Have you experienced noticeable disruption in your life over the last month or so? Don’t worry—it’s all for your greater good.
And there’s an astrological reason for it.
This year, full moons in July and August occurred in Aquarius (full moons always occur in the zodiac sign opposite the sun sign—in this case, Leo). Known as “zodiacal blue moons,” they’re very rare and usually end up immersing us in disruptive, opposing energies that can cause a lot of stormy weather both internally and externally. That’s why these blue moons are also called the thunder moon and the lightning moon, respectively.
Spiritual Meaning of the Thunder and Lightning Moons
During these moons, many of us may struggle with balancing intellect and emotion, personal needs and our loved ones’ needs, and even desire with obligation. Like the first rumbling growls of thunder as the skies grow dark, the thunder moon heralded these conflicts, challenging us to face what’s been hidden in the shadows.
Fortunately, the lightning moon has come to offer us some respite from the tumult.
Though storms darken the skies and disorient us with wind and rain, lightning can offer a burst of clarity, illuminating the landscape for a few seconds to help us get our bearings. Thunder may soon follow, but that brief flash of light can help us find our way to shelter.
Lightning is also a force for fostering growth. Mushrooms, stimulated by the electricity in the air, grow rapidly and in great profusion after a storm. Our ancestors looked forward to this abundance, as many mushrooms are both nourishing and medicinal.**
[Read: “Mushrooms Are Having a Moment.”]
Of course, fires caused by lightning can be highly destructive, but they can also help clear away old growth to allow new vegetation to take root. Some plants are designed for this, unable to germinate until their seeds have been scorched by fire.
Similarly, as we begin to examine the changes in our internal and external landscapes, the spiritual meaning of the lightning moon is revealed, illuminating the new wisdom we’ve attained, opportunities for growth, and a new awareness of the richness hidden in plain sight all around us.
Zodiacal blue moon periods can be painful and frightening, but the challenges faced and lessons learned have simulated us to germinate and flourish in a familiar-yet-transformed landscape.
**Note: If you plan to forage mushrooms and are inexperienced, please take a reliable and knowledgeable forager with you to avoid illness.
The Spiritual Calm After the Storm
While the calm before a storm is eerie, heavy, and anticipatory, the calm after the storm is peaceful, light, and rich in possibility.
Again, storms can be destructive. Felled foliage, downed trees, windblown picnic furniture, flooded homes—many of us are familiar with post-storm cleanup. However, storms have been known to reveal unexpected treasures like ancient towns, prehistoric footprints, hieroglyphs, and other treasures lost to time.
The spiritual meaning of the zodiacal blue moons, more specifically the period between the thunder and lightning moons, may reveal long-hidden treasures in your life.
Now is the time to take a deep breath and examine the changes that have occurred over the last month. What wisdom can you glean from what’s been revealed? What have you learned that can help you navigate these revelations? How can you apply this knowledge to foster your own growth?
Perhaps you learned how to build and compassionately enforce healthy boundaries with loved ones. Maybe you learned how to delegate tasks at work to improve your performance. Maybe you let go of a relationship that was no longer serving you, or addressed an unhealthy habit that was stealing your time and energy. All of these are examples for how you might have cleared space around your physical and spiritual bodies to let them breathe and begin to thrive.
[Read: “Making Everyday Spaces Sacred Through Intuitive Ritual.”]
Post-storm flotsam is also its own kind of bounty. Felled branches may be heavy with ripe fruit formerly too high to reach. Perhaps a mostly dead tree was dislodged, and the wood can be used to repair damaged property or be cut into firewood. Despite the damage and the daunting prospect of putting things back together, storms have the ability to provide us with resources we may not have realized we needed.
Releasing an unhealthy relationship can allow space to spend more time doing activities you love or picking up new ones you think you’ll enjoy. Setting boundaries may help you foster closer, more authentic relationships with the people in your life who truly support, love, and respect you. Perhaps overcoming unhealthy habits will leave room for you to form healthy ones that draw more richness into your life.
Above all, the lightning moon teaches us that although storms are unavoidable and can be challenging and destructive, there’s always the opportunity for abundance in the aftermath.
Check out our collection of stories on moon practices, including the “Spiritual Meaning of the Crescent Moon.”