Saturday, September 1, 2012

Mongolia | Zaisan Tolgoi | Blue Moon

Last night, August 31, the Full Moon occurred at exactly 10:58 pm. It was also a Blue Moon. As noted below, I went into Occultation on August 2, the date of the previous Full Moon. I always go into Complete Occultation for the entire lunar cycle leading up to a Blue Moon. I am not at liberty to tell you how or where I spent my Occultation. The reasons for occultation are occult, so I cannot explain them here, but a little research on the internet will reveal the details to those you who are interested. Anyhow, today, September 1, the morning after the Blue Moon, I am coming out of Occultation. I am also back on the internet (it is amazing what has happened in the world since I last checked the news: Snooki Had a Baby and Anal Tattooing Is the Next Big Thing).

I must note, however, that this was a Blue Moon only by what might be called the Folkloric Definitionor, as Sky and Telescope Magazine calls it, the Trendy Definition. This is when two full moons occur in one month. There was a full moon on August 2, the date I went into Occultation, and on August 31, hence the second full moon is a Blue Moon. The phenomenon of two full moons in one month occurs once every 2.7 years on average. The next is on July 31, 2015. The relative rarity of the phenomenon is the source of the expression “once in a Blue Moon.” 

Some claim, however, that the more accurate definition is the so-called Farmer’s Almanac Rule, so named because it was made popular in the Farmer’s Almanac. This takes into account the solstices and equinoxes and the seasons of the year. Since there are four seasons and (usually) twelve Full Moons a year each season should have three full moons. Occasionally, however, one year will have thirteen full moons, leaving one season with four full moons. When this happens the third full moon of the season is a Blue Moon. Just to be on the safe side, I also observe Occultation in the lunar cycle leading up to a Blue Moon according to this definition. 

While on the subject of the Farmer’s Almanac, I can add parenthetically that my grandfather kept a copy on the stand by his easy chair at all times; this and the Bible were the only publications allowed in the house, although my grandmother would occasional sneak in a Saturday Evening Post (the old Post, before they started doing profiles of Kim Novak, Thelonious Monk, and other outré personages) or a Reader’s Digest. Also, do not confuse the Farmer’s Almanac with the Old Farmer’s Almanac.  This is like confusing a John Deere with a Farmall. But I do like the Old Farmer’s Almanac Moon Page. And their Full Moon Finder App for the iPhone is almost enough to make me want to buy on iPhone.

Although long a subject of occult speculation—according to legend the loathsome necrophiliac Abdul Alhazred was Consumed by a Fleshing-Eating Demon in the copperware market of Damascus on the morning after a Blue Moon in 738 AD.—“Blue Moon” entered the popular lexicon perhaps by means of the song “Blue Moon”, written in 1934 by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart and covered by a host of performers, including Billie Holiday, Mel Torme, Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, and Cliff Richard:

Blue Moon
You saw me standing alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Blue Moon
You know just what I was there for
You heard me saying a prayer for
Someone I really could care for . . .

Blue moon
Now I'm no longer alone
Without a dream in my heart
Without a love of my own

Next up: The Autumn Equinox on September 22—I don’t have to tell you what that means!—then the  Harvest Moon on September 30, and then the best moon of the year—The Hunter’s Moon on October 30! Fasten your seat belts, people! It is going to be a Wild Ride to the Winter Solstice on December 21, when all Hell is expected to break loose . . .