July’s Full Peaches Thunder Moon

Happy July Super Full Peaches Thunder Moon!

Welcome to Issue 7 of Volume VI of Earth, Moon and Stars!

   The moon will become “exact” full Saturday (12th) at 11:25 Universal Time; correspondingly earlier in time zones west of Greenwich, and later in time zones to the east. See Seasonal Calendar below for times in some representative time zones.

   Since exact fullness is in the morning for the Western world she will appear full for all intents and purposes both Friday and Saturday nights, while to people in Asia and the western Pacific she will appear fullest Saturday night.

In this issue:

            • Moon Names: Peaches and Thunder
            • Seasonal Calendar ~ Moon dates and times)
            • Skywatch ~ Superfullmoon 1 of 3
            • Starwatch ~ Astronomy and Lore of the Zodiac ~ [Cancer and Scorpius]
            • Moon Art – Thunder Moon by Robin Samiljan
            • Astrology ~ Full Moon in Capricorn: Resolve | Commitment


July’s Full Peaches Thunder 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.

    Continuing our fruit theme from last month, we highlight this month the Peaches Moon, so called by the Natchez people who lived during the 16th and 17th centuries in what is now southwestern Mississippi. This name doesn’t require any explanation — the Northern Hemisphere markets are brimming with peaches this time of year. (I recall fondly my first wife baking a peach pie every July.) The Algonquin called this moon the Thunder Moon, since thunderstorms can be frequent at this time of year. (See the Moon Art section later on in this blog for a beautiful Thunder Moon painting.) (ref: Moon Names for a Full Year)

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Moon Dates and Times

July’s full moon:                Saturday July 12 11:25 UTC; 7:25 am EDT; 4:25 am PDT
.                                             Saturday July 12  1:25 am HAST; 2:25 pm IDT; 7:25 pm PHT
July’s new moon:              Saturday July 26 22:42 UTC; 6:42 pm EDT; 3:42 pm PDT
.                                             Saturday July 26 12:42 pm HAST
.                                             Sunday July 27 1:42 am IDT; 6:42 am PHT
August’s full moon:          Sunday August 10 18:10 UTC;  2:10 pm EDT; 11:10 am PDT
.                                            Sunday August 10 8:10 am HAST; 9:10 pm IDT
.                                            Monday August 11 2:10 am PHT

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Super Full Moon

  This full moon will be one of three “super” full moons this year. “Super” here means the Moon in its elliptical orbit will be at or near perigee (closest appraoch to Earth) around the time that it’s full. Thus she will appear slightly larger in diameter – and thus slightly brighter – than usual.

  She was actually “super” (near perigee) at the two new moons in January (1 and 30), but being new rather than full, one would find it difficult to detect this without optical aid. Superfullness will occur again at the full moons of August and September, with August’s seeing the closest approach of the three. As you might suspect, the combo of fullness (that is, opposite the Sun) and relative nearness to Earth means tides around these times will be somewhat more extreme (higher highs, lower lows) than usual. (ref EarthSky)

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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: Cancer

   Cancer “the Crab” is the zodiac constellation we feature this month, because this is the time that the sun is considered to be in this Western (or tropical) astrological sign.

Cancer the Crab (Wikipedia)

Cancer the Crab (Wikipedia)

   Cancer (Latin for “crab”) follows Gemini on the Zodiac, and is the dimmest of these thirteen constellations. 

Cancer Sky Map (Space.com)

Cancer Sky Map (Space.com)

In contrast with astrological timing (see Astrological Sign of the Month below), the sun these days actually passes in front of the constellation Cancer from about July 20 until August 10.
 (ref Space, EarthSky)

   Cancer can’t be seen in July and August because this is when it is on the other side of the Sun from us. As we pointed out in our March issue this year, March is the best time to view Cancer. Early April can also work, but by mid-April it’s getting iffy. (See my March post for viewing details.) (ref Wikipediaearthsky.org, space.com; Field Guide to the Night Sky, National Audubon Society)

The Tropic of Cancer

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (Ms. Kaiter’s Science Class)

   The Tropic of Cancer (or Northern tropic) is defined as the circle of latitude where the sun is directly overhead at (local) noon on the June solstice. It is thus the northernmost latitude (and thus in the Northern hemisphere) where the sun can be directly overhead. (See my feature of the Tropic of Capricorn in my January post.) Its latitude is currently 23° 26′ 14.675″ north of the Equator, but it is very gradually moving southward, currently at the rate of about 15 meters (50 feet) per year.

   Back in 130 BCE the sun actually did appear to be in the constellation Cancer at midsummer, and so its name.  It retains this historical name, even though precession has shifted things, causing the sun to currently appear to be in Taurus at the June solstice. (ref Wikipedia Tropic of Cancer, Wikipedia Circle of latitude)

   (Note: The purpose of the above diagram is to illustrate the general locations of the two tropics, Cancer and Capricorn, with respect to the continents.  Since the tropics are a feature of the physical geography of Earth and not of human political geography, it is not a map, per se, and thus does not include outlines of countries within the continents.)

Astrological Sign of the Month: Cancer

   Cancer (♋) is the fourth astrological sign in the Zodiac, originating from the constellation of the same name. Under the tropical zodiac, the sun transits the sign of Cancer between June 22 and July 21, occupying the span from 90 to 120 degrees in the idealized 360 degree circle.

Stylized Crab (Wikipedia)

Stylized Crab (Wikipedia)

   Greek mythology tells the story of the Twelve Labors of Hercules, the second of which was to slay the nine-headed Lernaean Hydra. Hera, in her unassailable wisdom, thought things were going too easily for Hercules, and so sent Karkinos the crab to distract him and put him at a disadvantage during the battle. But, hey – a mere crab? In one accounting, Hercules took care of Karkinos by kicking it into the sky. Other accounts had Karkinos grabbing onto Hercules’ toe with its claws, which the big guy countered simply by crushing it under his foot. Hera, feeling either grateful for Karkinos’ effort or guilty for his demise, then gave him immortality with an eternal place in the heavens. (ref Wikipedia)

Cancer Symbol (cutehoroscopes)


  While the symbol for Cancer (♋) represents the pincers of a crab, the earliest illustration of this sign resembles most the Egyptian scarab. In the Egyptian records of about 2000 B.C. the constellation of Cancer was described as a Scarabaeus, a sacred emblem of immortality. Symbolically, this sign also marked the resurrection of the Earth from the Great Flood. (birthstones, Constellation of Words, Wikipedia

Egyptian Scarab Geocoin (by cwaddell)

What’s In a Name

   It’s understandably uncomfortable for many people to even ask why a beautiful constellation and astrological sign would have the same name as a horrible and frightening disease. The Oxford online dictionary says that the word comes from Latin for ‘crab or creeping ulcer’, and was applied to the disease because the swollen veins around the tumors resembled the limbs of a crab.

Scorpius in the night sky (EarthSky)

  The zodiac constellation easiest to see right now is Scorpius the Scorpion. (We’ll highlight this constellation when we feature the zodiac sign Scorpio in our November issue.) Scorpius is easy to find: it looks like its namesake. It is also considered to be a major showpiece of the night sky. Just consult the diagram and look to the south around 10pm. Check out the EarthSky article for additional help.

  “As the southernmost constellation of the Zodiac, Scorpius never climbs high in the sky when viewed from mid-northern latitudes (such as the central U.S.), but rather skitters along the horizon, so you need an unobstructed view southward to see this constellation in its entirety. From northern U.S. states and most of Canada, the Scorpion’s tail stays at least partially submerged below the horizon, but its most brilliant star Antares can be seen as far north as southern Alaska.” (EarthSky) In mid-July, Scorpius climbs to its highest point in the sky at about 10 p.m. local daylight time, rising (as do all stars) about one half hour earlier each succeeding week. (ref EarthSky, Wikipedia)

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Full Thunder Moon

Full Thunder 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 ~ Sagittarius Full Moon

    Molly Hall is chief astrologer at about.com. This month Molly has two articles about the Full Moon in Capricorn on her about.com astrology site: “Earthed Changes“, in which she details the themes of this full moon’s themes, and “Capricorn Full Moon in the Houses“, in which she provides forecasts according to the astrological “house” of your birth. Here are some brief excerpts from these two articles:

   Capricorn is the sign of climbing mountains, and being dedicated to what matters deeply. At the Full Moon, we’re drawn into the karma-heavy, rich, musty, earthy caves of the planetary past — and can find the wisdom of the ages there.

   This Full Moon can root you in the home of the Self and surrounds, where you take stock of what you’ve got, and what you need. Capricorn is tough love personified, where no means no. And yes is deep commitment.

   This Full Moon illuminates:  Personal drive, realistic dreams, responsibilities, structure and order, financial dealings, relationship to authority, the power of authority in our lives, social hierarchies, the wisdom of nature.

   The overall forecast is for firming up resolve, and growing in your personal authenticity.  In a time of flabby integrity, the one that is determined to live their values, knows true personal power. 

Capricorn Full Moon

Capricorn Full Moon

   Molly has a lot more helpful insight around this full moon. For the complete reads, click on “Earthed Changes” and “Capricorn Full Moon in the Houses. Also visit Molly’s front page for more interesting astrology.

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Emily Trinkaus ~ Saturday’s High-Pressure Capricorn Full Moon

Capricorn Full Moon (collage by Emily)

Capricorn 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: Commit to Your Goals, Calm the Freak-out – Saturday’s High-Pressure Capricorn Full Moon. The full article is worth a look. Here is a brief synopsis from this refreshingly personal approach to astrology:

   Holy emotional intensity! Feeling the pressure? Feeling the cranky? 2014 is now officially full speed ahead, so let’s start with the basics.

   The Full Moon is in Capricorn – the sign of commitment, responsibility, career and long-term goals. After several months of soul-searching to uncover your true desires, after weighing out all the options, now it’s time to commit, take charge, and get strategic.

          • What’s your bottom-line priority?
          • What’s your plan for getting from where you are to where you want to be?
          • How can you step into more of your authority to create the results you desire?
          • Do you feel secure enough to go after what you want?
          • Do you feel nurtured and fulfilled by your work?

Does the weight of the past – the belief systems of your family or ancestors, old emotional trauma, etc. – hold you back from pursuing your goals? This Full Moon lights up these issues, bringing to awareness what wants to be healed, shifted, or let go of.

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

Full Moon in Capricorn (CosmicPsychic)

Full Moon in Capricorn (CosmicPsychic)

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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 by what they encounter here.

   Until the full moon in August, here’s wishing all of us a month of commitment and integrity!

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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, Mythology and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to July’s Full Peaches Thunder Moon

  1. ScorpionGlow says:

    Excellent post, but the map where you marked Russia as part of Asia is going to be confusing to some.

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