A full moon is the lunar phase that occurs when the Moon is completely illuminated as seen from Earth. This occurs when Earth is located directly between the Sun and the Moon (more exactly, when the ecliptic longitudes of the Sun and Moon differ by 180 degrees). This means that the hemisphere of the Moon that is facing Earth (the near side) is almost fully illuminated by the Sun and appears round (while the far side is almost completely unlit). When the full moon moves into Earth’s shadow, a lunar eclipse occurs, and all or part of the Moon’s face may appear reddish due to the Rayleigh scattering of blue light in Earth’s atmosphere

A full moon is often thought of as an event of a full night’s duration. This is somewhat misleading because its phase seen from Earth continuously waxes or wanes (though much too slowly to notice in real time with the naked eye). Its maximum illumination occurs at the moment waxing has stopped. For any given location, about half of these maximum full moons may be visible, while the other half occurs during the day, when the full moon is below the horizon.

Many almanacs list full moons not only by date, but also by their exact time, usually in Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). Typical monthly calendars that include lunar phases may be offset by one day when used in a different time zone.

Full moon is generally a suboptimal time to conduct astronomical observations because the bright sunlight reflected by the Moon then outshines the apparently dimmer stars.

The Harvest Moon

By Amelia Tucker

Posted and edited to fit MySpace’s format by Magickal Winds

What is the Harvest moon?

The harvest moon is named for the full moon nearest to Mabon, bright enough to allow farmers to work late into the night bringing in the final harvest of the year. This moon is celebrated across many cultures using different names: Barley moon or Chrysanthemum moon or even Fruit moon to name a few.

Why do Wiccans Celebrate the Harvest moon?

For Wiccans, it is an especially powerful time for our spellwork. The full moon itself represents the Goddess at her most fertile, luminous self. It is the perfect time for creating change. After the contemplative holiday of Mabon, you have reached deep into yourself and sorted through your own strengths and weaknesses. You know where you want to see change and now is the time to prepare for that. Creating moon magic is always strongest at midnight. You would want to time your spell to start at this time. No matter how long your plan your ritual for, the starting point is the most important one. You can simply honor your deity(s) with a small ritual or create something more elaborate but for the most effect, start at midnight.