Friday, July 7, 2017

The July Sky Between Guru Purnima, Shooting Stars And Planets

If June is a month full of astronomical events, July certainly is no exception. The full moon of July is called the Mother Moon, Thunder Moon, Meadow Moon, Hay Moon, Wort Moon, and Mead Moon. In the Indian Vedic tradition the full moon of July is celebrated as the Guru Purnima. This moon is named for two reasons.

First, because we are at a time when the Earth has its closest approach to the Sun, near the solstice. And then the light dominates the day for a longer period promoting maturation and growth of plants. The second reason is that in this lunation, in neighboring nights at the solstice, the magical properties of herbs reach a peak.

The witches, Herbane, shamans or at least those accustomed to magic and healing, went to the woods to gather the plant roots, leaves, stems, flowers and seeds by night. These were necessary to make herbal tea, potions, poultices, or whatever is necessary.

The nature at this time is at its peak, before the beginning of the slow decline to the dark part of the year. It was a moment of great power and even divination. This was the time to plan to deal with the dark side around the corner that slowly took the step up to the winter solstice.

Pending the most famous of August, the spectacle of the meteors begins in the first half of July. In this month falling stars increase. In clear weather conditions, you can also see more than 20 meteors per hour. More precisely, there is the Alpha Capricornids that takes place until 15 July, which are remarkably bright meteors with a very slow transition.

While between 17 and 18 July, Arietids are well visible, which radiate from an area between the constellation of the Scutum and Aquila. Around July 18, the Draco constellations of Cygnus and Aquarius seem to radiate the Omicron and Zeta.

July is the only month with as many as five lunar phases and the month of meetings between the planets and the Moon like Jupiter and Saturn in the Ophiuchus constellation. We can see the concentration of the stars in the Taurus constellation, with the Pleiades, the star cluster, and the star Aldebaran, the brightest of the constellation and Venus.

But the real star of this month is the Pluto. In fact, this is the best time of the year to observe the dwarf planet using a powerful enough telescope due to the low brightness of the planet that becomes visible all night in the Sagittarius constellation, where it will stay until 2023.

The Meadow Moon was known in the Celtic kingdom as the Deer Hunter's Moon.




This animal played a key role in Celtic mythology, especially in the form of Cernunnos. The male deer had the distinction of being chased by hunters in the wood after alienating themselves from the females and pups. They literally sacrificed themselves.

This behavior earned them the title of the King Deer or one who has the courage to sacrifice himself willingly so that the creatures he loves can be rescued. This symbolism in the Celtic world was associated precisely to the King's function for one year, that is the very sacrifice of the ruler. The blood so spilled on the ground fertilized the earth.

In ancient times, even the cannibal ceremony was the ritual meal with the meat of the king. Another side of this moon was its proximity to the world of the fairies. In this period, the legends say that fairies were more likely to look for a human companion for a night to have such hybrid children to raise them.

Meadow Moon is also known as the harvest moon, Full Buck Moon, Maedmonat, Hewimanoth, Fallow Moon, Peach Moon, Duck Moon, Pumpkin Moon, Raspberry Moon, Salmon Moon, Horse Moon, Blessing Moon and the Summer Moon.
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