Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.
~ Mark Twain
Today we celebrate a most magical Full Moon. This is the Full Moon that triggers festivities around the world to chase away the gloom of Winter. And this year, it happens to be a Super Moon.
It is called this in part because Lady Moon is currently at lunar perigee. Perigee occurs every month – it is simply the point in the elliptical orbit of the Moon that happens to be closest to the Earth. Every month, surprise, there is a closest point!
A Full Moon at perigee occurs every couple of years or so. But the perigee point distance is not always the same – it can vary by thousands of miles, sometimes being nearer, or further out. Today’s perigee, occurring only about an hour from exact Full Moon, is the closest one to the Earth in 18 years. And we won’t see a Moon this bright and close to Earth again until 2029. This is why it is a Super Moon.
Astrologer Lara Owen tells us we can expect unusually high tides today. “Super Moons,” she writes, “are associated with major disturbances. We’ve probably had the biggest disturbance with the Japan quake, but this week in the lead-up to the Full Moon may see more disruption.”
As a matter of fact, the aftershocks rocking Japan have set a record. As of Friday afternoon, 262 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater had been registered in the week since the 9.0 quake struck. That includes three of magnitude 7 or more.
Is this because of the Super Moon? Scientists dismiss lunar influences on earthquakes, however they do agree that a Super Moon has a big impact on tides and the possible severity of storm flooding.
Meanwhile, as noted yesterday, the astrological influences around this Full Moon are complex. Lara tells us, “This Full Moon is especially tricky because it falls at the critical 29 degree and thus amplifies the major endings-and-beginnings phase we are now in, with Jupiter, Uranus, and Neptune all changing signs in the first few months of 2011.”
Astrologer Lynn Hayes agrees, noting, “There are other astrological factors at work during this March 19th period… The Full Moon on March 19th occurs just one day before the Spring Equinox which will feature the Sun in Aries in an exact conjunction with Uranus. Because the charts for the Equinoxes and Solstices can be used in predicting weather and events for the upcoming season, that is a powerful alignment in Aries, a fire sign, signifying more weather changes and potentially more explosions and wildfires.”
Lara concludes her views about this momentous event, advising, “As well as the sudden Earth changes now, we are also likely to see sudden changes in our personal lives, some of which will be great and exciting and some of which will be shocking and difficult. Good luck, all!”
Well, in addition to good luck, as intense as so many situations are at this moment, I am thinking that perhaps we would be wise to remember our great human gifts of laughter and good humor.
For it this Full Moon that determines the timing of the some of the world’s greatest festivals for shaking off the Wintertime blues.
Even by the standards of India, one of the Earth’s greatest festival cultures, Holi is one of the world’s lightest, funniest, giddiest festivals. It features wild music, fantastic light shows, and, best of all, people pelting each other with brightly colored powders. It is a grand celebration of Shiva’s courtship of Parvati.
Banishing the old year’s somberness, people roam the streets, squirting each other with colored water from water pistols and throwing colored powders and water balloons off roofs. Everyone wears old clothes, or, if invited to a party, crisp white clothes (the better to ruin!).
Like Carnival, which just ended last week, the celebration often gets pretty bawdy. It’s one of the few times when men and women mingle freely and people use tricks to try to splash their relatives and friends with color. It’s also a time when people from all social castes celebrate together, dropping the social taboos.
In other celebrations, this weekend is when Jews celebrate the rowdy Full Moon festival of Purim. It features ribald jokes, feasting, gambling and dressing up in costume, all customs that link it with other Springtime festivals of excess like Holi and Mardi Gras.
Although Purim ostensibly celebrates the overthrow of the wicked tyrant Haman who was murdering the Jews, scholars believe the festival actually has roots in an ancient Persian Spring holiday which featured a mock battle (much like those often linked with Carnival and Easter).
Astrologer Dan Furst sagely notes, “March has always been the zodiac month for laughter, plenty of it, as the pain and troubles of the old year are dispelled in comedy festivals like Holi and especially Purim, which commemorates the cleverness of Esther in saving her people from Scott Walker, costumed this time as Police Commissioner Haman.
“So one essential activity this month is to do ritual comedies at the Full Moon coming on March 19 – 20, depending on your location. Its power will be greatly enhanced this year, coming as it does just before the March Equinox.”
Sometimes, even when things may look bleak, we need to lighten up and laugh. Today, we have the power of a Super Moon to do just that.
May our compassionate humor never be lost, for it is a most divine way to open our hearts and embrace our humanity.