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fba827 writes...

*No question, just answering Greg's August 2003 question*

Creamy writes...
1. Is Hunter's Moon a specific day or week of the year?
2. If so could you give us the date(s)?

Greg responds...
In 1996, Hunter's Moon was on Saturday, October 26th. I doubt it's on the same night every year, since we operate on a solar, rather than a lunar calender. Anyone else know how this works?
recorded on 01-15-02

F7 Addict writes...
The Name of the moons are based on 12 lunar cycles per year, first is Jan or Wolf; 2 Feb or Storm; 3 Chaste; 4 Seed; 5 Hare; 6 Lover's; 7 Mead; 8 Wyrt; 9 Harvest; 10 Oct Blood or Hunter's moon; 11 Snow; 12 Oak. And on the odd chance of two full moons in a month, the second is called the blue moon.

Greg responds...
So, if I'm getting you right the Hunter's Moon (a.k.a. the Blood Moon) is the first full moon of October. (Or the only full moon of October, most years.) Right?
Thanks. That's very helpful and useful. I'm writing this down.
So a couple more questions...
Do you know the origin(s) behind these names? And if so, what are they?
And what is a Wyrt?
recorded on 08-01-03

(Sorry for the large amount of text from previous posts and large amount of text to follow - just wanted to keep this in context for when you got a chance to see this whenever :) )

I did not bother looking up this information until you asked. Quite interesting really :)

-- You can read this information in a nicer format by following the "Source" links at the bottom of this post. I am merely copying sections in case those websites are unavailable at the time you have the opportunity to refer to this post --

"Full Moon names date back to Native Americans, of what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon. Their names were applied to the entire month in which each occurred. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own names. Since the lunar month is only 29 days long on the average, the full Moon dates shift from year to year."

Note the sentence that states there has been some variation in the moon names with different tribes, etc. That would explain why the list I am about to post is different in one or two months than the list previously given.

January Wolf Moon (aka Old Moon) "Amid the cold and deep snows of midwinter, the wolf packs howled hungrily outside Indian villages. Thus, the name for January's full Moon. Sometimes it was also referred to as the Old Moon, or the Moon After Yule. Some called it the Full Snow Moon, but most tribes applied that name to the next Moon."

February Snow Moon (aka Hunger Moon) "Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February's full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult."

March Worm Moon (aka Crow Moon, Crust Moon, Sugar Moon, Sap Moon) "Moon As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworm casts appear, heralding the return of the robins. The more northern tribes knew this Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter; or the Full Crust Moon, because the snow cover becomes crusted from thawing by day and freezing at night. The Full Sap Moon, marking the time of tapping maple trees, is another variation. To the settlers, it was also known as the Lenten Moon, and was considered to be the last full Moon of winter."

April Pink Moon (aka Sprouting Grass Moon, Full Egg Moon, Full Fish Moon)"This name came from the herb moss pink, or wild ground phlox, which is one of the earliest widespread flowers of the spring. Other names for this month's celestial body include the Full Sprouting Grass Moon, the Egg Moon, and among coastal tribes the Full Fish Moon, because this was the time that the shad swam upstream to spawn."

May Flower Moon (aka Corn Planting Moon, Milk Moon) "In most areas, flowers are abundant everywhere during this time. Thus, the name of this Moon. Other names include the Full Corn Planting Moon, or the Milk Moon."

June Strawberry Moon (aka Rose Moon, Hot Moon) "This name was universal to every Algonquin tribe. However, in Europe they called it the Rose Moon. Also because the relatively short season for harvesting strawberries comes each year during the month of June . . . so the full Moon that occurs during that month was christened for the strawberry!"

July Buck Moon (aka Thunder Moon, Hay Moon) "July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur. It was also often called the Full Thunder Moon, for the reason that thunderstorms are most frequent during this time. Another name for this month's Moon was the Full Hay Moon."

August Sturgeon Moon (aka Red Moon, Green Corn Moon) "The fishing tribes are given credit for the naming of this Moon, since sturgeon, a large fish of the Great Lakes and other major bodies of water, were most readily caught during this month. A few tribes knew it as the Full Red Moon because, as the Moon rises, it appears reddish through any sultry haze. It was also called the Green Corn Moon or Grain Moon."

September Harvest Moon* (aka Corn Moon, Barley Moon) "This is the full Moon that occurs closest to the autumn equinox. In two years out of three, the Harvest Moon comes in September, but in some years it occurs in October. At the peak of harvest, farmers can work late into the night by the light of this Moon. Usually the full Moon rises an average of 50 minutes later each night, but for the few nights around the Harvest Moon, the Moon seems to rise at nearly the same time each night: just 25 to 30 minutes later across the U.S., and only 10 to 20 minutes later for much of Canada and Europe. Corn, pumpkins, squash, beans, and wild rice the chief Indian staples are now ready for gathering."
*Note: The Harvest Moon is always the full Moon closest to the autumnal equinox. If the Harvest Moon occurs in October, the Sept full Moon is usually called the Corn Moon

October Hunter's Moon (aka Travel Moon, Dying Grass Moon) "With the leaves falling and the deer fattened, it is time to hunt. Since the fields have been reaped, hunters can easily see fox and the animals which have come out to glean."

November Beaver Moon (aka Frost Moon) "This was the time to set beaver traps before the swamps froze, to ensure a supply of warm winter furs. Another interpretation suggests that the name Full Beaver Moon comes from the fact that the beavers are now actively preparing for winter. It is sometimes also referred to as the Frosty Moon."

December Cold Moon (aka Long Nights Moon) "During this month the winter cold fastens its grip, and nights are at their longest and darkest. It is also sometimes called the Moon before Yule. The term Long Night Moon is a doubly appropriate name because the midwinter night is indeed long, and because the Moon is above the horizon for a long time. The midwinter full Moon has a high trajectory across the sky because it is opposite a low Sun."


In other news.... I can not begin to express how much I enjoy Gargoyles. Since becoming aware of your name, I have also seen your name attached to other series that I enjoy. Thank you for the entertainment and enjoyment you have brought to me. My long winded post to answer your question can not compare to how much I have appreciated your work. In short, thank you.

Greg responds...

First off, thank you for the context. It is VERY helpful. And thank you for the kind words too.

And thank you for all the very interesting information....

But it does beg a question. You said a few of the names you listed would be different... but let's face it, except for Harvest & Hunter's, ALL the names were different. Some might come across as variants, but most don't.

So I'm still curious about the original names that were posted...

Response recorded on March 15, 2005