There’s no denying the beauty and splendor of the full moon. It’s there, it’s obvious. We’ve been obsessed with the Moon in all its glory since we first started looking up at the sky.
But the full moon is more than just a lunar phase. Here is your complete guide to the full moon, covering everything from the science to the superstition that governs arguably one of our favorite phases.
The Science of the Full Moon
The last of the eight phases of the lunar cycle, this phase is simply defined as:
Full Moon: /ˈˌfo͝ol ˈmo͞on/ noun
- the phase of the Moon in which its whole disk is illuminated.
Basically, the full moon is a result of the Earth being positioned between the Moon and the Sun. The Moon simply reflects the light of the sun. Did you know, that regardless of where you are on Earth, whether in the US or in Australia the phases will occur at the same time? The lunar cycle is about 29.5 days long which means we usually see one full moon per month. But every once in a while, we do get to see two full moons in a month, and that second moon is known as a “Blue Moon”.
While in the night sky the Moon shines so brightly, it shines with only a magnitude of -12.7. This may not mean much to you, but if we compare that to something like the Sun, which shines at a magnitude of -26.7, it means that the Sun is 400 000 times brighter than the Moon. The Moon, however, is the brightest thing in the night sky, partly because it’s the closest celestial body to the Earth, and because it is piggybacking off the intense light of the Sun.
The Superstitions of the Full Moon
As previously mentioned, humanity has always been fascinated by the Moon, they have lived their lives based on the lunar cycle and even assigned deities to our favorite celestial body. Most famously, the Ancient Romans goddess of the Moon was named Luna and that’s actually where we get the word “lunacy” from. Why? Well, it’s because for literally thousands of years the Full Moon was attributed to both madness and mischief.
People have long believed that this lunar phase is associated with aggressive behavior, with increased visits to emergency rooms, even to bigger and better crops. The Full Moon also has its place in mythology, think of werewolves who are said to transform from men into beasts under the bright light of the full moon.
The Astrology of the Full Moon
Taking a look at the astrology side of things, the Moon is said to govern our emotions, intuitions, and gut feelings. The light of the Moon illuminates all, whether emotions or intentions, nothing escapes the light of the Full Moon. If there’s a secret itching to get out, expect it under a full moon.
As the Moon is responsible for our tides here on Earth, it comes as no surprise that there’s a special connection between the Moon and the water. When the Moon enters one of the three water signs (Scorpio, Cancer, and Pisces) be prepared for the dramatics. It’s like a wild party that you know you and your friends will be talking about for years to come. For you, the Full Moon is your time to shine.
When the Moon enters one of the Air signs (Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius) it is said that the air brings on an air of confusion. The Full moon is a time for quiet reflection and thinking twice before saying anything out loud. For the fire signs, a Full Moon in Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius, everything gets heated, impulses run high, and the fire of these signs burns hot. And finally, the Earth signs have a very low-key relationship with this phase, meaning they are not overly affected and therefore the Full Moon is a call to action to wrap up any projects on your to-do list.
What is your connection with the Full Moon? Did any of the special events of your life take place under this phase? Use our Moon phase calculator to find out.
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