An astronomical body that levitates thousands of light-years away from Earth has shifted to be the center of attention in most cultures and traditions. Generally, the moon is recognized to be a symbol of femininity. Hence, in many anecdotes, the moon is referred to as a “she.” In France, the moon is called “La Lune” where the “La” means Her.
From a very young age, we were unintentionally taught to appreciate the moon. Growing up we were exposed to a lot of performances, melodies, and animations revolved around the moon. Parents with small children love to take their kids out at night, point at the sky, and tell the tale about the little rabbit on the moon. As a kid, I was very intrigued and plagued by many questions. Such as how did the rabbit get there? How huge must he be if we can see him from Earth? Is he alone? and if so, does he feel lonely? Why doesn’t he have any friends? and I was further confused when I overheard the song about a “Handa mama.” How do both live there if the rabbit is as big as half the moon? The mysteries only kept on multiplying each passing day. Another uncanny way I recall the moon is how my parents kept me and my brother occupied during late-night car rides by directing us to gaze at the moon and to see how the moon is following us. My brother and I would drop our heads out the window and get amazed every time we see the moon through the trees and wonder why it’s stalking us.
Religiously too we are tied to the moon as we usually celebrate Poya days around the full moon. The moonstone is another piece that is culturally appreciated, which was inspired by the moon. The Karava flag too denotes a Sun and Moon to symbolize their dynasties and origin in Sri Lanka. There is a considerable amount of debate encompassing the impact of the moon on humans and nature. There are various hypotheses to everything around us. We may never uncover the truth, but what we can do is to consolidate and speculate until the end of time and bask in the bliss of at least trying to learn the truth rather than do zilch about it. For some, comprehending and appreciating something as trivial as what I am discerning may seem absurd, and would most probably think, “Where ignorance is bliss, ’tis folly to be wise.” Yet, I find the utmost joy and satisfaction in reading into “superficial” matters. Regardless of these dilemmas, it is safe to say most people enjoy basking in the moonlight. At least, I hope they do, because it is by far one of the most delightful ambiances.
Many scientific pieces of research have proved a change in animal, human, and atmospheric fluctuations during a full moon and at night-time. One of the most frequent variations in nature that occurs with the changing moon is the “Tide” effects. Also known as the high and low tides. This phenomenon is quite common and can appear once a month or every night, depending on the placement of the country. Apart from the sea tides, earth tides too occur during full moons, which we hardly sense. Another peculiar study shows the changes in the animal world around the time of the full moon. This includes scorpions exuding a blue color because of the moonlight’s reflection, and corals making the beast with the two backs at an extraordinary pace. This reminds me of a tale I was told as a child by my grandparents. It was that the canines and the wild foxes in the backyard howl at the full moon, to imply that they have captured their prey for the night. Little me would fall into a terrible slumber as I would dream of all the viable ways, they are ripping apart their victim and also contemplating if they would break in and drag my little brother away too. Maybe it is these narratives or the shows such as the White fang that later in my adolescent years got me hooked on reading fantasy fiction. Specifically, on werewolves. Though the concept of werewolves is solely based on mythology, their whole realm revolves around the existence of the moon. Werewolves, the creatures of the night, are said to be created by the moon goddess. A whimsical goddess who I envisioned to have long silver hair has been an icon of the moon and mythology for a long time. The mythology of lycanthropes is closely weaved with the moon. It is said in some tales that these changelings are the most active around a full moon, which might be one of the reasons why most people still correlate the howling of dogs with the moon. And, to top it off, the female Alpha in a pack is called a Luna, which is a euphemism for the moon. From a mythological perspective, Artemis, the Greek goddess of archery, wild nature, and chastity, was also said to be the mother of wolves and the goddess of the moon. She is generally depicted adorning a silver or white dress that symbolized her connection to the moon. In Ceylon mythicism too, there is the story of “Chanda Kinnara”, which directly translates to ‘moon maids and men.’
Something that we don’t hear much about is the discussion on “Moon sensitivity.” Believe it or not, this is a lot more common than expected. Moon sensitivity is the feeling of anxiety, mood swings, being excessively emotional, and sensitivity around the time of the full moon. Anyone can comprehend this if they pay close attention to themselves around the time of the full moon. It is also natural to be drawn or be attracted to the moon as it can radiate a feeling of warmth. Explaining this phenomenon to a person who has never experienced or indulged in the moonlight is quite arduous. One of the best encounters we can gain from nature is to savor what is already around us. We allocate so much time to relish the beauty in nature during the day because everything is much more noticeable to the naked eye. During night-time, people tend to get cooped up inside their abodes when there is a complex universe outside waiting to be appreciated. One of my personal favorite things to do at nightfall is to take a stroll outside, particularly on the nights surrounding a full moon when the moonlight is grazing every leaf, plant, rock, and surface. The chilly breeze, accompanied by the little rackets of the crickets, croakers, and other insects, the sounds of the leaves brushing each other, and the absolute stillness of the chatter of human voices and vehicles is truly an ambiance that people should encounter more of. Though it is quite troublesome to gain complete hush in your locality, this sensation can be enjoyed very much on a night that has a power blackout. When all the machinery, electronic devices along with human chatter cease. For those who might query the discrepancy between savoring the quietness of midnight on a mediocre day versus on a day with a power outage, it is safe to say that there is a very definite contrast in the type of silence you will experience. One of the reasons I enjoy acknowledging or even composing about the moon and its influence on people and nature might be because I may or may not be infatuated with the moon. The moon is one of the very few elements that furnish me with the utmost delight and a sense of warmness. Though these emotions are difficult to be articulated into words, the moon in itself is a form of dopamine or serotonin and even an aphrodisiac in my perspective, and I am very well aware that I am not alone on this one.
Apart from the scientifically proven ways, the moon plays a major role in astrology and horoscopes as well. According to Western astrology, the three most important signs in anyone’s horoscope is the Sun sign, Moon sign, and the Ascendant. According to Eastern astrology, which is commonly known as the Sidereal, Vedic, or Jyotish, gives priority to one’s moon sign. Moon plays an intricate part in both astrology, horoscope, tarot readings, palmistry, and believe it or not, even in modern witchcraft. One thing both Western and Eastern Astrology shares as a common trait are their shared approach of determining a person’s personality according to their astrological chart, or their moon sign. In astrology, the moon sign is indispensable as it gives an insight into who a person really is deep down. The sun sign, as inferred by astrology, is the personality trait one dispenses to the world. It is a sort of a facade, and this does not define the authentic spirit lying beneath. The moon sign enables astrologers to identify one’s emotions, sentiments, relationships, attachments, and most importantly, how they ‘feel.’ The zodiac sign Cancer is the only sign that is directly associated with the moon, hence making it special. Cancer personalities are believed to be more intuitive, even psychic to a certain extent, more in touch with their feelings, more empathetic, responsible, loyal, reliable, caring, and passionate. These are usually the traits that are used to describe the moon in many cultures. Cancer men and women have a close relationship with their families and can be known as homebodies to a certain extent as well. They might enjoy a night in than a night out. They do keep their emotions bottled up and guarded sometimes as a result of their zodiac sign creature being a crab (crabs have a thicker shell and are harder to get through to them). These people are much more complex to understand as they have many layers to them and, they have ever-changing ideologies just like the phases of a moon, making it difficult for them to adhere to one opinion or theory for a long time. Regardless, according to astrological temperament models, Cancerians and Pisceans might be the most intellectually, and emotionally in tune to others’ feelings, and that is far more superior.
Though there is so much to discuss, discover, and explore on this celestial body known as the moon, not every sentiment can be written down. Certain things are far better when experienced than being spoken of. With that said, I would conclude the moon journey with a reminder for you to go out and savor the moonlight and the stars tonight.