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A CASSELL BOOK

the moon, by all her comparative proximity, and the constantly

In collaboration with the Cult of the Moon exhibition at the The Science Museum London.

First published in the UK 2010 by Cassell Illustrated, a division of octopus Publishing Group Ltd. 2-4 Heron Quays, London E14 4JP Text copyright Š Cassell Illustrated Design and layout copyright Š 2008 Octopus Publishing Group Ltd.

The moral right of the author of this Work has been asserted in accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act of 1988. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher. A CIP catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. ISBN-13: 978-1-84403-670-7 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Editor: Simon Ward Production: Caroline Alberti Publisher: Mathew Clayton Printed in the UK

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Introduction

5-12

Praise the Moon

13-18

Living by the Moon

19-26

Mad Moon

27-32

Mock Moon

33-36

Attemped Moon

37-38

The Real Moon

varying appearances produced by her several phases,

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Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

This is an example of what the book would look like and what subjects it would cover. In reality there would be more ‘chapters’ and each one would be longer and more in depth.


and last quarters. If there were no Moon, we’d still have tides (caused by the Sun), but they would be one-third of what we’re familiar with today.

has always occupied a considerable share of the attention of the

Maybe its because it’s the second brightest object in our sky, yet the first one we can view with unaided eyes. Maybe it is because we can gaze at its features as long as we like, while we cannot look at the Sun long enough or the planets closely enough to distinguish much. Maybe it is because it is close enough to beckon us to visit, yet far enough to tell us it would be a grand adventure. Whatever it is, the Moon calls to us and influences the workings of our planet.

Earth’s natural satellite is 100 times closer than our nearest neighbour, Venus, and 400 times closer than the Sun. With proximity comes influence, the most obvious physical effect being the daily rise and fall of the tides. The Moon exerts a gravitational tug on the near side of Earth and the water on that side, drawing it higher out of its basins. It simultaneously pulls on the solid centre of Earth, so that the planet sort of stretches toward the Moon and away from the water on its far side.

The Sun has a far stronger gravitational field, but it exerts much less tidal force because it is so much farther away than the moon. The Sun and Moon spend half of each month working together-lining up with Earth to create the “spring” tides around the full and new Moons-and work against each other-pulling at different angles to make the “neap” tides of the first

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Moonshiners can get just enough light to conduct their nefarious alcohol distilling under cover of night. And though electric lights have turned night into day almost everywhere in the world, we still say someone is “moonlighting” when they take an extra job-or lover-after their daytime duties are done.

Besides separating night from day (which it does imprecisely, since it is often visible in daylight), the Moon is a master timekeeper. From the beginning ) recorded human history, even from ancient cave1paintings and relics of the ;lone Age, humans have relied on the lunar cycle as the basis for a calendar. I lie very word month seems to be loosely related to the words Moon and immense (origin of menstrual).

Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

The Moon is 384,000 kilometres (238,000 miles) away, a shorter distance than many of us will travel by car, boat, and air in our lifetime. It is a quarter of the size of our planet, the largest ratio of a satellite to its mother planet in our solar system. To an extraterrestrial exploring our solar system, the Earth-Moon system might be mistaken for a double planet.

Of course the lunar energy that is more familiar to most of us is its light which, of course, is actually the reflected rays of the Sun). Long before the torch and the light bulb, the Moon was the original, free night light, providing mist enough illumination to see the creatures of the night and to light the way H the watering hole or home cave. Full moonlight at harvest time has long followed farmers to continue gathering their crops despite waning daylight I ours. Slaves and refugees used this celestial light to find the path to freedom on the “Underground Railroad.”


inhabitants of the earth.

Apollo 10 astronauts used a handheld camera to capture this view of the shadowy craters near the lunar equator in May 1969. Shadows on the Moon are much darker than on Earth because there is no air to refract and reflect light.


o secret queen of power, at this enchanted hour we ask your boon.


Stonehenge and other standing stomes were allined to watch the moon as well as the sun. Stonehenge is a megalithic monument on the Salisbury Plain and is composed mainly of thirty upright stones (sarsens, each over ten feet tall and weighing 26 tons), aligned in a circle, with thirty lintels (6 tons each) perched horizontally atop the sarsens in a continuous circle. There is also an inner circle composed of similar stones, also constructed in post-and-lintel fashion.


In 1661, Andreas Cellarius created an atlas of the heavens-Harmonia Macrocosmica-as they were understood through the worldviews of Ptolemy, Copernicus, and Tycho Brahe. The Copernican concept of the universe is depicted in this print from the atlas.

Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione painted the Immaculate Conception of Mary, the mother of Jesus, in 1650. Mary, sometimes called the queen of the universe, is often depicted standing on the crescent Moon. This association of Mary with the Moon comes from the Book of Revelations (12:1): “...a woman arranged with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars.�

Drawing down the moon, Witches Spell

On ancient Egyptian religions, the Moon was first thought to be the eye of Horus, the sky god; the other eye was the Sun. Eventually, the Moon became associated with Thoth the ibis-headed son of Ra (ibis beaks having a crescent shape). Moonlight at night allows humans to mark time, and the lunar cycles became important in Egyptian culture and rituals.

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may fortunes favour fall upon tru witches all, o lady moon! For as long as we have been looking towards the skies the Moon and Sun have dominated not only our religious symbols and art, but also our understanding of ourselves. Whether as an active deity or a portent of divine will and intervention, the Moon has been believed to influence earthly events. Certainly it awes us and inspires us. The gender and roles of the Moon have changed through the centuries and from tradition to tradition. In ancient Egypt, the ibis-headed male god Djehuty (also known as Thoth) was linked to the Moon as master of the night skies, measurer of time, creator of the calendar, and arbiter of souls. In one myth, Thoth is said to have gambled with the moon god Ktionsu for five days of moonlight.

as well as the feminine connections to fertility and childbirth. In ancient Chinese mythology, three fairies took on the likeness of old beggars and asked a fox, monkey, and rabbit for food. The fox and monkey had food to share, but the rabbit did not, so he offered himself up as food and jumped in the fire to be cooked. The fairies were so moved as to let him live in the Moon Palace, giving us the rabbit in the moon” instead of the “man” that other cultures see. The Inuit people told a story of Anningan, the moon god who chases his sister, the sun goddess Malina, across the sky. Anningan forgets to eat while he is making his chase, which is why he grows thinner. He then disappears for a few days (around the new Moon), to fill up and resume the chase.

In Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, the Sumerians paid homage to the male moon god Nanna, whose name meant “illuminator.” Nanna was called Sin by the Babylonians and Akkadians. Sin was the leader or father of the gods, and held a special place in the hearts of nomads, who needed his moonlight to guide and protect them at night.The Greeks made sacrifices to the female goddess Selene, the Romans to Luna. Each was the personification of the Moon, and each followed her sun-god brother across the sky. Luna and Selene were known for their fertility and love affairs, and both were eventually supplanted by Phoebe and Artemis (Greece) and Diana (Rome), who kept the lunar symbols

Not everyone accepts the Moon as god or goddess, but some still look to it as a muse. Hundreds of storytellers have brought us to the Moon or brought the Moon to us, from Lucian to Jules Verne, from William Blake to H. G. Wells, from Arthur C. Clarke to Margaret Wise Brown. Wolf-man or werewolf stories were handed down in oral and written traditions for hundreds of years, but it apparently wasn’t until the nineteenth century that fiction writers linked lycanthropy with the full Moon.


and jumped in the fire to be cooked. The fairies were so moved as to let him live in the Moon Palace, giving us the rabbit in the moon” instead of the “man” that other cultures see. The Inuit people told a story of Anningan, the moon god who chases his sister, the sun goddess Malina, across the sky. Anningan forgets to eat while he is making his chase, which is why he grows thinner. He then disappears for a few days (around the new Moon), to fill up and resume the chase.

We dance to you skyclad In our hearts and souls,

For as long as we have been looking towards the skies the Moon and Sun have dominated not only our religious symbols and art, but also our understanding of ourselves. Whether as an active deity or a portent of divine will and intervention, the Moon has been believed to influence earthly events. Certainly it awes us and inspires us. The gender and roles of the Moon have changed through the centuries and from tradition to tradition. In ancient Egypt, the ibis-headed male god Djehuty (also known as Thoth) was linked to the Moon as master of the night skies, measurer of time, creator of the calendar, and arbiter of souls. In one myth, Thoth is said to have gambled with the moon god Ktionsu for five days of moonlight.

9

Not everyone accepts the Moon as god or goddess, but some still look to it as a muse. Hundreds of storytellers have brought us to the Moon or brought the Moon to us, from Lucian to Jules Verne, from William Blake to H. G. Wells, from Arthur C. Clarke to Margaret Wise Brown. Wolf-man or werewolf stories were handed down in oral and written traditions for hundreds of years, but it apparently wasn’t until the nineteenth century that fiction writers linked lycanthropy with the full Moon.

Pagan prayer to the Moon

In Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization, the Sumerians paid homage to the male moon god Nanna, whose name meant “illuminator.” Nanna was called Sin by the Babylonians and Akkadians. Sin was the leader or father of the gods, and held a special place in the hearts of nomads, who needed his moonlight to guide and protect them at night.The Greeks made sacrifices to the female goddess Selene, the Romans to Luna. Each was the personification of the Moon, and each followed her sun-god brother across the sky. Luna and Selene were known for their fertility and love affairs, and both were eventually supplanted by Phoebe and Artemis (Greece) and Diana (Rome), who kept the lunar symbols as well as the feminine connections to fertility and childbirth. In ancient Chinese mythology, three fairies took on the likeness of old beggars and asked a fox, monkey, and rabbit for food. The fox and monkey had food to share, but the rabbit did not, so he offered himself up as food

Though monotheism has replaced the pantheons and Moon worship in many parts of the world, the old lunar symbols and connections persist in those religions. The Jewish calendar is built on lunar months, and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan begins with the first sighting of a crescent Moon. The Virgin Mary is often shown standing on a crescent Moon to symbolize her status as queen of the universe. Mary, like the Moon, reflects the light of her Son/Sun. Some have claimed that she supplanted many of the moo mother goddesses of ancient religions.


With two sacred passwords To love and to know.

The Pyramid of the Moon is one of the largest monuments in the ancient Mexican city of Teotihuacan. Built around 200-250 AD, the apex of the pyramid coincides with the notch on the top of Cerro Gordo, the mountain to its north, as viewed from the Avenue of the Dead, the road leading up to the pyramids’ steps.

The Moon rises over the Stonehenge Aotearoa in New Zealand. The site is not intended as a replica of the famous collection of monoliths in England; instead, it is built as a working observatory, precisely measured for the alignments of Sun, Moon, and stars over the Wairarapa region.


Oyster farmers on Cape Cod harvest their crop by the light of the full “Long Nights� Moon (December). They work at night because they can harvest their shellfish only at low tide.


if the moon shows a silver shield, be not afraid to reap your field.

The cycle of roughly 29.5 days-709 hours-between new moons is caIled the synodic month. This marks the amount of time it takes for the Moon to return to the same orbital position relative to the Sun, as viewed from the I earth. The Moon also moves through sidereal months-27.3 days-which is the amount of time it takes for the Moon to return to the same position on the celestial sphere of fixed stars. This is why many ancient cultures in the Middle East and Asia referred to the twenty-seven or twenty-eight “mansions of the moon,” referring to its different homes in the sky throughout the month.

The Farmers Almanac

Moon. This predictable, constant pattern may be the world’s oldest timekeeper, marking the passage of months and years. Depending on the time of year, the Moon can even help tell you the time of day, as the new Moon rises at dawn (roughly 6 am.) and sets at dusk (6 p.m.); the first quarter rises at noon and sets at midnight; the full Moon rises at dusk and sets at dawn; and the last quarter rises at midnight and sets at noon.

No matter where we live, how intellectual or spiritual we may be, or how keen our eyesight, there is one characteristic of the Moon that is common to all of us: its changing appearance. From the thin crescent to the bulging gibbous hump to the full round disk, the Moon changes its profile daily. It makes a complete cycle monthly-new Moon, waxing crescent, first quarter (right 50 percent visible), waxing gibbous, full Moon, waning gibbous, last quarter (left 50 percent visible), waning crescent-in a pattern we call the “phases” of the Moon. Of course, it is not the Moon that changes, but the angle between the Earth, Moon, and Sun, allowing us to se more or less of the sunlit side.

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In ancient times when man had not quite got round to inventing the wristwatch, the most reliable source of telling the time was the sun, moon, and stars. There seems to be several opinions of who came up with the moon planting calendar first. Was it the Egyptians or the Babylonians? It is more than likely that each and every farmer had a planting calendar based on the moon phases, and there would be different variations depending on the geographical location. As their calendars where passed on through the generations they evolved to cover the different crops they tried to grow, and the more productive farming techniques used.

There is a detailed method using the 12 Zodiac signs as a method of position the moon, for more accurate planting. This method was developed by Rudolf Steiner in 1924, and the Zodiac signs used where the actual positioning of the signs in the sky, when the moon passed through them. In addition to the position of the moon, Venus ans Saturn also played a large part in the Biodynamic farming calendar.

The Farmers Almanac

Tides are vital to life on Earth. Tides cleanse the ocean’s shorelines, and help keep the ocean currents circulating, preventing the ocean from stagnating. They benefit man by scouring out shipping channels and diluting sewage discharges. In some places, people exploit the enormous energy of the tides to generate electricity.

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The Farmers Almanac

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The Lunacy Act 1845 was a Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom that, along with the County Asylums Act 1845, was the basis of mental health law in England and Wales from 1845 to 1890. It changed the treatment of mentally ill people from that of prisoners to that of patients and let them plead ‘lunacy’.


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everyone is a moon, and has a dark side


which they never show to anyone.

For eons, folklore has blamed the Moon for everything from lunacy to bad luck. And, for the last few centuries, scientists have scoffed. Now, according to new research they’re not so sure. The Moon may not be made of cheese, but it seems to influence a lot more down on Earth than we previously thought. According to new research, the Moon affects not only the tides of the oceans but also people, producing a range of symptoms from flare-ups of gout to bladder problems. It may even lie behind the causes of car crashes and affect people’s hormonal balances.

Having carried out new research and reviewed 50 other studies, scientists suggest that doctors and the police even need to prepare for how their work rate will increase at different points in the lunar cycle. Among the findings examined by the researchers were studies that showed GP consultations go up during a full moon, according to Leeds University. Appointments rise by 3.6 per cent, which works out at around three extra patients for each surgery. The researchers did not speculate on the nature of the moon related problems or why they happened, but said that “it does not seem to be related to anxiety and depression”.

monitored. Data from 140,000 births in New York City showed small but systematic variations in births over a period of 29.53 days - the length of the lunar cycle - with peak fertility in the last quarter. “The timing of the fertility peak in the third quarter suggests that the period of decreasing illumination immediately after the full moon may precipitate ovulation.’ ’ A study in Florida of murders and aggravated assaults showed clusters of attacks around the full moon. A second study of three police areas found the incidence of crimes committed on full-moon days was much higher than on all other days. And a four-year study into car accidents found that the lowest number happened during the full-moon day, while the highest number was two days before the full moon. Accidents were more frequent during the waxing than the waning phase. They concluded: “A small but significant lunar rhythm of nutrient intake was observed with an 8 per cent increase in meal size and a 26 per cent decrease in alcohol intake at the time of the full moon relative to the new moon.’ ’

Mark Twain

Gout and asthma attacks peak during new and full moons, according to work carried out at the Slovak Institute of Prevetive and Clinical Medicine, where attacks over a 22-year period were


Elizabethan poetry contained a cosmic order that included stars, the planets, the sun and the earth. There was a general fear of chaos and upsetting the order of things. There was also a chain of being, and everything was related to that chain. Despite Copernicus, most Elizabethans believed the earth was flat and the heavens constituted fire and the highest perfection--light. There was a sharp division between everything beneath the sphere of the moon, and all the rest of the universe. The heavens were eternal and made of ether, while everything under the moon--such as man--was subject to decay.

when Lorenzo says to Jessica: “Such harmony is in immortal souls; But whilst this muddy vesture of decay. Doth grossly close it in, we cannot hear it.” The planets thus were communicating agents from eternity to mankind, and the stars were said to dictate how everything under the moon changes. The stars were the medium between God and man, yet sometimes an Elizabethan audience may live in terror of them. This terror was mostly superstitious, as many believed the stars could actually cause bad things to happen, especially natural disasters. God’s Providence, however, dictated that superstition was man inflicting beliefs upon himself, and that the stars were not harmful but beneficent, and that they were created to do good.

She comes more close to the earth than she was wont

Think of King Lear, who sinned knowingly and scoffed at the stars. Or Prospero in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, who defied the stars and then used them to his benefit. The “star-cross’d” Romeo believed the poison from the apothecary was the only thing that would “shake the yoke of inauspicious stars” from his “world wearied flesh.” And Anthony, in Julius Caesar, attributed his first defeat to the fact that the stars had forsaken him, blaming the moon’s eclipse for his ultimate fall.

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Angels were the intermediary between earth and man, were purely intellectual, and thought to possess free will. However, this never conflicted with God’s will. Angels could make the connection with God immediately as messengers and guardians of men. The nine hierarchies of angels were thought to inhabit the nine spheres: primum mobile, fixed stars, Saturn, Jupiter Mars, Sun, Venus, Mercury, and the Moon. The stars and planets were thought to sing to the angels, which were made of brightness and assumed a body of ether when they appeared to human sight. The planets, like other parts of nature, were merely tools for God’s will, and their orbit and natural rhythms were kept according to God’s order. Many times a soul was compared to a planet or sphere, with an angel revolving it. John Donne’s poetry reveals this, and poets such as Shakespeare wrote about how the motions of the spheres made music, although we as humans were not supposed to be able to hear it. An example is in The Merchant of Venice,

Most Elizabethans believed the stars and planets held some kind of power over the ‘baser side’ of man, and were to be used as tools of God, but they did not believe the stars held power over the supreme side of man--the immortal part. Thus man had free will and could overcome his fate by choosing good; the stars couldn’t force him to do anything. Religious education or art could overcome any fate written in the stars. The Elizabethans were still afraid, however, and searched for some answer to overwrite any destiny they saw shining for them in the heavens. For many in Shakespeare’s time, planets and stars were people personified. The heavenly spheres had eternal souls. Fall of mankind hurt man, but the stars completed him, as long as he realized his two highest faculties understanding and free will. Shakespeare, Othello

In all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays there are more than a hundred allusions to astrology, and many of his characters’ actions are said to be favored or hindered by the stars. The signs of the zodiac are mentioned in six of Shakespeare’s plays, and the planets may even be blamed for disasters, especially as they wander from their spheres. Several of Shakespeare’s characters were governed by particular stars, as Posthumous was born under the benevolent planet Jupiter, and thus had a favorable destiny at the end of the play. Another character, Monsieur Parolles, was born under Mars and became known fittingly as a soldier. The moon--known for its influence on emotions and self image was said to govern Elizabeth, who wept throughout the play Richard III. These examples and many other astrological passages scattered throughout his dramatic works show that Shakespeare was at least interested in astrology and used the art abundantly in the creation of some of his most striking passages. He probably did this because it would have an appeal to the Elizabethan audience at the time. Whether he had a sincere interest in astrology is unknown.


and makes men mad.

Many health and care professional still vouch that a full moon is a busier and more restless time than usual.


all the nights magic seems to whisper and hush, The waining woolf moon, northern Missouri. Popular legend has it that the full moon brings out the worst in people: more violence, more suicides, more accidents, more aggression. The influence of the moon and behavior has been called “The Lunar Effect” or “The Transylvania Effect.” The belief that the full moon causes mental disorders and strange behavior was widespread throughout Europe in the middle ages. Even the word “lunacy” meaning “insanity” comes from the Latin word for “moon.”

The Moon-controlled in Greek mythology by the goddess Selene-rises over the Temple of Poseidon in Sounio, Greece. Selene was daughter of the titans Hyperion and Theia, and sister to the sun god Helios. Scientists have applied her name to the study of the geology of the Moon-selenology.

Van Morrison, Moon Dance

Illustration from Ernest Shackleton’s 1909 book The Heart of the Atlantic. A blue moon can refer to the third full moon in a season with four full moons, or the second full moon of a calendar month.[1] Most years have twelve full moons that occur approximately monthly. In addition to those twelve full lunar cycles, each solar calendar year contains roughly eleven days more than the lunar year of 12 lunations. The extra days accumulate, so every two or three years (7 times in the 19-year Metonic cycle), there is an extra full moon. Lunisolar calendars have rules on when to insert such an intercalary of embolismic (“leap”) month, and what name it is given; e.g. in the Hebrew calendar the month Adar is duplicated. The term “blue moon” comes from folk lore. Different traditions and conventions place the extra “blue” full moon at different times in the year.

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and all the soft moonlight seems to shine in your blush. “He appointed the moon for seasons,” the prophet wrote in Psalm 104, and certainly each full moon ushers in a different sort of natural and human activity. Native American Indian tribes (the Algonquians are often credited) gave names to each of the full Moons based on what they could eat, hunt, harvest, or expect out of the lunar cycles across the year. Those names were gradually adopted and adapted by European settlers in the Americas. The Wolf Moon comes each January with the howling, hungry canine, followed by the Snow, Worm, Pink, and Flower moons as we progress into spring. With the first crops in June comes the Strawberry Moon, then the Buck and Sturgeon moons. September brings the Harvest Moon, along with its work in the fields and its festivals. The Hunter’s Moon, or Blood Moon, was so named because it made it easier to sight and track the fattened prey of late autumn. The Beaver Moon and Cold Moon usher in another season of hunkering down out of the elements.

It was partly out of this tradition that we arrived at our modern-and incorrect definition of a “Blue Moon” as the second full Moon within a calendar month. The error allegedly began in 1946 when a writer incorrectly described the Blue Moon phenomenon in the popular Sky & Telescope magazine. According to the nineteenth-century Maine Farmers Almanac, the Blue Moon was the third full moon in a tropical quarter (or season) of the year that had four full moons. The extra Blue Moon was inserted

to keep the rest of the moon naming conventions (Harvest, Hunter’s, Wolf) on schedule. But when a writer tried to explain the quirk of thirteen moons in a calendar year, he botched the explanation and set up the idea of two full moons in a civil calendar month. (By that definition, you could have Blue Moons in some locations of the world and not others because of different time zones.) Sky & Telescope recently ran a correction to get everyone back on track, but there is no getting rid of the idea now that it is in common parlance.

Ironically, it is actually possible to spy a blue-colored Moon. When there is enough smoke or dust in the atmosphere-such as when there have been extensive wildfires or volcanic eruptions-the face of the Moon can appear blue. The eruption of Krakatoa in 1883 made the Moon blue for nearly two years. Such events are exceedingly rare, of course, providing us with the underpinning of the colloquial phrase “once in a Blue Moon.”


I heard dogs howl in the moonlit night and went to the window to see the sight, Floyd said they would “see you on the dark side of the Moon.” We’ve heard about the “Bad Moon Rising,” the “Blue Moon” that saw us standing alone, the “Moon River, wider than a mile” and that “giant steps are what you take, walking on the Moon.” Frank Sinatra and conductor Nelson Riddle dedicated an entire 1966 album-Moonlight Sinatra-to our nearest celestial neighbor. The Moon has inspired the coinage of words and names. The term honey-moon is allegedly derived from an ironic comparison of love and marriage to the waxing and waning of the Moon’s phases. There is also reference to a medieval custom whereby newlyweds were supposed to drink mead, a honey based alcohol exclusively during the first month of marriage, when marriage was thought to be sweetest before, like the Moon, it began to wane.

Both serious researchers and laughable quacks have compiled data on the popular lunar myths and anecdotes in more than a hundred different scientific studies. Taken together, the studies reveal some occasional correlations, but little reliable evidence of a lunar effect beyond self-fulfilling prophecy and coincidence. And no one seems to be able to offer testable physical or physiological hypotheses for why the Moon should give us anything more than a night light and tides. But that doesn’t stop most of us from believing. It is convenient, it’s fun, and it’s instinctive to accept the power of the Moon.

Allingham, A “Dream”

The luna moth, moon fish, and moon jelly all suggest lunar reflections in their colors and shapes, as does the act of “mooning” your unsuspecting friends and disrespected enemies. The word lunatic affected with periodic insanty, dependent on the changes of the Moon”conjures a higher lunar power over human behavior. The Moon has even shown up in our social and biological sciences, not to mention pop psychology. For centuries, our folklore, superstitions, and anecdotal experiences have linked the Moon-most often the full Moon-to human activities both natural and unnatural.

Some have argued that more crimes are committed, more accidents occur, and more suicides take place around the time of the full Moon. Hospital emergency rooms, baby-delivery rooms, and psychiatric wards are said to be hopping with activity when the Moon is in full bloom. Others have postulated that the Moon affects the weather and the climate, not to mention the occurrence of natural disasters. Some stock traders will tell you that returns are generally lower around the full Moon than they are at the new Moon. My mother is one of many people who insist that the full Moon can make her joints ache or cause other maladies.

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all the dead i ever knew going one by one and two by two.

The front cover and an illustration from an early edition of Jules Verne’s From the Earth to the Moon depicts the “projectile-vehicle” Columbiad, a spaceship built by the fictional Gun Club of Baltimore to take its passengers to the Moon.


a great country in the air, like to a shining island.

The Enlightenment no longer accepted the Medieval and Renaissance world view of the moon as the Great Boundary – God on the far side, in perfect space, fallen creation in the sub-lunary sphere below, but the idea of the moon as a Utopia of a kind, persisted. Just as Chaucer was able to whiz Troilus up past the moon to look down at the futility of life of earth – a trope used by Shakespeare and Dante, as well as Spenser in The Faery Queen, so the eighteenth century Baron Munchausen plays with the comedy effect of the aloofness of the moon, away from earthly cares.

Later, Kafka, in his remarkable Knight of the Bucket, is still using the idea of rising moonwards as carefree space. Italo Calvino has a wonderful 1970’s story, Daughters of the Moon, where a troop of identical goddesses, modern day Dianas, have to rescue the moon from a car wreckers joint under Brooklyn Bridge. As they pull her free, she suddenly rises, and all the Dianas go with her – you can see them swinging in their hammocks if you look close enough… There are so many folk tales: The Man in the Moon, the rabbit that lives on the moon, the cow that jumps over it, the ‘wise men’ who trap the full moon in a well, only to find that she’s disappeared

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two weeks later. Human kind has always been obsessed by the moon, always made up a story about her. But it’s not until the nineteenth century that propulsion becomes the narrative dominant. In 1865, Jules Verne wrote his bestseller, From the Earth to the Moon, where a rocket ship is fired from Florida, reaches the moon and eventually splashes down in the Pacific Ocean. Spot the exact match 103 years later… From the prophetic to the bizarre, in 1869, an American Unitarian minister called Hale wrote Brick Moon, where a man-made moon made of bricks is launched into space via water-powered flywheels. Inside this moon men live without crime or drink and learn to colonise space. President Ulysses Grant was so taken with Brick Moon that he looked into the feasibility of building it. Space travel was progress for the human soul. It even had a name – The Winged Gospel. Perhaps that wasn’t so far fetched – in 1969, the usual Christmas crib in the Piazza Navone in Rome had the novelty of an astronaut kneeling before the Baby Jesus.

Moon stories stretch on and on – HG Well’s 1901 First Men in the Moon uses an anti-gravity shield to get out of earth’s orbit. Doctor Doolittle finds prehistoric man hiding out there in 1928. In the fifties, Tin and Snowy crash-land in a mysterious crater. Doctor Who meets his usual enemies. Paul Auster’s 1978 Moon Palace transforms a very ancient idea of the moon as a piece of parchment where all the books written have been written already.

Lucian, the Greek

Most writers thought of the moon as colonised by a race morally superior to our own. When Cyrano de Bergerac – he of the long nose and passion for Roxanne – went to the moon in 1656, he found that Adam and Eve and St John the Evangelist had set up camp there. Daniel Defoe, author of Robinson Crusoe, wrote a political novel, The Consolidator, in 1705, in which it is possible to travel from China to the moon, where his hero learns lessons in good government.


Proposed at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in 1957 in response to the Sputnik program, Project Red Socks was to be “the world’s first useful moon rocket.” Nine missions were planned, with the second intended to send photos of the Moon. The idea did not receive much support, so JPL went on to work with the Army Ballistic Missile Agency on the Explorer 1 satellite.


Does life imitate art, or art imitate life or is it possible that sometimes art simulates and manipulates life? Some have claimed that Stanley Kubrick was involved in the production of the Apollo EVAs. And not long ago, a Canadian, tongue-in-cheek film was produced to make a mockery of this claim. We hold no clear position on the matter. In addition, since the 1950’s Walt Disney was recruited to create widespread public acceptance of a very expensive trip to the moon, as well as the public approval of a group of NAZI war criminals, led by Wernher von Braun. The result was widespread disinformation, but the end motive is not all together clear. One must ask, “Was the space race itself a fabrication, set up by those behind what Eisenhower called the “Military Industrial Complex”?

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Man and the Moon is an episode of Disneyland which originally aired on December 28, 1955. It was directed by Disney animator Ward Kimball, and is about the Moon. It begins with a humorous look with Man’s fascination with the Moon through animation. This segment features the Moon’s usage in everything from William Shakespeare and children’s nursery rhymes to lunar superstitions and scientific research. Then Kimball comes on with some information on the moon, supplemented by graphics. Kimball then introduces Dr. Wernher Von Braun, who discusses plans for a trip around the moon. Dr. Wernher Von Braun was employed as a technical consultant on this film by Walt Disney, and on a number of other Disney films. He had a great knowledge of rockets, as he had helped to develop the V2 Rocket whilst working for Nazi Germany.

Moon stories stretch on and on – HG Well’s 1901 First Men in the Moon uses an anti gravity shield to get out of earth’s orbit. Doctor Doolittle finds prehistoric man hiding out there in 1928. In the fifties, Tin and Snowy crash-land in a mysterious crater. Doctor Who meets his usual enemies. Paul Auster’s 1978 Moon Palace transforms a very ancient idea of the moon as a piece of parchment where all the books written have been written already.


All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. In 1955 Walt Disney showed a private screening of his new film Man and the Moon to President Eisenhower and his generals at the Pentagon. Three months later the USA announced that they would be sending a satellite into space.

already embedded in their DNA. The moon was the perfect surface for a re-write.

The sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke written about the colonised moon in his 1955 novel Earthlight. He took his title from In 1950’s America, the combination of a strange 1638 fantasy by the Bishop of Cold War paranoia and Can-Do Hereford, the moon’s inhabitants sleep all democracy traded traditional frontier day and move about in ‘earthshine’. Which ambitions for a shoot at the moon. In is where it began: The earliest written comic books and TV, folksy history around moon story is by Lucian the Greek, in the the powerful symbols of the horse and second century AD, where he describes rifle, morphed into a new obsession with the moon, not as a barren rock, but as ‘a the rocket-ship and the ray-gun. great country in the air, like to a shining island.’ Thomas Moore had this text in Walt Disney was a space enthusiast. His mind when he wrote his philosophical theme park laid out TomorrowLand next tract, Utopia, in 1515 ‘the island of Utopia door to FrontierLand, so as you strolled is shaped like a newmoon...’ through, eating popcorn, all you had to do was swop your coney-skin cap for a space helmet. Progress was that simple.

Walt Disney

In the American psyche, the words ‘science’ and ‘fiction’ were never clearly separated when it came to space, and this turned out to be an enormous advantage over Soviet materialism. Nothing happens without a story – it wasn’t that the US had the best technology – to begin with the Soviets were ahead in the space race – but the US had the best story – the ag old dreams of space and the moon were powerfully grafted onto America’s post war, post-nuclear need for a new narrative about themselves in the scheme of things. ‘One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind’ was exactly the small-town hero saves the world that was


8:47 P.M. This projectile has not arrived at its destination. It has passed by the side; Clark was so popular that in 1969, when the moon launch and landing finally happened, Clarke was at Cape Kennedy on 24/7 for CBS TV. It was the sci-fi writer, not the scientists, that America wanted to hear, and Clark did not disappoint. As Apollo 11 blasted into orbit, Clark told America, ‘This is the last day of the old world.’

Of course, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, the Klu Klux Clan, the Cold War, the previous year assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, hadn’t gone away, but moon was the best bed-time story ever; all the earth-bound problems were knocked out of the headlines, and a soothing narrative of a new world took over from the dirty mess down below.

Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

Clark was so popular that in 1969, when the moon launch and landing finally happened, Clarke was at Cape Kennedy on 24/7 for CBS TV. It was the sci-fi writer, not the scientists, that America wanted to hear, and Clark did not disappoint. As Apollo 11 blasted into orbit, Clark told America, ‘This is the last day of the old world.’ Of course, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, the Klu Klux Clan, the Cold War, the previous year assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, hadn’t gone away, but moon was the best bed-time story ever; all the earth-bound problems were knocked out of the headlines, and a soothing narrative of a new world took over from the dirty mess down below.

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Moon landings being rehersed at NASA’s Langly research center in Verginai.


On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy told a joint session of the U.S. Congress: “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth.” Vice President Lyndon Johnson (left) and Speaker of the House Sam Rayburn sit behind him.

Former President Lyndon B. Johnson-who presided over much of the ‘development of the Moon program-and Vice President Spiro Agnew join SpectatorS watching the launch of Apollo 11 from Cape Canaveral (now Kennedy Space Center) at 9:32 a.m. Eastern Standard Time on July 16, 1969.


but sufficiently near to be retained by the lunar attraction.

Clark was so popular that in 1969, when the moon launch and landing finally happened, Clarke was at Cape Kennedy on 24/7 for CBS TV. It was the sci-fi writer, not the scientists, that America wanted to hear, and Clark did not disappoint. As Apollo 11 blasted into orbit, Clark told America, ‘This is the last day of the old world.’

Of course, Cambodia, Vietnam, Cuba, the Klu Klux Clan, the Cold War, the previous year assassinations of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King, hadn’t gone away, but moon was the best bed-time story ever; all the earth-bound problems were knocked out of the headlines, and a soothing narrative of a new world took over from the dirty mess down below.

Jules Verne, From the Earth to the Moon

When President Nixon, called moon week, ‘the greatest week in the history of the world since Creation’, he meant it literally, but his image unconsciously placed the whole extravaganza at the level of mythic narrative.

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Apollo 10 astronauts used a handheld camera to capture this view of the shadowy craters near the luna equator in May 1969. Shadows on the Moon are much darker than on Earth because there is no air to refract and reflect the light,


There is a colloquial saying among astronomy buffs that we are all made of stardust. If that is true, then the Moon is made of Earth dust. With the recovered during those heady missions-plus a fair amount of scientific tlioo rizing, Earth-based fieldwork, and astronomical observations-scientists I surmised that the Moon was born 4.6 billion years ago out of a massive (:0111 sion between the primordial Earth and a large asteroid or planetary objecl he size of Mars. Molten rock and other materials exploded from Earth into space gradually coalescing and solidifying to form the Moon. It makes sense that the Moon should have been born of the Earth, given how the Moon is so much a part of our life here.

i had the ambition not only to go farther than man had gone before,

It was another seven months before Armstrong and Aldrin made those first small steps on the surface of the Moon. Apollo 11 launched on July 16, 1969, landed on July 20, and returned to Earth on July 24. Anywhere from 500 million to a billion people watched Armstrong’s footfall at 10:56 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. In a whirlwind of 2.5 hours, the astronauts deployed a solar wind collector, a seismometer, a laser reflector, a flag, and a plaque proclaiming: “We came in peace for all mankind.” They scooped up 47 pounds of rocks and took 166 pictures.

Captian Jame Cook

Over the next forty-two months, ten more men bounced on the lunar surface in spacesuits that provided oxygen, protected them from extreme heat and cold (from -100°C to +130°C), and shielded their bodies and eyes from solar radiation. They wore checklists sewn into the forearms of the suits, reminding them of the many tasks they were expected to jam into the precious little time they would have on the Moon. The Apollo 12 team had but 7.5 hours to work on the Moon; the Apollo 17 crew had 22 hours spread over three days.

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Moon landings being rehersed at NASA’s Langly research center in Verginai.


On those six trips, the astronauts brought (and usually left behind) geological hammers, rakes, and samplers for collecting rocks and soil; seismometers for detecting moonquakes, meteorite impacts, and other jolts to the surface (nearly 12,000 events were recorded between 1969 and 1977); mirrorlike reflectors for a laser-ranging experiment (still ongoing) to measure the distance from the Moon to Earth; and solar wind detectors to measure the radiation impact of our nearest star. They brought golf clubs and balls, a javelin, and the greatest dune buggies of all time (the three lunar rovers). They brought flags, plaques, bibles, and family photos. Altogether, humans have left 170,000 kilograms (375,000 pounds) of earthly materials on the lunar surface, from Apollo equipment to unmanned lunar spacecraft that landed or were crashed into the surface.

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About 382 kilograms (842 pounds) of rocks, pebbles, sediment cores, and soil were brought back from nine locations on the Moon by the Apollo astronauts and three Russian sample-return missions (Luna 16, 20, and 24 brought back about 0.3 kilograms). The youngest rocks turned out to be older than almost any on Earth, ranging from 3.2 to 4.6 billion years old and providing clues to conditions during the earliest days of our solar system. Those samples have fundamentally changed what scientists thought they know the moon.

The lack of air on the Moon, coupled with the diminished gravity-one-sixth the gravitational pull on Earth’s surface-made every movement a novel experience. The astronauts reported jumping 3 or 4 feet above the surface with little effort. Apollo 15 astronaut Dave Scott wrote in 1972: ‘To fall on the Moon is to rediscover childhood.�


planetary disk that spawned their patron planets, while others seem to Saturn, which is currently being surveyed by the Cassini mission, holds be space debris that became caught up in the gravity of one planet or another. court with 56 moons. Its moon Titan competes with Europa for the title of most Mercury and Venus do not have moons, while Mars has two-the smallest tantalizing to scientists looking for life-supporting possibilities. Like Ganymede, in the solar system. Phobos and Deimos are believed to be captured aster- I itan measures larger than two planets, and its surface is shrouded in a dense oids. Phobos orbits less than 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles) from the Martian itmosphere of nitrogen, argon, and methane.

but to go as far as it would be possible to go.

Our mon is but one of many in the solar system. At least 165 natural satellites- larger than even Mercury or Pluto. The surface crust of this satellite appears to Ganymede is the largest moon in the solar system, and it is significantly moons-orbit the eight planets and three dwarf planets, and that number be covered in ice, but beneath lies a molten iron core; a rocky, silicate mantle; grows each year. Nine new moons of Saturn were announced in 2006, and signs of plate tectonics-perhaps making it more Earthlike in its geology and two new moons apiece were discovered around Pluto and Uranus in than any other solar-system body. 2005. The number of moons rises higher when you add the 37 rocks orbiting Europa is perhaps the most intriguing moon in the solar system. Covered asteroids, such as Dactyl, which was discovered in 1993 to be orbiting with an outer shell that looks remarkably like earth.

Captian Jame Cook

To hide an ocean of water. The moon’s surface is scarred with cracks and Four of the moons in our solar system-Ganymede, Titan, Callisto, and creases, but very few craters-signs that the surface is changing regularly, lo-are larger than Earth’s Moon. A few moons have atmospheres (mostly perhaps through the melting and freezing of the ice. Europa’s ice and ocean, tenuous), and a few more have water, or at least ice. Some formed from the I some believe, could be an incubator for life. same

The atmospheric pressure is surface, the closest approach of any moon to its home planet. Researchers ut too different from Earth’s (about 50 percent higher), and the breakup of expect Phobos to crash into the planet or break up in about 50 million years. methane by sunlight produces a thick smog. Some researchers see parallels to Jupiter has been surveyed by seven spacecraft and has revealed at least lie primordial Earth in Titan’s atmosphere. Of the remaining planets and dwarf 63 moons, though none are as impressive as the original four satellites-b, p l; Uranus has 27 moons, Neptune 13, Pluto 3, and Ens one.

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The Other Side of the Moon, Dark  

Something about the Moon calls to us. Looming red and swollen as it rises, or shining with a silver glow high overhead, the Moon draws our a...