Thursday, June 19, 2008

The Rose Moon of June

We also know this moon as the Litha Moon because it often occurs near Litha (Midsummer or the Summer Solstice as it is variously called), the fleeting festival observance on which the Sun reaches its zenith, seems to stand still for a short time and then begins a slow inexorable tumble toward shorter days and the bracing seasons of autumn and winter. The word solstice means "standing still" or stopping, and the Sun does indeed seem to stand still on the two solstices of the calendar year.

In the northern hemisphere, Litha falls in high summer, and it is the longest day of the year - we tend to think now of the burning intensity and power of the Sun ascendant and not the gentler silver aura of this brightest and most magnificent of all the warm season moons.

When this full moon makes its appearance, we are tending our gardens and thinking ahead to the timeless rhythms of harvesting, gathering in and putting bounty by for the long nights of winter. In the Lanark Highlands, the first harvest of the year is already in progress, and the fields are dappled with great round bales of fragrant hay: timothy (or blue grass), alfalfa and sweet clover. Is there anything on this planet to compare with the delightful and rather spicy fragrance of freshly cut clover?

The corn is growing by leaps and bounds, and fields of barley are "pinking up" nicely. At sunset there are deer and fawns grazing along the shadowed verges of our freshly mown fields, and they are often joined by flocks of wild turkeys. The eggs in the wild turkey nest which we have been watching over hatched out in the last few days, and I can hear turkeys foraging in the high oak groves and expressing their pleasure at the dainties on offer. Our cups and our baskets runneth over with light and abundance and contentment - as long as we don't think about winter, that is.

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, MoonWhen 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, Seventh Moon, Sockeye Moon, Solstice Moon, Strawberry Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Summer Moon, Sun High Moon, Thumb Moon, Turning Moon, Watermelon Moon, Windy Moon

The astronomical Summer Solstice for 2008 (Litha) occurs tomorrow, Friday, June 20, and I wish each and every one of you the blessings of the light.


Kim Antieau said...

Right back, atcha, Sister Cate! I'll be thinking of you tomorrow, as I do every day, with love and deep affection. Happy Solstice!

Big gentle hugs!


Leanne said...

blessed solstice to you too

Leanne x

Lil said...

I too wish you blessing of light and sumptuousness of this solstice Cate! It's Tom's b-day on this day too, and it always makes me smile because I feel like I've truly been blessed by his presence in my life!

Hug Cassie for me wouldcha?!

Love, Lil xo

Anonymous said...

August moon for those big, fat, orange moons in August