Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Only the moon howls

"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day." ~Vincent Van Gogh
"There are nights when the wolves are silent and only the moon howls." ~George Carlin, Brain Droppings
The Moon has had a place in many world mythologies. To the Romans, the Moon was the goddess Luna. The Greeks referred to the Moon goddess as Selene, and the Egyptians worshiped the Moon as Isis.
Over the course of a month, the Moon appears to grow ('wax') and shrink ('wane').
In fact, ever since prehistoric times, the phases of the Moon have been used a basis for calendars and time measurement. This is how we get the length of our month – the time that passes from one full Moon to the next.


There's something about a full moon that conjures up spooky images of werewolves, insane axe-wielding murderers and other odd and unexplainable behaviours. Everything from horror films to Halloween cards has capitalized on this phenomenon, making it almost commonplace in our minds. But does the moon really affect human behaviour, or does this notion only exist in our imaginations?
Psychiatrist Arnold Lieber, theorized that since humans are composed mostly of water (like the earth), our bodies might have "biological tides" that influence our emotions.
Many hospital workers seem to notice that when the moon is full, there are more admissions for everything from births to violent crimes.
But, when put to the test, no link was found between births and the lunar cycle.
The studies are not consistent. For every positive study, there is a negative study.
Indeed, it does appear that many studies contradict each other. An English study, for instance, found that your odds of being bitten by an animal were twice as high on full-moon nights. Another similar study, in Australia, found no relationship whatsoever between dog bites and the full moon.

Is it possible that we, as a culture, like the idea of a mysterious moon-related power, and are pushing the myth forward because we want to "When something unusual happens and there is a full moon, people might notice the moon and assign blame”
Another explanation, lies in media coverage.
"Journalists pay too much attention to finding sensational news or news that will support interesting results
There is good reason to believe that people's personalities do change around the time of the full moon, not because of any astronomical force, but because it creates the optimum lighting conditions for feeling carefree and mischievous."
What do you think?

46 comments:

Carrie Wilson Link said...

I think we are powerfully affected by the moon, some more than others, but all powerfully. Someone, I won't name names (OK, my husband) is consistently "difficult" during a full moon.

Chris H said...

No comment really... just dying to see if BBC says "Whatever" again... do you think he has a problem with you mate? LOL

motherx said...

Its a very interesting theory, Ill have to watch out for that! We are weird all the time in our house so its difficult to tell. Wouldnt be surprised if that was true though. A certain serial killer springs to mind who said he commited a lot of his crimes when there was a full moon as he felt the devil was calling him....spooky!
Right off to school now, have a good day! xx

Elissa - Managing Autism said...

I certainly think there is an 'energy' that comes with a full moon... real or imaginary...? I guess it's real to those of us who feel it...

Zoƫ said...

I think everything in Nature is effected by the Moon, just like the Sun effects us, in a more obvious way.

Retiredandcrazy said...

There is so much that we don't understand isn't there? I was reading the other day that this planet lies within a "goldilocks zone". This is all to do with life being possible only because of our unique location in the solar system. So I guess the moon would have an effect on things. But why and how? Very intersting.

Milla said...

Casdok, what is that strange noise which always plays for a second or two when one first clicks on your blog? Thanks

Casdok said...

Havent a clue!
Is there a full moon?!
Does anyone else know?

frog ponds rock... said...

I am in sync with the moon.. My body has always operated on a lunar cycle.. it is just the way I am..

cheers kim..

Jorgo said...

Because, in Australia, when it's a full moon, we bite the dogs....

I believe your last point about the "optimum lighting conditions" for people and animals to be out and about.

However, like everything else I am certain about, still open to viewpoints.

I would see some value in Elissa's point about "those of us who feel it." Who knows, really?

Club 166 said...

Lunar cycles or vaccines. We humans love our myths, and love to impose order on a situation-even where none is present.

That being said, I work in a hospital, where we do all subscribe to the full moon=more trauma myth.

Joe

Jen said...

The moon sure looked full this morning...it was gorgeous. Crisp, clear night here, and seeing it through the snow-covered trees always gives me a lift.

Bettina said...

ooo I like the carefree theory.........

You should have seen the moon here tonight just after dark - it looke HUMUNGOUS!!

A Bishops wife said...

Full moons definately bring out the worst in people.
However, I think it is more psycological than anything. Ancient long superstitions can do that. Interesting.

Patti said...

I believe the moon affects us humans and all of nature.
It's all connected, right? ;-)


P.S. You've been tagged.

Nancy said...

I definitely believe the cycles of the moon affect us.

My good friend has been head of OB at our local hospital for many years and she swears there are more babies delivered on the nights of a full moon.

Owwooooohhhhhhhhhh!

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I'm not sure the moon does affect me! I'm strange at the best of times. The only thing it does do is saves us electricity as I don't need to put the landing lamp on when the moon is shining in. It looks incredible some nights as it shines on the staircase. The one where Elizabeth roams.

Crystal xx

MY OWN WOMAN... said...

Full moons...more trauma...more drunks...more rapes... I hate to say it but in the ER, that does seem to be the case. What's worse if that full moon happens to be on a weekend and the weekend is the first of the month when the checks come out from Uncle Sam.

Lord, I just sounded soooo sterotypical. I hate it when that happens.

Musical Midnight said...

Interesting idea, that the full moon may influence certain behaviors. A few years ago, I had started thinking of the notion that the moon had effects on human nature, not just in the natural world. I decided to pay attention what happened on the next full moon.

There seemed to be more reports of traffic accidents, but I now think it was because I was paying more attention to it. Other full moons have come and gone just like another day, nothing spectacular.
(Or could have been because I wasn't paying attention to the news that day? Hmm.)


As for the strange noise when you load the blog, I believe it's the from the counter found underneath the Wall Against Hate. Might have to do some scrolling down to find it.

Christy said...

If the ocean can be effected by the moon so much so that tides dramatically change than I absolutely believe humans can be dramtically changed too since we are made up of a lot of water. And quite frankly, we're salty.

Phil Plasma said...

Isaac Asimov postulated in his Foundation series that the whole reason for the existance of humanity is because of the moon in that all other habitable planets in the universe have no sattelite as large and all other habitable planets were at one time settled by humans rather than having them originate there. He doesn't go into the detail of explaining how this link is made between the moon and evolution, however, the idea has stuck with me and it has been over a decade since I've read that series.

laughingwolf said...

many things affect our moods, the moon included... as always, WE are responsible for our behaviors, no one else

get over it, people, and quit coming up with 'excuses'!

A Mother's Place is in the Wrong said...

Thanks for your visit and timely advice! Clock has been put right.
I'm sure people's behaviour is affected by the moon's changes. It has always fascinated me.
M xx

lime said...

i just think it is beautiful. this morning the full moon hovered over the tree tops in a pale dawn sky. i wished i had a camera.

Cait O'Connor said...

My dreams are intense in the period before the Full Moon, I am happiest in the waning time. My friend who is a midwife says most women give birth in a Full Moon. Mentally ill people are affected definitely. I have no doubt we are all affected.

Joan said...

While working in the public library, we could always tell when it was a full moon by watching the behavior of our normally sane patrons turn into something quite scary and bizarre.

Mike said...

You know, it's weird.

EVERY time there's a full moon, I pass out. I wake up the next morning, usually naked, sometimes not where I pass out.

Then I read the paper and someone has died.

I just CAN'T figure it out. Just strange, eh?

Ange said...

Usually when my family is out of whack (wackier than usual!) I blame it on a full moon. Some days it's just easier to blame something for the sake of getting through the day, and starting fresh the next day.

moooooog35 said...

I only know that when my full moon comes out, people run screaming.

Vi vi vi vooom!!!!!!!! said...

I've known people to act crazily when it's a full moon. But then they also act crazily when it isn't!

buffalodickdy said...

Simple physics. Gravity. Light.

teeni said...

That IS an interesting theory. I wouldn't be surprised if more than one thing has an effect here though. Nature is so delicately intertwined at times. I know my personality used to change drastically during the month because of my female cycles/hormones/pain, etc. Just a thought. But I will try to be more aware now and see if I notice anything about the lighting.

Mrs. C said...

Well, we read in Genesis 1:16 that God made the sun to rule the day and the moon to rule the night. I can't say that means God wants you to act like a nut during the full moon, though.

Just a thought.

Annieye said...

There's loads of odd things about the moon. Just google "Moon mysteries" and you'll see what I mean.

Tom Foolery (TF) said...

Fly me to the moon
And let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
On Jupiter and Mars
In other words hold my hand
In other words darling kiss me
Fill my life with song
And let me sing forevermore
You are all I hope for
All I worship and adore
In other words please be true
In other words I love you
.
I always sing this to myself when I see a full moon. Strange but true TFX

Rhonda said...

I agree that my mood is totally effected by the moon and the earths axis...

Mel said...

I worked with another therapist who charted one of her patients' mood cycles to the phases of the moon.

No foolin'.....she could predict what was gonna happen for her next by the chart--and she was spot on.

I know that I personally cringe when we're coming to a full moon. LOL Seems to be all sortsa screwy things that go on.
*shrugs*

Jan said...

My blog about the moon today was not near as eloquent as yours. Great reading.

Flea said...

I was out a bit ago and the moon is beautiful. Full and slightly yellow. I wish I'd seen it topping the horizon.

MMC said...

I hate the full moon.
It's beautiful to look at but it hangs right outside the living room window and for many, many years my daughter's seizures would occur around the time of the full moon. So I grew to hate it.

I can't say that there is actually a scientific connection but I know I have heard other parents of children with epilepsy say the same thing. So. Anyone care to take that one on?

vivavavoom said...

I knew there was a reason I have been feeling like a raging bitch lately...is it is the moons fault...at least that is what i am going to think.

Winchester whisperer said...

Isn't the moon supposed to have the greatest effect on people born under the sign of Cancer?

Charles Gramlich said...

Great post. I often wonder how different human culture would be if we hadn't had our moon? Many, many things would be changed.

Shirl the Girl said...

I once consulted a doctor who believed that a woman could relate her monthly cycle to the moon's own cycle - after all the word menstruation is derived from the word moon! At the time, I was about 35 and no one, until then, had pointed this out to me.

Nowadays, I don't have to worry about such matters!

Angela said...

I don't know why but I am thinking of how my husband thinks it is cool to moon me even though I can't see his big butt because I am blind.

I like the moon I rarely am able to see it. I mean the real moon

Moondreamer said...

Another fab post, thank you!

Being a moondreaming sort (and called in real life, Dianne, after Diana, goddess of the moon) I really appreciated that ...

Try out Yasmin Boland's Moonology website, she will keep you informed of the phases of the moon (it was last full on tuesday afternoon) and also does fab horoscopes, if you're into that.

:o)