July’s Super Buck Moon

(PCM) Why is the full moon July known as a Full Buck Moon? Well according to the Farmers Almanac July is normally the month when the new antlers of buck deer push out of their foreheads in coatings of velvety fur.

The moon doesn’t actually cause this transformation, and has nothing to do with werewolf lore or anything of that nature. This is actually an annual ooccurence, and has no direct connection with July’s full moon. Julys’ full moon has also been known as the ThunderStorm Moon, due to the fact that typically July has more thunderstorms than any other month.

July’s full moon will fall one day after this months’ lunar perigee, which is the moon’s closest point to Earth for this monthly orbit. Astronomers will call this upcoming full moon a perigee full moon, but everyone else will call it a Supermoon; a definition coined  by astrologer Richard Nolle over 30 years ago, but is just now becoming a popular term. By definition a Supermoon is a new or full moon which occurs with the moon at or near (within 90% of) its closest approach to Earth in a given orbit. Based on this definition we experience 4-6 Supermoons a year on average. 

According to the Farmers’ Almanac there are three Supermoons in 2013. The July supermoon is actually the third supermoon to happen this year. The first one was in May, and second in June.


About the Named Moons

Historically, the Native Americans who lived in the area that is now the northern and eastern United States kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to the recurring full Moons. There are different ways people interpret full moons – some almanacs and traditions base the extra moon on seasonal solstices and equinoxes as opposed to calendar quarters. Ours are based on the American/European calendars commonly used in North America.

Full Moon names began with Native American Indians, in what is now the northern and eastern United States. The tribes kept track of the seasons by giving distinctive names to each recurring full Moon, which occurs about every 29.5 days. There was some variation in the Moon names, but in general, the same ones were current throughout the Algonquin tribes from New England to Lake Superior. European settlers followed that custom and created some of their own unique names for the seasonal moons.

Each full Moon name was applied to the entire lunar month in which it occurred.

Since the lunar month is a very uneven 29.5 days long, the full Moon dates shift from year to year. Every time zone can affect the timing of the full moon by a bit, making the actual ‘full moon’ actually a day later than the times we list here. The times we list are based on the East Coast of the United States – your local times, even day may be off by up to half a day.