Full Moon Symbolism

Symbolism of Full Moon in Literature

Full moon symbolism in literature is associated with love, divinity, and wonder. Moon, in general, has been a symbol of change as well as human behavior. The full moon, however, is romanticized by the artist to symbolize love, mystery, and folklore. Hence it is used in most paintings to represent the fullness and beauty of the subject. One of the famous folklore connected to the full moon is people turning into werewolves under the influence of the full moon. Additionally, significant festivals in India such as Holi, Buddha Purnima, Rakshabandhan or Rakhi festival, Guru Nanak Birthday (head of Sikh religion), etc., are celebrated on full moon day, symbolizing divine and tradition. The word moon is derived from the Proto-Germanic word ‘mēnô’ or ‘menon’, the Old Norse word ‘mani’, ‘maane’ from the Danish language, and the Dutch word ‘maan’, which has roots in the Latin word ‘mensis’ means month. Below are a few symbolisms of the full moon in detail.


In Greek mythology, the full moon symbolizes the goddess Diana, and it is called a hunter’s moon. In ancient Roman mythology, the full moon represents the association with the goddess of the Luna. In Aztec mythology, the full moon symbolizes sacrifice because goddess Nanahuatzin jumped into the sacrificial fire on a full moon day. People who practice witchcraft in India sacrifice animals to achieve power on the full moon day, symbolizing cult. In Chinese mythology, the goddess Change is stranded upon the full moon after consuming a double dose of immortality potion. Finally, the full moon in Celtic mythology is Cerridwen and represents the cauldron of knowledge.


The full moon symbolizes good luck. If the full moon falls on Monday, it represents good luck, and Sunday’s full moon represents bad luck. In Hinduism, people believe that moving to a new house on a full moon day is the symbol of good luck. A baby born on a full moon day and sleeping under the moonlight is considered as bad luck. American Indian tribes believe full moon day is the best time to detox. Hence, they perform sweat lodge rituals on full moons to symbolize purification. Eastern Native American tribes believe that the pink moon is a sign of springtime as a native phlox flower, a type of wildflower, starts blooming.


The Dream shadow of the full moon in the water symbolizes financial success. Dreaming of the full moon represents the changes happening in life. Also, two full moons in a dream are symbols of struggles in life. Dreaming about a full moon symbolizes a new person or love entering into a person’s life. Seeing a full red moon in a dream represents a major change in life. According to Biblical theology, the full moon in a dream symbolizes the connection with God as closer when the darker times.


Fullmoon is represented by a  white circle worldwide. According to  Hindu astrology, the full moon is known as Poornima, or pournami, which symbolizes fullness. The full moon day is also the auspicious day in the Hindu calendar, which is observed every month. Religious rituals such as important worship and fasting are performed during the full moon in Hinduism. According to Vedic astrology full moon symbolizes bad luck, disputes, and trouble if Rahu & Ketu, the lunar nodes, are aligned in the same position as the moon at the time of birth. Additionally, based on the full moon, the zodiac signs symbolize the person’s characteristics. For example, the Aquarius moon is a symbol of idealism. Pisces symbolizes physical strength and compassion; Aries symbolizes patience. Taurus symbolizes sensitivity. The Gemini moon is the symbol of strength. The cancer moon symbolizes leadership and protection. Leo represents natural charisma. Virgo is a symbol of brilliance and hard work. Libra moon represents kindness and peace. The Scorpio moon is a symbol of curiosity and isolation. Sagittarius symbolizes power and dare. The Capricorn moon represents leadership as well.


Ancient Egyptian astrology considered the full moon as a divine power, and it is associated with the Ibis, the God of wisdom. Also, the goddess of Egyptians is associated with a full moon, and the tooth represents wisdom and magic. The Celtic culture goddess of Cerridwen symbolizes wisdom and inspiration.

Examples of Full Moon as Symbolism in Literature

Example #1

Full Moon, Rising By Jonathan Holden

So low it used to seem almost
Perverse, like the risen dome of some dead
City, the full moon, rising, might have been
An omen-a public event
Looming so great all roads would lead to it.

Whichever way i d turn
On the small playground
I could not avoid it,
I’d find myself walking toward the moon,
Though it is a long since, now, that I have learned
What the full moon portends
Nothing, except that when you notice it
You’re apt to be alone.

In this poem, the full moon is a symbol of constant presence and mystery.

Example #2

Full Moon By Fabio Fiallo

Over the green prairie, with hushed voices,
We wandered, she and I.
The moon rose clear and bright above the mountain,
The nightingale was singing to the sky.
And I said… I know not what I told her.
My gentle love looked up, distressed and pale.
The moving moon had veiled herself with shadows;
Hushed was the nightingale.

In this example, the author expresses his love while watching the full moon. Hence, here the full moon symbolizes love and longing.

Example #3

The Moon at Full By Pearl Andelson Sherry

The moon at full draws up the body’s flesh.
Imagination, in its swollen light,
Makes no distinction between day and night,
As mind sleeps; phantasmagoria thresh
On luminous planes; and day, though blue and fresh,
Is bridged by unseen webs of light
The lunar spider spins,-
Oh, fast and tight!-
To draw the tides of being in a mesh.

In this example, the full moon is a symbol of illusion, mystery, and transformation.

 Example #4

Full Moon In May By F. D. Reeve

In the gray darkness on the rim of dawn
red-shouldered hawks move out along the river.
My heart unfolds like moccasin and trillium
in leafy places where nothing grew all winter.
Kri! Kri! Lord of the air, they tear
small birds apart in heartless majesty.
The ghostly authority that was my father warns me
from mans’ point of view no cosmic wind is fair
Indiffernt maples shake their chartreuse leaves
like poplars in each honeyed breeze. The sun rises.

In this poem, the poet experiences the presence of his departed father on a full moon day along with nature. Here, the full moon is a symbol of mystic presence, divinity, and love.

Example #5

Being Bold: Quotes, Poetry, & Motivations for Every Day of the Year By Richelle E. Goodrich

in October,
as fat as the full moon,
they sit on our doorstep at night
and glow.

In this example, the full moon is a symbol of celebration.

Example #6

Cosmos in a Tree: Wordless Poems By Bremer Acosta

full moon fills
in power lines,
crow flies off

In this example, the full moon is a symbol of mystery and transformation

Example #7

Moonrise By Sarah Crossan

I lit a candle for Ed,
thought about him alone during the holidays
in a cell with no tinsel or twinkling lights,
no chance of seeing a full moon
or any moon
for that matter.

In this example, the full moon is a symbol of love and absence.

Example #8

The Lord of the Rings By J.R.R. Tolkien

Moonlight drowns out all but the brightest stars.

In this example, the full moon is used with a negative connotation and is a symbol of dominance or pride.