From shifting star signs, to the rare Neowise comet, we’ve spent a lot more time Googling and talking about the night sky than ever before. Indeed, the lines between astrology and astronomy have sometimes even crossed, with NASA getting in on the zodiac, and astrologers translating lunar eclipses into horoscope-esque readings.
First things first, what is a Grain Moon?
You may hear this particular full moon referred to by various names, including the Grain Moon and the Lynx Moon.
As per The Almanac: A Seasonal Guide To 2020: “Spend time in the countryside this month and it is easy to see why the name Grain Moon was once used for August’s full moon. This is the moment that the fields of wheat are ripening to soft gold, with warm breezes rippling them in the moonlight. Harvest time has begun.”
And what of the term Lynx Moon, then?
“The word ‘lynx’ is derived from the Middle English word ‘leuk’, meaning ‘light’ or ‘brightness’,” the book explains.
“‘Lynx’ might therefore have been a reference to the brightness of the moon itself… rather than because of the presence of this very shy animal.”
When will the Grain Moon be visible?
Here in the UK, August’s full moon will be visible in the night sky on the evening of Monday 3 August, after the moon makes a close pass to Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky.
“Full moons occur when the moon is exactly on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun,” explains Space.com.
“If the moon passes through the Earth’s shadow, we see a lunar eclipse, but that doesn’t happen every month because the moon’s orbit is slightly inclined, so the moon usually misses the shadow. Full moons occur about every 29.5 days, which is just a little bit longer than the moon’s orbital period. The reason is that the Earth is moving around the sun, so that by the time the moon gets to the same place it was in its last pass, the Earth isn’t directly between the moon and sun anymore.”
While the moon will technically be at its fullest at around 4.58pm on that day, it probably won’t be visible in the sky until it rises that same night.
Good news, though: it won’t set again until roughly 4.50am in the early hours of Tuesday morning, meaning it will be visible in all its glory throughout the night – providing we don’t have too many rainclouds blocking our view, of course.
And what is the full moon in Aquarius?
If you’re more into your astrology than your astronomy, you’ll no doubt be interested to know how tonight’s full moon (and its positioning in the sky) is alleged to impact your zodiac.
Kirsty Gallagher, moon mentor and author of Lunar Living: Working with the Magic of the Moon Cycles, tells us: “The last full moon in Capricorn asked you to step into your inner power, truth and spiritual awakening and live your purpose. Then along came our double/black moon in Cancer to give you a second chance at a new beginning, asking you to take responsibility for your life and create a safe home in you.
“Now, this Aquarius full moon comes along to illuminate the skies and your need for the freedom to be yourself.”
Why does the full moon in Aquarius impact our moods so much?
“There may be a real feeling of things shifting around this full moon, a sense of stirring energy in the pit of your belly and you might find yourself prowling, pacing up and down and feeling restless and restricted,” suggests Gallagher.
“This full moon is calling you to find the freedom to be yourself. Given what we have been through and learned and processed over the last few months, this moon wants to help you break things out and break things up and awaken into a new reality. A new reality where you are free to be you: truly, completely and authentically you, with nothing left to hide or fear.
“There will be a very intense, dynamic energy around this moon as you are called to break free from all that limits and holds you back. You will be able to see and feel so clearly all the areas in your life where you are stuck, not just bound by external factors, but also how you bind yourself.
“And you will feel this. You will feel as though you are fed up with being held down and held back and the need to create change will be strong. Where you have felt cautious or restricted over the last few months you now want to simply break free. You’ll find yourself tired of restrictions and wanting to take action and shake things up. You will want to break out of boring stuck patterns and ways of thinking and believing and being – there may even be a sense of being bored of yourself and the ways in which you always worry and hold yourself back, and with this a longing to simply let go of all the fear and just embrace, accept and be yourself.”
How can we harness the energy and power of the full moon in Aquarius?
“This moon is here to help you to fearlessly seek your truth and, most of all, find an unwavering faith in where your journey is taking you,” says Gallagher.
“Although this moon will feel intense, remember that fear and excitement feel the same in the body so lean into this with an edge of excitement and trust that this is all happening for a reason to help you move towards your greatest potential and freedom.
“Don’t try to control or grip around this moon, otherwise you’ll feel things actually slipping away further and faster! Notice what you are resisting and instead lean into this energy with total trust and surrender. Trust that your soul knows best and that when you let things fall away you are only left with the most authentic version of you and what is lasting and true for you, this is the greatest freedom.”
Images: Getty / Unsplash / Melanie Magdalena