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What Makes a Blue Moon Blue?

Every time a Blue Moon is due to happen I get a little…bummed out.  Bummed out because most people don’t know the different definitions of a Blue Moon.  The truth is the way that we see it today, as two full moons in a month, is modern folklore.  Which is fine!  But there are older definitions that, to me, are more true to what a Blue Moon is supposed to be.  Blue Moon, by the most basic of definitions, is an odd lunar occurrence.  Typically a month only has one full moon {sometimes February doesn’t have one at all because of how short of a month it is}.  But when a month has two full moons we have come to call it a Blue Moon.  And by the most basic definition, that’s true.  There are two common definitions, one that might be considered the traditional one and a more modern, new age one.

Blue Moons in the traditional sense…
These are defined as third full moon in a single season that has four full moons.  It’s been suggested that this was the most common idea of a Blue Moon, a term that came into use in 1821.  Sometime in the last 1920s-early 1930s the term started begin used by The Farmer’s Almanac to describe this phenomenon.

Blue Moons in the modern sense…
This is when you have two full moons in a single month.  This definition originated in 1946 from an article in Sky & Telescope magazine.  This was the meaning of a Blue Moon that was used by James Hugh Pruett in an article titled “Once in a Blue Moon”.  How exactly this definition spread is uncertain, but it’s highly likely that since this definition is much easier to calculate, that may have been what really fueled its use.

Not at all a Blue Moon, but a cool picture of the July full moon that I took at the beach at my house.

Even more rare, an actual BLUE moon…
This is extremely rare, but there have been instances where the moon has appeared blue or somewhat lavender.  This isn’t the moon changing it’s color, but rather an illusion due to position in the sky.  It’s most likely to happen when there’s a fire in the area or a volcano eruption.  The smoke and small debris in the air from one of these events can cause the sky to take on a color which can cause the full moon to appear as a different color.

So when’s the next traditional Blue Moon?
This will happen next year.  On August 21, 2013 we’ll see the third full moon of the summer season.  Remember, when we calculate that it depends on the actual occurrence of when the solstices and equinoxes occur.  When I had brought this up on my Facebook page back at the beginning of the month when the Blue Moon hullabaloo began, I got an earful from a few people about the specific topic of when the seasons change.

 

 

Here's my sidebar about the seasons
You know how you hear on the news or during the weather that it’s now the “official start of summer”?  That’s what the summer solstice is, the official start of the season.  And the same can be said for any season, winter, spring, summer, and fall.  The solstice or equinox is really the “official start”, we tend to see and feel the seasonal change well before the astronomical event itself occurs.  But here’s the thing…don’t discount the science for the thing that just “feels right”; take a balanced approach.  And understand that in some cases you can’t avoid the science, and nor should you!  Ignoring one in favor of the other is, quite honestly, ignorant.

 

 

When it comes to calculating the traditional folklore definition of a full moon the solstice and equinox dates need to be taken into consideration since that’s your marker for the start and end of a season.

Can there be TWO Blue Moons then?
Certainly!  If you feel there is power to be had in both forms of the Blue Moon, then honor both.  I personally have chosen to honor the more traditional definition when it comes to working really special magick or anything like that.  I still honor the second full moon in a month as a somewhat special full moon.  I see this as a great time for divination or psychic work…but I guess for me I find the four full moons in a season a bit more rare {which it is} and to me that’s more of a special time for magick.


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Jess is a great teacher, as well as an insightful reading and a wonderful healer. Her lessons are informative and easy to understand. Her cards speak to her in a way that I hope mine will to me one day. I have also had a Chakra session and a Reiki session with her and afterward I felt at peace, balanced, and whole again (I was quite sick at the time). I trust very few people, and I follow my path alone, but I trust Jess. She’s a beautiful spirit.

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2019-05-09T10:56:45-07:00

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Jess is a great teacher, as well as an insightful reading and a wonderful healer. Her lessons are informative and easy to understand. Her cards speak to her in a way that I hope mine will to me one day. I have also had a Chakra session and a Reiki session with her and afterward I felt at peace, balanced, and whole again (I was quite sick at the time). I trust very few people, and I follow my path alone, but I trust Jess. She’s a beautiful spirit.
When I started coaching with Jess I thought I was coming to her for help with a breakup and an unexpected and sudden international move. It turned out that wasn't the real issue at all! Jess asked questions I never would have thought to ask myself and gave me a whole new perspective on what was going on in my life. She made me feel like what I want matters. By the time we were done I felt like I could take on the world!

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2019-05-09T10:56:03-07:00

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When I started coaching with Jess I thought I was coming to her for help with a breakup and an unexpected and sudden international move. It turned out that wasn't the real issue at all! Jess asked questions I never would have thought to ask myself and gave me a whole new perspective on what was going on in my life. She made me feel like what I want matters. By the time we were done I felt like I could take on the world!
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Incredible, intuitive, thoughtful, and professional reader! Will definitely book with Jess again.
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OMG I'm blown away by the accuracy of the reading. Jess has a special gift. What she revealed to me, opened me up to a place I knew I should be at but was holding myself back from.
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I was so overwhelmed trying to get back into my witchcraft practice, but Jess helped me create an actual plan and a schedule for doing the work. The results in just two months has been far beyond my expectations. I'm in touch with my power like never before!
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