The moon is big and full tonight.
The thing that causes the full moon is the line-up. It occurs during a lunar phase, of course. Not just any old phase, but one that happens when the moon is on the opposite side of the earth from the sun. And then, when the whistle blows, all three bodies get in a straight line.
Standing here on planet earth, we can look up and see the moon, which is fully illuminated by the sun. Hence the big yellow nighttime ball in our sky. This happens every 29.5 days, if you are counting.
People claim that things go wonky during full moons. I believe this to be true.
Tonight is Sunday, as I write. A full Moon is considered unlucky if it occurs on a Sunday. Or so the superstition goes. Great. Don’t fret though. Things might look up (no pun intended). It is considered lucky on Monday, or moon day. Keep your fingers crossed on this one.
Yet, there are a lot of festivals, and celebrations which occur when there is a full moon in the sky. Like, Wesak, the most important of the Buddhist festivals. It is celebrated on the full moon in May. It commemorates the Buddha’s birthday. I am not sure if they have snacks, like Cheese Fondue with those little rye breads. This may have bearing on your intention of attending the party.
Another party of note. Thousands of revelers gather each month on the beach at Koh Phangan in Thailand. They go to celebrate the full moon and to dance the night away. That may be more of the party-type for you. Again, I am not sure about the fondue here either.
There have been many interesting occurrences in history during this moon phase. Back in 1835, a guy name Richard Adams Locke perpetrated a stunt for the New York Sun. He came up with a story which claimed that the eminent scientist, Sir John Hershel, had spotted these furry-winged-men resembling bats, on the surface of a full moon. Fake news, I suppose. Furry winged men on the moon. We should be so lucky to have this kind of fake news. Our REAL news is much scarier. And stranger.
And then, there was none other than the Lunar Society. It included Erasmus Darwin, James Watt and Josiah Wedgewood. And many more. They had a special time for their meetings. They held them monthly, on the Monday nearest to the full moon. Members referred to themselves as the Lunatics. They were far from lunatics. In fact, they were big thinkers and revolutionaries, concerned with science. Some of their achievements would change the face of the world forever.
One member, Erasmus Darwin (1731 – 1802), was a very big mind. He was a poet, inventor, and botanist. And, he had the one-up on his grandson Charles. He published a theory of evolution 60 years before his grandson. In addition to that little nugget, he developed a steering system that was used by Henry Ford. He also invented the mechanical copying machine. And a few other things.
Another guy, Joseph Priestley (1733 – 1804), was a pretty rebellious scientist. But he is famous for isolating oxygen, discovering carbon dioxide and carbonated (fizzy) drinks.
All their members did big things. Except for fixing Cheese Fondue.
And I only bring up the fondue because of the very old notion that the moon is made of cheese. It started a long time ago with a fable, about a hungry wolf chasing a fox. The smart fox stops by a pond where there was a reflection of the full moon. He convinced the wolf that the big round yellow ball in the water was a floating block of cheese. Much tastier than fox. But the wolf has to drink all the water in order to get the cheese. The wolf falls for it. He drinks a bunch and explodes. And away ran the fox. Moon. Cheese.
But no fondue.
I’m starting my very own Lunatic Society, I think. There will probably be dancing, and of course, Cheese Fondue and Party Rye. We’ll talk about the moon. And then some. It will be very Gouda.
“You are the sky. Everything else – it’s just the weather.”
― Pema Chödrön
“Rest is not idleness, and to lie sometimes on the grass under trees on a summer’s day, listening to the murmur of the water, or watching the clouds float across the sky, is by no means a waste of time.”
― John Lubbock,