The term moon cycle or lunar cycle refers to the continuous orbit of the moon around the earth. As it orbits, its appearance changes, which gives an indication of its progress in the cycle. This cycle is also called lunation, during which the moon completes one orbit around the earth. The lunar cycle comprises different phases of the moon with respect to its appearance.
- New Moon: The moon is positioned between the earth and sun at an approximate alignment. It appears dark and its rear side is illuminated, which we can't see.
- Waxing Crescent: Here, the sunlit portion of the moon increases, but it is still less than half.
- First Quarter: It is also known as a half moon, and occurs when the moon is at a 90° angle with respect to the earth and sun. Half portion of the moon appears illuminated and the other half is in shadow.
- Waxing Gibbous: At this stage, the sunlit portion increases, and more than half portion of the moon is illuminated.
- Full Moon: During this phase, the earth, moon, and the sun are in approximate alignment, and the moon is on the opposite side of the earth. The part of moon facing the earth is entirely illuminated, and the shadowed portion is hidden from the view.
- Waning Gibbous: During this phase, the sunlit portion of the moon gradually decreases, but more than half its portion is still illuminated.
- Third Quarter: This is similar to the first quarter moon. It makes an angle of 90° with the earth and sun. Half portion of the moon is illuminated and rest is in shadow.
- Waning Crescent: In this phase, the sunlit portion decreases even more and the sun illuminates less than half portion of the moon.
- New Moon: This is the beginning of the new moon cycle all over again.
For centuries, it has been believed that the fate of men and women depends on the moon cycles. The ancients portrayed this concept as the great Wheel of Fortune, eternally turning and spilling off the winners on top, while bearing up the losers beneath, and giving them their good time before they too get dumped. According to scientific reviews, the full moon alters the way humans and other animals behave. It is well-known that the moon gives rise to tidal effects on oceans. We also know that the human body consists of nearly 80% of water. Hence, the moon has a great impact on an individual's intellect and thinking throughout its cycle. It is also believed that different phases of the moon affects human behavior, but this relationship is still intriguing. Reports have shown that the full moon marks a monthly peak in various kinds of psychotic crimes, like murders, accidents, arson, and theft.
Dr. Edson J. Andrews from the Florida Medical Association stated that 82% of post-operative bleeding crisis occurs during the full moon, even though very few operations are conducted during that time. According to Curtis Jackson, controller of Southern California Methodist Hospital, more babies are conceived on the waxing moon than on the waning, as conception is easier during that time. A German researcher named James W. Buehler came up with some more interesting surmises, such as there is a significant preponderance of male births during the full moon. Although most of these hypotheses have been confuted, the relationship between the full moon and its unimaginative effects on the earth remains the same.
The full moon has a significant effect on the mind, emotions, and body of an organism. It is an emotional high tide time which can push a person over the edge, especially when he is on a psychologically shaky ground.