Full moon time again and February's Snow Moon is a beautiful, bright orb in the night sky.
Friends have been messaging me to comment on how bright this month's new moon is: while a few other friends, including Daddy, have mentioned sleeplessness over the past few days. Well here's a wee fact for you. The idea of a very bright moon affecting sleep (and therefore behaviour) lies behind the concept of lunacy (or behaving like a lunatic) - a madness caused by insomnia. This dates back to the Ancient Greeks, with Aristotle 2,300 years ago claiming that the Moon could influence the human mind.
Our family dog, ancient and sleepy, reverts to a pack animal at full moon time, wanting to be outside where she can bark at the wind. Many of us feel galvanised, energised or just restless when there's a full moon. Scientists have investigated (inconclusively) whether there is some kind of magnetic effect on us - and just a month ago the British Medical Journal published a study claiming to show that a full Moon actually makes murders more likely! You've been warned lol.
Anyway the Snow Moon is the second full moon of 2021 and typically symbolises the beginning of spring. Spiritually it is a cleansing and renewing moon - a new season and a time for you to organize and sort out your life, whether by spring cleaning your house or getting rid of something or someone associated with negativity (Covid perhaps!).
The Snow Moon is a time for survival and staying close to home. It is not yet time to launch yourself into frenzied activity but to get your nest in order. Yesterday I instinctively "knew" I wanted to deep clean my house, sort out cupboards, "be prepared" somehow - it is so cathartic; and while I was doing that I could see the nesting birds outside with their twigs, obeying the same natural instinct.
February’s Snow Moon is named for the typically heavy snowfall that occurs in the northern United States this month. My Canadian cousin, Colleen, told me just today about the heavy snowfall there last night and the bitterly cold temperatures.
In the 1760s, Captain Jonathan Carver who had spent time with the Dakota tribe, recorded that they called the February full moon 'Snow Moon', “because more snow commonly falls during this month than any other in the winter.”
Different tribes called it: Bald Eagle Moon; Eagle Moon; Bear Moon (cubs are often born this month); Raccoon Moon; Groundhog Moon; Goose Moon; Bony Moon and Hungry Moon (because food was hard to come by at this time).
So whether you are feeling sleepless, house-proud, homicidal or inspired, I wish you all a happy healthy second lunar month of 2021.
This once-in-a-lifetime photo shows an Easyjet flight from Belfast International Airport passing in front of the Snow Moon. The story is here.