Today I’m behaving like an appalling cliché, listening to the album Pink Moon by Nick Drake waiting for the Pink Moon to rise outside my window. I first heard this album sitting on a San Franciscan veranda, drinking beer and hanging out with an old school friend who was studying volcanology at Berkeley. I’d never heard of Nick Drake before, but after that night, I drank him in. Which feels a little appropriate, given tonight’s exercise.
So tonight is the full moon. Technically, it’s the full moon very early tomorrow morning, but to be honest, I am hoping to be asleep by then. Usual names for the April full moon include New Shoots Moon, Budding Moon, and this month, the Paschal Moon. It’s the Paschal Moon that determines the date of Easter, as the first Sunday after the Paschal Moon is always Easter Sunday. It’s an ecclesiastical lunar month calculation sort of thing. Pink Moon is the Native American name for this month’s full moon, and is named for a pink wildflower called Phlox subulate, not the colour it is in the sky. Same as a Blue Moon isn’t really blue, but more about that on Halloween.
There is a lot of full moon folklore I could be doing, but tonight I’m mixing the advice of two good friends, Jaymie Tapsell who suggested toasting the moon with lemonade, as lemons are ruled by the moon, and David Kenzie who suggested how I could use the toast to gather strength from the moon into my heart.
Not having any lemonade, I made myself a hot honey and lemon, which I figured is really just hot traditional lemonade anyway. Then, as per David’s instructions, I waited until I felt that the moon was ‘impressive’. Next, holding up my glass, I looked through it at the moon, but due to having chosen the wrong kind of glass, I had to neck back some of the liquid so the moon didn’t get caught in the decorative fluting. Raising the glass again, I looked through it at the moon, said hello as a kind of nod to its power, then closed my eyes, drained the glass, looked at the moon again and said thank you. I refrained from winking. It didn’t seem appropriate. Then I worried I’d slightly botched it, seeing as I hadn’t said cheers or anything toast appropriate and that might be misconstrued as me being disrespectful, so I did it all again with the lemon dregs, but this time I remembered to toast the full moon properly. And that was when my fairy lights fell down.
However, it’s lucky I didn’t add vodka to the lemonade as Jaymie suggested, as this moon is so super impressive, I’d have been under the desk from toasting within 15 minutes. But I did actually feel a little warm and fuzzy afterwards. Until the cat got hold of the fairy lights, that is.
Leendertz, L. (2019) The Almanac, A Seasonal Guide to 2020, London, Mitchell Beazley
Moorey, T. (2003) The Little Book Of Moon Magic, London, Rider