What Does A Full Moon On Christmas Mean?

by Megan Grant

The Interwebs have been abuzz with news that the last full moon we'll see in 2015 happens to fall on an incredibly festive day of the year, bringing up quite an intriguing question: What does a full moon on Christmas mean? Weird things happen on a full moon. Awesome things happen on Christmas. Can you imagine the possibilities if we combined the two? I'm having fun coming up with all the incredible things that I could experience, like paying off my student loan debt, or finding out Donald Trump is dropping out of the presidential race. (Trump is still going full steam right now, but hey, I can dream, right?)

There are many ways to interpret the meaning of a full moon and how it could apply to the upcoming holiday, depending on your viewpoint or discipline. Various religions and cultures, astrology, meteorology, and other kinds of sciences all have their own interpretation of its meaning and its effects. So let's delve a little more into this special day, and see if we can get an idea of what we might be able to expect. Bonus points if it has something to do with the aforementioned student loans or presidential candidate.

What Does Astrology Say About a Full Moon?

Astrology views a new moon as symbolic of the height of power. Not a bad place to be at the end of a long year, right? This is the peak of your clarity, and where you will obtain all your desires.

Well, Merry Christmas to us!

With a full moon in the sky, you can practically feel the energy in the air. This is because at this moment, the sun and the moon are in opposite zodiac signs. What does that mean, exactly? I had no idea, so I Googled it. This special night signals the time where previous mysteries will not only be answered, but you are to set your future intentions and goals, and act on them. You are carving out a new path. Fun!

In this time of balance, you can set your intentions by making them tangible and known. This Christmas, use things from around the house — old photos, magazine/newspaper clippings, memorabilia, gifts — that represent your future goals, and put them somewhere you'll see them everyday. For example, if you want to find wealth in the near future, you might tape a $100 bill to the wall, where you'll pass it several times throughout the day and be reminded of wealth. If you'd like to tape one up there for me as well, I wouldn't be opposed to that.

You can go the extra mile and create a vision board like I did. Don't judge me.

The Full Moon and the Weather

There isn't a boatload (get it?) of solid data detailing how the full moon impacts the weather, but we do know one thing for sure: The moon's gravitational pull will affect ocean tides. This is because the moon's orbit around the earth isn't perfectly circular; and during the new moon and the full moon, it's closer to our planet. This is what causes the higher tides. Combined with any wind, this could spell disaster for people living a little too close to the ocean. So there's your meteorology tip for the full moon this Christmas: Steer clear of the ocean.

A Full Moon in December

Did you know that full moons can mean something different month by month? Me either. The names were created by Native American tribes wanting to track the seasons. For example, a full moon in May is called the Full Flower Moon, because flowers are blooming almost everywhere. So what does this mean for December?

December's full moon is called the Full Cold Moon, or the Full Long Nights Moon, for obvious reasons. The nights are cold and... long. The moon is above the horizon for a longer period of time and has a higher trajectory through the sky, because it's moving opposite the low-laying sun. Fun fact: Another name for the December full moon is the Moon Before Yule. How fitting!

The Full Moon Across Other Cultures and Religions

The Native Americans weren't the only ones who determined profound meaning in the full moon. In other cultures and religions around the world, the moon is celebrated in its own special way. For instance, many important events in Buddhism fell on a full moon. The Buddha was born on a full moon, and his renunciation took place on a full moon. Other crucial events that occurred on the full moon: His Enlightenment, His first sermon, and His passing. Buddhists celebrate this day in high regards by meditating and focusing on spiritual development.

The Roman goddess of the Moon was named Luna, and that's how we came up with the words "lunatic" and "lunacy." Roman culture said that every night, she'd ride her silver chariot across the pitch black sky. And for years, full moons have been associated with humans exhibiting crazy, unpredictable behavior. Even Hippocrates once wrote that "one who is seized with terror, fright and madness during the night is being visited by the goddess of the moon" — Luna!

Other female moon goddesses include the Chinese Chang'e and Mama Quilla, of the Incas. One reason women are so closely connected to the phases of the moon is because the moon was once believed to determine a woman's fertility and when she could become pregnant. And sure enough, to this day, many will still claim that on the night of a full moon, maternity wards are flooded with moms-to-be. So if you're super pregnant right now, your gift this Christmas might be a new human.

Personal beliefs aside, this Christmas is sure to be a special one. Eat, drink, be merry, and stay the heck inside. Happy Holidays!

Images: Rachel Kramer/Flickr; Giphy (4)