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Walk While the Moon is Full

in Moon, Spiritual Practice, Wheel of the Year

Full Moon at Nuchalitz, west coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Photo by Craig Olson.

(This post is a sneak peek at some of the content from my Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices for Summer Solstice / Midsummer e-course. Tomorrow I will share more from Week 4, also all about the Moon.)

The Full Moon of Midsummer arrives tomorrow, Tuesday, July 3rd. We will experience her fullness tonight and Wednesday night as well, so any of these three nights will work for a full moon walk, and/or a ceremony to honor La Luna Bella.

So . . . It’s time to go for a nighttime walk.  Explore a familiar landscape by moonlight, or, if possible, plan to be somewhere away from city lights.

Being outside in the dark, under the glories of a full moon, encourages the use of senses other than sight.  We listen, we smell, we feel, we sense . . .

As you walk, be sure to notice what you see above and below you, as well as what is at eye level. Everything looks different in the moonlight! Be aware of each of the seven directions (east, south, west, north, above and below).

And, of course, open up all of your senses to the experience.

When you come home, get out your journal and write down (or sketch) everything you remember.

Then give a name to this full moon, according to what is going on in the natural world where you live.  Some traditional names for the July full moon are: Rose Moon, Buck Moon (because young male deer are now pushing out small velvety antlers — I’ve seen three in my neighborhood over the last few days!), Thunder Moon (because of frequent thunderstorms at this time), and Young Corn Moon.

From "When the Moon is Full" by Mary Azarian

My friend Cate Kerr gathers an abundance of moon names each month on her wonderful blog, Beyond the Fields We Know.  Here are the names she found for the Midsummer Full Moon:

Blackberry Moon, Blessing Moon, Blueberry Moon, Buck Moon, Claim Song Moon, Corn Moon, Crane Moon, Daisy Moon, Fallow Moon, Feather Moulting Moon, Flying Moon, Grass Cutter Moon, Ground Burning Moon, Hay Moon, Heat Moon, Horse Moon, Humpback Salmon Return to Earth Moon, Hungry Ghost Moon, Index Finger Moon, Larkspur Moon, Lightning Moon, Little Harvest Moon, Little Moon of Deer Horns Dropping off, Little Ripening Moon, Lotus Flower Moon, Meadow Moon, Manzanita Ripens Moon, Midsummer Moon, Middle Moon, Middle of Summer Moon, Moon of Claiming, Moon of the Young Corn, Moon of Fledgling Hawk, Moon of Much Ripening, Moon of the Home Dance, Moon of the Middle Summer, Moon of Ripeness, Moon When Cherries Are Ripe, Moon When the Buffalo Bellow, Moon When People Move Camp Together, Moon When Limbs of Are Trees Broken by Fruit, Moon When Squash Are Ripe and Indian Beans Begin to Be Edible, Moon When Ducks Begin to Malt, Mountain Clover Moon, Peaches Moon, Raspberry Moon, Red Berries Moon, Red Blooming Lilies Moon, Return from Harvest Moon, Ripe Corn Moon, Ripening Moon, Rose Moon, Salmon Go up the Rivers in a Group Moon, Seventh Moon, Smokey Moon, Strong Sun Moon, Summer Moon, Sun House Moon, Thunder Moon, Warming Sun Moon, Water Lily Moon, Wattle Moon, Wort Moon

What’s going on in the natural world where you live?

What will you name this Full Moon?

Let us know in the comments. I’d love to hear!

(Note: There is a beloved children’s book by Frances Hamerstrom, published in 1975, called Walk While the Moon is Full.  It describes 13 moonlit walks the author took with her two children during one year and the discoveries they made. It’s a charming book! It’s been out of print for a long time, but you’ll love it if you can find a copy.)

P.S. If you liked this Nature Practice, you’ll probably love my series of e-courses, Gaian Soul Seasonal Practices. Registration for the Lammas session starts July 11th and class starts July 22nd. Hope you can join us!

Thoughtful, sparkling comments. . .

  • Cari Ferraro Mon - Jul 02nd 2012 2:35 pm

    What a lovely post, Joanna. And tell Craig thanks for the photo. It matches, for me, the third verse of John O’Donahue’s poem “Beannact”:

    When the canvas frays
    In the currach of thought

    And a stain of ocean

    Blackens beneath you,
    
May there come across the waters

    A path of yellow moonlight

    To bring you safely home.

    Here’s my path of yellow moonlight, just so.

    Cari

    • Joanna Tue - Jul 03rd 2012 7:37 am

      Cari, that is one of my all-time favorite poems!
      Beautiful.

  • Gwen McClellan Wed - Jul 04th 2012 1:57 pm

    I am the satiated beneficiary of the posting and the poem. Thank you.

    • Joanna Thu - Jul 05th 2012 9:12 am

      Lovely, Gwen!

  • sandy Mon - May 19th 2014 1:12 am

    Thanks Joanna for the lovely writings…The full moon was so gorgeous here in SE. Texas..I laid my moonstone in my window to be energized by it pure bright line. Love the poetry..

    • Joanna Powell Colbert Mon - May 19th 2014 5:51 am

      Love hearing that, Sandy. Blessings to you!