Full ‘Cold’ moon on 12/12 sparks imaginations and debate

super moon
Photo of full moon by Indie Art South

The moon has fascinated me since I was a child told by adults it was made of green cheese and/or there was a man in the moon. Even today years later I often walk outside late at night just to see the moon and stars. Tomorrow there’s a treat in store for moon lovers like me, and there’s a dash of mystery that is sparking imaginations and debate. Media have taken up the cause, with most building stories around content first featured in a publication I’ve known since the days I heard about lunar green cheese and men.

This Thursday’s full moon, sometimes called the “Cold Moon”, occurs on December 12. Making this more interesting than a regular full moon, the moon will peak on that date at 12:12 AM Eastern time. Adding a quirk to this phenomenon is the fact that if you add the numbers in our current year, you get the sum of 12. We all know the number 12 is special for many reasons.

What does all this mean, if anything?

I think it means whatever you want it to.

If you have, as I do, Celtic ancestors, a full moon with a twist like the one approaching may touch a chord in you and spark your imagination. Ancient Celts believed the day began at sundown, not sunrise. Some accounts of the Celts exist, with the Romans at the forefront of the narrative because the Romans finally conquered the Celts after many years of conflict. The Celts were even forced by the Romans to use a different calendar. Yet the culture of the Celts influences us even today. For the ancient Celts, the moon was very significant, even more so than the sun.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac, the source for most of the articles about the pending full moon, has details on viewing the 12/12 at 12:12 moon, and the publication offers a list of significant associations with the number 12. The fact this is the last full moon of the decade makes it even more interesting. The number 12 figured heavily in quite a few religions—Christianity, Buddhism, and the gods worshipped in ancient Greece.

Here in the South, I’m hoping we get a good look at what will be a lovely ‘Cold Moon,’ and I think it’d be nice if the numerologist quoted by the Almanac is right about this:

“The number 12 is at the very end of the numerology spectrum, and it offers those who see it in their daily life the opportunity to … wrap up a certain life stage and situation before moving forward to bigger and better things. This number is like a curtain call that allows you to get your affairs together so you can benefit from the windfall that the universe is about to bestow on you.”

Library Ireland cited words from Julius Caesar in his account of the Gallic Wars, and those words resonate with my political philosophy today. The Druids class of the Celts didn’t like war or paying taxes. They also believed that at death, the soul migrates from one body to another. The heavenly bodies were of great significance.

The Romans may have wiped out or reconfigured the culture of my ancestors, but they failed to wipe out beliefs that date to ancient times. I think of that when I knock on wood (preferably a tree) for good luck, or when I’m just outside gazing at the moon, admiring the mysteries of the universe.

As for The Old Farmers Almanac, my grandmother swore by that annual publication, and to this day, I buy one every year.

(Kay B. Day/Dec. 11, 2019)

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