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Trying to define Blue Moon is confusing at the best of times, as I discovered while researching this article! The current popular definition of a Blue Moon is the second Full Moon in the same calendar month. But just figuring out when any Full Moon takes place can be tricky business.
Time zones must be taken into account, which could change the day and even the month that it falls on. In there were also Full Moons on July 2 and August 29 or August 30, in the far east time zones , so depending on where you live, the second Full Moon was either on July 31 or August Does this really mean the Blue Moon is different for different parts of the world? Well, yes and no. The deeper problem is that the popular definition of Blue Moon — the second Full Moon in a calendar month — is based on misinterpreted information that was published in a Sky and Telescope magazine article in !
Ironically, it was a article in the same magazine that discovered and corrected the mistake, but by that time the media, Internet, and even the Trivial Pursuit game, had proliferated the incorrect definition and now most of the world understands an incorrect, if persistent, definition of Blue Moon. There's an older traditional meaning of "Blue Moon" that goes back to the 19th century and means the third Full Moon in a season which has four Full Moons. So what, right?
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So, having four Full Moons in a 3-month season is something that happens, quite literally, only once in a Blue Moon. The Maine Farmers' Almanac which was incorrectly referenced in the now-infamous article reportedly marked this third of four Full Moons in blue What—another definition?? The earliest reference to anything about a Blue Moon comes from a rhyme going back to "If they say the Moon is blue, We must believe that it is true. There is yet another explanation of Blue Moon which refers to the actual colour of the Moon to the naked eye. Now: I've seen brilliant white Moons and warm yellowish Moons, orange and blood red Moons during lunar eclipses.
I've even seen "moons" of assorted colours, shapes and sizes dancing around the bonfire in various states of un dress at WiccanFest a spring Pagan festival in Ontario, Canada. But I've never seen a blue Moon. However, there are times throughout history when the Moon has actually had a bluish tinge, usually after forest fires or volcanic eruptions, caused by refracted light in Earth's atmosphere.
By the way, the Moon could be in any lunar phase for this to happen, not just a Full Moon. The actual phrase "once in a blue Moon" apparently dates back to the midth century. By this time it was reasonably well known that occasionally the Moon really did appear blue under certain atmospheric conditions, so the phrase took on the revised meaning of "once in a while," rather than "never" or "gimme a break! But wait a second—how did we get from a silly cultural expression to the third Full Moon in a season of four being marked in the Maine Farmers' Almanac?
And more to the point, why would anyone care how many Full Moons there are in a season?here
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Before you start assuming that this is yet another Pagan influence lingering in modern culture, you should know that the main reason for identifying the seasonal Full Moons was to calculate Christian holidays. Since many Christian holy days are timed in relation to Easter, it became extremely important to be able to determine an accurate date for it. Full Moons are given special names and meanings in many cultural traditions, as any good Pagan knows.
So yes, Virginia, there does seem to be a Pagan connection after all, albeit an indirect one. Actually, many religious traditions and cultures have named the Full Moons. Each Full Moon is spaced The problem comes when we occasionally get 13 Full Moons in the span of a year which happens about every years.
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With only 12 Moon designations, what to do with the 13th Moon? The Maine Farmers' Almanac claimed this caused the early Christian monks such distress when calculating their calendars that it is the reason why the number 13 became cursed as being unlucky. At some point this extra Moon became known as the Blue Moon, which was deemed to be the third Full Moon in a season that had an extra fourth Full Moon.
But wait a minute—the third Full Moon? Why not the fourth, which would seem logical as the "extra" Moon in a season normally populated by three?
For this we must go back to the Easter-related Christian holidays. The period of Lent, which begins precisely 46 days before Easter, must contain the Lenten Moon, which is considered to be the last Full Moon of the winter season, which ends at the vernal equinox. Ahhh, now we start to see the need to count the number of Moons per season!
The last Moon of a season is sometimes special e. So, the "extra" position falls to the second or third Moon in a season that happens to contain four.
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Why the third is designated as the "extra" rather than the second remains a mystery—no one seems to know where the Maine Farmers' Almanac got their Blue Moon rule from. One website I found speculates that Full Moons were simply counted as the "first," "second" and "last" of a season, so that the extra Moon defaulted to the third. So: now all that's left to figure out is the beginning and end of the seasons, which is nice and straightforward—right?
Seasons are defined by the solstices times of maximum and minimum daylight, in June and December and the equinoxes times of equal day and night, in March and September. These are also the days when the Sun moves into the Cardinal signs: Aries and Libra equinoxes and Cancer and Capricorn solstices. But anyone born near the cusp between two zodiac signs can tell you that the date when the Sun changes signs will vary slightly from year to year.
The Sun actually reaches the vernal equinox position when it moves into Aries anywhere from the evening of March 19 to the early morning of March 22, depending on the year and which time zone you happen to be in. And then there's whether you calculate the equinox by the Sun's actual position or by averaging its position like the Maine Almanac did , or just using a fixed date like the Roman Catholic Church does.
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Just as time zones can complicate the date of Blue Moons rendered by the "monthly" method, your method of calculating the equinoxes and solstices can sometimes even change which season winds up saddled with the 13th Full Moon. And we won't even go into the Gregorian versus Julian calendar, resulting in different Easter dates between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches! It represents a good constellation for love relationship and marriage. You are liked and feel attractive. During this period sensuality and passion are dominating and discordancy within relationships.
Irritated reactions and tendency to infidelity could arise, But, however, it is representing the perfect time for love affairs. The conjunction between Venus and Neptune may cause extravagance — possibly accompanied with discomfort, self-indulgence and obliquity. You might be in a tender mood. The relationship with your mother is close — a harmonious connection — towards artistic talents are obvious.
The sextile between Venus and Pluto offer passion and good fortune. Towards new friends you show open-mindedness. You present extraordinary attractiveness and serene atmosphere lies in the air… Concerning career you get succeed. Your feelings are sincere. Exactly at that moment we have stamina.
We are concentrated and controlled. It is the time to develop a solid foundation. When Venus enters the zodiac sign of Aries you are likely adventurous. You feel ardent and you would act impulsively — you like to love more passionate. You should avoid to act too hasty.
Your home is to be found in the world of Fine Arts. Hasty approaches must be avoided therefore particular consideration should be given toward love matters. Missing fair agreements your actions could reinforce disaffection and regarding some cases separation or divorce. The square between Venus and Pluto can trigger a tendency for us to exaggerate. A previously practiced restraint can be abandoned, which can lead to complex complications.
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Beware of carelessness and waste! The consequences could last for months.
In love, jealousy and humiliation can be an issue. Envy and jealousy appear on stage. Complicated love affairs and depression could accompany some difficulties with parental control. Disillusions or possibly separation and deception as a result of unfulfilled expectation cause pain. This sextile let you show your sense of humour, sympathy and flexibility.
You gain energetic and creative drive - you like style. It represents creativity and advanced knowledge. When Venus has entered into the zodiac sign of Taurus it may happen to find your soul mate — perhaps your perfect partner appears on the scene. It is presenting yourself at your best - you are smart and feel this way — you appear very attractive.
This conjunction shows odds and oddity. You face challenges and create imaginativeness combined with personal development but there is jealousy on your mind. The sextile between Venus and Neptune makes you actually only sensitive and your susceptibility to fine arts increases. This aspect reasons dreaminess and fancy as well. This sextile reveals your sense of humor, sympathy, and flexibility. It represents an excellent constellation for love relationship and marriage.
You appeal for fun and convenience in daily life. The trine between Venus and Pluto offers ardent and passionate desire. You may feel lucky in love. Contacts are made: friendship and connections are becoming bridges… Rare and gracious attractiveness would combine strong libido. Sense of shape and aesthetics are yours at the moment and you have joyful mind. This constellation is spelling good fortune for your career. When Venus enters the sign of Gemini your world is caught by sublime thinking and spiritual and emotional senses. You are honest and smart - you are very popular.
During this phase your talent for language and literature is awakening and you are fond of music and creativeness. You are with your joyful heart. You are in passionate moods and like to be tempted by higher education and sustainable values. The trigon between Venus and Saturn makes you analytic and diligent.
The characteristics of this aspect are concentration, stamina and honesty. You are of the solid kind and you prefer such correspondences. During that period it might not run smoothly for you, because your partner or spouse might be overextended with regard to your sexual desire. Excessive increase with respect to libido could to be expected.
You long for a certain individual circle to experience emotional safety — but it might remain unfulfilled. Uncertainty is followed by despondency. The conjunction between Mercury and Venus winged your sense for convention and social participation — an artistic talent.
You are joyful and friendly — communicative and adaptable to new circumstances.
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Imagination and fancy would be available and precious gifts. Your affection is particular pronounced: you are fond of pleasures and luxury as well - and very popular with the opposite sex. Today you like to party… you socially open-minded and treat your spontaneous way to approach others. It represents creativity and advanced knowledge — you are open-minded toward culture and fine arts. But aware: you could be indulged by luxury and extravagance.
When Venus enters in the zodiac sign of Cancer you show passiveness or the attitude of passivity with regard to love affairs - but you perceive subtle intuition. You are longing for affection. With regard to love affairs and affectionate attachments you are simply great — you give love and affection — hopefully it is given the same to you. You have extraordinary imaginativeness and you are giving in various influences - unfortunately you are easily to hurt.
Today you should be prudent regarding love affairs and romance — jealousy, separation and disenchantment could occur. Maybe you neglect cooperation and some disputes based on the lack of partner-like relationship. The trine between Venus and Neptune brings deep emotion. You seem to be receptive and friendly — caused by the influence of Venus and Neptune. This constellation shows exaggerated eroticism and rather a loss of moral. You must treat voluptuous longings. This shows an unpleasant development regarding marriage and love relationship.
Regarding love matters individualism and self-will diffuses reveals pure sensuality or restraint emotion, which could lead to tragic and dramatic development. Disenchanted confrontation or insights — estrangement or separation from family parts could occur. When Venus enters in the zodiac sign of Leo your tendency to luxury becomes obvious. But you seem to be more passionate and ardent - irresistible - and it can easily be seduced. You feel surrendered — when genius beauty shows its marvellous face - regardless what it is: fine food and good drinking… or anything else that might light up your face.
On the other hand you are generous and like to be acknowledged with applause. The square between Venus and Uranus gives romance, authenticity and self-protection. Your narcissistic and genuine view reveals capricious moods and the tendency to push the limits… Your desire is lascivious, ardent and passionate as well — but you wish to remain independent. This phase is showing such an emotional rollercoaster! From this point of view: you are sensual and passionate and lascivious, you have luscious colours on your mind.
This constellation proclaims the love toward arts, dance, music and any addition of this kind. With consideration of the opposite sex you are longing for togetherness — not just sexual desire. Finances are not your topic at the moment.