July’s Full Hay Moon

Happy July’s ‘First’ Full Moon!

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



  The moon will become exact full July 2 (Thursday) at 02:19 UT (Universal Time); correspondingly earlier in time zones west of the Prime Meridian, later in time zones to the east. (See this past December’s Seasonal Calendar for clarification about Universal Time.)

   Because fullness this time will occur at a wee hour Thursday morning UT, just about everyone anywhere will see closest to actual fullness on Wednesday night. People in the Philippines, Western Australia and Southeast Asia are on the cusp this time and will see an approximately full moon on both Wednesday and Thursday nights. Eastern Australia, New Zealand and all lands east to the Date Line will see a fuller moon on Thursday night. Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.

   Why “first” full moon? Because this July we’ll have two full moons. We’ll talk some about this and other “blue moons” in our next post at the end of the month.

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July’s Full Hay 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 July full moon was given a variety of names by various Native Americans and peoples around the world. In past July issues we’ve visited “Peaches”, “Thunder”, and “Mead” moons; you can read about these in the archives over there to the right. This time we’re taking a look at the Full Hay Moon. As you might suspect, this moniker became common because this is the time of year that hay is harvested and baled for the winter.  (ref: Crone Cronicles, Space.com)

Full Hay Moon

Full Hay Moon Outside Shot Photography)

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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 new moon:        Thursday July 16 01:25 UT; 4:25 am IDT; 9:25 am AWST/PHT
.                                       Wednesday July 15 9:25 pm EDT; 6:25 pm PDT; 3:25 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
August’s new moon:    Friday August 14 14:54 UT; 5:54 pm IDT; 10:54 pm AWST/PHT
.                                        Friday August 14 10:54 am EDT; 7:54 am PDT; 4:54 am HAST
[ref: Moon Phases]

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Claude Monet’s Haystacks

  From the end of summer of 1890 and continuing through the following spring, Claude Monet made twenty-five paintings of stacks of hay in the field after the harvest season ~ among his most notable works. In a manner similar to his series treatment of the Cathedral at Rouen, he repeated the same subject, showing differences as the light changed across times of day, seasons, and types of weather. Monet painted the haystacks in fields near his home in Giverny, France. (ref: Wikipedia)

Haystacks at Giverny (1884)

Haystacks at Giverny by Claude Monet (1884)

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The Sky Down Under

   While most of my readers call the Northern Hemisphere their home, a few reside below the Equator. So I wondered how the night sky looks to them.

The Moon Down Under

   I have known for a long time that there are constellations and parts of the sky that most of us in the Northern Hemisphere can’t see because they are below the southern horizon, which of course is a function of the latitude where you are. Constellations such as the Southern Cross are difficult if not impossible to see from most northern latitudes. (We’ll treat the Southern Cross in a future post.)

   But it never occurred to me that the sky that can be seen from both hemispheres might look different depending on which hemisphere you happened to be looking up from. Let’s start with the moon.

Moon as seen from the Southern Hemisphere © Paul Stewart and http://www.upsidedownastronomer.com

Moon as seen from the Northern Hemisphere © Paul Stewart and http://www.upsidedownastronomer.com

     Those dark splotches are called lunar “maria” (singular: mare), which is Latin for “seas”, so called by early astronomers who thought they were actual bodies of water. We now know they are large, dark, basaltic plains, formed by ancient volcanic eruptions.  (ref: Wikipedia “Lunar mare”)

   An easy way to orient yourself to an image of the Moon is by imagining it as a melon and looking for its “belly button”. That small, bright, circular area with bright radiating lines is the relatively young crater Tycho. (There is controversy over the origin of Tycho, which we’ll take up in a future post.) (ref: Wikipedia “Tycho”)

   Tycho is near the Moon’s south pole. (North and south on the Moon correspond to north and south on the Earth.) So when looking up at a full moon, people in the Northern Hemisphere see Tycho at the “bottom”. However, people in the Southern Hemisphere see Tycho at the “top”.

   I pondered this and finally came up with what seemed like a simple way of thinking about this. Imagine yourself as a paper cutout stuck with a large toothpick into a globe at the North Pole. Now imagine your friend stuck into the South Pole.

Friends holding hands around the world (©2014 ClipartPanda.com)

Friends holding hands around the world (©2014 ClipartPanda.com)

   The two of you basically have your heads pointing in opposite directions; you consider your friend to be “upside-down”, while they likewise consider you to be “upside-down”. You would have to stand on your head to point the same way they are pointing.

   So basically we’re all looking at the same Moon, just from different perspectives. We’ll take a look at more from the Southern Hemisphere in future posts.

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   Now that I started this new section, I guess I’m going to keep it going until/unless I get “stop already!” from a lot of readers. Who knows what will turn up. (You can send your suggestions/requests via the comment feature at the bottom of the post.)

   Here’s another oldie. After all, they don’t make ’em like they used to.  (We’ll do newies, too, as we go on.) 

(On) Moonlight Bay (1912)
music by Percy Wenrich, lyrics by Edward Madden

(here is the original, sung by Bill Murray and the American Quartet – 1912)
(here is an updated version, sung by the Mills Brothers – 1940)
(and here is an even newer version, sung by Bing & Gary Crosby – 1951)

Moonlight Bay sheet music cover

We were sailing along
On Moonlight Bay
We could hear the voices ringing
They seemed to say:
“You have stolen her heart”
“Now don’t go ‘way!”
As we sang love’s old sweet song
On Moonlight Bay

   Did you happen to notice that the lyricist guy here was the same who wrote last month’s featured song, “Silvery Moon”? You might say that Edward Madden was kinda lun-y. For the complete lyrics and some background story, check out this Wikipedia article. If you want to  hear it sung, I provide links to three different renditions below the song’s title, above. 

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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, then into Capricorn on Wednesday and remain there while she is full. She will move into Aquarius on Friday.

Molly Hall ~ Molly Hall

Capricorn Full Moon –  Earthed Changes

   Molly Hall is chief astrologer at about.com. After last month’s joy ride, Molly has a report of a more erratic nature this time in her article: Capricorn Full Moon – Earthed Changes on her about.com astrology site. Here is a brief distillation from her extensive column for this full moon:

   This lunar peak on July 1st could set off fireworks in the days leading up to America’s celebration of Independence. Emotions could hit extremes of both highs and lows, and everything in between, with quick, inexplicably loony shifts.

   Overall, Molly says, the 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. What’s standing out here, is that it’s one to lift out buried treasures within. And to unlock hidden pockets of pure creativity and vitality.

   She goes on with specific advice, such as: Beware of family feuds and the age-old trick of divide-and-conquer, and gives us a list to consider what this full moon is illuminating that includes:

  • Habits of pacing yourself and fortifying a healthy physical constitution.
  • Staying human in a time of fear.
  • Living your values.
  • Finding ground to stand on with realistic plans.
  • Rooting in what’s substantial.

   Molly’s article is quite extensive this month; the above is just a sampling. As per usual, I can’t do her offering justice without including it in its entirety, so if any of the above calls to you, I recommend that you click over to her page Capricorn Full Moon – Earthed Changes for the full hit. You can also look up what this full moon portends for your specific birth sign further down in the article at Capricorn Full Moon in the Houses.

Girl and Fantasy Moon

Girl and Fantasy Moon

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

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

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Emily Trinkaus ~ Emily Trinkaus

Full Moon in Capricorn ~ Radical Restructuring

   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.

collage by Emily

   The full title of Emily’s column for this full moon is: Radical Restructuring; it’s definitely worth a look. Emily warns us this is an emotionally volatile, high-pressure Full Moon, and asks: Are you feeling the freak-out?

   Apparently Pluto is getting into the act this time with a conjunction, suggesting, “. . . there might be something you need to transform, restructure or completely let go of in order to honor your deepest, soul-level commitments.

   Emily notes that, “The Cancer-Capricorn polarity specifically focuses attention on the balance and integration of your inner and outer lives,” and goes on to ask in her typically probing manner, “Do you feel nurtured and fulfilled by your work? Do you have the root system/home base you need to support you in pursuing your goals? Does the weight of the past – what you inherited from your family and ancestors, old emotional trauma, etc. – hold you back from going after what you really want? The Capricorn Full Moon makes clear what’s working, what’s not, and what’s ready to shift.

   Lots more where the above came from, so if you’d like further insight into the astrological effects of the stars and planets at this Full Moon – including forces urging radical restructuring and reorganizing – you will definitely want to check out Emily’s column Radical Restructuring for the full story.

Capricorn Full Moon

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 the coming second “blue” moon at the end of July, here’s wishing all of us independence from the past and emotional stability!

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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.
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