December’s Full Moon

zzz File 2015 12 18-12-2015, 13 16 42 copyThose that know me well will know that I’m an amateur astronomer, and nothing fascinates me more than the stars, planets, the moon and the seasons. So, it’s time to get the (Meade) telescope out, the binoculars if you have them, or the naked eye to reveal the wonder of the full moon as it gazes down on us the December.

Christmas Day sees the last full moon of the calendar year. The last time there was a full moon on Christmas Day was back in 1977 (when Jimmy Carter was President of the USA, and James Callaghan was Prime Minister of the UK), though there have been some ‘near misses’ when a full moon occurred on Christmas Eve or Boxing Day and looked ‘full’ on Christmas Day, but wasn’t). It won’t happen again until 2034.

And, ofcourse the full moon will almost be complete (about 88% full) in time for the day of the Winter Solstice, though the moon for that day will be in the constellation of Aries.gemini Urania's_Mirror_-_GeminiThis full moon on 25 Decembers at 7pm (GMT) will be in another constellation, having crossed into the constellation of Gemini, the twins, Castor and Pollux. In Greek mythology Castor was the son of Tyndareus (who was king of Sparta), and Pollux was the son of Zeus. When Castor died, Pollux begged Zeus to confer immortality on Castor, and as a result Zeus elevated Castor to the stars, when he looks down upon us even now.

‘Each night, the moon kisses secretly the lover who counts the stars.’ Rumi

To me and latter day Celts, this full moon in December is the Cold Moon, though others call it the Oak Moon.

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