Image Source: SLOweather.
The Farmers' Almanac confirms the cultural significance of today's full moon, which is also known as the 'Strawberry Moon' according to Algonquian tribal lore. The moon is thusly named because this is the week when wild strawberries in the Algonquin regions of North America bear fruit, to which I can well attest, since they grow all around my house. They are amazing. They put the bloated hybrid grocery store monsters to shame.
Marking time with these tiny explosions of sweetness is a nice reminder of a period when the whole calendar was determined by the seasonal cycles of hunter gatherer cultures, and later by agriculture and horticulture. But be warned: start exploring the metaphors around this history, and you open the doors to true strangeness.
Wild strawberries. Image Source: AMC.
In Europe, the June full moon is called the 'Rose Moon.' There's even a hybrid variety of tea rose that appears to be named for this date: Moon Shadow. It was developed in 1998. Even now, there is a feeling that time can be framed in terms of the age-old metaphors of growth, bearing fruit, and blossoming. For gardeners who take spiritual solace from the beauty of their plants, Tree Frog Farm declares: "Moon Shadow Rose is a silvery lavender-pink hybrid tea rose. If you are unable move forward because you are stuck in the past, are overshadowed by your past, or are continually repeating the past over and over again, Moon Shadow Rose will be your friend. Moon Shadow Rose Flower Essence supports the process of discerning what is useful to learn from your past and letting go of the rest. Then it inspires your ability to move forward toward discovering your authentic Self."
Hybrid Tea Rose, Moon Shadow variety. Image Source: Norfolk Botanical Garden/D. Avery/Wiki.
In Asian cultures, the new moon in June (1 June 2011) similarly celebrates the first blush of summer flowers as a parallel for human beauty and mental health. That new moon is called the 'Lotus Moon.' It is the sixth new moon in the Chinese calendar. It is associated with renewal, rejuvenation and hope, an idea well expressed at the Website, Skillful Living:
“The Lotus Moon,” [is] a very powerful metaphor for nurturing beauty and positivity in our lives and in ourselves. The lotus roots in mud, and out of the murky water, it produces a most beautiful flower. The symbol of the lotus assures us that a person can rise above being rooted in the messiness, suffering and “imperfection” in the world. Indeed, people in our culture strive for an elusive ideal of perfection; and as long as they perceive their lives as less than “perfect,” they are unable to be truly content. The problem is that nothing is perfect in this sense, and as long as we hold onto that false belief we will remain in a vicious cycle of frustration and despair. The irony is that this perceived imperfection is actually what makes the world perfect–the fact being, sometimes we need the messiness to flower and reach our fullest potential. Instead of focusing our energies on trying to achieve the impossible state of “perfection,” we should realize that beauty can be found in unexpected places. And rather than focusing on what makes something, someone or a situation less than perfect, it is more fruitful to search for that which makes them beautiful. Don’t just look at the muddy water; appreciate the exquisite lotus that grows out of it.
Image Source: Living in Season.
This year is unusual, because the symbols around early summer are believed by astrologers to have been intensified by a series of eclipses (for photos of today's lunar eclipse, go here). Astrology, as an early form of astronomy, was always connected to the turn of the seasons, and from that natural calendar, to agriculture. The focus on this relationship creates, through several overlapping discussions online, a powerful Millennial hybrid metaphor. Descriptions of the June-July eclipses combine several different, very old traditions of understanding the meaning of time at this time of year. In short, the most fundamental ancient temporal traditions are alive and well and recombining in a new way on the Internet. These traditions provide a context for the phenomenon of massive change and transformation which we are instinctively convinced besets us at the turn of the Millennium. And many people believe this, whether the change is actually happening or not. The way we count time is dictating how we interpret the symbolic meaning of time.
Image Source: Astronomologer.
Hence at Astronomologer, Donna Povancher sees the June 1 and 15 moons as "vitally linked" to the solar and lunar eclipses that also respectively fall on those days; and she even brings in Ophiuchus, the 13th astrological sign, which I have blogged about here. The sign is based on the constellation imagined as a man grasping at a serpent, a sign still used to indicate medical practice (see here and here). The figure is associated with the ancient healer. Ophiuchus is appearing in Millennial online eschatologies like a strange party crasher whom no one knows. He's a weird astrological interloper popping up in the bureoning Millennial ethos. Povancher feels that this full moon is "all about Ophiuchus."
Image Source: Astronomologer.
On top of this, Povancher asserts that in June, the Sun and Moon "demonstrate celestial alchemy," aligning with the star Aldebaran, the brightest star in the constellation Taurus. Povancher treads some rather deep occult and mystical waters, but boils it down to this:
In ancient times the royal star Aldebaran was associated with the Eye of God. A person born with an alignment to this star was said to have been blessed with all manner of good things. Exoterically Taurus is Lunar-ruled, so technically the Sun is in detriment here. But conjoined with Aldebaran, fortune is within the grasp of anyone willing to earn it in one way or another (every dog has its day). Try earning it with Love.- Or strawberries?
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