April’s “Pesach” Full Moon

Happy April Full Moon!

Welcome to Issue 4 of Volume VIII of Earth, Moon and Stars!

   I’m on vacation in Arizona with my sweetie, so it’s an abbreviated issue this time. Will return to full post next month. In the meantime, I hope you give yourself the gift of  a moon-bath under Ms. Luna’s calming light.

(click any of these section links)

   Feel free to leave a comment (down at the bottom) if you like or dislike anything. I’ll keep your comment private if you ask me to.


   The moon will become full Friday, April 23, at 05:24 UT, correspondingly earlier in time zones west of the Prime Meridian, (Thursday night USA Mountain time zone west to the International Date Line), later in time zones to the east. (See Seasonal Calendar in my December 2014 issue for clarification about UT-Universal Time.)

   Because fullness will occur this time at a wee hour at the Prime Meridian, Ms. Luna will appear fullest on Thursday night to everyone from England west to the Date Line. Western Europeans and Africans will be on the cusp, seeing about equal fullness both Thursday and Friday nights. Further east to the Date Line, Friday night will be the best bet, although to the casual observer both nights will appear about equally full. Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.

   This month I’m naming it the “Pesach” Moon, which I explain below in Moon Names.

   The timing of Passover, like Easter last month, is dependent on the moon’s phases. See Celebrations for details on why Passover is so “late” this year.

   Molly Hall offers us some timely insight for this full moon in Scorpio

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Moon Dates and Times

April’s full moon               Friday April 22 05:24 UT; 1:24 am EDT; 8:24 am IDT
.                                           Friday April 22 1:24 pm AWST/PHT;  3:24 pm AEST
.                                           Thursday April 21 7:24 pm HAST; 10:24 pm PDT
Passover                             Friday April 22 to Saturday April 30
Easter (Greek Orthodox)  Sunday May 1
May’s new moon              Friday May 6 19:29 UT; 3:29 pm EDT; 12:29 pm PDT
.                                          Friday May 6 9:29 am HAST; 10:29 pm IDT;
.                                          Saturday May 7 3:29 am AWST/PHT;  5:29 am AEST
May’s full moon               Saturday May 21 21:15 UT; 5:15 pm EDT; 2:15 pm PDT; 11:15 am HAST
.                                          Sunday May 22 12:15 am IDT; 5:15 am AWST/PHT;  7:15 am AEST
[ref: Moon Phases]

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“Pesach” Moon

Paschal Full Moon (about.com)

   Since last month’s full moon was the Lenten Moon, and since Passover is a month later this year, it seemed only fair that I name this month’s the “Pesach” (Passover, in Hebrew) full moon. The word “Paschal” derives from “Pesach”, but has a technically different meaning. To get yourself un-confused (or more confused?) about these names, take a look at “What Is the Paschal Full Moon?” at about.com.

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   Passover (or Pesach in Hebrew) is a major Jewish festival. It commemorates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt, as recorded in the Book of Exodus in the Torah (the Jewish bible).

  The Hebrew word pesach means “to pass over”. During this eight-day observation, Jews take part in a ritual meal known as a seder, which incorporates the retelling of the story of the Exodus and of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt when the Angel of Death “passed over” the houses of the Israelites.

Using a Moon-Based Calendar to Determine the Start of Passover

  The Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar (lunar/solar) calendar, used in modern times to determine when Jewish holidays occur. The Torah dictates that Passover is to begin at sundown on the evening before the 15th day of the month of Aviv/Abib (now called by its Babylonian name Nisan), which is the first month in the Hebrew calendar. Since each Hebrew month begins on a new moon, Passover always begins on the night of the full moon in Nisan. While this is usually the first full moon following the Spring equinox, it is sometimes the second one.

  The reasons for the “sometimes” are somewhat complex, since they relate to the age-old attempt to keep lunar calendars more or less in line with the seasons. Because the seasons are determined by the Earth’s journey around the Sun, and not in any way by the Moon’s revolution around us, attempts to reconcile solar calendars with lunar calendars have always been approximate at best.

  Whereas the Hebrew calendar was originally observational, based on a number of factors that were used to empirically determine when Spring had actually arrived (for example, when the barley had ripened), this practice ended back in 350 CE when Hillel II standardized the Hebrew calendar to be fixed by mathematical calculation.

Why is Passover “Late” This Year?

   Usually, Passover and Easter are keyed to the same full moon. But because the Hebrew calendar is a lunisolar calendar, an intercalary “leap-month” is inserted every few years to keep the calendar in sync with the seasons. This is one of those years, thus injecting a month’s delay and spotting Passover on the full moon following Easter’s full moon.

That’s a really brief explanation. There are many articles on the Web explaining more details. Here is one at

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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 complete an entire round. This means she spends on average only two and a half days in each zodiac sign. Currently in Libra, she will enter Scorpio tonight, about five hours before technical fullness. She will remain there until Sunday, when she will move on into Sagittarius.

Full moon in Scorpio

Molly Hall ~  

Scorpio Full Moon ~ “Re-Capturing Your Imagination”

   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. For this full moon, Molly takes into account Luna’s position in Scorpio, Sol’s occupation of Taurus, and Neptune’s antics ~ to tell us about the Perilous Sea:

   Scorpio pulls us in to the mysterious depths, with its treacherous and profound shadows. The dark has power, and that makes it daunting, but also a promising night — for deep change and renewal.

   For the full story, click through to Molly’s post “Full Moon in Scorpio ~ Re-Capturing Your Imagination” 

   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.

Farewell to Emily Trinkaus ~ 

   For five years beginning in 2010, Emily was head priestess at Virgo Magic, based in Portland, OR. This past December Emily announced she decided to re-focus her time and attention to other endeavors. She will still continue with energy healer Katie Todd running the Full Moon Priestess website where they conduct monthly Full Moon Galactivation teleclasses for women.

   We have soo appreciated the heart and warmth you have given to Virgo Magic, Emily, and your permission to feature you here. We wish you well in your endeavors. If you, reader, would like to know more about Emily’s evolvement, visit her Virgo Magic website, where she offers a beautiful farewell and an exposition of her plans going forward.

Full Moon in Scorpio

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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 full moon in May, here’s wishing all of us a month of change and renewal!

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

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