Sunday, January 19, 2014

A Howling Moon...

This past Wednesday, was the first Full Moon of the New Year, the Cancer Full Moon, and the Full Wolf Moon. Here on the marsh, the night sky was fairly overcast. Patchy with a cottony horizon line...and the clouds would continue to thicken with the growing darkness. At first I was worried that I wouldn’t get to see the moon at all. No pictures would be taken. The moon would go through its lunation unobserved. By me, anyway.

Feeling less than hopeful, I mounted my camera on its tripod and headed to the marshes edge. I at least wanted to go through the motions of capturing the glowing orb as it traveled up in the sky. Approaching one of the spots along the marsh that I frequent (I have photographed it many, many times at various times of the year) I looked out over distant Tybee Island. The clouds that had socked in the horizon line were pretty thick, but I could see the glow of Luna making her presence known from the other side. The first of several jagged holes in the curtain would present themselves as they swirled by, so I was able to capture some of her edges. I snapped a progression of shots, the holes getting a little bigger as each one drifted past her face. Except for a grey-orange glow, the cloud cover would eventually block her form completely from view. I took that as my cue to head back home to warm my bones.

Later, I stepped out on the front porch to see if things would be any different with the clouds above the condos. There Luna was. I could make out her round shape a bit more, but there was still enough cloud cover to make her hazy. The moody Cancer Full Moon of January, 2014. I got to see her after all.
This Moon is also known as the Full Wolf Moon. Two things that have always been closely associated with one another…the Moon, and wolves. Because they have a nocturnal nature, the wolf has always been associated with night/darkness. Howling messages to others, or barking warnings of intruders, they have been thought to howl at the Moon itself. Even tales about werewolves are closely associated to the rising of the Full Moon. Historically, the relationship can mostly be blamed on the ancients.

Ancient civilization frequently depicted wolves with the Moon in writings and images.

In the Norse mythos can be found stories of the wolves Skoll, and Hati, who chase the Sun and Moon across the sky. Hati Hroovitnisson (“He who hates, enemy”) is said to chase the Moon across the night sky. He is also known as the Moon-Hound, or Managarmr. His partner, Skoll (“Treachery”), is said to chase the chariot that carries the Sun across the sky.

Greek Goddess, Hecate, is Goddess of the Moon. Not only is she depicted in the company of dogs, she is also shown in the form of a dog. It is also said that the howling of dogs precedes her arrival.

The pairing of the Moon and dogs can also be seen with the Roman Goddess of the hunt and the Moon, Diana. She is associated with woodlands, and the animals that reside within.

One Full Moon down for 2014 (as fuzzy as it was), and eleven more to go. I look forward to them all.

(If you are wondering what sort of flower that is on this post, it is a Moon Flower.)

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