Thursday, November 24, 2011
A while back I did a blog post about the Blue Moon which is a special kind of a Full Moon. Today I want to write about the total opposite of the Full Moon which is the New Moon. If you look out into the sky tonight you will not be able to see the Moon. Even if the sky is crystal clear and you can see all the stars in the sky, the Moon will be absent from your view tonight and possibly tomorrow night.
Every month there are approximately three nights where the Moon is invisible from Earth. That's due to the fact that the side of the Moon that is illuminated by the sun is not facing the Earth. The Moon is still there, but we can't see it. I find all of this fascinating.
As I was researching (I think I mentioned once about me being a philomath and my never ending thirst for knowledge) I found out that many cultures and religions pay attention to the lunar cycles and celebrate the New Moon:
- In Hindu calendar the New Moon is quite significant. People wait for New Moon to start new projects.
- For Chinese the New Moon is of importance too. The Chinese make use of the lunar calendar which works according to the cycle of the moon. The New Moon represents the beginning of the month and the Full Moon is right in the middle of the month. Some Chinese Buddhists do not consume meat during the period of New Moon and Full Moon.
- In Hebrew calendar, the New Moon is considered an important date and a minor holiday. The Biblical month begins with the crescent New Moon which is also called The First Visible Sliver. The Hebrew word for month (Hodesh) literally means New Moon.
- The New Moon is also of great significance in Wicca. For Wiccans the New Moon signifies new beginnings, optimism, fresh starts, hope and faith. It follows the waning phase of the Moon (when Moon "shrinks" in appearance) which is used for clearing, letting go, banishing negative energies and feelings, cleansing and releasing.
Above all the Moon is such a magical celestial body. I always pay attention to which part of the lunar cycle we are in and I love taking few minutes at night to admire its beauty. It is Earth's only known natural satellite, orbiting the Earth every 27.3 days and the fifth largest natural satellite in our Solar System. In Latin it is called Luna.