June’s Watermelon Full Moon

Happy June Full Moon!

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


  The moon will become technically full Tuesday June 2 at 16:19 UTC, correspondingly earlier in time zones west of the Prime Meridian, later in time zones to the east. (See my December 2014 issue for some clarification about UTC and 24-hour time.)

   Because fullness this time will occur in the later afternoon in Greenwich, just about everyone anywhere will see closest to actual fullness on Tuesday night. People in North America and west to the International Date Line will see an apparently full moon Monday night as well. Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.


      • Moon Names ~ Watermelon Moon
      • Seasonal Calendar ~ Moon dates and times
      • Seasonings ~ The June Solstice
      • EM&S in the Affairs of Men ~ The Moon and D-Day
      • The Moon in Song ~ “By the Light of the Silvery Moon”
      • Astrology ~ Full Moon in Sagittarius: Clearing the Old | Illuminating Visions


June’s Watermelon Moon

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

   As with every month, the June full moon was given a variety of names by various Native Americans and peoples around the world. In past June issues we’ve visited “Strawberry”, “Horses”, and “Lotus” moons. You can read about these in the archives over there to the right. This time my interest was piqued by “Watermelon Moon”, the name given by the Natchez people of Mississippi. Let the picnics begin!  (ref: Crone Cronicles, Wikipedia)

Watermelon Moon (Kadath at FreakingNews)

Watermelon Moon (Kadath at FreakingNews)


June’s full moon:            Tuesday June 2 16:19 UT; 12:19 pm EDT; 7:19 pm IDT
.                                           Tuesday June 2 9:19 am PDT; 6:19 am HAST
.                                           Wednesday June 3 12:19 am AWST/PHT
June’s new moon:           Tuesday June 16 14:05 UT; 5:05 pm IDT; 10:05 pm AWST/PHT
.                                           Tuesday June 16 10:05 am EDT; 7:05 am PDT; 4:05 am HAST
June solstice:                   Sunday June 21 16:39 UT; 12:39 pm EDT; 9:39 am PDT
.                                           Sunday June 21 6:39 am HAST; 7:39 pm IDT
.                                           Monday June 22 12:39 am AWST/PHT
July’s 1st full moon:        Thursday July 2 02:19 UT; 5:19 am IDT; 10:19 am AWST/PHT
.                                           Wednesday July 1 10:19 pm EDT; 7:19 pm PDT; 4:19 pm HAST
July’s 2nd full moon:      Friday July 31 10:42 UT; 1:42 pm IDT; 6:42 pm AWST/PHT
.  (a “Blue Moon”)            Friday July 31 6:42 am EDT; 3:42 am PDT; 12:42 am HAST
[Ref: Moon Phases]

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June Solstice

  Sunday the 21st or Monday the 22nd, depending on where you are (see dates and 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”.)

   For some details on solstices, along with a neat diagram, check out last June’s (2014) post “Strawberry Moon“. 

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   First of all, by “affairs of men” I mean all humans – not just adults who happen to be male. Actually, since this is a new section, I intend it as an umbrella to include celestial happenings that affect all life on Earth.


   Younger folks may not be aware of how D-Day, or more accurately the Normandy Invasion (part of Operation Overlord), was pivotal in turning the tide of World War II. And I suspect most folks are not aware of how critical the Moon’s cycle was in determining which day the Allies would invade the beaches of Normandy to wrest control from the Germans.

   The Moon – or more precisely, its position above the Earth – was crucial to the Allies’ plans for the day and hour to invade Normandy. Timing and surprise were key. While the Germans were expecting an invasion attempt and had prepared for it, they didn’t know where or when it would actually come.

   General Eisenhower wanted the light of the full moon so that Allied paratroopers could land around midnight, in advance of an amphibious assault on five Normandy beaches at dawn.

   The tides – which of course are caused primarily by the Moon’s gravitational pull – were also key to the planning and success of the operation. German planners had assumed the Allies would invade at high tide, so as to minimize the distance their troops would have to cross under German fire. They had constructed many thousands of obstacles along the beaches, placed so that many would be submerged at high tide and thus pose a serious threat to Allied landing craft.

“The Atlantic Wall” (The Higher Learning)

   But Allied planners knew about the obstacles and thus chose low tide so that the obstacles would be fully exposed. While this did mean Allied troops would have to cross a longer stretch of beach, at least the landing boats, which were needed for multiple runs for successive waves of troops, wouldn’t be destroyed by obstacles hidden underwater.

German beach obstacles

German beach obstacles

   The wider stretch of beach did mean a greater number of soldiers – especially in the first waves – died on those beaches.

   These two conditions – full moon and low tide at dawn – narrowed the choice of optimal invasion days to just a few. The weather was also dicey, but General Eisenhower knew the clock was ticking and had to pull the trigger soon. So just after midnight on June 6, 1944 – a Tuesday – the aerial attack began. And just before dawn hundreds of Allied ships appeared over the horizon off the coast of Normandy. The liberation of France had begun. Eleven months and many casualties on both sides later, Nazi Germany surrendered.

   You can find much more about this most famous of D-Days, along with photos taken that day, on a variety of websites. Some good ones are Normandy Invasion (Britannica), The Higher Learning, Invasion of Normandy (Wikipedia)D-Day through the eyes of a Coast Guardsman.

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   I tried to resist the urge, but given that it’s June, it was futile. After all, since so many people fought so valiantly to preserve our freedoms, I think we should exercise them.

   As I get on in years – and hopefully not too dotty – I feel a kind of obligation to remind the younger generations of the “good stuff” from yesteryear. So let’s start out with a moon ditty that even many youngsters might know.

By the Light of the Silvery Moon (1909)
music by Gus Edwards, lyrics by Edward Madden

(sung here by Doris Day)

Silvery Moon sheet music cover

Silvery Moon sheet music cover

By the light of the silvery moon,
I want to spoon, to my honey I’ll croon love’s tune,
Honeymoon keep a-shining in June,
Your silvery beams will bring love dreams, we’ll be cuddling soon,
By the silvery moon.

   For the complete lyrics and some background story, this Wikipedia article tells a lot. If you want to  hear it sung by Doris Day, just click below the song’s title, above. And just in case you’re a kid who wants to know what spoon and croon mean, check those (<) links. Ahh, for the good old G-rated days . . .

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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 to make her rounds. This means she spends on average only two and a half days in each zodiac sign. The Moon is currently in Scorpio; she will move into Sagittarius on Monday and remain there while she is full. She will then move into Capricorn on Wednesday.

Molly Hall ~ Molly Hall

Sagittarius Full Moon –  Bright Future

   Molly Hall is chief astrologer at about.com. After last month’s wild ride, Molly has a more joy-filled report this time in her article: Sagittarius Full Moon – Bright Future on her about.com astrology site. Here is a brief distillation from her revealing column for this full moon:

   Bright and sunny Sagittarius is a cure-all for those times when it feels like the walls are closing in. It’s jovial bounce, a peak experience, and an invigorating influence 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, coming on a moving current, in a fire sign of action that brings relief from narrow, demoralizing, dystopian ways of seeing. This is a stellar time to make a Vision Board-Collage.

  In the days leading up to the Full Moon and after, entertain possibilities that give you that tingle inside, the zing of optimism.

   The above is just a sampling from Molly’s article. As per usual, I can’t do her offering justice without including it in its entirety, so I recommend that you click over to her page Sagittarius Full Moon – Bright Future for the full hit.

Diana~Goddess of the Moon (Auntie Moon)

   In addition to her insights around this full moon, Molly offers up the following helpful articles:

 Also visit Molly’s front page for lots more interesting astrology.

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Kate Rose ~  

Full Moon in Sagittarius:
Rock & Roll into New Beginnings

   Discovering that our usual contributor, Emily, is on a well-deserved vacation, I surfed through a number of other sites and chose this time an article by Kate Rose at Elephant Journal. (Since I discovered this only at the last minute, I haven’t checked with her or Waylon yet on permission; I hope it’s okay with them that I include them here.)

Magic of Music  (desktopnexus)

   Kate starts out with: “This full moon…is a reminder that it’s okay if our life currently looks nothing like we thought it would—even compared to how it looked just a few months ago.”

   She informs us that even though “…all the pieces haven’t fallen together (yet), … If we have done the work that we needed to, we are at the point now where everything that no longer was serving our highest self has finally been cleared away.” She then reminds us of that timeless apothegm: “Only once the old is cleared away can the new begin to grow.”

   If you’d like further insight into Sagittarius and more about rockin’ and rollin’ at this Full Moon – you will definitely want to check out Kate’s column Rock & Roll into New Beginnings for the full story. 

Sagittarius Full Moon (astroshaman)

My Personal Take on Astrology

  Some folks have wondered why I have an astrology section in a blog that purports to be “science” oriented. I suppose I could cite ancient cultures in which astronomy and astrology were the domain of the same person. And that a broader way of understanding the aim of science is to expand knowledge (the word science being derived from the Latin word  scīre “to know”). My own sense is that while we humans live in a material world that runs by certain rules of physics, we each experience our lives in this world subjectively. It’s what makes us similar and at the same time unique.
   How much do celestial bodies influence our lives? Certainly the Sun and the Moon have noticeable gravitational effects on water and even rocks. Electromagnetic and particle radiation from the Sun has both obvious and subtle effects on just about everything on this planet. Even moonlight affects plants and animals.  I do not claim to know if or how much these and other celestial bodies affect us directly, but I like the wisdom, warmth and humanness that Molly and Emily express in their writing, and believe that including them not only expands my potential audience, but also exposes folks to ways of thinking about their own lives that they might not have otherwise considered. Let me know your take on this. I won’t make your comment public if you ask me not to.

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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 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. 

  Until that first full moon in July, here’s wishing all of us a month of clearing the old and illuminating our visions!

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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 to 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 June’s Watermelon Full Moon

  1. cyndilavin says:

    As usual, wonderful information 🙂

    • aquarianman says:

      Thank you, Cyndi – glad you are enjoying it. Whenever I look at your handiwork, I am amazed at not only how beautiful it is, but also its wide variety. And you’re raising kids, too?!

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