For centuries people have been superstitious of the folklore that surrounds the magic of the moon, and the effect it has on humans. Everyone has heard the phrase “there must be a full moon tonight” in attempt to explain some bizarre circumstance. The word lunacy derives from the Latin word lunaticus, meaning “moonstruck,” and the Roman goddess of the moon held the name Luna, prefix of the word “lunatic” (Geddes, 2019). Greek philosopher Aristotle and Roman historian Pliny the Elder proposed a theory that because the moon sways the tides, and that the brain was the “moistest” organ in the body, it’s therefore extremely vulnerable to the noxious influences of the moon (Arkowitz & Lilienfeld, 2009).
The gravitational forces of the moon on ocean tides has caused many to question whether humans experience this same pull – and if this has any effect on us. A prevailing argument endorses the concept that humans are made up of 75% water, and that while we possess minuscule quantities in comparison to the ocean, the volume of water molecules, even in the Nano-range, will react to any tiny gravitational change. The pull may be too weak to see any kind of change from a physical viewpoint, however the movement of water from inside the cell towards the outside or vice versa, depending on the direction of the gravitational force, could have an effect on the whole organism (Geddes, 2019). Perhaps the moon works its mischievous magic by unsettling the alignment of water molecules in the nervous system. If plant cells respond to such tidal forces, what is to think that humans are any different, given that life is thought to have begun in the oceans?
The moon has long been thought to be connected to our emotional selves, influencing our behaviors and hidden subconscious desires. The lunar cycle affects Earth in several ways, first with the provision of moonlight. A full Moon comes around every 29.5 days, and a new Moon following 14.8 days after that (2019). With each week, the moon transits through different phases and zodiac’s, clearing a fresh path for what lies ahead (Steiber, 2020). This may be why the moon’s powerful vibrations startle us with bursts of energy, and can cause abrupt personal change.
Critics to the lunar effect have termed this an “illusory correlation”— the perception of an association that does not in fact exist. While there are no conclusive scientific studies on the specific effects of the moon on human emotions, many people are convinced that the mystical powers of the moon signify erratic behaviors and induce emotional changes.
Megan Binder (B.A Psychology)
Arkowitz, H., & Lilienfeld, S. O. (2009). Lunacy and the Full Moon: Does a full moon really trigger strange behavior? Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/lunacy-and-the-full-moon/
Geddes, L. (2019, July 31). The mood-altering power of the Moon. Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20190731-is-the-moon-impacting-your-mood-and-wellbeing
Sky Tellers – The Myths, the Magic and the Mysteries of the Universe. (2019). Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.lpi.usra.edu/education/skytellers/moon-phases/
Steiber, M. (2020, August 31). How do Full Moons actually affect us? Retrieved November 13, 2020, from https://www.russh.com/how-do-full-moons-affect-humans/