May’s Siqonomeq Moon

Welcome May Full Moon!

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

(click any of these section links)


   Drama and suffering have been hallmarks of this world for a very long time. There’s also a lot of good. My first objective with this blog has always been to encourage people to lift their heads from their desks and TVs and phones 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 Wednesday May 10 at 21:42 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 this time will occur close to midnight at the Prime Meridian, Ms. Luna will appear fullest on Wednesday night/early Thursday morning almost everywhere on Earth. Folks just west of the International Date Line (Philippines, Australia, etc.) will get an approximately equal show Wednesday and Thursday nights. But note that to an unaided eye she will appear full 24 hours or so either side of technical fullness, so you will be able to see what appears to be a full moon three nights in a row. Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact times in some representative time zones.

   Past May issues have featured a variety of more or less standard names (such as Flower Moon) for this full moon. In keeping with our current penchant for lesser-known names, we turn this month to the Passamaquoddy tradition. Check out Moon Names for the lowdown.

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   The BIG ECLIPSE is coming! We’re giving you another heads up to get ready for August! Click Skywatch.

   It’s Vesak time again – the most important full moon in the Buddhist tradition. Check out Celebrations for pics and details.

   If you’ve been following my opinion section since its inception last July, you’ve seen that I’ve begun to head toward focusing on the future of the Earth. Last month I went back to 1946 for a relevant song. This month it’s an environmental song harking back to 1970. Click Just Sayin’.

  This moon we continue with wonderful Cristina and showcase a fabulous, new (to us, anyway) moon-focused astrologer, Dana Gerhardt. Rather than read any more of my gush here, click Astrology to see what they’ve got for you!

  Continuing with Calvin and Hobbes in our Humor section, though in switching now from astrology to the environment, Calvin is now more philosophical.

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May Flower Moon (Beyond the Fields We Know)

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Moon Dates and Times

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

June’s full moon       Friday June 9 13:10 UTC; 10:10 am ADT; 9:10 am EDT; 6:10 am PDT; 3:10 am HAST
.                                     Friday June 9 4:10 pm IDT; 9:10 pm AWST/PHT; 11:10 pm AEST

June solstice              Wednesday June 21 04:24 UTC; 7:24 am IDT; 12:24 pm AWST/PHT;  2:24 pm AEST
.                                     Wednesday June 21 12:24 am EDT
.                                     Tuesday June 20 9:24 pm PDT; 6:24 pm HAST

June’s new moon     Saturday June 24 02:31 UTC; 5:31 am IDT; 10:31 am AWST/PHT; 12:31 pm AEST
.                                     Friday June 23 11:31 pm ADT; 10:31 pm EDT; 7:31 pm PDT; 4:31 pm HAST

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

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Siqonomeq Moon

   Past May issues have featured a variety of more or less standard names for this full moon, such as hare, flower, frog, blue frog, and milk. Camas was lesser-known, and this month we continue this tradition by turning to the Passamaquoddy peoples, who knew this moon as the siqonomeq moon, which translates to alewife. (ref. Indian Moons by Phil Konstantin.)

Alewife Moon (PBS NOVA)

   Does that look like our Moon? Well, it was close enough to fool Google Images into thinking it was an “astronomical object”. Turns out, though, that it’s a magnified pic of an alewife fish inside its egg prior to hatching.

   The Passamaquoddy are an American Indian/First Nations people who live in northeastern North America, primarily in Maine (United States) and New Brunswick (Canada). They live along the waters of Passamaquoddy Bay and the rivers that flow to it. Their name stems from their word that translates to “pollock-spearer”, reflecting both the importance of fish in their culture and their preferred method of fishing. In addition to pollack, the alewife was an important food source.

Watts Bar alewife (photo by Jim Negus)

   Why did these people name the full moon at this time of year for the alewife fish? Well, the alewife (also called a river herring) is an anadromous fish which, like salmon, smelt, and shad, spawn in fresh water but live the rest of the time in the saltwater ocean. Starting in May and into June, the adult alewives return to their freshwater spawning grounds, causing what we call a “run”. This is an ideal time for birds and humans to pick off as many as they can.

   For more info, check out Maine Alewives, Alewife (Wikipedia), and Scent of an Alewife, which includes a 3 1/2 minute video about the life of this important and fascinating fish.

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   While eclipses of the moon can usually be seen from over a broad range of locations around the Earth, the shadow that the Moon casts during a solar eclipse is, by comparison, very brief and narrow (on the order of 100 miles wide). I’m sure it’ll be all over the news as August 21 gets closer, but now would be a good time for you to start making plans if you want to be in the shadow’s path. See my January issue for details, and Wikipedia’s comprehensive article. Also see The Weather Channel’s page with animation of the shadow and recommendations for five places to consider traveling to. Doing a web search for Solar Eclipse 2017 will get you a plethora of hits.

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   This full moon highlights the Eastern celebration of Wesak (Vesak, Vesākha or Buddha Purnima), at which time people who follow the Buddhist tradition in many countries celebrate the time when the Buddha reached enlightenment; thus regarding this full moon as the most powerful of the year. Sometimes informally called “Buddha’s Birthday”, it actually encompasses the birth, enlightenment (nirvāna), and passing away (parinirvāna) of Gautama Buddha.

Vesak in Malaysia (2016) (by chewlf)

   In Malaysia, this holiday is known as Hari Wesak and is a public holiday. Celebrations begin at dawn where devotees would gather in the various Buddhist temples scattered all around the country.

   Many festivals are held surrounding this day, often beginning days ahead and continuing for days afterward, and always full of color. The actual dates of celebration vary by country and local tradition; many celebrated it last month on the full moon in April. More interesting details at Malaysia Public Holidays and Vesak in Singapore.

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A New Thread

   I introduced this personal opinion 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 especially 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 back to July ’16 over there in the archives on the right to hear songs I’d found expressing this idea in a variety of styles.

   Last month I veered a bit and featured a song from 1946 on the danger of the atom bomb. If we somehow are able to avert WW III, we are still managing to soil our own nest – something other animals don’t do.

  One of my grammar school teachers back in 1953 told us the birch trees in Canada were dying because the annual average temperature there had risen by two degrees. 1953! Two measly degrees?? Pfft! Who cares‽‽


    In 1970 at age 26,  Canadian-born singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell visited Hawaii for the first time and was heartbroken when she saw the stark contrast between the beautiful lush mountains and the asphalt. This led to her composing “Big Yellow Taxi” with the refrain:

Don’t it always seem to go
That you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?
They paved paradise
Put up a parking lot.

   Click this AZ Lyrics page for the full lyrics.

    Click the disc cover image below to hear her singing “Big Yellow Taxi”. A number of versions by her are on YouTube, including this live video, plus a variety of covers that you can find by searching.

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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. But as you might suspect, there are a number of ways of looking at and dealing with a VoC moon. Our most recent astrologer discovery Dana Gerhardt offers this interesting and encouraging outlook: “Fall into the Gap” on her Mooncircles website.   

   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 Scorpio on Tuesday (9th) at 05:00. She will begin exiting Scorpio — thus becoming VoC — at her time of technical fullness: Wednesday at 21:42, remaining void until the next day when she enters the next sign, Sagittarius, at 16:59. (All times here are UTC~Coordinated Universal Time.)

Scorpio Full Moon



   When new friend Diana saw EarthMoonandStars, she said “You’ve got to check out Dana’s website. She’s a professional astrologer whose passion is the moon!” Did someone say “moon”?! I have two reactions when I discover something wonderful that I’ve been looking for: “Wow! How lucky I am!” and “Where have you been hiding?” Well, Dana has been far from hiding – see her mini bio below with a link to her full bio. I guess everything shows up just when it needs to . . .

   Dana Gerhardt is an internationally respected astrologer and a popular columnist with The Mountain Astrologer since 1991. Her ongoing passions are the moon and living the intuitive life. You can read more about her at Dana’s bio. Her website, Mooncircles, is not just a blog by Dana – it is a professionally produced website where Dana features a number of astrologers writing on various approaches and aspects. You will definitely find something to capture your interest.

Scorpio Full Moon

   Rather than just one article, Dana’s website features a number of astrologers who offer a variety of viewpoints. Here are some brief teasers for her offerings at this full moon in Scorpio:

  Scorpio Full Moon: Hades Heart by April Elliott Kent
“I may not have exulted over a madman’s corpse, but I’ve been thrilled…”

  The Scorpio Moon: Thrill of Desire by Jessica Shepherd
“Here’s how I know when fear is a red light and when it’s green…”

  Moonlight Ecstasy: Full Moon Fertility Ritual by Dana Gerhardt
“When your hands feel enlivened, awake, or like they’re vibrating…”

  3-Minute Moon Ritual by Dana Gerhardt
“Imagine above you the round glowing disc of the moon, bathing you…”

 You can access all of the above — and more — on the home page of Mooncircles.

Full Moon in Scorpio

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Cristina ~  

Full Moon in Scorpio

   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 Scorpio, Cristina tells us . . .

. . . this Full Moon in the most occult, secretive sign of the Zodiac is capable of shining a torch into the darkest pit, pushing unspoken feelings, hidden agendas and the overall subtext of our current reality, to the surface.

   Just wanted to throw you that teaser to entice you to take a look at Cristina’s full article: Full Moon in Scorpio – Nightbook. Because her style is both sensitive and pithy, I recommend that you set aside some quiet time to take it all in. 

Full Moon in Scorpio

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Calvin and Hobbes . . .

   . . . on forests and aliens:

   Apropos of this viewpoint, I recently attended a screening of “Racing Extinction“, a 2015 movie that was shown on Discovery Channel around the world. This is a very powerful movie. You can watch selected clips of it on YouTube. This Google search “racing extinction watch online” brings up many outlets where you can purchase, rent, or stream the entire movie, some advertising it for free. 

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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 June,
here’s wishing you and me and all of us
a month of beauty and courage.

~ 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.

6 Responses to May’s Siqonomeq Moon

  1. Susana says:

    Well done, Marty. I must say enjoyed it! I can feel how much your’e
    putting into this. I particularly loved the photos-much illumination. Blessings, Susana

  2. andriasalive says:

    Greetings! Nice to find you and your site, and your very interesting insight’s 🙂 I found you today thru cristina, and like you said somewhere above, “it’s all meant to be” when we find people, teachings, etc! Life! I’ll look forward to reading all around your site, and I send much love and peace your way from australia 🙂 andria @bombo, nsw
    Thank you!!!

    • aquarianman says:

      Thank you, Andria – from all the way Down Under! Happy to hear of the cross-pollination from Cristina’s site! (People find Cristina from my blog, too). Did you know that the moon looks “upside down” from down where you are? I only learned that from researching for this blog! I hope you come and check out EM&S every full moon! ❤️ and ☮ to you, too! ~ Marty

  3. Ima L. says:

    Thanks for another fun and interesting post. I always head to the Moon Names section first.
    Just reading the lyrics to “Big Yellow Taxi” brought Joni Mitchell’s voice back to me in a powerful way. I didn’t even have to click the CD cover image to hear her. Thanks again.

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