when you’re a major Greek god, you can get away with such doings.) In illustrations of Greek mythology, only the front portion of this constellation is depicted; this was sometimes explained as Taurus being partly submerged as he carried Europa out to sea.  Taurus is the second sign in the tropical zodiac, occupying the span from 30 to 60 degrees. According to this zodiac, the sun transits Taurus from April 20 to May 20. (, Wikipedia)

Bull and Sun

Bull and Sun (Tara Greene)

   Just as it does for Aries, the zodiacal symbol for Taurus represents the horns of the animal, this time the bull.

Taurus Symbol

Taurus Symbol (lovetoknow)

Zodiac Constellation to View this Month: Virgo the Maiden

Virgo in the sky (allthesky)

  The zodiac constellation easiest to see right now is Virgo the Maiden. (We’ll highlight this constellation and zodiac sign in our September issue.) Like any constellation, Virgo is much easier to make out on a dark, moonless night.  See the EarthSky and Wikipedia articles on Virgo for details on locating this constellation. (ref EarthSky, Wikipedia)

May Full Corn Planting Moon by Robin Samiljan

May Full Corn Planting 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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Molly Hall ~ Scorpio Full Moon: “Feeling as Deeply as We Dare”

   This month Molly Hall writes about the Full Moon in Scorpio on her astrology site and in this month’s article: Scorpio Full Moon: “Feeling as Deeply as We Dare”. Here are some brief excerpts:

     Melody Scott Zindell calls it the most powerful full moon of the year. She writes, “Scorpio is the archetype of reigniting passion that comes from feeling as deeply as we dare…sitting with the discomforts of emotions we normally push aside with distractions and addictions. The strength of this passion is what fuels real soul alchemy and transformation. This journey takes courage!”

     I especially like those times when something ends that’s been an awkward fit, or it’s made me feel not wholly in my integrity. The ending sets off the Scorpio-atomic chain reaction. And with the fortitude of Scorpio, we find trust in that process. The pinnacle of the Taurus-Scorpio Full Moon is one of those deep catalysts for greater authenticity, living true to our values.

Scorpio the scorpion

Scorpio the scorpion (

   Molly has a lot more to tell us about this. For the complete read, see the above referenced/linked article, and also Molly’s article Full Moon in Scorpio. Also visit Molly’s front page for more astrology.

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Emily Trinkaus ~ Approaching the Scorpio Full Moon

Scorpio Full Moon (collage by Emily)

Scorpio Full Moon (collage by Emily)

   Head priestess at virgo magic, Emily is based in Portland, OR, and works with astrology as a tool for healing, empowerment, personal growth and collective evolution. In addition, she and energy healer Katie Todd run the Full Moon Priestess website where they conduct monthly Full Moon Galactivation teleclasses for women.

   The full title for Emily’s column for this full moon is: Feeling through the Limits of Fear, Frustration and Resistance – Approaching the Scorpio Full Moon. The full article is worth a look. Here is an excerpt from this refreshingly personal approach to astrology:

   I’m guessing I’m not entirely alone in feelings of overwhelm, pressure, frustration, stagnation and exhaustion… all of which seem right in line with the energies building toward Wednesday’s Full Moon.

   Taurus-Scorpio themes amplified at this Full Moon include power, money and resources, intimacy and sexuality (just a few light areas…). Amping up the pressure, the Full Moon is conjunct Saturn in Scorpio, urging you to stand in your emotional authority, and get real about your priorities and values. What’s your bottom line?

  The emotion associated with Saturn is FEAR, which, unconscious and unacknowledged, can become CONTROL (shadow Saturn) – either feeling controlled by external forces, or attempting to control others and outcomes. Saturn in Scorpio says, instead of obsessing over what’s happening “out there,” go straight to the source, get to the core of what’s going on by heading into the icky feelings, digging into the buried pain and uncovering the old wounds where your present-time vitality and power are being held hostage.

Scorpio full moon

Scorpio full moon (Sophia Lunetta)

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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 June, here’s wishing you and yours a month of getting to the core and living true to your values!

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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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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 made public.


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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