Moonlore...Gwyndion O'Hara

Available from Llewellyn Publications Copyright © 1998 Llewellyn Worldwide,Ltd.

A Window Into the Past
Through the generations, people have handed down folktales and legends to delight imaginations and
inspire dreamers. Within the ancient cultures from which we inherited these marvelous tales, however,
was a much greater significance to the world of fantasy, magic, and mythology. Those who preserved
these lunar sagas through written and verbal tradition did not merely pass on nice old stories; these
people left a legacy that offers a window into the past. They have, in the guise of imaginative narratives,
given us a glimpse of the way they lived.
Each month when the Moon rose full over the lands, those who farmed, tended livestock, and followed
animals in the hunt knew her by a different name. The names they chose for the midnight Sun often
reflected what was important in their lives at the time each Moon ascended. At planting time, the lunar
cycle that watched over the Earthís activities was known as the Seed Moon, the Planterís Moon, or the
Sprouting Grass Moon. When the time for crop gathering was upon them, the people who worked the
land saw the harvest Moon, the Barley moon, or the Big Feast Moon rise above them. When harvest
time was done and people turned to the hunt for their main food source, the Blood Moon, the Hunterís
Moon, or the Killing Deer Moon ascended.
Sometimes, lunar cycle names reflected the Moonís mythology and folk legends. The Hare Moon, the Wolf
Moon, and the Sun House Moon are some of the names that may be rooted in folktales.
Lunar names can also reflect the customs and traditions of a particular culture. We still recall the Play
Moon, the Running Season Moon, and the Hoop and Stick Game Moon.
Finally, there are the Moons of transition. The original Moon children were people of the land. They
depended on the natural order for their survival, and they looked to the natural wonders with awe and
reverence. They were the paganis, the pagans, and the people of the heaths, the heathens. With the
march of time, many who revered the lunar cycles were converted to Christianity. Although their
careful monitoring of the lunar phases and cycles was firmly rooted in tradition, the names changed to
reflect a newly adopted belief system. This was the advent of the Christmas Moon, Easter Moon, and
Christís Moon.
Lunar names span several cultures and stretch far back into time. Those used in this book are the ones
learned through verbal tradition. Originally, their roots were in European tradition. Many of the Saxon
names for the lunar cycles are the same as those presented here. There seems, however, to be some
influence from North American Indian lore. Some of the lunar names as presented in this offering are
very close to those that survive in tribal legendry.

A Moon in Every Month

Wolf Moon~January
Storm Moon~February
Chaste Moon~March
Seed Moon~April
Hare Moon~May
Dyad Moon~June
Mead Moon~July
Wort Moon~August
Barley Moon~September
Blood Moon~October
Snow Moon~November
Oak Moon~December
Wine Moon~Blue Moon

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