Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Full Moon

It's the full moon today, and I was lacking any pertinent news for the blog, so, I did a bit of digging (Wiki: Full Moon, Lycanthropy, Blue Moon).

In wiccan/druid tradition, the full moon is an esbat, a minor holiday. It is only one cycle of the moon, but it generally affiliated with the mother Goddess. It's the time when she is the most prominent and at the height of her power. Depending on your tradition, it might be a time to bring magic workings of the month to a final culmination. It is a time to work personal spells, etc., where the high holidays (sabbats) are for working magic for the Gods.

The moon operates on a 28 (29.531) day cycle. There are 12 (sometimes 13, if there's a a Blue Moon) in a a calendar year. The moon reaches it's fullest point around day 15 of its cycle. At that point, it is directly on the opposite side of earth as the sun, aligning the three is as close to a straight line as they come. The moon looks 'full' for about three days.

Though the links remain elusive, many cultures associate the full moon with a time of heightened power, either of deities, or of other forces. The term lunatic is based off the Latin word for moon, luna. Many studies have been done to try to establish the connection between the full moon and increased instances of insomnia, insanity, aggression of animals, etc. The urban myths of more murders and more babies being born at the full moon seem to be linked to this, though there's no conclusive data to be found. And of course, the myth of lycanthropy, or the werewolf - is rooted in this folklore.

There are several different names for the Full Moon, in several cultures. The Old English names are listed below. Also note that a Blue Moon has come to mean the 2nd full moon in a calendar month, where it used to be the 3rd full moon in any season that had four (happens every two to three years).

Jan: Old Moon
Feb: Wolf Moon
Mar: Lenten Moon
Apr: Egg Moon
May: Milk Moon
Jun: Flower Moon
Jul: Hay Moon
Aug: Grain Moon
Sep: Fruit Moon
Oct: Harvest Moon
Nov: Hunter's Moon
Dec: Oak Moon

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