Sunday, November 21, 2010


Post by Nancy Simpson, photos by Lynn Hamilton Rutherford. 

November’s full moon in Colonial American tradition is usually called Full Hunter’s Moon or Full Beaver Moon. Not this time. When November 21, 2010’s moon reaches fullness, it will be named Full Blue Moon. It is not named Blue for its color. It is seldom seen as blue.   
Following the original “blue moon,” almanac definition that has been almost forgotten, this special moon is so named because it is the third of four full moons within one season. The original explanation was that usually the moon becomes full twelve times a year, three times each season. However, there will be years with thirteen full moons during a year. Native Americans were aware of the possibility of thirteen moons.
The newer and most popular definition of “blue moon” declares that it is a second full moon within a single month. It’s a simple definition that was made even more popular in songs and in the game, “Trivial Pursuit.”  Second full moon in a single month, a once popular world-wide definition of blue moon, turns out to be not the complete definition, nor is it the original definition of blue moon.
A season would most often have three full moons, either between a solstice and an equinox or between an equinox and solstice.  When taking a close look at moons of a season, there can sometimes be four full moons. In this autumn season of 2010, there are four full moons. That is precisely what is occuring now, happening tonight, on November 21, 2010. The third moon within the season reaches fullness. For that reason, and according to the original definition, it is being named a blue moon. It is  the Full Blue Moon.

The full moons of this 2010 autumn seasons appear: ( 1) September 23, (2) October  22, (3) November 21, and (4) December  21 when the forth of the full moons will reach fullness. What name will the forth full moon be given?  Wait. Meanwhile, look upward tonight, for this is indeed a very special full moon. Even though not blue in color, it is the true Full Blue Moon.


Joan Ellen Gage said...

I am so impressed with your moon blog entries! Perhaps you should be the Moon Queen!

Have a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!

Glenda C. Beall said...

Nancy, thank you for posting my poem and the photo of Barry and me. Moons always speak of romance to me, not werewolves and such as is the thing these days.
I think of dancing in the dark with moonlight casting a glow over us. I think of moonlight filtering dwon through the pines at the lake. So many moon memories and you do have such lovely moon photos.