April’s Broken Snowshoe Moon

Welcome April Full Moon!

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

(click any of these section links)


   Yes – there’s a lot of suffering and drama going on in the world. There’s also a lot of good. My first objective with this blog is to encourage people to lift their heads from their desks and TVs and smartphones and look up. More of my personal opinions, if you’re interested, in my Just Sayin’ section.

   If you’re new here and would like to learn first more about what we’re up to, click on Me to You to jump to my Intro section. (There’s a link there that will take you back to the above table of contents when you are ready.)


  The moon will become technically full Tuesday April 11 at 06:08 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 technical fullness will occur only a few minutes before sunrise at the Prime Meridian, the cusp this time will fall about six hours to the east of the United Kingdom — in the time zone of Pakistan and Kazakhstan. This means the entire Western Hemisphere along with Europe and Africa will see closest to maximum fullness on Monday night, while Tuesday night will be better for Asia and points east to the International Date Line. But note that she will appear full 28 hours or so either side of technical fullness.  Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.

   Dates for Passover and Easter are determined by the full moon. See Celebrations for pics and details.

   Past April issues have featured a variety of more or less standard names for this full moon. This time we’re going with a lesser-known name from the Anishinaabe tradition. Check out Moon Names for more.

Midnight Gold (Roy Gonzalez Tabora)

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   In my opinion section, I depart (somewhat) from the theme of All of Us with a not-so-well-known song from 1946 that’s pertinent to these times. Click on over to my Just Sayin’ opinion section.

  Astrologers Cristina and Tanaaz offer us some heart-centered insight at this full moon in Libra in Astrology.  Some cool pics, too . . .

  In our Humor section, Calvin and Hobbes wax philosophical.

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Moon Dates and Times

April’s full moon          Tuesday Apr 11 06:08 UTC; 9:08 am IDT; 2:08 pm AWST/PHT; 4:08 pm AEST
.                                         Tuesday Apr 11 3:08 am ADT; 2:08 am EDT
.                                         Monday Apr 10 11:08 pm PDT; 8:08 pm HAST

Passover                         Monday April 10 to Tuesday April 18
Easter                              Sunday April 16

April’s new moon        Wednesday Apr 26 12:16 UTC; 3:16 pm IDT; 8:16 pm AWST/PHT; 10:16 pm AEST
.                                        Wednesday Apr 26 9:16 am ADT; 8:16 am EDT; 5:16 am PDT; 2:16 am HAST

May’s full moon           Weds May 10 21:42 UTC; 6:42 pm ADT; 5:42 pm EDT; 2:42 pm PDT; 11:42 am HAST
.                                        Thursday May 11 12:42 am IDT; 5:42 am AWST/PHT; 7:42 am AEST

May’s new moon         Thurs May 25 19:44 UTC; 4:44 pm ADT; 3:44 pm EDT; 12:44 pm PDT; 9:44 am HAST
.                                        Thursday May 25 10:44 pm IDT; 5:44 am AWST/PHT; 7:44 am AEST
.                                        Friday May 26 3:44 am AWST/PHT; 5:44 am AEST

.                               Check Moon Giant to find Full Moon and New Moon times for your local time zone.

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Broken Snowshoe Moon

   As you know, many cultures around the world kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full moon. Most of these names were appropriate for the season in which they occurred and were keyed to the goings-on in their natural environment.

   I think uplifting traditions are important — especially during troubled times — as they link us to thought lineages that, having marinated over time, have refined their wisdom to essentials. That’s one reason I like these various moon names — and not just the popular ones.

   In previous years we’ve featured some of the more common names for the April full moon, such as Pink Moon, Paschal Moon, Geese Return Moon, Wildcat Moon, Egg Moon, and Seed Moon.

   This time I’m pulling a more obscure name and featuring the Broken Snowshoe Moon, so called by people of the various Anishinaabe tribes of the Northeast Woodlands of what is now the United States and Subarctic areas of what is now Canada.


   While many of us in more temperate climes don’t think of snow at this time of year, many further north – especially in Subarctic – are just now digging out from a punishing winter. Although I haven’t found any definitive derivation of this moon name, it is fairly easy to imagine that at this time of year snowshoes were rather worn out, due to a combination of heavy use over a long winter, plus possible extra wear in the early spring due to rocks exposed by the melting snow.

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   The major moon-related celebrations this month include the Jewish festival of Passover and the Christian holiday of Easter. Even though most people in Western countries are familiar with these holidays, I present a brief synopsis of each below, followed by an explanation of how determinations of their calendar dates relate to the moon’s cycle.


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

Moses Parting the Red Sea Under a Full Moon

    As told in Exodus, Moses and his God caused the Red Sea to part so that the Hebrews could escape the Egyptian Pharaoh and begin their journey to the Promised Land. Since then there has been much speculation over how the seas could have parted. Some of the theories involve high tides caused by a full moon. (Okay – it doesn’t take much scrutiny to see that the above picture was pieced together to include the moon, but it will have to do since I couldn’t find a single “natural” pic with Moses and the moon together.)

   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. Basically, though, it’s because the Hebrew calendar, being lunar-based, occasionally adds a “leap-month” in order to keep in line with the seasons. 2016 was such a year, and thus Passover then came a month later than Easter. This year they’re back in line with each other.


Christ the Redeemer and Full Moon (Mount Corcovado, Rio de Janeiro)

   The Christian holiday Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ following his crucifixion, and is the oldest and most important annual religious feast in the Christian liturgical year. In a larger sense, Easter celebrates the triumph of the new life of Spring over the death of Winter, both literally and figuratively.

   The earliest known observance of Easter, called Pasch (derived from the Hebrew pesach for Passover), occurred between the second and fourth centuries. These celebrations commemorated both Jesus’ death and his resurrection at once, whereas today these two events have been split up between Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Using the Moon to Determine the Date for Easter

   For Western churches, Easter is calculated as the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon, which occurs on or after the vernal equinox. If the full moon falls on a Sunday, then Easter is the following Sunday. The holiday can occur anywhere between March 22 and April 25.

   The Western church does not use the actual (i.e., astronomically correct) date for the vernal equinox; instead it uses a fixed date (March 21). And by full moon it does not mean the astronomical full moon but the “ecclesiastical moon”, which is based on tables created by the Church. These constructs allowed the date of Easter to be calculated in advance rather than determined by actual astronomical observances, which at the time were less predictable.

   The Council of Nicaea in 325 established that Easter would be celebrated on Sundays; before then Easter was celebrated on different days in different places in the same year.

   The Eastern Orthodox Church uses the same formula to calculate Easter, but bases the date on the (older) Julian calendar rather than the more contemporary Gregorian calendar that is most widely used today.

   Unlike the Western Church, the Eastern Church sets the date of Easter according to the actual, astronomical full moon and the actual equinox as observed along the meridian of Jerusalem, the site of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. Consequently, both churches only occasionally celebrate Easter on the same day. This was the case in 2014, and they are the same again this year. They won’t be on the same day again until 2025.

The Connection Between Easter and Passover

   The Jewish holiday Passover and the Christian holiday Easter have been intertwined ever since the Last Supper which, according to some versions of the story, was a Passover seder. The Last Supper took place just before the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, thus interlocking the two holidays. The word Pasch (derived from the Hebrew pesach for Passover), came to mean Easter (Pascha) as well.

   Christian celebrations of Easter were originally tied to Jewish celebrations of Passover. Similar to Passover as a celebration by Jews of their deliverance from bondage in Egypt, Easter for Christians is a celebration of deliverance from the bondage of death and sin. Jesus is the Passover sacrifice, and since in some narratives of the Passion the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples is a Passover meal, Easter can be seen as the Christian Passover celebration. Both holidays resonate with the celebration of new/everlasting life.

The Last Supper (by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo)

   For more expanded explanations of dates determination, please see my posts from April 2012 and April 2014.

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A New Thread

   I introduced this section in last July’s issue to offer a more unifying perspective on the troubles and pain we humans continue to inflict on each other. Many poets have expressed how calming the moon can be, due ~ among other things ~ to her perspective from above, her constant blessing of us while we deal with chaos below, and also to her silence. (See Just Sayin’ in last July’s issue for my expansion on this point of view.)

Earth and Moon from space

   This perspective sees all of us as equal passengers on this bright blue marble. You can check out previous issues over there on the right to hear songs I’d found expressing this idea in a variety of styles.

   Now the world is heating up — again. I’m not going to get into taking sides, because I still hew to my oneness outlook – especially if you look at it from the perspective of history. And deeper aspects of my personal outlook help me understand why people do the horrendous things they do.

  But for here right now, I’m just going to share a song that I figured no one would recognize, because it is a Negro spiritual that the Golden Gate Quartet recorded in 1946. However, I discovered that it was re-released a number of times since then, so maybe you have heard of it.

   Just about everyone in the world today is aware of the almost unimaginable destruction and suffering that a World War III would bring. Why, even back in the 60’s, my parents bought a house that happened to have a fallout shelter under the back yard.

   Atom and Evil was first recorded the year following the United States’ exploding two atomic bombs over Japan. While it isn’t saying anything you haven’t heard before, it feels sobering to me to think that that was 71 years ago. 

   Click the image of the record sleeve below to open the YouTube page where you can listen to the Golden Gate Quartet’s original 1946 version of this song:


Atom and Evil
If you don’t break up that romance soon
We’ll all fall down and go boom, boom, (boom), boom!
We’re sitting on the edge of doom.

   Click this Fandom.com page for the full lyrics.

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Moon Travels Through the Zodiac

    Zipping Along. 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.

   Opposition. Because at fullness the Moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the Sun (opposition), it is in the zodiac sign that is opposite the sign that the sun is in. February’s Astrology section has a more detailed explanation.

Moon in Signs and Void of Course

   Technical astrologers call the times while Ms. Luna is in transition from one sign to the next “void of course”. This is considered to be a sort of neither-here-nor-there state, which many people feel as being unsettled or ungrounded. Each astrologer chooses their own method for calculating times of beginning and ending VoC. You can find interesting (though differing) VoC info and tables at Dr. Standley and at Moontracks.

   Referencing the Moontracks table, we find that Ms. Luna entered the sign of Virgo Friday (10th) at 10:07. She will exit Virgo — thus becoming VoC — Monday at 02:36, and will enter the sign of Libra a few hours later at 05:28. (All times here are UT~Universal Time.)

Full Moon in Libra

Cristina ~  

Full Moon in Libra
“Weight of Love”

   Until this past January this space featured Æterna, who hosted a website she called Aeternalight Astrology. Since then, she has dropped the Æterna alias and is now going by her real name — Cristina.

   Cristina is a professional astrologer based in Italy, who also runs her own, new website Zodiac Poetry — “Stars – Heart – Soul”, where her emphasis is on introspection and emotions and her love of words and art. You can read about her in depth on her About Me page.

   For this full moon in Libra, Cristina tells us that this full moon is . . .

. . . heavy. Heavy as in momentous, intense, pivotal, defining – in a way that defies all expectations about Libra’s gracefulness and lightweight clemency. Heavy in the same way the encounter with the Other can be, with its brutally honest way of bringing out the Other in us – the Shadow, the obsession, the self-sabotage. 

   Whew! I wasn’t expecting that! If that got you going, there’s more where it came from. Take a look at Cristina’s full article: Full Moon in Libra – Weight of Love. Because her style is both sensitive and pithy, you will want to set aside some quiet time to take it all in. 

Libra Full Moon

Tanaaz ~  

Intuitive Astrology:
Full Moon in Libra ~ A Time to Focus on the Other

   Tanaaz Chubb is a professional content writer and producer who, among a number of endeavors, manages and directs Forever Conscious – an online holistic community that focuses on spiritual, emotional and physical well-being.

 In her Intuitive Astrology post for this full moon, Tanaaz begins with:

  The April Full Moon falls in the air sign of Libra. Libra is all about partnerships and balance, Libra is all about learning how to see both sides of the coin.
. . .[This] is the perfect time to put yourself in the shoes of someone else. How can you be more compassionate? How can you be of service to the world?

   Hopefully that’s enough to pique your interest into taking a look at Tanaaz’ full article: April Full Moon. And as if that weren’t enough, Tanaaz also offers a Libra Full Moon Ritual for Peace.

   There’s a lot of good material among these two articles – and on other pages on her website as well – so you will want to set aside some quiet time to read and digest.

Full Moon in Libra

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Calvin and Hobbes: The ineluctability of life…

   Calvin waxes philosophical . . . again.

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    Thank you, dear reader, for visiting EM&S this “moonth”. I hope you liked it.

   Here’s a little bit about me and what this blog is about. I’ve been fascinated with astronomy ever since I learned to read. I’m also interested in how objects in the heavens influence people. In this blog I collect facts and folklore (mostly from the Web) about our moon and other sky phenomena.

   If you especially liked something you saw 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. And please don’t be shy about sharing this post with friends if you like it!

   Note that I have a separate post called ARCHIVES which contains a list of all the titles I’ve posted since the inception of this blog. The titles are clickable of course. Easier and more informative than just the dates that appear in the right-side Archives column. (I’m slowly learning more things I can make WordPress do. There’s a lot there!)

   Until the full moon in May,
here’s wishing all of us a month of balance and honesty.

~ Moonlight to all,

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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 the astrologers I feature 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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    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 or compositions (e.g. songs, poetry) appearing on it. Copyrighted works remain the property of their respective owners; attribution and/or links are provided when known. If there is content 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 item 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 astronomy, Constellations, Folklore, moon and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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