Calling the Moon by Name

A couple of nights ago I was thumbing through my copy of Ann Moura’s Grimoire for the Green Witch (a recent acquisition), and I opened to a list of names for the twelve full moons of the year. I’ve always rather liked the idea of having names for the moons – both to set them apart from one another, and also so that I can welcome them with some sense of familiarity.  So I decided to look through all the variations on this list I could find and filter them down to a set of names of my own that would correspond with the changing seasons as I experience them.

While I was working on this, a couple of complications arose.  First, there was the issue of the Blue Moon, which I grew up believing to be the second full moon in any calendar month, but which apparently originally referred to the third moon in any season with four full moons.  (It seems the Farmer’s Almanac utilized this rule to accommodate the convention of naming the moons by season, as in “early-summer,” “mid-summer,” and “late-summer” moons.)  Misconception as it may have been, the designation of the Blue Moon by calendar month better suits a list of twelve names, so I have resolved to embrace the error of my ways in that regard.

Second, I wondered about names for the new moons in each month.  Rather than separate them, I am inclined to have the full moon name apply to all of the phases of that cycle, from new moon to waning crescent.  This may be a bit of a challenge, since our calendar is a solar one and there will be overlap from month to month, but hopefully worth the effort.  I also learned from Ann Moura’s list that there is a name for the second Dark Moon in any calendar month.  She calls it the Sidhe (‘Shee’) Moon.  Since I don’t feel much connection with the Celtic traditions, I prefer to call this the Shadow Moon.

So!  Here is my list of possible moon names as it stands so far.  The first moon would be that just before Yule.

  1. Long Night Moon (December)
  2. Wolf Moon (January)
  3. Ice Moon (February)
  4. Crow Moon (March)
  5. Rain Moon (April)
  6. Flower Moon (May)
  7. Honey Rose Moon (June)
  8. Thunder Moon (July)
  9. Full Grain Moon (August)
  10. Harvest Moon (September)
  11. Hunter’s Moon (October)
  12. Frost Moon (November)

Tonight the fading light of the Corn/Grain Moon becomes dimmer, and in a few days the Harvest Moon will start to grow, and I will smile and call them by name.

Love,
arrow

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