The Blue Moon
Mankind has always been fascinated by the moon and its effects on Earth. Aside from the tides the ancient calendars, chiefly the old almanac, depended on the many cycles of the moon to determine specific times for sowing and harvesting crops.
How is Blue Moon determined? When there are two full moons in one calendar month, the second full moon is called a Blue Moon.
Now, the Blue colored moons really do exist. They occur when there is an abundance of certain particles in the Earth’s atmosphere. The light from the moon, although it appears white, is made up from all the colors of the spectrum. These particles filter out and scatter the colors at one end of the spectrum (the reds and yellows) whilst intensifying the colors at the other end of the spectrum (the blues and greens). This gives the moon a blue or blur-green look, especially if it is viewed when low on the horizon.
Dust from forest fires can turn the moon blue and when volcanoes erupt the dust produced can have the similar effect.
The Blue Moon usually occurs in months with 31 days in them (occurrences in 30 day months are rare). They average once every two and half years. There are some people with ample imagination and lack of understanding that have attributed the Blue Moon to bad luck. There is no good or bad luck in its creation however, only power. It is how individuals use this power that turns things either good or bad. The second full moon (the Blue Moon) doubles the power of that month’s moon influence.
The mystical side of the moon, particularly the blue moon has always ignited the imagination of every indigenous people of every continent. In North America Native Indians had their own interesting interpretation of the Blue Moon; here are some of these facts:
North American Indians sometimes referred to the Blue Moon as the Snake Moon. As the animal totem for the Blue Moon is a snake it is therefore respected and not feared. The snake in every culture is, without fail, considered a fearsome creature. The Blue Moon being attributed the same power; it doubles the intensity of that time of year in which it falls. The snake is also a creature of change, and the Blue Moon heralds a time of great change.
The snake sheds its skin but the process heralds certain danger and difficulty. If the shedding does not occur in a timely manner and the snake fails to get what it needs to help pull the skin away from it the change can suffocate and kill it. If successful, however, the transformation can be most magnificent; for after the sloughing off the dead, lacklustre skin the new one emerges gleaming so brightly that it can be seen even at night. Similarly in life, there are two sides to everything; the blue moon could portend beneficial or detrimental strength.
The Blue Moon is also considered a two- edged sword. It means that the person born under the Blue Moon will have much stronger power to utilize in their lives; but that power will also have the potential to weaken them twice as much as it would others. They will be doubly enlightened, but they will also have twice the trouble bringing their ideas to fruition. Be wary of the Blue Moon person, for although they are beautiful in nature, this characteristic boon comes with certain volatility. Give them wide berth until you can determine what kind mood he or she is in or, indeed, what kind of snake he or she is.
Water reeds are the plant totems for this moon, although sweet grass can also represent the Blue moon. Sweet grass can enlighten and cleanse the atmosphere, but too much can sour the air; it, too, has a double edge to it.
Iron pyrites or fool’s gold is the mineral totem for the Blue Moon. Real gold is malleable and soft, fools’ gold looks as attractive, but when one tries to mine it, they will find it is sharp and hard. Like the snake it doesn’t give it true meaning in its initial contact. Working it could hurt one rather than help one. Iron is the solid flesh of Mother Earth, and in this stone it is encased in the golden colors of Grandfather Sun, showing us yet again that this fool’s gold is not what it seems. Looking at fool’s gold, there is rush of greed and avarice when one should be more temperate and recognize that it is not what it seems.
An animal hide bearing the legend of the snake clan from the Hopi people of the southwestern United States. Before the famous Hopi snake dance, the men gather snakes from each of the four directions.
As might be expected, the snake associations figure predominantly among the Native Americans of the southwestern United States. This is a snake painting of whirling snakes.
Below is an old legend about the Moon and Snake:
THE MOON AND THE GREAT SNAKE
(From The Project Gutenberg EBook of Indian Why Stories, by Frank Bird Linderman)
The rain had passed; the moon looked down from a clear sky and the bushes and dead grass smelled wet after the heavy storm. A cottontail ran into a clump of wild-rose bushes near War Eagle’s lodge, and some dogs were close behind the frightened animal, as he gained cover.
Little Buffalo Calf threw a stone into the bushes, scaring the rabbit from his hiding-place, and away went bunny, followed by the yelping pack. We stood and listened until the noise of the chase died away, and then went into the lodge, where we were greeted, as usual, by War Eagle.
To-night he smoked, but with greater ceremony, and I suspected that it had something to do with the forthcoming story.
Finally he said:
“You have seen many Snakes, I suppose?”
“Yes,” replied the children, “we have seen a great many. In the summer we see them every day.”
“Well,” continued the story-teller, “once there was only one Snake on the whole wide world, and he was a big one, I tell you. He was pretty to look at, and was painted with all the colors we know. This snake was proud of his clothes and had a wicked heart. Most Snakes are wicked, because they are his relations.
“Now, I have not told you all about it yet, nor will I tell you to-night, but the Moon is the Sun’s wife, and some day I shall tell you that story, but to-night I am telling you about the Snakes.
“You know that the Sun goes early to bed, and that the Moon most always leaves before he gets to the lodge. Sometimes this is not so, but that is part of another story.
“This big Snake used to crawl up a high hill and watch the Moon in the sky. He was in love with her, and she knew it; but she paid no attention to him. She liked his looks, for his clothes were fine, and he was always slick and smooth. This went on for a long time, but she never talked to him at all.
“The Snake thought, ‘Maybe the hill isn’t high enough?’ so he found a higher one, and watched the Moon pass, from the top. Every night he climbed this high hill and motioned to her.
“She began to pay more attention to the big Snake, and one morning early, she loafed at her work a little, and spoke to him. He was flattered, and so was she, because he said many nice things to her, but she went on to the Sun’s lodge, and left the Snake.
“The next morning very early she saw the Snake again, and this time she stopped a long time–so long that the Sun had started out from the lodge before she reached home. He wondered what kept her so long, and became suspicious of the Snake. He made up his mind to watch, and try to catch them together. So every morning the Sun left the lodge a little earlier than before; and one morning, just as he climbed a mountain, he saw the big Snake talking to the Moon. That made him angry, and you can’t blame him, because his wife was spending her time loafing with a Snake.
“She ran away; ran to the Sun’s lodge and left the Snake on the hill. In no time the Sun had grabbed him. My, the Sun was angry! The big Snake begged, and promised never to speak to the Moon again, but the Sun had him; and he smashed him into thousands of little pieces, of different colors from the different parts of his painted body. The little pieces each turned into a little snake, just as you see them now, but they were all too small for the Moon to notice after that.
“That is how so many Snakes came into the world; and that is why they are all small, nowadays.
“Our people do not like the Snake-people very well, but we know that they were made to do something on this world, and that they do it or they wouldn’t live here.
“I am tired to-night, and I will ask that you go to your lodges, that I may sleep, for I am getting old. Ho!”
Note: Blue Moon (in Toronto, Canada) occur on Friday, July 31, 2015 at 6:42 AM (second Full Moon in single calendar month)