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Although we all talk about the Moon, think about the Moon, look up at the Moon, the Moon still remains a mystery to us, it has been this way for aeons, and will be for aeons to come. Because of the mystery, the Moon holds a fascination for everyone, and who can help being riveted by the beauty of a full Moon and what the Moon can reveal. The light of the Moon seems to contain a magic all its own, yet something that we all wish to share in, the allure of the Moon has a place in our hearts, as it did in the hearts of our ancestors.
The Moon has connotations for many religions, and the word Moon comes from the Greek word meaning “measure”, there are many Christian celebrations with a connection to the Moon on specific dates. The ancient Egyptians discovered that although the Moon shape shifted with precision regularly, it did not provide an accurate measure of the seasons, and there was a miscalculation by several days. The regularity of the Moon’s ability to shape shift was a way for ancient civilizations to be able to keep time, and the cycles of the Moon were the basis of the earliest calendars. Farmers needed to know when to plant and to harvest, merchants needed to know when to expect to have crops for sale. It was also necessary to have an accurate gauge of the season to be prepared for the annual flooding of the River Nile, none of which could take place without an accurate measure of time. The next calendar designed by the Egyptians was based on solar cycles, which gave them a more accurate measure of time.
There was an early awareness of the Moon’s connection to the oceans of the world and the cycles of nature, the Moon affects the creatures of the sea, many of which mate and spawn during particular cycles of the tides. Some fish are easier to catch during the full Moon, birds and animals are all affected during the phase of the full Moon, animals are more active at this time. Ancient civilizations used the Moon to predict weather patterns, and it was likely that this was thought to be magic. It is known today that tornadoes and hurricanes tend to occur during the phases of the New and the full Moon, more than any other time, and there is a tendency for more rainfall during the first quarter of the Waning Moon. The human pregnancy gestation period is calculated by lunar cycles.
There is the legend of the Moon Maiden who collects the wishes and dreams of all living creatures on earth, they are then dropped into a goblet and swirled together before they are sprinkled back on Earth and become dew. The German goddess Frigg is said to live on the Moon spinning the lives of mankind, while the Chinese goddess Ch’ang O stole the potion of immortality from her husband. She drank every drop and flew to the Moon to escape, she now lives there contentedly after being given refuge by the hare who resides on the Moon.
When building a wooden fence you want to last, lay the foundation and set the posts while the Moon is waning, then wait until the Moon’s horns point skyward, you may then
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I’m sure your top concern as we approach the upcoming winter solstice may be just how many more minutes of sun you’re going to get during your commute each day, but the truth is that the event is steeped in history and tradition that goes far beyond our modern taste for convenience and, well, light. With history, of course, comes superstition, so I did a little research and pulled together some details about some winter solstice superstitions, where they come from, what they mean, and how they play into the way we observe the month of December in modern times (if at all).
First, a brief lesson in what the winter solstice actually is: According to the trusty Farmer’s Almanac, it’s the day each year that has the fewest hours of sunlight, thanks to the fact that the sun reaches its southernmost point and begins moving north. The winter solstice is also the first day of the astronomical winter (the meteorological winter kicks off several weeks earlier). Since 2017’s winter solstice will take place on Dec. 21, the days will begin getting longer as of Dec. 22. Did I just make your (very short) day?
Now that we’ve got the basics down, check out these superstitions.
1. Dark Spirits Walk The Earth During The Winter Solstice
Shab-e Yalda — the Iranian festival that celebrates the birth of the ancient sun god who triumphed over darkness — is celebrated on the longest night of the year, aka the winter solstice. To observe the festival, a feast of watermelon, nuts, and pomegranate seeds is consumed… but that’s not all. Because of the light vs. dark symbolism, ancient lore holds that evil spirits wander the earth on this night stronger than ever, according to MentalFloss. There are shades of similar superstitions in Celtic and Germanic folklore too.
2. The 2012 Winter Solstice Should Have Been The End Of The World
Remember the 2012 end of days hysteria? Thankfully, it was nothing more than a superstition — but it was a superstition rooted in Mayan history. The winter solstice of that year (Dec. 21, 2012) corresponded to the date 188.8.131.52.0 on the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar and was the end of a 5126-year cycle. According to the superstition, these numbers were symbolic of the end of the world, or some other catastrophe.
3. The 2012 Winter Solstice Should Have Kicked Off A Worldwide Transformation
The flip side of the “Winter Solstice as the end of days” coin? The New Age belief that the significance of Dec. 21, 2012 was one of rebirth and transformation. Some believed that the Earth and all of its inhabitants would experience some sort of wonderful metamorphosis on that day.
4. The Winter Solstice Honors The Coming Of The Light
If you’ve been counting the minutes until you can leave the office when it’s still light outside, this one should make a lot of sense to you. Given the fact that
Get the facts about springing forward and falling back, a tradition that was established in the U.S. in 1918.
People in the United States will feel a bit more refreshed on November 4 as daylight saving time 2018 ends. The clocks fall back at 2 a.m. ET on Sunday, ushering in three months of getting up in the dark until the winter solstice welcomes back the sun on December 22.
You’ve probably heard that Ben Franklin kind of proposed daylight saving time (also erroneously called daylight savings time) centuries before it was implemented, and that the twice-yearly switch was initially adopted to save us money on energy needs.
But if you dig deeper, you’ll find out that the daylight-hoarding tradition—which was adopted in the United States a hundred years ago—has an even more colorful
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