Monday, February 18, 2008

Moonday Madness

Monday is Moon Day
I've revised my resolution to write on here every day. More about that in another post, but I've decided to write about the moon on Mondays. I'm not sure how long it will last, but it will be interesting to see how long I will be able to find new things to say about La Luna.

The moon will next be full on Thursday, so that's what I've been thinking about today.
Full Moon Names
Each full moon has a name, derived from Native American mythology.
February's full moon is listed in the Farmer's Almanac as the Snow Moon, although sometimes is is also known as the Hunger Moon:
"Since the heaviest snow usually falls during this month, native tribes of the north and east most often called February's full Moon the Full Snow Moon. Some tribes also referred to this Moon as the Full Hunger Moon, since harsh weather conditions in their areas made hunting very difficult."
April's full moon is known as the Pink Moon.

More about full moon names and meanings from around the world.
Lunacy and the Lunar Effect
The full moon has long been associated with madness.
The word 'lunatic' is derived from the Latin lunaticus, with the root luna meaning 'moon' and the Roman Moon Goddess, Luna.
The lunar effect, a theory encompassing sociology, psychology and physiology, suggests a correlation between phases of the moon and human behaviour. The lunar effect is reflected in folklore around the world, but recent scientific studies have suggested it has no basis in truth.
However, there have been studies supporting anecdotal evidence of the lunar effect, both in
humans and in nature.

Stockmarket returns have been linked to behaviour during the phases of the moon: "The findings indicate that stock returns are lower on the days around a full moon than on the days around a new moon."
Marine Biologists studying the Barrier Reef have observed that the coral spawns just after a full moon.
Rises in alcohol consumption, admittances to A&E departments, suicide rates and violent crimes have all been linked to the full moon phase.
Airline crews have reported that passengers' behaviour is more difficult and that there are more incidents during the full moon.
The movements of certain migratory animals, for example marine invertebrates (such as the palolo worm), have a monthly pattern influenced by the phases of the moon.
Neuroscience for Kids has an extensive list of links to scientific reports into the lunar effect on humans.


HelenMH said...

What great photos! I've always liked the expression 'harvest moon' but never really known what it means. There's always something comforting about moonlight, I think.

Lane said...

I love nights when the moon is full and I do feel rather energised by it.
I'd be interested to read anything you have to say on the relationship between women and the moon. (no pressure - :-)


I enjoyed walking Molly in the moonlight last night - she always seems extra frisky for some reason!

Annieye said...

My little grandson loves the moon and we always have to look for it in the sky

Pacha said...

What a great topic! You know my sister has just called her daughter Yasi Luna (Moon in Guarani and Italian).

My youngest loves the moon. Always looks out for it and always looks at books with the moon in it (as protagonist). He is totally besotted by it. (Must be the werewolf in him!)

In the summertime the moon drenches our bedroom. Sometimes it is so light we wake up and wonder if it is daytime. We love sleeping under the moonbeams!

We pratice lunar gardening here (and in Tuscany) much so that my elderly neighbour INSISTS we cut our hair when the moon waxes...the hair will then grow stronger!

aliqot said...

Lovely as the moon is, and however magical its light, scientific studies have found no solid evidence that it affects human behaviour. (Read that Neuroscience for Kids link, and it debunks practically all those claims.)

But its effect on the human imagination can't be denied.

Alison (in grumpy rationalist mode ;-)

Moondreamer said...

Helen, I agree about moonlight being comforting!

I'll do a post on the 'harvest moon' for you at some point, there are some fantastic moon names and mythologies, I like the Strawberry Moon too.


Lane, tonight's full moon will be particularly energising I think, and incredibly beautiful if the weather is right!

Thank you for the fab inspiration!

Will write that for you next, and am really looking forward to the research ... what a great subject, you're a gem!


Karen, glad you and Molly enjoyed the moonlight on your walk, I hope the weather is good for the full moon eclipse tonight!


Annieye, I think that's great! Some people go their whole lives missing out on such a wonderful pleasure, barely aware of the moon at all. Or the stars, equally fascinating!


Pacha, what a beautiful name your sister chose for her daughter, best wishes to a lovely new baby and her family! x

Am glad you like the topic, I'm going to try and write about the moon every monday ... for a while at least!

"We love sleeping under the moonbeams" ... that made me smile, I hope you enjoy the extra special moonbeams tonight.

Lunar gardening fascinates me, and I've heard about cutting hair too, I guess it's just like pruning. It's interesting to hear that it seems to be a common thing where you are?

Hope the rewrite is going well, it's so good to hear from you!

Enjoy the full moon eclipse (you will probably have better weather than we have here!)


Haha! I always love your rationalist input, Alison, it balances my sometimes-far-too-idealistic perspective!

I agree about the evidence (though there is a little bit that supports the lunar effect, it's far outweighed with solid opposing evidence!) but still ... ;O)

You've made me think about all this recently, maybe I'll try and write something about the power of evidence versus the power of imagination, I think that's a very interesting topic!