Did anybody else think that "Once in a blue moon" was equivalent to "When pigs fly" or "If Maddy enters a Crossfit gym"? As in, it's a thing that is physically impossible and cannot happen? Well, guess what? You were wrong. Yes, there is such a thing; no, it's not actually blue; and ta-da, here are 10 ways to celebrate a blue moon, because it's coming on July 31. Get ready.
First things first: We cannot celebrate a blue moon without actually knowing what it is, so here's a brief astronomy lesson for you. Generally, each calendar month has one full moon and one new moon. Every so often, though, two full moons fall within the same month; when that happens, the second one is called a "blue moon." It is true that this does not happen very often — every 2.7 years, on average. The next blue moon isn't until 2018, so you better make this one awesome or you'll be regretting it literally for years to come.
Why is it called a blue moon if it's not actually blue? Well... mostly due to human error, to be honest. It's thought that "blue" originally referred to an Old English word for "betrayer." Then in 1946, a writer for Sky & Telescope magazine took that term literally, and it was all downhill from there.
This blue moon is particularly special, though, because it's coming at a time when the astrological world has collectively turned on its head. Mercury just went retrograde on July 25th (again), and by now you should all know that shift means change is afoot. Neptune continues to be retrograde, causing us to face the realities of our situation. On top of that, Venus, the L-O-V-E planet, just went retrograde, too. Oh, and so did Uranus. That's a whooooole lot of retrograde.
So how exactly should one celebrate the blue moon? Here are 10 ideas to start, along with why they're notable. But hey, don't stop here — get creative with it!
1. Hit up a farmer's market.
This late July moon is the perfect time to celebrate the summer's bounty. Splurge and buy a seasonal bouquet from a local farm to decorate your apartment or your closet or whatever you want to call it.
When a planet is in retrograde (and there are currently four), the initial response is for us to turn inward and reflect on the spiritual elements that each planet governs. So, uh... looks like you've got a whole lot of introspection ahead. Take a deep breath and you'll be fine.
3. Text. That. Crush.
Dude, the planets are literally aligned in your favor. It's a blue moon. Venus is in retrograde. Text them. To hang out. Tonight.
4. Take stock of your past relationships and clean house.
The Astrotwins have a great exercise that takes full advantage of Venus' retrograded nature. Draw three columns on a piece of paper. In the first column, write the name of every ex, fling, flame, crush, and unrequited love you've ever had. Include your current S.O., if you have one. Label the second column "What I Adore About You" and the third column "What I Abhor About You." As you fill the chart out, patterns will begin to emerge that reveal truths not only about your past relationships, but about yourself as well.
5. Write a love letter — to yourself.
With all this time focused on your relationships with other people, it can be difficult to remember that ultimately, a healthy relationship with yourself dictates your relationships with others. Write yourself a letter. Like with your hands and a pen and paper. Get real sappy with it.
6. Make some art.
Venus is not only the planet of love - she also governs creativity. Go outside and bring some watercolors. Regardless of what you end up with, hang it up on your wall for at least a week. It may grow on you.
7. Buy a plane ticket.
With Uranus in retrograde and a full moon in the sky, you are primed for some powerful spontaneity. Pick a place you've never been. Buy the ticket today. Right now. Like as you're reading this.
8. Decide on your intentions for the month ahead.
This is always a good idea during a full moon, because it's a time for harnessing your own power, but with the astrological madness that is going on right now, this is your chance to really make some huge, momentous changes to your life. Think big. No, bigger.
9. Throw a big bash.
There doesn't really have to be a "reason"; celebrating those whose company and energies you truly treasure is excuse enough. Be sure to invite that person (or persons, no judgement) you wanna smooch. Plus, you can serve Blue Moon beer and be very theme-y and cute.
10. Dance under the moon.
Preferably with that crush that you invited to your party, and preferably to Billie Holliday's classic rendition of "Blue Moon."
Images: Giphy; nuanc, WDNR; Wonderlane; Moyan Brenn; Samantha Celera; Sherman Yang; jpmatth; Peter Miller; Rob Warde/Flickr