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  • Writer's pictureLolly Spence

2021.05.26 Flower Moon, May 2021

Updated: Jun 2, 2021

It’s here at last - May’s Full Moon - and it really is something special. I am hoping against hope the clouds will clear so we can all get a nice view of it later: I will post any photos - and please do share yours in the comments.

As I mentioned earlier this week, tonight’s moon is going to appear bigger, brighter and redder than usual. There is something rare happening: the simultaneous occurrence of a Supermoon and a Total Lunar Eclipse (which will result in a Blood Moon in some places - but not here…)

Let me explain those three terms.

  • A Supermoon happens when a full moon occurs at the same time as it reaches its closest point to the Earth – a point called perigee. Tonight, we will see the biggest moon of the year looking 14% larger and 30% brighter than a regular full moon.

  • A Total Lunar Eclipse occurs when the Sun, Earth and Full Moon are exactly aligned (with Earth in the middle) putting the Moon into our shadow. Tonight’s will be the first since January 2019 and will only be visible from certain parts of the world including western North USA, Australia, western South America and Southeast Asia. For the rest of us, I have attached a wee clip from NASA that will explain tonight’s phenomenon.

  • A Blood Moon is when the moon takes on a crimson colour as it drifts into the shadow of the Earth. Our atmosphere bends or reflects ‘left over’ light from the world’s sunsets and sunrises to bathe the moon in a red light. The more dust or clouds in Earth’s atmosphere during the eclipse, the redder the Moon will appear.

Now, if it wasn’t a Supermoon or a Bloodmoon, May’s full moon would normally just be called the Flower Moon - named by the North American Indian tribes because this is the season when flowers are really starting to bloom. Other tribal names include Budding Moon, Leaf Budding Moon, Planting Moon, Egg Laying Moon, Frog Moon and Moon of the Shedding Ponies…..

Speaking of flowers, gardeners should have all their crops planted out by now (despite this being the wettest May on record over here!), and before this month ends, you need to pour your concrete and set posts.

  • In other folklore, whatever you do, don’t let your first view of tonight’s Supermoon be through a window. You need to see it ‘bare’ (not through glass) for good luck.

  • And don’t let it shine on your face tonight when you’re in bed, or you’ll wake up mad. (Or madder?)

  • When you get your first glimpse of tonight’s full moon, if you happen to have any coins in your pocket, turn them over three times for good luck.

  • And finally, if anyone receives a marriage proposal tonight, under the May full moon, say YES, it’s a match made in heaven. (I’m here, ready, if anyone’s asking….. lol)

On that note, astrologically this is an exciting time as we are about to be catapulted into the unpredictable energy of summer with all its potential for growth, re-emergence and change. It aligns perfectly with the easing of Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, and we can all fling ourselves, vaccinated and ecstatic into the Age of Sagittarius! This is a month for possibilities, energy and personal bests.

I will leave you all, sky-gazing, like the sea god Manannan Mac Lir in the fab image above, wishing you a Peaceful Vesak - a most sacred day to millions of Buddhists around the world who mark this May Full Moon.

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