If you’re confused about these strange Moon names, you’re not alone. Not only can their names be confusing, but their actual meanings can vary as well.
This one is the one that most people are familiar with, but still…it has more than one meaning. Most people think of a Blue Moon as being the second Full Moon in a month. That’s the colloquial definition, and it’s true. It’s what I think of when I hear or say “Blue Moon.”
The original meaning of a Blue Moon was four Full Moons in a quarter, or a season, with the Blue Moon being the third Full Moon (not the fourth). That boils down to 1) one of those seasonal months having two Full Moons in different astrological signs, or 2) two Full Moons in different months, but in the same astrological sign.
Lunar months are 29 days and calendar months average 30 days. That’s how a Blue Moon occasionally shows up twice in a month. It happens approximately every 2½ years.
Blue Moons aren’t really blue, of course, unless the atmosphere throws something up there that adds a bit of color. They’re pretty when we get a glimpse of them, though, if we ever do.
The rarity of Blue Moons spawned the term, “Once in a Blue Moon.”
A Black Moon is the second New Moon in a month. 2014 is a good example. There was a New Moon on January 1st with a second New Moon on January 30th. This leaves February without a New Moon.
An alternative meaning for a Black Moon is a month without a New Moon. February 2014 is also an example of this meaning. A New Moon occurs on January 30th with next New Moon on March 1st, leaving February 2014 without a New Moon.
Dark of the Moon
The Dark of the Moon is the period of approximately two days immediately preceding the New Moon, the last 48 hours of the Balsamic phase. This is the time to work on New Moon intentions that begin after the New Moon. It’s also an excellent time for release, psychic work, getting rid of things, and throwing junk out.
- The Hunter’s Moon is the Full Moon that follows the Harvest Moon. The Moon rises very low on the horizon for several days in a row. Because of atmospheric conditions, the Full Moon appears reddish. The term Blood Moon has no connection to this also being the Hunter’s Moon, though there’s certainly blood shed during a hunt. The Hunter’s Moon loses its reddish glow as it rises higher in the night sky.
- Blood Moon is also a name for the Full Moon in October that immediately precedes All Hallows Eve.
- Another type of Blood Moon is the reddish Moon we see during a lunar eclipse. The reddish hue is a result of earth’s atmosphere scattering light from all the sunrises and sunsets happening on earth. This causes the earth’s shadow to look reddish as it falls across the lunar surface.
Dark Moon Lilith, Black Moon Lilith
I’m out of my element on this one, but Marina E. Partridge isn’t.
Lilith in astrology incorporates three entities. We have Black Moon Lilith, Asteroid Lilith and the lesser known Dark Moon Lilith. Together they work as a Triple Moon Goddess, which describes a process of transformation.
I refer you to her excellent article explaining these three in detail: Lilith in Astrology