The passing of the year in Ancient Cultures was often measured by the cycles of the Moon.
Each lunar month (moonth) has a name and image. These names are given to the full moon of the month and relate to the seasonal cycles of the temperate Northern Hemisphere.
They also have a pictorial symbol because they existed long before people learnt to read and write – Moon Symbols
The names used in the Luna Calendar vary from place to place reflecting a variety of environmental influences.
Each year consisted of thirteen moons (or moonths) commencing at Yule; but now that the passage of a year is observed differently. The year now starts at the first new moon after Yule and has either twelve or thirteen moons.
Technically, there are twelve and one third moons each year, so we have to have thirteen moons every third year to keep the year correct and in balance.
Some other tribes don’t use this method with their Lunar calendar and have developed all sorts of complicated systems to try and achieve the same result.
Thirteen Lunar Months
|The first is the Snow Moon relating to January and winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Other names are Moon After Yule, Old Moon, Ice Moon, and Wolf Moon – relating to the howling wolves|
|The second is called the Death Moon because, due to the cold and the threat of starvation and harsh climate, death is very near. With the food store becoming scarce, survival can be tenuous. The darkness before the dawn. This full moon is also called, Hunger Moon, Storm Moon, and sometimes Chaste Moon|
|With the third or Awakening Moon, the days seem suddenly longer and warmer, and the March full moon is the last of the winter season. Is also called Crow Moon, Sugar Moon, and Lenten Moon – perhaps relating to the Christian Calendar.|
|The Grass Moon energy relates to April when the fields start to grow again and spring begins. It’s also called Pink Moon, Fish Moon, Hare Moon, and Egg Moon – a symbol of Easter|
|The fifth or May full moon is the Planting Moon as it’s time to sow seed after frosts are finished. It can be called Flower Moon, Corn Planting Moon, and Milk Moon.|
|Flower Moon arrives at a time of Summer Solstice and the height of the flowering season. Other names are Hot Moon, Strawberry Moon, Mead Moon, and Rose Moon.|
|Thunder and Lightning are always worse during the seventh month hence the name, the Lightning Moon. July full moon is also called Buck Moon relating to the antlers on deer that are evident at this time of the year. Other names are Thunder Moon, Wort Moon, and Hay Moon.|
|Next comes the Harvest Moon for gathering in the crops. Also, the August full moon can be called Sturgeon Moon. But most of the names such as Green Corn Moon, Barley Moon, Fruit Moon, and Grain Moon, reflect that it’s harvests time|
Some traditions names the Harvest Moon as that closest to the September equinox, rather than the August Full Moon. Using this system it can even fall in October some years.
|The Hunters Moon for stocking up the meat stores, preserving and deciding which of the livestock should be helped to survive the winter, and which were to be eaten during the winter.|
|With the coming of the tenth or Falling Leaf Moon, the trees shed their leaves and start their dormant period, indicating that Autumn has arrived. Leaves might be gathering up and used for animal bedding or to insulate homes from the forthcoming winter cold. Dying Grass Moon|
|The November Full Moon is known as the Tree Moon, the ideal time for cutting wood and transplanting trees. It is also commonly called the Beaver Moon honouring their industry at this time of the year, as they prepare for winter. Other names are Frosty Moon or Oak Moon, although the latter sometimes applies to December. If the Tree Moon is the last Full Moon before the December Solstice, then it can be called the Mourning Moon|
|The December Full Moon or Long Night Moon relates to the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere and the beginning of winter. Also called Moon before Yule or Cold Moon.|
|When there is a thirteenth Full Moon, as there is every third year, it is called Ice Moon.|