February’s Coyote Full Moon

Happy February Full Moon!

Welcome to Issue 1 of Volume VII of Earth, Moon and Stars!


   First off I would like to apologize to everyone who looked for but did not find an issue of Earth Moon and Stars to commemorate the full moon in January.  Believe me, no one was more pained than I; writing this blog every month feeds me in so many ways. As it was, on New Year’s day a little flu bug took over this thing I call my body and thus preempted my publishing the January full moon blog, taking me instead on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride for the next few weeks. Happy to say I’m back in the saddle and was able to get this out, even though at the last minute.


  Ms. Luna became exact full Feb 3 (Tuesday) at 23:09 Universal Time; correspondingly earlier in time zones west of Greenwich, later in time zones to the east. (See discussion in December’s Seasonal Calendar for clarification about Universal Time.)

   Because fullness this time occurred close to midnight in Greenwich, your best bet for viewing fullness is Tuesday night, no matter where you are. As you have noticed if you’ve been watching her, she also appears full to most eyes the night before and the night after. Check Seasonal Calendar below for times in some representative time zones.

  I’m still playing catchup, so we’ll begin our new series next month. This month we’ll keep it simple, highlighting the coyote, the Chinese New Year and our favorite astrologers.

Full moon over snowy woods

Full moon over snowy woods

In this issue:

      • Moon Names ~ Coyote Moon
      • Seasonal Calendar ~ Moon dates and times
      • Chinese New Year
      • Astrology ~ Full Moon in Leo: Celebration | Creative power


February’s Coyote Moon

     As you know (especially if you’ve been following this blog), 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.

   Over the years we have highlighted many moon names related to the weather and plants. This month I thought it would be an interesting change if we looked at an animal. According to the Western Washington University (WWU) website, the Shosone people of the Great Basin call the February full moon the Coyote Moon.

Coyote in full moon (cosmicdream)

Coyote in full moon (cosmicdream)

Desert Moon Song (Schim Schimmel)








Here is a story that the WWU site says is told by the people of the Kalispel Tribe in Idaho:


Coyote and the Moon

“Once there was no Moon for someone had stolen it. The people asked “Who will be the Moon?” The Yellow Fox agreed to give it a try but he was so bright it made the Earth hot at night. Then the people asked Coyote to try and he agreed. The Coyote was a good moon, not too bright – not too dim. But from his vantage point in the sky the Coyote could see what everyone was doing. Whenever he saw someone doing something dishonest he would shout “HEY! That person is stealing meat from the drying racks!” or “HEY! That person is cheating at the moccasin game!” Finally, the people who wished to do things in secret got together and said “Coyote is too nosy. Let’s take him out of the sky.” So someone else became the moon. Coyote can no longer see what everyone else is doing but he still tries to snoop into everyone else’s business.”

   Whats-your-sign.com contributes this description of the Shoshone’s meaning and symbolism of the coyote:

The Shoshoni believed the Coyote was an indication of an ending. The sighting of the Coyote was said to bring natural shifts in balance, causing an end (which, of course, simply makes way for new beginnings, and so on). Essentially, the Coyote is like a “way-maker” of new direction as it went about its symbolic role of representing the cycle of life/death in nature.

(refs Western Washington University, American Indian StarloreWhats-your-sign)


February’s full moon:       Tues Feb 3 23:09 UT; 6:09 pm ET; 3:09 pm PT; 1:09 pm HAST.                                                Weds Feb 4 1:09 am IST; 7:09 am PHT
February’s new moon:     Wednesday February 18 23:47 UT; 6:47 pm ET; 3:47 pm PT
.                                             Wednesday February 18 1:47 pm HAST
.                                             Thursday February 19 1:47 am IST; 7:47 am PHT
March’s full moon:           Thursday March 5 18:06 UT; 1:06 pm ET; 10:06 am PT
.                                             Thursday March 5 8:06 am HAST; 8:06 pm IST
.                                             Friday March 6 2:06 am PHT
Daylight Saving Time       Begins Sunday March 8 (in most USA and Canada locales)
March Equinox                  Friday March 20 (featured in next month’s issue)
Full Solar Eclipse              Friday March 20 (featured in next month’s issue)
.                                                           [Refs: Moon Phases, SeasonsSolar and Lunar Eclipses]

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.                                                                  Chinese New Year  

   The Chinese New Year, officially known as the ‘Spring Festival’, is the most important (and, at 15 days, the longest) of the traditional Chinese holidays. It marks the end of the winter season, analogous to the Western Carnival. The festival begins on the first day of the first month in the traditional Chinese calendar. This is always on a new moon – usually the second new moon after the Winter Solstice, but sometimes the third new moon. (This variability is because the Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. Lunisolar calendars, of which there are quite a few, are all basically lunar calendars. But since the Moon’s cycles aren’t exactly matched with the Earth’s, adjustments need to be inserted in these calendars in order to not get too far out of sync with the seasons.)

Chinese New Year Dragon

Chinese New Year Dragon

   This year the Chinese New Year will fall on February 19 (the new moon) on the Gregorian calendar. It will be the Year of the Wooden Sheep (or Goat according to some — I really don’t know how you can confuse a sheep with a goat). Note that the animal year is determined by Chinese astrological reckoning, which uses a traditional counting system not determined by the Moon. Thus the Chinese astrological Year of the Sheep will begin on February 4. (Are you sufficiently confused? Try the following links for more details.
(refs: Chinese Fortune Calendar,  Travel China Guide10 Chinese New Year Facts )

Chinese New Year Shou Sui

Chinese New Year Shou Sui

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Unlike the Earth – which takes 365+ days to make a complete circuit through the Zodiac – the Moon takes just a month. This means it spends only two days – occasionally three – in each zodiac sign. This Full Moon will be in Leo the Lion on February 3 and 4. 

Molly Hall ~ Molly Hall

Full Moon in Leo – Light for a Dark World

    Molly Hall is chief astrologer at about.com. This month Molly writes about the Full Moon in Leo on her about.com astrology site in her article: “Light for a Dark World, in which she tells us that Leo brings us“…the encouragement to celebrate the unique being that you are.” Here are some brief excerpts from this article:

   [This full moon] is the peak between two Aquarius New Moons, when the stage is set for breakthroughs of all kinds. The extravagant Full Moon energies put a high beam on your special role to play (Leo), for the good of all life (Aquarius).

   This Full Moon illuminates: burning desires; urge to make a mark; artistic longings; the thrill of a romance; who has your heart; the pure play of children.

   It’s a Good Time to:

  • Celebrate, play, party with friends that encourage you to be your most over-the-top self.
  • Give the artist within a signal that you’re “serious” about self-expression.
  • Get away from melodrama, by finding a medium through which to express life’s grand drama.
  • Surround yourself with colors that lift your spirits.
  • Show some playful affection to a friend.
  • Kindle the romance in your life.
  • Take pride in your appearance.
  • Promote yourself and your ideas in a new way.

Full moon in Leo (astrology blogger)

   Molly has a lot more helpful insight around this full moon. For the complete read, click Light for a Dark World.  Also visit Molly’s front page for more interesting astrology.

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Emily Trinkaus ~ Emily Trinkaus

Approaching the Leo 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.

Leo Full Moon Collage by Emily

   The full title of Emily’s column for this full moon is: Refuel Your Creative Power, Re-anchor in Your Heart; it’s definitely worth a look. In it she tells us that this full moon “…calls us back to present time to realign with and re-anchor ourselves in the heart – the part of the body ruled by Leo. “When we are disconnected from the pulse of our heart,” writes Christine Page, “we forget that we are immortal magicians and we readily relinquish our wand and our power.” (2012 and the Galactic Center)

   Emily goes on to say, “Our big assignment for this cycle is to rethink, rework, realign with, restore, etc. our future vision, and to release what’s blocking us from living in the flow of truth, freedom and authenticity. Emily also notes that “Leo is the sign of children and our inner child, and this Full Moon brings us into wounded child territory.”

   So much good stuff! For the full read – which goes into depth and which I highly recommend – click on Refuel Your Creative Power, Re-anchor in Your Heart to visit Emily’s page for this moon.

Leo Full Moon

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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 March, here’s wishing all of us a month of celebration, romance, and creative power!

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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, moon and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to February’s Coyote Full Moon

  1. M M says:

    Welcome back aquarianman, we missed you! Thanks for another great issue. I think this month’s image of the coyote and glorious full moon is elegant and powerful.
    I appreciate all of the energy, research and passion that you invest in each issue of this interesting and unique blog.

    • aquarianman says:

      Thanks, MM. Appreciate your and everyone’s appreciation. I get a lot of satisfaction from doing this. I like that painting, too. It’s “Desert Moon Song” by Schim Schimmel. (Click link beneath the image in the blog.) I’m contacting him to see about getting a print.

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