Young woman looking away amidst multi colored lights during the next blue moon.

Yes, Blue Moons Are Rare — But The Next One Actually Isn't Too Far Away

Here’s why it’s so important.

by Valerie Mesa and Roya Backlund
Originally Published: 

If you're anything like me, then you always imagine the moon changing colors whenever you hear someone say, "Once in a blue moon." Of course, in reality, it's just an idiom describing the rarity of an occasion, but that doesn't make its true meaning less significant. Lucky for you, the next blue moon is right around the corner, and I’m about to tell you everything you need to know.

A blue moon is most commonly known as the second full moon that occurs during one calendrical month in a year — like the one we experienced on Oct. 31, 2020 (aka Halloween), and will experience again on Aug. 30, 2023 — however, there are many different criterion for what constitutes a blue moon. The term “blue moon" is also used to describe what occurs when there are four full moons in one season; the third of the series would be considered a blue moon.

Another definition of a blue moon is the second full moon in one astrological season. This is the type of blue moon you have to look forward to at the moment. Blue moons happen, well... once in a blue moon, so grab your candles, cauldrons, and spell books, because it’s bound to be a magical moment.

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The upcoming blue moon will take place on Aug. 22, 2021 at 8:01 a.m. ET, landing in fixed air sign Aquarius. This makes it the second full moon in Aquarius that takes place while the sun is in Leo. (FYI, Aquarius and Leo are opposite signs and the full moon always takes place in the sun’s opposite sign.) This upcoming full moon will most likely be a much more hopeful and expansive experience compared to the last one, thanks to the fact that it will join forces with lucky Jupiter — planet of expansion, opportunity, faith, wisdom, and abundance — which is so refreshing to think about, especially when you consider that the last full moon in Aquarius was inhibited by a conjunction with cold and disciplinary Saturn.

Something important to consider is that — unlike the upcoming blue moon — not all blue moons have a connection to astrology. When you analyze the full moon from an astrological standpoint, it happens when the sun — ruler of your conscious — forms an opposition with the moon — ruler of your subconscious — invoking a symbolic call for balance between your inner self and your outer self. The zodiac sign that a full moon takes place in becomes more significant, radiating its energy and expressing its themes throughout the cosmos more meaningfully. At least one full moon takes place during an astrological season and there are times when two consecutive full moons activate the same zodiac sign. This creates an even greater emphasis on that zodiac sign’s archetype, which is what will occur when the second full moon in Aquarius takes place on Aug. 22.

An astrological (or seasonal) blue moon refers to the second new or full moon that falls in the same sign, as opposed to a calendrical blue moon referring to the second full moon within a calendar month. There are so many different types of blue moons, but each of them are beautiful in their own right.

Has The Moon Ever Looked Blue?

Hate to ruin your blue moon visuals, but the actual color blue has nothing whatsoever to do with this stellar phenomenon. It may appear as though the moon changes colors from time to time, but it's all about perspective. Where you're located on Earth automatically influences your point of view, and the composition of the Earth's atmosphere can also make it appear differently. However, it’s certainly wonderful to imagine that the blue moon is literally blue. Nevertheless, la luna is always a wondrous sight to behold.

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