June’s Full Strawberry Moon

Welcome June Strawberry Full Moon!

Welcome to Issue 6 of Volume VI of Earth, Moon and Stars!

(click any of these section links)


The moon will become exact full this Friday (13th) at 04:12 Universal Time; Thursday (12th) in many Western time zones. (See Seasonal Calendar below for times in some representative time zones.)

   Thus for the Western world she will appear fullest Thursday night, while to people in Asia and the western Pacific she will appear fullest Friday night. As we like to point out — and as 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.

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Moon Dates and Times

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
June solstice:                     Saturday June 21 10:51 UT (6:51 am ET; 3:51 am PT)
.                                             12:51 am HAST; 1:51 pm IDT; 6:51 pm PHT
June’s new moon:             Friday June 27 08:09 UT (4:09 am ET; 1:09 am PT)
.                                             Friday June 27 11:09 am IDT; 4:09 pm PHT
.                                             Thursday June 26 10:09 pm HAST
July’s full moon:                Saturday July 12 11:25 UT (7:25 am ET; 4:25 am PT)
.                                             1:25 am HAST; 2:25 pm IDT; 7:25 pm PHT

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June’s Full Strawberry Moon

     Many cultures around the world 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.

    Because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries in the Northern Hemisphere comes each year during the month of June, all Algonquin tribes called the June full moon the Strawberry Moon, or Ode’ imini-Giizis in Ojibwe. (See the Moon Art section later on in this blog for a beautiful Strawberry Moon painting.) The Europeans, by contrast, called it the Rose Moon.  (ref: Farmers Almanac; Ojibwe)

Strawberry Moon (Chakrology)

Strawberry Moon (Chakrology)

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June Solstice

  Saturday (21st — see exact times above) will mark the June solstice (summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere) — the time when the sun “stops” in its (apparent) movement northward and then begins moving south. (Remember – solstice means “sun standing still”.)

   This phenomenon occurs when Earth in its orbit has the north end of its axis pointing at the sun. Well, not directly at the sun, but not pointing to the left or right. (Oh, my – is it possible to say this in a simple sentence without a lot of geometry mumbo-jumbo?) Since a picture is worth at least a few hundred words, here’s one of the clearest diagrams I’ve come across:

Seasons at a glance (astrowright)

Seasons at a glance (astrowright)

     In addition to being clear and uncluttered, this diagram includes labels for the seasons in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The position of the Earth on the right is where we will be on June 21st: the summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, and the winter solstice in the Southern Hemisphere. Hopefully it is clear from this diagram that the seasons are a result of the tilt of the Earth, and not because of any variation in our distance from the Sun.

   So it’s a happy/sad time in the Northern Hemisphere: the summer solstice marks the day when we have the most daylight (and thus the shortest dark time). It also thus marks the time when the days (daylight) begin to become shorter. Of course, the opposite is true for our friends below the equator: it’s their longest night, but now their days will be begin to become longer. It’s only fair, isn’t it?

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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 visualizing the zodiac.

   Briefly speaking, the astronomical zodiac consists of thirteen constellations that lie along the ecliptic. (“Thirteen?” you say? “I always heard there were twelve.” Well, this has to do with the difference between the astronomical and astrological zodiacs, which we touched on in the January post. We will explore it more in future posts.)

   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: Gemini

   Gemini “the Twins” is the zodiac constellation we feature this month, because this is the time that the sun is in this Western (or tropical) astrological sign.

Gemini the Twins (universetoday)

Gemini the Twins (universetoday)

   Gemini (Latin for “twins”) was one of the 48 original Ptolemaic constellations; it remains one of the 88 modern constellations today. In contrast with the astrological timing (see Astrological Sign of the Month below), the sun now passes in front of the actual constellation Gemini from about June 21 until July 20. You can remember these dates by noting that the sun enters Gemini just after the June solstice and stays within the constellation for the following month.

Gemini constellation (space.com)

Gemini constellation (space.com)

   The constellation is named after the twins Castor and Pollux in Greek mythology. Its two brightest stars (named Castor and Pollux) represent the heads of the twins, while fainter stars outline the two bodies. Pollux, an orange-giant star (35 light-years distant from us), is the brighter of the twins. Castor is a sextuplet star system (50 light-years away).

   Another noteworthy star in this constellation is Mekbuda (Bayer designation: ζ Gem or Zeta Geminorum), a yellow supergiant star with a radius that varies from 61 to 69 times that of our sun.  (To get an idea of just how large this star is, our Sun’s mean radius is 432,450 miles, making Mekbuda’s maximum radius almost 30 million miles. By comparison, the planet Mercury is 36 million miles from the Sun, so Mekbuda as our sun would be close to swallowing Mercury!) Mekbuda appears dimmer to us both because of its intermediate luminosity and because it is 1350 light-years from us.

Gemini with Mekbuda (sciencecenter)

Gemini with Mekbuda (sciencecenter)

   The sun blocks out Gemini from late spring through early summer in the Northern Hemisphere (late autumn through early winter in the Southern Hemisphere). By mid-August, the Twins will re-appear along the eastern horizon in the morning sky just prior to sunrise. The best time to observe Gemini at night is overhead during the months of January and February. (See my February post for viewing details.) (ref WikipediaEarthSky, space.com; Field Guide to the Night Sky, National Audubon Society)

Astrological Sign of the Month: Gemini

   Gemini (♊) is the third astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation Gemini. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits this sign between May 21 and June 21, occupying the span from 60 to 90 degrees in the idealized 360 degree circle.

Gemini the Twins (Wikipedia)

Gemini the Twins (Wikipedia)

  In Greek and Roman mythology, Castor and Pollux were twin brothers with the same mother, Leda, but different fathers. Castor was the mortal son of Tyndareus, the king of Sparta, while Pollux was the divine son of Zeus, who seduced Leda in the guise of a swan. (These guys had quite the imagination, didn’t they!) Though accounts of their birth are varied, they are sometimes said to have been born from an egg, along with their twin sisters Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra.

   When Castor was killed in battle, Pollux asked Zeus to let him share his own immortality with his twin to keep them together, so thus they were transformed into the constellation Gemini. The pair were regarded as the patrons of sailors, to whom they appeared as St. Elmo’s fire, and were also associated with horsemanship. (space.comWikipedia~Gemini; Wikipedia~Castor and Pollux)

Gemini Symbol (cutehoroscopes)

Gemini Symbol (cutehoroscopes)

   Gemini is symbolized by two pillars joined at the top and base, a diagrammatic representation of the Twins seated side by side with embracing arms. (birthstones)

Gemini Twins in sky

Gemini Twins in the sky

Libra in night sky (earthsky)

Libra in the night sky (earthsky)

  The zodiac constellation easiest to see right now is Libra the Scales. (We’ll highlight this constellation and zodiac sign in our October issue.) Libra is a fixture of the evening sky during a Northern Hemisphere summer (Southern Hemisphere winter). While it’s not the most flamboyant constellation of the zodiac, in any year you can find Libra fairly easily in a dark sky using two bright stars, Spica and Antares, as guides. And in 2014, it’s even better! This year, you can use the planet Saturn to find the constellation Libra the Scales. Saturn will be out almost all night long in June 2014.

  Using either Spica and Antares – or Saturn in 2014 – you can find two stars in Libra, which, by the way, have two of the best star names in the sky. These two stars in Libra, Zubenelgenubi and Zubeneschamali, sit about midway between Spica and Antares and mark Libra’s place in the heavens. Zuben … what? Click their links to go to posts where you can hear pronunciations of their names, which many have noticed sound a lot like Obi-Wan Kenobi, one of only four characters to appear in all six Star Wars films. Did George Lucas use these stars as inspiration for the character’s name? It would be interesting to know. (ref EarthSky.org, Wikipedia)

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Strawberry Moon

My fingers find the grit of your chin
like the seed-crowded tips
of strawberries we stole and ate in darkness,
popping with complex flavors:

bark mulch, oyster shell, lime, charcoal,
stone releasing the sun’s warmth
at night.

                         ~Erica Goss

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June Full Strawberry Moon

June Full Strawberry Moon (Robin Samiljan)

     This beautiful watercolor by Chicago artist Robin Samiljan is from her collection
A Year of Moons“. Prints are available for purchase at Fine Art America

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Molly Hall ~  

Sagittarius Full Moon

   Molly Hall is chief astrologer at about.com, where she provides both technical and practical insights derived from the positions of the stars and planets. This month Molly writes about the Full Moon in Sagittarius on her about.com astrology site and in this month’s article: Sagittarius Full Moon: “Remedy for ‘Little Me'”. Here are some brief excerpts:

   Bright and sunny Sagittarius is a cure-all for those times when it feels like the walls are closing in. It’s a peak experience in an otherwise flat lining stretch.  And it’s the invigorating influence of meaning when you’re overwhelmed by the deluge of facts, news, distractions.

   A Sagittarius Full moon is one for illuminating visions that can be aligned with your philosophy. It amplifies — or resuscitates — your own spirit for seeing life as an adventure. It’s not an intellectual exercise, since it comes on a moving current, in a fire sign of action.

   It’s the unfurling of consciousness that brings relief from narrow, demoralizing, dystopian ways of seeing.  Researcher David Icke calls this stuckness in the small, the drama of “Little Me.” So a way to peak with the Sagittarius Full Moon is to break through stifling conditioning, and soar with a vision.  That makes it a stellar time to make a Vision Board-Collage.

Sagittarius Moon (crystalinks)

Sagittarius Moon (crystalinks)

   Molly has a lot more helpful and uplifting advice around this full moon. For the complete read, see Sagittarius Full Moon: “Remedy for ‘Little Me'”. Also visit Molly’s front page for more interesting astrology.

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Emily Trinkaus ~ 

Approaching the Sagittarius Full Moon

   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.

Sagittarius Full Moon (collage by Emily)

Sagittarius Full Moon (collage by Emily)

 The full title for Emily’s column for this full moon is: Instinctual Wisdom and Emotional Freedom – Approaching the Sagittarius Full Moon. The full article is worth a look. Here is an excerpt from this refreshingly personal approach to astrology:

   The Full Moon is the emotional peak of the month, when the inner tides of feeling rise to the surface. With so much watery action in the cosmos – three planets turning Retrograde in Water – this Full Moon feels especially emotional (or is it just me??).

   Feisty, fiery Sagittarius is all about expansion – the freedom and excitement of crossing borders and boundaries, growing beyond the limits of the known, and the trust required to take that leap of faith into foreign territory.

The Sagittarius Full Moon asks:

  • Where do you feel inspired to grow and expand?
  • How connected do you feel to your inner guidance?
  • Do you trust your instincts to direct you toward your highest good?
  • What do you tell yourself about your own potential and possibilities?
  • Do your stories inspire you to create a more positive reality, or reinforce your fears and limitations?

Take a peek at Emily’s full article for the rest of the story.

Sagittarius Full Moon (astroshaman)

Sagittarius Full Moon

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   If you especially like 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 by what they encounter here.

   Until the full moon in July,
here’s wishing all of us
a month of fearless adventure and expansion!

~ Moonlight to all,

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A few detail-oriented folks have inquired about my use (or mis-use) of Initial Caps in words like earth, moon, and sun. In the long run, it doesn’t affect understanding; Whether I write ”the President” or “the president”, you still know who I’m referring to. I write “the Northern Hemisphere”, just as you would (correctly) write “the West Coast”; it’s a proper name, and in English we capitalize proper names.

When it comes to suns and moons it can get confusing. There are billions of suns out there; we have given names to more than 40 million of them, ranging from names given in other languages (e.g., Aldebaran), to less fanciful but more utilitarian names, such as HD 140913. The International Astronomical Union (IAU) has decreed that our sun is the only one without such a proper name, although historically and in poesy it’s been called by quite a few.

Similarly for our moon. We’ve christened all of the other 182 moons in our solar system with names – ours is the only one we call the Moon.

Since we capitalize the names of all the other heavenly bodies (even asteroids and comets, for pity’s sake), I feel we ought to show at least as much respect for the ones most important to us. The IAU agrees.

So does Wikipedia. Their Manual of Style says: “The words sun, earth, moon and solar system are capitalized (as proper names) when used in an astronomical context to refer to a specific celestial body (our Sun, Earth, Moon and Solar System): The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System; The Moon orbits the Earth. They are not capitalized when used outside an astronomical context (The sky was clear and the sun felt warm), or when used in a general sense (Io is a moon of Jupiter).”

Sometimes it’s a fine line. If I write “by the light of the silvery moon”, I won’t capitalize it, because I’m referring to an image of the celestial body, not the body itself. By contrast, if I write, “the light from the Sun reflects off the surface of the Moon,” I capitalize both, because I’m referring directly to the celestial bodies.

If you inspect the archives of this blog, you will likely see many instances where I departed from this rule. We’ll call these oversights, and eventually I will correct them. Meanwhile, it’s an interesting challenge just to follow it in new writings. Are we having fun, yet?

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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.
This entry was posted in Astrology, astronomy, Constellations, moon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to June’s Full Strawberry Moon

  1. ScorpionGlow says:

    Greatly detailed post.

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