Another full moon approaches, and so we have another opportunity to meditate as we gaze upward to the ‘silver penny’ that smiles down upon us, or extend gratitude, or pause for thought, or go for a walk looking at our moon-shadow.
Full moon. Time to stop.
It’s time to celebrate the wonderful satellite that guides the Earth’s seasons and weather, controls its oceans and tides, that makes life possible on this blue planet, and when one thinks of the Source behind it all, it has a deeply, deeply spiritual dimension.
’The moon is beautiful only when the mind is seeking beauty and the heart is loving.’ Debasish Mridh
Many ancient cultures measured time using the moon and its phases. For instance, to the ancient Hebrew tribes Rosh Chodesh, celebrating the new moon, was an awesome event though its observance waned over the centuries, despite clues to the event in the Torah. And, ofcourse in the West our calendar is still dominated by irregular months imposed by Roman emperors of yesteryear for political and egotistical reasons, rather than for religious or spiritual reasons.
It’s time to reclaim the spiritual.
And, with the spiritual side of the full moon is mind, and although written for the new moon, the following, might be useful as a form of liturgy at this time:
‘Praised be to the moon
as she rises tonight:
a round white pearl
in the velvet earlobe of the world.
Praised be to her light
that fills my empty teacup,
and across the jagged city
strokes your sleeping cheek
as you reach through your dreams…’
Lesléa Newman, part of her contribution to Celebrating The New Moon, edited by Susan Berrin. In the liturgy/poem above the last two lines could be amended to read ‘Strokes my/our sleeping cheek, as you reach through my/our dreams.’
So, this month’s full Moon falls on Tuesday, 29 May 2018 (at 14.19 GMT/UTC) from a UK aspect.
While the moon is officially at its fullest during the day, the rising satellite will provide fine views by night-time, though it may be low in the sky, rising at 9.48pm (from the UK aspect).
The May Full Moon is known by some as the Full Flower or Big Leaf Moon. In medieval England it would have been called the Hare Moon and later on the Milk Moon. Others call it the Grass Moon, and I and a number of latter-day Celts (and others) know it as the Bright Moon. Perhaps you have a special name for this month’s full moon?
’We are all like the bright moon, we still have our darker side’. Kahlil Gibran
The full moon, having a tendency to be so bright that it ‘drowns out’ stars and planets, will, nevertheless share the sky with some of the planets that are visible to the naked eye, such as the planet Venus in the western sky. Those in the Southern Hemisphere will also get views of Venus on that night, though Venus will be lower in the sky.
For the astronomically minded, the moon will be near the cusp of the constellations of Libra and Scorpio, and near the bright, red supergiant star, Antares, some 550 light years away. With its reddish appearance that star can look very much like the planet Mars. Hence, its traditional name Antares which is derived from the Ancient Greek meaning ‘rival to-Ares’ (‘opponent to-Mars’ or ‘ant(i) Ares’).
’May you touch dragonflies and stars, dance with fairies and talk to the moon…’ Unknown
And, for those whose gardening is governed by moon folklore and/or are interested in the rural ways of yesteryear (especially, but not only of Welsh folklore), tt is generally reckoned that lettuce, spinach, grass, cabbage, cress and any leafy plant will thrive if planted now, as energy at this time goes to the leaves.
So, how will you celebrate this wonderful event?
However you mark this event, I ask for the Source of All to bless you and yours at the time of this full moon, Tadhg.
[Many thanks to Pennie Ley for the use of the moon ‘header’ photo above. Copyrighted]