Moon Lore and Myths

| 5/6/2014 12:02:00 PM

Tags: Moon, Night Sky, Heavenly Bodies, Stars, Constellations, Lois Hoffman,

Country MoonI am fascinated by the night sky. It all started when I was about 12 and one of our school projects was to do a star chart, graphing the various constellations and heavenly bodies. It is amazing how this phenomenon hooked me considering it was January – in Michigan no doubt – and we had to go out in single-digit temperatures and chart the sky. But there was something enchanting about the crisp air and how bright and close all the heavenly bodies appeared.

To this day I am bewitched, especially by the moon and all the myths and lore that surround this heavenly body: There’s a man in the moon, it’s made of cheese (green cheese, really?), it elicits madness, and last, but not least, it inspires love.

The name of my GRIT blog, Country Moon, even stems from this moon fascination, so I decided to delve into some of the facts and myths surrounding this mysterious sphere. Most of them center around the full moon, which occurs every 29 1/2 days when the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun, and all three bodies are aligned in a straight line. Viewed from the Earth, the near side of the moon is illuminated by the sun, giving it a full or round appearance. Here are some of the more colorful facts or lore (you decide) that I found:

– The gardening calendar, or the almanac that I wrote on last week (Planting By The Almanac), is closely based on the phases and position of the moon. Thus, farmers watch the phases closely. A full moon is said to pull the plants upward, resulting in a bountiful harvest. So, above-ground crops should be planted in the light of the moon while crops that bear below ground should be planted in the dark of the moon.

– Honeymoons are named after the full moon of June because it falls after the planting season and before the harvest season, thus being a good time to get married and get away for a while.

– A male child is more likely to be conceived during a full moon.

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