After celebrating the Summer Solstice at the end of June, we’ve finally entered into the relaxing flow of summertime. (It’s our favorite season of the year, tbh.) And come Tuesday, July 16th, we’ll be headed to the beach to lay out under the stars and watch the Full Buck Moon charge into peak brightness at 5:38 p.m. EDT.
According to Almanac.com, the Full Buck Moon was named by the Algonquin Native Americans and early Colonists because July is when a young buck’s antlers begin to grow.
When bucks first sprout antlers, they’re covered in “velvet”, a thin layer of skin that supplies blood to the growing bone underneath. By the end of the summer, their antlers are fully grown, and the velvet dries up and falls off. Sometimes bucks rub their antlers on trees to speed up the velvet-removing process, which can get itchy.
But Algonquins also called July’s full moon the “Thunder Moon” because the month is often packed with thunderstorms. It was also dubbed the “Ripe Corn Moon” by the Cherokee and the “Middle of Summer Moon” by the Ponca. The Zuni called it “Moon When Limbs of Tress Are Broken by Fruit.”
Those who practice magic and have a strong connection to nature call July’s full moon the “Blessing Moon.”
As Llewellyn.com states, July’s full moon is called a Blessing Moon because this is the time of year when Mother Nature rewards us all with her blessings: vegetables ripen, flowers bloom, and crops ready themselves for the fall harvest.
We like to focus our attention on every full moon. But this year, July offers another lunar anomaly.
After the Full Buck Moon passes, we’ll see a “Black Moon” on July 31st at 11:12 p.m. EDT. The Black Moon will be the second new moon in a single month. The first happened on July 2nd.
A Black Moon is an even rarer phenomenon than a Blue Moon—a second full moon in a single month.
A Black Moon only happens about once every 32 months, Almanac.com. reports. Of course, because it’s, well, black, we won’t actually be able to see anything when it occurs. However, knowing it’s there is good enough for us.
Head outside come July 16th and check out the Full Buck Moon. Although it’ll peak before the sun goes down, you’ll still be able to see its fullness throughout the night. That is, if there isn’t an incoming thunderstorm clouding the sky.