Friday, October 22, 2010

Night Light

Unable to sleep last night? It could be the intense glow of the soon-to-be full moon was keeping you awake. Tonight, October 22, 2010, the northern hemisphere will be basking in the light of the full Hunter's Moon, which will reach its highest point in the sky around midnight. "The hunter's moon—also known as blood moon or sanguine moon—is the first full moon after the harvest moon, which is the full moon nearest the autumnal equinox." (Wikipedia) After tonight, the moon will continue to move further north along the eastern horizon for several nights, providing us with longer periods of pre-dawn light than during other full moons. For our ancestors this meant longer hours of autumn moonlight for nighttime hunting, allowing for stockpiling of game meat to last during the long winter months.

The full moon has long been associated with stories of changes in human and animal behavior. For example, supposedly there are more births, dog bites, incidences of crime, and trips to the emergency room on nights when the moon is full. Even though most scientific studies do not corroborate this folklore, the legend of the effects of moonlight persist in our language and culture. Think of the words lunatic, lunacy (derived from the name of Luna, Roman goddess of the moon) and moonstruck, and you are reminded of someone whose mental health is less than optimal. Whether or not science can prove a connection, humans have made a link between the moon and strange occurrences for hundreds, if not thousands of years. "Greek philosopher Aristotle and Roman historian Pliny the Elder suggested that the brain was the 'moistest' organ in the body and thereby most susceptible to the pernicious influences of the moon, which triggers the tides." (Scientific

The full moon is too bright and beautiful to ignore, so it's no wonder the moon has played an important role in art and literature. As we take a look at how some BBEST artisans have been influenced by the moon, let's explore some figures of speech that have lunar inspiration. 

If you "moon over" someone, you are surely feeling the romantic effects of the moon, possibly feeling unrequited love, and likely to be dreamy and lost in thought about your object of desire. 

Feel like celebrating the full moon with dinner and a movie? What better flick to watch than Moonstruck, the 1987 romantic comedy starring Cher, Nicolas Cage, Olympia Dukakis, Danny Aiello, and a host of other well-known actors. Cher's character agrees to marry for practical reasons, then falls in love with her fiance's wilder, more emotional brother. Set in a Brooklyn Italian-American neighborhood, the opera and the full moon play havoc with the characters' hearts as they become "moonstruck" - "dazed or distracted with romantic sentiment." (

Loretta, Cher's character in Moonstruck, had a makeover in anticipation of her opera night with her quirky love interest Johnny Cammareri, (played by Nicolas Cage). All dressed to the nines in a black and red dress, red shoes, and a newly coiffured head of curls, perhaps Loretta might have accessorized with a pair of long moonstone earrings. Moonstone's subtle shimmer is reminiscent of moonlight and it has long been surrounded by a  certain mystique. This member of the feldspar mineral group "symbolises our being in its entirety. With its soft shimmer, it strengthens our emotional and subconscious aspects. The associations connected with that make it a 'lovers' stone', evoking tender feelings and safeguarding the true joys of love. It is also said that wearing a moonstone strengthens our intuition and our capacity to understand." (Gem by Gem, International Colored Gemstone Association)

There is something magical and soul-enriching about standing outside under the gentle light of a full moon on a crisp, cool autumn evening. Both humans and animals seem to be more awake and alive as they move through a natural landscape illuminated by the moon's gaze. Perhaps it is the full moon's quality of penetrating light which led it to be used figuratively to represent awareness, enlightenment, or consciousness in many forms of sacred poetry from around the world.

 We'll end with a quote from the musical side of moon lore. Hope this gets you humming and out dancing under the light of the full Hunter's Moon tonight!

"Well, it's a marvelous night for a Moondance
With the stars up above in your eyes
A fantabulous night to make romance
'Neath the cover of October skies
And all the leaves on the trees are falling
To the sound of the breezes that blow
And I'm trying to please to the calling
Of your heart-strings that play soft and low
And all the night's magic seems to whisper and hush
And all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush."
-  Van Morrison, Moondance


heronkate said...

What a wonderful blog! I learned a lot about the full moon and the Hunter moon in particular. I didn't know about going hunting by the light of the moon, sounds fun and kind of scary, too.
Thanks for picking my painting, too!

jstinson said...

Enjoyed the blog...great job.

ZudaGay said...

Liv, this was so interesting! You picked great items to illustrate and now I want to watch Moonstruck. :)

Julie G. said...

great info. and items to show the moon. Tonight's moon was so gorgeous coming out from behind the clouds, still low over the horizon.

circleinthesand said...

Wonderful!!! I was just outside last night looking at the moon thru the woods at the back of our house - beautiful!! Great selections of goodies from BBEST'ers!!

Myfanwy said...

The moon is lovely at the moment - and in fact I was looking at it last night when I couldn't sleep, so maybe we were looking at it together! Great post.

Tinker Pixie said...

Very interesting article. WooHoo to the ful moon! I go shelling :)

yankeegirl said...

Great feature, Liv! So interesting and love all of the moony items to go along with it! Thanks so much for including my painting!

Pam said...

This is a wonderful post, and the selections are gorgeous! Loved it all!

Judy Nolan said...

Fascinating post, Liv! You have tied in the moon theme so seamlessly with BBEST members' products.