The moon controls many aspects of human life on our planet. Just like the tides of Mother Earth the moon also controls the flow of a woman's menstrual cycles. Our behaviors change around various phases of the moon. Statistics show that more crimes happen during a full moon than during a new moon. Having worked in the Emergency room I also noticed that people are more prone to accidents around the time of the full moon. All of my children have been born during the full moon.
Moon cycles control the tides' rise and fall. Livestock tend to work around moon phases. Chickens will lay more eggs during a full moon, cattle and other large animals give birth during the full moon. If you look in any farmers almanac you will see a chart of moon phases for the year and a suggestion for planting crops around these phases.
In earlier times before Neil Armstrong first set foot on the surface of the moon early man looked up at the silver orb and made up legends about it. The man in the moon, the lady in the moon, the hare, and many more!
We’ve all heard and possibly seen a picture that alludes to a figure resembling a human face, head, or body on the moon. The figure is actually composed of the dark areas (the lunar maria or “seas”) and the lighter highlands on the surface of the moon.
The versions of the “man in the moon” are almost as diverse as the origin of this lunar figure. Some see the man’s face on the moon – complete with his eyes, nose, and an open mouth. Another tale tells of seeing a figure of a man carrying something on his back. Some also see a dog accompanying this man on the moon.
How did he get there?
Was he sent there by rocket ship? Is he an alien? One old but popular European tradition states that this man was sent to the moon for a crime—which is almost as mysterious as this guy on the moon.
Christian lore explains that this man was caught gathering sticks on the Sabbath, a day of rest, and was sentenced by God to death. German culture accused the man of stealing from a neighbor, while Roman legend said he stole a sheep.
Another myth, both Christian and Jewish in nature, claims the man in the moon to be Cain the Wanderer, forever doomed to circle the earth.
In Norse mythology, the man in the moon, named Máni, pulls the moon across the sky.
Whatever “he” is or wherever “he” came from, next time there is a full moon in the sky, see if you can see a man on the moon.
The Woman in the Moon
Obviously the man in the moon can't be allowed to get lonely!!! Some people saw an old woman sitting in a rocking chair during some phases of the full moon and at others as the youthful profile of a young woman's face looking towards the heavens. In Chinese culture the lunar goddess Chang'e lives on the moon. She was punished by being stripped of immortality, she found a pill of immortality and accidentally swallowed it whole causing her to float away. In pagan belief the moon is the silvery Goddess looking down upon us all.
The Rabbit in the Moon
An early mention that there is a rabbit on the moon appears in the Chu Ci, a Western Hananthology of Chinese poems from the Warring States period, which notes that along with a toad, there is a rabbit on the moon who constantly pounds herbs for the immortals. This notion is supported by later texts, including the Imperial Readings of the Taiping Era encyclopedia of theSong Dynasty. Han Dynasty poets call the rabbit on the moon the "Jade Rabbit" or the "Gold Rabbit" , and these phrases were often used in place of the word for the moon. A famous poet of the Tang Dynasty period, Li Bai, relates how: "The rabbit in the moon pounds the medicine in vain" in his poem "The Old Dust."
In the Buddhist Śaśajâtaka, a monkey, an otter, a jackal, and a rabbit resolved to practice charity on the day of the full moon (Uposatha), believing a demonstration of great virtue would earn a great reward.
According to an Aztec legend, the god Quetzalcoatl, then living on Earth as a man, started on a journey and, after walking for a long time, became hungry and tired. With no food or water around, he thought he would die. Then a rabbit grazing nearby offered herself as food to save his life. Quetzalcoatl, moved by the rabbit's noble offering, elevated her to the moon, then lowered her back to Earth and told her, "You may be just a rabbit, but everyone will remember you; there is your image in light, for all people and for all times."
In pagan beliefs the Goddess is the moon who watches over the lands and creatures while they sleep. Nocturnal creatures who go about life at night are said to be those who do her "errands". Offerings left for her are received by them as rewards for doing her biding.
There are many different rituals for different phases of the moon depending on the desired outcome. A ritual to gain would be most powerful at the time when the moon is 100% full, just as a bannishing ritual would be best done during the new moon.
A lunar phase or phase of the moon is the appearance of the illuminated (sunlit) portion of the Moon as seen by an observer, usually on Earth. The lunar phases change cyclically as the Moon orbits the Earth, according to the changing relative positions of the Earth, Moon, and Sun. The half of the lunar surface facing the Sun is always sunlit, but the portion of this illuminated hemisphere that is visible to an observer on Earth can vary from about 100% (full moon) to 0% (dark moon). The lunar terminator is the boundary between the illuminated and unilluminated hemispheres. Aside from some craters near the lunar poles such as Shoemaker, all parts of the Moon see around 14.77 days of sunlight followed by 14.77 days of "night" (there is no permanently "dark side" of the Moon).
The Full Moon
This is the time when the moon is at it's fullest. 100% of it's lit side is facing the Earth. The moon is on the opposite side of the earth than the sun is. Both the moon and the sun are at 180 degree angles from each other around the earth.
Full Moons are traditionally associated with temporal insomnia, insanity (hence the terms lunacy and lunatic) and various "magical phenomena" such as lycanthropy.
The term "blue moon" traditionally referred to an extra moon in a season: if a season had four full moons (rather than the more common three), then the third of the four moons was known as a blue moon.
A mistaken definition, that the second full moon in a calendar month is known as a blue moon, became common in parts of the U.S. during the second half of the twentieth century due to a misinterpretation of the Maine Farmers' Almanac in the March 1946 Sky & Telescope magazine; this was corrected in 1999.
Since there are on the average 12.37 full moons in a year, a "blue moon" must occur on the average every 2.7 years (7 times in the 19 years of the Metonic cycle), by either definition.
The New Moon
The original meaning of the phrase new moon was the first visible crescent of the Moon, after conjunction with the Sun. This takes place over the western horizon in a brief period between sunset and moonset, and therefore the precise time and even the date of the appearance of the new moon by this definition will be influenced by the geographical location of the observer. The astronomical new moon, sometimes known as the dark moon to avoid confusion, occurs by definition at the moment of conjunction in ecliptic longitude with the Sun, when the Moon is invisible from the Earth. This moment is unique and does not depend on location, and in certain circumstances it coincides with a solar eclipse.
The new moon in its original meaning of first crescent marks the beginning of the month in lunar calendars such as the Muslim calendar, and in lunisolar calendars such as the Hebrew calendar, Hindu calendars, and Buddhist calendar. But in the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the month is marked by the dark moon
The Dark Moon
A dark moon describes the Moon during that time that it is invisible against the backdrop of the Sun in the sky. The duration of a dark moon is between 1.5 and 3.5 days, depending on the orientation of the Earth and Sun.
When the light portion of the moon is less than half the surface.
When the light portion of the moon is more than half the surface.
When the light and dark portions of the moon's surface is 50/50. The first quarter moon is the moon phase half way between the new moon and the next full moon (before the full moon). The last quarter moon is the moon phase half way between the full moon and the next new moon (after the full moon).
Have a progressively smaller part of its visible surface illuminated, so that it appears to decrease in size. This is the moon phase that comes after the full moon but before the new moon, where the moon appears to become smaller. So a Waning crescent moon is the moon phase after the last quarter moon where is appears to get smaller. The waning gibbous moon is after the full moon but before the last quarter where the moon is slowly getting smaller towards a crescent shape. The area between the dark and lit sides of the moon has a slight bulge of light into the dark half that slowly recedes to the quarter moon.
Is any phase of the moon after the new moon but before the full moon. It is the phase when the moon appears to grow fuller. A waxing crescent moon is the phase where the moon is less than 50% full but slowly grows fuller before the first quarter moon. A Waxing gibbous moon comes after the first quarter moon as it appears more than 50% full.