Legend tells that the full moon exerts a strong and magical force. So strong, in fact, that cultures all over the globe have worshipped and feared it for millenniums.
A plethora of myths and legends about full moons have cemented themselves in folklore and cultural tradition. One of the most common myths about the full moon is that it drives people borderline insane. Indeed, the word “lunatic” is derived from “lunar”; of or relating to the moon.
But does a full moon have any impact at all on how we live? The answer depends on your sources. For every study that ‘proves’ a correlation exists between erratic behaviour and the moon cycle, there is one to negate it.
According to common myths, a full moon affects fertility, blood loss during surgery (yes, there are actual humans who refuse vital surgeries during full moon cycles) sleep, crime rates, animal attacks, you name it.
Doctors, police officers and other emergency workers often claim that full moon times concur more accidents than during other phases of the moon. Yet these stories are criticised by some researchers, who argue this belief is merely a result of a full moon being more noticeable than any other moon phase. It’s more likely that after a surgery, a doctor or nurse will walk outside and notice the brightness of a full moon than walk out of the same surgery two weeks later and notice a duller shine.
Nevertheless, in some parts of the world more police officers and doctors will be rostered to work on a full moon day in preparation for a period of increased crime and accidents.
Science generally says the full moon has zero impact on your sleep functions (unless you stay up all night to see it), your health or your mind. As a retail worker, I flip anti-lunacy science the bird.
Compared to a regular day at work, werewolves (customers) go batshit insane during the full moon, as well as the days leading up to it, and all the dragon’s blood incense sticks and essential oils in the world can’t fix it.
Some people say the moon has a similar effect on the human body as the ocean tides, given that we are made up of about 60% water on average. If the moon can direct the entire ocean, can it seriously impair our ability to function like normal human beings? Heck yea.
The full moon heightens our emotions, and not always in a positive way. Each full moon is associated with a different sign of the zodiac; the next full moon, approaching the 21st of January, is a Leo.
To combat the potential of the moon to drive you batshit crazy, you could try diffusing some essential oils, or even inhaling their scents from the bottle. Oils thought to be effective during the full moon phase are ylang ylang, to promote feelings of calmness, sandalwood, which is effective for purity and spirituality, and myrrh for grounding and centredness. To work alongside the energy of a Leo full moon, wear the colour red or carry red crystals, such as rose quartz or garnet, with your person until the moon wanes.
Where possible, avoid making important decisions on a full moon day. Even if you’re not a believer in the moon’s influence, it never hurts to sleep on a decision.
Whilst science doesn’t acknowledge the correlation between a full moon and lunatic behaviour as being anything more than coincidental, it doesn’t prove that there is no effect. Then again, maybe science can’t explain everything, so I’m standing by my full moon beliefs for now – mostly.
You won’t catch me denying life-saving surgery on a full moon day or locking myself in my room because I’m terrified of full moon criminals, but you can bet your superstitious arse I’ll be walking into work armed with incense, crystals and enough essential oils to baptise an army of infant hippies.
Claire is Hogwarts aficionado who will stalk your social media account to find your star sign as soon as she meets you. When she's not re-reading Harry Potter for the zillionth time or meddling in some casual witchcraft, you can find her thinking aloud on Twitter @silent_claire.