The first quarter of this New Year is all about The Moon. Yep, that big round yellow thing up in the sky.
A rare lunar event which happens only every 150 years is on our doorstep.
A supermoon, a blue moon and a full lunar eclipse will occur simultaneously on January 31.
And all this after our very first supermoon for the year on January 1. It’s called that as it is full at a time when it’s closest to the earth in its orbit. NASA reported that it was the ‘biggest and brightest’ for 2018, being 30% bigger than the one on July 27th last year.
In some places the moon will have a red tinge. Hence the term blood moon.
This rare event of moon happenings has not happened since the second half of the 19th century. And wait – there is more! There will be another blue moon in late March.
Here’s something I didn’t know. It can also be called a Wolf Moon because in early times it appeared when wolves howled in hunger outside the villages, and its arrival caused tidal surges worldwide.
On January 31, the full moon is called blue because it is the second full moon in a calendar month. Generally that only happens every two or three years.
Even rarer than that – there will be two blue moons in the first quarter of 2018, and they are in a series of three supermoons. Gosh. We are in for a lunar roller coaster ride.
Given these rare lunar events coming in quick succession, I thought to have a bit of a search on moon folklore. Here’s what I found:
- The word lunatic comes from the Latin luna. Folklore has it that people ‘go mad’ at the time of the full moon. Having worked in aged care for many years, I know for a fact that the full moon affects people’s behaviour. Ask any nurse. They will agree. Bank managers and shop keepers also know the phases of the moon by the behaviour of their customers. Personally, I often have difficulty sleeping around the time of the full moon.
- Animals too feel the effect. A Florida expert on animal behavior reports that hamsters spin in their wheels far more aggressively during the moon’s full phase. Deer and other herbivores in the wild tend to ovulate at the full moon, and in Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, the full moon is mating time for coral.
- Charles Hyde, a man in London, committed a series of crimes at the time of the full moon. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote a story about it.
- British legend has it that waxing and waning moons have an impact on crops.
- A halo around the moon is thought to be a warning that bad weather is coming. Some would say that a lunar halo means rain, snow, or other foul atmospheric conditions.
- The first time you see a crescent moon for the month, take all your spare coins out of your pocket, and put them in the other pocket. This will ensure good luck for the next month.
- Some people believe that the fifth day after a full moon is the perfect time to try to conceive a child.
- Many cultures throughout history have honored lunar deities, including – but certainly not limited to – Artemis, Selene, and Thoth
- In some Chinese religions, offerings are made to the ancestors on the night of a full moon.
- In some Native American legends, the moon is held captive by a hostile tribe. A pair of antelope hope to rescue the moon and take it the village of a good tribe, but Coyote, the trickster, interferes. The antelope chase Coyote, who tosses the moon into a river each night, just out of reach of the antelope.
- The night of the full moon is believed to be a good time for divination and scrying.
- Even more strange are stories that aliens inhabit the moon; that the moon is a spacecraft; that there was a secret Nazi base on the moon during WWII
- Some people garden and farm by the phases of the moon attesting that it is the secret to great outcomes.
- Full moon celebrations are held by Wiccans and others who believe in the power and magical properties of the full moon.
Hold onto your hats. It could get interesting…
© Raili Tanska
How many people are attuned to nature’s sacred rhythms? We have forgotten the importance that natural cycles play in our daily lives. Let’s remember how to appreciate the beauty that surrounds us, the full moon always brings back to life the memory of our magical essence. Roxana Jones