Friday, June 22, 2012

Pagan Blog Project - M is for Moon

I love the moon. As a woman, I feel especially drawn to Mother Earth's only satellite. The word month is derived from the word moon. However, months today are no longer associated with the moon.

Astronomical Facts

  • A sidereal month is about 27 1/3 days. This is how long it takes for the moon to appear in the sky against the same starry background, i.e., 0 degs on the ecliptic.
  • A synodic month is the time between the same phase (new moon to new moon) and is about 29 1/2 days.
  • The moon is slowly getting further away from the earth.
  • The 8 phases of the moon are new, waxing crescent, 1st quarter, waxing gibbous, full, waning gibbous, 3rd quarter, and waning crescent.
  • Earth's moon does not have an official name like the moons of the other planets.
  • Eclipses occur when the moon's orbit crosses the ecliptic. These intersections are called lunar nodes.

Moon and Paganism

  • The moon has both day and night rulership of Cancer in astrology.
  • Esbat is a gathering occurring on a moon phase.
  • Many pagans celebrate at least 1 or 2 esbats (new and full moons); others add the 1st and 3rd quarter. I recognize all 8 phases. Each esbat corresponds to a sabbat in the Wheel of the Year.
  • Some Buddhist sects celebrate uposatha which occurs weekly on the main phases of the moon.

Other Stuff

  • Monday is of course the day of the Moon.
  • Islam uses a complete lunar calendar. This is why their holy days drift during the solar year.
  • One way to merge the lunar month with the solar year is to have 13 months of 28 days. This leaves 1 or 2 extra days. I believe this is the true meaning of "a year and a day" that you hear many witches talking about.
What interesting trivia do you have about the moon?


  1. Great post! I too LOVE the moon as well as the triple moon goddess! :)

  2. Love our post, we acknowledge new, full, and both gibbous. And your right in the mark about the year and a day!