June’s Peachy Full Moon

Welcome June Full Moon!

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

(click any of these section links)


   As the lunacy and lunatics in this world are tending to dominate the news – and our consciousnesses – I hope this brief sojourn into the heavens encourages you to turn away briefly from the TV and your phone 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.)

Full moon over Devil’s Chair, illuminated by setting sun (2016 ~Andrew F Peters)

   This photo might not seem remarkable to you at first glance, perhaps because there are so many fantasy manipulated photos of the moon out there. But Andrew Peters took this rare once-in-a-lifetime unretouched photo in the English Shropshire hills in the few moments when the full moon had just risen before the sun had set. This allowed the purple heather – which is in bloom for only four weeks a year – to be shown illuminated in sunset light. You can read more about this photo in this Daily Express article.


  The moon will become technically full Friday June 9 at 13:10 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 this time in the middle of the day at the Prime Meridian – as it did last November – the cusp will again fall around Iceland’s meridian, and thus Ms. Luna will appear there equally full both Thursday and Friday nights. Further west to the International Date Line will see closer to maximum fullness on Thursday night, while Friday night will favor folks east of the cusp. 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, and how to find exact fullness time in your time zone.

   It’s fruit season up here in the N Hemis. Find out who called the June moon a “peach” in Moon Names.

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Full Moon Cityscape (watercolor and pastel ©2014 by Carol Engles)

   The June Solstice in Seasonings.

   When is Midsummer, and what the heck is it anyway? And what is Kupala? Check out Celebrations for details and neat pics.

   The BIG ECLIPSE is coming! We’re giving you another heads up to get ready for August! Annd – to commemorate this event, the USPS has issued a new kind of touch-sensitive stamp. Click Skywatch for the lowdown.

   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 1970 for an environmental song. This month it’s a clever and entertaining 2012 rendition of a 1962 hippies anthem. For some uplifting fun, go to Just Sayin’.

  Cristina in Zodiac Poetry and the astrologers at Dana’s Mooncircles give us top-level insights into this Sagittarius full moon. Head over to Astrology to see what inspiration they’ve got for you.

  Continuing with Calvin and Hobbes in our Humor section, our boys not so humorously bemoan “progress”.

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Peach Moon

   When I checked my back issues, I was surprised to find that I’ve featured only four different names for the June moon: Lotus, Horse, Strawberry (2014 and 2016), and Watermelon. So I figured why break a winning streak – let’s do another fruit! (Okay – for you purists out there, it turns out none of the above is a fruit, but that’s not going to stop me from naming this moon, or from diving deliciously into another watermelon.)

   According to one of my favorite moon name sites, American Indian Moons, the Choctaw named the full moon if it came in early June Hash Takkon, or “moon of peach“.

Peach Moon ©2011 by Medi Belortaja

(To be fair, Mr. Belortaja made this “moon-toon” based on a photograph of an orange moon that is all over the Internet. But I love it as it is in keeping with the photos of strawberry and watermelon moons that we’ve featured in the past.)

   I was pulled to peach moon right away because it reminded me of how the mother of my children would always bake a delicious peach pie at this time of year. And peaches are beginning to show up in the markets, just in time for the summer picnic season up here in the Northern Hemisphere, so let’s par-tay!

I see that I did include “peaches” in the title of my July ’14 issue. But the derivation of this name is different, I’m not sharing it with another name, and besides, I like peaches!

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Moon Dates and Times

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 1:24 am ADT; 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

July’s full moon       Sunday July 9 04:07 UTC; 1:07 am ADT; 2:07 am EDT
.                                    Sunday July 9 7:07 am IDT; 12:07 pm AWST/PHT; 2:07 pm AEST
.                                    Saturday July 8 9:07 pm PDT; 6:07 pm HAST

July’s new moon     Sunday July 23 09:45 UTC; 6:45 am ADT; 5:45 am EDT; 2:45 am PDT
.                                    Sunday July 23 12:45 pm IDT; 5:45 pm AWST/PHT; 7:45 pm AEST
.                                    Saturday July 22 11:45 pm HAST

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

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June Solstice and Midsummer

.   Wednesday the 21st or Tuesday the 20th (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”.)

.   How can the solstice be the middle of summer, when everyone knows that the solstice marks the beginning of summer, right? Well, hang onto your sombrero — you shouldn’t be surprised to learn that, like most confluences of man, nature, and astronomy, there isn’t just one answer . . . nor are they all simple.

   It turns out that people have been talking about the weather and naming seasons for a lonnng time . . . and understandably so, since from the time that our ancestors decided to grow food rather than gather it, they needed some way to know when to plant. Today you can find places where people have carved up the year into two, four, or even six seasons.

Seasons diagram (NOAA)

   The only reason we are even aware of seasons is because of the Earth’s tilt, causing a smooth cycle of warming and cooling as we whip around the Sun. These meteorological trends are gradual — not abruptly stopping or starting on a particular day. But to be able to talk about them, people have demarcated various times in the year to begin a season.

.   Astronomically speaking, one system of reckoning uses the two equinoxes and the two solstices to demarcate four seasons. However, some cultures recognize only two seasons: summer (warm) and winter (not so warm). That’s why Midsummer (as in Shakespeare’s famous “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”) was at the solstice: it was midway between the beginning of summer (the vernal equinox) and the beginning of winter (the autumnal equinox).

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing (William Blake, c. 1786)

     For more details on solstices, along with a neat diagram, check out my June 2014 post “Strawberry Moon“.

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   Midsummer is celebrated in various cultures either on or near the summer solstice. It’s a big deal in all northern European countries, because the longest day of the year (“midnight sun” above the Arctic Circle) signals that the days will now become shorter – so “eat, drink and be merry while ye may!”

   Swedes celebrate with three days of dancing, folk music and wreath making, starting on Midsummer’s Eve, always the third Friday in June (June 23 this year).

Midsummer Dancing in Sweden

   Ukrainians continue a long tradition by celebrating Ivan Kupala Day (also called “Feast of St. John the Baptist”) this year celebrating midsummer beginning on the night of July 6 (over two weeks after the actual solstice, but who’s counting?). For the very interesting history behind this holiday, see the Wikipedia article Kupala Night.

Kupala Night

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   Okay – who hasn’t heard about the coming “eclipse across America”? You can’t say we didn’t warn ya . . . The eclipse this summer will sweep a narrow path across the entire country—the first time this has happened since 1918. 

  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 (on the order of minutes) and narrow (on the order of 100 miles wide). August 21 is getting closer fast, so if you feel this is something you want to do, the time is now to get your plans finalized if you want to be in the shadow’s path.

Total Solar Eclipse (Wikipedia)

    To be real about this, I note here that while the whole event — beginning with the first incursion of the new moon covering the sun — may take over two hours, even if you are standing in the center of the shadow’s path in an ideal location, the time that the image of the sun will be totally covered by the moon will be only a couple of minutes! Is it worth it? It will be to some people, many of whom will be traveling from distant parts of the world to view the spectacle in person.
  But this may not be for everyone; I’ve been directly under two in my lifetime and I don’t need to see another one. But I have to admit that it’s pretty eerie to see complete darkness drop suddenly, and to hear the birds stop their singing – probably wondering what the &*? is going on. For detailed data on hundreds of locations along the shadow’s path, see Eclipse-2017. And for a very helpful interactive map that will show you exact times for any location under the path, visit Xavier Jubier’s Interactive Google Map.
  If you aren’t near the shadow’s path, you can still watch live streaming videos of the event. Check this NASA site for details. See also my January issue for more links and details, and Wikipedia’s comprehensive article. And see The Weather Channel’s page with animation of the shadow and recommendations for five places to consider traveling to. A web search for “Solar Eclipse 2017” will get you a plethora of hits.


   Abra cadabra! ~ On June 20 the US Postal Service will release a first-of-its-kind stamp that changes when you touch it. The Total Eclipse of the Sun Forever stamp, which commemorates the August 21 eclipse, transforms into an image of the Moon from the heat of your finger. The public is asked to share the news on social media using the hashtag #EclipseStamps. (Taken from USPS website.) (Many thanks to reader Ima Lou for the heads-up on this.)

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A New Thread

   This issue marks the twelfth since last July when I began including this personal opinion section. I created it to give me a soap box to spout off from to offer a more unifying perspective on the troubles and pain we humans continue to inflict on each other on this paradise planet. 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’ve found expressing this idea in a variety of styles.

   In April’s issue I veered a bit and featured a song from 1946 on the danger of the atom bomb. Last month I featured Joni Mitchell singing her plaint about what many people call “progress”.

  This month’s pick may not shout “environment”, but it is related ecological commentary. You probably know the song “Little Boxes”, written in 1962 by Malvina Reynolds and popularized by her friend Pete Seeger in 1963, but you probably haven’t heard it done quite like this.

    Walk Off the Earth is one of my favorite groups, and I wanted to introduce you to them in case you haven’t been already. Besides being highly creative and entertaining, they do have the word “Earth” in their name, which pushes them even higher in the rankings for Earth, Moon and Stars.

    “Little Boxes” became quite popular in the ’60s as an anthem for the hippie anti-establishment movement, highlighting a cultural sellout on important values. Here is a sample of Malvina’s lyrics:

Little boxes on the hillside
There’s a pink one and a green one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

   You can find the complete lyrics at this Genius page.

    Click the disc cover image below to watch and listen to WOTE perform their quite hilarious 2012 version on YouTube.

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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 Sagittarius on Wednesday (7th) at 22:59. She will remain in Sagittarius well past fullness and will begin exiting Sagittarius — thus becoming VoC — on Saturday (10th) at 06:20. She will remain void for only about five hours when she will enter the next sign, Capricorn, at 11:36. (All times here are UTC~Coordinated Universal Time.)

Sagittarius Full Moon

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Cristina ~  

Full Moon in Sagittarius
“The Quest for Truth”

   Cristina (formerly known as Æterna) is a professional astrologer based in Italy, who also runs her own 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.

   To tell you the truth, Cristina’s title for her full moon in Sagittarius article is actually “The Eyes of Truth”. But she talks a lot about the hero’s quest, so I altered my title above to reflect that. In her article, Cristina offers us . . .

. . . this Full Moon represents a glimpse of Truth, a revealing push further into the unknown; it’s one or several missing pieces of the broader picture of our lives coming into focus.
I like to think of a Sagittarius plenilune as a moment of epiphany – the disclosure of a revelation, the unfolding of a vision, the finishing line of a lengthy road of trials that previously led us into unfamiliar territory, in search of clarity and emotional Truth.

   I learned a new word ~ plenilune! I guess I could figure it out: pleni ~ a lot of, and lune, the moon, of course. But I had to look it up: merriam-webster.com has a brief entry (dictionary.com doesn’t even list it). Turns out it came straight from the Latin plenilunium (literally “full moon”) directly into Middle English, apparently bypassing French altogether.
   To see what she’s getting at – and for as little or as much insight and detail as you desire – click on over to Cristina’s full article: Full Moon in Sagittarius – The Eyes of Truth. Because her style is both pithy and sensitive, I recommend that you set aside some undistracted time to absorb and reflect. 

Sagittarius full moon (Tanaaz at Forever Conscious)

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   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.

Sagittarius Full Moon

   Rather than just one article, Dana’s website features a number of astrologers who offer a variety of personal viewpoints. (This personal approach is one of the big reasons I like her site.) Here are some brief teasers for her offerings at this full moon in Sagittarius:

  Sagittarius Full Moon: I Married an Alien! by April Elliott Kent
“I was born with Sagittarius, the sign of the foreigner, on the Ascendant of my chart, [and] part of me has always felt that I was born in the wrong place…”

  Sagittarius Full Moon: Strawberry Moon by Jessica Shepherd
“Some days trying to find myself is like trying to find keys in a snowstorm.”

  The Jinn Moon from Mooncircles archives
“During this Sagittarius Full Moon the Jinns are out in full force.”

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

 You can access each article by clicking on its link, or all of the above — and plenty more — on the home page of Mooncircles.

Full Moon in Sagittarius

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Calvin and Hobbes . . .

   . . . heirs to the world:

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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 July,
here’s wishing you and me and all of us
a month of truth and celebration.

~ Moonlight to all!

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   The Earth, Moon and Stars blog is published once each Full Moon with facts and lore about our moon and other sky phenomena that I find interesting. My wish is that you will have fun learning a bit more about heavenly objects, especially 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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  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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Unless otherwise noted, this blog claims no credit for any images or compositions (e.g. art, 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.
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