Small Beginnings: By the light of the silvery moon

I wonder if any of you caught the penumbral eclipse this past weekend. Like so many other eclipses, I failed to really enjoy this astronomical event. I often hear the newscasts informing us of upcoming phenomena in nature that may be worthy of our appreciation, but then I get distracted by the activities around me and fail to experience them anyway. Such was the eclipse this past Friday. We had talked about it earlier in the day and fully intended to check it out. Then lo and behold, as the time approached for the eclipse to occur, where was I? Relaxing on the couch, scrolling down my news feed on Facebook when I saw somebodys post about the eclipse! Hubby, dear daughter and I all dashed to the back yard with the binoculars but all we saw was a very impressive, bright full moon. Alas, the eclipse was over. I missed it again.

Im not sure why I fancy myself a wanna-be astronomer. I bought my son a telescope for his twelfth birthday probably because I had always wanted one. I dont think he really ever used it, but it satisfied my curiosity about the heavenly bodies just a bit. There are many things I failed to learn in school and astronomy is definitely one of them. (Or else they never covered that chapter? Im not quite sure) But for some unknown reason, I want to be a star gazer, I just never find the time to start.

The moon is a very important celestial body, however from which we can learn a great deal about our lives. Did you know for instance that many educated people believe that the moon as it transitions through its various phases and cycles, has a direct effect on such things as the fluctuations of our financial markets, as well as hunting and fishing success? The connection between hunting and fishing make sense to me since these are past times that occur in nature, but the financial markets? I am skeptical about this correlation. I scanned the research and perused the charts, but since I am not a Wall Street Whiz, I couldnt make heads or tales of the data. Suffice it to say, I will take their (the experts) word for it.

Most people are aware that the moon and its passage around our planet have a direct effect on the tides on earth. The gravitational pull exerted between the moon as it rotates around the earth influences the flow of rivers and coastal waters. Some people also believe that this same gravitational pull has a direct effect on human beings since our physical bodies are made up of sixty percent water! As the lunar cycle ebbs and flows throughout the calendar, changes in mood, temperament and emotions can be traced and attributed to the cycle. Several diets, called the Moon Diets have attempted to tap into this cyclical influence and help us shed pounds using the moons natural power. Im not sure if it will work but I am seriously considering looking into it!

In addition to influencing behavior on earth, the moon has always been considered a sign post for us concerning future events. Since ancient times, mankind has looked to the heavens for guidance and answers pertaining to questions of eternity and God. The moon has often been an object of prophetic intrigue down through history and recently, the study of moon activity throughout the historical record has divulged some rather fascinating information. Apparently the sign of the Blood Red Moon is a significant portent, historically speaking. Certain full lunar eclipses cause the moon to appear to change color and turn completely red, thus creating the name of the Blood Moon. In the past, the occurrences of certain blood moons have marked momentous historic occasions such as the discovery of the new world by Columbus, the founding of the Jewish nation and the six day war. In the coming eighteen months, NASA has predicted four consecutive Blood Moons, each one coinciding with a major Jewish Holiday. Now, as I said, Im no astronomer, but Im going to be paying attention to these signs in the heavens. Hopefully my son will let me borrow his telescope!