I grew up in the country and spent most of my summers outdoors. I rode horses with my friends in the surrounding woods (fighting orcs, of course, with the elven army), waded through creeks to catch crawdads, splashed in the secret neighborhood swimming hole until my toes wrinkled worse than grandpa’s patooty. Sure, I miss all those childhood activities, especially when I’m holed up in an office all day, but what I miss the most are the summer evenings. We’d sleep out under the open sky, roughing it without wimpy tents or air mattresses, and stay up until that time of night when deep quiet creeps in and an otherworldly element charges the air. Without street lamps and house lights, the cosmos hold a hypnotizing brilliance. I’d stare up at the landscape of stars for hours and wonder how far away Luke Skywalker was at that very moment. Light years, I guessed. Maybe I was his other long-lost Jedi sister and somewhere in the heavens my light saber awaited…
The moon was just as mysterious, although I never really trusted the man in the moon. Too pale. Ate too much Swiss cheese. But the moon still fascinates me, so I thought I’d share a few fun moon facts.
Full moons have specific names, thanks to the Native Americans. August is the Full Sturgeon Moon. Great month to fish, apparently. Is also called the Full Red Moon, the Green Corn Moon, or the Grain Moon. The Neo Pagans pegged August’s full moon as the Lightening Moon, Colonial Americans, the Dog Day’s Moon, and the Celts named it the ominous Dispute Moon.
You can schedule life according to the moon. Here are some helpful dates provided by the Farmer’s Almanac (sorry we’ve missed out on some opportunities in earlier August to gain weight, have dental care, or castrate animals):
Don’t miss out – harvest hay and destroy weeds today, August 24! Snip that hair to discourage growth on August 25, 26, or 27. August 26 is a great day to start that diet and/or quit smoking. Breed animals on the 30 or 31st (I’ll just leave it at that).
According to a study at Bradford Royal Infirmary, the chances of being bitten by a dog are twice as high during a full moon. No wonder I’m a cat person.
It’s unlucky to look at the moon over your shoulder.
The word “lunatic” came to describe someone who was moon mad as a result of sleeping under the moonlight, or being overexposed to it.
A study by Tübingen University, Germany, claimed that police reports for 50 new and full moon cycles showed that the moon is responsible for binge drinking. See? You can blame that empty wine jug on the full moon.
Did you know “honeymoon” came from the full moon in June? Since June lands in between the planting and harvesting season, it was a fine month to get hitched. And white flowers are thought to be inhabited by Moon spirits, who appear at full moon, especially in July, August, and September, so if you want to attract love, use Jasmine.
Don’t sleep under moonlight. Hippocrates claims you’ll have nightmares. Sorry I have to disagree with you on that one, big H.
Any full moon stories, facts, or fallacies you want to share? When was the last time you took a moment to gaze up at the moon and stars?