Full Moonology

Recently a counselling client asked me what I thought of the full moon. He asked whether the full moon has the capacity to effect behaviour. Seeing it was the end of the session I politely nodded and mentioned that fish and some other fauna seem to be affected by the Moon; why not humans? Maybe he was  investigating the possibilities of the full moon effects versus self actuating his anger issues?

The Moon is constantly changing; softly reflecting light to earth in the dark night sky. The moon is always there in the sky. The Moon is symbolically feminine, intuitive, emotive and reflective. The Moon is a great distance away however it has been an object in the sky that many have loved, worshipped or blamed over the centuries. The Moon is a constant “companion” to humans and beasts, and for that reason we develop a relationship to it. The Moon Goddess’ and the act of worshiping the moon are well documented in paganism. The Moon forms a symbolic relationship to the Mother in astrology.
The astrological moon represents our fluctuating emotional circumstances much like the tides of the ocean. It seems that the full moon has a reputation for being blamed for certain human behaviours. In post medieval times it was argued in some court cases involving murder; that the full moon caused a kind of temporary insanity for defendants.
“It was the Full Moon that did it you’re honour”

“It turned me into a right monster it did”

There is a theory that if you stick two people in a room together for a time, they form a “relationship”. This theory was tested with a baby monkey and a sack resembling a mother monkey. Eventually the monkey sought nurture from the silent sack and developed a relationship to the object. The Moon has been a part of our every day life over many generations. It would be reasonable to think that humans have developed a relationship of sorts, with the moon.
Like a silent friend in the sky she glows and changes shape from week to week in front of our eyes. I propose that we form a kind of “object relationship” to the moon. She becomes a part of our life though fable and nursery rhyme. Obviously the Full Moon phase is quite a dramatic sight in the night sky. According certain human behaviour at the full moon, she seems to trigger off something inside us. We do some pretty strange things at the full moon phase. The word Lunacy is derived from Luna and used to describe “insanity” or other mental health issues by early psychiatrists. The Moon is an object in the sky that has great importance to human relations through science.

It seems that over the centuries, humans have developed beliefs about the effects of the Full Moon. Less seriously and in recent times perhaps, people joke about the Full Moon rising. That we “better watch out” or “its going to be crazy tonight”. Another example of our developmental relationship to the “Moon Object” is through nursery rhymes.

Hey diddle diddle,
The Cat and the fiddle,
The Cow jumped over the moon,
The little Dog laughed to see such sport,
And the Dish ran away with the Spoon  


The Cow jumped over the Moon


I could never really understand the Dish and the Spoon bit in this nursery rhyme but my point is that we form a relationship to the Moon by its repeated use in art, religion and science. One would describe the relationship in the above story as somewhat neurotic or dysfunctional. It is nonsensical and suggests that crazy stuff happens during the full moon.

Do people become more self – activated or reactive at the Full Moon? I believe so because I have seen it happen. Astrology can show potential triggers and effect,  however one could argue that instinctively, we believe that crazy stuff will happen. We have convinced ourselves it does because of our long term relationship with the full moon. Ancient myths, nursery rhymes, rituals, science and many other stories have made it so.

In the Object Relations theory – part of the relationship to the Moon we are perhaps working to her clockwork and we instinctively know when to go “crazy” because that is what our relationship to her means. She gets our attention when she is full and we attempt to fill her silent expectations by self actuating around full moon.

The Full Moon comes around once per month. It is a timely reminder of the cycles of nature and the reality in such an embedded ‘objects’ in our culture. In astrology the Moon is seen as a trigger for planets in the natal chart and transiting aspects. Those of us not interested in astrology, seem to accept that there is a connection to the Full Moon’s effect from anecdotal and experiential evidence . Whether the full moon effects (affects) us because of its tidal pull, or through its astrological significance or that it’s a psychological object  developed over time through story telling; can we really blame her for our behaviours and decisions during the full moon period?.

There is a Full Moon tomorrow (18th April 2011) . If there ever was a time to blame the full moon it is this week. The Full Moon period is marked with planetary aspects Mars and Mercury opposite Saturn . Saturn is about “regulation” and Mercury/Mars represents rapid thoughts and jumping into fray without thought for values and other boundaries. If there have been any relationship issues bottled up lately, then perhaps the Full Moon can help release them?

The “Cathartic Moon” (Full Moon) is calling for some regulation at this time. The Full Moon may be helpful in pointing out boundaries and other lines in the sand “not to cross”.   



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