- Not a Full Thunder Moon, but a 10-second exposure of a full moon with a Leonid meteor in Greenwood, S.C. (Blake Suddeth)
Tonight’s full moon, if you take all the American Indian names it’s known by and squish them into a metaphorical ball, is like a grass-covered deer running through a thunderstorm. Say hello to July 2011’s only full moon, the Full Thunder Moon, which in other circles goes by the names Full Buck Moon and Full Hay Moon.
The booming, behoofed moon will unveil its full nakedness tonight at 2:40 a.m. The National Weather Service is reporting that the weather will be as perfect as you could ask for, almost Septemberlike in fact, with low humidity and a thin to nonexistent cloud cover. So keep that pot of coffee boiling and don’t forget to wear your aluminum beanie-cap to prevent moon madness.
Curious about the various names for this moon, which is sandwiched between last month’s Full Strawberry Moon (aka the “Hot Moon”) and the upcoming Full Sturgeon Moon (aka the “Green Corn Moon”)?
Obviously, thunder is not uncommon in July. So there's that. The ruminant enters the picture because this is the time of year when bucks are growing their new antlers. Not so sure about the hay – any alfalfa farmers out there want to chip in? There seems to be a suburban bias to these names… perhaps NASA can look into finding more suitable names for city folk, such as the Stifling Humidity Moon, Sidewalk Ratfight Moon or Toxic Garbage Stink Moon.
According to pagan folklore, the Thunder Moon is a “very masculine moon” and a great time to “work on the physical things in your life. Either physical in body, or things that some physical attention, like fixing the loose handle on the kitchen drawer.” At the risk of offending any pagans or Wiccans out there – January’s discussion of the Full Wolf Moon did not go over so well – I must include these details from a secret Wiccan Thunder Moon ceremony in case anybody wants to try something new tonight.
First, hire a lawyer, because this ritual is copyrighted by the MoonPathChapter of Continental Covenant of Unitarian Universalist Pagans in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Then get yourself to a Michaels craft store to buy a pack of black candles. Take these into the forest behind your subdivision and light 'em up, chanting "Neath thunder moon we cleanse this place / We sanctify our Sacred Space." Splash around some salt water and wave incense. Finally, grab a basket of cakes, touch it with a wand and go to town. There's always a Think Thin Spell to cast later.
(If I sense any negative vibes coming from upset Wiccans casting Get Even Spells, for when “You want this person to get their comeuppance and to never bother you again,” I swear to god I'll respond with a triple-cast Marry Me! Spell.)