The last two days have seen Cork City, about 45 minutes from where I live, under threat of flood once again. The city is on an island surrounded by the River Lee which is tidal and coinciding with the latest full moon and the lunar eclipse, have been exceptionally high tides. These tides often combine with southerly winds which means the water cannot leave the river and the city floods. This time, fortunately, most of it escaped.
Living where we do, about a mile inland from the south coast, with many of our nearby towns and villages having rivers running through them towards the sea, with smaller tributaries running close to our roads, we are also at the mercy of the tides and of course, of the moon.
The cycles of the moon affect not only the tides but the cycles within ourselves for our bodies, like the sea consist of water. In a year which has seen several ‘super moons’ and a few lunar eclipses, the latest blood red lunar eclipse is but one of many that has had an impact on us.
Facebook alone is filled with posts from people who are finding that they are noticing more and more the moon’s effect on them. This can range from feeling out of balance, feeling shifts in energy, mood swings, being full of inspiration, feeling creative, to being depressed, violent or aggressive. This is termed the ‘lunar effect’ and even though studies have shown there is no link between the cycles of the moon and either human or animal behaviour, this is not how it feels for many of us.
Although again there is no scientific proof it is believed that the moon cycle affects menstruation, fertility and birth rate. In 2013 though, a Swiss study into sleep patterns found a direct correlation between sleep and moon cycles even when those being studies could not see or were unaware of the moon. At full moon deep sleep was reduced by around 30% and it took an average of 5 minutes longer to fall asleep at this time. So if you have been having problems sleeping the last few nights this may be why.
If you have ever camped out on holiday and been governed not by your alarm clock but by the setting of the sun, the light of the moon and the dawning of the day, I am sure it will not surprise you to know that many nocturnal animals are more active at times when there is an increase in moonlight. The full moon for these animals, is their brightest light. On the other hand large predators such as lions are less active in terms of hunting at full moon for it is much easier for their prey to spot them.
The moon cycle is often used in ceremony and ritual, those conducted under a waxing moon or waining moon serving very different purposes as do those at new moon and full moon, with new moon ritual often used for manifesting and full moon for releasing of letting go.
Many cultures and people still use the cycles of the moon for planting and harvesting and there is now a growing interest by many in returning to a more connected way of cultivating plants and vegetables
In my training these past months as a Bard with the OBOD I have been living my life in a more connected way in terms of the turning of the wheel through the seasons and festivals of the year. For me connecting more deeply and working with the cycles of the moon is a natural extension of this. I believe that the more we can live in harmony, connected with the cycles of life around us the more we can be at peace with ourselves, feel the connections that we have to all that exists and feel whole.