On Christmas Day, 2015, there will be the brightest full moon of the year. This will be the first full moon to occur on Christmas Day in 40 years. The next Christmas full moon will not be until the year 2034. This moon occurs at the start of winter so, according to NASA, it is called the Full Cold Moon or the Long Night Moon. The peak of this celestial body on Christmas Day will be at 6:11 a.m. EST, which is an hour before sunrise. At this time the moon and the sun will be exactly on opposite sides of the Earth, creating an 180-degree angle, giving the moon the full reflection of the sun.
Those who are not morning people or will have cloudy skies can see a nearly full moon on the Internet through Slooh, the online observatory. Slooh has a telescope at an observatory in the Canary Islands and will be using it to broadcast the live feed of the Christmas moon, starting at 7 p.m.
In 1996, the full moon was on Christmas Eve at 3:30 p.m. The next Christmas Day Full Moon will occur at 3:54 a.m. in 2034.
The Greek astronomer, Meton of Athens, discovered in the fifth century BC, that once the moon makes 235 revolutions around Earth, 6,940 days have passed. This is a few hours difference from how long it takes the Earth to go around the sun 19 times. This means that the phases of the moon recur, on the same day, every 19 years. This pattern is called the Metonic cycle. The ninth century version is a little different by a few hours. This difference is why it has been 40 years since the last Christmas Day Full Moon.
In Pagan tradition, each full moon has a meaning. December’s moon, due to is alternate names, has come to be known by the negativity that comes with the month; cold, long nights, and darkness. However, Pagans see it as a time of reflection and coming together. This year, the Christmas Day Full Moon might intensify the desire to be around friends and loved ones. There are other spiritual effects that may come with this rare spectacle including a clarity in one’s heart and mind, an elevated sense of psychic awareness, and a stronger healing capacity. These can benefit one who is reflecting on the year which has passed, and on the intentions for the one ahead.
Pagans and many other lifestyles believe the moon has a maternal influence. This familial significance is stronger when the moon is full and may teach people things they were unaware of within themselves. According to Pagan traditions, those who celebrate Christmas Day, as well as the full moon, may experience an overwhelming feeling to reevaluate their relationships and purpose.
Wiccans claim that all magic functions by this formula, “That which is above is the same as that which is below.” Everything and everyone is connected. The full moon of Nov. 25, 2015, rose in the Gemini constellation, creating planetary alignments that called for the need of a revolution and deep-seated change. The attitude a Wiccan has during this time is extremely important. One must maintain a willingness to flow with the energy of the calling, and have a heart of thankfulness for what one has already gained. This is the attitude a Wiccan must have to gain empowerment for whatever the future may hold.
According to astrology, the Christmas Day Full Moon comes in the time of Cancer, meaning that one looks onto the past longingly, while, at the same time, welcoming a bright future of the unexpected. The energy flow from Gemini still remains, however, Uranus will be a part of the excitement generated on Christmas Day. Uranus is a sign of Aries and will bring out one’s strong-willed power, which could be subversive during the holiday. One may feel on the edge and there may be a shudder of emotion.
Christmas Day will reveal how one is serving who they are in the present, and who they are becoming. One may not understand how to maintain a feeling of security at home, leave a legacy, and use these ideas to push them forward in many religions.
Wiccans celebrate Yule as the birth of the Sun God, as the days will begin to get longer. The Goddess sacrificed herself to give birth to the Lord of Light and ensure the survival of the Earth. Yule is celebrated with a bonfire. The villagers would gather around and dedicate the light of the fire to the Sun God. They would decorate their homes with evergreen wreaths and trees to represent life in the dark and barren winter. The tree would be decorated with shiny objects encouraging the Sun God to shine brightly.
Other Yule symbols include holly and mistletoe to represent the fertility of the God and Goddess. The red berries on the holly are a remembrance of the blood shed by the Goddess. The white berries on the mistletoe are a reminder of the God’s semen that will bring a healthy spring and harvest.
These ideas in Pagan traditions are heightened with the full moon of Christmas Day. All beliefs and lifestyles may feel a shifting in themselves and their circumstances. However, following the most recent Total Lunar Eclipse Tetrad were a string of violent and deadly earthquakes. Will the Christmas Day Full Moon phenomenon start another scientifically dismissed occurrence?
By Jeanette Smith
Edited by Cathy Milne
Refinery29: Why The Christmas Full Moon Is Even More Important Than You Thought
NASA: Rare Full Moon on Christmas Day
Business Insider: There’s a Rare Celestial Event on Christmas That We Won’t See for Another 19 years
Tumblr: Wicca Teachings
Astrology: Christmas Full Moon in Cancer (2015)
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