Tuesday, June 21, 2016

The Midsummer Moon of June

What else can one call a full moon that falls on the eve of the summer solstice, but the "Midsummer Moon"? This year, no other name will do.

Summer reigns in the northern hemisphere, and we focus our thoughts on Helios ascendant, not the quieter (but no less radiant) Lady Moon lighting our nights in a tapestry of twinkling stars. When June's full moon makes its appearance, we are tending our gardens and thinking ahead to autumnal rhythms of harvesting, gathering and storing, anything at all except winter, cold and long nights.

In the eastern Ontario highlands, corn and oats reach for the sky and fields of barley are "pinking up" nicely.  The first grain harvest of the year is underway, and farm fields are freckled with bales of timothy (blue grass), alfalfa and sweet clover. Is there anything on the planet to compare with the fragrance of freshly cut clover?

Deer graze in the deep shadows along fence lines at dusk, and wild turkeys forage in high oak groves, gabbling their pleasure at the dainties on offer. Our cups are brimming over, but daylight will begin to wane this week, and cooler times will be on their way - we accept their coming of course, but for the moment, our musings are all wrapped up in warmth, sunlight flickering through old trees and birdsong in the overstory.

We also know this moon as the: Bass Moon, Big Mouth Moon, Big Summer Moon, Blackberry Moon, Bulbs Mature Moon, Columbine Moon, Corn Tassels Appear Moon, Dancing Moon, Duckling Moon, Dyan Moon, Egg Hatching Moon, Egg Laying Moon, Egg Moon, Eucalyptus Moon, Fatness Moon, Fish Spoils Easily Moon, Fishing Moon, Flowering Cherry Moon, Full Leaf Moon, Gardening Moon, Green Corn Moon, Hoeing Moon, Honey Moon, Hot Moon, Lady Slipper Moon, Leaf Dark Moon, Litha Moon, Lotus Moon, Lovers' Moon, Mead Moon, Middle of Summer Moon, Midsummer Brightness Moon, Midsummer Moon, Moon of Horses, Moon of Little Fawns, Moon of Making Fat, Moon of Planting, Moon of the Turtle, Moon When Green Grass Is Up, Moon When June Berries Are Ripe, Moon When the Buffalo Bulls Hunt the Cows, Moon When the Hot Weather Begins, Moon When the Leaves Are Dark Green, Moon When the Leaves Come out, Moon When They Hill Indian Corn, Oak Moon, Peony Moon, Planting Moon, Pomegranate Moon, Raspberry Moon, Ripening Moon, Ripening Time Moon, Sixth Moon, Sockeye Moon, Solstice Moon, Strawberry Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Summer Moon, Sun High Moon, Thumb Moon, Turning Moon, Watermelon Moon, Windy Moon.

Happy Litha, happy Midsummer.  May the manifold blessings of light be yours.


Marsha said...

For some reason, everyone around here kept calling it Strawberry Moon, and while that is apt, I also prefer Midsummer Moon for this particular manifestation.

sarah said...

The moon this week has been so full of magic, its been a sacred experience just looking up at night. I call her the midwife moon this month - its winter here, and the sun is being reborn, the hidden plants are being reborn. I have seen "Strawberry Moon" used a lot this week in the media, but to me there are so many more wonderful names for her at midsummer. I love how you gather them here and share them with us.