External Forces – The Moon

Few people are aware, or even believe, that the moon has any kind of affect on our mood. But whilst every schoolboy knows that tidal flow is caused by the gravitational pull of the moon (though I once worked with a colleague who thought I was making that up), most rational people scoff at the idea that the moon could affect something as complex as a human moon_phases1being. And yet, perhaps the fact that our bodies are between 55 and 78% water goes some way towards explaining what police departments and accident and emergency wards have known for years – there may be a statistically significant correlation (and I chose that word carefully) between the phases of moon and the activities of people.

Now I’m not saying that around a full moon you might find yourself sprouting more facial hair, and developing a craving for dog food (although, maybe) but you might find yourself a little more stressed, a little more harassed. There have been studies (though I can’t vouch for any of them) that show that during or immediately following a full moon there will be more births, more animal bites, more incidents of ‘fake’ strokes (people with stroke-like symptoms that later turn out to be fine), and more visits to the doctor – presumably from all the births, animal bites and fake strokes. Though there are less cardiac arrests. There’s also (according to one study) less alcohol consumed; 26% less. And yet there are more incidents of violent crime, arson, and dangerous driving. And if the statistics are to be believed then these people who are beating each other up, setting fire to things or driving like idiots are apparently eating more; meal sizes allegedly increase by around 8% during a full moon. Why? No one knows.

It’s worth mentioning that there seem to be as many people ready dismiss and dispute these findings, as there are those ready to believe them. A simple internet search will return a bewildering number of websites arguing both sides of the debate.

In my own life however I’ve noticed that events and appointments seem to bunch up around a full moon, as if the people I work with unconsciously gravitate towards that date. And I’m not alone. Of course, we could all be seeing a pattern where none really exists, but it’s significant enough for me to find difficult to ignore. More interestingly however, a week of so after the full moon, or to use the technical term, when the moon is “waning” (disappearing) as we move towards a new (dark) moon, some people are more likely to find themselves feeling a little ‘flat’, lethargic or depressed.

Now I know how this sounds. It’s the very reason why this section never made it into the book. The moon indeed! But if there’s a shred of truth behind the numbers, if the moon really does affect us, directly or indirectly, this is information you can use. Consider investing in a Luna calendar, or some sort of calendar that has the cycles of the moon. They’re not expensive, there are websites where you can print your own – there’s even an iPhone app. But I encourage you, the next time you’re feeling a little low or stressed, especially if it’s for no discernable reason, consult your luna calendar, and see if you notice a pattern emerging.

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