Thursday, 31 December 2009

Today’s a Blue Moon, so heres some facts and fun...

I expect there will be a lot of posts today about the Blue Moon. I have always loved looking at the Moon, as does my Littleun and tonight, weather permitting, I’ll be taking Littleun out to star gaze and look for the Blue moon. For those of you who don’t know what a Blue Moon is (and yes I know that’s not many of you!) a BM is when you get two full moons in the same calendar month. This happens every couple of years or so as generally you’d get a new full moon every 29.5 days. For this reason is not possible for February to get two full moons.

The term Blue Moon is believed to have originated in 1883 after the eruption of Krakatoa. The volcano put so much dust in the atmosphere that the Moon actually looked blue in colour. This was so unusual that the term "once in a Blue Moon" was coined. However, Blue Moon was also used in much the same way we use the term "Harvest Moon". There were twelve names for full moons, one for each month, and the name Blue Moon was used in years which had 13 full moons. It referred to the third full moon of the four occurring between an equinox and solstice in that year. A misinterpretation of this led to a Sky and Telescope Magazine "Star Quiz" in July 1943 followed by an article in March 1946 which stated that the second full moon in any calendar month was called a Blue Moon (attributed to the 1937 Maine Farmers' Almanac), and this definition has now become part of the language.

A double Blue Moon can occur 4 or 5 times in a hundred years and those of you living in Australia, New Zealand or the Far East will have this in 2010, January and then March.

Moon Goddesses
Cerridwen is, in Celtic mythology, the keeper of the cauldron of knowledge. She is the giver of wisdom and inspiration, and as such is often associated with the moon and the intuitive process. As a goddess of the Underworld, Cerridwen is often symbolized by a white sow, which represents both her fecundity and fertility and her strength as a mother. She is both the Mother and the Crone; many modern Pagans honour Cerridwen for her close association to the full moon.
Some other moon goddesses are Selene (or Luna), sister to Helios - the sun god. In Greek mythology she is called Artemis a virgin goddess of the moon. She rides her silver chariot across the sky and shoots her arrows of silver moonlight to the earth below. In ancient Egypt the sickle-shaped new moon signified the goddess Isis, the Egyptian goddess of rebirth, and crescent shaped jewellery was believed to protect infants.

Triple Moon
The triple moon is a Goddess symbol representing the Maiden, Mother, and Crone aspects as the waxing, full, and waning moon. The triple moon symbol is associated with feminine mystery, energy and psychic skill, and often adorned jewellery worn by High Priestesses.

Celtic Moon Names
January: Quite Moon

February: Moon of Ice
March: Moon of Winds
April: Growing Moon
May: Bright Moon
June: Moon of Horses
July: Moon of Claiming
August: Dispute Moon
September: Singing Moon
October: Harvest Moon
November: Dark Moon

December: Cold Moon

We’re also doing a bit of baking to make some Moon biscuits for our evening out;

For the biscuits:
100g/4oz Butter/Soft Margarine
100g/4oz Soft brown sugar
1 egg
225/8oz plain flour
1 pinch of salt
1 teaspoon mixed spice

For icing and decorating:
150g/5oz icing sugar
1-2 tablespoons of: hot water
edible silver balls

You will also need:
2 round cookie cutters (1 Large, 1 Small)
a large non-stick baking sheet

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5, 190 C (375 F).
2. Grease and flour a large, non-stick baking sheet.
3. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and sugar together with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy.
4. Crack open the egg into a cup, and beat. Add to the mixture of butter and sugar stirring in well.
5. Now sift in the flour, Salt and mixed spice. Mix everything together to form a dough.
6. Sprinkle some flour onto the work surface, and roll out the dough to a thickness of about 5mm. Be careful not to roll too thinly. Use the cookie cutters to press out the sun, moon and star shapes from the dough. To make the moons, cut out small circles with the large round cutter, cut part of the biscuit away to make a crescent moon shape.
7. Place the cookies on the baking sheet and put near the top of the oven. Cook for about 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
8. When the biscuits are ready, remove from the oven wearing oven gloves. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Recipe from: An Ark full of recipes - Claire Freedman
Other info; David Harper PhD, Dr. David R. Williams, Me!
Photo, Flickr member; Wolverine

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