Often known as the “buck” moon, tonight’s full moon was given this nickname because it marks the height of summer when male deer, known as bucks, begin to grow new antlers, reported USA Today. Although many different cultures worldwide have their own names for the mid-July full moon, many of the names common in North America, including the buck moon, come from Native American and early settler folklore, according to Astronomy Magazine.
Both Native Americans and settlers relied heavily on the phases of the moon to keep track of the changing seasons and a variety of important events associated with various times of the year. For example, according to the Farmer’s Almanac, August’s full moon is called the Sturgeon Moon, which is named for the species of fish that is best caught in the Great Lakes around that time. Other popular names for the July full buck moon include the “thunder moon” because thunderstorms are also quite frequent at this time of year, as well as the “hay moon,” because farmers are typically racing to put up the hay in their barns before the wet ground ruins the crops.
Tonight, the buck moon will be at its fullest by 6:57 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, although most North Americans on the East Coast won’t be able to see it until around 8 p.m. Despite the fact that the moon will technically have already entered its waning gibbous phase by the time it becomes visible in North America tonight, the full buck moon will still have a striking appearance, according to CNBC.
One reason the full buck moon is always a popular event among both novice and professional astronomers is that it occurs during warm weather and often appears in beautifully clear skies, reported Travel + Leisure. This year, the buck moon will reach its peak in America by midnight and will retain its full appearance throughout the night.
“Regardless of its name, tonight’s warm temperatures, fairly clear skies, and bright moon make it the perfect night to go out and stargaze.”
If you’re still left wondering what’s so special about July’s full buck moon, perhaps looking at it from an astrological perspective will help. According to the Huffington Post, the buck moon is also a time when the Sun and Moon are in opposite signs of the Zodiac, creating a cosmic yin and yang harmony between the solar and lunar energies.
“The full moon is an exuberant time of new possibilities when we must trust our intuition and recognize that we now have an opportunity to ‘go for it.'”
So, if the full buck moon this July has you feeling extra motivated, consider taking action to turn big dreams into reality. After all, whether cosmic forces are at work or not, it’s always a good idea to capitalize on positive energy! If that means making a fresh start, giving something that failed another try or simply turning a negative experience into a positive by setting new goals, the full buck moon can be a good reason to start fresh and hit the collective reset button on the latest phase of life.
“So find a patch of grass, bring a picnic and maybe resist the urge to go buck wild.”
Oh, but beware of the werewolves! Yes, you read that correctly. Huffington Post astrologer Larry Schwimmer points out that old superstitions say that when a full moon crests, werewolves also come out for the night. All folklore aside, Schwimmer says the real evidence does point to an increase in police incidents, accidents, emotional extremes, and acts of violence during the full moon, a fact he chalks up to increased intensity and strong feelings brought about by the powerful planetary energy.
[Image via Twitter]