Wednesday 31st January is the final Supermoon a trilogy, featuring Full Moons on Sunday 3rd December 2017 and Monday 2nd January (shown left over the festive archway at Kew Gardens). This time its a Super Blue Blood Moon; we haven't seen one in most of the UK/Americas since 1866!
It will be at it's brightest at 11.00 UK time on Tuesday 30th January, when the moon reaches lunar perigee (see note below), but it will still be approximately 7% bigger and 14% brighter than usual the next day and hence is apparently recognised by NASA as a Supermoon event.
A Supermoon is when the moon appears larger in the sky because it is reaches the closest proximity to Earth (known as the perigee*) coinciding with the New Moon or Full Moon. Since the New Moon is only a sliver to the naked eye, the Full Moon Supermoons are much more of a visual treat, when the moon may appear up to 14% larger and 30% brighter than on any other Full Moon occasion. Although it may not seem all that noticeable to us and of course it will depend on good clear viewing conditions; however due to an optical illusion, it will always look bigger and more luminous when closer to the horizon.
*The moon orbits around the Earth in an ellipse which takes just over 29 days, meaning that it reaches points in the year when it is at its closest (perigee, when it is about 363,000 km away) and furthest (apogee, when it is about 405,500 KM) from our planet. Those old enough might be reminded of Bed Knobs and Broomsticks when Angela Lansbury mentions the perigee and apogee in one of her invocations!
On 14th November 2016, the moon reached its closest to the Earth since 26th January 1948 and it won't come closer to us until 25th November 2034! More at Earthsky Website.
Being the 2nd Full Moon in the calendar month of January, by the newer definitions it is a Blue Moon. By the same definition there will be another Blue Moon in two months time when we have Full Moons on the 2nd and 31st March. February will not have a Full Moon at all, making it a Black Moon month, although confusingly this can also refer to the 2nd New Moon in a calendar month or a month with no New Moon! The old definition of a Blue Moon was when there were four Full Moons, rather than the usual three, in an Astronomical Seasons. Spring begins on the spring equinox; Summer begins on the summer solstice; Autumn (Fall) begins on the autumn equinox; and Winter begins on the winter solstice. Known as the four Albans, these are four of the important eight festivals of the Pagan/Celtic/Gaelic Calendar. This moon does not constitute a Blue Moon by that definiion.
Because Blue Moons (by either definition) are unusual - the last one was 31st July 2015 - the expression 'once in a blue moon' has come to mean something happening on rare occasions. The moon can in fact appear blue in colour too, when the atmosphere is filled with smoke or dust particles of wider than 0.7 micron, which sometimes happens after a forest fire, volcanic eruption (such as Krakatoa, Indonesia in 1883) or dust storms.
However as it's Imbolc on 1st February too, this moon is close enough to carry the energy of Imbolc (pronounced EE-molk) which is the old Celtic word for the celebration also known as Candlemas. It is sacred to the Goddess Brigit or Bridie, the power of the new moon, the Spring of the year, the flowing sea, corn dollies and the Great Moon Mother - Patroness of Poetry Making and Healing. Brigid is a triple Goddess, so she can be honoured in all her aspects, she is associated with fire, fertility, midwifery and the young.
And finally we have a Blood Moon, because we have a total lunar eclipse visible in some parts of the world which may make the moon appear a red or orange colour. During a total eclipse, the sunlight shining through Earth's atmosphere gets refracted towards the red part of the spectrum, then cast onto the moon's surface. Hence the grey colour of the partial eclipse can become red/orange during the totality phase. Certain particle sizes in the atmosphere, say from a volcanic eruption, can make the moon like a very deep red, but this year a dramatic bright orange is anticipated.
Sadly, we won't see anything much in the UK due to the timing of the eclipse taking place before the moon will have risen in the sky here (moonrise in London on 31st January is 16.55). Skygazers in the US will see the event before sunrise on the 31st, whereas onlookers in the Middle East, Eastern Russia, Asia, New Zealand and Australia will see the eclipse during moonrise. Totality (i.e. full eclipse) will last for 75 minutes, peaking at 13.29 GMT/UTC.See timeanddate.com for full timings and details of the experience elsewhere in the world.
Anyway, whatever the weather conditions, it's a fantastic excuse to get people of all ages outside in the fresh air and re-connecting with nature. Something our modern lifestyles and obsession with technology can distract us from doing. Weather permitting, outdoor moon bathing can be very therapeutic, simply breathe the silver energy in and out and, if the mood takes you, undertake an outdoor meditation. It’s a wonderful time to put crystals (don’t put out any soluble crystals if it might rain) outside to be recharged by the lunar energy.
Furthermore, whether the eclipse is visible or not, energetically we are all affected. Astrologically (summarised with thanks from astrostyle.com), lunar eclipses illuminate our shadow self,as defined by Carl Jung. This can be a challenging experience, as many of us are not keen (or even open) to acknowledging and addressing our faults. However, facing our suppressed emotions (such as anger, jealousy, greed) and confronting our fears provides a great opportunity to move forward in life; past what may have seemed to be insurmountable obstacles. Accepting that we have faults and integrating this knowledge internally is very beneficial for our personal spiritual development.
The Full Moon has a gravitation effect on the Earth, hence leading to a tidal impact on our oceans. Whilst it is has not been scientifically proven, it is logical to assume that this also has an impact on us as we are largely comprised of water (60-80% supposedly).
At the time of the Full Moon the Sun and Moon are in opposition. The solar (sun) energy influences our masculine/yang archetypal attributes (our outer world) such as strength, courage, identity, self-esteem, expression, conscious beliefs and determination together with our logical outlook. Whereas the lunar energy (moon) influences our feminine/yin archetypal attributes (our inner world), such as our unconscious beliefs, hidden emotions, nurturing feelings, creativity and intuition. The Full Moon is a powerful and appropriate time to show gratitude for life and the riches and bounty bestowed upon us by Mother Earth (Gaia).
Additional aspects brought in due to the astrology of this particular Full Moon, which is 11.37º Leo - 11.37º Aquarius (courtesy of universallifeforms.com and Angela McGerr’s Harmony Angel Cards for the angelic guardians). During the Leo Full Moon, the moon reflects the light of the Sun in Aqaurius.
Leo (fire) brings leadership, affection, generosity, extraversion, stubbornness, authority, courage, compassion.
The Angelic Guardian of Leo is Verchiel overseeing courage, leadership and loyalty.
When the moon is in Leo (a fire sign ruled by the sun) and when the moon is in Leo, we connect deeply with our hearts and unleash our passions. This leads us to seek creative inspiration and emotional fulfilment.
The moon reflecting into Aquarius draws out spiritual gifts and passions, making active Lightworkers feel especially fulfilled.
Aquarius (air) brings humanitarianism, individualism, rebellion, pioneering determinism, independence.
The Angelic Guardian of Aquarius is Cambriel overseeing ambition, principles and ideals.
Whilst the Full Moon is in Leo & the Sun in Aquarius for this Total Lunar Eclipse, when the procession of the equinoxes is taken into account, the 31st January Eclipse actually fact takes place in Cancer Constellation.
Cancer relates to nurturing, the home, mothering, family & intuition PLUS Cancer is the natural ruler of the Moon; meaning that this Super Blue Blood Imbolc Total Lunar Eclipse extraordinarily powerful.
The Angelic Guardian of Cancer is Muriel overseeing issues of reticence, self-reliance and contentment.
This means that we can expect to relive aspects of our childhood, enabling us to evaluate which imprints of the past we have brought with us into the present - and whether are they serving us?
Additionally, this particular eclipse is influenced by Ceres and Lunar Nodes, all of which exacerbate the connection with the Divine Feminine Archetype so will affect womanhood, single mums (and indeed single dads where they are taking the nurturing role), women in society as well as work-life balance (especially around parenthood).
North Node in Leo (conjunct the moon) means that the South Node is in Aquarius - leading to empowered progress into embodying our position as women in the world, plus embracing the Divine Femine aspects in men and women. Leo encourages us to risk speaking our truths. There may be more empahsis on gender equality in the workplace.
Further energetic aspects are brought in by the lunar eclipse and the numerology of year 2018 which is a 11 year = enlightenment.
The word eclipse is derived from the Greek ekleipsis,meaning abandon or vanish. This is very relevant for the emotions experienced during an eclipse; as it brings the desire to let go of the superfluous parts of ourselves which are limiting our greater potential. Consider any emotional issues which came up around the time of the most recent eclipse back in February, this is the ideal opportunity to ‘let go’ of these issues. This August, the highlighted issues are relationships; whether with friends, family, lovers, community, or via political and societal systems, or specifically with yourself. Shine the illumination on all your relationships and through the energy exchange try to inject love and kindness, even in the face of pain, fear hurt and separation. Try and isolate the parts of your body reflecting these emotions that no longer serve you and try to hold a vision of perfection and positive outcome in your heart. We need as many people as possible to be holding positive thoughts as this time.
If you are an angel fan, the angel of the Moon is Gabriel.
To the right is a beautiful image of Gabriel by Richard Rockwood from my sister Angel McGerr's A Harmony of Angels book (and Harmony Angel Cards).
Both are out of print and collectible but we still have a few remaining copies via the Harmony Shop.
See link for instructions on Angela's Angelic Meditation with Gabriel.
The time between any Full Moon and the next New Moon is a good time, energetically, to detox the body. In view of this being a Super Blue Blood Imbolc Moon, I would say it's an even better time than usual for a detox. I recommend an oil pulling technique, with coconut oil, which must be from a glass container for best taste.