Friday, June 29, 2007

Blue Moon 'Round Midnight

Have you seen the full moon? I was walking the dog after midnight last night thinking about the moon. Okay, you could call me luney. It's that once in a Blue Moon you've heard about. Yes, about once every two-and-a-half to three years there occurs two full moons within the same calendar month. This is called a Blue Moon (see here).

We're talking lunar calendar here. The term month comes from one full moon to the next full moon (about 29 days).

The Blue Moon was the exception. Do you realize the other full moons had names? They are: the Wolf Moon, Snow Moon, Worm Moon, Pink Moon, Flower Moon, Strawberry Moon, Buck Moon, Sturgeon Moon, Harvest Moon, Hunter's Moon, Beaver Moon and the Cold (or Long Nights) Moon.

Why is this important?

You need to switch modes from the high-speed, urban, electronic life, out of touch with seasonal, living growing things and switch to an agrarian form of thought. Things like planting, harvesting and surviving Winter occupy a great position of importance. The moon names are said to originate with Native American tribes and adopted by the New England farmers (see here).

Only the Harvest Moon and perhaps the Hunter's Moon names have generally survived into contemporary times--I think that is a shame. Perhaps we should re-name the months for the moons they represent. Think of it, months named for the great ebb and tide of growing things, of fertile, dynamic life--instead of named for Roman Emperors and Roman Gods of a decadent, hated empire.

Why stop there... Gregory and Augustine were pretty lousy astronomers and timekeepers and had hidden agendas. Their calendars keep getting out-of-sync and you have to add a day every blue moon or so, we call it leap year. Let's adopt our new calendar from Tolkein's sensible hobbits. The hobbit calendar is pretty much like ours, but each month has the same number of days (30). The days of the week don't change from year to year. So, for example, if January 4th is Wednesday, it will be Wednesday year after year. But wait--you ask--the actual astronomical year is 365+ days long, what do we do with the extra days? (otherwise after a few decades The Seasons will be out of whack) We do what the hobbits do, proclaim an extra 5 (or 6) days as a special time at the end of the year named: 'Yule'. We all take time off and have a grand party, celebrating that we, our friends, our planet have survived and enjoyed another year.

As this Strawberry winds to a close, have a great Buck.

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