What is a Blood Moon?

105182105411111CDPby Neva Bodin

The words “blood moons” and “lunar tetrad” are being used in media and religious circles. But what do they mean? It is suggested author John Hagee, popularized the term “blood moon” in his 2013 book: Four Blood Moons, Something is About to Change. However I found that the October moon was called the blood moon in Medieval times.

standing on the moon Lunar-eclipse-two-perspecs-1024x429

The moon undergoes a lunar eclipse when the earth gets between the sun and the moon, and blocks direct sun on the moon, causing only the glow to hit the moon. Since the sun’s rays are passing through earth’s atmosphere, which filters out green to violet, the major light waves that reach the moon are red. The moon may appear pinkish or reddish. Because of the reddish color, it is called a blood moon.

On the left of the above picture is the earth seen by an astronaut standing on the moon during a lunar eclipse, and a blood moon as seen from the earth.

A lunar tetrad, which already started with the lunar eclipse (blood moon) on April 14th and 15th, is “four successive total lunar eclipses, with no partial lunar eclipses in between, each of which is separated from the other by six lunar months (six full moons) – in 2014 and 2015.” (http://earthsky.org/space/what-is-a-blood-moon-lunar-eclipses-2014-2015#tetrad).

There are eight tetrads from 2001 to 2100. But the current tetrad is thought to be significant by many because each lunar eclipse falls on a Jewish holiday—either the feast of Tabernacles or the Passover feast.

The dates of the blood moons and a solar eclipse are:


10/08/2014….Feast of Tabernacles

03/20/2015….Total Solar Eclipse


09/28/2015….Feast of Tabernacles

Using Biblical prophecy, three authors, Mark Hitchcock, John Hagee and Mark Blitz write of what they feel the significance of these astrological events are. The reference verse is Joel 2:31: “The sun will be turned into darkness and the moon into blood before the great and awesome day of the Lord comes.” While not predicting a date, they see events transpiring which they feel are predicted.

There are other names for the moons. I have seen the Harvest Moon rise behind the combine over a wheat field. It is the moon closest to the autumnal equinox. It is huge and reddish and beautiful, and casts a coppery orange glow on the windrows of grain. Some sources say the Hunter’s Moon, which is the full moon after the Harvest Moon, is also called a blood moon because of that reddish appearance as it rises.

Dating back to eastern Native American labeling, there is the Full Wolf Moon, Full Snow, Full Worm, Full Pink, Full Flower, Full Strawberry, Full Buck, Full Sturgeon, Full Corn or Harvest, Full Hunter, Full Beaver and the Full Cold or Full Long Nights Moon. At http://home.hiwaay.net/~krcool/Astro/moon/moonnames.htm you will find many more moon names depending on what culture or nationality you examine. The June moon for Celtics is the Moon of Horses!

Songs have been written about the moon, poems and fairy tales tell of its power, or the man in the moon. Moonlight is romantic. And a boy might “moon” over a girl if he likes her. You can listen to and read lyrics of multiple moon songs at http://www.moonlightsys.com/themoon/lyrics.html.moon and cats jpeg

Obviously the moon has been an important player in lives since the beginning. Might it be an important player at the end?


16 thoughts on “What is a Blood Moon?

  1. What an interesting piece. The moon has played such a major role in the human story. Thank you for such an fact filled piece. Doris


  2. Thank you, Neva for a great explanation. While driving home from work years ago I saw a huge reddish circle come up from the horizon. It was so stunning I was convinced something awesome was happening and only seeing the sun behind me in the rear mirror made me realise what it was. I think the ancients must have some feelings when they witnessed the ones you’re referring to.


    1. Those huge reddish moons are really kind of mesmerizing. I think they are common during harvest because of all the dust in the air, and they are one of my favorite memories of farming. They mean fall to me. Thanks for reading!


  3. Your post got me to thinking about the importance of the moon not just in the human story but the story of all life on Earth. Without the moon in its orbit around the Earth to provide for the tides and other beneficial affects, things would be pretty wild on this planet. Think about it for a moment: We live during a time when we have perfect solar eclipses. The moon’s circumference perfectly fits the sun’s disk.


    1. You are right, and I hadn’t even thought about the tides when I did this post. It’s no wonder some civilizations worshiped the moon or moon goddess. It has always played a part in lives. Thanks for the comments!


    1. Thanks Sherry. I’m glad you enjoyed it. Like Mike says, the moon is really important in the scheme of order of things. We are always trying to control things on earth, perhaps the ancients thought by creating and worshiping a moon goddess they could control the moon too.


  4. Interesting post, Neva. I was introduced to the term Blood Moon with this April’s eclipse. A friend was visiting from Chicago (I live in Michigan) and sent me a link to an article about the eclipse before he arrived, saying we should stay up late that night to see the Blood Moon. I advised him not to get his hopes up, since I live in the land of total frustration for anyone seeking to see rare celestial phenomenon. (That was going to be Michigan’s state slogan, but it’s too long to fit on a bumper sticker.) Of course, the day (and night) of the Blood Moon was completely overcast, so we didn’t get to see it. I’m holding out hopes that maybe the October one will be visible here–but I’m not holding those hopes too high.


    1. We were unable to see the eclipse from our spot in Wyoming and I didn’t even stay up to try as I know how often those events are covered by clouds here too. But I know a lady who is 100 years old in SD stayed up and did see it. I became more fascinated with the term as my daughter gave me a book for Mother’s Day called “Blood Moons Rising.” Thanks for reading and commenting.


    1. I haven’t tried writing a poem about the moon, but when I was a student nurse doing my 3 month internship at a state hospital, I remember a patient who wrote a poem about the moon which she said told her to pull off her toenail, which she did. I remember her poem started with “The full moon said to me…” and I don’t remember the rest. We also expected more babies born on nights of the full moon in the hospital. There are so many myths and fables and poetry about the full moon. And facts. Glad you enjoyed my post and thanks for commenting! Neva


  5. Neva, I have always heard that the full-moon affects the minds of us humans, and I believe it to be true. Interesting thoughts on the moon and what it means to us. I don’t look at it nearly enough, but when I’m driving there are times that it’s almost like daylight. Cher’ley


  6. What an interesting post Neva! I really enjoyed reading the facts about the Blood Moon. Of course, living in Wisconsin farm country I’m very familiar with the Harvest Moon and did know a lot about that, but your interesting post about the Blood Moon taught me some things I’d never heard. Loved it!


  7. Great post, Neva! I’ve not seen many Blood Moons, but I LOVE the harvest moon, which really made an impact on me while living near Yellowstone National Park back in the 1990s. Hearing elk bugle as the giant golden orb rose from the horizon TOOK MY BREATH AWAY! I wrote a few poems back then about those experiences, but kept them to myself when my then boyfriend said, “this doesn’t rhyme.” Not a confidence-builder for a “mooning” young woman!


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