Friday, February 01, 2013

Supernatural Friday: Moon Phases and the Supernatural

The moon phases affect the tides. Said to affect how people might act. There is stories that maybe lunatics are affected by the full moon. Supposedly during a full moon hospital activity increases greatly, elderly patients become restless & agitated, children seem to act out & become more hyper, patients with mental illness & personality disorders seem to display erratic mood swings. A measurable change in geomagnetic activity at the surface of the Earth’s crust can be directly attributed to the influence of the gravitational field of the moon as it approaches its zenith.  As the moon becomes fuller the gravity field of the moon pulls on the gravitational field of the Earth and  “stretches” its geomagnetic field into an elliptical orbit.  

But does it affect the supernatural too?

Centuries of folklore  from the “old world” lay claim that the moon possesses strange powers and holds sway over all things strange & mystical. Well, there is the werewolf myth, of how a human can change at the full moon into a werewolf.  Among the Norse people, who coined the term werewolf, or “man wolf,” it was once believed that a warrior could improve his ferocity by donning a wolfskin belt and taking on the spirit of the wolf, while people in parts of western Europe said that anyone could transform into a wolf by sleeping out under the full Moon on certain days of the year.   Elsewhere, being a werewolf was seen as an affliction, brought on by a pact with the devil, divine punishment, or just having the misfortune to be born that way. The idea of werewolves creating other werewolves by biting ordinary people isn’t actually part of the old lore, but was a later addition by Hollywood, probably inspired by a similar belief surrounding vampires.

Legends lay claim that casting magic spells during the full moon works better. Had those who believed they were sorcerers and witches done this in times past, or do witch doctors in Africa employ the moon in any of its phases to conduct their practices? 
There are those who say weather & atmospheric conditions influence paranormal investigating by the amount of lighting, giving the investigator an advantage during full moons. Magnetic fields are said to be strangest around full and new moons. It is popular belief that a good time to ghost hunt is 2-3 days prior; the day of; or 2-3 days after a full moon & new moon. The best times for ghost hunting would also be during peak geomagnetic fields & solar storms. There is also a common theory that "psychic tendencies" increase during new & full moons.

Types of Moon Phases:

New Moon - The “new” Moon orbits between the Earth and the Sun in such a manner that the side which
reflects rays of the Sun faces away from the earth, hence producing the optical illusion that the Moon is invisible. This is also called a “Dark Moon.”
Waxing Crescent  - As the Moon moves along in its 28 day orbit into what is known as the first quarter, an illuminated crescent begins to appear on its right side.
Waxing Gibbous - Continuing to progress in its orbital path the crescent begins to grow until the whole of the first half of the Moon is visible.
Full Moon - As the Moon reaches the final portion of its 2nd quarter orbit it can then be seen it its entirety                  as the whole of the daylight side is visible and appears as a full circle.
Waning Gibbous  - As the sunlit side of the Moon begins to turn away from the Earth it begins to darken again on the right side as it is now beginning to “wane.”
Last Quarter  - As the Moon passes from the waning gibbous phase of its orbit into the fourth quarter, darkness overtakes a larger portion of the surface of the Moon, moving from right to left.
Waning Crescent - This is the final portion of the Moon that is visible from the Earth before the Moon starts the new Moon phase again.

Whatever one believes if the moon does or doesn't affect the supernatural, still, it makes for good fodder for writing fictional stories. And on paranormal activity investigating teams can always do an experiment at one place during various times to see if it is true or not.


Anonymous said...

I just had to check out your post on moons since my novel is Moonlight Dancer! Interesting the way you describe folklore intersecting with nature and the moon. The word lunacy comes from lunar also, as if the mentally ill person was unduly influenced by the moon.

And Shakespeare made comic use of this notion, too, in Midsummer Night's Dream--the moon combined with the forest (another natural element we associate with the psyche.

Kelley said...

How I wish we paced our time by a lunar calendar! Thanks for posting this!

Pamela K. Kinney said...

You're welcome, Kelley. And yes, I knew about that lunacy part, peninherhand, so many things connected with the moon.