I had to laugh when I saw my 9 year old son’s Instagram post the other night: he had taken a blurry picture of the full moon and captioned it: Now my mom is going to go crazy! (Crazy face emoji, monkey face emoji.)
He could only have got this idea from his father, his ‘long suffering’ dad, who, like most men, haven’t a clue about what women go through mentally on most days, let alone during a full moon. I can just imagine them huddled together, dad telling son to watch out for lunatic women during full moon…
Here’s some things we probably already know about the word lunatic: it comes from the Latin ‘luna’ for moon. Luna is also the Roman goddess of the moon, and if you were visited by her during the night, you’d be literally moonstruck: suffering from terror, fright and madness, this according to Hippocrates, the father of medicine, circa 5th Century BC.
The moon is a significant symbol in the stories and mythology from every corner of the world. (I guess they couldn’t just ignore it, as it’s pretty much visible in the sky three quarters of the time.) Buddha was born and passed to Nirvana at full moon. Witches divine during full moon. Men transform into werewolves and howl at it…
In fact, the idea that crazy things happen to people during full moon is still, even today, an accepted notion, even though there is absolutely no evidence that proves it to be true. None. Zip. Nope! The moon directly affects the tides. That’s basically it.
Some have tried to argue that since it has an effect on water, and people are made up of 60% of it, then maybe the gravitational pull of it on the water inside our bodies may have a strange effect on us. Well, someone actually did a study and found there is too little water in our bodies for the moon to make any difference at all.
The full moon plays a part in animal behavior in that most don’t go out when the moon is full because of too much light and predators. Predators, in turn, don’t go out much at full moon because there’s not much food about. Full moon for wild animals seems to be a rather bland (but very bright) Tuesday night in.
The only evidence of the full moon causing raucous is actually by horny, hermaphroditic corals, who, when the water is warm and the moon is full, release millions of tiny, sticky male and female eggs that pair up and combine to make new coral!
The moon is almost always depicted as female in folklore and myth – The full moon apparently plays an important role in fertility, perhaps due to the similarity between women’s menstrual cycles and the monthly cycle of the moon. Its direct counter, the Sun, is almost always depicted as male. There is a beautiful tale of unknown origin that goes: ‘The Sun loved the Moon so much, he died every night to let her breathe.’ Very romantic, no?
So I gotta ask myself: DO I go nuts at full moon?! Well… not really. But I do feel excited when I see it. And I do feel like going out and dancing and drinking champagne when it’s up there all big and bold and bright. And also… I won’t lie, I feel rather frisky at full moon…
Maybe I was a coral in my former life?