I had the pleasure of witnessing a Blue Moon, Blood Moon, and lunar eclipse on my way to work yesterday morning. I got up early so I could watch it for a while in solitude before I had to leave my house. I finished watching from the lawn in front of my office with my coworkers. I mentioned how much I enjoyed the experience on Facebook. That’s when my friend, Joy, came up with the idea of writing an Ozarks Maven post about moon legends, folklore, and superstitions. Thank you, Joy!
The moon has long been a source of fascination for humanity. I’ve always heard that crazy people crawl out of the woodwork during a full moon. I’m sure many of you are unfamiliar with that quaint colloquialism, but you should be able to discern the gist. Whether or not the moon affects the psyches of certain people or brings out folks who normally don’t mingle isn’t for me to say. I’m not a scientist and never even played one on TV.
I can tell you with absolute certainty that the behavior of some of the populace changes during a full moon whether it’s deliberate on their parts or not. I spent many years in retail, and noticed that my customers were always more cranky and dramatic during a full moon. I’ve noticed the same phenomenon in every industry in which I’ve worked. I have observed odd behavior while working in the TV, trucking, manufacturing, customer service, and social service industries, but some instances stand out in my mind more than others. I think the most bizarre thing that happened to me during a full moon occurred while I was working in a grocery store in Aurora, Missouri.
One of my customers was an older gentleman who was quite outspoken and pushy. He was difficult to tolerate on a good day. Full moon days seemed to bring out the worst in him. On this particular day, he came through my line and informed me that I was going to marry him. He said I was the 4th wife that God had promised him, and I would bear his 7th son.
I was 25 years old at the time and not nearly as assertive as I am now. I don’t remember what I said to get him to leave, but he swore he would come back for me. I had someone escort me to my car that night. Whether he remembered his mad ramblings or not, I don’t know. I hid every time the man came into the store thereafter. I had not yet embraced my inner warrior and was still rather timid.
Full moon legends have always fascinated me, though. There are so many legends that I could only choose one for this post. Otherwise, you would be reading a thesis instead of a post. The werewolf legend is my favorite. The idea of a person’s physiology being completely altered by a moon phase is exciting to contemplate.
Werewolf legends have been around for centuries. Most cultures have some type of folklore regarding them. Even the ancient Greeks and Romans had werewolf legends. They predate most other monsters such as zombies and vampires. However, not all werewolf legends involve the moon. Many stories tell of people angering the gods and being forced to live as the beast as punishment.
The typical lore is that a person becomes a werewolf by being bitten or scratched by another werewolf. The person then becomes the beast during the full moon and goes on a killing rampage. The person resumes his or her human form when the sun rises the next day. The person usually has no memory of what occurred while he or she was in wolf form.
Werewolves were hunted and tried just as witches were a few hundred years ago. In fact, those accused of being witches were often also accused of also being werewolves or at least consorting with them. They were blamed for murders, dead livestock, and pretty much anything perceived as evil. Many people were tortured until they confessed and then executed.
I personally love the modern romanticized spin on werewolves. I often incorporate paranormal creatures into my writing, and our wolf friends are my most beloved. I’ve written stories in which werewolves play roles such as the hero, the love interest, the teacher, the guardian, and the loving son.
A full moon makes the human imagination take flight. I spent many hours as a child staring at the glowing golden orb out my bedroom window. I even wrote a poem as a teen in which I personified the moon as humanity’s mother. I’m not the first and won’t be the last to do so, I’m sure.
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