You probably use the idiom "once in a blue moon" to describe something that happens very rarely. You might have even hummed along with the song "Blue Moon" by Billie Holiday thanks to Grease, or taken a sip of the Belgian-style beer called Blue Moon. You hear about this mysterious blue moon all the time, but do you know what a blue moon actually is? Because, let me tell you, it’s not what you think. Luckily, the meaning of a blue moon does not disappoint — it's just as enchanting as it sounds.
There are several definitions of a blue moon, but the most commonly known one is a second full moon that occurs during one calendrical month in the year — like the one we experienced on Oct. 31, 2020 (aka Halloween). On average, this cosmically coincidental event happens roughly every 2.7 years, so it's not exactly what I'd call "common," but it's certainly not so rare that you won't experience several of them during your lifetime. The next blue moon, however — coming up on Aug. 22, 2021 at 8:01 a.m. ET — has nothing to do with the traditional calendar and everything to do with astrology.
Is A Blue Moon Actually Blue?
Before delving into the specifics of the next blue moon, you're probably wondering if the moon will actually appear blue when it rises in the sky. Unfortunately, the color blue has nothing to do with this cosmic event and a blue moon typically looks like your average full moon — big, bright, and beautiful, but usually not very blue. (Though, apparently, the moon has appeared to be flushed in blue on a few occasions.)
What Is The Meaning Of A Blue Moon?
The blue moon of summer 2021 happens to have a lot of significance to the zodiac. This is because the blue moon on Aug. 22 will be astrological rather than calendrical, which is an important distinction that astrologers make. While a calendrical blue moon occurs when a second full moon takes place in one calendar month, an astrological or seasonal blue moon is one that occurs a second time during one solar month, which is the period of time in which the sun passes through a specific zodiac sign. The next calendrical blue moon won't occur until Aug. 30, 2023, but when that happens, it'll be a magical night.
An astrological blue moon amplifies the effect that its respective zodiac phase has on the cosmos. For example, the blue moon on Aug. 22 will exaggerate the characteristics of Leo, the fire sign of creativity, passion, and drama, thanks to the fact that the sun will be in Leo while this full moon takes place. Remember — a full moon always takes place when the sun and moon form a direct opposition in the sky. An astrological blue moon also magnifies the energy of whatever sign the moon is passing through when it takes place, which, on Aug. 22, will be Aquarius. Since a full moon is symbolic of culmination, completion, and fruition, a blue moon in Aquarius will be one that infuses your inner world with a desire for individuality and rebellion, as well as a concern for the world at large.
This is a particularly special blue moon if you happen to be a lover of astrology. Most blue moons have no bearing on the spirituality of astrology, but the upcoming blue moon is a different case entirely. This blue moon could result in some powerful changes and revelations in your life, so stay tuned.
This article was originally published on