The sixth full moon of the year, the so-called Strawberry Moon, is expected to take on a reddish or pink hue tonight—but that’s not the only thing about it to look forward to.
According to the Farmer’s Almanac, this full moon gets its name from Native American Algonquin naming traditions and coincides with the annual strawberry harvest. It’s also a sign for warmer months in the Northern Hemisphere and colder months in the Southern Hemisphere. It goes by plenty of other names: the Rose Moon, Honey Moon, or Mead moon in other countries, particularly in Europe.
Astrologer Monique Morales says that tonight’s full moon falls within Sagittarius and is set to bring luck to us all. It’s alignment with Jupiter, a planet associated with optimism, thinking big, and adventure, means that there’s plenty of good vibes to go around. There is a catch though—we need to be in check of our emotions.
According to Morales, the full moon in Sagittarius is associated with our higher minds. “We are all walking a very fine line between ascension and delusion so we really have to take care of ourselves. We just have to open up ourselves and dig for deeper truths,” she told VICE. “The Strawberry Moon is also in harsh aspect towards Neptune, which is associated with illusions and delusions.Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto are already in retrograde. Neptune will go on retrograde in a couple of days. Mercury will be in retrograde in a few weeks. The full moon is a positive respite window; right now would be a good time to do meditative practices.”
But why is the moon red at this time of the year? The orbit of the moon around the earth is almost exactly the same as the orbit of the earth around the sun. From our point of view, the sun, appearing at its highest in the sky, will be seen opposite the moon, which appears at its lowest in the sky. The effect of their positions give the moon its reddish color—that is to say, the moon is red for the same reasons the sunset and sunrise are bright red. The moon essentially hides behind the Earth’s shadow while facing the sun.
While the moon will appear full for the next three days, the Strawberry Moon phenomenon appears only in an instant: Monday afternoon, 4:31 PM GMT+8 of June 17. This is when the reddish hue will be the most apparent. Look close enough and you might catch two other celestial gems: Jupiter will also be at its closest during this time.