Primal Calendar and Challenger First Quarter Moon (Photograph by Dr. Joe Daglen)
The dates of Passover and Easter are determined by it as is the new year for Earth’s millions, it’s a deity, the mysterious mover of ocean tides, the muse of poets and lovers, the alleged cause of lunacy, the Great Lost and Found Department, it’s crescent shape with a star the symbol of Islam, the second day of the week bears its name and it is the focal point at every birthday party!
This extremely important “it” is of course the Moon. It’s now shrunken some from the largest appearing full Moon of the year just a few nights ago. You are fortunate if you live where you can observe the various phases of Earth’s natural satellite. Since that awesome “first night” Earthlings have pondered its powers, told legends and spoke of it in holy scrolls whose Sanskrit and ancient Greek name “menas” means month. The great Greek philosopher Aristotle argued that the influence of the full moon caused insanity, as the brain was mostly water. His disciples are legion who rejecting scientific evidence still hold that the full moon causes mental ills, homicides, car accidents and suicides. So how did Earth acquire this influential largest natural satellite in the Solar System?
The present theory is that 4.5 billion years ago when Earth was in its infancy a wandering giant asteroid the size of Mars crashed headlong into Earth! Instead of splitting Earth apart, it caused enormous chunks of earth to blast outward into space and fuse together to create the Moon. Its heavy pocked marked face of craters testifies to ages past bombardments by large asteroids. Tonight go out and look up and see the Moon as a migrant from Earth, since Apollo lunar rocks reveal the Moon and Earth share the same composition.
The next time you lose anything, instead of praying to St. Anthony, the patron saint of lost things, ask the Man in the Moon! Legend holds that everything lost on Earth goes to the Moon—wasted time, broken vows, unfulfilled wishes and even car keys. At the next birthday party see as holy the round moon-shaped birthday cake. In ancient Greek tradition, it honors Artemis the Moon goddess and the cake’s small candles are symbols of those aflame in her honor in temples. You are guaranteed the favor of the Goddess by blowing out all of them in one breath.
We see only one side or face of the Moon because of its synchronous rotation with Earth, which inspired the Mississippi River philosopher Mark Twain to say, “Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anyone!”
Challenge: Is that true of you?