The moon stays, perpetually and since antiquity, a supply of cultural marvel. Last week, when NASA introduced that it will reveal “an exciting new discovery” in regards to the moon in a matter of days, the web, thirsty for distraction, went wild speculating about it. (It occurred to be thrilling information for house scientists — water and ice on the moon are extra accessible than beforehand thought — however not the supernatural or extraterrestrial information many yearned for.)
Moon updates have been plentiful this 12 months. In August, scientists reported that they had flashed a laser onto a NASA spacecraft that was gliding over the moon’s floor at 1000’s of miles per hour in an effort to measure distance between our moon and planet. (It labored.) In February, two astronomers found a mini-moon orbiting Earth.
Then there was the complicated time, in July, when some self-identified witches on TikTok claimed to have hexed the moon — resulting in frustration on the a part of extra established self-identified witches, who chastised the “fresh baby witches” for disrespect and hurting the “gods that rule the moon,” in keeping with one very talked-about Twitter thread. (Let’s not even deliver up the way in which witches and astrology lovers responded on-line to the information that President Trump examined constructive for the coronavirus throughout a full moon on Oct. 2.)
Now, the moon has one other vital second in retailer for witches and non-witches alike: On Oct. 31 — that’s Halloween to you — people in all time zones will likely be handled to a blue hunter’s moon. A blue moon happens on the uncommon event when there may be multiple full moon throughout a month. (It doesn’t really look blue.)
A hunter’s moon follows a harvest moon (that was Oct. 2), and it theoretically indicators a time to stockpile for winter.
The final time there was a full pizza-pie moon (a nontechnical time period) in all time zones on All Saint’s Eve was in 1944. There was a full moon on Halloween in 2001, nevertheless it was solely seen within the Central and Pacific time zones. The subsequent full moon on Halloween that will likely be seen worldwide is anticipated in 2077, in keeping with the Farmer’s Almanac.
The idea that something rare can happen during a full moon has been drilled into the human psyche in countless ways including through popular movies, books and cartoons. The root of the word lunatic is luna (moon in Latin), implying a sort of craze associated with the moon at its fullest. And in a fictional sense, of course, a full moon is a good time for werewolves, and is fully to blame for causing Cher to fall in love with Nicolas Cage in the 1987 film “Moonstruck.”
That said, “there is no significance to the blue moon — none at all,” according to Sarah Noble, a lunar scientist at NASA. “It is a folklore thing,” she added.
On this count, even astrologers, belonging to the practice of ancient folklore themselves, may agree.
“Blue moons do not have an astrological significance,” said Chani Nicholas, an astrologer who in Los Angeles. “However, the fact that the full moon is happening on Halloween is significant.”
“Full moons are a time when we get a little assistance seeing in the dark,” Ms. Nicholas said, speaking metaphorically. “It is a very significant full moon, and it is happening four days before the election and is sitting next to a planet with upheaval, change, surprise, excitement: Uranus.” She said it was a good time to get rid of things we don’t need.
Ms. Nicholas made clear that she was not predicting an outcome for the U.S. election, but merely explaining the full moon in conjunction with the planetary astrological charts.
Jessica Dore, a social worker and tarot reader, said the coming full moon, in its rarity, was a kind of emblem of change. (While astrology and the Tarot are both popular practices rooted in history, they are not scientific or logical methods for predicting future events.)
“I think that symbols — and a blue moon is a symbol — do have the potential to activate things in an individual and in the collective,” Ms. Dore said. “It is a time when something rare can happen.”
It may be that an intrinsic, archaic gravitational force to revere the moon is built into humans after ages of using it for survival, according to Maggie Aderin Pocock, a lunar expert and space scientist and the author of “The Book of the Moon: A Guide to Our Closest Neighbor.”
In the past, an important mechanism for measuring time was the standard 29.5-day moon cycle; the phases of the moon helped farmers time the planting and harvesting of their crops.
In 2013, archaeologists found what they believed to be an 8,000-year-old lunar calendar in Aberdeenshire, Scotland — 12 moon-shaped pits in the ground that still completely align with the moon during the midwinter solstice.
“It is fascinating how many cultures have latched on to the moon,” said Dr. Pocock, a self-proclaimed lunatic herself. “The fact that they took the time to dig these holes and celebrate the moon is significant. The moon taps into all belief systems that maybe have gone out of use but are still in parlance.”
It’s clear that the pull humans feel to learn about the moon, harness its power or flat out hex it stems from a time when we relied on it heavily in a day-to-day sense. But it also just feels nice to know that there is something out there in the mysterious dark expanse of space that is connected to humanity.
And maybe there’s something even deeper. The atoms of the universe are endlessly recycled, said Dr. Noble, the lunar scientist. (The sun is a second generation star, for example.) Perhaps, with the discovery that human bodies are made of stardust, we all have a little more moon inside of us than we think.