Bill Jarosin Presents: Moon-Phase Astrology at Tree of Life

The Strawberry Moon
June 1– July 1, 2011

The third and last full moon of spring is called the Strawberry Moon or, depending on the tradition involved, a number of other names: Rose Moon, Honey Moon, Hot Moon, or Dyad Moon. This moon is also sometimes called the Flower Moon, which was our name for the previous moon.

The Strawberry Moon’s name is drawn from Native-American Algonquin tribes. It represents the time of year when wild strawberries ripen in mid-northern American latitudes. It is a time of resplendent nature climaxing in the summer solstice. Strawberries represent fire—a “sweet” fire, “bundled” to a harmonious balance. It is therefore appropriate to think of this time as one in which we try to harmonize ourselves with the flames of desire in our lives, not so much in romantic play (as under the previous moon), but as a more sober, if still enlightening, “twining” of inner and outer, of self with other. This idea of spiritual-harmony-at-the-solstice is a significant insight shared in Wiccan teacher Kathy Cybele’s Lunar Wheel of the Year workshop in San Diego, where she refers to this as the Dyad Moon, its neo-pagan name, culled from the Latin for “pair.” (For a schedule of her healing energy work and classes, click back to the Tree of Life homepage.)

Annette Hinshaw, in Earthtime Moontime, calls this the Mother’s Moon, a time to recognize our inherent value. Just as a mother loves unconditionally, so we are asked to consider our basic self-worth and to communicate that in positive self-expression (our inner fire) communally. At the solstice we connect to hearth and home in the sign of Cancer, which represents the deep waters that sustain and deliver us to our innermost selves.

If you live in less temperate northern latitudes, or south of the equator where autumn ends with the winter solstice, you might envision new beginnings, that which leads to the fulfillment of self-realization. What seeds to guard, hold, incubate? But anywhere on this globe, it is a fruitful time to express core principles, not so much in statements of beliefs, but rather as lived reality with others.


There are three eclipses in this moon cycle. They are mentioned in the text below. More information is on NASA’s 2011 Eclipse webpage.

The Phases

As mentioned in the introduction, the four quarter phases are discussed here. They are 1. new (in the heart of the dark moon, though some argue that “new” should refer to the first sign of the crescent sliver), 2. first quarter, 3. full, 4. last quarter, and 5. the dark moon. The crescent phases are incorporated, where noteworthy, into the quarter information. (Complete information about the phases and this column as a whole is in the Introduction.)

Dates given below are for the “height” of each phase, based on angle to the sun. Exact times on the 24-hour clock are given for GMT (Greenwich Mean Time: London), EDT (Eastern Daylight Time: New York), and PDT (Pacific Daylight Time: Los Angeles). In practical terms, there is no precise delineation from one phase of the moon to the next. Expect about one day either side of the date for a “coming into” that phase and a “passing onto” the next. Allow two days either side for the full moon.

June 1
New Moon in Gemini (11°)
21:03 GMT May 3, 17:03 EDT, 14:03 PDT
(Partial Solar Eclipse. Visible in parts of East Asia, Canada, and Iceland)

New moons cannot be seen; they are “held inside” the sun—conjunct, in astrological jargon. From the Earth’s viewpoint, the sun and moon are aligned (this month, nearly exact as a solar eclipse). The day before and for about a day afterwards here (May 31–June 2), a New Moon is more specifically called the Dark Moon, a time to retrench, rest, re-imagine, and get ready. This is not primarily physical, except as our spirit and emotions are carried in energetic patterns within the body. It is a time for introspection, a retrospective upon the previous cycle. Should you actually stop the day and withdraw? No. This phase is a time or remembrance, a time to include reflection in (and on) one’s daily activities.

With the new moon both in Gemini, it’s time to give the noggin some rest—put the thinking apparatus down, that is. But not for long; give it a day or two. Then it’s time to mind this moon’s theme of considered values, of basic needs, and plan your self-expression. With the sun in Gemini, you can go far with delightful thinking, but it needs to be held to what you really value most. If you crave silence, how will you express this? Meditation? A walk on the beach? Non-verbal body language with a loved one? If you need excitation, how will it honor your connection to inner roots and others? A deep conversation? A road trip to the old homestead? A shared bungee jump into the Snake River Gorge? Don’t leap yet, but write the plan down on mental paper and get ready.

If you live in geographic areas of the partial solar eclipse, be prepared to feel a bit more depth to the retrenchment from the last moon cycle—a deeper sleep or less energized reclamation of self in preparation for the new process.

June 8/9
First Quarter Moon in Virgo (18°)
02:39 GMT Jun 9, 22:39 EDT Jun 8, 19:39 PDT Jun 8

As mentioned in last month’s column, the first-quarter moon is about planning the bridge from inner to outer. Unlike last month however, this past week will have found you already considering your plan of action. So get moving. But with the moon in Virgo, you need to move with mindfulness of how your actions support or serve others—or heal and further your own body and mind. Then make sure you include others, because the moon moves on into relationship-minded Libra before it intensifies in Scorpio—all in one week; a roller coaster of experience. Stay grounded in core values and human needs. And get plenty of sleep.

June 15
Full Moon in Sagittarius (24°)
20:14 GMT, 16:14 EDT, 13:14 PDT
(Total Lunar Eclipse. Visible from South America, Europe, Africa and Asia)
(Sun enters Cancer on June 21 at 10:16 PDT. Summer Solstice. Litha)

You should be hearing by now the screams of those into whom you’ve shot your arrows. Just kidding. You’re working on building and expressing core needs with others, right? But Sagittarius energy makes you both desirous and difficult to pin down at the same time. With the lunar eclipse, that interpersonal intensity will likely ratchet up a few notches (hence the metaphoric screams).

The arrival of Litha (the summer solstice) will find the moon in Pisces. Both signs are water, which signifies the emotions, among other fluidities. And emotions means feeling the effects of what you’ve attended to under the waxing (growing) half of this cycle, now ending. To this point over the last six days, you will have found that taking chances with expressing yourself to others will bring tangible responses that act as a mirror to see yourself in a larger perspective, a more holistic truth. This offers foundation for your greater emotional capacity, a kind of bowl to hold your “waters of life,” the sustaining inner world of re-discovered (or re-created) values that you’ve shared with others.

The summer solstice should act as a release; the culmination of not only this moon cycle, but the cumulative effect of the last six months since the winter solstice. It is a release because you let the knowledge that you’ve gained live through you, make you buoyant and ready to ride the white water rapids of your own experiences as they’re affirmed in the responses of those around you whom you’ve cultivated or attracted as companions on this year’s journey.

June 23
Last Quarter Moon in Aries (2°)
11:48 GMT, 07:48 EDT, 04:48 PDT

Before this cycle is laid to rest, there’s one last gasp of the Salmon running upstream (an out-of-season metaphor, but appropriate to the fiery red colors of these home-returning ones). You have a final fit of flame, but combined with the quietly emotive energy of the Cancerian sun, it’s likely to resemble the beauty of candles adrift in paper boats on a quiet night pond. There was great energy in your path this cycle; it gave off streamers of light. As you come to the near-end of the Strawberry Moon, however, it passes through Taurus, which offers a reflective moment to appreciate the beauty of your little candle sent downstream. Consider this an invitation, not a pronouncement.

June 29 – July 1
Dark Moon in Gemini and Cancer
(New Moon on July 1, with partial solar eclipse visible only near the Antarctic)

Once again, time to rest that weary head. Remember the song in the film Mary Poppins where she puts the children to bed? It’s that kind of safety—assured. A new cycle begins—in dreams. A summer storm might rattle the window, but the new cycle will begin with milk and cookies and a home where the heart is. If you don’t have such a home, get ready to build one.