Hunter’s Moon, Blue Moon, Micro Moon and Samhain Moon!

This second Full Moon of October is takes place is on the 31st at 14.50 GMT on the 9th degree of Taurus, with the Sun on the opposite 9th degree of Scorpio. It is both a Micro Moon and a ‘Blue’ Moon.

Blue Moons occur in one of two ways.  1) A lunar month, the time between two Full Moons, is around 29.5 days long, while most calendar months are longer 30 or 31 days.  Most calendar months have only one Full Moon but some years there are two Full Moons in the same month.  The second one is called a Blue Moon.  2) Usually, there are three Full Moons between each astronomical season, which is the time between a solstice and the following equinox etc.  But some years, there are four Full Moons in a season. When this happens, the third Full Moon is called a Blue Moon.

In many Northern Hemisphere cultures, each month’s Full Moon is named after specific seasonal or agricultural events e.g., Harvest Moon. When there are two Full Moons in a month, the second one is not normally a given name. The term Blue Moon has over time become a placeholder name for the extra Full Moon. This way, the other 12 Full Moons keep their rightful place in relation to the solstices and equinoxes. The next seasonal Blue Moon will occur on August 22, 2021, as the third full Moon in a series of four within that season.  The next calendrical Blue Moon will happen on August 30, 2023, as the second full Moon in that month. These do not happen very often, hence the phrase ‘once in a blue moon’.  Please note, the moon is not blue in colour.

This Full Moon is also a Micro Full Moon, which is when a Full Moon is near its farthest point from Earth (apogee).  Because a Micro Moon is further away, it looks approximately 14% smaller than a Supermoon. In addition, the illuminated area appears 30% smaller, appearing less bright. By the way, this month’s New Moon will be a Super New Moon, which occurs during the Moon’s closest approach to Earth, its perigee.

In the Northern Hemisphere, usually the October Full Moon is known as the Hunter’s Moon, however every three years, the Hunter’s Moon is also the Harvest Moon, which is the Full Moon nearest the September equinox.  For me, this first Full Moon is the Harvest Moon and the second one, the Hunter’s Moon (even though it is a Blue Moon) as it gives more time to finish the grains, fruit, vegetable and nut harvests and for the various animals to fatten up before their slaughter.

Traditionally, this was the time when farm animals not to be kept for the following years breeding, were slaughtered.  Also, the fatten game and other wild animals e.g. deer, boar, where hunted and all the meats preserved.  Hence the name another name, ‘Blood Moon’ (not be confused with a Total Lunar Eclipse – Blood Moon).  This was to ensure that the tribe would last through the harsh winter months when food was scarce and the biter wind and cold would take its toll on the population.  

Added to all the above, this Hunter’s/Blue Moon falls on the festival of Samhain, sometimes known as Halloween. Does this add an extra significance. I think it must do.  The dark, shadows of the pandemic are ideally suited to the Samhain connection to the Underworld.  Fear, control and being separated can be applied to both.  I will leave it to you to ponder what this means for you.  However, as we continue into the dark half of the year, bringing rest and introspection, we know that eventually the light will return and the Spring with it.

What do you need to sacrifice, so that you can survive the challenging winter months?  What would help your tribe?  What are your fears and what can you do to allay them?  Do you like being in the dark?  If not, focus on the light that will return, and in the meantime try to enjoy the enforced rest of winter.

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