Saturday, October 13, 2012

L Is For Lunar

I love the moon!

Like head over heels in love with it.

To the point where, if I'm outside at night, I have to look for it. If I find it, I stop and stare up at it in awe. And if someone is with me, I have to tell them to look at the moon too.

I don't know what it is about it.

It's hanging there, big and white, either full or half or a crescent, and it is breathtaking and beautiful.

As ridiculous as it sounds, whenever I see it, my heart feels lighter. Just its existence gives me peace.
Actually, the entirety of the night sky does. It's so vast and never-ending. Without fail, every time I look up at it, I feel small and unimportant. But that's not a bad feeling. It comforts me to know that my existence is just a blip in the grand scheme of everything.

October is a fantastic month for the moon. A harvest moon is the full moon that occurs closest to the autumnal equinox. This moon often appears to be bigger or brighter, more colourful, than the other full moons. The warm orangey colour when the moon first rises is from it passing through more atmospheric particles that scatter the blue components and allows the reddish light to pass through more easily. The moon also appears bigger because it is low-hanging and out brains perceive it to be harder than when it is up in the sky. We call this the Moon illusion.

That's sciencey stuff.

Of course, we all know the moon, especially a full one, is closely tied with spooky things. Whenever people are acting strange or weird things happen, we always question weather it is a full moon. With the full moon, comes creepy situations and werewolves.

Yep, that's right. The Wolfman, one of the most notorious horror movie characters, relies on the full moon in order to take his wolfy shape. But this isn't the only role the moon plays in all things creepy. One of my most favourite Halloween images is the witch's shadow in the middle of a full moon. Usually, the witch is flying on a broom. Sometimes there is a cat on her broom. Or bats in the background.

It's kind of funny that the moon is considered this omen or source of bad luck. This is probably because people once thought that if you slept out under direct moonlight a person would go mad or blind. From this lore, the word lunatic was born, luna being moon. That said, people also believed the moon was made of silver and would jingle the change in their pockets and ask the moon to bring them wealth.

Well, I don't know if either of these are true, and in this electronic age jingling change is a bit difficult to do. But I'm going to head on outside tonight with a couple pennies in my pockets. Just in case.

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