The Moon has fascinated humans for as long as we have existed. It has been used as a basis for many ancient calendars to tell time, advise us when it is best to plant and harvest crops, and for determining astrological events.
Scientists believe its gravitational influence has ensured the stability of the tilt of the Earth’s axis, and after thousands of years its angle has varied by little more than a degree.
Without the Moon, Earth’s axis would likely wobble significantly. Too much deviation could cause Earth to overheat or freeze. This would obviously have a catastrophic effect on all life on Earth.
Regardless, psychologists and law enforcement officers have made decisions based on the belief that the phases of the moon are an important factor that shapes our daily lives, and many lay people share this belief as well.
Let’s take a look at how the Moon might influence our daily lives.
Why Is The Moon Important For Life?
The Moon’s pull has a significant effect on the Earth. As celestial objects go, the Moon orbits relatively close to us. It’s only 252,088 miles away at its furthest point of orbit. This creates a strong gravitational force between the Earth and the Moon.
This force is the primary cause of both large ocean tides and smaller continental land tides. Without its influence, our oceans’ water would become stagnant, causing most of our ocean life to perish.
Not only do our oceans produce over half of the world’s oxygen, but they also prevent our atmosphere from being overloaded by carbon dioxide by absorbing 50 times the amount absorbed by our atmosphere.
The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and transfers heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.
The Moon is central to the health of our oceans, and without it prospects for life on earth would be grim.
The Moon’s pull also attracts space rocks that would otherwise hit Earth, protecting us from incoming asteroids, comets, and meteorites. The far side of the Moon, or the side that is not facing us, is one of the most heavily cratered surfaces in the solar system.
Imagine what Earth would be like if we didn’t have the Moon!
How Does The Moon Affect Human Behavior?
The Moon’s effects on our behavior may include disturbances to our sleeping patterns, mental health, and even menstrual cycles.
This is believed to be caused by either the gravitational pull of the Moon, because the average adult human body is composed of up to 60% water, or because of the light disturbances caused by a full Moon.
But the Moon’s gravitational pull isn’t strong enough to affect the water content in humans. It only causes tides in large, open bodies of water.
Still, many people in healthcare report an increase of violent behavior, psychosis, car accidents, mental health-related admissions, and seizures as a result of the full Moon.
Some nurses even report that their hospitals increase ER staff on nights of a full Moon, and they are more likely to have callouts from their overnight staff who wish to avoid these occurrences.
This study reports anecdotal evidence about a relationship between human illnesses and a full Moon is claimed by as many as 81% of mental health workers, but it concludes that they found little to no correlation between the two.
The “lunatic” comes from the Latin word Lunaticus, which originally referred mainly to epilepsy and madness — diseases thought to be caused by the Moon.
However, the idea that the Moon causes an increase in epileptic seizures has been refuted by this study, but it did find a very slight increase in non-epileptic seizures. This is not enough to conclude that the Moon is directly affecting people who experience seizures, but a connection is possible.
The Moon In Astrology And Culture
Astrology studies the positions of the Moon, planets, and stars at the precise moment you were born. Astrologists say that the positions of these celestial objects give insight into your personality traits, strengths and weaknesses, relationships with others, and important occurrences in your life.
Astrologists believe the Moon and planets embody the energy of specific signs in the zodiac. Each of us has a unique birth chart, or natal chart, that shows where in the sky each planet and constellation were at the moment of our birth.
The Moon is associated with the mother and with feminine energy, and it is said to represent both our inner mother and our inner child. Astrologists believe the Moon is the second most important influence on your horoscope, and that it reveals your emotions, intuition, and how you connect with others.
The idea that the Moon has significance also shows up in tarot, which has ties to astrology.
In tarot, it is believed that the Moon is significant when we need to get in touch with our subconscious and allow it to lead because things are not as they seem. The Moon card plays an important role in tarot reading, and it can have positive or negative meanings depending on the position of the card.
The Moon can be found in many legends, art, and poetry from many countries and cultures around the world.
In Japanese culture, the Moon symbolizes enlightenment, and it is viewed as a positive force in their beliefs. Japan has a holiday called Otsukimi, which involves viewing and admiring the full Moon.
They consider the autumn Moon to be the most beautiful and hold festivals throughout the country to express their gratitude for a good harvest.
The Moon also appears in Chinese culture, associated with brightness and gentleness. It is a symbol of prosperity, peace, and family reunion. The Chinese have a holiday called the Mid-Autumn Festival, Moon Festival, or Mooncake Festival that is similar to Japan’s Otsukimi.
It is considered one of the most important holidays in Chinese culture, with the history of the festival dating back over 3,000 years. Lanterns of all shapes and sizes are displayed, and a pastry typically filled with egg yolk, sweet bean, meat, or lotus seed paste is traditionally eaten during the festival.
In Indian culture, the Moon holds much importance. In Hinduism, which is India’s predominant religion, the god of the Moon is Chandra. He is believed to cause the plants and crops to grow. Amavasya is a day where the Moon is invisible.
Diwali, or the Festival of Lights, is one of the biggest festivals in India. Diwali is celebrated during the Amavasya of the Kartik month, and it symbolizes the victory of light over darkness.
Does The Moon Affect How Humans Act?
Whether you believe the Moon to be the cause of mental disturbances, illnesses, menstrual problems, accidents — or to have more metaphysical effects — without it our daily lives would be completely different.
The Moon is an important part of our ecosystem and it helps to keep the Earth habitable. It also plays an important part in the history, art, and literature of many cultures around the world.