Arianrhod In All Her Splendour: Full Moon Poem

20170510 POEM ARIANRHOD IN ALL HER SPLENDOUR FULL MOON POEMTonight, 10 May 2017, is the May full moon, in the constellation of Libra. To me and many it is known as the Bright Moon. To celebrate this full moon I wrote the following poem:

Arianrhod in all her splendour, moves by an invisible hand
and wanders companionless, like a silver wheel in the sky. She ascends.
This full moon’s lucid beam dominates the now darkened canopy, and
there, in her smiling face, we find sweet, unbridled understanding.
She befriends.

Her ‘lesser light’ moves across the sky above the city, grey.
Oh, robed in splendour, her surge of silver-light fills every window pane
and skips across rooftops, trees, streams, fairy fires, and silent railway,
and falls unbeknown on those who sleep now, and refreshment regain.
A blessing.

Arianrhod, spill your beauty on a thousand Earthly races,
on happy flowers that bloom in a myriad of hues,
on laughing, smiling, sad and all up-looked faces,
who, in wilding spaces, drink your wine of sweet, bless’d fallen dew.
A gracious infilling.

And paled now is her light,
as onward she moves lower in the sky. For the sun, opportune.
But, for now, dear Arianrhod reigns with love. She is mistress of the night.
A timely witness sent by the Truth who is beyond the Moon.
A glorious remembrance.

 

Note: Photo above is copyrighted, and used with kind permission. Gratitude to Pennie Ley [Link]

 

 

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Bright Moon. Full Moon On 10 May 2017

20170508 BRIGHT MOON 10 MAY EPHEMERAIt’s that time…the time of Spring, pleasant weather, the time of the full moon, and when many consider this is a good time for releasing what is holding them back and working on new commitments, both in spirit and love, committing to an engagement, hand-fasting or marriage, or making some other commitment.

‘The world’s favourite season is the spring.
All things seem possible in May.’  Edwin Way Teale

Essentials
On the evening of Wednesday, 10 May 2017 there is a full moon in the constellation of Libra (on the ESE horizon at 8.05pm from a London, UK perspective and rising gently to it’s ‘highest’ point that night just after midnight when looking southward).

This full moon is known as the Bright Moon.

Still others, though, such as other Celts, Celtic Christians, Druids and Pagan friends may refer to it as the Grass Moon, the Milk Moon or the Flower Moon.

‘Like the moon it shall be established forever, a faithful witness in the skies.’ Psalm 89:37, The Book

It’s well and truly spring (in the northern hemisphere) and a time for growing plants and flowers,  and so, aptly, May is named for the Roman goddess Maia, who oversaw the growth of plants. And, doubly so, at this full moon in May.

Myths About The Moon
There are a number of myths about the moon, as these are:

Ancestor offerings: In some Chinese religions, offerings are made to the ancestors on the night of a full moon.

A full moon makes you ‘crazy’: Ever since ancient times, full moons have been associated with odd behaviour, sleepwalking, or violence . The words ‘lunacy’ and ‘lunatic’ come from the Roman goddess of the moon, Luna, who was said to ride her silver chariot across the dark sky each night. In England, in the  18th-century those on trial for murder could seek a lighter sentence on grounds of lunacy, if the crime occurred at the time of full moon. Also, the book,  ‘The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ by Robert Louis Stevenson, was said to have been inspired by the strange , and yet very true, case of Charles Hyde, a London man who committed a numbers of crimes, all at the time of the full moon.

Even the BBC News reported, a few year ago, reported  that some British police departments have decided to add extra officers on nights with crime increases that occur at the time of a full moon (though there are many that think this may have to do with the response to opportunistic crime and more light at night be available for foul deeds because of the full moon).

Aliens on the Moon: In the 1820s,  Bavarian astronomer Franz von Paula Gruithuisen recorded that he had spied alien cities on the moon with his telescope. He called them Lunarians, and though many people derided his finding, he did at least have a modest-sized moon crater named after him.

Even today, there are those who believe their are aliens on the moon, maybe on the side of the Moon which doesn’t face Earth, and some believe images, from Chandrayaan-1 (an Indian Moon probe) appear to show a series of lava tubes snaking under the surface of the Moon, as it made by an intelligence, with thousands of scatted, perhaps, connecting caves.

It makes you think!

Full Moon ‘Releasing’ Ritual
This is a releasing ritual, releasing you from all that is holding you back. As with any ritual, it is an outward sign and activity of an inward occurrence. It can be done outdoors on the night of the full moon, but equally, it can be done indoors.

So, find a quiet place, and:

1. Light a candle (to denote entering into sacred space/sacred time). If you want, you can place crystals, power-rocks and other positive-tools around you.

2. De-clutter your mind of thoughts, clear your energy. This can be done by imagination, and so why not close your eyes and visualise that you are standing under a silver waterfall. As you so do, in your mind’s eye, imagine that all negativity being  washed away.

3. Take a few deep breaths to ‘center’ yourself, to move deeply within your being, and then ‘ask’ what it is that you wish to be released from. What is it that is holding you back? What is a limiting belief? What no longer serves a positive purpose in your life. In your mind’s eye, write it on a piece of paper. Wait for a short while.

4. As you breathe in, think of that piece of paper with that limiting belief written on it, and as you breathe out, imagine that that piece of paper moves into the candle and is burnt up. It no longer exists. Do this several times. [Remember, this is all taking place in your imagination, so please don’t actually set fire to anything you have with you!].

This type of breathing in/out with visualisation is like tonglen, in reverse.

5. After a short while open your eyes, fully enter this ‘realm’ by gazing gently at the candle for a few minutes. There is no rush. And then, to denote a closing of that sacred space/sacred time, blow the candle out. Wait for a few minutes. Doing things slowly, here, is good.

6. Ofcourse, this is a ritual, an outward sign or action of an inward occurrence, and you will still need to ‘do’ the necessary things in the physical realm to bring about a releasing of what is/was holding you back, and to work towards a positive outcome.

[Always concerned for you, I would ask that you do take appropriate professional advice if your ‘releasing negativity and embracing positivity’ in this ritual (and afterward) concerns money, land, health, relationships etc]

7. Keep a journal of your experiences in that ritual, what you did to ‘earth it’ and work towards releasing negativity and working towards positivity, detailing actions and how you felt at the time. It’s always good to look back, weeks, months or even years later.

Let me know what happens, if you wish.

‘May and June.  Soft syllables, gentle names for the two best months in the garden year: cool, misty mornings gently burned away with a warming spring sun, followed by breezy afternoons and chilly nights.  The discussion of philosophy is over; it’s time for work to begin.’ Peter Loewer

Gardening
Being a concerned about  nature, my suggestion is: that for those wishing to cultivate and benefit from nature, even a window box if you live in a city and haven’t got access to a garden, how about planting:

For shady, north-facing locations: English daisy, Fern (maidenhair, tassel, Boston, asparagus, Impatiens. Pansy, Parsley, Snapdragon.

Sun-liking, south-facing locations: Lavender, Marigold, Miniature rose, Rosemary (which is particularly good at attracting bees. We definitely need to look after bees).

‘May, more than any other month of the year, wants us to feel most alive.’ Fennel Hudson

And Finally…
…Wishing you a blessed May full moon, Tadhg

Luna, Faithful Companion: Full Moon Poem

20170411 LUNA FAITHFUL COMPANION POEMThere are different ways of perceiving the moon, or indeed any other object.

We can look at the ‘surface’ of things, and as regards the moon for instance, scientifically describe it as an happy accident or chance happening from which we can derive some benefit. Distant observation.

Or we can get ‘closer’ and describe how bizarre that ‘co-incidences’ should have happened in relation to us, the planet and the moon, and think deeply. Synchronicity.

Or we can get closer still, encompass the other two ways of perceiving the moon, but also ponder, silently, in awe what effect the moon has on us, means to us, and meditate upon the hand that flung it into space, and look ‘beyond’ the veil to discover a continual uncovering of truth and meaning. We can experience a connectedness like never before. Oneness.

Here’s a poem ‘Luna’, regarding the latter, in gratitude to the Source of All at this time of the full moon.

The moon’s face smiles as her love is poured out.
Earth’s faithful companion of old, Luna, without a doubt,
depicts landmarks of whitened seas and grey isles
as her love is poured out, the moon’s face smiles.

On this night she takes her rest
with a myriad stars around her pale-yellow, brilliant dress.
It is time for us to draw closer. A cosmic invite as
she takes her rest on this night

Shining on the world below.
Witnessed by lovers, wild beasts, owls and crow.
That moment of ‘nowness’, moonlit, presence-defining,
on the world below, shining.

Moonbeams dance across the firmament, that is a vast space,
From Mare Imbrium to your face.
A meaningful encounter, not produced by chance, as
across the firmament that is a vast space, moonbeams dance.

High in the sky she shines, above the mist,
you are embraced, known, much-loved, and moon-kissed.
So revel in nature’s love, accept it, never asking why, for
above the mist, she shines high in the sky.

Wishing you a blessed full moon celebration. Tadhg

This poem is a swap quatrain. That is, where the first line is repeated in the last line of each stanza, but rearranged so that the first part of that line becomes the second, and vice versa. I hope that made sense. Blessings.

Tadhg’s Ephemera & More: The Growing Moon: 11 April 2017

20170410 THE GROWING MOON 11 APRIL 2017 EPHEMERAFull Moon
Spring is truly here, and this month’s full moon takes place on Tuesday, 11 April 2017, in the constellation of Scorpio, the latter being seen, traditionally, as a water element.

This full moon rises around sunset, and sets around sunrise. This is the only time in the month when the moon is in the night sky all night long. The rest of the month the moon spends some time, at least, moving across the daytime sky.

‘The moon was reigning over their world, glowing its full splendour to all those willing to look up.’ Irina Serban

To the ancient and latter day Celts and Druids, such as myself, this full moon is known as the Growing Moon. Others regard/regarded it as the Seed Moon, the Pink Moon, the Awakening Moon, or the Egg Moon. Whatever we call it, this is a wonderful time of the month, and a time to sit, gaze up and ponder at our Earth’s wonderful companion smiling down at us.

On This Day: 11 April
1814 Napoleon surrenders unconditionally, and is exiled to the island of Elba.
1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act.
2015 President Obama meets Raul Castro, the first meeting between USA and Cuban heads of state since the Cuban Revolution.

Further Ahead
On the evenings surrounding April 20, Mars, that red planet, traverses across the sky and will pass close to the Pleiades star cluster, the Seven Sisters. After the sky darkens, they should be visible as a faint group of seven stars to the naked eye, as several dozen stars within a binoculars’ field of view, and with a telescope you might see several hundred stars.

The name Pleiades comes from Ancient Greek, and is probably derived from plein (‘to sail’) because of that star cluster’s importance to the sailing season in the Mediterranean Sea. The name was later mythologised as the name of seven divine sisters, whose name was thought to be connected to their mother Pleione.

Also, look out for the annual Lyrids meteor shower which runs from 16 to 25 April, and which peaks before dawn on Saturday, 22 April.

‘The moon will guide you through the night with her brightness, but she will always dwell in the darkness, in order to be seen.’ Shannon L Alder

Soon, Earth Day
This year, Earth Day, occurs on Saturday, 22 April. Details of how you can get involved in a practical way can be viewed at the Earth Day website here.

And/or you can read their webpage and send out some positivity, good-energy, prayers and maybe hold an appropriate ritual, or meditate silently upon the Earth, extending love and peace to it and all its wildlife, and give gratitude.

‘And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair’. Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet

Also, in doing this by yourself or with others, you might like to consider turning off all lights and unnecessary household equipment to stop or reduce your electricity usage for an hour (refrigerators/freezers etc exempt), and, perhaps, spend that time in darkness, or use a candle for light for your meditation, ritual etc.

May you have a blessed full moon celebration. Tadhg.

Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Moon Of Winds: 12 March 2017

20170310 moon of winds1 EPHEMERAIt’s that time again. I love full moons, and this Sunday, 12 March 2017 sees the  third full moon of the secular year.

‘You have to be able to appreciate these things. How many people can say it was a full moon last night and appreciate it?’ Sandy Miller

Moon: This full moon will be in the constellation of Virgo, on the cusp of Leo, and in close proximity to the Virginids – a timely meteor shower that seems to originate (its radiant)  from the constellation of Virgo. The moon’s brightness, however, may ‘overpower’ the meteors (expect about 5-10 per hour) and dull the spectacle somewhat.

To those of (medieval) England this full moon was/is known as the Lenten moon, to others it was/is known as the Chaste moon, or the Fish moon. To ancient and latter-day Celts, Christian Celts, Druids like myself, many know it as the Moon of Winds.

The full moon will be very near the bright star, Alaraph, sometimes called Zawijah. The name ‘Zawijah’ comes from the Arabic phrase meaning ‘corner of the barking dog’. That star is slightly larger and more massive star than the Sun, and is comparatively metal-rich (that is, it has a higher composition of elements heavier than helium).

‘The moon looks upon many night flowers; the night flowers see but one moon.’ Jean Ingelow

Planets: And, a few days later, for those interested in the planets, there is a conjunction of the moon with the planet Jupiter in the very early hours of 15 March.

Story: There are a number of fables and myths about the moon. Here’s one story from the Buddhist tradition, and which is prevalent in China, Japan, South and North Korea.

This tale is about a monkey, an otter, a jackal, and a rabbit who decided to extend charity on the day of the next full moon, believing they would receive a great reward. At that time, an old man met them and begged for food.

When the old man asked the monkey for food, it gathered fruit from a tree and gave it to him. The otter collected fish and presented them to the old man. The jackal stole a lizard and a pot of milk, and gave them to the old man. When the old man encountered the rabbit, the rabbit was embarrassed and upset that he only knew who to gather grass and believed the old man wouldn’t welcome that as food. Immediately, the rabbit threw himself into a fire  – self-sacrifice, to provide the old man with some tasty food. However, the rabbit didn’t die, and wasn’t even burned!

The old man then revealed himself to be Sakra – the embodiment of the Universe or Heaven – and blessed the rabbit. In honour of the rabbit’s intention, Sakra drew the likeness of the rabbit on the Moon for all to see, for all eternity.

Though we look up at the full moon and see a benevolent face looking down at us, many Asian people see that rabbit. Interestingly, China’s first probe to land on the moon in December 2013 was called Yutu, translated as Jade Rabbit.

‘Praise Him, sun and moon; Praise Him, all stars of light!’ Psalm 148:3, The Book

Celebration: You may want to celebrate this full moon. I do, and I’d heartily recommended it.  In many ways the best way to celebrate and/or give thanks is to go out and gaze in awe and appreciated the wonder of that full moon, and the One who made it, in the stillness of the night. But, in addition,  you might like to:

  • say a few words out loud or to yourself – perhaps one of the phrases/quotes in this article, in gratitude, or
  • remember a loved one who has passed-on, and bless them, and remember good things about them, or
  • send up good-thoughts or a prayer about an upcoming event or for someone known to you that might need energy, expecting the One Behind  It All to hear and respond.

Ofcourse, you might like to (re-)arrange a home altar, and indoors (or outside) have a more elaborate ceremony. There are some occasions when this is good, but don’t feel that you have to do something elaborate. In many cases I prefer simplicity – realising that elaborate and wordy ceremonies can sometimes detract from simple, dare I say ‘child-like’, wholesome and deep praise of the moment.

‘When I admire the wonders of a sunset or the beauty of the moon, my soul expands in the worship of the creator.’ Mohandas Gandhi

 

Haiku #6: Regarding The Moon Of Ice [Ephemera].

20170209-moon-of-ice-poetryI’m fascinated by the traditional haiku – short Japanese poems consisting of three lines; and the lines containing firstly five syllables, then seven, then five; and somewhere in the haiku there is usually a seasonal reference (called a ‘kigo’), however oblique.

With the full moon, this time it’s known as the Moon of Ice [see here for details], imminent, here’s a haiku regarding that wonderful, blessed event. An event to ponder, to take time and be still. To gaze upon. To give gratitude to the Source of All. The Haiku:

Windy weather wanes.
The Spring full moon is so bright.
Look! Her smiling face.

shoe-1433925_960_720A voice from above,
‘Remove your shoes, my dear friend.
The ground is holy’.

Be still and wonder.
The Source of all is sending
Grace to all. Blessings.

 

 

 

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Tadhg’s Ephemera: The Moon Of Ice: 10 & 11 February 2017 Full Moon & More.

20170208-moon-of-ice-ephemeraBrace yourself! The next few days is a busy time, astronomically-speaking, and for those that cherish and mark the passing of the seasons, or enjoy looking ‘heavenward’ to the skies for significant events.

Lunar eclipse: 10 February, the shadow cast by the Earth starts to move across the surface of the Moon. Lunar eclipse.

‘The moon makes love
to the ocean,
and in this holy conception it gives birth
to a little tide.’

A P Sweet

moon-untitled111The Moon will only ‘graze’ the outer edge of the Earth’s long shadow and so it won’t be a total eclipse of the Moon. Rather, it’ll be a penumbral eclipse and so you’ll see the Moon’s light grow dim, but it won’t lose all its light, and it may become reddened. The penumbral eclipse will start very slowly at first, hardly noticeable, at 22.35 UTC, but will be at its maximum some 2 1/2 hours later, and then by 2.35 UTC (the next day) it’ll all be over. It should be viewable, clouds permitting, from north America, Europe, Africa and most of Asia, but not so from Australia – sorry, Australia.

Full Moon: 11 February: It’s a full moon and therefore of significance to the ancients, and latter day Christians, Pagans’ Celts, Druids and others. It  will be in the constellation of Leo; and this Full moon is known as the Moon of Ice (or, the  Ice Moon) to ancient and latter-day Celts, but is also known as the Snow Moon, Storm Moon or Wolf Moon to others.

‘Only the moon’s smile can cure the unseen scars of darkness’. Munia Khan

We can still rightly claim to be in the season of Imbolc – it was only a week ago – and Imbolc has an association with milk, so why not wrap up warm, grab a cup of hot milk and gaze at the Moon of Ice, in awe, in wonder, and with gratitude, and ‘unwind, take time to relax and marvel at the Moon, and/or celebrate the occasion, ritually, in a way appropriate to your tribal, core and/or heart-felt expression, as its face smiles back.

Comet: 11 February and a few days after: Comet 45P/Honda-Mrkos-Pajdušáková is expected to reach its maximum brightness now and over the next two weeks, and will be visible. It was discovered by astronomers Minoru Honda, Antonin Mrkos and L’udmila Pajdušáková in December 1948.

comet-602281_960_720Comet (definition): A celestial body moving about the sun, usually in a highly eccentric orbit. It has a central mass surrounded by an envelope of dust and gas that may form a tail that streams away from the sun. This flowing tail is why it’s called a comet, as the word comet comes from the old Greek word, komḗtēs, meaning ‘long hair’; and the comet’s tail does look, poetically, like hair flowing from it.

The comet will be passing through the constellation Hercules during its closest approach on February 11th, and then it will move through the constellations of Corona Borealis, Boötes, Canes Venatici, Ursa Major and into Leo at the end of February as it recedes in brightness. It then ‘flies’ away from us on its orbit, not to return until the Spring of 2022. It’s best viewed though a pair of binoculars.

And then, the planets: Mars appears near Venus in the western sky for some time, whilst Venus visible for a time and then vanishes into the sunset weeks later in later in March. Jupiter, meanwhile, rises in the east and is spectacular even with a pair binoculars. Saturn rises in the east just before morning sunrise.

‘Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that
Winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was and so soft the air.’

William Morris

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Tadhg’s Ephemera: 12 January 2017 Full Moon & More.

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Full Moon: On 12 January 2017 at 11:34 UTC, with the moon in the constellation of Cancer the Crab, there’s a full moon. To the ancient and latter-day Celts this full moon is the Quiet Moon – so-called as all seems quiet. however, we know that the apparent dormancy of this season hides nature’s activity and is  but the prelude to spring, which is just around the corner.

To others this full moon is known as the Ice Moon or the Wolf Moon.

Something To Do: Perhaps, when gazing at the full moon, this time could be a time offile-11-01-2017-11-07-12 gratitude for the last year, and a time of prayer, meditation and a looking forward to all that could be in the forthcoming year. A time to plan good things, and to look forward, positively. It’s also an opportunity to do all this  in front of a lit candle – to remind us of the gift of light, to slow us down (we’re usually all far to busy), and to dwell on the simple and profound things in life. Rest. Meditate. Enjoy.

‘January is the quietest month in the garden. … But just because it looks quiet doesn’t mean that nothing is happening. The soil, open to the sky, absorbs the pure rainfall while microorganisms convert tilled-under fodder into usable nutrients for the next crop of plants. The feasting earthworms tunnel along, aerating the soil and preparing it to welcome the seeds and bare roots to come.’  Rosalie Muller Wright, Editor of Sunset Magazine.

Moon Creation Theories: Some Thoughts: The last theory about the creation of the moon talked of a collision of a small wandering planet, named Thea, some zillions of years ago. However, a new theory has emerged in the last few weeks about how the moon was created, rejecting a popular theory that it was born through a single giant collision.

In a new study, researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science ran computer simulations and determined that the moon may have been formed by a number of collisions with smaller objects rather than one large collusion.

But, just for fun, I thought – being the amateur astronomer, that I am – I  would like to offer another theory: that the moon itself was moving freely through space at one time,  and encountered the Earth and its stronger gravitational field, and moved into a ‘parking orbit’ aeons ago. As the moon had moved through space the front of it would have encountered debris and that’s is why it is pitted – and that would be the back of the moon, now, which continually faces away from the Earth; the other side of the once wandering moon, shielded from such debris as it moved through space would be protected and less pitted, and that’s the ‘face’ that shines down upon us, now. If the theory catches on: it’s known as ‘Tadhg’s Wandering Moon Theory’. Just a thought.

‘As the Sun goes down
And the Moon rises
And the Golden Pond turns to silver
Blessed is the one who creates us
Blessed is the one who makes us
Blessed is the one who fashions us.’

(Derived from Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth)

13 January: As an aside, this day, 13 January is the day that many remember St Kentigern (also known as St Mungo) who died around this time in 612AD. Kentigern had a full and rich life, and is perhaps best known for founding Glasgow in Scotland all those years ago. I’m sure Glasgow, with a current population of just over 600,000 people, salutes you.

‘There is a moon inside every human being. Learn to be companions with it.’ Rumi.

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Ephemera: Full Moon, 13 December 2016 & More.

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Oh, winter draws on as we move further into Advent. We’re about half way through the month of the Elder (tree), and speeding towards the winter solstice. And, for this month, the associated element is: earth; and the associated plants/trees etc is the holly, ivy, and mistletoe.

Tomorrow is a full moon. However, if you consult some other almanacs then you could be led to believe it is tonight. However, it’s a case that the moon maybe 98% full tonight and waxing (getting ‘bigger’, towards full moon status), but tomorrow it may be 98% and waning (growing ‘smaller’, starting to reduce toward that new moon, ‘unlit’ status). Either night to celebrate the full moon is good. I have a preference for tomorrow, the 14 December 2016.

To the ancient and latter-day Celt’s this full moon is known as the Cold Moon. Others may call it the Oak Moon.

As the Sun goes down
And the Moon rises,
And the Golden Pond turns to silver,
Blessed is the One who creates us,
Blessed is the One who makes us,
Blessed is the One who fashions us.

(Derived from Authorised Daily Prayer Book of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth, 1998)

There are a number of ancient and modern ideas about the (full) moon which I think are quite interesting to ponder upon.

pixabay-moon-229889_960_720Idea #1: The Moon changes size. The Inuit people that live in Greenland named their Moon god Anningan. They believed, according to their ancient story that Annigan chased his sister Malina, the Sun goddess, around the sky. This tiring work, paired with a lack of food, caused Annigan to get much thinner as the month went by.

This myth was a wonderful attempt to explain the phases of the moon as it recedes from a full moon to a crescent.

Idea #2: A full moon can cause lunacy. Some police and hospital workers still claim that people are wilder on a full moon. Some have laughed at the idea. However, do bear in mind a newspaper report which quoted Inspector Andy Parr, of Sussex Police, who made a crime-connection while analysing crime statistics for the Brighton and Hove area’s “night-time economy”. He said: ‘I thought, we have a limited amount of men and money to spend, so let’s look at the crime figures. I compared a graph of full moons and a graph of last year’s violent crimes.’ and there was a correlation.

His findings have been backed up by personal experience on patrol. Inspector Parr added: ‘When you try to reason with people on a full moon they become more aggressive and less rational during full moon. When you try to reason with them on a full moon they become more argumentative.’ As a result of his findings, the force plans to put extra officers on the streets for “key days” including the next full moon.

dec-ephemera-daily-mirror-13-12-06Idea #3: The Moon brings love. In Chinese folklore, Yue-Laou is an old man in the moon who unites predestined couples together. I wonder if the John Lewis company had this story in mind when they ‘screened’ their ‘man in the moon’ tv Christmas advertisement last year? British women as well, who hoped to receive a dream about their true love would recite the following verse under a New moon: “New moon, new moon, I hail thee! By all the virtue in thy body, grant this night that I may see he who my true love is to be.” The Moon has also traditionally been appealed to in order to bring fertility.

dec-ephemera-lucia-common-licence-13-12-06Meanwhile, don’t forget: Today, 13 December, is Saint Lucy’s Day. She was a 3rd-century martyr under the Diocletianic Persecution, who it is said, brought food and aid of those hiding in the catacombs, and using a candle-lit wreath on her head to light her way she left her hands free to carry as much food as possible.

Her ‘day’ used to be celebrated at the time of the winter solstice, which was 13 December on the old Julian calendar, and so is really some ten days away, but when the calendar was change they kept her feast day on the same date, even though it moved the celebration.

Even today, in Scandinavian countries, with their long dark winters, a young girl in many churches and village squares is dressed in a white dress and a red sash (as the symbol of martyrdom), and wears a crown or wreath of candles on her head.

 

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Ephemera: Full Moon, 14 November 2016: The Dark Moon.

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I love full moons. And, this month’s full Moon is on 14 November 2016,  in the constellation of Aries. If you get an opportunity to witness this one, it’s worth it (even a day later, if it’s cloudy).

‘I lost my hat while gazing at the moon, and then I lost my mind.’ Rumi

Full Moon Name: To those of yesteryear, Medieval England and Wiccan it was known as the Snow Moon, others call it the Hunter’s moon; and as I’m a latter-day Celt, I like to call it the Dark Moon, which was the name given to it by latter-day and current-day Celts.

Lunar Data: The Moon will be fairly close to Aldebaran on that day, though that star is in the constellation of Taurus. Interestingly, the planetary probe ‘Pioneer 10’ launched in March 1972 by NASA has now left the solar system and is heading in the general direction of Aldebaran. It will arrive there in approximately two million years time!

‘November always seemed to me the Norway of the year.’  Emily Dickinson

SuperMoon: This month’s full Moon is a ‘supermoon’. Because the Moon’s orbit around the Earth is slightly elliptical rather an circular, sometimes in its obit it is further away from us, sometimes closer. This month it’s closer, and so will appear brighter and bigger than average. Infact, it is closest to the Earth since 1948, and it wont be closer than this until 2034. So, it will be worth seeing!

And, if you see the Moon near the horizon, it will look even bigger. A popular belief, stretching back at least to Aristotle in the 4th century B.C., holds that the Moon appears larger near the horizon due to a real magnification effect caused by the Earth’s atmosphere, but, this is not true. It’s just an illusion, the Ponzo illusion, but a good one to experience.

Nevertheless, it will be a great Moon to observe and my encouragement to you is to take some photographs of it, to gaze upon it, to ponder, and give thanks. There will be nothing quite like this for another 18 years.

‘In November, the earth is growing quiet. It is making its bed, a winter bed for flowers and small creatures. The bed is white and silent, and much life can hide beneath its blankets.’ Cynthia Rylant

On This Day: You might also like to know that on the 14 November that Gottfried Kirch discovered the Great Comet of 1680 (Kirch’s Comet/Newton’s Comet); K C Gillette patented the Gillette razor blade in 1904; The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) began domestic radio service in 1922, and  the game Candy Crush Saga was released as a mobile app for smartphones in 2012.

‘November’s sky is chill and drear,
November’s leaf is red and sear.’  Sir Walter Scott