What’s in a Full Moon Name?
Full moons have always been an important event in the world. They have been associated with harvests, festivals, rituals, and even mental stability! There are typically 12 Full Moon Names given in one calendar year. Many cultures, across time, have given each full moon a name and we often see people using those same names in the world today. In ancient times, tracking the changing of the seasons was commonly done by following a lunar month rather than following a solar year, which is currently based on our modern calendar.
Full Moon’s for 2021
Jan 28 Wolf Moon:
This is the very first full moon of the new year. Many cultures know this moon as the Full Wolf Moon. Its name seems to have originated from the many howling wolves that occur during this time as breeding season begins for wolves, and they become much louder and more aggressive to establish territories and breeding areas. The Almanac states that the Wolf Moon is a Native American name, other resources claim that its origin is from Anglo-Saxon. The Saxon word for January is Wulf-monath or Wolf Month. This moon is also referred to as the Moon After Yule, since this full moon was usually the first full moon after Christmas.
Feb 27 Snow Moon:
Snow moon was appropriately named as February is typically the coldest and snowiest weather in North America, so this moon was named after the snowy conditions during this time. Other common names are Hunger Moon or Storm Moon. Native Americans called it the Hunger Moon because during this time of year food was hard to come by. The Cherokee tribe called this a Bone Moon, at this stage in the season, food was getting scarce, so people were seen gnawing on bones and cooking bone marrow soup to survive the harsh winter.
Mar 28 Worm Moon:
Worm Moon occurs in the month of May. Other names for this moon include, chaste, death, crust, and sap moon. Native Americans called this moon worm moon, for the reason that, as the temperatures would begin to rise, the snow would melt, and the earth would become muddy and in turn worm trails could be seen in the earth. However, this was only used by Southern Native Tribes because earth worms did not exist in Northern America, they were brought in by colonists and are an invasive species. So, the more common name in Northern America was Sap Moon. It served as a reminder that the tribes could start tapping for maple syrup. In 2021, this will be a Super Worm Moon.
April 27 Full Pink Moon:
This name can be accredited to Northern Native American’s after the growth of Moss pink, or creeping phlox. Creeping phlox is a common little pink flower that spreads across the ground. This moon will also be a supermoon; Super Pink Moon. Other cultures have named this moon, Egg Moon, Fish Moon and Sprouting Grass Moon. The Comanche tribe called it the New Spring Moon and Sioux tribes also referred to it as Budding Moon. It seems to be all about growth and flourishing in this month!
May 26 Flower Moon:
Another Super Moon will be upon us in May; the Super Flower Moon, which gets its name due to Spring being in full bloom at this point. This was also a point in time when corn should be planted, so another name for this is Corn Planting Moon. Other names include Hare Moon and Milk Moon. The Anishinaabe tribe called this Blossom Moon. Pagans associated this full moon with the elemental fire and began to celebrate it by lighting bonfires and performing magickal fire rituals to bring on prosperity.
Jun 24 Strawberry Moon:
Another beautiful super moon this month! Super Strawberry Moon, which gets its name because in North America, wild strawberries are ready to be harvested and are at their peak during this time of the season. Other cultures have deemed it Rose Moon or Hot Moon. Anglo-Saxon named it Mead Moon; due to the fact it was time to begin the mowing of the meadows. Around every 20 years, the Strawberry Moon coincides with the summer solstice. Pagans call June’s full moon the Lover’s Moon. A perfect time in the season to show love, connections, intimacy, and romance. In Europe, this moon is known as the Honey Moon. In Europe it is traditional to gift mead or honey to newly married couples. The name honey moon itself is a common English phase that is used when newlyweds go on vacation, hence the word Honeymoon.
Jul 24 Thunder Moon:/Buck Moon
Thunder Moon was named this due to the frequent thunderstorms that would roll through during early summer. Buck Moon because every year, the male deer shed their antlers, and they begin to grow back in July. Other known names for this moon in July are, Hay, & Wort Moon. Hay is typically harvested in July and it was also a time known to gather herbs (worts) to dry and use as herbal remedies or spices. Hay Moon and Wort Moon are said to be named by the Anglo-Saxon.
Aug 22 Sturgeon Moon:
During this time of the year many sturgeons would appear, so the North American fishing tribes deemed this moon with the name Sturgeon Moon. This moon often takes on a reddish hue due to the hot and hazy summers, so some have called this the Red Moon. Other names are The Grain Moon, and Green Corn Moon. For the Ojibwe, this moon often marked the season to harvest wild rice. In 2021 we are expected to have a Seasonal Blue Moon; this will be the third of four full moons in a single season.
Sept 20 Harvest Moon/Corn Moon:
The full moon that arrives closest to the September Equinox is branded with the name Harvest Moon. The strong light of the Harvest Moon allowed Farmers to work later into the night to harvest their final crops of the year. Most years this occurs in September but every three years or so, it occurs in October. Other Native American names for this moon is Corn Moon or Barley Moon. In 2021 September’s full moon will be called the Harvest Moon. It will be the last full moon of the summer instead of the first full moon of fall – yet still closest to the equinox. Whew! That can be confusing!
Oct 20 Hunter’s Moon:
This is commonly the preferred month to hunt, as deer have been grazing all summer long, so they are nice and plump. Other animals can’t hide as well due to the fallen leaves and barren landscapes. This moon is often very bright, giving hunter’s even more opportunity to hunt their prey at night with more ease. A few other known names are Travel Moon and Dying Grass Moon. In 2020 we were blessed with two full moons in October. The second Full Moon was named Blue Moon; this is when two full moons happen in one calendar month. Neo Pagans have called the October moon, Blood Moon. It is a special time for Pagans as it’s recognizing a new year (the witch’s new year) or changing in the seasons. This moon typically occurs around Samhain (Sow-in), a perfect time to contact dead loved ones while the veil is thinning. We were lucky to have a full moon land on Halloween in 2020. The next time that will happen will not be until 2035!
Nov 19 Beaver Moon:
During this time in November most animals begin to prepare their dens for the winter freeze. Beavers could be seen all along the riverbanks collecting wood to secure their homes before the ice settled in. Native American tribes and European settlers would set beaver traps to make sure they had a plentiful supply of furs for the winter months ahead. Traditionally, if Beaver Moon is the last full moon before the winter solstice, it can also be known as Mourning Moon. Pagan’s took on the name Mourning moon, as it’s the final stage of their winter preparations. A beautiful time to let go of things that no longer serve you while giving yourself permission to mourn those things. Other names include Frosty Moon, and some called it Oak Moon, which in certain cultures, the December full moon can also be known by Oak Moon as well.
Dec 19 Cold Moon:
The Northern Hemisphere is where winter months begin. Early Native American tribes call it the Cold Moon because this is the time of year when the air is cold, and the nights become long, dreary, and dark. Other names Cold Moon is known by is, Long Nights Moon and the Moon Before Yule. The Zuni tribe called this moon, “Moon Where the Sun Comes Home to Rest”. This is a great moon to take advantage of staying home in your cozy house, and a time to recharge; a time to look inwards. Pagan’s considered this a time to open their homes to provide warmth to those who were most vulnerable in the dead of winter.
Samhain - October 31
Yule - December 20-23
Imbolc - February 1-2
Ostara - March 19-21
Beltane - May 1
Litha - June 19-21
Lughnasadh - August 1
Mabon - September 21-23
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