Why the Full Moon Increases Paranormal Activity (A Pagan’s Perspective)
For as long as humans have been on the planet, we have gazed into the night sky in awe of the moon. The moon’s phases are such a part of human history, evidenced by the fact that our ancestors built their calendars on the cycles of the moon. There was once thirteen months, as there are thirteen moon cycles in a year. This has changed in modern history, but nothing can change the effects of the full moon on us. Nothing can change the full moon’s effects on the spirit world, either. If the full moon increases human activity, giving way sometimes to chaos, the full moon increases paranormal activity, as well. The full moon and spirits go together like milk and cookies, and in this post, I’ll explain why.
The Full Moon’s Effects on Humans
Do you notice yourself getting antsy or emotional at certain times a month? Have you ever noticed if these erratic behaviors and emotions correlate to the full moon? Throughout the ages, the full moon has affected human beings in positive and negative ways. If you are in the medical or criminal correction fields, or know someone who is, you’ll often hear about how the “crazies” come out on the full moon. This isn’t some old superstition, in fact, the term “lunatic” originally meant someone who went crazy on the full moon (hence the syllable luna – as in lunar = moon). But why does the full moon affect humans? Human beings are made up of at least sixty percent water. The moon pulls at the ocean tides, so why wouldn’t it also pull at us? Because the moon governs our emotions, it’s no wonder when she’s round and full our emotions (whether happy, sad, angry, erratic) are sent into over-drive. And if humans die and release their spirits, it’s no wonder spirits are affected by the moon too!
The Full Moon in Folklore
In ancient times, the moon was the closest planet to earth and so it was revered by the people. It was associated with certain gods and goddesses from various cultures including Selene, Sophia, Thoth, Diana, Hecate, Isis, Osiris, Artemis, Luna, Phoebe, and Ix Chel. Let’s not forget the man in the moon and the moon rabbit as folkloric moon figures. Of course we all know the stories of how the full moon affects people and the tides, but what does folklore say about the full moon and paranormal activity?
Howl at the Moon: Spirits of Shamans
Hollywood pushes the image of the snarling, beastly werewolf howling at the full moon. In fact, they say the man who is to become the wolf doesn’t shapeshift until the moon is at its fullest. This concept lies behind deeply hidden shamanic practices from ancient times. Werewolves were originally the spirits of shamans who shapeshifted to move through this realm and the next. Over time we’ve forgotten these shamanic practices and now use werewolves to scare ourselves in the movies or to romanticize us in cheesy books. In Konstantinos’ book Werewolves: The Occult Truth, he details this theory. The shaman required the light of the full moon to move through the woods at night in order to perform his shapeshifting ritual. When there have been modern day werewolf or “large dog-man” sightings, it is typically on the night of a full moon.
Old American Moon Superstitions
Depending on the color and size of the full moon, an omen would foretell the future in Colonial and Old America. A ring around the moon meant snow was coming. In the Ozark Mountains, people believed if the moonlight fell on your bed while you were asleep, you were sure to wake up and be completely insane. It was also unlucky for a newborn baby to be bathed in the moonlight. Surely these superstitions echo old beliefs about the full moon and its link to pagan shamans and witches. On the opposite end of the spectrum, farmers governed the time to till, plant, and harvest by the moon’s phases. Whether this had anything to do with superstition or just an old practice of farming is beyond me.
The Full Moon and Ghost Hunting
Talk to any respectable ghost hunters and they will confirm the full moon increases paranormal activity. It’s not just the shapeshifting werewolves that come out on a full moon, it’s also ghosts, demons, and elementals. It’s as if the moon stirs up the quieter ones and throws them into a tailspin. What might be a quiet house on any other night of the month turns into a paranormal hotbed on the full moon. People with no psychic abilities confess to hearing voices and seeing spirits on full moon nights.
Water and the Spirit World
Every article I’ve found concerning the full moon and spirits discusses how the moon increases paranormal activity but they don’t say why. This is because they’re not looking at it from a spiritual point of view (which seems ironic). My pagan theory is based on our ancient ancestors’ beliefs in the Celtic Otherworld. There were different names for the Otherworld depending on the region, including: Avalon, Tir Na Nog, Mag Mell, Tech Duinn and Annwn. The Otherworld was the land of the dead and, in Celtic mythology, could be accessed via caves or under hills. BUT Irish mythology also talks of the Otherworld being under the sea or over the sea. Tir fo Thuinn is one of the names for the Otherworld which translates to “Land Under the Wave”. If the spirit world is under the sea, the high tides and low tides may cause a disturbance between the realms. Water acts as a vehicle for spirits from this world to the next, so if the tides are extremely high on a full moon, spirits come “to shore” or cross the barrier, so to speak. Alternatively, if the tides are very low on a full moon, the Otherworld is more exposed to our world than at any other time of the lunar month.
We Project Our Emotions and Energy
A second part to my pagan theory on why the full moon increases paranormal activity centers on the astrological properties of the moon. The moon governs our emotions – which is why we have a moon sign (as a secondary sign to our sun sign). Our moon signs tell us how we feel and express our emotions. When the moon is full, we are more likely to feel emotional in one way or another. Emotion is energy from within being expressed without. Look at the syllables in the word e-motion. It is possible our emotions generate enough energy on the full moon that we project our emotions into the universe and cause the paranormal activity ourselves! The mind and emotions are powerful things. What do you think? Do you believe the Otherworld is closer to us on the Full Moon causing ghosts and spirits to haunt us? Or could it be our minds and emotions creating a disturbance on the physical plane making it seem like spirits?