There is something about the moon that ignites the senses. As the nearest natural satellite to earth, and appearing bigger than the stars because of this close proximity, it is a strong celestial force. For many, this energy is tangible, life changing and relevant to their modern lives. Astronomers and astrologers have never stopped observing the luminous orb and its movements. The latter group taps into its cosmic power over us. Pagans take a further leap of faith by channeling the moon’s mystical properties. Each moon phase is thought to emanate a different type of energy, which can be harnessed to optimum effect, by closely following the lunar cycles.
“The moon actually causes the tides. If there were no moon, we would have no tides. The tides arise due to the pull of the moon’s gravity,” says Matt Goodman from the UK Space Agency. The sun impacts the tides as well, but without the moon, they would only be one third of their current amplitude. Recently, a research team from Texas State University suggested that there could be a connection between the moon and the unusually large number of icebergs that crossed the Titanic’s path on the fateful day it sank on April 14, 1912. The team of physicists calculated that, exactly a century ago, on January 4, 1912, the moon was the closest to the earth it had been in 1,400 years – and came within six minutes of a full moon. Being what’s known as spring tide, the moon and sun were aligned, increasing each other’s gravitational pull. As a result, the tides were much higher than normal. This was enough to dislodge stranded icebergs off the coasts of Labrador and Newfoundland that were travelling southward from Greenland. The freak high tide moved the icebergs (what usually would take years) in a matter of months, directly into the shipping lanes of the Titanic the night it went down.
Findings such as this add more weight to the popular belief that the moon’s gravitational pull can effect us – mainly because the human body, much like the earth, is made up of roughly 70 percent water. It’s also widely accepted that a women’s menstrual cycle which averages 28 days, is in synch with the moon’s approximate 28-day orbit around the earth. And then there’s that universally shared feeling of being more alive and excitable during a full moon. This experience was heightened recently during the super moon in May. The super moon was estimated to be 14 percent bigger, and 30 percent brighter than other full moons of the year