July’s Raspberry Moon

Welcome July Full Moon!

Welcome to Issue 7 of Volume IX of Earth, Moon and Stars!

(click any of these section links that interest you)


   Amidst the hustle and tensions of daily life, I hope you pause – if just for a moment – and look up at the full moon. See what is there for you – perhaps a glimpse into history or connection with the vastness of the universe . . . hopefully tranquility of some sort. (After all, the site where the first humans set foot on the Moon’s surface is called Tranquility Base.)


  The moon will become technically full Sunday July 9 at 04:07 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 a few hours after midnight at the Prime Meridian – as it did last October – Ms. Luna will appear fullest Saturday night to folks west of the Middle East (which will be on the cusp) to the International Date Line. Places east of the cusp to the Date Line will see maximum fullness on Sunday night. But since to an unaided eye she will appear full 24 hours or so either side of technical fullness, you will be able to see what appears to be a full moon three nights in a row. Check Seasonal Calendar below for exact dates/times in some representative time zones, and how to find date and time of exact fullness in your time zone.

   Fruit season at its peak up here in the N Hemis. Find out what’s behind “raspberry” in Moon Names.

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   Out after dark on these warm summer evenings, I’m getting back into looking at stars and constellations. Looming huge and easily recognizable right now is amazing Scorpius, with its show-off star Antares. Catch it when the sky is dark as the moon wanes. Starwatch for details.

   Just another reminder about the  BIG SOLAR ECLIPSE coming in August!
Click Skywatch.

   It’s the first anniversary of my opinion section in this blog! I didn’t know what I was going to feature this month until I heard this song on Pandora. Check out Just Sayin’.

  Cristina in Zodiac Poetry and the astrologers at Dana’s Mooncircles have more personal insights into this Capricorn full moon. Drop in at Astrology to see what inspiration is waiting for you.

  Calvin and Hobbes attempt environmental activism. See Humor.

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Raspberry Moon

   July moon names have an interesting history on this blog. Since 2011 we’ve featured Thunder, Horse, Mead, Peach/Thunder, Hay, and Corn/Squash. And now, just when I thought there would be no more fruit moons, my go-to site for indigenous peoples American Indian Moons tells me that Raspberry was the name used by the Shawnee for the June moon, and by the Ojibwe/Chippewa (Great Lakes and Canada) who called the July moon “aabita-niibino-giizis”. Bonus! (Remember, they were using the moon to demarcate seasons; they weren’t using our Western calendar at the time.)

Raspberry Moon

   But wait! That’s not all . . . A simple search turned up the raspberry moon caladium with its numerous varieties. Who knew? Certainly not moi – another reason I love doing this blog . . .

Raspberry Moon Caladiums
(Flintwood Farms)

Raspberry Moon Caladium Sweethearts
(Miss Smarty Plants)


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Moon Dates and Times

 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

August’s full moon        Monday Aug 7 18:10 UTC; 3:10 pm ADT; 2:10 pm EDT
.                                         Monday Aug 7  11:10 am PDT; 8:10 am HAST; 9:10 pm IDT
.                                         Tuesday Aug 8 2:10 am AWST/PHT; 4:10 am AEST

THE BIG ECLIPSE      The total solar eclipse visible across the United States
.                                        Monday Aug 21 16:48 UTC.  Touches down in the north Pacific Ocean at local sunrise.
                                               (See SKYWATCH)

August’s new moon      Monday Aug 21 18:30 UTC; 3:30 pm ADT; 2:30 pm EDT; 11:30 am PDT
.                                        Monday Aug 21 8:30 am HAST; 9:30 pm IDT
.                                        Tuesday Aug 22 2:30 am AWST/PHT; 4:30 am AEST

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

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   One of the main reasons I began writing about the Moon and stars (back in 2009, when it began as a simple email to friends) was for me: I’ve been fascinated by what’s up there since a little kid. Even though I’ve never owned a telescope, I still want to learn more.

  So a couple of weeks ago I was out for a late night jog. The sky was clear and, being right around the new moon, was very dark. I looked up and there was this very large and discernible “J”- shaped constellation; I realized right away it had to be the scorpion, Scorpius.  I just love the idea that people thousands of years ago looked up and saw the same shape. And they invented stories to go with it.

Scorpius in the night sky (EarthSky)

   But wait — it gets even better. Following the “J” from its stinger (at the bottom) to the top (its claws), I saw this one very red star — not twinkling, but flashing! “Naw,” I thought, “that has to be a plane or a helicopter.” But it didn’t move; a half hour later it was still there, flashing red.

   Yes, it was Antares. Antares means the “rival of Mars”, so called because of its ruddy color (it’s a red giant) and its relative brightness. For the same reasons, it is also known as the Scorpion’s Heart. (Antares doesn’t actually flash; that was just Earth’s atmosphere. But it is very definitely red.)

   Wait for a couple of days after the full moon; since it will rise about 45 minutes later each night, you will have plenty of dark night opportunities for the next two weeks. For more on Scorpius constellation and Scorpio sign, see my July ’14 and November ’14 issues. And for a lot more interesting astronomy details, see EarthSky’s articles on Scorpius and Antares.

Artistic Recreation of the Antares System
(Don Dixon at Los Colores de la Noche)

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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. For details and references, check out the Skywatch sections in my recent May and June issues. 

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Gettin’ My Irish On

   Listening the other night to the Irish ballad station I had just created on Pandora, I heard this song with “moon” in its title that I didn’t didn’t recognize. Just a little research, and I knew it was going into this issue.

The Rising of the Moon (ballad)

   “The Rising of the Moon” is an Irish ballad recounting a battle between the United Irishmen and the British Army during the Irish Rebellion of 1798. This song has been in circulation since around 1865.  Click the photo of the Pikeman monument to hear Na Casaidigh (The Cassidys) sing this song on YouTube. (Be patient with the opening of the video; the song starts at 0:18.)

   For a more energetic rendition, try this performance by the High Kings.

   Here is one stanza of this song:

Oh then, tell me Seán O’Farrell, tell me why you hurry so?
“Hush a bhuachaill, hush and listen”, and his cheeks were all aglow,
“I bear orders from the captain:- get you ready quick and soon
For the pikes must be together by the rising of the moon.”

   As with most Irish ballads, this song is rich and emotional. You can see the full lyrics in the description section beneath the YouTube video or at this Google Play page.

    Staying true to the course I laid out when I began this section, I’m not going to take sides or get into the politics of it. What I want to highlight is the same theme I’ve touted all along – that with all the battles and raging emotions we experience “down here”, it is possible to rise above it and look down from the Moon’s calming perspective. I recommend trying this sometime.

Other “Rising of the Moon” Works

The Wikipedia disambiguation page for Rising of the Moon lists the following interesting similarly-themed works:

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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 Capricorn on Friday (7th) at 17:44. She will remain in Capricorn well past fullness and will begin exiting Capricorn — thus becoming VoC — on Monday (10th) at 02:12. She will remain void for only about three hours when she will enter the next sign, Aquarius, at 05:35. (All times here are UTC~Coordinated Universal Time.)

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Cristina ~  

Photography by Brooke Shaden

Full Moon in Capricorn
Ask the Mountains

   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.

   In her piece this month, Cristina says that the intensity of this full moon has been building up for quite some time, and . . .

The places illuminated by a Full Moon in Capricorn, the fearless, far-seeing sign of the goat, are likely to be already in the spotlight; simply because everything we strive to reach lies on the metaphorical heights symbolized by Capricorn, on the other side of fear, doubt, negligence. Thus, a Full Moon in Capricorn illuminates the area of our chart where we can reap what we have sown.

    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 Capricorn “Ask the Mountains”. Because her style is both pithy and sensitive, I recommend that you set aside some undistracted time to absorb and reflect. 

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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.

Capricorn 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 Capricorn:

  Capricorn Full Moon: Nobody’s Child by April Elliott Kent
“We are tough with each other these days, because the world is tough, and so many of us are nobody’s children, with no soft place to turn to when we have failed or fallen.”

  Capricorn Full Moon: Time for Kindness by Jessica Shepherd
“I bumped my elbow walking out of my office this morning. It hurt.”

  Your most vulnerable month by Dana Gerhardt
“It happens for a few weeks, same time every year. You hit a slump. The wind goes out of your sails and doing what’s usual feels oddly overwhelming.”

  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 — plus more articles and rituals — on the home page of Mooncircles.

Capricorn Full Moon

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Calvin and Hobbes . . .

   . . . houses vs. trees:

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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 August,
here’s wishing you and me and all of us
a month of kindness to ourselves and others.

~ 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; permission, attribution and/or links are provided when applicable or 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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