let's call this one Raksha Bandhan, as well as Jandhyam Purnima!
Everyone loves a good full moon; and every culture has found a way to mark the passage and create ritual and observance around the fullness of the moons, throughout the year.
Once in a blue moon, the harvest moon, the hunter's moon, the blood moon... other cultures go with 'hay-cutting moon,' dew-on-grass moon' and the like; agrarian observances that still have a resonance today.
However, to the point - blue moon they say, about today? Well, yes and no. Blue moon is primarily when we have a 2nd full moon in one month - has to happen with thirteen fulls in twelve months. But, there's also a more recently termed 'seasonal blue moon'; where we have a fourth full moon in a three-month season. That's where we are at, today; this evening.
But let's shift perspectives and cultures and interests. I'd like to introduce you to two expressions of today's moon, from the Vedic and Hindu traditions.
The first, Jandhyam Purnima. Jandhyam is Sanskrit for sacred thread, and Purnima denotes the full moon in Sanskrit. Pretty straight-forward, here's the story:
In a war between the Gods (Devs) and the Demons (Rakshas), Indra (one of the Supreme gods) was defeated by the Demons. Indra consulted his Guru, Brahaspati.
As he was taking this counsel and finding his discernment, Shachi, Indra’s wife, said “Dear husband! Tomorrow I shall tie a holy thread around your wrist.”
The Veda-mantras were chanted by the Brahmans, the chanting of Omkar was done and Shachi, in her resolve, tied the thread around the right wrist of Indra. It enhanced the power of his mind, decision–making, Bhava with other boons and merits.
That power of resolve made Indra successful in defeating the demons and bringing victory for the Gods. This is what is celebrated today, in the action of tying the sacred threads - the resolve to endure, to conquer and to vanquish.
Nowadays, the festival is marked by the tying of a rakhi, or holy thread, which comes in many colors and designs, by the sister on the wrist of her brother. The brother in return offers a gift to his sister.
The brother and sister also feed one another sweets, traditionally. Since Indian kinship practices give cousins a status similar to siblings, girls and women often tie the rakhi to their male cousins as well (referred to as "cousin-brothers" in regional parlance) in several communities.
Unrelated boys and men who are considered to be brothers (munh-bola bhai or "adopted brothers") can be tied with rakhis, provided they commit to a lifelong obligation to provide protection to the woman or girl. I recall at the completion of one of my teacher trainings, a lovely woman, Nehal, tied a red thread around my right wrist and called me 'cousin-brother' - it felt like the honor it was!
The other perspective is Raksha Bandhan, or the bond of protection... from this comes not only the thread, 'rakhi', but also Rakhi, an important Hindu festival that celebrates the relationship between brothers (shaurya), cousins and sisters. It is also known as Rakhi Purnima - the Purnima just indicates that the festival falls on the full moon day (Shravan Purnima) of the Shravan month of the Hindu lunisolar calendar.
At any rate, the modern practice of Raksha Bandhan has its historical associations also. The Rajput queens practiced the custom of sending rakhi threads to neighboring rulers as token of brotherhood. The central ceremony also features the tying of a rakhi by a sister on her brother's wrist, symbolizing the sister's love and prayers for her brother's well-being, and the brother's lifelong vow to protect her. Same ideas inherent hererin.
So, what does it all mean?? For us, here and now, today and at this point... it's a simple reminder, a rejoinder to resolve:
Create relationship, honor connection, ritualize the moments and be there for folks; somewhere, make a time, today or tomorrow. Create a moment and connect with a friend. Take a simple piece of thread or cord, make it meaningful and full of purpose by meaning what you do, and doing it on purpose. Then, tie it around the wrist of a friend. Tell them you value them, that you are linked, bonded, connected and honored. Be truthful; feel it and speak it.
Feels good - is good - does good - spreads good. Give thanks and praise!