From the ABC 7 Weather team

Full Wolf Moon appears over D.C. tonight

January 19, 2011 - 03:22 PM
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Is this the dreaded Full Worm Moon? (Photo: Associated Press)

Holy smokes – tonight we’re going to experience something that sounds electrifying, a Full Wolf Moon.

The full-on wolf action will begin at 4:28 this afternoon as the moon achieves complete exposure. The moon’s frightful name derives from Native American times, when packs of wolves howled their winter belly-aches away outside of encampments of trembling villagers. (Or so says the Farmer’s Almanac: Maybe it’s just more weather folklore?)

According to pagan ritual, the Wolf Moon is a good time to make a list of things you want to change in your lives and throw it into a fire. That seems to defeat the point of making such a list, but after looking at modern-day pagans it appears they’re not that big into gym memberships and whatnot, thus the burning of resolutions makes sense. Pagans also recommend smudging some sage on your body for the Wolf Moon, so if you find yourself near the spice rack tonight and don’t mind smelling like a pork chop, go wild.

But for the rest of us, this is an opportunity to learn about the goofy Native American naming system for our moons.

In March, we’ll have the chance to gawk at a Full Worm Moon.

That name comes from the increase in earthworm activity as the ground thaws out. But all it does for me is conjure up a glistening globe of entangled worms. Full moons should inspire wonder, not gagging.

August will feature a Full Sturgeon Moon, which sounds like a silly Monty Python joke. And September has a Full Corn Moon. Who knows about the corn harvest these days? Full High-Fructose Corn Syrup moon would be a more graspable concept.

Finally, November will have an, ahem, Full Beaver Moon. Under that moon’s sensuous light, you’re supposed to set up your beaver traps before the waters freeze.

Seriously, somebody needs to update these names before we become an international laughingstock. Can anybody think up something better for our January full moon?

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