Updated: Jan 9
This month we focus our attention on pattern and rhythm.
We could start with the obvious topic - music - however we have chosen to reflect on the most basic yet fundamental elements to our lives, the lunar cycles.
The moonlight is actually the sun's rays reflected off the moon's white surface and the amount of this light visible to the eye is determined by what phase the moon is in orbit around the earth, as well as, at what phase the earth is in orbit around the sun.
Gravity is what holds the planets in orbit around the sun and what keeps the moon in orbit around Earth.
The moon spins a full turn on its axis every 29.5305882 days on average (+/- 0.27 days due to the varying distance between the earth and the moon) from earth. 27.3217 days - around 2 days less, if you are viewing it from outside our solar system.
On earth we see the moon from a moving platform: during the moon cycle, the earth has moved approximately one month along its year-long orbit around the sun, changing our angle of view. The earth's orbital direction lengthens from earth.
The phases are show here:
This natural process is a rhythm of its own which nature decided for itself. This in turn is how we have come to measure time.
Time in itself is a rhythm, from second to minute, to hour, to day, to month, to year... and on that note Happy New Year! Although if you are from the Eastern culture chances are yours hasn't started yet.
In China, the new year is celebrated on the first new moon of January which will be on the 21st this year. It is also known as Lunar New Year.
This Friday 6th January is our first full moon of 2023 and it's known as the 'Wolf Moon'.
In ancient times it was common to track the changing seasons by following the lunar month, rather than the solar year which the 12 months in our modern calendar is based on. For millennia, people across Europe, as well as Native American tribes and Buddhists named the months after seasonal features associated with the Northern Hemisphere. Many of these names are very similar to the names we use for our Full Moon today.
It's also interesting to note that 13 full moons a year account for the 'Blue Moon'.
This year, we have a full moon on the first and the last day in August, making it a month with two full moons. To find out more about specific lunar cycles head here.
The gravitational pull of the moon pulls the sea towards it, causing the ocean tides. Gravity creates stars and planets by pulling together the material from which they are made. It also keeps us humans grounded, so to speak.
Nature's laws are so intrinsic we have sometimes to remind ourselves to consciously appreciate its magnificence.
To start the new year with an essence of gratitude, perhaps there's someone you know who will appreciate you sharing this article with.
Here's to a year of conscious appreciation for the natural pattern and rhythm of the existence that we are part of.