Several weeks ago on December 3, the “cold moon” supermoon rose in the evening. The first day of 2018 brought the so-called the wolf moon supermoon. But it’s the “blue moon blood moon supermoon” rising on the night of January 31, 2018, that has night sky enthusiasts really excited. This moon calls us to rise to our best.
“If you can only catch one episode of the supermoon trilogy, catch the third one,” said a release from NASA. “It will be extra special.”
For one, it’s the third of summer’s four supermoons, the phenomenon where the full moon appears bigger and brighter because it is “at perigee” – the point in its orbit when it is approaching Earth at its closest.
As the second full moon in a calendar month, it will be a blue moon. (Contrary to the old saying, they’re not that rare, falling once every three years.)
And finally, it will be a blood moon, glowing red during a lunar eclipse, as it takes on a faint glow from the sunlight reflected through Earth’s atmosphere. “We’re seeing all of the Earth’s sunrises and sunsets at that moment reflected from the surface of the Moon,” says Sarah Noble, a Program Scientist at NASA headquarters.
The Blue Moon
Once in a “blue moon,” we gaze up at the sky and see another full moon in the same month, like the one appearing this July 31st. It is a moon shrouded in mystery, magic and folklore, perhaps because it only appears once every 2.7 years. The very term “blue moon” is over 400 years old when Shakespeare first wrote the words “blue moon” to mean rare or absurd. The rarity of a full moon appearing twice in one month, or a third full moon appearing in an astronomical season with four full moons versus the normal three, must have inspired the great playwright to coin the term.
The term has traditionally referred to an “extra” moon, where a year which normally has 12 moons has 13 instead. The “blue moon” reference is applied to the third moon in a season with four moons, thus correcting the timing of the last month of a season that would have otherwise been expected too early. This happens every two to three years (seven times in the Metonic cycle of 19 years). The March 1946 issue of Sky & Telescope misinterpreted the traditional definition, which led to the modern colloquial misunderstanding that a blue moon is a second full moon in a single solar calendar month with no seasonal link.
Owing to the rarity of a blue moon, the term “blue moon” is used colloquially to mean a rare event, as in the phrase “once in a blue moon“.
Chandra Grahan – Lunar Eclipse
At this time of eclipse, the Moon is in the 12th House conjunct Rahu. In this House, the Moon portends matters of a spiritual nature: attending to our spirit guides, taking up rhythms of sanctuary, meditation, detachment, seeking aloneness, abiding with oneself in attendance to internal relations with one’s spirit, one’s spirit guides or faerie; one’s ishta-devata (personal god) and god of the Hearth. For men, it is attending to the formless feminine within; for women, it is decamping the dominant male divine to vales of being.
Moon and Rahu conjunct in the 12 house indicate that emotions get short shrift, and that the person is emotionally unavailable for others. This may be due family of origin, environment or simple choice. Emotions can be messy for some, who prefer to channel their energies to the pursuit of the goals of life. While the traditional goals speak of right conduct, acquisition of wealth, fulfilment of basic needs and detachment from daily life and attachment towards the divine, in this matter of conjunction of Moon and Rahu, the goal of life might be the creation of a sacred space free from invasion by worldly matters.
At this time of lunar eclipse it is noted that Mercury and Venus are combust the Sun; this means that they do not give the light, the energy, the magnetism we normally expect from their transits.
When planets are too close to the Sun, it is said that their “rays” (remember, planets deliver energy to the mind-body-spirit that we each are) get burnt; energy does not get delivered, and in fact, some reversal of the remainder of the “grasping” of the planet occurs. For Mercury, we might expect incompatibility and irritation in the messages delivered (Mercury is the messenger of the Planets and the Divines). For Venus, we might expect a reversal of the customary gracefulness and elegance we have come to expect from the environment that Venus creates for us. The down-side or flip side of intimacy, passion and commitment might be glimpsed, albeit briefly.
In these circumstances, tolerance and forbearance of others and situations – especially situations where we expect something is recommended. Nobility is often mis-taken as subservience and wimpish behaviour in the face of challenges. Nobility is found in silence in the face of such challenges, founded as it is on truth, right conduct, peace, non-violence and love. This is what true humanness means.
When planets are close to the Sun, they are “combust” and their rays get “burnt” …
a way of saying the planet cannot deliver its energy…
ABC Science: A Beginner’s Guide to the Moon
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