WHAT IS THE FULL STRAWBERRY MOON?
The June Full Moon is called the Full Strawberry Moon. This Full Moon got its name from the Algonquin tribes in eastern North America who knew it as a signal to gather the ripening fruit of wild strawberries. It has also been known as the Honey Moon, Mead Moon, and the Full Rose Moon in Europe.
WHERE DID FULL MOON NAMES COME FROM?
Naming the full Moons is an age-old practice, nothing new. Ancient peoples commonly tracked the seasons by following the lunar calendar (versus today’s Gregorian calendar, which is a solar calendar).
For millennia, people across the world—including Native Americans—named the months after nature’s cues. Later, Colonial Americans adopted many of the Native American names and incorporated them into the modern calendar, as you will see in The Old Farmer’s Almanac, founded in 1792 during George Washington’s presidency.
See all Full Moon names and their meanings.
MOON PHASES FOR JUNE 2019
The full Moon in June reaches peak fullness early in the morning of Monday, June 17, at 4:31 A.M. EDT. See our Moon Phase Calendar for peak times in your location and our Moonrise & Moonset Calculator to find out when to keep an eye on the sky!
Your best chance to see the June full Moon will occur on the night of Sunday, June 16, which also happens to be Father’s Day. The Moon will rise in the evening shortly after sunset and be visible until just after sunrise on the 17th.
Litha has often been a source of contention among modern Pagan and Wiccan groups, because there's always been a question about whether or not Midsummer was truly celebrated by the ancients. While there's scholarly evidence to indicate that it was indeed observed, there were suggestions made by Gerald Gardner, the founder of modern Wicca, that the solar festivals (the solstices and equinoxes) were actually added later and imported from the Middle East. Regardless of the origins, many modern Wiccans and other Pagans do choose to celebrate Litha every year in June.
In some traditions, Litha is a time at which there is a battle between light and dark. The Oak King is seen as the ruler of the year between winter solstice and summer solstice, and the Holly King from summer to winter. At each solstice they battle for power, and while the Oak King may be in charge of things at the beginning of June, by the end of Midsummer he is defeated by the Holly King.
This is a time of year of brightness and warmth. Crops are growing in their fields with the heat of the sun, but may require water to keep them alive. The power of the sun at Midsummer is at its most potent, and the earth is fertile with the bounty of growing life.
For contemporary Pagans, this is a day of inner power and brightness. Find yourself a quiet spot and meditate on the darkness and the light both in the world and in your personal life. Celebrate the turning of the Wheel of the Year with fire and water, night and day, and other symbols of the opposition of light and dark.
Litha is a great time to celebrate outdoors if you have children. Take them swimming or just turn on the sprinkler to run through, and then have a bonfire or barbecue at the end of the day. Let them stay up late to say goodnight to the sun, and celebrate nightfall with sparklers, storytelling, and music. This is also an ideal Sabbat to do some love magic or celebrate a handfasting, since June is the month of marriages and family.
Wigington, Patti. "Litha History - Celebrating the Summer Solstice." Learn Religions, May. 25, 2019, learnreligions.com/history-of-summer-solstice-holiday-litha-2562244.
About Patti: Patti Wigington is a pagan author, educator, and licensed clergy. She is the author of Daily Spellbook for the Good Witch and Wicca Practical Magic.