Guest Author - Phyllis Doyle Burns
Since humankind first learned to communicate, legends and stories began to be told of the celestial bodies far above the earth. The moon, in all its many phases and glowing beauty, has been a magical, mysterious, meaningful and mystic symbol for all cultures. The folklore that the moon has inspired is vast.
The moon can be haunting, like a disembodied soul floating in the night sky, its light shining down into deep forests, creating faint paths that lead to dark places then disappear as clouds pass by. It can be a symbol of love to a yearning heart who gazes at the bright glow and wishes for a beloved to speak from the heart. It is said that the moon has influence on the oceanic tides and also on the cycles of women.
Farmers from ancient times, and even today, look to the moon to predict the weather or know when to plant, or harvest. In late autumn, an old Scottish saying is that "a clear moon means frost soon" -- so it is time to get the crops in.
Francis Bacon (1561 - 1626), an English philosopher, observed that Circles round the moon always foretell wind from the side where they break, and a remarkable brilliancy in any part of the circle denotes wind from that quarter.
An old and endearing folk tale is about the sun and moon. Ages and ages ago, Sun fell in love with Moon and wished to marry her. Moon said she would marry him if he could find a beautiful gift that fit her properly. Sun gave her a beautiful robe to wear, but, it was too small. He gave her another robe that was far too big for her. Poor infatuated Sun never did understand the mystery of his beloved and all the changes Moon went through from full moon to the new moon and that her size changes all the time.
If luck is what you seek, then look over your right shoulder during the new moon phase and look at the new moon. Also, if you get married during the first few days of the full moon, that is a good omen. If you see a new moon on a Monday, expect good luck. When you first see a new moon, flipping a silver coin will bring you good luck. The full or new moon, does not bring good luck to all, however. Some people who work in a psychiatric hospital, or have a job like security guard or police officer, believe that a full moon is when all kinds of weird things cause havoc. It was once believed in olden days that sleeping under the beam of the moon will cause blindness or lunacy.
Many believe that working with the cycles of the moon can bring desirable results for finding love, healing, purifying the soul, or other magical needs and desires. There is a Pagan ritual called "Drawing Down The Moon", which can only be done by one ordained with the right powers and knowledge. Drawing Down the Moon is to invoke Diana, the goddess of the moon, and ask for her assistance in the ritual ceremony.
Native American tribes have a different name for each full moon of the year -- each tribe have their own moon names. For instance, names for January's full moon are Full Wolf Moon, Old Moon, Moon After Yule, depending on the tribe. Full Hunter's Moon or Full Harvest Moon is in October.
In ancient Egypt, the moon was thought of as the Lunar god, ruler of the stars. In cultures around the world the mysterious and magical moon holds secrets and mysteries that create many legends and lore.