Solar System, The Moon

What Is A Hunter’s Moon?

What Is A Hunter's Moon?

After a harvest moon, the first full moon that occurs is described as a hunter’s moon. The harvest moon is the full moon that appears closest to autumnal equinox. This event usually occurs on September 22nd or 23rd each year. This means that the hunter’s moon typically happens in the month of October. However, it appears in the month of November once every four years.

Hunter’s Moon Origins

The name of this moon goes back to the North American First Nations. This moon got its name because in October during this time period, deer were tracked and killed using the light of the autumn moon. This allows humans to stock up on food for the winter months.

Hunter’s Moon Folklore

The folklore surrounding a hunter’s moon differs among different cultures. Across many cultures, the orange-red glow of this moon is why people refer to it as a blood moon. Among those practicing the Wiccan religion, they refer to it as the Falling Leaf or Shedding moon. They believe that when this moon is present that the veil that exists between the worlds is at its thinnest. They will pay very special attention to messages and visions experienced at this time.

hunter's moon
A supermoon rises over houses in Olvera, in the southern Spanish province of Cadiz, in July 2014. (Jon Nazca/Reuters)

Hunter’s Moon Size and Brightness

This moon often appears to be brighter and larger than a traditional full moon. However, it is not. The reason it looks different is because it takes a path across the sky that is not taken with other moons. The fact that it has a bit of an orange color is because it is near the horizon.

A hunter’s moon tends to appear a bit bigger and brighter than a traditional full moon, making it something people want to see. The folklore surrounding it also adds an air of mystery that makes it more interesting than an ordinary full moon.

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Jamie is an amateur astronomer and every day space geek.