· By Hayley Jones

The Ultimate Guide To The Moon and Stars For Lunar Lovers

Want to know your Beaver Moon from your Buck Moon? Your Strawberry Moon from your Hay Moon?


Then you are in the right place! We’ve decoded all the elements around the Moon Calendar so you know exactly what you’re looking at and what all the images and names refer to.


We’ll take you through every special Moon of the year, what they’re called, where they got their names from and when they occur.


We’ve even gone so far as to let you know all about Super Moons, Void Moons, Black Moons, Blue Moons, Moonbows, Meteor Showers and Eclipses - everything you need to know about the special Moons and celestial events in one place!


Keep on reading, have your Moon Calendar close to hand and get ready to attune to the Moon!


Traditional Full Moons


Full Moons have been given different names by many cultures, including Native American tribes who used the phases of the moon to keep track of the seasons.


To mark the year and the special context of each, unique names were given to Full Moons to identify different months throughout the year, all of which have relevance to the seasons as well. 

 

January - Wolf Moon

This moon was named Wolf Moon as it is said that villagers could hear the wolves howling with hunger during the cold snowy weather. It is also referred to as ‘The Moon after Yule’. We saw this beautiful Full Moon on 17th January and can look forward to the next one on January 6th 2023.


February  - Snow Moon

As February traditionally has the greatest snowfall, this Full Moon is known as the Snow Moon. Others call it the Hunger Moon, due to the snow making it difficult to hunt for food. This Full Moon fell on 16th February 2022 and we will see the next on February 5th 2023.


March - Crow Moon (Worm Moon)

This is the last Full Moon of Winter. It is named after hearing the crow caw to signal the end of winter. It signifies exploration and discovery. It is also known as the Worm Moon because of the worm trails that can appear as the ground begins to thaw. We saw this Full Moon fall on 18th March 2022 and will see the next on 7th March 2023.


April -  Seed Moon (Pink Moon)

This moon's name is derived from pink wildflowers that grow every Spring. It is also known as the Seed Moon as it is the time when the winds are beginning to pick up and seeds are blown around in the breeze spreading from one area to another. This moon represents the promise of new growth. This beautiful Full Moon fell on 16th April 2022 and we can look forward to the next Pink Moon on 6th April 2023.


May - Flower Moon 

Named after the beautiful blooms that occur during May, the Flower Moon is associated with healing as lots of Native traditions use flower remedies to heal. This Full Moon fell on 16th May 2022 and we will next see it on May 5th 2023.


June - Strawberry Moon

This is the peak harvesting season for strawberries in North America. It is one of the few Full Moons whose traditional name is universal. This moon is a time for growth and new beginnings. It fell on 14th June 2022 and we will see the next Strawberry Moon arrive on 4th June 2023.


July -  Hay Moon (Buck Moon)

Named after the July hay harvest period, it’s also known as the Buck Moon, deriving from male deer shedding their antlers at this time. We saw this Full Moon fall on 13th July 2022 and can enjoy the next Buck Moon on 3rd July 2023.


August - Lightning Moon (Sturgeon Moon)

During the summer heat, electrical storms can be seen, hence the name Lightning Moon. It is also known as the Sturgeon Moon by North American fishing tribes due to the large numbers of freshwater fish that can be found in lakes and rivers at this time. This Full Moon signifies the ending of summer. We can enjoy this Full Moon on 12th August 2022.


September - Harvest moon

This falls around the time of the Autumn Equinox, and is the time of year to gather crops. This bright Full Moon allows farmers to continue to harvest into the night. It will light up the skies on 10th September 2022.


October - Black Moon (Hunters Moon or Blood Moon)

This moon is popularly referred to as Hunters Moon, a time when deer and foxes would be hunted in the now bare fields. Like the September Harvest Moon, it is a very bright moon allowing hunters the opportunity to stalk their prey at night. It is also known as the Blood Moon due to it having a reddish hue. We can enjoy this Full Moon on 9th October.


November - Tree Moon (Beaver Moon)

The origin of the Beaver Moon comes from the setting of beaver traps when beavers are busy building their winter dams. This Full Moon will fall on 8th November 2022.


December - Moon Before Yule (Cold Moon)

This moon precedes the winter solstice and is also known as the ‘Long Night Moon’ for this reason. We can enjoy this Full Moon on 8th December 2022.


The cycle will then begin again with the Wolf Moon on 6th January 2023. 


Super Moons

A Super Moon is when a Full Moon is at its closest point to Earth, it will appear slightly bigger and brighter than a regular Full Moon. The energy at a Super Moon is always high and the effects are felt much more powerfully. This calendar year we will see three Super Moons, June’s Full Moon in Sagittarius, July’s Full Moon in Capricorn and then August's Full Moon in Aquarius. 


Void Moons

A Void Moon makes no aspect (or angle) to a planet so is said to be “void of course”. A Void Moon can slow things down so it’s a good time to recharge/brainstorm rather than starting something new. A time to be cautious with big decisions or deals! A Void Moon can last a few minutes or a few hours and can happen multiple times in a week. These can be found marked in gold around the wheel on this year's Moon Calendar.


Blue Moons

A Blue Moon rarely occurs. It happens when we have a second Full Moon in the same calendar month. It only happens once every 2.72 years hence the saying ‘Once in a Blue Moon’. When this happens we have 13 Full Moons in a year rather than 12. Once every 19 years there can be two Blue Moons in a year. This will happen in the January and March of the year when there is no Full Moon in February. A Blue Moon is associated with mystery and temptation. The next Blue Moon that we will see will be the end of August 2023.



Black Moons

A Black Moon can have several meanings. It can be a month when there is no New Moon in February or a month when there is no Full Moon, again in February. 

A Black Moon can also be when, within a season, there are four New Moons rather than three. In this case it is the third New Moon of the season that is referred to as the Black Moon. The next Black Moon will occur May 19th 2023.




Meteor Showers

What is a meteor shower? …A meteor shower is caused as the Earth passes through debris left over from a passing comet. Most of this debris is no bigger than a grain of sand, but when this debris enters the atmosphere, it disintegrates leaving a display of bright trails in the sky. All meteor showers are marked on the Moon Calendar. To enjoy watching a meteor shower check on the Moon Calendar when it will be at its most active and find the darkest part outdoors. You will need to give your eyes around 20 minutes to adjust to the darkness. Then sit/lay back, keep watch and enjoy! The table below shows each meteor shower and its peak that we will see throughout the year and a bit of background about each one.



Meteor Shower 

Peak Activity. 

Quick Facts

Lyrids 

22nd April 2022

The Lyrid meteor shower is one of the oldest ones on record. At its peak around 18 meteors an hour can be seen. This meteor shower continues for some time but only a few meteors will be visible after the active period. 

Eta Aquarids 

5th May 2022

Eta Aquarii, the brightest star in the Aquarius constellation, gives the shower its name. The Eta Aquarids is one of two meteor showers created by debris from Comet Halley. The best time to spot the show is during the early hours of the morning. 

Delta Aquarids 

Due to reach its peak on the night 29th July, although meteors fly from this shower for a number of weeks.

These meteors radiate from the star Skat aka Delta Aquarii, in the constellation Aquarius the Water Bearer. It will be at its peak during the pre-dawn hours and as it is so close to the New Moon the sky will be completely dark.

Perseids 

12th August 2022

To view this shower at its peak look to the skies just before dawn. It will be a gradual rise of meteors at its peak but will suddenly fall. This meteor shower is a colourful one and one of the most enjoyed meteor showers for the Northern Hemisphere.

Draconids 

8th October 2022

This meteor shower is less active and is best seen in the evening rather than in the early hours like other meteor showers. The meteors originate from a point in the constellation of Draco, hence the name Draconids. 

Orionids 

21st October 2022

This shower is the second meteor shower  due to Halley’s Comet. The time of its peak corresponds with the Waning Crescent Moon so is easier to view and can be seen across the globe. 

Taurids

4th November 2022

This is a slow but long lasting meteor shower with only 5 meteors per hour. It is caused by the Earth travelling through debris left behind by Comet Encke. Due to when the shower peaks some call the meteors ’Halloween Fireballs’

Leonids

17 th November 2022

For this shower, if the conditions are right, fast and bright meteors can be seen. It is called Leonids because the point in the sky where the meteors seem to come from, lies in the constellation Leo. 

Geminids

14th December 2022

One of the best and most reliable showers to view with around 100 meteors an hour radiating from a spot near the bright star Castor in the constellation Gemini. The meteors are unlike other meteor showers as they display multicoloured rather than just white. The Geminids and Quadrantids are the only meteor showers that do not originate from a comet.

Ursids 

21st  December 2022

This meteor shower occurs around Winter Solstice, so you have many hours of darkness to enjoy your stargazing!

Quadrantids

Peaked on the night of 3rd January 2022.

The next Quadrantids Shower will peak again on the 3rd January 2023.

On a clear night you can see around 110 meteors per minute. It is known to be one of the strongest and most consistent meteor showers, peaking for a few hours and radiating from the Big Dipper.



Eclipses 


An eclipse occurs when one celestial object passes into the shadow of another. There are two types of eclipse: lunar and solar. The times and dates of each eclipse are marked around the edge of your Moon Calendar.


Total Solar Eclipse

A Solar Eclipse is when the sun is obscured by the moon and only happens during the New Moon phase of the lunar cycle. As the moon blocks the light of the sun it casts a shadow on part of the earth. 


This shadow creates a path as the earth rotates and is called the ‘path of totality’. To experience total darkness during an eclipse you have to be in the path of totality. A total solar eclipse occurs approximately once every 18 months and will last for around 5-7 minutes. 

Partial Solar Eclipse

A partial solar eclipse takes place when the moon and sun are not perfectly aligned, giving the sun a crescent shape. The amount of sun which will be obscured by the moon will depend on where you are viewing. We saw the last partial solar eclipse on 30th April 2022. 


Total Lunar Eclipse

The lunar eclipse only happens during a Full Moon when the sun, moon and earth are in one straight line, while the moon passes through the darkest part of the earth’s shadow blocking the light of the sun shining on the moon. A total lunar eclipse occurs twice a year and lasts for around an hour. A lunar eclipse can be seen in many more places than a solar eclipse. We saw the last total lunar eclipse on 16th May 2022 and will see another on 8th November. 


Partial Lunar eclipse

A partial lunar eclipse occurs when only part of the earth's shadow covers the Moon. The Earth moves between the sun and moon but they do not perfectly align. A small part of the moon's surface is covered by the darkest, central part of the Earth's shadow called the umbra. The rest of the moon is covered by the outer part of the Earth's shadow called the penumbra.



Moonbows

A moonbow is known as a lunar rainbow. The light reflects from the surface of the moon rather than from the sun. For a moonbow to be created rain must fall opposite the moon. Moonbows are always in the opposite part of the sky from the moon. The ideal time to view a moonbow is around a Full Moon. There are only a few places in the world where you might see a Moonbow - Victoria Falls on the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and Cumberland Falls near Corbin, Kentucky, USA.


Mercury Retrograde

A planet in retrograde means it appears to be moving backwards in orbit although this is just an illusion. As Mercury rules, amongst other things, travel, communication and technology, Mercury Retrograde is commonly viewed as a time period when things can go wrong. A retrograding planet always comes with the flavour of the sign that it is retrograding in. 


You can see where the Mercury retrogrades are happening in 2022 by following the pink line which is marked between the days and dates section of the wheel on your Moon Calendar. 


We have already had two Mercury retrogrades during 2022 and have a further two to endure! The next retrograde begins 9th September until 1st October and then the last one of the year starting 28th December 2022 and ending 18th January 2023.

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