its surprising that during the recent ‘blood moon’ lunar cycle, many people, including myself seemed to have a few evenings of endless tossing and turning, desperately struggling with just getting tired enough to actually go to the land of nod. Sheets were strewn in haphazard array, pillows arranged and re-arranged before being cast off in a fit of frustration, all to come to a heady culmination of giving up on sleep and partaking in some late night science fiction reading, only to find that eventually by 8am the next morning one wakes up in a fright of having slept past the appointed hour and a science fiction book is still laying across one’s chest with reading glasses lopped somewhere across a furrowed brow!
The ‘Blood Moon’ (a relatively new term) is actually simply a lunar eclipse where light from the sun is filtered and refracted through the earth’s atmosphere and means that the moon appears reddish or muddy brown in the sky as opposed to its usual white, which is the moons surface reflecting the sun’s light. The moon appears more red in the early stages of its rise on the horizon as the light from ALL the earth’s sunrises/sunsets are refracted onto the moons surface, thus giving it a reddish glow. This gets less red as the moon rises higher in the sky over the evening.
The term BLOOD MOON was actually coined in 2013 by two christian pastors (John Hagee/Mark Blitz) who foretold of an apocalyptical reckoning. This was actually in reference to a 'lunar tetrad’ , a rare occurrence which is a series of 4 lunar eclipses in a row (or 4 blood moons). PS - the foretold apocalypse didn’t happen. In folklore this moon can also be referred to as the Hunters Moon which immediately follows the Autumnal Equinox and when the moon is rising low in the sky at the sunset - which creates the blood red colour in the moon over a series of evenings.
But aside from the foretelling of the coming of the Lord in his almighty, biblically-destructive glory, the Lunar Eclipses (for there are many not always blood ones) have always represented investigation into whether they have effect on the human species and whether we are pre-determined to acts of irrational behaviour during this time. The history is long and investigations have been constantly conducted in an effort to prove/disprove theories that lunar movements have effect on us mere mortals.
There was a lot of investigation into the period of crazed madness that may possess individuals at this time. The advent of stories of werewolves and mythical creatures being lessened to incorporate behavioural traits influencing our own meagre emotional conduct. In folklore the lunar eclipses signify beginnings and endings and times of clean slates, and culminations of periods of fortune or struggle. The OMEN of the lunar eclipse signifies a time to find closure in one aspect and perhaps begin another.
Physically a super-moon or lunar eclipse can also occur where the moon is closest to the earth’s atmosphere. This creates a magnetic pull on the tides of the earth and hence can be linked to a physical effect on water for humans which possibly links it to our existence as coastal dwelling societies. These tidal shifts would have very real effects on our environment and would explain why ancient mystics would find this connection as being linked to fortune or foreboding. After all if the tides are shifting thats a very real and physical reaction to a lunar event.
This perhaps then leads us to a further discussion: that if we find correlation in our own shifts and moods as we, as humans are magnetic beings? That opens up a whole other world of debate and discussion. Biomagnetism is the study of the magnetic fields supposedly emitted by the human body. There are many arguments both for and against on this factor and hence there is some scientific discussion about whether we as humans are ‘magnetic’ or influenced by magnetic fields. Some support magnetic fields are in fact emitted from the human body (albeit at a very small level) and others dismiss it as fraudulent and that magnetic fields have no effect on the human body at all. If one believes the former to be true, then it would stand true that lunar eclipses would and do affect us and our behaviour.
We do see it in the natural world where birds, bees, coral spawning, turtle hatchings and migrations of Monarch butterflies all effected by magnetic pulls on the earth. Is even said that dogs orientate themselves on a north/south axis to defecate???? These pulls of magnetism signal occurrences that create visual displays of wonder and excitement that have the likes of David Attenborough scrambling for their camera crews. It does exist - but does it exist for humans? The debate is gaining momentum as rogue scientists investigate and attempt to harness the knowledge that does exist in nature and seems to have effect on many beings around us.
In the zodiacal sphere though, the eclipse is a time of endings and beginnings. “Eclipses are necessary times that book-end the period of life you've been living in” The eclipse is the great bringer of change. Whether that be helpful or challenging it is perhaps not up to the lunar cycle to determine. But it brings about the changing of the guard, pushing you from your comfort zone and ending one line whereby beginning another. Any full moon has the effect of upending and exposing your deepest and darkest desires, allegedly bringing them to the surface - whereby the eclipse YANKS it from you, like a wizard pulling something from your soul!
Whilst there is much preamble and mutterings of lunar cycles and emotional wrings on your self, as yet there has not been any empirical or substantial proof in scientific terms to support the lunar cycle having an effect on us mere humans. There have been some noted studies conducted on minor (1.5%) increases in schizophrenic activity around the time of lunar eclipses and some research into menstrual cycles and the lunar cycle, but no complete study has been able to quantify the link between the two. So once again, it comes down to the individual to choose whether or not they subscribe to the scientific or the alternative viewpoint and to what degree to take heed of the cycles. However, if you look hard enough, sometimes there can be enough evidence in your own experience to convince you of your own connections. And whats wrong with a little pagan ceremony and imagery to make your life a little more fun!
Happy Lunar Eclipse!