Ephemera: Shine On Harvest Moon [This Month’s Full Moon & More]


It’s nearly the time of the full moon.

In the city, the moon’s light is often ‘drowned out’ by street lights and neon, but my encouragement (to you and myself) is to make time to see the moon, really see it, to take a purposeful walk in the moonlight, and look upon it.

It’s time to gaze upwards at the face that beams down at us. Time to be in awe of creation. Yes, on Friday, 16 September 2016, there’s a full moon in the constellation of Aquarius.

Ofcourse, to ancient cultures and tribes the Moon played a great part in religious life, determining the calendar, and in daily life.

To ancient and latter-day Celts, Christians, and Druids it remains very significant.

Praised be You, my Lord, through Sister Moon and the stars,
In the heavens you have made them bright, precious and fair.
(Canticle of Brother Sun and Sister Moon, Francis of Assisi)

To ancient Welsh Celts the moon was personified as Arianrhod (pronounced ah-ree-ahn-rhohd. From ‘arian’, meaning silver, and ‘rhod’ meaning wheel’ or ‘disc.

Known to some as the Harvest moon or the Barley moon. To others, it is known as the ‘Moon When the Plums Are Scarlet’ by the Lakota Sioux , the ‘Moon When the Deer Paw the Earth’ by the Omaha Native Americans, and the ‘Moon When the Calves Grow Hair’ by the Sioux Native Americans, so I’m informed.

To ancient and latter-day Celts, and Druids it is (usually) known as the Singing Moon.

Those are the same stars, and that is the same moon, that look down upon your  brothers and sisters, and which they see as they look up to them, though they  are ever so far away from us, and each other.
(Sojourner Truth)

There will also be a partial – a penumbral – eclipse of the Moon that day, but visible (mainly) from Europe, Africa, Asia and Australasia. It is thought ancient Celts welcomed such lunar eclipses seeing them as ‘good signs’.

A total lunar eclipse was called a ‘blood moon’ because of its red hue as the Earth’s shadow obscured the moon. But, this will be a partial lunar eclipse, but may, nevertheless, be tinged with a little red. Have a look?

What can we gain by sailing to the moon if we are not able to cross the abyss  that separates us from ourselves? This is the most important of all voyages of  discovery, and without it, all the rest are not only useless, but disastrous.
(Thomas Merton)

Some might call this a ‘super moon’ as it is closer to usual in its orbit around the Earth, at about 362,000km.  And, it may look even larger, if you view it and it is close to the horizon – an illusion known since ancient times. Ptolemy attempted to explain this illusion by way of atmospheric refraction in his work the ‘Almagest’. And, if you really want to impress your friends, this type of illusion (though, not only applied to the Moon) is called the Ebbinghaus illusion.


So, as we gaze at this month’s full moon, it’s time for us to pause for a short while, to give thanks and maybe recite a prayer, to ponder in awe at the majesty of creation and the Moon-Maker behind it all.

Wishing many blessings to you, and those whom you love, at this time of the Singing Moon.




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