The Magic of a Blue Moon

There will be a full moon at Halloween this year, and every full moon at Halloween has to be a Blue Moon. 

Why? Because moon cycles are 29.5 days long and Halloween is always on October 31st. So, it has to be the second full moon of the month. 

Blue Moons happen every 30 months on average. So maybe the expression ‘Once in a Blue Moon’ isn’t so rare after all.

Full moons at Halloween are rare, however. They only happen every 18 or 19 years. Technically, the second full moon of the month is called a hunter’s blue moon, so here we have a full-blown hunter’s blue moon on Halloween.

These are the facts about tonight’s Halloween Full Moon.

The myths however, are far more powerful and a full moon is a potent tool in a writer’s armoury. It gives us emotional motivation and poetic licence. And for writers of romance, the full moon is also a universal symbol of love.

The Myth of a Full Moon 

Since the dawn of time, humankind has sought to read messages in the ebb and flow of nature; the seasons and the elements; the stars and the planets. The sun and moon have always held a fascination for the human psyche; the male power of the sun and the female mystery of the moon. 

On dark nights of old, when the seasons turned towards winter and the cold descended, the human consciousness turned to dark stories and imaginings. 

It is believed that the moon’s energy amplifies our emotions and we have told stories of how the phases of the moon changes human mood and behaviour for as long as there have been stories to tell. The full moon is associated with both strange or insane behaviour which is where we get the term lunatics. Then there is the power of the moon to affect physical metamorphosis, creating the werewolves of myth and legend. 

It is the very error of the moon:

She comes more nearer earth than she was wont,

And makes men mad.

William Shakespeare: othello

Love and the Moon

In poetry and fiction, the full moon is also a universal symbol of love. It affects lovers who become – Moonstruck; unable to think or act normally, especially as a result of being in love.

The moon affects our mood and intensifies feelings. There is mystery and eternity in the moon; it is a constant, ethereal companion in our skies, rising and falling night after night, enigmatic and endless. Like love.

Moonlight is inherently romantic; it bewitches us with its ethereal power and beauty.  

My very first Romantic comedy is called Once Upon a Blue Moon; based on the saying that things which happen Once in a Blue Moon are rare. In this case, the rare occurrence is a chance meeting which changes the lives of the protagonists. 

I named the café where the heroine works The Blue Moon Café because it sounds romantic and like a place where everyone can conspire to bring our lovers together. 

In my stories, however, Ruby Sixpence is perhaps the character most associated with the seasons and elements. She is a wise woman (not a witch) and she uses the power of the elements, including the solstice and equinox, to harness the energy which helps her to influence events. She has an understated power which belies her appearance and in Ruby Sixpence Whistles up a Storm she says:

‘I always work with Nature, not against Her. But I can’t influence the moon and tides; and with a big statement moon comes a big tide, and if it is driven by a big wind, we get coastal flooding from a tidal surge. A combination of all this rain and a full moon and a very windy day…. well, look around.’

Ruby is in good company:

‘Therefore, the moon, the governess of floods,

Pale in her anger washes all the air’

william Shakespeare

Full moons were times when people could gather after dark in the bright moonlight, whereas under the darkness of the new moon, they would stay indoors. Our innate, evolutionary system is still wired to follow the cycles of the moon.

A Blue Moon on Halloween is rare. Now, more than ever, in a time of global crisis, we look towards the heavens for potent symbols to explain what is happening to us.

And the moon is always there: ethereal, beautiful, mystical; urging us to tell more stories to banish the darkness and explore the mystery of human existence.

“Go slowly, my lovely moon, go slowly.”

Khaled Hosseini

Published by Anita Belli

Author and Creative Writing Tutor. Novels: Divas, Dogs & Dreamers. Once Upon A Blue Moon. Ruby Sixpence Whistles Up A Storm. The Traveller & The Rose. The Art Forger's Daughter. Non-Fiction: How to be An Author in the Classroom. Write Your Life. Kickstart Your Writing. Unlock The Block. For Children: A Month of Writing Adventure

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